Friday, July 16, 2010

The Divorce Ranch

Beth Ward and her sister, Robbie McBride, grew up on what was known as a "divorce ranch" in Reno. Women who were denied the right to divorce could live in these hotels to establish residency, then file for divorce in a Nevada court.

In the 1950s and '60s, Ward and McBride lived on their family's Whitney Ranch, whose customers were mainly women from New York and New Jersey who had headed West for what was known as "the Reno cure." Nevada had passed a law in 1931 that made it the quickest state in which to get a divorce — just six weeks, the time to establish residency.


That's from a Storycorps story that NPR aired on Morning Edition today.

Do you know about the divorce ranches?

I know a tiny bit about them because I saw The Women (original black and white version with Joan Crawford) when I was less than 10 y.o. and was asking about it. The lead character (played by Meg Ryan in the most recent remake) discovers her husband's cheating on her and heads for the divorce ranch (not in Meg's remake, FYI) where she encounters other women attempting to establish Nevada residency so that they can file for divorce.

I never thought about it in terms of people must live there.

I mean beyond establishing residency.

That people must grow up there, see their live spass before their eyes there.

I do not think I never make a mistake (please!). But it is weird to realize that something you pictured in your head for so many years really wasn't the way you thought it was.

I kind of like my version better because everyone there was getting a fresh start.

I think it would be very sad to live on one of those divorce ranches if you had to stay and see each new crop of divorcees.

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

Friday, July 16, 2010. Chaos and violence continue, the political stalemate continues, a US conference to end the war is on the horizon, corpses are again found in Baghdad (is it 2007 all over again?), and more.


David Vine: Counterinsurgency, just quickly, because it features in the title, it features in the title of the book that we're going to disccus today The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual: Notes on Demilitarizing American Society. Counterinsurgency, just quickly, is a term that dates to about 1960, the Vietnam era, came to mean the elimination of an uprising against the govenrment. Although the tactics of course are much older. Dating centuries, most likely the United States so-called "Indian Wars," the occupation of the Philipines and certainly the tactics employed by the people inside the British and French empire.

David Vines is with the American Anthropological Association and he was speaking as moderator of the December 5, 2009 discusion by Network of Concern Anthropologists in Philadelphia for the AAA's annual meeting.

You won't hear these voices on NPR very often (David Price was on The Diane Rehm Show addressing this topic -- see the October 11, 2007 snapshot for an excerpt of the October 10th broadcast of Diane's show). You will, however, hear the 'insight' of David Kilcullen on Morning Edition and you won't hear it or him questioned. Is Morning Edition unaware of what took place in Philadelphia last year?

From the December 3rd snapshot:

The American Anthropological Association's annual meeting started yesterday in Philadelphia and continues through Sunday. Today the association's Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities issued their [PDF format] "Final Report on The Army's Human Terrain System Proof of Concept Program." The 74-page report is a blow to War Criminals and their cheerleaders who have long thought that the social science could be abused or that the social sciences were psuedo sciences. It was in December 2006 when Dumb Ass George Packer raved over Dumb Ass Montgomery McFate and her highly imaginative and fictional retelling of both her childhood and her current work which Packer identified as "Pentagon consultant" working on Cultural Operations Research Human Terrain. Packer was jizzing in his shorts and not even warnings from other anthropologists ("I do not want to get anybody killed") could sway him.

In May the US House of Representatives made an unusual move. Noah Shachtman (Wired) reported in May that the House Armed Service Committtee announced it would be limiting funding for the program.

If you click here, you will be taken to the AAA website and to a podcast (where I grabbed David Vine's statement from) of the Network of Concern Anthropologists' symposium featuring Roberto Gonzalez, David Price, Andrew Bickford, Gregory Feldman, Dylan Kerrigan, Cahterine Besteman, Catherine Lutz and Nancy Scheper-Hughes.

Counterinsurgency is war on a native people. In its current usage by the US government, anthropologists are embedded with the military in Afghanistan and Iraq and they give the guise of "social science," the appearance of it. The cover to allow what really are War Crimes to take place. It turns social scientists into spies, spying on a native people so they can run back and fine tune the US policies and goals of war and occupation. It is not social science by any means. At its most basic, social science, when studying a people, requires informed consent. Counterinsurgency dismisses it. Those interviewed do not know who is interviewing them. They often think it's the military (because the 'social scientists' are dressed in military garb) and that they have no choice but to answer the questions. That is not informed consent.

