Saturday, May 24, 2008

THIS JUST IN! BARACK JEALOUS OF HUGO!

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
 
 
THE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED (SEVERAL TIMES OVER) LEADER OF VENEZUELA HAS LONG BEEN A TARGET FOR BARACK WHO APPARENTLY HAS A SEVERE CASE OF CHARISMA ENVY WHEN IT COMES TO CHAVEZ.
 
HE ACCUSED CHAVEZ OF AIDING F.A.R.C. AND OF DESTROYING DEMOCRACY IN VENEZUELA. 
 
THESE REPORTERS WERE NOT ABLE TO REACH CHAVEZ SO WE PUT IN A CALL TO HIS SELF-STYLED AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S., I-NEED-ATTENTION BENJAMIN.
 
REACHED AT THE D.C. LOBBY OFFICE OF CODESTINK, BENJAMIN INSISTED, "BARACK BABY SAID NO SUCH THING! HE WOULDN'T HE COULDN'T!"
 
WHEN THESE REPORTERS RECOUNTED NOT JUST BARACK'S MOST RECENT ATTACK ON CHAVEZ BUT HIS LONG LINE OF ATTACKS ON CHAVEZ OVER THE YEARS, I-NEED-ATTENTION REFUSED TO BELIEVE IT AND INSISTED, "OF COURSE HE IS A SAINT!  HE IS BLACK!  AND MY COMMUNIST PARTY TRAINING DICTATES THAT ALL BLACK MEN ARE SAINTS! THE REVOLUTION STARTS AFTER COCKTAILS AND CANAPEES! VIVA THE REVOLUTION!  RIGHT ON THE REVOLUTION!"
 
I-NEED-ATTENTION-BENJAMIN HUNG UP THE PHONE BEFORE THESE REPORTERS WERE ABLE TO QUESTION IF, BY HER STANDARDS, BARACK WOULD BE ONLY "HALF SAINT" SINCE HE IS BI-RACIAL?
 
 
 
Starting with war resistance.  On Wednesday, US war resister and Iraq War veteran Corey Glass was informed by the Canadian government that he had until June 12th to leave the country or he would be deported.  While a large chunck of the left and 'left' play dumb, stupid silent (including Amy Goodman who still hasn't informed her audiences of the decision), "digitaljournal.com" ("The Power of Citizen Journalism") notes Glass by repeating the lies the left and "left" have allowed to take hold:  "Military service today is voluntary, not compulsory. There is no draft. Men and women in uniform today are they because they have enlisted or been commissioned of their own accord, not because they have been called into service by the draft board."
 
Canada didn't base the decision on there being a draft. The US involvement in Vietnam was illegal, it was a slaughter. Their decision wasn't about the draft. This is so remedial but apparently still needed. There were "draft dodgers" and "deserters." The former was a male who had been called out but did not report for induction. The latter was someone who was part of the military and decided to leave. They were both welcomed in Canada. Had "draft dodgers" been the only ones welcomed (legally) then digitaljournal.com would have a point. But that's not reality. "Deserters," members of the military who checked out, were welcomed into Canada. There was no question about, "Wait, you were drafted, right? You didn't enlist on your own, did you?" There was no, "Oh, wait! You chose to enlist. Sorry, no safe haven for you."  The safe haven was not dependent on the draft during Vietnam. That is a lie.
 
We apparently need to again review.  From the April 1st snapshot, (no quotes, we're just going to run it together) . . . During Vietnam, American males could go to Canada and seek asylum.  There were two categories "draft dodgers" -- which everyone seems to remember -- and "deserters."  A "draft doger" (also known as a "draft resister") was someone who had been called up.  A "deserter" was someone already in the service.  Canada's asylum then was not conditional upon someone being drafted.  Those who were in the military and elected to resist were waived on through the border and welcomed the same way.  There was no additional burden placed on them.  They were not required, for instance, to prove that, yes, they were in the service, but they had been drafted into it.  A male who chose to enlist and then began resisting after he was serving could go to Canada and be granted asylum.  Pot apparently smoked the brains of not only our left 'leaders' of that period -- a pot haze is the only thing to explain the repeating of the lies of the draft -- but the Canadian education system failed to educate their citizenry on recent history because an editorial board that wants to argue -- as one did last week and all the right-wing Canadian cites have re-posted it -- that Canada should say "no" to today's war resisters because there was a draft during Vietnam and Canada only took in "draft dodgers" is merely flaunting how ignorant everyone serving on the editorial board is.
 
Had Canada put in a place a qualifier that said, "We will take war resisters but only those who have seen duty in Vietnam," Canada still would have been swarmed with some of the same war resisters.  "Draft dodger" (or "draft resister") or "deserter," both cateogries were welcomed in Canada during Vietnam.  That is reality and I'm sorry that the Canadian education system is so poor today.  In terms of the US, honestly the same male 'leaders' of the left tripping out on tales of the draft today hurt the movement in many ways back then as well.  They'll probably continue to do so when they are in their graves.
 
Then US president Gerald Ford pardoned Tricky Dick of crimes against the US citizenry, crimes against the US government, crimes against humanity and a great deal more.  With the war resisters, he set conditions.  Apparently he didn't think Tricky Dick's fat ass could make it through an obstacle course so he just waived Nixon on through.  Ford granted war resisters an amnesty . . . . provided they went through a long process and met this criteria and that critieria and then, in the end, were judged to be worthy of the pardon.  Having just pardoned the War Criminal Nixon, it was outrageous.  Hearing an idiot, post-Ford's death, go on Democracy Now! and brag about Ford's program only explained to you just how much "establishment" is also in the left.  In Canada (and I was visiting Canada when that program was announced) there was huge outrage and outcry -- from Canadians as well as US war resisters.  Those who resisted the slaughter in Inochina were being asked to leep through hoop after hoop with no guarantee that if they made it through all the hoops they might be pardoned.  Much speculation at the time was that it was a trap/trick to get US war resisters back in the United States where they would be tossed in prison.  But Ford's program offered the obstacle course to both.
 
Jimmy Carter followed the Ford presidency.  Carter didn't offer anything to deserters.  Carter did offer draft resisters a limited asylum.In recent years, a number of war resisters from that era have been arrested while visiting the US.  So there's really no excuse for people who lived through that time period to not know the difference.  The only excuse is to provide cover for a peace movement that continues to struggle and to provide an excuse for your own inaction.  (And to brag about days forty years ago which, let's face it, is all some left 'leaders' have to offer today having willingly been co-opted long ago.)  Not grasping the difference, not speaking of that difference between reality then and 'reality' remembered now is hurting US war resisters and someone please throw a pie in the face of the next Baby Boom left male 'leader' who wants to gas bag about the hardships he endured due to the 'draft' that never found him called out because he knew how to game the system.  It's the equivalent of fishing tales only damaging and it needs to stop.  If you can't pie them, stop the males with, "When did you serve in Vietnam?"  And when they stutter that they didn't, ask them how they got it.  When they start to offer the tale of that 'invasive' physical, stop them and repeat, "I asked how you were able to avoid serving since you didn't go to Canada and you didn't go to Vietnam?"  If one claims "I went underground" ask him, "From the time you turned 18 until Vietnam was over?"  Because, no, the bulk of the 'leaders' jaw boning today did not go 'underground' and when a few did, it had nothing to do with the illegal war but everything to do with being kicked to the curb by the peace movement.  But that's the story they never want to tell.
 
