Friday, November 10, 2006

Watada, Iraq & more (C.I.)

C.I. here, filling in for Kat. As I noted in the column that ran in the gina & krista round-robin this morning, I feel like I'm on fumes. So I asked community members to suggest topics. We'll get to those in a minute, but let's start by noting that the military has decided to court-martial Ehren Watada, that they refused any other avenue, that the court-martial will be held next year and that, shocker to some, this is news.

Shocker to some? Rebecca's "remember the ladies? forgotten at the democracy now round-table" this morning noted how little coverage (none) it was getting. Mike's updated that with "Ehren Watada's going to be court-martialed and indymedia doesn't bother to tell you." It's really sad that so many can't note it. It is news. Some of them (I believe all of the ones listed in each post) did note the story back in June but apparently they can't grasp that the topic's still news, they just don't care, or possibly they don't really follow the news?

For instance, Time has a strong story about a lawsuit against Rumsfeld (as one of the sites that can't note Watada notes) but it's hardly "exclusive." It may have been exclusive when Michael Ratner informed Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of it on Democracy Now! Thursday ("War Crimes Suit Prepared against Rumsfeld"). So that brings up the question of where do people get their news?

Before we get to that, the Center for Constitutional Rights' "CCR TO FILE WAR CRIMES COMPLAINT AGAINST DONALD RUMSFELD" has the story (in case anyone's unaware of it):

On November 14, 2006, CCR will file a criminal complaint against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in German Court. The complaint requests the German Federal Prosecutor open an investigation and, ultimately, a criminal prosecution that will look into the responsibility of high-ranking U.S. officials for authorizing war crimes in the context of the so-called "War on Terror." Former White House Counsel (and current Attorney General) Alberto Gonzalez, former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, and other high-ranking U.S. officials are also charged in the complaint. The complaint is brought on behalf of 12 torture victims -- 11 Iraqi citizens who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and one Guantánamo detainee -- and is being filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Republican Attorneys' Association (RAV) and others, all represented by Berlin Attorney Wolfgang Kaleck. The complaint is related to a 2004 complaint that was dismissed, but the new complaint is filed with substantial new evidence, new defendants and plaintiffs, a new German Federal Prosecutor and, most important, under new circumstances that include the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense and the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the U.S. granting officials retroactive immunity from prosecution for war crimes. For full background on the complaint, please see the attached briefing paper.

That's their synopsis, they also have a PDF file if you use the link.

So the issue of news. That was Heath's question. Like anyone else, I get it from friends. It always strikes me as strange that this is rarely included in polls when so much of what we know we're steered to or told by friends. I subscribe to a number of newspapers and magazines. I always have Pacifica on. Here, KPFA. If I'm somewhere else (and they have a Pacifica station or affiliate), I'm listening to that. Which, to grab Morgan's question, includes any of them. We've added another Pacifica station to our permalinks at The Common Ills. It's Morgan's favorite station, KPFK, and she wondered (a) how it got added and (b) why only now?

We had Pacifica linked (in several forms) and we had KPFA, WBAI and KPFT linked. That was it of the five stations. Why? You've got links via Pacifica as well as the other three stations. It's also true that stations began doing archives last year. Ruth was getting a lot of e-mails about the archives. KPFA was thought to have the best (easily accessed), then KPFT and then WBAI. KPFK? They archived sometimes and other times they didn't. Now every member that's attempted to use the archives at any station more than once has probably had a bad experience. (E-mails on WBAI note that special programming is never listed as such in the archives. Dallas, who locates the links for The Third Estate Sunday Review, can back that up.) But the three listed had workable archives. KPFK's was such a problem to so many that I logged on to see what they were talking about?

Let's use Margaret Prescod's Sojourner Truth as an example. Members who can hear it live love the show (I listen to it anytime I'm in the area, Prescod does a wonderful job). But to go to the archives until recently meant going to an individual program and the archived broadcasts skipped weeks and often were missing anything remotely new. The problems members were having were very clear. All stations are public radio and, unlike NPR, they aren't getting corporate funding. Translation, money isn't always there to fix everything that people might like to. But Jose noted that the archives had been upgraded and, when he did, we linked to it.

The DC station? I don't see doing a link to it. Members don't care for it. They feel it's a music station with news breaks. I happen to enjoy music and will listen to it (gladly) when I'm in the DC area but to go into the template (which is a pain in the ass) requires members wanting it. If and when a member requests we link to it, we will. For now, the feeling is that if you want non-stop music (that's the feeling and not quite reality), it's the station to go to. If you're looking for news and discussions, you need to go elsewhere. They air Democracy Now! (which we already link to) and not a great deal more which bothers members since the station is located in DC and members feel that, due to location, it should be a leader in news coverage. Each station needs to program to its community and obviously the DC station does that. But in terms of The Common Ills community, members don't listen to it and despite the claims of some angry journalists, my "power" isn't as inflated as they think. I can't steer members to things they do not like. So currently, there's no need to link to it.

Staying on Pacifica, Zach's column reviewing the candidates for the KPFA elections, and noting his choices, prompted e-mails from three members. One disagreed with Zach's choices. That's fine, those are Zach's choices. Had the one disagreeing contacted Gina or Krista to say they had an opinion, they could have had a column in the round-robin on the issue. (Ballots must be received by November 15th -- not postmarked, received -- so there's not much point in a column of "vote this" running next week.) The other two felt Zach's endorsements were on the mark and wondered what I thought? I said, here, last week that I didn't have an opinion and explained why. I marked my ballot for Kat so that she could vote (she's in Ireland if anyone's wondering why people are filling in for her here). If she wants to reveal her choices when she returns, that's her business. (And if she returns before the election ends, I'll be voting on her ballot.)

Zach's column demonstrated that he had given the elections a great deal of thought, reviewed the candidates, listened to debates, etc. I think it was helpful and informed. If you disagreed with his choices, you have your reason to vote immediately. If you agreed with his choices, you have your reason to vote. He's entitled to express his opinion and I'm glad he did.

I do think the elections are important and, if you're a KPFA member, I hope you'll vote. If Kat wasn't using my ballot, I'd probably be doing research on it right now. But I'm too busy and I don't want to go through Kat's mail. How long as she been gone? I think it's about a month and Ty says the mail has really piled up. (Ty's watering Kat's plants for her, picking up her mail and doing that sort of thing.) When we talked about the election on the phone, she originally was asking me to fill out her ballot for her and trying to remember where she put it (it arrived some time ago)? Since my strong feelings for my first pick had vanished, I offered up marking my ballot with her choices.

Keesha had one question, is Kat okay?

She's losing a family member and she's out of the country (she's the designated family member from the US to be present) so it's not easy. She sounded like she was coping. Or "maintaining" to use an older term.

Joy feels that the war was the biggest decider in Tuesday's elections and wondered if I agreed?
It appears to be and is one of the few things that is known and presented as such. But there's a great deal being spoken of as if it's "known" when it's not.