Information is not gathered to illuminate the human condition, it's gathered to advance military goals. That is not social science, it's so far beyond a bastardization of social science that it is, in fact, a War Crime.

When he thinks no one is watching, David Kilcullen can be very illuminating and drop all pretense that he's attempting to help anyone other than a military. Speaking this month to Byron Sibree (New Zealand Herald), Kilcullen described counterinsurgency as "a form of what the French call counter-warfare which kind of morphs in response to whatever we're dealing with." Michael Hastings' article on Gen Stanley McCrystal was about McCrystal's objections to counter-insurgency (portrayed in the article as McCrystal thinking they were a waste of resources). McCrystal is now out as the US' top commander in Afghanistan. Gen David Petraeus is now the top US commander in Afghanistan. Petraeus is a close friend of Kilcullen's (he even attend Kilcullen's wedding -- no word on whether he was the ring-bearer or flower girl). And all the War Criminals hang out together. The civilian side (which Kilcullen is on now, having left the Australian military) is represented by War Whores such as Samantha Power and Sarah Sewall -- America's very own Josef Mengele and Kurt Lischka. If you're late to the party, Ava and I covered the group in 2007 when two little War Criminals -- Sarah Sewer and Monty McFate -- went on Charlie Rose -- that's the episode where Sarah Sewer brags she can get Barack to say whatever she wants. Where were you brave journalists of the left? Oh, that's right. You were all up Barack's crack or else playing the quiet game. And if you're trying to lose weight, click here and see the War Criminals Monty McFate, Sarah Sewer and Michele Flournoy (I'm sure Susan Brownmiller could analyze that photo at great length). It may be days before you regain your appetite. These women are liars and include Samantha Power who is a blood thirsty War Hawk who blurbed the counterinsurgency manual Sarah and Monty 'wrote.' (Monty's academic 'writing' appears doomed to the same fate as her juvenile 'writing' -- massive charges of plagiarism. For those late to the party, I knew Monty McFate when she was an ugly, little girl and, if nothing else, her life has demonstrated that the old wives tale of "Ugly in the cradle, pretty at the table" was wrong. Sometimes it really is ugly in the cradle and ugly at the table.) You can also click here for Noam Chomsky's thoughts on the War Criminals (Monthly Review, 2008). Though women often lead on this (at least publicly -- and Ms. magazine and Feminist Majority Foundation were stupid enough to promote these War Hawks in a so-called 'feminist' confrence), Michael Ignatieff and many other men are also part of it. (One-time journalist Thomas E. Ricks, John Nagl and many others.) One of the few journalists to tackle counterinsurgency is Kelley B. Vlahos (Antiwar.com). Most recently (June 15th), she took on the counterinsurgency 'brains' big Center for a New American Security conference:

But a year later, "victory" in Afghanistan is more elusive than ever and the "COINdinistas" are either disappearing to other realms of pop doctrine or standing around defensively, trying to backtrack and redefine tactics to accommodate the negative reality on the ground. So, as last year's event mimicked the preening confidence of a new sheriff in town, this year it amounted to a lot of whistling past the graveyard.
Whistling past the graveyard seems to be the only way to describe the sense that no one really wanted to talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room: how their venerated COIN formula -- you know, the one that would have worked in Vietnam if spineless bureaucrats and long-haired hippies hadn't gotten in the way -- is actually playing out in Afghanistan today.
This was the largest congregation of the uniformed and civilian defense policy establishment all year. CNAS (pronounced see-nass) had been writing non-stop about Afghanistan in some capacity since its inception in 2007 -- including a recent study by fellow Andrew Exum, "Leverage: Designing a Political Campaign for Afghanistan." The fact that on June 10, the morning of the conference, one of the major front-page headlines in the Washington Post blared "Commanders Fear Time Is Running Out in Marja" should have been the perfect launching point for a stimulating discussion.
Instead, you had panel after panel nibbling around the edges and a keynote speech that managed, gratingly, to avoid talking about current operations altogether. Indirectly, the day provided a few tiny glimpses into how the COIN community and all of its defense industry hangers-on are feeling about the state of things. And it is not good. Unfortunately for them, the lack of public candor just added to the growing sense of doom.