That's the April 1st snapshot.  We have gone over and over this: May 20, 2007, September 9, 2007, March 26, 2008, we could go on and on.  David Postman (Seattle Times) outlined what Gerald Ford offered to war resisters: "a limited clemency for Vietnam draft resisters and military deserters."   Here's Gerald Ford speaking in September of 1974 (and link has text and audio):
 
In my first week as President, I asked the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense to report to me, after consultation with other Governmental officials and private citizens concerned, on the status of those young Americans who have been convicted, charged, investigated, or are still being sought as draft evaders or military deserters.   
On August 19, at the national convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in the city of Chicago, I announced my intention to give these young people a chance to earn their return to the mainstream of American society so that they can, if they choose, contribute, even though belatedly, to the building and the betterment of our country and the world.
 
Get it?  A lot of people don't.  And some of them are 'helpful' 'friends'.  This history hasn't just been lost, it's been distorted in outlets such as Democracy Now! where a 'friend' spoke of Carter and Ford's programs -- allegedly -- but was speaking of Ford's unknowingly.  Jimmy Carter?  Here's how PBS's The NewsHour (then The MacNeil/Lehrer Report) reported Carter's program on January 21, 1977 (link has text, audio and video):
 
Just a day after Jimmy Carter's inaguration, he followed through on a contentious campaign promise, granting a presidential pardon to those who had avoided the draft during the Vietnam war by either not registering or traveling abroad.  The pardon meant the government was giving up forever the right to prosecute what the administration said were hundreds of thousands of draft-dodgers. . . . Meanwhile, many in amnest groups say that Carter's pardon did too little.  They pointed out that the president did not include deserters -- those who served in the war and left before their tour was completed -- or soliders who received a less-than-honorable discharge.  Civilian protesters, selective service employees and those who initiated any act of violence also were not covered in the pardon.
 
Then US House Rep Elizabeth Holtzman was among the four guests (and, in the seventies, with demands being made, there were two women and two men brought on for the report) and stated, "I'm pleased that the pardon was issued, I'm pleased that it was done on the first day and I'm pleased that President Carter kept a commitment that he made very clear to the American people.  I would have liked to have seen it broader, I would like to have seen it extended to some of the people who are clearly not covered and whose families will continue to be separated from them . . . but I don't think President Carter has closed the door on this category of people."  It's really clear.  It hasn't been due to the fact that 'helpers' have continually gotten the facts wrong and we used to let that slide and think, "Oh, they mispoke.  They'll correct themselves." But they never did.  After March 2006 when a 'helper' got it so wrong, we started calling this crap out.  You don't know your history, you need to stop speaking long enough to learn it.  Obviously, you baked your mind with drugs.
 
Hope it was fun.  But today's war resisters don't have to suffer because you repeatedly insist that "draft dodgers" went to Canada and they were the category provided safe harbor and it was just because there was a draft in the US.  There is no draft today (and that's a good thing), you're nostalgia is not only distorting reality, it's damaging the chances of today's war resisters in Canada.  Get your act together or get off the stage.  Going on stage Saturday will be three war resisters who will speak as part of a presentation (including a film) from seven to nine p.m. at the First United Church, 435 21st St. W. in Owen Sound Canada for an event sponsored by the Grey Bruce Coalition for Peace and Justice and the Grey Bruce Presbytery Peace and Justice Committee.
 
War resisters in Canada need support as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.  Lahey quotes NDP's Oliva Chow, who steered the motion, explaining, "If (Liberal leader) Stephane Dion were to say tomorrow that he supports this motion . . . we will then debate it.  So we need people to call Mr. Dion . . . 'whose side you on Mr. Dion'?"  The number to call is (613) 996-5789.       
 
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
 
[. . .]
 
Turning to the Democratic race for president.  It is a tie.  No one will be awarded enough delegates (from states and primaries) to be declared (or worse, to declare themselves) the winner.  By rules and guidelines, the fight goes to the DNC floor.  But the media lies.  And they lie some more.  Hillary's ahead in the popular vote.  So they lie and they lie some more.
 
Let's deal with one of the 'kinder' lies.  CBS News online features a conversation with Doug Schoen who is smart but dead wrong on one aspect, not calling out nonsense.  CBS News tells him, "A lot of Obama partisans have argued that his weaknesses are exaggerated right now in the heat of a primary battle.  They say that in this environment in which 80 percent of the public thinks we're on the wrong track, Bush has the highest disapproval of any President in modern history, that this is a Democratic year and Obama will do fine."  Bully Boy is not running for a third term.  That's the sort of weak-ass nonsense the Barack campaign offers daily.  Give it up, it's not going to work.  But let's deal with their "80 percent of the public thinks we're on the wrong track!" so any Dem will win.  Today is March 23, 2008.  Via CBS News, travel back with us to May 24, 2004.  John Kerry was the nominee (due to everyone else dropping out after Kerry won the needed number of delegates from primaries and caucuses).  And Bully Boy was in the White House. How many Americans thought the country was on the "wrong track"?  65%.  65% and Kerry couldn't pull out a win.  In four years 15% more Americans think it's the wrong track and The Cult of Obama would have you believe (a) that is significant in terms of November and (b) that's astounding!  It's neither.  A lousy candidate can't close the deal with the public. [Bully Boy had a 41% approval rating then.  Polls taken this month put him at a low of 28% with a high of 33% on approval.  That's not a huge shift either.  But, again, Bully Boy is not John McCain.  It's interesting that the Barack campaign keeps screaming they are being "smeared by association" when their entire McCain counter-strategy appears to smear McCain by association.]
 
Andrew Stephen (New Statesman) documents some of the sexism the media used to attack Hillary with and how they felt good about themselves for lying and distorting:
 
The pincer movement, in fact, could have come straight from a textbook on how to wreck a woman's presi dential election campaign: smear her whole persona first, and then link her with her angry, red-faced husband. The public Obama, characteristically, pronounced himself "unhappy" with the vilification carried out so methodically by his staff, but it worked like magic: Hillary Clinton's approval ratings among African Americans plummeted from above 80 per cent to barely 7 per cent in a matter of days, and have hovered there since.         
I suspect that, as a result, she will never be able entirely to shake off the "racist" tag. "African-American super-delegates [who are supporting Clinton] are being targeted, harassed and threatened," says one of them, Representative Emanuel Cleaver. "This is the politics of the 1950s." Obama and Axelrod have achieved their objectives: to belittle Hillary Clinton and to manoeuvre the ever-pliant media into depicting every political criticism she makes against Obama as racist in intent. 
The danger is that, in their headlong rush to stop the first major female candidate (aka "Hildebeast" and "Hitlery") from becoming president, the punditocracy may have landed the Democrats with perhaps the least qualified presidential nominee ever. But that creeping realisation has probably come too late, and many of the Democratic super-delegates now fear there would be widespread outrage and increased racial tension if they thwart the first biracial presidential hopeful in US history.            
But will Obama live up to the hype? That, I fear, may not happen: he is a deeply flawed candidate. Rampant sexism may have triumphed only to make way for racism to rear its gruesome head in America yet again. By election day on 4 November, I suspect, the US media and their would-be-macho commentators may have a lot of soul-searching to do.
 
