Saturday, August 30, 2008

Taxi ride

I'm playing Thomas Friedman. We took a cab from the airport to Trina's this evening.

The cab driver was from Nigeria. He is so thrilled with Barack. He is a huge Barack supporter.

He loathes Sarah Palin. That's who John McCain picked for his running mate.

He starts in on that and C.I. looks over at me.

"She's not even qualified! She's only been governor for two years!"

"Which would be the same as when Barack declared he was running for the president," C.I. said.

I know that look.

The man went, who didn't know the look, went on and on about how she is not qualified.

C.I. cuts him off with, "You're saying you wouldn't vote for her because she's a woman."

"Absolutley!" he snarls.

Then it seems to hit him that, except for Wally, it's all women in his cab.

And he shifts nervously as he looks in the mirror back at us.

He's silent for a few minutes and then going on about Hillary has no experience either.

Ava lets him have it while I'm watching C.I. dial the phone.

He says women should know their place and blah blah blah. And note this is said to a cab full of women plus Wally.

He's insisting that women are worth nothing at which point C.I. says stop the car.

He does and looks around. C.I. doesn't say a word.

We sat there for about two minutes in silence and everyone except C.I. is wondering, "What's going on?"

C.I. points out the window and we see another cab at the intersection. C.I. had called a cab from the cab. (And said, "Get here quick and I tip a hundred.") C.I. pays the fare and says, "I want you to know that we think you are worth something." C.I. then hands the man a tip: one penny.

You knew C.I. was ticked. C.I. overtips. Always. (And, in fact, in this case because the man wasn't even worth a penny.)

He's scowling, and C.I. says, "You earned it."

Wally asks, "How did you get a cab to come so quick?" C.I. says, "I told them I'd tip a hundred."

I steal from Pretty Woman and look at the cab driver with a smile and say, "Big mistake. Big."

We get in the other cab and drive four blocks to Trina's. C.I. tips a hundred.

(Overtips? If a cab ride is $12.00, C.I. just hands a twenty. If it's over $20, even just $21, C.I. hands two $20s. If it reaches $27.00, add in another twenty. If you ask, C.I. will say, "Well they work hard.")

But the point of the story is this is the Barack crowd. This is what they think of women.

That's not an endorsement of John McCain's run. I'm voting for Ralph Nader.

But already, they are gearing up to do the same thing to Palin that they did to Hillary.

I went to the e-mails and everyone wants to know how C.I. is? Unless you look closely, you don't notice the redness in the corner of the eyes.

I was there for the first health scare. C.I.'s not giving anything away now anymore than then.

Will Ava and I still be speaking? Or Rebecca? We're going to do some local women's groups and some local student groups. Those are with C.I. C.I.'s attitude then was, "If I don't have something else to focus on, I will wallow." It's the same attitude as now.

I did not know. Elaine did and Ava and Jess. C.I. told Elaine and Ava. I suspected because it's very unusual for C.I. to miss anything scheduled let alone ask Dona to clear the calendar. C.I.'s stated reason at the time was, "I need a break from the road." And who would doubt that? It's been every week since after the summer of 2006.

Who knows what's happening inside, but on the outside, C.I. is the portrait of calm. Elaine looked more upset than C.I. did. She asked me, "More upset or more tired?" They were on the phone to each other all Thursday night. Elaine cancelled her appointments (which happens about as often as C.I. cancelling a scheduled event) and stayed home Friday sleeping in. Mike was with her, of course. But C.I. didn't get any sleep. And you'd never know it to look. Except for the redness at the corners of the eyes.

Rebecca and I did sleep but only after two in the morning. We've all been up all night still. And I'm really tired. (Flyboy went back to the house, for those wondering why he wasn't in the taxi. He took another cab. He wanted to get some new clothes to wear. He took the news about as hard as Rebecca which was pretty hard.) Wally was Wally. The rock you can always count on.

Ava and C.I. are like twins. Their jokes were a little darker but, otherwise, you wouldn't have caught on to any differences. Speaking? Big difference. Ava ripped into you know what group repeatedly and you know why.

I don't think C.I.'s going to sleep until the plane home. There's been a lot of talking to Mike to make sure he was okay. (He's not. His eyes were bloodshot when we got here.)

Who did I mention in this? I don't know. I told Ruth I was too tired to go back and look and she said do what she did and link to everyone.

Trina of Trina's Kitchen

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,

Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,

Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,

C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,

Mike of Mikey Likes It!,

Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,

Ruth of Ruth's Report,

Wally of The Daily Jot,


Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, August 29, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, John McCain declares a running mate, Cynthia McKinney campaigns this weekend in Michigan, and more.

Starting with the US presidential race. Independent presidential candidate
Ralph Nader held a Super Rally in Denver Wednesday and took the stage to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land." Below are some of his opening remarks and you can see the video here:

Ralph Nader: . . . one of the best songs of social justice ever written. And for those of you concerned, all this [points to confetti] can be recycled. Well, where do we start? Let's start with something dealing with Colorado. The Democratic Party Convention selling sky-boxes. And guess who paid big money for those sky-boxes? Coors. One million dollars. How about this one: Excell, one million dollars. Qwest, six million dollars.
Well, you know, if they are really a part of working people, the way they used to say they were, fifty, sixty years ago, under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. They'd have hospitality suites, not for these fat cat corporate lobbyists who are tearing the heart and soul out of America, they'd have hospitality suites for workers, for farm workers, for nurses, for patients trying to get health care, for consumers being ripped off, for students who are being gouged by student loans. They'd have all kinds of hospitality suites and maybe they ought to go and see how some people in Denver live on the other side of the tracks, to see the poverty and the desperation and the lack of affordable housing and the lack of insurance when they get sick.
This party is sick. It's decaying. It's lost its soul. And its leaders can't ever get up on the stage like at the Pepsi Center -- the Pepsi Center, imagine after you say "The Pepsi Center" -- I'll bet you the tax payer built that center.
You never talk about the poor. That's a no-no in Democratic Party dictionary. You talk about the middle class, which they've helped shrink through NAFTA and WTO and all the way they've crushed opposition to corporate power. Corporate power has crushed so much of its opposition they've brought trade unions to their knees. They've made it almost impossible for industrial or commercial workers to even form a trade union because of the Taft-Hartley Law and other obstructive laws that no other western country puts before it workers.
The Democrats are dialing for the same dollars, the same corporate dollars the Republicans are dialing for. And they don't even bother covering it up. They're being winded and dined by the corrupters, the corporate predators, the corporations who have ripped off American consumers and workers that depleted their pensions who are outsourcing your jobs when you get out of college. Who are saying to you when you get out of college, "You got a skill but try getting a good paying job, try getting affordable housing, try getting affordable health insurance, try getting anything that your forebearers were able to get." You know what you're doing? I'm talking to young people in the audience, you're the first generation that's ever polled and said they aren't going to be as well off as their parents.
And the indicators are all coming down. More and more, millions of Americans, not making a living wage, not even close. Wal-Mart wages. K-Mart wages. Millions and millions of people who have to get sick or become sicker or even die because they can't afford health insurance. Just think of that.
This is the richest country in the world and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, just to give you a fact, says 18,000 people a year in this country die because they can't afford health insurance. That's six 9-11s. Washington turned the country upside down after . . . 9-11. In a lot of bad ways, as we know. They don't turn the country upside down for 58,000 people who die every year from work-related diseases in the mines and foundries. They don't turn the company upside down for 65,000 Americans who die from asphyxiation or cancer due to air pollution. They don't turn the country upside down for the 100,000 people who die from medical negligence and malpractice in hospitals.
They don't turn the country upside down for any form of violence -- however preventable it is -- if it's source is corporate crime, corporate negligence, corporate greed and corporate power.
You know some people ask me this around the country, "Nader, what are you doing this for? What do you expect to achieve?" Well look at what we've achieved tonight. You have seen the young leaders of the future on this stage. You have seen not only veteran advocates like Cindy Sheehan, you've seen Ashley Sanders. You've seen Rosa Clemente. You have seen Nellie McKay. You've seen someone you're going to hear a lot more of in the next few months, you've seen Rev. J Wait and see. He's only 21-years old and he's breaking away from this notion that although many of us have always hoped there would be an African-American ascended to the presidency of the United States. He's saying something more than that. He's saying that's not enough, that may be an unprecedented career move into the White House but it's got to mean more than that, it's got to mean standing up to the corporate subjugation of the American people. It's got to mean pushing forward a war against poverty. It's got to mean coming from your background, something more than if it were just a White man or White woman in the White House, it's got to mean a peculiarly insistent sensitivity to the bottom 100 million Americans in this country who are at the bottom of the income scale: African-Americans, poor Whites, Latinos who do the most dangerous work, who do the most dangerous work for us, who do the most thankless work for us, who raise our children, take care of our children, be with our ailing parents, harvest our food, service us in all kinds of ways while they're underpaid and overcharged, while they're excluded. While they're disrespected. While their marginalized. And the only time they're held up before the country is when they ask them to go overseas and fight our criminal wars for us.

And we're stopping there to note
Hispanic Business trumpets today that the US army has launched its "Leaders Among Us" tour in Illinois after having been through San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, NYC, Miami and Puerto Rico. Just reruns the press release as though it were a good thing. "Leaders Among Us" is a recruitment effort -- long on rah-rah, short on facts. Natalia Montemaor (The Ranger) told the sad, sad tale of the efforts in San Antonio and how everyone was just so mean to the ROTC. ROTC instructor Micheal Trujillo didn't conform to the rules and wants to whine about the unfairness of it all. Why can't he just he make his own dates for events? And what happened to the $300 he was promised by someone -- he doesn't say who -- that his field trip to the Bataan Death March cost. "Those funds were not promised through the office of student life," said its director Jorge Posadas. But it's a conspiracy by the well funded counter-recruitment forces who are bankrolled in the millions by the US government while the US army must depend on the donations of individuals and is not on the tax payer payroll -- oh, wait, it's the other way around. Someone explain it to the ROTC.

From the recruiting tricks to its outcome: violence in Iraq.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that claimed 1 life and left another person wounded.


Rueters notes police shot dead 1 person in Tal Afar that they suspected was a bomber.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Today the
US military announced: "A Coalition force Soldier died in a non-combat related incident Aug. 28 while conducting operations in Ninewa." The number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war stands at 4150 and, for the month, at 22.

It's Friday, very little violence gets reported. So who's going to end the illegal war? Not Barack Obama. But he's going to rip off the film The American President,
as Delilah Boyd (A Scrivener's Lament) makes clear. Next up, Barack pretends he's Harrison Ford in Air Force One. Jeremy Lott (Guardian of London) observes of the speech in front of the mock Pagan Temple, "It was made-for-cable catnip. Obama looked at the last four years and yelled 'Enough!' He promised to end the war in Iraq but to do so 'reasonably.' . . . Obama prissily informed us that he's 'ready to have' that debate about all this. With all due respect, no he's not." Lott notes the usual MSNBC male orgy for Barack. Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher) reports that Olberman's yet again on attack, "So the liberal Olbermann was outraged that the AP's Babington had written, in his analysis of the speech, just off the wire, that Obama had tried nothing new and that his speech was lacking in specifics. He read the first few paragraphs on the air, lamented that it would be printed in hundred of newspapers on Friday, and concluded, 'It is analysis that strikes me as having borne no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization. Charles Babington, find a new line of work." Babington (whom I know) is not light with the facts. His work can strike some as 'boring' because he does not play the drama game in his copy but sticks to the basics: Who, what, where when. Babington has a long resume filled with many accomplishments. Olbermann? He's got a mike to yell into as he stars in a low rated, basic cable yuck-fest. The telling part of Olbermann's comments can probably be found when he whines that Babington's reporting will be in "newspapers around the country and web sites".

John McCain's showed no more indication of ending the Iraq War than has Barack Obama. And no doubt Keith will be spewing his usual sexism tonight at the McCain campaign because today McCain announced his running mate: Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. The
Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva and the Los Angeles Times Michael Finnegan pretty much write the same exact story except Silva's obsessed with one beauty pageant and, in fairness, neither writer wrote a story -- the Obama campaign did. It's the Obama camp's narrative in both: She's inexperienced!

Seems Sarah Palin's crime is daring to go for the vice presidency with a little less than two years of being the governor of Alaska. But, Team Obama insists, you can declare the presidency with less than three years. Unlike Obama, Palin has an actual resume -- one that the press tries to trivialize -- which includes having been elected mayor and having been elected to city council twice. She and her husband Todd are also the parents of five children. Palin's not pro-abortion, she's not pro anything for the left. She also isn't someone who deserves to be derided as "beauty queen" or mocked for her gender which has already become all the rage online since the surprise announcement today.
Klownhaus notes, "Sarah Palin is young and telegenic, and any attack on her lack of experience opens up the GOP counter-punch of attacking Uh-bama's lack of experience. When the He-Man Woman Haters Club launches misogynistic attacks on Palin (and they have already begun) it puts the GOP in the position of supporting and defending women." It's noted that her oldest son will deploy to Iraq shortly.