But a year later, "victory" in Afghanistan is more elusive than ever and the "COINdinistas" are either disappearing to other realms of pop doctrine or standing around defensively, trying to backtrack and redefine tactics to accommodate the negative reality on the ground. So, as last year's event mimicked the preening confidence of a new sheriff in town, this year it amounted to a lot of whistling past the graveyard.
Whistling past the graveyard seems to be the only way to describe the sense that no one really wanted to talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room: how their venerated COIN formula -- you know, the one that would have worked in Vietnam if spineless bureaucrats and long-haired hippies hadn't gotten in the way -- is actually playing out in Afghanistan today.
This was the largest congregation of the uniformed and civilian defense policy establishment all year. CNAS (pronounced see-nass) had been writing non-stop about Afghanistan in some capacity since its inception in 2007 -- including a recent study by fellow Andrew Exum, "Leverage: Designing a Political Campaign for Afghanistan." The fact that on June 10, the morning of the conference, one of the major front-page headlines in the Washington Post blared "Commanders Fear Time Is Running Out in Marja" should have been the perfect launching point for a stimulating discussion.
Instead, you had panel after panel nibbling around the edges and a keynote speech that managed, gratingly, to avoid talking about current operations altogether. Indirectly, the day provided a few tiny glimpses into how the COIN community and all of its defense industry hangers-on are feeling about the state of things. And it is not good. Unfortunately for them, the lack of public candor just added to the growing sense of doom.


Good. And good for Kelley for continuing to call out the counterinsurgency 'gurus' at a time when most others take a pass and in spite of the fact that Thomas E. Ricks launches personal and sexist attacks on her for doing so.

In Iraq, the Sahwa movement was part of the counterinsurgency effort. The main part, according to Petraeus (who is now trying to replicate it in Afghanistan even though for two years now it's been noted that it probably can't be done in Afghanistan). Sunni fighters (and, according to Petraeus' April 2008 Congressional testimony, some Shi'ites) were put on the American tax payer's dime. A little over 90,000 of them were paid not to attack US miltary equipment or military personnel. It was like paying a school bully off not to beat you up in the playground. And how did it work out? Shor-term it may have helped somewhat. (The large refugee crisis did more to end the bloody ethnic cleansing than paying off Sahwa -- by Petraues' own testimony and that of then-US Ambassador Ryan Crocker -- Sahwa was only paid to stop targeting the US.) But there was never a diplomatic push (which the Sahwa and the escalation -- "surge" -- were sold on) and what we really see today is that the Sahwa is not, has not and will not be integrated into Iraqi society as long as Nouri al-Maliki is prime minister.


And how long might that be? Trend News Agency reports Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi's adviser Khalil Azraa is stating the US has not done enough to resolve the political stalemate in Iraq and quotes him stating, "The U.S. can exert political pressure on the formation of the government, because it is responsible for building democracy in Iraq." Tariq al-Hashimi is a member of Iraqiya, in fact, he is, after Ayad Allawi, probably the most prominent member of Iraqiya (especially post-purge by Ahmed Chalabi and Ali al-Lami).

March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. Three months and two days later, still no government. 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. It's four months and five days and,
in 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. Today makes it four months and nine days without any government being established. Salah Hemeid (Al-Ahram Weekly) notes the lengthy delay:

With many Iraqis describing this new postponement as unconstitutional, there are widespread fears that the ongoing political crisis over who will lead the country will now escalate further.
The parliament had previously convened on 13 June, the country's constitution stating that the president should be selected within 30 days of its convocation. The possibility of further delay raises the question of whether inaction is flouting a constitution that many Iraqis believe has already been violated by politicians.
Iraqi voters went to the polls on 7 March to elect a new 325-member parliament, but an indecisive result, and bickering over who should be the country's next prime minister, has delayed the formation of a new government and plunged the country into political stalemate.
Under the country's constitution the Iraqi parliament should have convened 15 days after the results were announced in order to elect a speaker, and a new president should have been elected within 30 days of the parliament's first session. The president should then have nominated the new prime minister, who should have submitted his cabinet within 30 days for ratification.
According to an understanding that emerged after Iraq's first post-Saddam elections in 2005, a Shia Arab would be prime minister, a Kurd president, and a Sunni Arab speaker of the parliament. This quota system also covers top jobs, such as ambassadors and senior government and army posts, and the country's Shias and Kurds have been insisting on the quota system despite strong Sunni opposition.