As today's HUBdate notes: "The Popular Vote Leader: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports about Tuesday night's contests: 'Hillary Clinton netted approximately 150,000 votes and is now poised to finish the primary season as the popular-vote leader. In some quaint circles, presumably, these things still matter...If you believe that the most important precept in democratic politics is to 'count every vote,' then...Clinton leads Obama by 71,301 votes.' Read more."  She's the stronger candidate.  She's leading in the popular vote.  She has a plan.  Bob Somerby notes the media confession on the decision to weigh the scales against Hillary. You'll see that in play tonight and over the weekend as a remark she made pointing out that this primary is not really going that long.  That will be dubbed 'news'.  Barack not knowing how many states there are?  His fan club in the press doesn't care.
 
 

Friday, May 23, 2008

THIS JUST IN! BARACK'S NEW SLOGAN!

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
 
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA, WHO IS LOSING IN THE POPULAR VOTE, IS TRYING DESPERATELY TO CONVINCE FLORIDA VOTERS THAT OVER HALF THE DEMOCRATS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE WRONG AND THAT HE IS TRUST WORTHY, EXPERIENCED, ELECTABLE AND READY TO BE PRESIDENT.
 
 
 
ADMITTING THAT THE CAMPAIGN HAD RUN OUT OF STEAM, DAVID AXLEROD TESTED OUT A NEW SLOGAN ON US THAT HE SWEARS WILL BE A WINNER IF BARACK IS THE NOMINEE: "BARACK: THE OTHER MYSTERY MEAT." 
 
 
Starting with war resistance.  As noted yesterday, US war resister Corey Glass has been informed he needs to leave Canada by June 12th or be deported. The Canadian Press explains, "Glass, of Fairmount, Ind., was a sergeant in military intelligence who spent five months in Iraq."  Emanuella Grinberg (CNN reports that Glass "fled to Toronoto in 2006 after serving in Iraq because he did not want to fight in a war he did not support" and quotes him explaining yesterday, "What I saw in Iraq convinced me that the war is illegal and immoral.  I could not in good conscience continue to take part in it.  I don't think it's fair that I should be punished for doing what I felt morally obligated to do."  Reuters quotes him stating of his military intelligence work in Iraq, "Through this job I had access to lots of information about what was happening on the ground in Iraq.  Through what I saw, I realized innocent people were being killed unjustly." Canwest News Service quotes him stating, "I don't think it's fair that I should be returned to the U.S. to face unjust punishment for doing what I thought I was morally obligated to do."  The Victoria Times Colonist runs a longer version of the wire story:   "Michelle Robidoux, a spokeswoman for the War Resisters Support Campaign, said Glass could be deported by June 12." AFP notes: "'This goes against Canada's tradition of welcoming Americans who disagree with policies like slavery and the Vietnam War,' said Lee Zaslofsky, a War Resisters Support Campaign coordinator."
 
Nick Kyonka (Toronto Star) reports, "A dejected Corey Glass, 25, stared blankly at the floor of a tiny room in Trinity-St. Paul's United Church as members of the War Resisters Support Campaign informed media and other U.S. war resisters of his failed bid to remain in the country and the consequences he now faces."  Liam Lahey (Inside Toronto) observes, "If deported, the Parkdale resident would be the first American war resister to be sent back to the U.S. since the late 1960s when Canadian border officials physically carried a man attempting to dodge the Vietnam draft back over the Peace Bridge and deposited him at the feet of U.S. officials.  That event caused an uproar in Canada, and led to then prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau declaring immigration officials would no longer ask any American about their military status."  AP explains that Corey Glass was "on leave in the U.S." when he checked out, that he went underground for seven months and then went to Canada in "August 2006, one of an estimated 200 American soldiers who have come to Canada" and notes "Joshua Key, another deserter whose refugee claim is still winding its way through Canadian appeals courts, said the Glass decision was worrisome for those hoping to stay in Canada."  Grinberg also quotes Key -- who lives in Canada with wife Brandi Key and their children -- explaining, "This has been our home for three years now.  It's a lot like the U.S., and it's as close to the U.S. as you can be."  Lahye quotes Key recalling, "I joined (the U.S. Army) in 2002 primarily for health care and steady pay.  I was raising my family (Key has three young sons) in Oklahoma City at the time and I couldn't cut the bills. . . . I was told I wouldn't be sent overseas . . . I should have gotten a magnifying glass and read the fine print (of his enlistment contract) and told them to 'Hold on'."  Lahye also quotes war resisters Kimberly Rivera and Steve Yoczick.  Rivera explains, "I wasn't truly sorry for joining (the army) until witnessing some of the things I did in Iraq.  The way families were destroyed . . . and what it did to children there impacted me. . . .  I felt helpless. . . . I'm a mom and that's your basic instinct: to protect children."  Yoczick offers, "My dad thinks I'm a coward and a traitor and my mother simply doesn't understand."
 
War resisters in Canada need support as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.  Lahey quotes NDP's Oliva Chow, who steered the motion, explaining, "If (Liberal leader) Stephane Dion were to say tomorrow that he supports this motion . . . we will then debate it.  So we need people to call Mr. Dion . . . 'whose side you on Mr. Dion'?"  The number to call is (613) 996-5789.       
 
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
 
[. . .]
 
Turning to US political news.  CBS and AP report that Senator John McCain (the presumed GOP nominee for their presidential ticket) has disowned/rejected John Hagee's endorsement after tapes surfaced of Hagee stating "God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land."  Suprisingly, McCain did not go into hiding, emerge days later in Philadelphia and attempt to explain that Hagee was a crazy uncle and he could no more disown Hagee than he could his own White grandmother.  Nor did he wait until Hagee attacked him to get offended as Barack Obama did with Jeremiah Wright.  Taylor Marsh notes: "This was a colossal error in judgment on Senator McCain's part. He should never have saddled up with Rev. Hagee. Now he's dumped him. Oh, and vice versa, by the way."  Meanwhile, Susan (Random Thoughts) observes, "Bill Clinton simply tells it like it is about this campaign: "
Clinton said the allegation that he and Sen. Clinton played the race card was a 'cold-blooded, calculated, manipulated, and a revolting strategy,' and that his only campaign season regret was speaking 'late at night when I was tired, 'cause if you are tired or angry, you shouldn't be talking'."  Bill is of course a former president and husband of the winner in the popular vote of this Democratic primary season Hillary Clinton.  Allison Stevens (Women's eNews) reports:
 
Some groups working to send New York Sen. Hillary Clinton to the White House are preparing to sit out the rest of the presidential election if she drops out of the race; others are giving only grudging support to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama as he comes closer to clinching the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.   
If Obama is the nominee, there won't be the "same level of enthusiasm since we endorsed Hillary Clinton," said Mai Shiozaki, spokesperson for the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C. 
Other ardent Clinton supporters in the women's rights movement may hesitate before jumping on Obama's bandwagon, predicted Vicki Lovell, director of employment and work-life programs at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a Washington think tank. "That level of passion may not transfer wholesale," she said.
 