Geo Beach (Christian Science Monitor) observes:

McCain gets a running mate who is young (diminishing the perceived negative of his age), female (snookering Obama for Hillary's hold-outs), executive (to his legislative) and most important, both by her deserved reputation and by the impact of the choice itself, re-establishes McCain's eroded credentials as a genuine maverick candidate. That appeals to the middle voters who will decide the election.
Plus, McCain's choice of Palin achieves what McCain himself can never do -- it took the words right out of Obama's mouth.
The acceptance speech that was so essential to Obama has been filed in the dusty back drawers of political history, as if the text had never been given voice. Media are addicted to the new and the now, and now the Labor Day Weekend will be all I Dream Of Sarah and no echoes of I Had A Dream. Magic.

The McCain team's Matt Lira blogs of Palin:

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington. Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us -- Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent. In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the "bridge to nowhere" that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars. As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops. Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today.

A number of female 'leaders' have taken to trying to forcibly escort women onto the Barack bus (the one that they were previously thrown under) and they love to make statements, "Well, like Hillary asked, were you in it just for her?" It's time for those same 'leaders' to prove whether they are in it for women or just the Democratic Party? Sarah Palin becomes the second woman to run for the vice presidency on a ticket of one of the two-major parties. Are they going to demand that she be treated with the same respect/tone a male running would be? Or are they just going to stay silent? Put up or shut up. Feminist Wire posts two items today -- neither noting Palin's nomination. Do they needed to be reminded of their tax free status? Or do they need to lose it? That really needs to be explored since their tax status forbids them from endorsing but Feminist Wire likes to 'fact check' McCain's statements while just reposting Barack's without any 'checking.' Today a woman was named to be the running mate of the GOP presumed nominee and Feminist Wire couldn't find a thing worth noting?

Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for the vice-presidency from one of the country's two largest political parties. could note Palin's significance. Kristine Johnson (CBS) quotes Ferraro declaring today, "I've spent a lot of time over the last 24 years saying, 'Gosh, I wish I weren't the only one.' So I welcome seeing a woman on the ticket. . . . The potential for a woman to be vice president will really make a difference for girls in this country." NOW on PBS notes that they interviewed Palin for a broadcast earlier this month "about her efforts to clean up corruption in her home state." But Feminist Wire? Nothing.

Which is indicative of the 'coverage' they've given
Cynthia McKinney for her presidential run. McKinney is the Green Party nominee and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. Does Feminist Wire really think that one brief, on July 14th, cuts it as 'coverage' of McKinney's run? And then later they wonder why Ms. is falsely seen as "White, White, White" and when Ms. is seen that way, feminism gets seen that way. Feminist Wire exists on the Feminist Majority Foundation's tax-free status -- as does Ms. these days -- and they are forbidden from endorsing candidates. So it's about damn time they started offering coverage for all the candidates -- and there's never a need for a feminist publication to explain why they cover female candidates. (Though there is a need for Ms. and Femnist Wire to explain why they failed to call out the attacks on Hillary.)

The Green Party of Michigan notes Cynthia will be campaigning in Michagan August 30th through September 1st. She's working the holiday. Maybe Feminist Wire could do the same? Saturday night (7:00 pm) she'll be speaking at the International Institute in Detroit at a press conference with a rally immediately after (7:30). Sunday, Cynthia will appear at the National Welfare Rights Union Awards Dinner where she will deliver a speech on poverty. Monday, Cynthia will be standing shoulder to shoulder with union members as they march down Woodward Avenue in Detroit to mark the historic workers struggle in this country that produced the 40-hour work week, that produced a respect for the workers in this country and that produced the Labor Day holiday (among many other things).

Meanwhile, China scores big!
Erica Goode and Riyadh Mohammed (New York Times) announce that China National Petroleum signed a contract with the puppet government in Baghdad. With the DNC speeches this week repeatedly hitting on the borrowing from China, that will probably not go over well in this country. Some examples:Mark Warner: "Two wars, a warming planet, an energy policy that says let's borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don't like us. "Al Gore: "As I have said for many years throughout this land, we're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization."Hillary Clinton: "The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis."

Ava and I cover the DNC convention Sunday at Third. Ralph Nader's Super Rally took place in Denver and, with little media attention, Team Nader turned out a large crowd of 4,000. As the huge crowd gathered and the event geared up Wednesday, Jesse A. Hamilton (Hartford Courant) reported that Sean Penn had spoken and notes "major cheers" for Nader's "amnesty talk for non-violent drug offenders" and quotes Nader stating: "Every politician I've ever known from the major parties . . . starts flattering the people. Oh, how they flatter the people! Because that's what gives the people weak knees. . . . Read the grim lesson of history, here and abroad. When people do not turn on to politics, politics will turn on them." Not noted is that Ralph noted the historical importance of the week (19th Amendment enacted). Something that Barack skipped out on but no one's supposed to notice that. Team Nader notes:

What a wild last 24 hours.
With the help of more than a hundred Colorado volunteers and our best roadtrippers we worked day and night to pack 4,000 people into the University of Denver's Magness Arena.
(As usual, this was done with zero help from the Denver media. For example, not a mention all week in the Denver Post, the city's largest newspaper, before or after the event.)
Now we're re-focusing and gearing up for the RNC.
I just flew into Minneapolis and we need your help to fill thousands of seats for our September 4th rally at Orchestra Hall.
Right now nearly a dozen Nader's Raiders are driving across the country in three large vehicles armed with
sandwich boards, our two large inflatable props, and boxes of promotional material.
Before they can join us in Minneapolis, they have to make an emergency stop in Wisconsin where we need 3,000 more signatures over Labor Day weekend or we won't make the ballot.
It's just that simple.
Before we can crank up the energy this week in Minneapolis, we need you to
donate right now to help us fuel our roadtrip team through the cornfields of Iowa to the dairy lands of Wisconsin.
A donation of $10 helps provide a roadtripper a hearty and (as Ralph would say) nutritious meal.
A donation of $50 helps put a roof over their heads.
A donation of $100 helps outfit our roadtrippers in the new Buffalo Nader '08 t-shirts like you see our team wearing in this photo.
To meet our most recent fundraising goal, we've got to raise more than $70,000 more on our way to $100,000 in less than one week.
give whatever you can, to help us knock out Wisconsin fast so we can hit the streets this week at the RNC and demand that McCain invite Nader/Gonzalez into the presidential debates.
And remember, if you give $100 or more now, we'll send you three DVDs -- the Denver rally, the Minneapolis rally, and a special debate DVD. (Three DVD offer ends September 4 at 11:59 p.m.)
Onward to November

Tonight and over the weekend on PBS (check local listings)
NOW on PBS (debuts Friday night in most markets) explores affirmative action and state-ballot measures attempting to overturn it. Katty van van sits down for a chat and chew with Bill Moyers -- hope he brings the oats and remember to keep the kids out of the room. Cat Radio Cafe does not air on WBAI Monday (fundraising) but The Next Hour features Michael Heller, Harvey Shapiro and John Taggart on the topic of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Goerge Oppen broadcasting from eleven to noon Sunday on WBAI. And iIndependent journalist David Bacon's latest book officially is released next week, Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press). (Some bookstores already have it in stock currently -- and you can order at the link if you order online.)