Tim Arango (New York Times) reports 29 dead in Sulaimaniya hotel fire. Gabriel Gatehouse (BBC News -- link has text and video) reports forty were also injured and that some of the dead "died jumping from their windows to escape the flames". Zhang Xiang (Xinhua) reports the death toll is up to 43 and "many of the dead were from Bangladesh, Phillipine and Thailand, said the [local police] source, adding four Americans were among the dead." Zhang Xiang then noted that the death toll had been lowered yet again. Al Jazeera notes that the death toll flucuates based on the governmental source and quotes their correspondent Rawya Rageh stating, "There is still confusion over the exact death toll -- but we know that the dead include Americans, Europeans, Koreans, Bangladeshis, Arab nationals and various other nationalities." Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) reports that the KRG e-mailed an official death toll of 28 with twenty-two wounded. UK Today News notes that the fire took at least seven hours for fire fighters to put it out.

Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "Jabbar Yawer, spokesman of the local security forces, told CNN that three Asians who work for a local cell phone company were among those killed." ABS-CBN reports that a female, Filipina engineer was among the dead according to the Phillppine Embassy in Iraq. The Inquirer notes that two Filipinos were wounded in the fire. AFP reports 4 US citizens were among the dead. Sam Dagher (New York Times) notes "two babies and a pregnant woman" were also killed in the fire and states that the Kurdistan hotel was "lacking basic safety precautions such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers". BBC News offers a photo essay on the fire.

In other violence . . .

Bombings?

Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing injured four people, another claimed 3 lives, a Baghdad motorcyle bombing claimed 2 lives and left ten people wounded, a Baghdad roadside bombing wounded two more people, and, dropping back to Thursday, a Tikrit car bobming claimed six live and left fourteen people wounded.

Shootings?

Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 teacher was shot dead last night in Baquba and that the teacher had been a Sawha.

Corpses?

Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses were discovered yesterday in Baghdad



Meanwhile Turkey is forming new relationships to tackle the PKK (a Kurdish group which is in a battle for self-autonomy and resorts to violence leading it to be labeled a terrorist organization by many governments including Turkey, the US and Iraq). As noted in yesterday's snapshot, they want to pull together a 'professional military' with neighbors Syria and Iran (even floating the thought of that sent panic through the US White House) to combat the PKK. Xinhua notes (link has text and video) that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip "Erdogan said Turkey had mobilized all resources to fight terrorism, and was holding talks with executives of the European Union (EU), Iraq, Iran, Syria, Russia and the United States. Erdogan also said around 150 mini unmanned aircraft, manufactured by local resources, were joining the fight against terrorism, adding that a ceremony would be held later on Friday to launch the first local-manufactured unmanned aircraft."

On this week's Law & Disorder (began airing on WBAI Monday and on other stations around the country throughout the week), Michael Smith spoke with Jim Lafferty about the July 23 through 25 end the wars conference in Albany. Lafferty recommended two websites, we'll note National Assembly (because I don't think the other web address was correct, I may be wrong) and their explanation of the conference:

The purpose of this conference is to bring together antiwar and social justice activists from across the country to discuss and decide what we can do together to end the wars, occupations, bombing attacks, threats and interventions that are taking place in the Middle East and beyond, which the U.S. government is conducting and promoting. Attend and voice your opinion on where the antiwar movement is today and where we go from here.
In these deeply troubled times, Washington's two wars and occupations rage on, resulting in an ever increasing number of dead and wounded; more and more civilians killed in drone bombing attacks; misery, deprivation, dislocation and shattered lives for millions; and a suicide rate for U.S. service members soaring to unprecedented heights. At the same time, trillions are spent on these seemingly endless Pentagon conflicts waged in pursuit of profits and global domination while trillions more are lost by working people in the value of their homes, in the loss of their jobs, pensions and health care, and in cuts for public services and vitally needed social programs.


That was a brief segment. A longer one was with a discussion with Clifton Hicks.

Michael Smith: Why did you go? Did you think that Iraq had something to do with 9-11?

