BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
PROMISING HE'D BE BRINGING ON THE GOLD, LAND ON THE FRONT OF A BOX OF CORN FLAKES AND "I WON'T GET CAUGHT WITH MY BONG," CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O TOOK QUESTIONS FROM REPORTERS IN COPENHAGEN.
IT WAS NOT PRETTY. BARRY THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO COPENHAGEN TO COMPETE AND THAT HE WOULD BE REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES SO IT WAS A SHOCK TO HIM WHEN REPORTERS EXPLAINED THAT HE WAS THERE IN AN ATTEMPT TO LAND THE OLYMPICS, NOT COMPETE IN THEM.
BARRY INSISTED, "IT'S ALL GOOD," BUT IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT IT WAS NOT ALL GOOD. ATTEMPTING TO PERK HIM UP, THESE REPORTERS ASKED HIM WHAT EVENT HE HAD THOUGHT HE'D BE COMPETING IN?
"PRETTIEST," HE SAID TO GASPS. "MOST PRETTIEST? WANT TO SEE ME IN THE SPEEDO I PACKED?"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Turning to peace news, Saturday Gregg K. Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reported that 1st Lt Ehren Watada will not "seek a second court-martial" and that they've "accepted the resignation of" Ehren and quotes Ehren stating, "The actual outcome is different from the outcome that I envisioned in the first place, but I am grateful of the outcome."In June 2006, Ehren Watada became the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to the illegal war in Iraq. June 22, 2006, his unit deployed at 6:45 am and, as he had stated, he refused to deploy. For perspective, that was also the day the US Senate voted to end the illegal war by July 2007 -- a proposal made by US Senators Russ Feingold and John Kerry. Only 13 US senators voted to pull all troops by July of 2007.Back then, the death toll for US service members in Iraq stood at 2512. It currently stands at 4346 and, no, the Iraq War has not ended.In August 2006, an Article 32 hearing was held. Watada's defense called three witnesses, Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois' College of Law, Champagne; Denis Halliday, the former Assistant Secretary General of the UN; and retired Colonel Ann Wright. These three witnesses addressed the issue of the war, it's legality, and the responsibilities of a service member to disobey any order that they believed was unlawful. The testimony was necessary because Watada's refusing to participate in the illegal war due to the fact that he feels it is (a) illegal and (b) immoral. Many weeks and weeks later, the finding was released: the military would proceed with a court-martial.On Monday, February 5, 2007, Watada's court-martial began. It continued on Tuesday when the prosecution argued their case. Wednesday, Watada was to take the stand in his semi-defense. Judge Toilet (John Head) presided and when the prosecution was losing, Toilet decided to flush the lost by declaring a mistrial over defense objection in his attempt to give the prosecution a do-over. Head was insisting then that a court-martial would begin against Watada in a few weeks when no court-martial could begin.January 4, 2007, Head oversaw a pre-trial hearing. Head also oversaw a stipulation that the prosecution prepared and Watada signed. Head waived the stipulation through. Then the court-martial begins and Ehren's clearly winning. The prosecution's own military witnesses are becoming a problem for the prosecution. It's Wednesday and Watada's finally going to take the stand. Head suddenly starts insisting there's a problem with the stipulation. Watada states he has no problem with it. Well the prosecution has a problem with it and may move to a mistrial, Judge Toilet declares. The prosecution prepared the stipulation and they're confused by Head's actions but state they're not calling for a mistrial or lodging an objection. That's on the record. Head then keeps pushing for a mistrial and the prosecution finally gets that Head is attempting to give them a do-over, at which point, they call for a mistrial.The case has already started. Witnesses have been heard from. Double-jeopardy has attached. The defense isn't calling for a mistrial and Head rules a mistrial over defense objection and attempts to immediately schedule a new trial.He's ignoring the US Constitution which forbids double-jeopardy. He thought he could give the prosectution a do-over. That's not how the justice system works in the US, double-jeopardy is banned. In November of 2007, US District Judge Benjamin Settle ruled, "The same Fifth Amendment protections are in place for military service members as are afforded to civilians. There is a strong public interest in maintaing these rights inviolate." The military stated then that they would appeal. October 22, 2008, Judge Settle ruled there could be no retrial on the charges of missing deployment, participating in a news conference or participating in the Veterans for Peace conference. That left two charges up in the air which were questionable because the strongest charge was