Joseph Cannon (Cannonfire) is a racist and a pig.
I don't believe I need a spoiler alert for that. I don't believe it's like giving away the season (and series) ending of Lost or anything. Most people can tell Joe Cannon is a racist even when he's not screaming f-you (with the f-word spelled out, apparently someone didn't have a mother or didn't have a mother who told him what was and wasn't acceptable) over and over.
We can tell because we look.
Why do we look?
Keesha's story has been told many times but it's always worth retelling. (And when I got contacted today on the phone tree about this, I believe I was told Keesha was one of the people whose comments Joe Cannon refused to allow to post.)
Keesha went through what most of us who are Black have. It's true of Asian-Americans especially (as Lian has pointed out) as well. We go to a blog and think, "Oh, this is great. It's my new home." And we're there a bit. And we leave our comments. And the more we leave, we notice a distancing. Especially as we leave comments that indicate we are Black (or Asian-American). And when it's time for us to call out the DNC for how appallingly it is ignoring Black voters (or Asian-American ones) and we do, we suddenly realize how unwelcome we've been all along.
Keesha has the war stories and there's not a well known blog online that she hasn't had this happen at.
They don't mind Black readers . . . if the readers know their place.
It's happened to all of us. And so we look for clues to tell us if some place is worth investing.
It's not a problem to call out a Black person. That won't make a person racist.
Provided Black people are noted at other times. If the only time they're noted (and this is true of women as well) is to call them out, then the blogger has a problem.
And the sources they cite. Are they all White? Does a Black person ever get worked in?
If so, how often?
These are the clues -- after you've been burned online -- that you look for and you don't invest anywhere until you know they're safe.
Which is why Black people in this community do not go to Cannonfire.
It did not take Joe Cannon screaming his head off at Stan today with f-you and all the other crap. Seriously, I am the mother of three young children. I will wash their mouths out with soap today, tomorrow and forty years from now if I hear them talking like Joe Cannon. He probably thought he came off "tough." He just sounded like a little brat who learned a new curse word and wanted to repeat it over and over.
As a general rule, Joe Cannon, calling Black people racist is not a way to deflect from your racism.
In fact, a White person who calls a Black person racist will immediately have Blacks studying the exchange. They will be looking to see what went down. They will be scoring.
They will come to the same conclusions I did: You are racist.
Barack Obama is a person of color. (He is not Black. That's racist of you, a White man, to call him that.) He is now the incoming president of the United States. He must step down from the Senate. His seat was open and it should have gone to a person of color.
Screaming "Racist!" at that logic just proves what a racist you are.
But it was already proven. Day after day at your site it's "Check out this White person" and "Check out that White person" and on and on. You live in an all White world. (Which must be hard to do in Los Angeles, but you pull it off.) The only experts are White, like you. The only ones worth quoting are White, like you.
You prove every day in every way that you are a racist.
Your little stunt today, where you attacked Stan? You made it clear you were a racist. I think it was Gina who e-mailed me the copy & paste of Cannonfire (I don't link to trash and I don't visit it). I read it in shock. My oldest son asked me what I was reading and I told him it wasn't really appropriate for him. He begged and pointed out he was the brave one during our big move (from Georgia to California) reassuing his brother and his sister. So I said, "Okay, but there are words here that are unacceptable."
So he read it. I asked him, "What did you think?" He said, "That guy's a racist. Why's he picking on Stan? Where does he think he can talk to Stan like that? Is he talking to Stan like that because Stan is Black?"
(For the record, Stan self-defines African-American. I use the term Black as do my children.)
It was obvious to a young (Black) child that Joe Cannon was racist and it will be obvious to anyone who bothers to read the exchange.
I'm tired. We just moved to California this week. Monday. I'm still not fully unpacked. I have many things to do -- with my kids, with my new job, you name it.
But my parents taught me to have pride in myself and taught me that you never let anyone steal your joy. When Joe Cannon falsely screams racist at Stan, he's trying to attack Stan's joy. He's trying to make Stan think like Joe does: That Black is bad.
I will not be silent while Joe attacks Stan for sticking up for our people. I will not be silent while Joe thinks he can speak to a Black man like that. He thinks he can bully Stan the same way Harry Reid and Dick Durbin thought they could shame Senator Roland Burris.