The race isn't over and Clinton remains the winner of the popular vote thus far.  The Clinton campaign and others are launching an effort to have the delegates from Florida and Michigan seated at the convention: "Get involved -- click here to send a message to the DNC telling them to count the votes in Florida and Michigan."  In Florida yesterday, Hillary declared:
 
I believe the Democratic Party must count these votes. They should count them exactly as they were cast. Democracy demands no less. 
I am here today because I believe that the decision our party faces is not just about the fate of these votes and the outcome of these primaries. It is about whether we will uphold our most fundamental values as Democrats and Americans. It is about whether we will move forward, united, to win this state and take back the White House this November. That has to be the prize that we keep in mind.
 
The race isn't over but Hillary's winning the popular vote.  The primary race will end in a tie in terms of delegates awarded and, by DNC guidelines and rules, the issue then goes to the convention unless either Hillary or Barack drop out of the race.  (Drop out, not 'suspend.')
 
Hillary's still in the race (which is a tie and which leads in the popular vote), don't believe the hype saying otherwise.  Ed King doesn't and that's why he's campaigning for Hillary in South Dakota:
 
My name is Ed King.  I am a family dairy farmer from upstate New York and I have had so much fun traveling across South Dakota, talking about the many ways in which Senator Clinton has helped us with our rural and agriculture needs. While in South Dakota I visited the Corn Palace, the world's largest pheasant in Huron, the South Dakota Farmers Union, the Sharpe farm in Bath, the Terry Redlin Art Center, South Dakota State University, and a number of delicious eateries. I couldn't have been more impressed.  You have a beautiful state and I truly enjoyed talking to voters from many different regions.      
My great sons are working the farm, giving me time to talk about what Sen. Clinton has meant to agriculture in New York and what a good rural president she would make overall.  Specifically, my passion is ensuring that we have family farms for future generations and that American agriculture is strong.  I know Hillary understands and supports that!   One of her most important actions as Senator has been her "Farm to Fork" initiative, which aids producers in rural New York through direct-to-consumer marketing. In addition to "Farm to Fork," Hillary is a 'rippin-good' Senator, pushing things like country-of-origin labeling, assistance in response to weather related disasters, expanded renewable energy     production, and increasing competition to address vertical integration in agriculture. She has also addressed rural quality of life issues like health care, better education for our children, expanding rural broadband and addressing the housing crisis. 
From this work – Sen. Clinton has increased her support in New York, having won now 58 of 62 counties in her 2006 Senate race. Many of these counties in upstate are heavily  republican, and she got 85% of the counties that didn't support her in 2000, to support her for re-election. How's that for change? Hillary can work with Republicans and Independents. She has shown us that over 8 years.        
Like South Dakota, New York is home to family farms (about 34,000), and I KNOW she will make the best president for producers and rural South Dakotans alike.
 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

THIS JUST IN! BARACK DECLARES HIMSELF GOD!

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
 
IN SCENIC CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA ("THE CITY BEAUTIFUL") TODAY, SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON EXPLAINED WHY SHE WAS THE CANDIDATE WHO COULD BEAT JOHN MCCAIN IN NOVEMBER:
 
 
SENATOR CLINTON'S REMARKS LED TO A SOBBING BARACK OBAMA CALLING US.
 
"OWW!" HE YELLED INTO THE PHONE BEFORE APOLOGIZING AND EXPLAINING HE WAS GETTING A PEDICURE.
 
"WHAT IS THIS TALK ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE AND VOTES?  THE MEDIA LOVES ME.  THAT MAKES ME THE WINNER, RIGHT?"
 
THESE REPORTERS ATTEMPTED TO EXPLAIN TO HIM THAT MSNBC DID NOT HAVE ANY ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES AND WOULD NOT ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO AWARD HIM THE PRESIDENCY.
 
HUFFING, BARACK DECLARED, "I'M SICK OF ALL THESE STUPID AMERICANS!  AND FOR YOU INFORMATION, I DON'T JUST HAVE MSNBC!  THE ENTIRE MEDIA LOVES ME!  EVERYONE!  I AM A GOD!  JEREMIAH WRIGHT SHOULD HAVE SAID 'BARACK DAMN AMERICA!'"
 
 
Starting with war resistance.  Canada's Global TV reports, "Corey Glass, a former U.S. National Guardsman who deserted to Canada in 2006 to avoid serving in Iraq, was told today that his application to stay in Canada has been rejected supporters say.  Michelle Robidoux, a spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign, said Glass could be deported by June 12."  Canadian Press notes: "Ottawa has decided that an American soldier who fled the army over the Iraq war will not face the risk of abuse or mistreatment if returned to the U.S. The means Corey Glass can now be deported to the United States, where he faces possible jail time for desertion." 
 
On March 30, 2007, Corey Glass stood before Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board explaining he signed up for the National Guard in Indiana to assist with national disasters "on American soil." Iraq War veteran Glass self-checked out, went underground and moved to Canada in the fall of 2006.  After self-checking out, Glass was underground for seven months before going to Canada and, during that time, the Army (which supposedly just waits for traffic violations to catch self-check outs) was visiting his parents, calling phone numbers trying to track him down.  In October of 2006, Corey Glass, Justin Colby, Ryan Johnson and other war resisters in Canada were considering returning to US as a result of the way Darrell Anderson's discharge was resolved.  However, once the military attempted to screw over Kyle Snyder, that changed.  Glass told Brett Barrouqere (AP) at the start November 2006, "After what they did to him, I don't see anybody going back."  Glass stated, "I knew the war was wrong before I went, but I was going to fulfil my end of the bargain, right or wrong and eventually my conscience just caught up with me. . . I felt horrible for being a part of it.  If I could apologise to those people [Iraqis], every single on, I would." 
 
Today at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre in Spadina, Glass spoke explaining, "What I saw in Iraq convinced me that the war is illegal and immoral.  I could not in good conscience continue to take part in it.  I came here because Canada did not join the Iraq War.  Also I knew Canada had welcomed many Americans during the Vietnam War."   Reuters notes, "If he is returned to the United States, Glass, of Fairmount, Indiana, could face jail time.  He joined the National Guard in 2002" and they quote him stating of his work in military intel in Iraq, "Through this job I had access to lots of information about what was happening on the ground in Iraq.  Through what I saw, I realized innocent people were being killed unjustly."
 
 
U.S. Iraq war resister Corey Glass was told today that his application to stay in Canada has been rejected and he now faces deportation. Glass would be the first Iraq war resister to be deported from Canada. Last December the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Citizenship & Immigration passed a motion calling on the Canadian government to "immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members […] to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and … the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions … against such individuals".           
Please take a moment tocall Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion at 613.996.6740 or 613.996.5789            
Tell him you want the Liberal Party...               
• to support the Parliamentary motion to allow Iraq War resisters to remain in Canada,                     
• to oppose the deportation of people of conscience who have resisted an illegal war, and                   
• to support the will of the Canadian people, not Stephen Harper's decision to deport war resisters, and not the U.S.'s war agenda.                 
 
Some war resisters are in Canada and they need support as well as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.         
 
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
 
[. . .]
 