always going to be "missing deployment."Watada was kept in the military all this time. His service ended in December 2006. Or should have. He was kept in the service to prosecute him. He was kept in the service and kept in limbo. His service contract expired in December of 2006 and instead of discharging him then, the military wasted his time and countless US tax payer dollars to conduct a nearly three-year assault on him. Audrey Mcavoy (Breaking News 24/7) reports that October 2nd is when the US military will discharge Ehren. At which point, Ehren can finally get on with his life. Michael Tsai (Honolulu Advertiser) quotes Kenneth Kagan, one of Ehren's two civilian attorneys, stating, "When the Army realized they could not beat him in court, they threw up their hands and looked for some way to handle the situation quickly and quietly." Iraq Veterans Against the War's T.J. Buonomo reflects on Ehren's news:
I am moved beyond words to hear of the imminent release of Ehren Watada from the Army. Ehren's exemplary moral courage was a great inspiration to me as a young Army officer struggling with how to respond to the Bush administration's abuses of power- from their manipulation of prewar intelligence and deception of Congress to their sanctioning of torture to their efforts to subjugate the Iraqi people under foreign multinational corporations and financial institutions.
I recall signing a petition in support of Ehren while still an Army officer -- a document that later ended up in my personnel file while under investigation for exercising my First Amendment rights. Five months later I was involuntarily discharged from the Army and joined Iraq Veterans Against the War. I have since followed Ehren's case and was elated to read that a federal court had intervened on his behalf, reaffirming his constitutional right not to be held in double jeopardy.
From news of a service member to veterans news, Friday, the VA was in the news cycle for still, STILL, not sending the checks to veterans participating in the education programs under the new GI Bill. These checks would cover tuition, would cover books, would cover living expenses. The news media ran with the month of September but, in fact, as e-mails have reminded, for some universities, the fall semester started in August. At one point early in the day Friday, the VA was attempting to lie that they were waiting for adds and drops. That was a lie. First off, many veterans are having to take out emergency students loans at their universities. These are short term loans and, no, this was not planned. Second of all, drops don't end this week. Many universities allow people to drop throughout October and into November. The VA is not doing its job and has attempted to spin. The VA notes the following in a release sent to the public e-mail:
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has authorized checks for up to $3,000 to be given to students who have applied for educational benefits and who have not yet received their government payment. The checks will be distributed to eligible students at VA regional benefits offices across the country starting October 2, 2009. More information on emergency checks. Information on VA regional benefits offices. Meanwhile Cynthia Henry (Philadelphia Inquirer) quotes Robeen Billings who is among the veterans who have not received their payments, "The GI Bill is a mess. I'm struggling because my first semester is not paid. I'm commuting from Newark to Camden, living off my credit card." Who's going to pay the interest on the debt that Billings and others are having to run up because the VA dropped the ball? Henry reports:Former Marine James Hambley, 25, of Maple Shade, has been caught short by the delay. Between his savings and GI Bill living allowance, he figured he could quit his job and attend CCC full time. Without the benefits coming in, Hambley has applied for a two-month deferment on his car and personal loans. He looked into a government student loan, but that money wouldn't be available until November, he said.College advisers have told him that he shouldn't work more than 20 hours a week while taking 14 credits toward his engineering-science degree, Hambley said, but "that's not going to cut it" until the first check arrives -- in November, the government now tells him. He's out looking for work.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Bombings in Iraq claim at least 13 lives"
"VA and the GI Bill"
Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "New 'Action' from 'We Forgot Iraq'"
"And the war drags on . . ."
"Drones, deaths and don't waste my time"
"Ehren Watada scheduled to be discharged October 2nd"
Truest statement of the week
A note to our readers
Editorial: F**k that s**t
TV: Cougar Town Roars
Mr. Snackwell's Worst Dressed for the Week
TV: Racist and unfunny, today's SNL
Let him live it as a blonde
Idiot of the Week
"He's hoping for a bad boy vibe"
"THIS JUST IN! TRYING TO BE A BAD BOY!"