Clifton Hicks: Yeah, I sure did. Yeah. I didn't -- you know, I didn't think about it. Looking back, it's hard to sort out the thoughts that were going through my mind or the lack of thoughts that were going through my mind. But I definitely -- I was just a typical, Whitekid or just a typical kid in general. And I saw Arabic people, Muslim people, and sort of figured that they were all in cahoots and that they were all out to get us kind of thing really.

Michael Smith: Newspaper reports or TV reports that led you to believe? Because it was quite conscious on the part of the Bush-Cheney administration to mislead people into thinking that Iraq had something to do with 9-11. Was it the mass media that influenced you?

Clifton Hicks: There - there was probably an influence from mass media. I listened to a lot of AM radio, a lot of daytime, right wing radio. Both my parents and my two sisters and my whole family is a bunch of -- they're all sort of very open-minded, liberal, nice folks. And I was, I was real rebellious and black sheep as a kid and I was real, real heavily right wing and conservative in a lot of ways -- or so I thought.

For background on Hicks, from the June 11, 2007 snapshot:

Clifton Hicks is now discharged and some may remember his story from Peter Laufer's Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq. In the book Laufer recounts how Hicks father posted one his son's letters home (from Iraq) online and the military's response was "a Field Grade Article 15" (p. 185) which Hicks learned after his woke him up one morning kicking his cot and, pay attention easily shocked Heather Hollingsworth-types, cursing at him. "They were going to throw me in jail for treason." After he was demoted to private and fined $800, Hicks applied for CO status. Hicks told Laufer, "If I don't get it? I have other avenues of approach to get home. I've told them I am not going back to Iraq" and would rather go to prison but "[i]t won't come to that, though, because I think I'm too smart for that to happen to me. Civil disobedience is an option -- just refuse to put the uniform on. Maybe a hunger strike. There's all kinds of things you can do. It's looking like they'll approve it. But if they don't, I have Plan B, Plan C, all the way up to desertion" (p. 187). Laufer's chapter on Hicks ends with Hicks being told he will receive CO status and a discharge.


Back to the interview.

Michael Smith: How did your attitude change? Not just about the war but about the Iraqi people?

Clifton Hicks: Yeah, when I first got there, I had this whole opinion that -- I was toeing the party line just like everybody was. We didn't think we were going to be there long and actually my biggest disappointment was that I had missed the invasion. I'd felt like the war was over, I'd missed it and we'd won and I was just going to do just like police duty basically -- which is mostly what I did. I felt like a liberator, like I had helped these folks out and wanted to continue helping them. And really I've always been a pretty good kid, even back then, and I had pretty positive feelings about it and I was very nice to people and very polite and all that I could but it started to wear on me and then my buddies had already been there for six months before I got there. They were pretty nasty set. I mean, these were great guys, wonderful every one of them but they had got pretty nasty being over there.

Michael Smith: Nasty not to each other but nasty to the civilians whose country they were occupying.

Clifton Hicks: Yeah. Well. Just, you know, and there's a reason for that. Guys get nasty because their friends get killed and you realize that you really can't trust anybody and that nobody wants you to be there but you're stuck there and you're sort of like the grit between the sole of the boot and the ground. I mean, you're just getting ground up in the middle of it. It's them or you in many, many cases. And so the way that you get over that is by becoming a very callous, young man. And so I wasn't like that when I first got there but, after a few months, it wore on me. I saw a couple of people get killed and stuff and nasty things happen and I just got to where I just hated, hated every last one of them to death.

Lastly, political prisoner Lynne Stewart last week. Today on Democracy Now!, Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman and Petra Bartosiewicz discuss yesterday's travesty of justice.