Turning to US political races.  As Ruth noted last night, "Senator Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic Party primary in Kentucky by a blow-out. This comes as she picks up another super delegate."  Kentucky was a major victory.  "Once again tonight, you and I stood together and showed America what we're made of," Hillary Clinton declared in last night's Kentucky primary victory speech. "Every time we win another state, we prove something about ourselves and about our country. And did we ever prove something tonight in Kentucky. We showed America that the voters know what the 'experts' will never understand -- that in our great democracy, elections are about more than candidates running, pundits commenting, or ads blaring."
 
And, yes, despite the false media narrative that the race is over, despite the rants that Hillary should drop out, Hillary won Kentucky last night, adding yet another state to her list of recent victories which most recently includes West Virginia and Indiana. 700,690 Democrats went to the polls and voted. Hillary beat Barack in a 35.5% win with 459,093 voters selecting her -- nearly 250,000 more votes than he received (his total is 209,869). Third place went to "UNCOMMITTED" (17,526 votes) and, coming in dead last, John Edwards (14,202 or 2% of the vote). (Results posted here at Kentucky's Secretary of State website.)

In her victory speech, Hillary pointed out, "Some have said your votes didn't matter, that this campaign was over, that allowing everyone to vote and every vote to count would somehow be a mistake. But that didn't stop you. You've never given up on me because you know I'll never give up on you." Voters tend to agree judging by exit polls. CNN notes 49% of those voting in the Democratic primary (which was a closed primary) declared that if Hillary was not the Democratic Party nominee come November, John McCain and not voting become their choices with 33% choosing McCain and 16% choosing to abstain from voting in the presidential race -- an increase of 5% from West Virginia where 44% stated they would vote for McCain or not vote if Barack was the nominee in November.
 
In today's New York Times, Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny don't lead with that information and pretty much disregard the rising anti-Barack sentiment (he peaked in Februrary) and stress his campaign's claim (as opposed to reporting) that, come November, he will be able to pull her "supporters into his camp; winning over elements of the Democratic coalition like working-class whites, Hispanics and Jews". Not very likely. Not only is Hillary ahead in the popular vote, Barack can't connect with working-class voters as a group. He remains distant and detached from them and that connection is not a 'skill' you suddenly pick up. His disdain for them and his campaign's disdain for them has been apparent throughout the primary cycle. This is not something you easily 'heal' in a matter of months especially when you avoid visiting states. (He would not have done significantly better in those states had he visited during the primary. The issue is that by refusing to campaign there he only solidified the message that he doesn't care for those voters.)  Kristi Keck (CNN) observes of Barack, "He's yet to make his case with the working-class vote."  She's not sure it's a lost cause.  Mike is sure it's a lost cause for Barack and provides a long list of why in his post last nightTaylor Marsh observes: "The thing is that when you don't respect people enough to walk in to where they live, talk to them about their troubles and assure them you get it, they won't give you their vote. It's not a black - white thing, it's a ego thing; as in you think you're too good for them. People can sense political arrogance a mile away and Obama's got it in abundance. That's why if he thinks he's going to get beat he doesn't even bother.
This isn't about race. It's about ego. Obama's, that is."
 
Ruth notes the victory speech including a significant word, "Referring to whomever the Democratic presidential candidate might be, Senator Clinton used the pronoun 'she.' It was a statement and vision of the possibilities her campaign is creating and it may also be seen as a rebuttal to former 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' repeated emphasis on the best 'man' for the job when endorsing John Edwards last Wednesday."
 
In Oregon, Barack won with 349,132 votes (58.19%) to Hillary's 245,770 (40.96%).  Jeryln (TalkLeft) notes, "Regardless of what the DNC does on May 31 with FL and MI delegates, the popular votes were certified by the states.  Their numbers are real and they must be added to her popular vote total."  Hillary leads in the popular vote and, for those who have forgotten, Barack's campaign used to use that as a marker and scream "the will of the people."  The press appears to have 'forgotten' that fact.
 
Eloise Harper (ABC News, text and video) reports, "In her most emphatic argument yet for counting the votes in Michigan and Florida, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, traveled Wednesday to Palm Beach County, Florida -- ground zero for hanging chads and the vote-count controversy of the 2000 election" and quotes Hillary stating:
 
We believe that the outcome of our elections should be determined by the will of the people. Nothing more. Nothing less. And we believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will. We believe it today just as we believed it back in 2000 when right here in Florida you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren't counted and a candidate with fewer votes is determined the winner.
 
Meanwhile, Paul Bedard (US News & World Reports) notes Sidney Blumenthal pointing out the obvious: "Don't run against GOP nominee John McCain by painting him as Bush III, because he's not."  He isn't and if that's how some in the DNC think Barack could pull off a win, they're kidding themselves.  Blumenthal notes re: Iraq, that McCain's son is serving there and someone appears to have missed that point.  (Well, MoveOn's never been that smart, have they?)  In addition, as Ava and I noted last week of a report on CBS' The Early Show:
 
It featured a clip where Barack was mouthing about how a vote for John McCain would be giving a third term to the Bully Boy and that's part of Barack's problem. The myth is that he was against the illegal war from the start and that he stayed against it. It's not true but it's too late to change perceptions. So when he speaks about mistakes, he is on dangerous ground. No one likes a know-it-all. "Eggheads" do, it's a case of like attracting like. The reality is that a lot of Americans voted for Bully Boy. He wouldn't have been in the White House if that wasn't the case. (Yes, 2000 was stolen.) A lot of Americans supported the illegal war.                   
Barack's Little Mister Perfect. The eggheads and his campaign don't grasp that they created that trap for him. He's always right! That's the myth. And his statements are inprecise and often hit voters.                          
He thinks he's targeting the Bully Boy but he's shooting scatteshot and hitting a lot of voters with his charges.                        
Hillary's position on Iraq, as portrayed by the media, is more consistent with the public view. Barack's is "I was right! I was right!" And it really irritates people because not everyone knew everything from day one. So when he criticizes McCain, he needs to be specific about policies (Barack's weakest area) and stop insulting voters. His "third term" nonsense doesn't play well. It does for Hillary to say it but for him to say it, it plays into his larger image problems, "He really doesn't like us. Oh, look, he's insulting us again."
 
 
People voted for Bully Boy.  A lot of people may not like him today but you have to be very careful when campaigning not to give people the impression you think they are idiots.  In word and deed, Barack gives that impression every day.
 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

THIS JUST IN! BARACK'S PROBLEM!

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
 
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA HAS A PROBLEM.
 
WHEN WE ASKED HIM IF HE WAS AWARE OF IT, HE IMMEDIATELY PATTED HIS HEAD AND INSISTED THAT HE WAS NOT BALDING, "THE BARBER GAVE ME A FADE."  WE INFORMED THAT WENT OUT AROUND THE TIME WILL SMITH AND DEE JAY JAZZY JEFF STOPPED PERFORMING TOGETHER AND THAT WE WERE SPEAKING OF THE EVER GROWING GAP BETWEEN HIM AND WORKING CLASS VOTERS.
 
HE INSISTED IT WAS NOT A PROBLEM AND THAT VOTERS OF ALL INCOME KNOW THAT ARUGLA AT WHOLE FOODS "IS THROUGH THE ROOF."
 