More importantly, in a bit you'll see the 'narrative' and it's doubtful it will have much basis in reality. The New York Times invented the myth of the 'values voters.' It didn't hold up to their own data the day the story ran. (We dealt with this at The Common Ills.) But it did allow for that an other myths to take hold. Why?

Is it a shocker to anyone that the New York Times would advance a myth that, if accepted, would push the Democratic Party to the right?

I'm not interested in gas bagging. Reading it or taking part in it.

I will note, however, that it's interesting that those who played the Quiet Game on the war for the last few months now want to talk about it -- or at least talk about how important it was to the election.

If it truly is that important (I believe it was based on the data I've seen), then maybe magazines should have been covering it?

What it feels like is the hoopla around the final episode of Seinfeld or any other cultural topic, where gas bags rush to jump on the bandwagon. If there was any real depth to the 'commentary,' they'd be doing more than 'shout outs' right now. They aren't. I doubt the sincerity. Too many months where they wrote about everything but the war and now want to rush forward with their I-told-you-sos. (I'm speaking of the left media.) There was time to explore food (which I thought was worth exploring and felt the issue devoted to that topic in The Nation was one of the better issues of the year) but there wasn't time to explore the war to the same degree -- all year.

The only 'commentary' that I'm interested in reading is when "Truth" weighs in since she was a guest on KPFA this past summer saying that the war really didn't effect Americans. I'm very eager to see how "Truth" manages to gas bag her way out of that corner.

For me, 2006 has very few shining moments in terms of coverage. I'd rank KPFA higher than any print medium and certainly The KPFA Evening News has done a strong job covering the war from various aspects. They've covered the peace movement, they've covered war resisters, they've covered the fatalities and much more.

I'm not interested in the 'bravery' that results in an outlet finally addressing the war by hiding behind generals.

I also have no time for the ones who want to take an attitude of "Americans know best so we will determine the future of Iraq." You'd think the illegal war and its results would have cured them of that. I find it very disappointing/distressing that the right war cheerleaders seem more aware than the left war cheerleaders. (That answers Susan, Kendrick and Micah's questions.)

Maria reminded me to pass on that she, Francisco and Miguel will be doing a weekly newsletter in Spanish starting the first week of December. Members interested in receiving that should contact one of the three. (Francisco has a column in Friday's round-robin so you can find his e-mail address there if you're having trouble locating an address.) It will be all in Spanish. Isaiah's down for two comics a month. I'll be doing a weekly column in really bad Spanish (forgive my mistakes). The emphasis of the newsletter will be on Latin America.

Title? Maria says they're still picking it out. For some time (a year and a half? two?) they've been attempting to find a Spanish language site we could link to. That's not easy. We have a number of members who feel very strongly and, in the end, Miguel suggested they stop looking and just create something. That's what's going to happen. Some pieces will be translated to English after the newsletter goes out (they're shooting for Saturdays) and run in Polly's Brew and the gina & krista round-robin. Diana's going to write a once a month column. Domingo's going to translate the Iraq snapshots to Spanish each week in a weekly summary. Once a month, Ava and I will be reviewing a program airing in Spanish in the US (airing on TV). And, each issue, Ava's mother will write about a historical event for that week. That's what's been worked out so far. Again, it starts up in December.

Members who want to share in the newsletter but do not speak Spanish can still share, Maria, Francisco or Miguel will translate it. Franciso's going to do a thing where he takes questions and answers them.

Let me wind down. Betty's "Thomas Friedman, trained in gas baggery, not economics" went up tonight and it's her latest chapter (and very funny). I tried to answer as many of the questions as I could here but it's late now. Brandon's question I'm avoiding here because I'm making it the topic for my column in Polly's Brew Sunday. If there was time and I wasn't so tired, I'd do more. If Kat's not back Friday and I'm filling in, I'll grab some more from the ones sent in today.