Stan is Black and he is Beautiful. Joe could bask in being White and take pride in that. Instead, Joe feels threatened and must attack the Black person. He must kill the joy. In another century, he'd be toting a whip. Those days are gone and I won't be silent. Joe Cannon can retreat to his plantation but he can't live in the real world and not be called out.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Thursday, January 15, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, a new Pentagon report notes that the Iraqi military is a shambles, Ryan Crocker receives an award, Bumiller and Shanker continue to report realities on 'withdrawal,' Ms. magazine's continued efforts to self-embarrass and more.
First off, I know about Stan being trashed by a racist. It will be dealt with tonight. I dictated a long section on it and on the pig's White entitlement but Stan's the one who got trashed and I wanted him to see it first before it went up. (It's always cute when a White person already known online as a racist decides to call an African-American racist.) That section was e-mailed to him and he said use it for the Thursday's "I Hate The War." I will and I will expand it. But I know that people are angry -- it will be addressed.
Today Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker (New York Times) report on the US military commanders contingency plan for Iraq. Last month Bumiller and Shanker reported on the military commanders presenting a partial drawdown of US troops in Iraq on a slower scale than Barack's 'pledge' of 16 month withdrawal (of "combat" troops only). No objections were raised over the timeframe by the president-elect but, in case objections are registered in the immediate future, they've come up with an alternate plan they could implement. This calls for a high of 8,000 a month (more likely four to six thousand) to be pulled. Using the high figure, 48,000 US service members could be out of Iraq (with at least 30,000 of that number redeployed to Afghanistan) in six months. That would still leave close to 100,000 US troops in Iraq. And there is no full withdrawal planned by Barack. That is why he refused to promise that, if elected, all US troops would be out of Iraq by the end of his first term (2012). Of course, Barack also rushed to assure the Times (2007) that he would easily halt any drawdown and rush more troops back into Iraq (and no words to declare this a temporary measure) when he sat down with Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny (see this Iraq snapshot and Third's article and the actual transcript of the interview -- a transcript Tom Hayden should have read before humiliating himself in public, then again Tom-Tom seems to enjoy public humiliation). So the article tells you that the military's preparing for all possibilities . . . except the possibility the American people want (and some foolishly believe Barack ever promised) full withdrawal of Iraq. That is not an option the military even considers. And the report is backed up by the statements Pentagon spokesperson Goeff Morrell made today, "Our military planners do not live in a vacuum. They are well aware that the president-elect has campaigned on withdrawing troops from Iraq on a 16-month timeline. . . . So it would only be prudent of them to draw up plans that reflect that option. But that is just one of the options that they are drawing up." The article bears noting for two additional details. First, as Barack seems determined to make Afghanistan his own personal quagmire, let no one deny alarms were raised ahead of his swearing in:
Even as Mr. Obama prepares for the drawdown in Iraq, some influential Democrats and national security experts have begun voicing concern about his willingness to send up to 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan, where the United States has been at war for more than seven years. They say that Mr. Obama has yet to make clear his overall goals beyond calling for more forces, money and diplomacy in an increasingly violent, ungovernable country that the military says presents even more problems than Iraq.
Second, after noting what the Status Of Forces Agreement could do, Bumiller and Shanker include the reality: "That agreement, however, can be renegotiated." That's reporting (and this was the report referred to in yesterday's snapshot, FYI). (And so was Bumiller's December report on how the military hopes to fudge troop withdrawals by terminology.) The Status Of Forces Agreement (which al-Maliki calls "The Withdrawal Agreement" when visiting Iran) was one of two agreements. The other was the Strategic Framework Agreement. Vice president-elect Joe Biden left the Senate today. April 10th, as chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Biden explained the two agreements:
We will hear today about the two agreements that the Administration is negotiating with Iraq which were anticipated in the November Declaration. On Tuesday, Ambassador Crocker told us that these agreements would set forth the "vision" -- his phrase -- of our bilateral relationship with Iraq. One agreement is a "strategic framework agreement" that will include the economic, political and security issues outlined in the Declaration of Principles. The document might be better titled "What the United States will do for Iraq," because it consists mostly of a series of promises that flow in one direction -- promises by the United States to a sectarian government that has thus far failed to reach the political compromises necessary to have a stable country. We're told that the reason why we're not continuing under the UN umbrella is because the Iraqis say they have a sovereign country. But they don't want a Status of Forces Agreement because that flows two ways. The Administration tells us it's not binding, but the Iraqi parliament is going to think it is. The second agreement is what Administration officials call a "standard" Status of Forces Agreement, which will govern the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, including their entry into the country and the immunities to be granted to them under Iraqi law. Unlike most SOFAs, however, it would permit U.S. forces -- for the purposes of Iraqi law -- to engage in combat operations and detain insurgents. In other words, to detain people that we think are bad guys. I don't know any of the other nearly 90 Status of Forces Agreements that would allow a U.S. commander to arrest anyone he believes is a bad guy.