Finally. The 'peace' organization passes on e-mails. A number of visitors and members have e-mailed to explain that they complained about what went down and their 'reward' was to have their e-mails passed on. They end up getting the Gutter Trash's stark raving partner screaming at them in e-mails. Well, we know they have no ethics. Until Third on Sunday, that's all I plan to say. We will address it there and some community sites will address it now. Visitors also e-mail to ask that it be passed on: Don't bother posting to Gutter Trash''s blog. She will not allow you statement to go up. Of course not, she can't play victim and get her small posse to lie with her by allowing outside voices. Best visitor e-mail runs in Polly's Brew (with sender's permission) this Sunday -- it's a Canadian who's had it with the "pushy American" who is "as phoney as Madonna's British accent." We're done promoting the organization. There were questions about that in e-mails. They've been pulled from the links and I'm weighing whether or not to pull their chapters from the links. We were not speaking of
Courage to Resist, for visitors who e-mailed asking about that. Courage to Resist is a real organization and remains linked at this site. I've passed on the e-mail to Mike (I've never read Gutter Trash's site) that asks if he gave permission for his e-mail to be posted (Gutter Trash apparently claims to be concerned about "niceness" in reposting people's e-mails). No, he did not. He will address that at his site tonight as well as what Gutter Trash leaves out.

the new york timeserica gooderiyadh mohammed
mcclatchy newspapers
david bacon
charles babington
now on pbs
bill moyers journal

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kate Michelman

The Softer Side of Narcissism

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Softer Side of Narcissism" and that should give a smile.

Whenever I'm feeling down, I remember a moment in Congress, in the halls of Congress, during a confirmation hearing. It never ceases to cheer me up. I know it's the same for Wally and believe it is for Ava and C.I. as well.

There we were when C.I. asked in disgust, "Does she have no shame?"

We all looked over and there was the useless Kate Michelman crying in the halls of Congress. Gut wrenching tears, snot dripping from her nose. I remember it so well partly because it was so very pathetic and partly because Ava and C.I. had their cell phones out to take photos of it (which they sent to everyone they knew!).

There was the pathetic Kate, the 'activist' who was nothing but a lobbyist. Who oversaw the destruction of Roe v. Wade when she was supposed to be protecting it but NARAL is nothing but useless.

So is Kate.

Kate wanted to run for Congress. Kate was told no. And, like the good little do-nothing she is, she didn't run.

That's Kate, always waiting for permission. Actually, always begging.

She's pathetic.

Pathetic Kate endorsed Barack Obama.

Before she did, she endorsed John Edwards.

She refused to endorse Hillary.

In fact, had Barack dropped out of the race, you kind of got the idea she'd endorse Bob Barr next.

Kate hates women with strength and she hates them because she has none.

Here's Kate speaking in November, "Any serious candidate for president should make their views clear and let the American people know where they stand on issues."

Cry baby Kate, you thought you knew where Barack stood on NAFTA, didn't you? And on FISA? And, well, as usual, you were wrong. You're always wrong. If you were ever right, the world might stop spinning.

By the way, she didn't just say that. She gave that statement -- slamming Hillary -- to the Edwards campaign which released it. It also included Kate saying, "And any serious candidate for president should be held to the same standard -- whether man or woman. Have we have come a long way? Well, far enough to know better than to use our gender as a shield when the questions get too hot."

What about hiding behind a wife with cancer to keep the press from asking you about your affair?

Yeah, Pathetic Kate, you supported Playa John Edwards, getting some on the side, how very feminist of you. Now there are those who supported him from a distance. You were part of his campaign. You should have known.

Maybe you did?

Maybe we'll next learn you were gunning for some 'face time' with John Edwards as well?

If so, it wouldn't surprise me. Nothing you ever do will surprise me. You're pathetic. You betrayed women in your time at NARAL. You betrayed women to Congress. You are one of the supreme Backastabbers.

You have used your now meaningless name to prop up one man after another and tear down one woman after another. Most of the women are unknown. But you cut them off at the knees to please Congress (and that includes your 'helpful and caring' advice during Hill-Thomas and we all know about that you disgusting traitor). With Hillary, America finally got to see how much you HATE women.

If I were to analyze you, I'd say considering how you love wallowing in uselessness, you can't stand a woman who tries to actually do something.

I mean, come on, you're famous for having an abortion.

Even that required someone else (a doctor). You've done nothing. I had an abortion. I didn't try to turn it into 15 minutes of fame. There's a difference between between having an abortion and fighting for the right of all women to have that choice should they decided they need it and what Kate's done, trotting out that story over and over as if she's trying to dine out on it. It's really all she had to offer and, if you listen to her, it's not really a story that makes her come off brave. She was scared. She was this. She was that. Her 15 minutes and she portrays herself as a passive victim.

I had an abortion. In the same circumstances, I would do it again. I don't regret it. I made the decision, it was the right decision. It is, in fact, the right decision for many of us who have made it. It is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

And it's a right every woman should have. And we will not preserve it with tears or please, we will preserve that right by fighting for it.

By fighting.

That's the only way we got that right back (it was legal before it was illegal -- a fact most do not know today). It is our right and it is our decision.

We have nothing to apologize for, we have nothing to beg for. If they try to take it away, we fight. Always we fight.

And Kate can't fight. She's pathetic. She will always be pathetic.

The first woman to have a serious shot at the presidency was Hillary Clinton. She went on to win 18 million votes. When Kate looks back, she'll have to explain why she couldn't support Hillary. She'll have to explain why she endorsed TWO men. One of whom cheated on his cancer ridden wife. The other of whom calls women "sweetie." Thinks that's how you interact with women.

Kate is pathetic. She's always chasing after a man.

Always looking for him to rescue her because, in the end, she refuses to rescue herself.

She is now off the stage of public life -- as she should have been years ago. A lot less damage would have done to women and to abortion rights if Pack-It-In Kate had packed it in.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, 2 US soldiers state they killed handcuffed Iraqis and did so on official orders, Ralph Nader's Super Rally takes place in Denver tonight, Courage to Resist speaks with US war resister Robin Long and more.