Here's the "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, November 10th. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the US military announces they will court-martial Lt. Ehren Watada, the US military also announces the death of five more US troops in Iraq, John Howard makes Australians and the rest of the world glad that there's only one of him, and David Swanson explains what really happened in DC.Starting with news on US war resister Ehren Watada. In June, Watada went public with his refusal to deploy to Iraq because the war is illegal and deploying would subject both himself and those serving under him to war crimes. In standing up, Watada became the first US commissioned officer to publicly refuse to serve in the illegal war. On August 17th, Article 32 hearing was held. [For details on Ann Wright's testimony, click here, Dennis Halliday click here, and here for Francis A. Boyle.] Following the hearing on the 17th, the US military announced August 24th that the presiding officer of the hearing, Lt. Colonel Mark Keith, had made a recommendation, court-martial. Yesterday, The KPFA Evening News reported that the US military had decided to court-martial Watada. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that "Lt. Gen. James Dubik, agreed with the recommended charges of missing a military movement and conduct unbecoming an officer." Gregg Kakesako (Honolulu Star-Bulletin) reports that conviction during the court-martial ("held next year") could result in "six years in jail and a dishonorable discharge." Honolulu's KITV spoke with Eric Seitz, attorney for Watada, who stated, "Unfortunately the army does want to make a martyr out of him. They have told us they will not enter into any agreement that doesn't include at least a year of incarceration, and that's just simply something we are unable to agree to." Rod Ohira (Honolulu Advertiser) notes the following statements by Watada after learning of the recommendation to court-martial him:"I feel the referral of the charges was not unexpected and at this time, I'm moving forward as I always have with resilience and fortitude to face the challenges ahead. . . . I think as the recent elections show more and more Americans are opening their eyes, but we aren't there yet. It is my hope that actions such as my own continue to call for the truth behind the fundamental illegality and immorality of those who perpetrated this war."
Coverage of war resisters in the US independent media has been embarrassing and shameful. Rebecca checks in on several independent outlets only to find that none have anything on Watada this morning. He appears to getting the full-Brobeck from independent media. (CBS notes Watada here.) War resister Ivan Brobeck returned to the US from Canada to turn himself in Tuesday and he didn't even make the indy headlines. (Nora Barrows Friedman did interview him on Monday's Flashpoints.) It's not cutting it. Not for Brobeck, not for Kyle Snyder who's also been ignored after returning to the US and, on October 31st, turning himself in at Fort Knox only to self-check out again after discovering the military had lied yet again. Not for Joshua Key who learned that the Canadian government was denying him refugee status.
A list of war resisters within the military would include Watada, Key, Snyder, and Brobeck. It would also include many other names such as Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman. That's just the ones who have gone public. (Over thirty US war resisters are currently in Canada attempting to be legally recognized.) It is a movement and should be covered as such. Ehren Watada's father and step-mother are currently on a speaking tour (tonight they're in NYC) and details on that will be at the end of the snapshot.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Appeal for Redress is collecting signatures of active duty service members calling on Congress to bring the troops home -- the petition will be delivered to Congress in January.
Grabbing headlines is Ali al-Shemari. The Iraqi Health minister announced a number for the death toll of Iraqis due to the illegal war. AP notes that he places the death toll at 150,000. The KPFA Evening News pointed out on Thursday that is he was actually basing his 'count' on the United Nations estimate of at least 100 Iraqis dying each day "that calculation would be closer to 130,000." CBS and AP note that he rejects the number of approximately 655,000 in the Lancet Study but thinks his own number is "OK." Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) calls the number "an off-the-cuff estimate". Puppets can't go off-the-cuff or off-script which may be why AFP is reporting that the estimates being watered down (the Health Ministry is now saying between 100,000 and 150,000).
Meanwhile the US military has announced today "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Thursday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province" and also "Two 89th Military Police Brigade Soldiers were killed and one Soldier was wounded Thursday after their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device at 12:48 p.m. Thursday in west Baghdad." Later in the day would come more announcements. This: "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died today from non-hostile causes while operating in Al Anbar Province," and this: "One Soldier assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) was killed and another wounded Nov. 10 during a combat logistics patrol when their truck was hit by an improvised explosive device west of Hadithah" for a total of five deaths announced today. ICCC currently lists 24 as the number of US troop deaths in Iraq for the month, thus far (2842 since the start of the illegal war). As the numbers continue to climb, Michael Luo and Michael Wilson (New York Times) report that funerals have become so common for the First Battalion, 22nd Infantry in Iraq that planning time for services have been cut from 45 minutes to five minutes.
While the numbers (on all sides) continue to mount, AP notes Donald Rumsfled stated (yesterday), "I will say this -- it is very clear that the major combat operations were an enormous success." Oh White Queen, get someone to help you a-dress quickly. Forgetting the illegal nature of the war for a moment, that's a bit like a drunk driver who plows into a car and kills an entire family stating, "I will say this -- I pulled away from the curb nicely."In some of the reported violence today . . .
AFP reports: "In violence on the ground, a powerful blast killed an Iraqi army colonel and his five bodyguards in the northern town of Tall Afar. Reuters notes it was a car bombing and that 17 people were wounded while, in Kirkuk, a roadside bombing injured two Iraqi soldiers.
Reuters notes that, in Yusufiya, 14 people were kidnapped (by "gunmen") and then found dead and a man was shot dead in Diwaniya. Christopher Bodeen (AP) reports that three family members were shot dead in Baghdad (home invasion).
Reuters reports, "Police fished the body of a woman, bearing signs of torture and bullet wounds, from the Tigris river in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said." In addition, Christopher Bodeen (AP) informs that 33 corpses were discovered "in Baghdad and several nearby cities."
In Australia, War Hawk and prime minister John Howard's laughable comments yesterday have resulted in more punch lines. Gillian Bradford observered to Eleanor Hall (ABC's PM) that "Whatever the opinion polls here may say here about Australians' desire to get out of Iraq, the Prime Minister isn't swayed" and he intended to ring Tony Blair up just as soon as he (Howard) finished his cricket match. Give 'em Flair, Howie. AAP reports that: "Prime Minister John Howard should tell George W Bush that he's pulling Australian troops out of Iraq when the two leaders meet next week, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says. Mr Howard will have lunch with the US president during next week's APEC meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam - their first meeting since Mr Bush's Republican party was thumped in US mid-term elections." Bully Boy gets to Vietnam a lot more today than when he 'served,' doesn't he? Meanwhile Xinhau reports: "Howard said he will commiserate with Bush in person at the APEC meeting in the second half of next week.Howard said he had always accepted that the majority of the Australian public had been against the military commitment to Iraq." Howard 'accepts' the majority opinion, he just doesn't 'respect' it.
In peace news, yesterday's snapshot noted Cindy Sheehan was arrested outside the White House while attempting to deliver a petition (with over 80,000 signatures) calling for the US troops to be brought home. Not quite. David Swanson (Let's Try Democracy) reports she was arrested outside the White House long after the petition: "Late Wednesday afternoon Cindy decided to lead a sit-in right in front of the White House, and then -- finally -- the Park Service arrested her. The Associated Press changed the lede to its article to read as follows: 'Activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Wednesday as she led about 50 protesters to a White House gate to deliver anti-war petitions.' Not quite accurate. The petitions had been delivered several hours before the arrest. But what the heck, it probably got more editors to pick up the story. Thanks, again, Cindy!" Swasnon outlines the events as being stalled at the gates of the White House when attempting to deliver the petition leading activists to place pages in the fence and to send pages over the fence. Hours later, Cindy Sheehan staged the sit-down.In other news of activists who refuse to hit the snooze button, Wendell Harper reported on yesterday's The KPFA Evening News and today on KPFA's The Morning Show that Medea Benjamin was among those activists participating in a rally outside the soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco office calling for troops home now.
Finally, Ehren Watada's father, Bob Watada, and his step-mother, Rosa Sakanishi, continue their speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Due to increased interest there have been some date changes and a full schedule can be found here. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 10, Early PM, New York City, NY., Press ConferenceLocation: UN, 777 United Nations Plaza, First Avenue and E. 44th StreetSponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapters 138 & 34Contact: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203, ltbrin@earthlink.netGeorge McAnanama,

Nov 10, 7:30PM, New York City, NY.Location: St. Paul/St. Andrews Methodist Church -- West End Avenue and West 86th Streets,Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapters 138 & 34Contacts: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203,

Nov 11, 10AM-2:30PM, New York City, NY.,Veterans Day ParadeSponsor: Veterans For Peace Chapters 34 & 138, IVAW, MFSOContacts: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203, ltbrin@earthlink.netGeorge McAnanama,

Nov 11, 3-5 PM, Flushing, NY.,Location: Macedonia AME Church (718) 353-587037-22 Union St.Sponsors: "United for Lt. Watada"Contact: Gloria Lum 646-824-2710,

Nov 11, 7 PM, New York City, NY., Manhattan,Location: Columbia University, Broadway and W 116 St., Bldg- Mathematics Rm 312Sponsors: Asian American Alliance, "United for Lt. Watada",Veterans For Peace Chapters 138 & 34Contact: Gloria Lum 646-824-2710

Nov 12, 11AM-1PM, Providence, RI., Location: Brown University, The John Nicholas Brown Center, 357 Benefit Street at WilliamsSponsor: Veterans For Peace NationalContact: Naoko Shibusawa, 401-286-1908,

Nov 12, 7PM, Rockland County, NY., Location: TBASponsor: Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice, Veterans For Peace National and Veterans For Peace Chapter /Rockland CountyContact: Nancy Tsou, LYTHRN@aol.comBarbara Greenhut

Nov 13 , TBA, Ann Arbor, MI, "The Ground Truth" and Bob Watada,Location: University of Michigan, Angel Hall, Auditorium B,Sponsors: Michigan Peace Works,Contact: Phillis Engelbert, work - 734-761-5922, home - 734-662-0818, cell- 734-660-489,