HE GRINNED LIKE AN IDIOT AND THEN FELT THESE REPORTERS WERE NOT SUFFICIENTLY MOVED.
 
"DON'T YOU LOVE ME ANYMORE?" HE ASKED.  "I AM THE MEDIA FAVORITE.  THE MEDIA MATTERS MORE THAN VOTERS!"
 
HIS HUGE LOSS TONIGHT IN KENTUCKY DOES NOT BEAR THAT CLAIM OUT.
 
 
 
Starting with war resistance.  Great Britian's Socialist Worker notes Matthis Chiroux refusal to deploy to Iraq in June and quotes him stating: "My decision is based on my desire to no longer continue violating my core values to support an illegal and unconstitutional occupation."  Meanwhile Courage to Resist notes that Robert Weiss, conscientious objector, has been "sentenced to seven months confinement during a court martial Tuesday [of last week] at Rose Barracks in Vilsek, Germany.  Weiss pled guilty to charges of desertion and missing movement, which reduced the court martial's proceedings mostly to the sentencing phase." Back in July of 2007, Adam Kokesh posted an e-mail from Weiss where Weiss explained he had "informed my chain of command that the only way I will go to Iraq is if they tranquilize me, cuff me, and throw me on a plane. That being the case I won't perform any duties or wear a uniform anyways. I don't plan on letting the situation progress that far. I am hopeful that I will be placed on rear detachment until the decision on my application comes in. When it becomes apparent that they won't do this I will simply refuse to follow any orders given to me or wear a uniform. This will surely result in some jail time but that doesn't deter me one bit. It makes more sense to me to resist the military now rather than in Iraq where the situation would be much more difficult."  Courage to Resist explains: "Though this agreement carried a prison sentence of eight months, Judge [Peter] Masters issued a seven-month sentence, to be served at the U.S. Military Detention Facility Europe at Coleman Barracks in Mannheim, Germany."
 
Some war resisters are in Canada and they need support as well as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.         
 
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
 
[. . .]
 
Turning to US politics where the Democratic primary contest continues [and will continue to the August convention unless (a) one candidate drops out or (b) the rules are thrown out].  A9 of today's New York Times is a full page ad entitled "not so fast . . . Hillary's voice is OUR voice and she's speaking for all of us" taken out by WomenCount PAC.  (A version of the ad can be seen at Tennesse Guerilla Women from when it ran in USA Today earlier this month.)  The text of the ad concludes: "Women risked all they held dear to make this country great.  They put their lives on the line in all our quests for justice -- from Abigail Adams to Sojourner Truth to Susan B. Anthony to Eleanor Roosevelt to Fannie Lous Hamer to Barbara Jordan to Ann Richards to Dolores Huerta.  And now, Hillary.  We know that when women vote, Democrats win.  Now is it the responsibility of our party to hear our voices and count all of our votes.  We want Hillary to stay in this race until every vote is cast, every vote is counted, and we know that our voices are heard."  (For more information on WomenCount, their e-mail address is womencountpac@gmail.comWilliam Branigin (Washington Post) notes the advertisement today, that Kentucky and Oregon's primaries take place today (Oregonians have until 8:00 p.m. their time to turn in their ballots if they did not mail them in) and that Puerto Rico (June 1st), Montana (June 3rd) and South Dakota (June 3rd) will be the final three primaries.  Brian Montopoli (CBS News) notes: "There has been speculation that Hillary Clinton might drop out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination following today's primaries in Kentucky and Oregon, even as Clinton herself has insisted that she will fight on. Now her campaign has released a new ad in South Dakota, where voters don't have their say until June 3rd. It's a signal that Clinton has no plans to leave the race anytime soon -- one that the campaign underlines in its press release touting the ad, which notes that the spot 'comes two weeks before South Dakota voters head to the polls'."  [The link has the text to the video as well as the video itself.]  Howard Kurtz (Washington Post) weighs in with "Women are pretty ticket off these days."  You think?  Carolyn Lochhead (San Francisco Chronicle) reposts an e-mail which includes this: "I will not vote for Barack Obama. I will not stay home. I will go to the polls and proudly write on my ballot, HILLARY CLINTON. I want the DNC to count my vote as a protest vote. I want them to know I am tired of being a second-class citizen in my own country. This isn't about Barack Obama or John McCain. This isn't about Iraq or Iran. This is about a war, a war for our voice, our dignity, and our selves...I hope you will join me."  A number will.  Clinton Democrats note the latest poll of New Jersy Democratic voters finds "Only Sixty-five percent (65%) of Democratic Primary voters in New Jersy say they are at least somewhat likely to vote for Barack Obama against John McCain in November.  Note that this is not just Hillary supporters, but ALL primary voters."  A lot of people got tossed under the bus by the Obama campaign.  A lot of Democrats still don't buy that he has 'experience' or 'leadership.'  Lois Romano (Washington Post) reports: "Women of all ages and nationalities push against the rope line carrying books and T-shirts, posters and stuffed animals -- anything for her to autograph. They tote huge signs that shout 'Hillary Cares About Me'-- and they tearfully grab her hand to implore her to stick it out, to take her trailing campaign all the way to the Democratic convention in Denver." Romano quotes Hillary: ""I believe this campaign has been a groundbreaker in a lot of ways. But it certainly has been challenging given some of the attitudes in the press, and I regret that, because I think it's been really not worthy of the seriousness of the campaign and the historical nature of the two candidacies we have here."  Link also contains video to Hillary speaking.
 
The groundswell is becoming so big it made the networks this morning when Geraldine Ferraro and Rachel Maddow appeared on NBC's Today this morningAva and I have covered the backstabbing 'Maddow The Mad Cow' (as MSNBC refers to her). This morning, she was selling it for Barack.  While Geraldine Ferraro provided examples of sexism (even noting at one point that she was giving specific examples), Maddow played her usual wrothless role.  Maddow is a lesbian and it needs to be remember that when Time produced that awful Ann Coulter cover story, Maddow refused to call it out.  That was because the author of the Time piece (a man drooling over how 'sexy' Coulter allegedly was) was a friend of Rachel's and -- as she explained off-air at Air America, part of "the community" meaning the gay community.  (John Cloud is out, he's not being outed in this.)  So then she wanted to show solidarity. (Although she refused to tell listeners of her radio show that she knew the man -- she did, they're very good friends and he often uses the term "angel" to describe her.)  But Maddow has never called out Barack's use of homophobia in South Carolina.  When Maddow starts babbling on about "racism and sexism" and trying to play like she's a feminist, she needs to be stopped and asked point-blank: "Do you support homophobia?  Then why is it okay for Barack to use homophobia and for you to stay silent?" For the record, homophobia is unacceptable in the feminist world.  Rachel avoids that.  When Ferraro brought up the brush of the shoulders being disrespectful, Rachel dismissed it (he also did a stabbing motion and flipped Hillary the bird in that same speech, Rachel didn't weigh in on those) and said she "saw this as his referencing" a music video by Jay-Z.  Someone should ask Rachel to quote those lyrics on broadcast TV.  It's highly unlikely that she could get approval to do so and there's something in those lyrics to offend everyone ("Middle finger to the Lord" might get the most complaints).  Rachel was on to provide cover from a very real discussion and that's all she did.
 