Starting with war resistance. In Canada yesterday, protests took place.
Total Catholic reports, "Catholic groups demonstrated outside Canada House in London on Tuesday in protest against the deportation of US soldiers who refused to fight in Iraq and sought asylum in Canada." It notes the groups included Voices in the Wilderness, Pax Christi, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Catholic Worker Movement and that they carried posters with photos of war resister and the following "Canada: Stop Deporting US Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in the Illegal War in Iraq." Bruce Kent explains, "In the year that Franz Jagerstater was beatified by the Pope in recognition of his conscientious objection and subsequent execution for refusing to serve in Hitler's army, it seems extraordinary that the Canadian Government is adopting this position. These soldiers have every right to refuse to fight in an illegal war." While they stood up "White boy" (read his article -- better yet, don't) Nathaniel Hoffman (Boise Weekly) blathers on about the DNC convention (24 paragraphs) before including this: "Now for a few updates on the home front. Army deserter Robin Long, a Boise native, was sentenced to 15 months in jail, after being kicked out of Canada and returned to his unit at Fort Carson, Colo. He will also get a dishonorable discharge." That would be Robin's local weekly and that's all they have to offer. Never forget the 'alternative' press always has something else to do. Robin was court-martialed last Friday and Courage to Resist spoke to Robin spoke with him later that day:

Courage to Resist: Well Robin your court martial is done, you got 15 months in military prison, how are you feeling about the outcome?

Robin Long: I -- all in all -- on the day of the trial, had a really good day. I got to tell the army and the world exactly how I felt and I got to meet one of my heroes, one of my heroines, Col. Ann Wright and I enjoyed all the support that was there, all the people that came to see. It was kind of funny, when I was leaving, they rushed me off to a Humvee and they had -- they had the military police escort front and behind and they stopped traffic at all the intersections. And while I was leaving, all the supporters, a lot of them were saluting so that felt really good. I was kind of looking at different figures -- that I could be out as early as April of next year. With everything so . . . I don't know. I'm just looking forward to getting the RCF Unit and start doing my time. And when I come out, start speaking for peace again and my word will be that much more powerful. I can talk now in the States instead of being up there in Canada. And hopefully, we can end this occupation, this war.

Courage to Resist: Now you said you got to tell the army exactly how you felt? What did you tell them?

Robin Long: Oh, I told them, I mean, with my defense case, Col. Ann Wright and with the other witnesses, we basically got to say to a forum and an audience that normally wouldn't hear the things we were saying about the legality of the war in Iraq and, you know, following your conscience and international law, a higher duty and it felt really good to say those things. And to let people know that they can think for themselves and follow their heart.

Courage to Resist: And did Col Wright testify at your trial?

Robin Long: Yes, she did.

Courage to Resist: And what did she say?

Robin Long: She was basically saying the things she saw working in the army and with the State Department and her decision to resign from her position in opposition to the Iraq War and also she kind of said that she wasn't offended because she's part of the military you know she wasn't offended by me deserting. Having a colonel, someone in that high of a position, you know, with the State Department, working with different embassies, MongoliaSomaliaia, Afghanistan that maybe they paid attention to her. The military judge looked really interesting in what she was saying so.

Courage to Resist: You said that she was one of your heroes. I'd be willing to be that the next time we see Ann Wright, she'll be saying that you're one of her heroes. So now you're back in the county jail?

Robin Long: Yep, I'm here at the El Paso jail waiting for transport transfer. They haven't told me yet where I'm going.

Courage to Resist: Any hints, any clues about where you might be headed?

Robin Long: No, not yet. They said whichever place has availability. It's kind of -- kind of weird. I can't bring anything with me in jail. Like all of the books that nice people have sent I can't bring any of that stuff with me. Mail, I can't even bring address book. So I'm going to be sending out all my, my papers that I need to have with me to somebody so that can mail them back to me when I find out where I am.

We'll note more from Robin's interview later in the week (hopefully tomorrow). US war resister
Jeremy Hinzman is the US war resister who was the first to go to Canada and apply for asylum. August 13th, he was informed he had until September 23rd to leave Canada or be deported.

To show your support for Jeremy and other US war resisters in Canada,
Courage to Resist alerts, "Supporters are calling on Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene. Phone 613.996.4974 or email,"Iraq Veterans Against the War also encourages people to take action, "To support Jeremy, call or email Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and ask her to intervene in this case. Phone: 613.996.4974 email:"

Aidan Delgado is a war resister who has told his story in book form.
The Sutras Of Abu Ghraib: Notes From A Conscientious Objector In Iraq is now out in soft cover (list price $15.00). Eric Snider (Creative Loafing) states, "The most engaging aspect of The Sutras is Delgado's quest for CO status; although he's ostracized for his stance, overall he's treated quite fairly." Three other war resisters have told their story in book form: Kevin Benderman's Letters from Fort Lewis Brig: A Mater of Conscience, Camilo Mejia's Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia (Camilo plans a second book), and Joshua Key's The Deserter's Tale. Peter Laufer's Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq details many war resistersincludingng Joshua Key and Jeremy Hinzman) and Aimee Allison and David Solnit's Army of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War, and Build a Better World covers war resistance with a strong focus on stopping it at the point of the entry. Many of these books (and other items as well) are available at Courage to Resist.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Yovany Rivero, William Shearer, Michael Thurman, Andrei Hurancyk, Megan Bean, Chris Bean, 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, Daniel Baker, 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 Iraq. At the US Pentagon today Gen James Conway declared that there might be a drawdown of some marines because "to do more in Afghanistan, our marines have got to see relief elsewhere". No, that would not be withdrawal, no that would not be troops home. Now or later. It is an acknowledgement -- public -- by a marine commander ("The Commandant of the Marine Corps," says the Defense Dept) that the US military is stretched to the limit fighting two illegal wars that neither the White House nor the Congress has the guts or desire to end. So the Pentagon announces: "This week the Army and Coast Guard announced an increase, while the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps announced a decrease. The net collective result is 4,519 more reservists activated than last week." Conway also declared that Al Anbar Province would be turned over to Iraqis (Iraqis under the control of the puppet government controlled by the US).

Khalid al-Ansary (Reuters) reports that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says US troops (of some formation) will be out (or 'out') of Iraq in 2011 and that the US wanted 2015 but Iraq held firm. Take a second to let the laughter die down. Aboard Air Force One this afternoon, Tony Fratto held a White House press briefing and said nothing about any agreement. At the State Dept, Robert Wood (Deputy Spokesperson) held a press briefing was asked if the US had asked for the US to maintain their presence through 2015 and Wood refused to answer that and stuck "there are discussions going on between the United States and Iraqi Government. We're working to try to finalize an agreement by the end of December. I don't have anything new to offer other than what we've said, and that we think this is an important agreement. And once we have an agreement, we will certainly make that known to the publics."