We're focusing on the Strategic Framework Agreement, or as Biden put it, "What the United States will do for Iraq." The US Embassy in Baghdad notes that the agreement was the topic of "the inauguaral January 13, 2009 meeting of the Iraqi-U.S. Higher Coordination Committee" which found puppet Nouri al-Maliki and US Secretary of State Condi Rice co-chairing the meeting with participants Hoshyar Zebari (Foreign Minister) , Barham Saleh and Rafi Essawi (Deputy Prime Ministers), Jawad al-Bolani (Interior Minister), Abdul-Qadir Muhammad Jasim (Minster of Defense), Mowaffak Al-Rubaie (National Security Advisor), Sadig Al-Rikabi (Political Advisor) and on the US side Henrietta Fore (USAID Aministrator), Dave McCormick (Under Secretary of the Treasury), Eric Edelman (Under Secretary of Defense for Policy), Ryan Crocker (US Ambassador to Iraq) and Gen Ray Odierno (top US commander in Iraq). Anyone see a problem?
Where's James L. Jones Jr.?
That's Barack pick for National Security Advisor. Some will argue that, with Condi participating, Hillary Clinton should have been brought in. While it's unheard of for the Senate to fail to confirm one of their own, it could happen. With Hillary or anyone else. So there are some people that it made no sense to invite since they do not have that posts yet. However, NSA is not a post that requires Senate confirmation. James L. Jones was selected by Barack and announced by Barack. That means he is the National Security Advisor. His Iraq counterpart was participating, why wasn't Jones brought in?
The US Embassy in Baghdad announces: "The meeting formally launched the Strategic Framework Agreement process, which will guid U.S. - Iraqi relations. Secretary Rice and Prime Minister Al-Maliki reaffirmed their strong desire to establish a long-term relationship of cooperation and friendship, based on the principle of equality." And how did they do that? How did Condi Rice -- who is out of a job next week -- reaffirm anything long-term for the US? Jones should have been brought into that meeting and for those who want to offer excuses about travel to Baghdad, Condi Rice was not in Iraq January 13th. She was in DC. We'll get to what else she was doing but she and Hernietta Fore were in DC pariticipating via tele-conference. The outgoing administration should have made a point to invite James Jones who will be -- no doubts, no confirmation from the Senate needed -- the next National Security Advisor and will be done transitioning and in that job in less than a week.
If you're conveying longterm relationship, how do you do that with the outgoing administration. For that matter, Robert Gates could have participated in the meeting. (And his Iraqi counterpart did.) Gates is Secretary of Defense and Barack's made him his designate for Sec of Defense. As the only link between the outgoing administration and the incoming one, why wasn't he voted in. Before we go to what Gates did Tuesday, today the Bully Boy of the United States presented a Medal of Freedom to US Ambassador Crocker. Among those attending the White House ceremony (Crocker was in DC for the ceremony) were Condi Rice, First Lady Laura Bush and John Negroponte. Among Bully Boy's remarks were recounting some of Crocker's history of service:
Members of the Foreign Service bring this valor and professionalism to their work every single day. And there is one man who embodies these qualities above all: Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Over the years, Ryan has earned many honors, including the Presidential Meritorious Service Award and the rank of Career Ambassador. Today I have the privilege of honoring Ambassador Crocker with the highest civil award I can bestow: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It has not been bestowed yet. The son of an Air Force officer, Ryan Crocker has never been your typical diplomat. For social engagements, he likes to tell guests, "no socks required." For language training, he once spent time herding sheep with a desert tribe in Jordan. For sport, he has jogged through war zones, and run marathons on four continents. And for assignments, his preference has always been anywhere but Washington. During his nearly four decades in the Foreign Service, Ryan Crocker has become known as America's Lawrence of Arabia. His career has taken him to every corner of the Middle East. His understanding of the region is unmatched. His exploits are legendary. He has served as ambassador to five countries. He has repeatedly taken on the most challenging assignments. The man has never run from danger. As a young officer during the late 1970s, Ryan catalogued Saddam Hussein's murderous rise to power. In 1983, he survived the terrorist attack on the American embassy in Lebanon. In 1998, as the Ambassador to Syria, he witnessed an angry mob plunder his residence. After any one of these brushes with danger, most people would have lost their appetite for adventure. Not Ryan Crocker. In the years since September the 11th, 2001, I have asked Ryan to hold numerous posts on the front lines of the war on terror, and he has stepped forward enthusiastically every time.