Nov 14, TBA St. Louis, Mo. Location: Friends Meeting House, 1001 Park Avenue Sponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 161, 314-754-2651Contact: Chuc Smith, 314-721-1814, vfpch61@riseup.netiraq

kyle snyderjoshua keyehren watadabob watada

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the never ending beta switch on blogger/blogspot (rebecca)

rebecca here. i made a huge mistake tonight. i logged in over 2 hours ago to my site and was offered the chance to switch my site to 'beta mode.' i figured, 'what the hell?'

blogger/blogspot will be switching all sites to beta mode in the next few weeks. i figured i'd be the test site for the community.

this is the message i got over 2 hours ago:

Switching to the new Blogger
Your blogs are being moved to the new version of Blogger. For some blogs, this may take a little while, so we’ll email you at your Google Account email address,, when the process is done. Thanks for your patience.

the switch continues. over 2 hours later, the switch continues. 'take a little while'? to me that says 5 to 15 minutes. over 2 hours is not 'a little while.'

but blogger/blogspot is a pain in the ass so why should tonight be any different?

if any 1 reading this has a site, my advice to you is this: when you switch to beta, do it when you can spare a block of time, not when you're about to blog.

i really assumed i could blog tonight. it's past 11:00 p.m. right now. if i hadn't come over here, i wouldn't be blogging at all. ruth got the same message to switch when she logged into kat's site tonight and she phoned me to ask what to do?

i told her, 'don't do it, ruth.'

i explained that i've been waiting and waiting.

i keep checking my e-mail account to see if they've sent an e-mail?


knowing blogger/blogger, i assumed it might be done and they're just late with the e-mail. so i tried logging in. the switch is still going on.

i don't blog that often. i mean, i do 5 times a week and i do post illustrations for third. but it's not like i have over 3,000 posts the way c.i. does. i can't imagine how long it will take when c.i. switches the common ills to beta. in fact, i'll call c.i. and suggest it take place on a saturday morning after the morning entry or entries go up so that it can run (the switch) all day saturday.
it may take that long. my blog's not even 2 years old. my entries aren't essays. just jottings.

if it's taking over 2 hours to move my site, any 1 with blogger/blogspot that has more posts than i do should be prepared to give it several hours. and blogger/blogspot keeps going out as i'm typing, so i should wrap up.

dems have control in the senate. jim webb's race was the 1 every 1 was waiting on. what will they do with it?

doesn't seem like much to hear all the talk. you come in with an agenda of programs or you achieve nothing. as the days drift by, what you don't achieve becomes a liability. they've got some vague thing on immigration reform (which, the way it's worded, seems scary to any 1 who's not in agreement with bully boy on building an insane fence between the u.s. and mexico) and they'll chat with bully boy and they're going to address the minimum wage.

the minimum wage needs to raised. it needed that for what, 10 years?

these are visionary programs?

it's band aids.

i'm not impressed.

on flashpoints tonight, alice walker spoke elequently (no surprise) and i was thinking, 'okay, i'm going to be able to get into my site, remember what she's saying!'

that was too long ago. i can't remember now. anthony arnove spoke of how history is hidden from us, elected officials don't bring about change and some other topics.

as c.i. noted earlier this week:

Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voices of a People's History of the United States will be presented this Thursday at 7:30 pm, Berkeley Community Theatre (1930 Allston Way) and participants will include Alice Walker, Mos Def and others.

walker and arnove will be there reading. there will also be performances (including 1 of the song 'strange fruit').

feminist majority has a great set up
for tracking the elections results so please check that out.

please check out c.i.'s 'iraq snapshot.' i'd love to copy and paste it but i don't think i can. there's not time and kat's site is acting up. joni mitchell has a new album coming out soon, she's addressing the state of the world. that, not the election results, gives me hope.

Pancake (Ruth)

Ruth filling in for Kat and there are a number of problems with the Blogger program. It is also true that when I logged in I was asked to switch Kat's site over to Beta mode. I have no idea what that is. It did not seem like a good idea but I called Rebecca to check. Rebecca, one hour ago, went ahead and responded affirmatively to the switch. She is still unable to blog because the 'switching process' is still ongoing. If you go her site and see nothing, check back here because she is considering using this. She knows she could blog at The Common Ills but that C.I. keeps that work-safe in terms of language. Kat's site is not work-safe so Rebecca could post here as she would at her site.

For the record, I love Rebecca's writing including her language. I know C.I. does as well. But The Common Ills is set up so that members who log in at work do not have to worry that some supervisor is going to write them up due to the language. I intend to be brief tonight due to the problems logging in but if Rebecca has an update before I post, I will include it here. If my links are messed up, I will plead forgiveness because the screen I am looking at, the section where I write the post, looks strange so I am not sure if there will be problems when I attempt to post.

Today, on KPFA, Guns and Butter aired as it does every Wednesday. If you missed it, you can listen to an archived broadcast at either KPFA or Guns and Butter. Bonnie Faulkner is the host of the program and today she interviewed Dr. Steven E. Jones who is the author of, among other papers, "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?" which is in PDF format and 48 pages long. The interview had been conducted earlier, I believe, in Chicago. Dr. Jones explained why he has questions about the official 9-11 story and focused on the issue of the collapse which was in the "pancake manner" of a controlled demolition. I tried to ask myself how Kat would write about this? I believe she would make a remark about "Drunk Uncle."

If Drunk Uncle had been listening to the program, no doubt he would have dismissed Dr. Jones as someone unqualified to comment because, like Dr. Jones, Drunk Uncle holds an advanced degree in engineering. But wait, Drunk Uncle does not hold any such degree. In fact, he would probably have to, instead, offer another snit fit where he huffed, "I am in on it too! Get over it!"
No doubt, he would assume that such remarks added up to anything credible or a significant contribution to the dialogue. Which would only further call into question his ability to 'comment' on things he knows nothing about and has not attempted to understand.

The pancake issue is the easiest for me to follow. In person, on TV, or in films, I believe we've all seen a building fall. In a 'controlled demolition,' which requires planning and a great deal of work, the building will collapse on itself. The pancake aspect. A building that collapses from something other than a 'controlled demolition' tends to cave in parts or sections and not consistently in the pancake manner. That is the reason for controlled demolitions, to ensure that when a building is taken down, surrounding buildings and people are not injured when a building is taken down. I enjoy all the discussions Ms. Faulkner brings to listeners, on 9-11 and on other topics; however, of the 9-11 issues, this has been the easiest for me to follow. I am not computer literate and there are other issues, such as structural in terms of something being included when buildings are constructed, some form of net or barrier, that I usually grasp only to a very small degree. But the pancake issue is an aspect that I believe is readily grasped, whether you agree with it as applied to 9-11 or not, due to the fact that we are familiar with the way buildings collapse.