PETRA BARTOSIEWICZ: Well, there are a lot of extraordinary things about this case. The appellate court was very harsh in its language and in its instruction to the district judge who initially heard the case. And they called the sentence "breathtakingly low," which, you know, the judge could have done anything. He didn't have to increase the sentence, but he would have really had to justify very carefully what he was doing, because if the government could have come back with another appeal and said, "We want this reviewed again," there might be other legal options, as well, on the appellate side. So it seemed inevitable that some increase would happen. The question was how much?
What is really amazing about this case is that it has spanned now three presidents and five attorneys general. It has gone on for year after year after year. And at the heart of the charges against Lynne is that she violated special administrative measures, and she spoke about that in the comments she made earlier, this morning in the clip we heard. But what is not really talked about a lot is that was a pre-9/11 offense that has occured in a post-9/11 world, and it makes a huge difference in terms of the context in which this has all played out, because at the time that the SAMs were imposed in 1996, Rahman was one of the first individuals who had these SAMs applied to him. It was a very new legal tool. It was evolving. There were several versions of the SAMs that came out. It's interesting to note that Patrick Fitzgerald, the assistant US attorney who was in charge of that process, when Lynne initially violated the SAMs, his reaction was not to seek an indictment. It was simply to give her a call and say, "Hey, you violated the SAMs. You're not going to be able to see your client anymore," which is kind of what she was expecting. And it's true, she was gaming the system to a certain degree. I think that there are a lot of judgment calls that maybe -- certainly she -- I'm sure she regrets at this point and that were probably the wrong decision to make at the time. But she was not barred from seeing him -- well, she was for a while. And then she re-signed a new version of the SAMs, so --

AMY GOODMAN: The special administrative measures.

PETRA BARTOSIEWICZ: Yeah, the special administrative measures, which essentially are a series of security requirements. They're designed kind of to prevent the defendant from communicating with the outside world. That was what she violated, in a sense. But they have other aspects to them which essentially keep defendants in total isolation, which is one of the reasons that she breached the agreement, because she saw how isolated he was.


And click here for Petra's column on Lynne published before the judge ruled yesterday. Also see Ruth's "No justice" and Marcia's "Lynne" from last night. At World Can't Wait, Elaine Brower reports:

I sat in the elaborate overflow room, with all of Lynne's supporters. She pleaded for the court's mercy by presenting her statement to the judge. In it, she declared that she no longer had a relationship with her grandson, who could not visit her any longer in the horrible prison. She said she felt alone, and withdrawn. Only when her friends and family came to visit for one hour a week did she rejuvenate for a short period, but then would retreat back into somberness and sadness.
At one point she choked up when saying that if the court decided to sentence her to anytime longer than the original 28 months, it would be a like imposing the "death sentence". She reiterated that many times, in so many different ways. She threw herself at the "mercy" of the judge.
Then the US Attorney stood up and for 30 minutes recounted the details of the entire trial, repeating hundreds of times "we were attacked on 9/11", and "Ms. Stewart gave comfort to Islamic terrorists." These references were the cornerstone of the prosecution's argument, and he couldn't say it enough. In every way, he connected Lynn with the terrorist "murder groups", and in reality tried to paint her as a terrorist. He said "the government trusted her as a lawyer, and she shouldn't have been trusted." He referred endless times to the DVD of her press conference prior to her remand to prison in 2009, and referenced her statements that she had "no remorse."
Lucky for me I was in an overflow room. I commented, loudly, how I hoped this guy would get the pox, and I wasn't alone. People booed, and said he better not come into their neighborhoods. How could he sleep at night? I would be embarrassed to be in his shoes. Is there no dignity?


TV notes. On PBS' Washington Week, Dan Baltz (Washington Post), Eamon Javers (CNBC), Doyle McManus (Los Angeles Times) and Martha Raddatz (ABC News) join Gwen around the table. Gwen now has a weekly column at Washington Week and the current one is "Entering the 'Twitterverse'." This week, Bonnie Erbe will sit down with Karen Czarnecki, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Nicole Kurokawa and Patricia Sosa on the latest broadcast of PBS' To The Contrary to discuss the week's events. And at the website each week, there's an extra just for the web from the previous week's show and this week's online bonus is a discussion onf 'Facebook fanatics.' Need To Know is PBS' new program covering current events. This week's hour long broadcast (Fridays on most PBS stations -- but check local listings) will feature "Congressional Oversight Panel chairwoman Elizabeth Warren on the possibility that a national commercial real-estate foreclosure crisis may occur, and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency." And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes offers:

Golf Company
Scott Pelley spends time with a U.S. Marine company battling the enemy in Helmand Province, sent there as part of President Obama's troop buildup in Afghanistan. Watch Video



Penelope Cruz
In a rare interview, the Spanish starlet opens up about her life, career and childhood. Charlie Rose reports.


Guiding Light
Morley Safer interviews the actors and writers behind broadcasting's longest running drama, "Guiding Light," as they celebrate the soap opera's incredible run and discuss its cancellation after 72 years. Watch Video




60 Minutes, Sunday, July 18, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.



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