Dana Perino noted in today's White House press briefing, "It was a surprise for Ryan Crocker, that he was getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- a surprise, I think, for everybody. But we kept that a secret because he is a very humble person, Ambassador Crocker. And I can't think of anybody more deserving. And I think that it was a fitting tribute to the Foreign Service Officers that the President has put in posts that usually go to political appointees, that something as important as Iraq and Afghanistan, especially in Iraq when it came to having leadership there, especially during those dark days, which I'll get to in a moment, Abassador Crocker was definitely one of the best leaders. And for some of the younger people there, the younger career Foreign Service Officers, I think it was really good for them to see that hard work can be rewarded, and by a President who is very grateful for all that the Foreign Service has done under his watch and that they'll continue to do there. They're consummate professionals. I've had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of them."
Now back to Robert Gates. Gates joined Rice, Fore and State Dept Counselor Eliot Cohen in the US State Dept's treaty room Tuesday (the 13th) for a signing ceremony (link has text and video). What were they signing? Don't rush. War Hawk, Neocon and PNAC-er Cohen gave big butt smooches to Gates and Rice and then Rice offered this frightening thought, "I suspect that that means that there are two American universities that may be teaching from this manual." The manual? The counterinsurgency doctrine. Yes, the Pentagon has long practiced that abuse of human rights but Rice is on board as well and they were signing the counterinsurgency guide as well. (The two universities are the ones that gave Gates and Rices their doctorates -- Georgetown and the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies respectively.)
Counter-isnurgency is war on a native people. The last eight years have seen anthropologists, psychologists and psychiatrists betray their fields and training to provide 'skills' on how to defeat a native people. Rice declared, "And this counterinsurgency doctrine and this manual really is a compilation of the experiences that we have had in learning how to fight together, how to work together, and ultimately how to deliver for people defense, democracy and development." Gates added, "I'm honored to sign the Interagency Counterinsurgency Guide today and demonstrate my support for whole-of-government counterinsurgency process. Military efforts alone are rarely effective in counterinsurgency operations. This guide reflects strong efforts by many organizations and individuals to build the soft power capabilities and the coordinating processes within the United States Government that are so central to our counterinsurgency efforts." And if you could read the above without losing your lunch, Fore seemed determined to ensure that your hurled:
And let me add for my two secretaries that it is very important for us in the world of development to have a guide such as this. It's a very complex and challenging area – the work of counterinsurgency. We in development will particularly focus on helping host country governments how they can deal with good governance while having an atmosphere of counterinsurgency. It is very challenging, but country ownership and legitimacy of a government, as well as continuing good governance and democratic reforms, are a very important and integral part. And we will add our highest accolade in that we will use this guide in the field.
That's Henrietta Fore who will thankfully be out of USAID shortly. Condi got off a joke and we'll note it here, "And now to my good friend, Bob Gates. And not only are we both Ph.D.s and former high-ranking university administrators, but we both studied the Soviet Union, which, in case you don't know, no longer exists. And it means that found useful work after that." Some would question whethere the employment was useful to the world.
Counter-insurgency is digusting, vile and goes against democracy. Fortunately, since Hillary Clinton will likely be Sec of State, all the Barack groupies posing as 'independent' journalists can call out the State Dept support for counter-insurgency, right? They can just pretend -- as they did throughout 2007 and 2008 -- that the counter-insurgency 'noteables' were all supporting and advising Barack -- such as Sarah Sewall, Samantha Power and, oh, so many more.