Ms. Faulkner and Dr. Jones will be taking part in an event this weekend. I was not able to jot down all the details, listed at the top of the show, but I was able to note the web address. From Lifting the Fog, here are the details:

Saturday, 11/11, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dr. Steven Jones, Dr. Peter Phillips, Jenna Orkin, Paul Rea, Janette MacKinlay, Nate Mudd, Jim Hoffman and Mikey Huff will take part in "The Scientific Method Applied to the World Trade Center Disaster" at the Chanshun Auditorium of the Valley Life Sciences Building at UC Berkeley.

That is my summary but you can find details by using the link provided I got it correct. Dr. Peter Phillips is with Project Censored and he has been on the program with Ms. Faulkner. I believe he was on most recently during the most recent fundraising cycle.

At this site on Monday, Betty wrote a post I enjoyed very much and that has been true of all her posts here. At the start of her post, she noted that she feels as if her posts are the weakest of the substitute posts. I honestly believe they are stronger than anything I contribute here and I have enjoyed reading them. She has talked about TV, her children, her childhood, war resistance, and, most recently, the economy. She has covered a wide range of topics and done so in a way that has held my attention. I know from Kat that Betty is her own harshest critic. I know, from watching my grandson Elijah as well as from the days of raising my own children, how much energy caring for children takes. Betty guest blogs on Mondays and that is after a day of work, after taking her children to school and day care, after coming home and helping with any homework, cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen and tidying the house. That, instead of collapsing into a ball on the floor, she is able to blog at all surprises me. Amazed is how I feel when I read her posts which are not attempts to phone it in. Whatever the topic, Betty explores it and addresses it. I wanted that noted because I think we all have our doubts from time to time but I also know Betty is still adjusting to the added responsibilities of a promotion she received at work.

Let me also add that Betty blogs at least once a week at her own site which is Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man. That is a humor site and an ongoing novel. The set up is that she writes in the character of Betinna who is married to, War Hawk of ill repute, Thomas Friedman. The story is ongoing and Betty works from an outline. There are clues all the time as to how Betinna ended up with Thomas Friedman. I think I have figured it out but the plan is for the "how" to be stated directly next month so be sure to watch for that. In addition, Betty participates each weekend with creating the latest edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review.

I just phoned Rebecca and the "blog switch" to Beta is still ongoing. She is going to give it another half-hour and then blog here if she is unable to blog at her site tonight.

Another site I recommend highly is Feminist Majority's vote 2006 page which has information on race results and ballot results.

Here is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" and, as a longtime listener of the music of Joni Mitchell, I thought the choice for opening was wonderful and inspired:

Wednesday, November 8, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq with at least 60 reported dead today, Steven D. Green enters a plea, gas bags toss out the word "Iraq" and pretend they've somehow addressed anything, War Hawk Down! -- Rumsfled resigns, "a defector in the petty wars that shell shock love away" ("Hejira") prepares a new release, and the Mennonite church -- not independent media -- discusses conscientious objectors.

Starting with news not coming out of Iraq, the current issue of Rolling Stone (Jon Stewart cover) notes that Joni Mitchell is recording another album of her own compositions. Uncut reports on the upcoming album and quotes Mitchell stating "when the world becomes a massive mess with nobody at the helm, it's time for artists to make their mark" and noting that the albums is an attempt to provide "courage through tough times." Mitchell's official website notes one song on the upcoming album entitled "Holy War" which includes these lyrics:

There's nothing on earth
As unholy as war,
The rich sacrifice the poor.
If I had a heart I'd cry.
In fairy tales the good go to heaven
And the evil go to hell,
Ring the funeral bell.
If I had a heart I'd cry.
Holy earth, religion has failed us,
It failed to make us kind,
It spoke of light but kept us blind.

The album will be Mitchell's first recording of her own compositions since 1998's Taming the Tiger. And if that doesn't seem important to you, remember that Mitchell's Dog Eat Dog, and not gas baggery, captured the Reagan de-Revolution. Between art and gas baggery, this community will always go with art. Also, it was Mitchell's birthday Tuesday.

The day prior to that, Steve Negus (Financial Times of London) reported that the White House had conveyed through Zalmay Khalilzad that yesterday's elections were meaningless -- conveyed to Iraqi puppet leaders. Bully Boy is currently attempting to push that notion right now. On screen, CNN offers a "knowable" -- War Hawk Donald Rumsfeld has resigned as US Secretary of the Defense. Bully Boy has evened out his streaks and his hair now looks much darker but look the other way as the media has for the last six years. Hair dye doesn't make for the 'manly' image the Bully Boy cultivates. (What's he saying? Who knows? I'm having lunch and there are too many people at other tables booing the Bully Boy to hear him and no link at CNN yet.)

For those looking for attempts to make sense of the election (something that really won't happen until all the votes are in and data crunched -- as opposed to skimmed) should refer to Amy Goodman's interview with Ralph Nader (Democracy Now!) and the Feminist Majority blog on the elections. [Feminist Wire addresses the failed abortion ban in South Dakota.] While the White House's message may have been lost on the puppet leaders, Nancy A. Yousseff (McClatchey Newspapers) reports that "Iraqis outside the world of politics saw no change, regardless of the results" as Matthew Schofield (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that the reaction was far different for Europeans who are now "a bit more comfortable with their partners across the Atlantic after five years of unease with Americans under the Bush administration." What is known is that the Democratic Party now holds the most seats in the US House of Representatives and may control the Senate provided the candidates in Montana and Virginia (Jon Tester, Jim Webb) hold their leads.

In Iraq today, Zalmay Khalilzad rushed to spin telling a reception in the heavily fortified Green Zone (reception made up of reporters, the puppet government, "American colleagues from the embassy," etc) that "Americans understand that Iraq is import. They understand that this region is important" blah, blah, blah. When even Zalmay-Take-Me-Away grew tired of his own voice, he signed off with "Thank you again for coming and my God bless the people of Iraq" which may not be the best way for American officials, supposedly wanting a secetarian government in Iraq, to conclude their 'official' messages. Reality absent in the rumored to be departing soon Zalmay's pontificating can be found in Missy Comley Beattie's latest (CounterPunch): "This historic smackdown of an arrogant president and his administration will not bring back my nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Comley, his fellow servicemen and women who have died during the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, other dead coalition troops, and so many Iraqis. . . . Nothing can reverse the effects of madmen. The hearts of our dead cannot restart. Limbs can't be restored. Devastating brain damage won't heal."

Absent from the gas baggery by conventional-wisdom loveing pundits and the spin of the White House flacks is the reality on Iraq. Kirk Semple (New York Times) reports that "at least 25 people were killed and dozens wounded in Baghdad and in Diyala province" on Tuesday. Chaos and violence continues today in Iraq.