Donna Darko posts various statements by women who've had enough of Barack's sexist campaign and don't intend to vote for him and we'll note this woman:
 
The sexism has been beyond belief. IMHO it began when Obama threw Gays and Lesbians under the bus last fall. Outside GL and Feminist groups there was very little understanding or concern. If someone wants to test how mysogeny will play out, first try it on gays. If you get away with it, then women are fair game. And you will probably get away with it.
 
 
Those who are responsible for putting Democrats in the broken place we are in right now with regard to Barack Obama had better own it to the end. Leave those bumper stickers on and wear those campaign pins until the bitter end folks because YOU OWN IT. And people are going to want to know whose to blame.   
And as for the superdelegates, just an FYI, we have the list with your names, you will be held accountable on Election Day and beyond, too. This time around, everybody's going to be looking for accountability.  
Flash forward to Election Day 08. Can you imagine the backpedaling going on when it comes to explaining how Barack Obama -- the Democratic nominee by math not by sensibility -- loses key states? What will those pundits say? Can they turn to history and defend themselves by saying that Obama won Ohio in the primary? Pennsylvania? Florida? And what about West Virginia? No Democrat has won the WH since 1916 without winning West Virginia and we all know what happened yesterday. What will they use as their rationale as to why they reasonably expected Obama to win those states in the general? Will they be driven mad with their math and just keep repeating that it wasn't their fault -- it was math's fault? (Or will they fall back on the usual suspect and blame it on Hillary?)
 
 

Monday, May 19, 2008

THIS JUST IN! LOVE HURTS!

BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
 
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA DECLARED TODAY THAT NO ONE COULD SAY ANYTHING MEAN ABOUT MICHELLE HIS WIFE.  APPARENTLY, HE'S PLANNING TO TAPE UP THE MOUTHS OF EVERYONE WHO KNOWS HER.
 
WHILE DECLARING HER OFF LIMITS, HE DIDN'T CALL OUT THE DNC FOR THEIR ATTACKS AND FOCUS ON CINDY MCCAIN NOR DID HE APOLOGIZE FOR TELLING THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY THAT THEY SHOULD LOOK INTO BILL CLINTON's SEX LIFE.
 
SAID SENATOR BAMBI, "WELL I'M SPECIAL.  PEOPLE HAVE TO GIVE ME BREAKS.  IF I CAN'T RUN A CAMPAIGN WITH TRAINING WHEELS, I MIGHT FALL OFF!  BESIDES, DO YOU KNOW HOW HATEFUL MICHELLE CAN BE?  SHE'LL RUIN MY CAMPAIGN!"
 
 
Starting with war resistance.  Last week (see Thursday and Friday's snapshots), Matthis Chiroux, currently in the IRR (Individual Ready Reserves), publicly announced that he would not deploy to Iraq.  Brittany Whitley (Opelika Auburn News) reports  that "Chiroux will . . . return to Washington D.C. in an attempt to win an audience with a committee in Congress.  He said the goal is to talk to Congress and build support for war resisters in the legislative branches of the government."  Whitley and Beverly Harvey (The Dothan Eagle) report Chiroux's back story:
 
Matthis Chiroux had it all planned out after he graduated from Auburn High School in 2002. First, he would join the U.S. Army. Then, he would use his G.I. Bill benefits to enroll in college to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer. After college, Matthis planned to become a public defender and dabble in politics.
And the 24-year-old Army sergeant's dream was on track when he was honorably discharged last September. He wasted no time moving to New York City to attend college as a journalism and pre-law major. But less than six months after relocating, the Army came calling again. This time, they needed him to deploy to Iraq.
 
David Botti (Newsweek) posts a video of Matthis' statement from Thursday and notes that "he said his position as a military journalist exposed him to countless disturbing stories he was afraid to publish for fear of retribution by the Army."  The Pentagon states that if Matthis does not report on June 15th, the next step is to list him AWOL.
 
Some war resisters are in Canada and they need support as well as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.         
 
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
 
We're going to pick up with a hearing last week.  As noted Thursday and Friday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, chaired by Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, and featured veterans offering testimony Thursday -- Iraq Veterans Against the War.  The hearing was broadcast on CSPAN and KPFA (click here for KPFA's archived broadcast) and at Aaron Glantz' website The War Comes Home.  Earlier (in March)  Iraq Veterans Against the War held their Winter Soldier Investigation and it was broadcast live at War Comes Home, at KPFK, at the Pacifica Radio homepage and at KPFA over three days, here for Friday, here for Saturday, here for Sunday with Aimee Allison (co-host of the station's The Morning Show and co-author with David Solnit of Army Of None) and Aaron Glantz anchoring Pacifica's live coverage.  (It was also broadcast at the IVAW site.)  Allison and Glantz also hosted a live report on KPFA about the lawsuit against the VA on April 22nd. 
 
Since Friday afternoon, the hearings were noted in the following: Trina's "Contentment in the Kitchen," Rebecca's "sergio korchergin speaks to congress," Betty's "A red day," Ruth's "Sgt. Adam Kokesh speaks to Congress," Kat's "Luis Montalvan," Marcia's "Vincent Emanuele testifies to Congress," Elaine's "IVAW's Vincent Emanuele testifies to Congress," Mike's "IVAW's James Gilligan speaks to Congress" and The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Editorial: The teachable moment."  We'll pick up with  Adam Kokesh's testimony on Falluja that can be applied to Sadr City, to Mosul, to any Iraqi city under assault:
 
At one point during the siege of Falluja, we decided that we were going to allow women and children out. We thought this was the most magnanimus thing we could have done. And yet our rules were to let only women and children out so any male over the age of fourteen . . . was turned away. So my responsibility during this time at certain points was to go out on the bridge and turn away families and, like I said, we thought this was the most magnanimus thing we could be doing; however, it was clear we were giving these families an impossible choice: whether they could stay together with their families intact or split their families up and hope that half of them end up with something better.
 
Kristofer Goldsmith testified about what he witnessed in Sadr City and how there were no efforts to inform then of Muqtada al-Sadr's role (in the "Sadr" City section of Baghdad).  He noted "at the end of January 2005," "the humantiarian and rebuiling process . . . was supposed to begin with my units deployment.  The soldiers of my unit were told that a cease-fire had been declared between Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army and American Forces in Sadr City as of October 2004" so there should be little incidents of violence. He testified to learning upon arrival that the residents of Sadr City were not pleased by the US presence: "Adults in the area encouraged children to throw rocks, bricks, trash and bottles of oil at US army vehicles and personnel."  He spoke of seeing "huge piles of trash and enormous puddles of raw sewage" and how they would file reports (SWET Reports -- Sewage-Water-Electric-Trash Reports) documenting in words and photos "the lack of adequate clean water, the never ending presence of trash and sewage throughtout the streets, and the very limited few hours of electrical power provided" and there was never any improvement.  The service members were told, by command, to tell the residents that improvements would be made and the improvements never came.  He explained, "Throughout my entire time in Sadr City my platoon only brought supplies to a medical facility once, on March 10, 2005.  The items we dropped off at the Sadr City Women's Hospital were a truckload of baby diapers -- we never provided any real medical supplies despite the fact that the hospitals and clinics in the area were in dire need of antibiotics and basic surgical equipment."  Sergio Korchergin's testimony about Najaf would echo that with him noting, "While serving in Najaf, the only humanitarian work we did was painting a park for kids and after that we did not do any humanitarian work until we left."
 