In Iraqi election news, John J. Kruzel (Australia TO) reports US Maj Gen Michael Oates is voicing concerns ahead of the January 31st provincial elections: "What's important to Iraq is that elections be seen as credible, and my only concern is that outside influences may interfere." Elections are schedueled to be held in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces. AP reports that groups competing in Mosul are asking for "more government protection for polling stations in Kurdish-controlled areas" and they quote Habda's Athil al-Nujeifi stating that Sunni and Shi'ite groups are asking for the protection (al-Nujeifi is Sunni), "We have bitter experience from last elections when members of the peshmerga (Kurdish fighters) took advantage of the situation and committed fraud in order to boost the position of their two parties in the elections. Our current demand aims at preventing any new violations that would repeat the old scenario."
Turning to Iraqi 'justice.' From the December 10, 2007 snapshot:Among the deaths reported in Iraq over the weekend, one has gotten more attention that most murdered Iraqis receive. Yesterday, Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reported on the continued targeting of officials and the roadside bombing in Hilla which claimed the life of the Babil province's police chief Brig. Gen. Qais Al Mamouri (two other people also died in the bombing). Adrian Croft (Reuters) noted that there have been multiple attempts on Mamouri's life over the years and quotes a historian specializing in Iraq's history, Reidar Visser, declaring, "For several years, Mamouri stood out as an honest figure of authority in the mixed governorate of Babel, and had fought hard against militias regardless of their sectarian affilaitons." In this morning's New York Times, Paul von Zielbauer noted this "assassination of the police chief, Brig. Gen Qais al-Mamori, who led the police forces in Babil Province, was the latest of several attacks against provincial leaders in the mainly Shiite Arab region in recent months. General Mamori, who was 48, had become known for cracking down on militia leaders. He and the two bodygruads were killed as their police convoy rolled past a gas station in Hilla, the provincial capital, a local police official said. The leader of the provincial council's security committee, Hassan Watwet, said an investigation into Sunday's explosion was under way." von Zielbauer also noted that Muhammad Ali al-Hassani and Khalil Jalil Hamza -- governors of the Muthanna Province and the Qadisiya Province respectively, were assassinated several months ago "in what appeared to be a power struggle among rival Shiite militias for control of the oil-rich region." CBS and AP note: "The death of Brig. Gen. Qais al-Maamouri, chief of Babil's provincial capital of Hillah, was the latest in a series of assassinations of provincial leaders in the mainly Shiite region. Hundreds marched along dusty roads in Babil to mourn al-Maamouri, chanting and firing guns into the air."
Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) speaks with Aais al-Mamouri's brother Safaa who explains that all this time later, there has been no justice. He explains how a September trial went nowhere when the judge asked to be excused. Safaa says, "The political sides intimidated the judge and made him leave the case. Maybe it was a political party that has power in the government and intimidated the judge, or a side that had militias." Still no trial. The case was moved to Baghdad's criminal court and the day for the trial to start has came and went with no trial.
No justice in Iraq. Moving to contractors. Walter Pincus (Washington Post) reported yesterday, "A $722 million contract to rebuild Iraq's oil and gas production facilities was marked by multiple changes, cost overruns, failure to meet schedules and lack of oversight, according to a new inspector general's report." The corporation responsible? KBR. Meanwhile World Tribune reports a new "Defense Department report said less than 10 percent of Iraq Army battalions were capable of planning and executing counter-insurgency operations. The rest of the army combat battalions required anywhere from partial to significant support from the U.S. military and it's coalition partners." The report is entitled "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq" and it was released January 13th (it's dated January 9th -- PDF format warning, click here). You can file this under "conditions on the ground" most likely. "Conditions on the ground," Barack has stated repeatedly, would determine withdrawal rate for "combat" troops. Conditions, the report informs, are not good. And the news is far worse than the report indicates. For example, page 1 (page 11 on your screen) includes this bit of rah-rah on 'progress': "The November 3, 2008 passage of an amendment to the PEL establishing set-asides for religious minorities on three provincial councils marks a positive step towards ensuring minority representation in Iraq's political institutions." Oh really? Does the Pentagon think no one pays attention to Iraq?
That "postive step" reduced the number of set-asides for religious minorities (which led to protests throughout Iraq and that may have in turn led to the attack on Christians in Mosul). Article 50 was the provision that allowed for minority representation in Iraq. The Parliament kicked it out -- with little attention from the public or the press -- arguing that a national census had never taken place. al-Maliki didn't know how the set-asides had been eliminated but they'd be restored! They were not restored. Even with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani swearing that they would be. With Article 50 dropped, an add-on was create which gave a smaller number of seats than Article 50 promised. Not just the Vatican but the Pope himself called that out. And the report wants to paint that as a sign of progress?