This morning
Paul von Zielbauer (New York Times) reported that "a first sergeant, a platoon sergeant and a senior medic, killed four Iraqi prisoners with pistol shots to the head as the men stood handcuffed and blindfolded beside a Baghdad canal, two of the soldiers said in sworn statements." The bodies were then dumped in the canal according to Sgt 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr.'s statements which have each man killing one Iraqi and stated that 1st Sgt. John E. Hatley killed two and ordered the killings. von Zielbauer quotes Leahy's statement: "I'm ashamed of what I've done. . . . When I did it, I thought I was doing it for my family. Now I realize that I'm hurting my family more now than if I wouldn't have done it."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that left five wounded, another that left six wounded, a Baghdad car bombing that claimed 1 life (seven wounded), another Baghdad car bombing that wounded one person, a Tal Afar car bombing that resulted in fourteen wounded (and the driver dead), 2 Mosul "suicide car" bombings -- one targeting "an American patrol" with no known casualties for eitehr bombing. Reuters notes the Tal Afar wound count is not at twenty-two "according to Sabih Hussein, chief physician at the Tal Afar government hospital". The US military announces: "Coalition forces killed three terrorists – two of whom were wearing suicide vests – and detained six suspects, including an alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, during operations in Diyala province Wednesday."

Reuters notes 1 person shot dead in Mosul.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes 1 female corpse was discovered in Numaniya.

Today the
US military announced: "A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died at a Coalition forces medical facility in Baghdad today as a result of wounds sustained following an IED attack Aug. 26. The Soldier was wounded after the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device in northeastern Baghdad Aug. 26." The death brings to 4148 US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war and 20 since the start of the illegal war.

Moving to the US race for president. Tom Hayden lied (there were many but where there are Barack lies, there is Tom Hayden) that Barack had done a bang up job helping Hillary retire her campaign debt. He DID NOTHING. As community member Eddie points out, even
Danny Schechter's fallen for the lie ("Remember, Barack's campaign helped her retire her campaign debt!"). Reality, New York Times, A16 today (buy a paper), Michael Lau and Griff Palmer report: "The analysis by The Times found that Obama donors gave $300,000 to Mrs. Clinton in July and $135,000 in June." Chump change. He did nothing to help retire the debt. He's gotten credit from liars like Hayden and from people too smart to give credit like Danny. Her worshippers, Danny? Her worshippers? And you're puzzled so many see you and Media Channel as part of the problem? Hillary busted her ass for the Democratic Party last night and it is exactly the attitude Danny's exhibited today (short on facts and sprinkles of insults) that has no defense. There is no defense for it. And, no, PBS' convention coverage is not praise worthy? Was no one watching last night? Ava and I skimmed last night's coverage today and sexism was on parade. We'll address it Sunday. One example: Maybe someone thinks it's 'natural' to have three historians on repeatedly during the broadcast to talk about Hillary and the women's liberation movement when . . . all three are men. Talking about the struggle for women's equality? PBS should be ashamed. Unless they're so ignorant that they believe there are no female historians? Is that it? And because women know they can count on attacks from all sides, be sure to check out how Eleanor Smeal chose to smear other feminists. When a DC lobbyist takes over Ms., feminism suffers -- and it has suffered. In the real world, To The Contrary's Bonnie Erbe (at US News & World Reports) observes, "The Democrats nominated a junior, inexperienced Senator with no legislative accomplishments on his resume to whom young Americans and latte liberals swarmed due to his cool, celebrity-like demeanor. But then, those same Democratic leaders act surprised that Middle America isn't following suit. How bizarre!!!" Kownhaus notes, "The meltdown of Progressive Blogosphere 1.0 is due in large part to major 'A' list bloggers turning a blind eye to misogyny and sexism because it helped the candidate they supported. MASSIVE FAIL!" Meanwhile Jerry White (WSWS) takes on the latest nonsense from fauxgressives Katty-van-van Heuvel (who doesn't do corrections) and Robert L. Borosage, "Apart from their assertion, which is false, that Obama will end the occupation of Iraq, the authors make no attempt to substantiate their claim that Obama represents a 'stark ideological contrast' with McCain. In fact, they virtually acknowledge just the opposite." And White drives it home with this section:

The Nation is no more able to explain how such a movement represents an alternative to the "entrenched order" than they are able to establish Obama's reformist credentials. Both in their support for Obama and their insistence that all social opposition after the election remain oriented to the Democratic Party, the Nation reveals itself to be a critical prop for precisely the reactionary order they claim to oppose. They themselves are simply its "left" flank.
Of course, the political milieu for which the Nation speaks has a direct and personal stake in the outcome of the election. They count on the arrival of a Democratic administration as an opportunity for many in their ranks to secure choice positions and enhanced status within the apparatus of power in Washington DC, whether as congressional staffers, trade union functionaries or researchers at Democratic-linked think tanks in the capital.

Martha saw that
highlighted by Susan (Random Thoughts from Reno) and Susan has my nomination for "Truest Statement of the Week" at Third this weekend: "The party is 'worried' now about mass defections by Clinton supporters to John McCain. Well, what in the hell did they expect? After the May 31 charade effectively handing Obama the nomination, they lost what little chance they had in the fall. Don't expect Clinton supporters to 'get over it' any more than Gore supporters when the 2000 election was stolen." Hillary Clinton gave a great speech last night. Jess, Dona, Eli, Martha and Shirley report the community members e-mails agree it was great and agree it didn't change their mind one bit. Who are they supporting?