Near the end of the hearing, Rep Waters explained the House vote on Wednesday:
 
US House Rep Maxine Waters: As a matter of fact, we just voted on a rule. . . .  And that supplemental funder request was about $170 billion more dollars to continue the war.  And we fought to try and separate the funding from other issues.  We met with the leadership and we said, 'The members deserve an opportunity to vote up or down on this issue.  Don't pile the funding up with a lot of domestic spending to make people feel bad that they're not supporting the extension of unemployment or they're not supporting other kinds of things.  So we did get that.  We advocated for that. They did separate it.  So the funding resolution is going to be separate and for all those people who say that they want to end the war the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  If they vote for this supplemental appropriation, they're not serious about ending this war. They have two other portions to the bill.  Amendment number two where basically they have a lot of other conditions but . . . the first part of it is a little trickery because they say that there will be an attempt to start redeployment within thirty days with an absolute end -- the goal of an absolute end of the war, by December 09.  I'm not nervous about that because that's too long. That's December 09.  We have had some targets before.  We've always been for getting out as quickly as possible.  We know that it takes some time to wind down and move equipment and redeploy.  And we've always thought six months was a reasonable amount of time to talk about doing that.  We've even entertained the idea of maybe one year but now, you know, it's further out with this December '09.  So I know that I'm voting against the first part of the war.  I'm uncomfortable with it going to December of '09 and the third part, where there are some conditions, the separate amendment I could support.  So I'm going to be talking with my colleagues before we take that vote to take a look at that second amendment that talks about of winding -- starting redeployment in thirty days.  In thirty days of?  Does anybody know in thirty days of what?         
 
US House Rep Lynn Woolsey: The new president.     
 
US House Rep Maxine Waters: Well see, that takes us to January, then thirty days, that takes us to February and then it goes on to the end of the year.  That may be just a little too long for me even though I'm anxious to get some kind of language that talks about getting out.  That's taking it a little bit too long.  Now  -- December '09, that's a little bit too long for me.  But I wanted to share that with you so that you know when you are talking to members of Congress who are telling you all of these good things and how much they're supportive and against the war, you take a look at their vote today and see who's voting for that money to continue the kinds of things that you have described here to us.          
 
Waters made that point last week.  Today the US Department of Defense issued two press releases.  The first noted "additional major units scheduled to deploy" to Iraq -- "one division headquarters and seven brigade combat teams consisting of approximately 25,000 personnel." The second noted that "four brigades from the Army National Guard" were being sent to Iraq -- "approximately 14,000 personnel who will begin deploying in the spring of 2009."  That would make 39,000 the White House is ordering to Iraq  The first announcement stated deployment would "begin in the fall and continue until the end of the year."  The second has the White House scheduling deployments for a period of time when the current occupants will not be present.  (Elections in November will result in a new leader being sworn in come January.)  In terms of Waters' points quoted above, it needs to be noted that withdrawal is all the more complex (planning and implementing) if the numbers on the ground are increased.  Equally true is that the numbers were already supposed to be reduced to pre-'surge'/escalation levels.  That got tossed out this spring when it was noticed that, even after July, more US service members would be stationed in Iraq than were there prior to the 'surge'/escalation.  Prior to that 'fix' that failed, there were approximately 130,000 US service members stationed in Iraq.  As Kristin Roberts (Reuters) notes that before today's announcements the plan was for the number to fall from 155,000 to 140,000.
 
Returning to last week's hearing and focusing on testimony regarding health care or the lack of it.
 
Sergio Korchergin: When we all come back from Iraq and we seek help from our command they call us 'weak' and 'cowards'.  The line for psychologists is almost a year long and the only thing that can help us is the alcohol and the prescription pills that they are giving out to us like candy to keep us down because it seems like doctors don't want to do their jobs and they just don't care. . . . The last thing I want to tell you about is a roomate who we shared a bathrooma with.  A marine who was on a suicide watch for about afew months on and off.  The last three weeks before we were deployed he was constantly on watch.  A week before a family day -- when a family comes in and says good-bye to their marines before we deploy -- he was released from the watch so that he would not say anything to his parents and he did not say anything to them. About a month into deployment, he blew his brains out in the shower stall.  Actions like that show the poor judgement of our command, just to have numbers for the troops and just to keep their own skins safe. The marines should never have gone to Iraq in the first place and nobody was held responsible for his death. If there's no care for your marines what care do they have for the people of Iraq when they give the orders?
 
We'll come back to the topic of the health care but we'll wrap up the hearing but noting the testimony of another Iraq War veteran.  "Dear Ted, you are my hero," Luis Montalvan stated as he began his testimony delivered in the form of a letter to the late Ted Westhusing.  "I did not get the opportunity to meet you while we served in the army together, but I feel as though I know you from your honorable life and tragic death.  Just one month before returning to your wife Michelle and three children, you were found dead on June 5, 2005 from a bullet to the head.  Investigators conducted -- investigations conducted by the army deemed your death a 'suicide' but the circumstances are highly controversial.  I have spoken with your brother Tim and your father Keith and we are now close friends. Both Tim and your father believe that the army did not do a thorough investigation and covered up many of the aspects surrounding your mysterious and untimely death."  Westhusing was bothered (to put it mildly) by corruption in the contracting in Iraq.  Montalvan explained what he experienced, lack of weapons, lack of supplies.  "I lost many friends in Iraq, American and Iraqi," he explained.  He cited an Iraqi friend in Jordan applying for asylum (to the US) via the United Nations. PISCES system (Personal Identification Secure Comparsion and Evaluation System)  was supposed to track immigration and emigration flow across Iraq.  Gen Ricardo Sanchez and Bwana Paul L. Bremer sent a team to look into putting PISCES in place and the official word was that it would be done.  Then came the story that the equipment wasn't in Iraq -- it was there as Montalvan discovered when he returned to Iraq in 2006 on his second tour and it had been there and it was never implemented. 
 
On the subject of PISCES, it is a tracking device and one of the systems that raises concerns -- in the US -- about bio-chips.  The US uses the system to some degree (and has for some time) and has tried to get India (they refused) and other countries to implement it.  Those who have are generally the ones most dependant upon foreign aid.  (Such as Uganda and Djibouti.)  There are serious concerns about civil liberties with this program but such concerns haven't prevented the US government from trying to sell it and have it implemented.  In Iraq, due to the refugee situation, it's 'best' for the White House that it wasn't implemented.  Had it been, actual concrete numbers would have been readily available. But real numbers were never of interest to the White House as evident by The Myth of The Great Return. Bio-metrics do exist in Iraq and are used in, for example, Falluja to deny entry and only make life more cumbersome for Iraqis.  If there was a use for them on a temporary basis that could be justified, it would most likely be during a continuing refugee crisis to provide statistical data.
 
Montalvan concluded his testimony by declaring, "I strongly urge you to please take measures to perhaps have a Congressional testimony to address these matters in entireity particularly the death of Col. Ted Westhusing."  For more on Westhusing, you can refer here and here to two pieces by Robert Bryce (Texas Observer).