The entire report is a joke and it's difficult to find a section passed off as 'progress' that closer examination reveals none. On a similar note, Ernesto London (Washington Post) reported Monday, "Tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq started the year calibrating their missions to conform with a new security agreement that demands that American combat troops depend more heavily than efver on their often-bungling Iraqi counterparts. Sometimes that means dragging one or two along on patrol." Which is more than backed up by the Pentagon's own report.
Meanwhile Leila Fadel (Kansas City Star -- billed that way because if you don't put in on the company's Iraq page -- created to drive traffic -- you don't get credit) reports that some Palestinians find Iraq's statements in support of the Palestinians under assault in Gaza hypocritcal. Who are these Palestinians? The ones in Iraq: "Banned from holding Iraqi citizenship, even if they were born here, Palestinians lost some of the few rights they had after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and have lived in fear of Iraqi groups who seek revenge for the Palestinians' perceived connection to the old regime." The figures have dropped from 34,000 in Iraq to 10,000 not counting the 3,000 imprisoned in the camps on the Syrian border.
Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roasdie bombing that wounded two people, a second one that wounded four and a third one that targeted Ahmed Taieb Murad and claimed the life of Murad's bodyguard Reuters identifies the Education Minister targeted in the Baghdad roadside bombing as Abd Thiab al-Ajili.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 police officer shot dead in Mosul yesterday.
Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Nineveh Province yesterday.
In US political news, Ms. magazine can't stop lying. Reality: Ms. is having huge subscription problems. Today on CNN, Kathy Spillar tried to defend the cover that can't be defended while paired off against The New Agenda's Amy Siskind. At the end of the report, CNN's Jason Carroll stated Ms. asserts that subscriptions are up. LIE. Bold faced lie. As with every other periodical in the country, Ms. is suffering due to the economy. Since posting their upcoming cover, Ms. has had a record number of cancellations and, if we want to be really honest, Ms. tanked in 2008 before the economy did. Jason Carroll offers Ms.' 'logic' in this statment: "The magazine says it's the right cover saying it's the right time to showcase a man like Obama who identifies himself as a feminist." Stop. Just stop.
Produce the statment Barack Obama ever made where he stated he identifies as a feminist. Now maybe when he was trying to woo Hyde Park over a decade ago, he made some such statement but he's not made it since stepping onto the national stage.
"The problem with the cover is it's a man standing in a Superman pose and, thank you, but the women of this country can stand up for themselves," Amy Siskind states. That's one problem.
There's another. The cover's a lie. It's already been explored at length how Barack uses sexism 'periodically' when he's 'feeling blue' and 'the claws come out' (if you're not familiar, click here for Violet Socks detailing it). But that's the least of it.
The cover is a lie because it's not a real photo. It's a photo-shopped cover -- and not photo-shopped for humor which puts Ms. on the same sewer level as The National Enquirer. There are people who will see it and think Barack posed for it. That's called LYING. That's called DECEIVING. Ms. needs to make it very clear that they have doctored a photo of Barack. They could have taken an undoctored photo, run it on the cover and offered the headline "This is what feminism looks like." It would still have caused problems but the cover wouldn't have deceived people. Many will honestly believe this is a photo Barack posed for and that he wore that t-shirt. It's a LIE. And the cover's a LIE. Whoopi Goldberg, Janeane Garofalo, Ashley Judd and countless others have been more than happy to put those t-shirts on and pose for Ms. in them. The fact that Barack didn't proves he's not a feminist. But the cover's a lie because it's photo shopped and people assume it's true. It's a lie because Ms. has used similar photos on the cover (Janeane with the bullhorn) and in their get-the-word-out (they don't like to call it "marketing") on the magazine. So Ms. readers have a right to expect that when they see someone in that t-shirt in or on Ms., the person posed for the photo. If you're not getting it, check out the spring 2003 cover where Ashley, Margaret Cho, Whoopi and Cameryn Manheim are all featured wearing t-shirts with that slogan. Those are photos they posed for. Most people don't read Ms. For obvious reasons these days. So they're not getting how offensive it is that Barack's in that t-shirt in a photo shopped photo. Ms. set out to fool readers. That's offensive.