Ralph Nader is the independent candidate for president. Tonight he and running mate Matt Gonzalez hold their first Super Rally. This one in Denver.
From Team Nader:

Denver tonight 6 p.m.
University of Denver Magness Arena.
Sean Penn, Tom Morello, Cindy Sheehan, Jello Biafra, Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez will be there.
Standing up to the corporate two-party controlled debate commission.
Calling for an opening up of the Presidential debates.If you are in the area,
see you at the event.
If you know people in the area, call them, text them, e-mail them -- and give them the details.
Free Speech TV will be streaming the event live on the Internet. (Wednesday, August 27, 7 p.m. Mountain time, 9 p.m. Eastern.)
click here to watch.
Also, Free Speech TV will be broadcasting the event live on Dish Network Channel 9415.
If you are home watching convention coverage on cable, watch for Ralph.
He'll be in the DNC belly of the beast at the Pepsi Center today.
He'll be on Fox TV with Neil Cavuto in this afternoon at about 4 p.m.
And MSNBC with Dan Abrams tomorrow morning at about 10 a.m.
Other mainstream media interviews are being nailed down as we speak.
Stay tuned for more details.
The bottom line is this.
The conventions are supposed to be about democracy.
But in fact, they're two big corporate parties.
Talk about corporate crime and corporate power, and you are drummed out of the building.
Talk the happy corporate talk, and they invite you in for a drink.
Thank you Ralph Nader for having the guts to stand up.
For the American people.
Against the corporate takeover of our democracy.
Stand with Ralph today.
If you are in Denver, come on down and join with us at the Magness Arena tonight at 6 p.m.
If you are not in Denver, give whatever you can afford -- $10, $20, $50, $100 -- to help defray the costs of tonight's event. (Renting the arena, sound, lights, stage hands, video crew and equipment, flying in road trippers, printing of 100,000 fliers -- you get the picture.)
By the way, great start on the fundraising drive -- we're at close to $15,000 after just two days. But we have to hit $100,000 by September 4. So,
let's get 'er cranked.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
With your help, tonight, we will shake it up.
Onward to November.

Green Party presidential candidate's Cynthia McKinney spoke in Denver this week and
Black Agenda Report (which is endorsing McKinney for president) posts her speech. This is an excerpt:

Cynthia McKinney: Our country has been hijacked and the Democrats have proven themselves to have been in on the plan. When it came to the Constitution, the Democratic leadership showed us that aiding and abetting illegal spying on us was more important to them than protecting our civil liberties. When it came to war and occupation, the Democratic leadership showed us that financing an illegal and immoral war, based on lies, was more important to them than they people's desire for peace. And when the people, hurting from the financial mismanagement of this country, called foaccountabilityty for the crimes that have been committed against the people here, against the global community, against nature, itself, the Democratic leadership took impeachment off the tableGrassrootsts Democratic Party activists want a livable wage! A "Medicare-for-all" type of health care system, repeal of the Bush tax cuts that have ushered in the greatest income inequality in this country since the Great Depression. But the Democratic Party has shown itself to be incapable of providing even a semblance of the values even of its own activists. The Democratic Party's national leadership didn't even mention Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors in their Congressional agenda for the first 100 days.

robin long
jeremy hinzman
kevin benderman
aidan delgadojoshua keycamilo mejia
peter laufer
aimee allisondavid solnit
bonnie erbe
danny schechter
the new york timespaul von zielbauer

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Marianne Means and creating spaces


Super Rally tomorrow night. Denver.

The big thing I'm hearing this week when we're speaking to groups (and remember, I usually talk electoral politics) is why wasn't Hillary picked for the running mate? No one understands it and there's no excitement among students for Joe Biden (no surprise). I saw a column that could have been written by people in every group we spoke to so far this week. This is the opening of Marianne Means' "Obama's first big mistake" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer):

Despite the merits of selecting Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., as his running mate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., made a huge tactical, strategic and political error in snubbing the most obvious candidate for vice president, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
Obama looks surly, petty and selfish -- and Clinton looks like a gracious loser who will live to fight the political game another day. The convention has been consumed by gossip about just why Obama didn't even consider her for the second slot. All the public excuses are lame, and the inside story as it is coming out does not indicate the serious thought that he should have given to such an important decision. Senior Obama strategist David Axelrod said that Clinton would not be a "good fit" for the presidential candidate, as though Obama were merely trying on a pair of gloves.
Others repeated the standard mantra that she was too emblematic of the status quo that Obama seeks to shatter. So we are to believe that Biden, a six-term senator who himself ran for president this year but got whipped in the Iowa primary, is a really fresh face with fresh ideas who embodies political change?
No, something else was going on here. And it's probably not pretty. It looks as though Obama simply didn't have the courage to compete any more against the star power of his chief rival -- and her husband. This is not a good omen for standing up against tough world leaders with their own power and congressional leaders of both parties who are not inclined to march to his orders.

And it's not a good sign for November, is it?

I'm finding a lot of borderline Barackers who are not voting for him based on his decision to go with Biden. A woman said she thought voting for Barack would mean she'd get a Barack-Hillary ticket. They assumed it was a two-for-one.

I have no idea why. I mean, they're young. This will be their first election. They assumed the two who finished at the top were the nominees. That's not how it works. And I honestly remember C.I. explaining that in March to a woman who was in her sixties, that the nominee picked their running mate. So it's not fair just to blame it on youth.

But I'm used to the anger (which I share) for how Hillary was treated (by the media, by Barack's campaign) and we encounter that often. But, as one young man said today, "There was a hope we could break two barriers." That didn't happen. Because Barack's petty and not about change. He's about more of the same. Barack's bought the illegal war, he's voted for it. He won't promise to withdraw all troops by 2013 if elected. He's no different than John McCain.


Vote for Ralph (as I'm doing) or for Cynthia or for Bob Barr, but know that your vote matters and don't let people push you into voting for more of the same.

Nader voters in 2000 got a bad reputation. Some are still standing with him. Some --Susan Sarandon, the failed actress -- have betrayed him. But what he did in 2000 was create a space, a space where even if you thought "Ralph, Don't Run" or any of that other stuff, that you had to think -- even for a moment -- about something other than the two parties. We can carry that even further in 2008.

If Ralph's your choice, vote for him. If Cynthia's your choice, vote for her. Or Bob Barr. But let's put an end to this notion that it has to be either/or. Let's make it clear that we can go beyond that limited thinking and realize that by doing so in 2008 we are creating a space for the next election and the one after and the one after.

Let's own our power. And trust that if we will, others will follow. We can make a real change. It goes beyond who is in the White House, it goes to freeing us from the chains of the duopoly.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, Kurds feel left out, al-Maliki is not to be believed (if you believe his cabinet), independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader gears up for tomorrow night's Super Rally and more.

Starting with war resistance, US war resister Robin Long was court-martialed Friday at Fort Carson. His civilian attorney was James Branum who shared a few thoughts at his blog on Sunday:

The last few days have been a dizzying blur for me. I've been in Colorado Springs for Robin Long's court-martial at Ft. Carson, as well as to the support IVAW's State of the Union base tour.
The trial itself was pretty intense. I was so proud of Robin and witnesses: Pete Haney (of the Colorado Springs Justice & Peace Commission), SGT Matthis Chiroux (IVAW and resister to an ordered Iraq deployment) and COL Ann Wright (who can't even begin to summarize her bio). I also want to thank the folks who sent supporting written statements. We used some in the trials, but will be using all of them in the upcoming clemency/parole fights.
In the next day or two, I'll write up a lengthier blow-by-blow account of the trial, but for now I'll just say that while we (Robin and I) are disappointed by the sentence, we are happy that we got to present Robin's case. I think that in the future, the record will show that Robin's decision to go to Canada might have been illegal under US law, but it was supremely moral act and it was one in compliance with International law.