AFP reports that a car bombing in Mahmudiyah has resulted in six dead and twenty-six wounded. Kirk Semple (New York Times) reported on a Tuesday bombing in Baghdad that left 17 dead and 20 wounded. IOL reports that four more have died today from Tuesday's coffee shop bombing bring the total number who have died to 21. CBS and AP note that: "A pair of mortar rounds slammed into a soccer field while young men were playing a game in a Shiite district of Baghdad, killing at least eight people." AFX notes 15 people were also wounded in thos mortar attacks. AFP notes a bombing in Iskandriyah that killed two (a father "and his 13-year-old son) and a mortar attack, in Baghdad, "near the health ministry" that killed three and left five wounded. Reuters notes a car bomb in Baghdad that killed three and wounded three more, a car bombing that killed one person, and a car bombing in Ramadi that killed five people.


The BBC notes that four people were shot dead in Baquba. AFP notes five were shot dead "in the village of Dhida near Muqdadiyah," two police officers were shot dead in Tikrit. Reuters notes that that a police officer was shot dead in Samawa.


IOL notes that three corpses were discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes that six corpses were discovered in Mosul.

In addition, the US military today announced: "One Marine assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division died Wednesday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense." ICCC counts 2839 US troops dead since the start of the illegal war and 21 dead for the month.

In other Iraq news, Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily (IPS) examine the realities of Iraq's Facilities Protection Services and note the belief "that the FPS consists mainly of criminals who looted banks and government offices at the beginning of the U.S. invasion in April 2003."

In legal news, Reuters reports that Steven D. Green pleaded not guilty today "in federal court to charges he participated in a gang rape of an Iraqi girl and murdered her and her family in March." That would be Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi who was murdered on March 12, 2006 in the town of Mahmoudiyah along with her parents Oassim Hamza Raheem and Fakhriya Taha Muhasen as well as her five-year-old sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza. Green was discharged from the US military before events became public. On Friday, June 30th, he was arrested in Asheville, North Carolina and charged with rape. Five members still in the US military have also been charged. Anthony W. Yribe has been charged with dereliction of duty for not reporting the incident and the other four (Paul Cortez, Jesse Spielman, Bryan Howard and James Barker) have been charged with murder, rape and arson. At the Article 32 hearing for the four, prosecutor Captain Alex Pickands stated: "They gathered over cards and booze to come up with a plan to rape and murder that little girl. She was young and attractive. They knew where she was because they had seen her on a previous patrol. She was close. She was vulnerable." Green, who is being tried in a civilian court, could face the death penalty if convicted as could Speilman and Cortez if found guilty in a court-martial.

In peace news, Chris Arsenault (The Dominion) takes a look at US war resister Corey Glass currently in Canada, at the War Resisters Support Campaign and notes that depite the petition with 35,000 signatures "demanding Canada treat Iraq War objectors the same way we treated Vietnam War resisters . . . the immigration and refugee board, whose mandate is different from the courts, has" refused to rule in favor of asylum for war resisters. Glass tells Arsenault: "I signed up to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane; I should have been in New Orleans, not Iraq." Three other war resisters who went to Canada include Kyle Snyder who turned himself in at Fort Knox on October 31st only to self-check out again after the US military lied to him again, Joshua Key who was denied refugee status by the Canadian government and Ivan Brobeck who returned to the US yesterday to turn himself in.

Meanwhile, Gladys Tericho (Mennoite Central Committee) reports on the conference on conscientious objection held October 20-21 and bringing together groups "including Mennoite, Doukhobor, Quaker and Jehovah's Witnesses." She notes Harry Loewen (Professor Emeritus of Mennonite History and Studies at the University of Winnipeg") stating: "It is important that we deal with these issues now. . . . This principle must not be abandoned, it must be strengthened."

CNN reports that Bully Boy announced "Don Rumsfeld . . . superb leader" has resigned and that Bully Boy also stated, "The timing is right for new leadership at the Pentagon." Now it's time? Only now? No wonder Condi Rice keeps getting promoted. Rums-fled is out. Zalmay soon will be.

Finally, Ehren Watada's father, Bob Watada, and his step-mother, Rosa Sakanishi, continue their speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 8, 7PM Albany, NY Sponsor: VFP National Location: TBAContact: Elliot Adams, 518-441-2697,

Nov 9, TBA Philadelphia, PA. Location: Annenberg School of Communication, Penn University, Room 109 Sponsors: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Delaware Valley Veterans for America, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star MothersContact: Bill Perry, 215-945-3350,

Nov 10, 7:30PM New York City, NY Location: St. Paul/St. Andrews Methodist Church West End Avenue and West 86th Streets, Sponsor: NYC Area Chapters of VFP & IVAW Contact: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203, ltbrin@earthlink.netGeorge McAnanama,

Nov 11, 11AM-5PM New York City, NY Veterans Day Parade Sponsor: NYC Area Chapters of VFP & IVAW Contact: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203,

Nov 12, TBA Long Island, NY TBA

Nov 13, 7PM Ann Arbor, MI "The Ground Truth" and Bob Watada Location: TBA Sponsors: Michigan Peace Works,Contact: Phillis Engelbert, 734-761-5922,

iraqkyle snyderamy goodmandemocracy nowivan brobeck
joshua key
corey glassthe new york timeskirk semplemissy comley beattie
ehren watadabob watada
dahr jamailali al-fadhilynancy a. youssef

Monday, November 06, 2006

Retail and the economy (Betty)

Betty here, guest posting for Kat. For all the good it does. I'm sorry, and this isn't modesty, but I read the other posts this week and everyone's tackling something big. Seriously, Ruth and C.I. do all the heavy lifting. But, I can note that I had a letter in the mail from Kat today. It's several pages long and she's starting and stopping throughout because she's not on a vacation.
One thing she noted was that Tower is closing and that at least she doesn't have to be around to see that. But I actually think, from what I've been told, that Tower will still be open when she gets back. I think the gang was telling me the stock was only down to something like 40%. They're assuming that Tower will stay open till Christmas at this rate.

I don't have a Tower near me. Or at least I don't know that I do. I should probably check with my niece who would know. When I've been out in California, it's always been fun to go to Tower with Kat. She really does love and know music. I love music too but who has the time? I'm cleaning or I'm cooking, or I'm doing something with the kids. Or I'm at work. There are whole weeks where I feel like I haven't had time to breathe deeply once.

But Tower is fun with Kat because she's really like a little kid. I don't care if we'd been there the day before and went back the next day for a "quick stop," she always gets excited. And she knew the stock, better than anyone who worked there, and was always able to just sense something new. C.I. does this thing where it likes speed reading. Like, say you're in the A's. C.I. can down two rows at once and tell you exactly what was there. Kat will tell you she just noticed the bulge -- meaning they've added something. She always checks out her favorites.

The Mamas & the Papas is a good example because she has the boxed set. (I have my brother's boxed set.) The four disc set that just came out last year. It has everything they ever released and all the known unreleased tracks on it. But that's one of her favorites so on a long trip, she's still going to check to see if there's anything new. Same thing with Carole King, Stevie Wonder, and a lot of others. About once a year, she'll find something. Usually something re-released with bonus tracks but she always checks to see.