Kathy Spillar's brought on (by Ms.) to dispel myths. Yes, she is a White woman. However, she is not of the Seven Sisters -- a point immediately apparent when she opens her mouth. Spillar graduated from Texas Christian University. Julie Menin explains, "There is still some concern from some women's groups about President-elect Obama. And, specifically, some of the concerns they have are that there have not been that many women appointed to his cabinet." Kathy Spillar ignores that. Spizer has no response to that. She's probably busy humming her alma mata's theme song ("Fight on boys, fight, with all your might/ Roll up the scores for TCU/ Hail white and purple flag whose heroes never lag/ Horned Frog, we are all for you!" -- maybe Ms. can hail that as a feminist song!).
The sad thing that no one's supposed to notice is that Ms. not only has run off readers (starting before this cover), they're not even a real magazine anymore. They started out as a monthly magazine. They can't even hack it as a bi-monthly. Going advertising free was supposed to 'free' Ms. And it quickly dropped from bi-monthly to quarterly. It again takes ads. Its got less and less content. The only thing that always excited readers were the letters and they now edit the letters and only offer snippets. The magazine is a complete and utter failure that should either shut down immediately or fire all on staff and reboot.
But Kathy Spillar wants to go on CNN and declare Ms. a success. Keep dreaming, Kath. [Heidi Li offers her take here.]
And keep dreaming that those who choose to honor homphobes can ever be feminists. They can't. Sunsara Taylor (World Can't Wait) takes on Barack's homophobic friend Rick Warren:
When Barack Obama invited Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback mega-church and author of The Purpose Driven Life, to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, some raised their voices in protest. But all too many told people to just calm down, drink the Obama'Laid of "common ground," and reach out their arms to this pastor who is nothing more than a Christian fascist in a Hawaiian shirt.
Rick Warren is no "moderate" and he is not progressive. He may be the "new face" of evangelicalism, but he doesn't represent a new content.
Taylor goes on to list the problems. 1) Biblical literalist. 2) Wants to criminalize being gay. 3) Insists women are subordinate. 4) Denies evolution. 5) His AIDS work in Uganda is a joke and damaging to healthcare and preventing AIDS to begin with. Sunsara concludes:
Stop drinking the Obama'Laid! The "common ground" being brokered by Obama is doing nothing to bring Rick Warren and his ilk closer to the interests of humanity. Rather, this "common ground" approach is about legitimating and normalizing Warren's deadly religious bigotry. Standing on this "common ground" is leading progressive people who genuinely care about women, gays, science, and AIDS in Africa to capitulate, to give up principle, and to accept things that they never would've accepted from someone like Pat Robertson or George Bush.
The fact that Rick Warren is the best that Obama can come up with to speak about "purpose" and "morality" reveals the utter moral and ideological bankruptcy of not only him, but the whole imperialist system he represents. Time is up. Humanity needs liberation and we need morality and purpose that correspond to that; to overcoming grinding poverty and exploitation, establishing equality and mutual respect between men and women, ending racism and national oppression throughout the world, fostering critical thinking and science among all people, and unleashing art and the imagination unshackled from religious ignorance and superstition. This is communist morality and revolutionary purpose, the exact opposition of compromise and conciliation.
And despite Melissa Etheridge making a fool of herself to vouch for Rick Warren, he's a HOMOPHOBE. And Hillary Is 44 explains he's helping with the attacks on the LGBT community in the Episcopalian Church and sending out 'soldiarity letters': "We stand in solidarity with them, and with all orthodox, evangelical Anglicans. I offer the campus of Saddleback Church to any Anglican congregation who need a place to meet, or if you want to plant a new congregation in south Orange County" Golly, Melissa, looks like you really are "the only one" -- and not in a good way.
Highlighting these community posts: Rebecca's "'que sera, sera'," Marcia's "Ms. Jackson, because you know you're nasty," Betty's "Outkast," Trina's "The Singing Nun," Ruth's "Fats Domino and the Drifters," Stan's "From En Vouge to Luther Vandross," Elaine's "'I Want To Hold Your Hand'," Kat's "Isley's for my first," Mike's "Harriet Miers, Monica, etc.," Cedric's "I guess any crook can be Secretary of the Treasury" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! HE CAN MANAGE THE TREASURY?????".
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