So it's really sad that she won't be able to do that. Tower was her pick me up. If she was feeling down or anyone else was, the answer was always Tower Records. She'd joke about 'kidnapping' C.I. some nights when she knew C.I. was exhausted. When C.I. was doing the Troops Home Fast, there was one day where Kat could tell it was a rough one. (C.I. stayed on that fast for over thirty-days.) So Kat did her kidnapping and they were having fun.

I really hope the place is closed before she gets back. She's thinking it will be. But, as I understand it, the chain's been bought and it's in liquidation so they need to sell off everything. To do that, they're going to need more than 40% off. Or I would think so. I know Ty and Jess are surprised that with the going-out-of-business signs they really don't have any bargains.
All the % off comes off the list price. Ty was saying the CDs they'd always have for $7.99 and $9.99, on sale, the older ones, were now up to their list price. So if they raised Otis Blue from $7.99 to $12.99 40% (if they're even that high) isn't really a sale.

Rounding up that's $5.20 off 12.99. Which means you're paying $7.79 for a CD, an old one, that before the 'going out of business sale' you would have been paying $7.99 for because it would have been on sale. Despite that, everyone says some stuff is selling. They aren't getting new stock in because they're closing and they owe the distributers money. So all the stuff is basically 'old.' I don't know that 20 cents off is a sale and, in the case of Otis Blue, 20 cents off would only be that if the store was at 40% off. It may not be that high.

I've been trying to figure out what happened because I read stories online about the closing. As best as I can tell, the box stores (Wal-Mart, Best Buy) were able to be loss leaders which meant you'd be paying more at Tower and despite that, the company was trying to expand and expand. Some stores were less successful and the company grew too big (especially in a bad economy). There's also the impact from online sales (both at online stores like Amazon that mail purchases and online sites that let you buy music and download it).

When the news first came out, Kat's attitude was that it was sad the chain would be closing but she didn't think it would effect her store which was either the oldest or one of the oldest. But they all are going out of business. That surprises me because everytime I'd been in that store, it was always packed.

She was depressed when she found out that it would include her store and then she got the bad news and had to go to Ireland. I hope there's some good news for her in the year before it ends.
There have been a few clothing stores, that I went into high school, which have closed but I never really had a 'my' store. My sister was furious, my oldest sister, when a movie theater closed. This was when she was still in high school.

I try to think, "Well, it's just the way." Because obviously, there would never be new stores if old stores didn't close but the second reason I've been following the Tower Records (first reason because it's Kat's favorite) is because the only thing I really see growing are the Dollar Stores. C.I. and I were talking about that last week and wondering if they, the Dollar Stores, were just the new Five & Dimes (which pretty much all faded away) or if this was some indication of where the economy was really at?

It's sort of sad if the only thing that can triumph these days is a Dollar Store. It says where the economy is for most people. I have a friend who lives at a Dollar Store. It's not called a "Dollar Store." It has "Dollar" in the name but I forget the rest of it. She's in and out of it all the time and she was so excited when they started carrying milk. Even grocery stores are shutting down. Is the Dollar Store what we'll be left with? If so, that's really not any different from the little hole in the walls in bad neighborhoods that have little or no fresh produce. People in those neighborhoods would love to have a real grocery store. I don't see the expansion of Dollar Stores as a good thing when everything else is tanking.

While I was following the Tower story, I also noticed that Wal-Mart's geared up for new customers. (I don't shop at Wal-Mart.) They're trying to palm off the customers who built them. The 'low prices' hasn't paid off for the last two Christmas shopping seasons so now they're attempting to go upscale with flat screen TVs and other items.

So those are my thoughts for tonight. Maybe I raised something interesting?

I did post another chapter Friday, Thomas Friedman enlists" and let me also note Trina's "Meatloaf in the Kitchen" because she and I really are the once a week posters. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, November 6, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, a US war resister is denied refugee status in Canada while another remains 'underground,' and as this and more fails to get coverage, we're all supposed to pretend that a verdict will bring about that long promised 'turned corner.' Operation Happy Talk -- remember wave breaking takes places in shallow water as well as deep. For examples of the former, pick up any daily paper today.

On Sunday,
Tom Godfrey (Toronto Sun) broke the news that the Canadian government had denied refugee status to US war resister Tom Godfrey. Joshua Key became the third war resister denied asylum by the Canadian government. The two who came before, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, are still awaiting word of their appeal.
Key's case was seen as the strongest of the three due to what Key saw while serving in Iraq. One example can be found in Michelle Mason's documentary Breaking Ranks, where Johsua Key states: "As we got down the Euphrates River and we took a sharp right turn , all we seen was heads and bodies. And American troops in the middle of them saying 'we lost it.' As soon as I stepped and I walked out the back of my APC, I seen two American soldier kicking the head around like a soccer ball. I stepped right back inside the tank and I told my squad leader . . . 'I won't have no part of this'."

In December 2003, Joshua Key returned from Iraq on leave and decided to self-check out. He, Brandi Key (his wife) and their children moved to Philadelphia where they lived 'underground' with Joshua doing welding jobs and Brandi waiting tables. The story of Jeremy Hinzman's war resistance was something Joshua Key learned of online. In March of 2005, the Key family crossed the border into Candada where Joshua, Brandi and their four children have have made their home since.

Tom Godfrey (Toronto Sun) notes that Jeffrey House, the attorney for Joshua Key, states he's "filed refugee claims in Canada" for "[a]t least 35" war resisters. None have yet to be awarded refugee status by the Canadian government which is in stark contrast to the Vietnam era. House tells Godfrey that he believes Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board "doesn't want to hurt relationships with the U.S. by granting refugee status to deserters".

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Joshua Key, in his own words (France's Le Monde translated by New Socialist):

My name is Joshua Key. I was born in 1978 in Guthrie, in central Oklahoma. My family worked on a ranch. We had a hard time making ends meet, but I loved the outdoor life, amongs cowboys, and where we didn't have to wear shoes until we started school. I married Brandi after high school. We were the same age, and from the same background. I dreamt of becoming a welder, but I didn't have money for school. So I looked for work doing anything. But there was no future in Guthrie, which has no industry. We went to Wisconsin, then returned, as we found nothing. Our future seemed dim, and we already had two children. It was then I met the recruiters from the Army. It was February, 2002. They knew how to talk to me, that's for sure!

On the topic of military talk,
Kyle Snyder remains 'underground.' Last Tuesday, US war resister Kyle Snyder turned himself in at Fort Knox after self-checking out and moving to Canada in April of 2005. Jim Fennerty, Synder's attorney, worked out an agreement regarding Snyder's return with the US military. Fennerty had done similar negotiations for war resister Darrell Anderson when he returned to the United States.
While Darrell Anderson had a Purple Heart and family members who would be actively and strongly making their voices heard, Kyle Snyder grew up in foster-care and appeared to have less of a support network than Anderson.
Courage to Resist is asking supporters to call 502-624-2707 to speak to Major General Robert M. Williams and tell him "Discharge Kyle Snyder!" In addition, Brett Barroquere (AP) reported on the reaction in Canada to the US military burning Synder yet again and notes that war resisters Corey Glass and Patrick Hart have no faith currently in their own fates should they return.

Last Friday,
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) interviewed Kyle Snyder who explained: "I had jointed the military October 22, 2003, and I had originally joined for basically, the verbal promises that were given to me at the time then, too. I was 19 years old." When the verbal promises were again broken last week, Kyle Snyder self-checked out again. Snyder, Hinzman, Key, Anderson, Glass, Hart and Hughey are part of a movement of war resistance within the US military that also includes Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Aidan Delgado, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Ivan Brobeck, Robin Long, Ryan Johnson, Clifford Cornell, Katherine Jashniski, Agustin Aguayo and Kevin Benderman.

While the US government fights war resisters,
AP notes the rumors tha Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to Iraq, may be pulling his own self-checkout according to an unnamed White House official. Possibly the White House had to drop the ignorant 'stay the course' motto because of the high turnover at the top?

In Iraq,
Riverbend (Baghdad Burning) surveys the chaos and violence and notes: "Iraq has not been this bad in decades. The occupation is a failure. The various pro-American, pro-Iranian Iraqi governments are failures. The new Iraqi army is a deadly joke. Is it really time to turn Saddam into a martyr? Things are so bad that even pro-occupation Iraqis are going back on their initial 'WE LOVE AMERICA' frenzy. Laith Kubba (a.k.a. Mr Catfish for his big mouth and constant look of stupidity) was recently on the BBC saying that this was just the beginning of justice, that people responsible for the taking of lives today should also be brought to justice. He seems to have forgotten he was one of the supporters of the war and occupation, and an important member of one of the murderious pro-American governments. But history shall not forget Mr. Kubba."

Riverbend notes the shutting down of two Iraqi TV stations.
Al Jazeera reports: "Iraq's interior ministry has ordered two televesion stations off the air" on charges of 'inciting violence.' In July, that was a popular talking point for the puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki. As noted last night: "That's the four-part 'plan' that you don't hear much about, that you never heard much about other than empty praise and the first two-parts. One of the 'steps' was curtailing press freedom. You didn't hear much about that because it's kind of hard to pass the lie of 'democracy' off at the same time Nouri al-Maliki's going to destroying the press."

As all outlets cover the topic of the day, the reality of life in Iraq goes little noted. Some of the small reporting coming out of Iraq includes the following.


AFP reports that a bus bombing killed two people and left ten more wounded. AP reports a mortar attack in Baghdad with "no immediate reports of damage or casualties." New Zealand's Newswire reports that, in Baghdad, "mortar rounds slammed into areas around Baghdad's Green Zone".


In Amil,
AP notes, three people were wounded. Borzou Daragahi (Los Angelse Times) reports that two firefighters were shot dead in Baghdad.


On today's
KPFA's The Morning Show, Alieen Alfandary noted that "the bodies of 50 murder victims were discovered yesterday, the bulk of them in Baghdad."

In other news of violence,
the US military has announced five deaths today bringing the total US military deaths in Iraq to 18 for the month thus far. Iraq Coalition Casualty Count places the death toll for US troops in Iraq since the start of the illegal war at 2836.

AP reports on "Desert Crossing" -- a series of war games by the US government ("70 military, diplomatic and intelligence officals") in 1999 which found that a war in Iraq "would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaose might ensue." No word yet on if or when the aspect of starting an illegal war might cause chaos was also commissioned.

In deployment news,
Friday's snapshot noted Jamie McIntrye (CNN) reporting that convicted prisoner abuser (for Abu Ghraib) Santos Cardona was being redeployed to Kuwait. On Saturday, Reuters reported that press attention had been followed by the announcement, by the military, that Cardona "would return to his base at Fort Bragg, N.C. The Army offered no explanation as to why Mr. Cardona's unit commanders had plan to deploy him, given his record in Iraq."

In peace news,
Jenna Russell (Boston Globe) notes that a number of anti-war vets are gearing up for the Veterans Day Paradeparade seasons including Members of Veterans for Peace in Portland (ME) and Veterans for Peace in Machester (NH) and quotes Doug Rawlings: "War is not just flags flying and people in uniform. The reality is, death and destruction go along with it. We're tired of the pagenatry glorifying war." Remember that as a Veteran's Day offfering, David Zeiger's documentary Sir! No Sir! is available on DVD at the discounted price of $14.95. That's a limited time offer. The amazing documentary documents the war resistance within the military during the Vietnam era. How powerful is the documentary? Henry Kissiner should declare: "See this film! It changed my life! After one viewing, I confessed to international war crimes!"

In other peace news, historian
Howard Zinn spoke with Andrea Lewis and Philip Maldari on today's KPFA's The Morning Show and he noted that, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's elections, his hope was that Americans were waking up: "I have no doubt that the Bush administration and the Bush program, they're on their way down and I hope the American people are waking up." Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voices of a People's History of the United States will be presented this Thursday at 7:30 pm, Berkeley Community Theatre (1930 Allston Way) and participants will include Alice Walker, Mos Def and others.

Ehren Watada's father, Bob Watada, and his step-mother, Rosa Sakanishi, continue their speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 6, 2-4:30PMBoston, MALocation: University of Massachusetts/BostonSponsor: The Institute for Asian American StudiesWilliam Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social ConsequenceTime: 2-4:30 pm
Nov 6, 7PM Worcester, MA. Location: Clark University – University Building, Lurie Room Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10 Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479,
IrishBob54@aol.comNov 7, 4:30PM Portland, ME Location: Meditation Center Sponsor: Veterans for Peace, Chapter 1 Contact: Doug Rawlings, 207-293-2580,,
Nov. 7, 6-9PM Brunswick, ME Location: Morrill Room, Curtis Memorial Library, 23 Pleasant Street Pot luck supper and speaking engagement Time: 6 - 7:30pm
Nov 8, 7PM Albany, NY Sponsor: VFP National Location: TBAContact: Elliot Adams, 518-441-2697,
Nov 9, TBA Philadelphia, PA. Location: Annenberg School of Communication, Penn University, Room 109 Sponsors: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Delaware Valley Veterans for America, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star MothersContact: Bill Perry, 215-945-3350,
BpVetforPeace@aol.comNov 10, 7:30PM New York City, NY Location: St. Paul/St. Andrews Methodist Church West End Avenue and West 86th Streets, Sponsor: NYC Area Chapters of VFP & IVAW Contact: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203, ltbrin@earthlink.netGeorge McAnanama, gmacan@aol.comNov 11, 11AM-5PM New York City, NY Veterans Day Parade Sponsor: NYC Area Chapters of VFP & IVAW Contact: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203, ltbrin@earthlink.netNov 12, TBA Long Island, NY TBANov 13, 7PM Ann Arbor, MI "The Ground Truth" and Bob Watada Location: TBA Sponsors: Michigan Peace Works,Contact: Phillis Engelbert, 734-761-5922,