US war resister Jeremy Hinzman is the US war resister who was the first to go to Canada and apply for asylum. August 13th, he was informed he had until September 23rd to leave Canada or be deported. J. Gilbert of Orilla draws the comparison to the two cases in a letter to the editors of the Orillia Packet & Times:

On June 3, the House of Commons voted to stop the deportations of American servicemen and women who come to Canada rather than participate in the fighting in Iraq. Incredibly, the Harper government has chosen to ignore the decision of the House of Commons. In spite of that clear vote, they deported Robin Long, an American soldier seeking sanctuary in Canada, back to the U. S. Last week, Robin was sentenced to 15 months in prison at a military penitentiary. He also received a dis-honourable discharge. This has huge implications for the rest of his life: he will be ineligible for student loans, mortgages, and many employment opportunities. Even worse, he will never be able to return to Canada, where his two-year-old son lives. His crime? Refusing to participate in an illegal and immoral war, once its true nature became clear to him. In Robin's own words: "I remember that a soldier is just a uniform following orders, a warrior is the man or woman that follows their conscience and does the right thing in the face of adversity." This he has done, and continues to do.Jeremy Hinzman has received his deportation date: Sept. 23. It is clear that he is a conscientious objector. It is wrong that he be punished for following his conscience. What has been done to Robin Long cannot be fixed. But it must not be repeated.The Harper government has an obligation to comply with the will of the House. The deportations must stop.

To show your support for Jeremy and other US war resisters in Canada, Courage to Resist alerts, "Supporters are calling on Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene. Phone 613.996.4974 or email,"Iraq Veterans Against the War also encourages people to take action, "To support Jeremy, call or email Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and ask her to intervene in this case. Phone: 613.996.4974 email:"

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Yovany Rivero, William Shearer, Michael Thurman, Andrei Hurancyk, Megan Bean, Chris Bean, 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, Daniel Baker, 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).

August 18th US Lt Gen Lloyd Austin briefed the press going on and and on about 'success' in Iraq and "our security gains continue to trend in a positive direction" and happy talk, happy talk, more and more Operation Happy Talk. Waves of reality wash all that happy talk away. Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports, "A suicide car bomb targeted a recruiting centre in the twon of Jalowlaa, 70 km to the northeast of Baquba at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday killing 27 recruits, wounding 45." AFP explains that the "bomber thwarted a security check" point as he "rushed into a crowd of potential recruits and detonated his explosives-laden vest". Yassen Taha and Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) report that the bomber was disguised "as a security officer" and that the the hospital states "they'd received 30 bodies of dead recruits, a higher figure than police reported to McClatchy Newspapers." Stephen Farrell (NYT via IHT) states some believe it was actually a car bombing. CBS and AP quote eye witness (and police member) Falah Hassan stating, "I saw burned bodies, wounded people and small pools of blood." Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) quotes Mohammed Adnan who dclares, "There was black smoke everywhere, dead bodies on the ground, and people panicking and helping to transfer the injured to the hospital." Let'd drop back to August 18th one more time for Lt Gen Austin, "Today, the Multinational Corps Iraq is operating in more areas of the country with fewer troops, and our security gains continue to trend in a positive direction even after the redeployment of five brigade combat teams, and most recently the Georgian brigade. We've been able to achieve this success because of an increasingly effective Iraqi security force, one that is growing in capability and in confidence." Woops! Who said this: "The suicide bombing of Jalawla is striking evidence that Iraqi security forces are unable to impose security on the area from which Peshmerga have just withdrawn"? Iraqi Brig Gen Nadhim Najim Ahmed to Sherko Raouf (Reuters) and he said it today regarding the bombing: "The suicide bombing of Jalawla is striking eveidence that Iraqi security forces are unable to impose security on the are from which Pershmerga have just withdrawn." The Peshmerga are the Kurdish forces. Are Kurdish leaders about to pull a Bully Boy and use tragedies to their own advantage? BBC asserts of the bombing, "This is the latest in a series of attacks, launched mainly by Sunni Islamists in Diyala." Ned Parker explains, "The attack followed a suicide bombing on Sunday night at a tribal sheik's banquest in the western Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib".

Parker also sets up the larger perspective: "Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's negotiators are also bogged down in talks over a long-term security agreement with the United States, despite a December deadline looming for a deal. The Shiite-led government has also initiated a crackdown on leaders and members of the U.S.-funded Sons of Iraq movement, which includes many former insurgents, who allied themselves with America in 2007 to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq. Since May, Iraqi security forces have started arresting Sunni fighters. Leaders from the Sons of Iraq have warned that the measures could drive some of their men back to fighting the government." This morning Tina Susman and Parker reported on puppet of the occupation Nouri's "fixed deadline for the departure of all U.S. troops troops from Iraq" and observered, "His words appeared to rule out the presence of any U.S. military advisors, special forces and air support after the withdrawal date." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) observes it is "a direct challenge to the Bush administration, which insists that the timing for troop departure would be based on conditions on the ground" and quotes al-Maliki stating, "There is an agreement actually reached, reached between the two parties on a fixed date, which is the end of 2011, to end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil." Campbell Robertson and Riyadh Mohammed (New York Times) cite "Iraqi negotiators" who insist that's al-Maliki didn't mean what he said and "than an agreed-upon 2011 date is for combat forces only". CBS and AP add, "Despite the tough words, al-Maliki's aides insisted a compromise could be found on the two main stumbling blocks to an accord governing the U.S. military presence in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year."

Turning to some more of today's reported violence . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded two "Awakening" Council members and another Baghdad roadside bombing that wounded four people (two were police officers) and a Tikrit car bombing that claimed 4 lives and left thirteen wounded. CNN reports the Tikrit bombing was an attempted attack on "the general manager of the health administration, Dr. Hassan Zein Al-Abideen". AFP states police maintain there were no deaths in the Tikrit bombing. Citing "a security official," Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) puts the dead at 5 and the wounded at eight. Al Jazeera adds, "A police official says the bomb was planted in a car parked on a street used by local government officials going to work."


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an attack on one police officer in Mosul that left him wounded and, when more police officers showed up, 1 person was shot dead and another wounded.

Turning to the US presidential race. The nonsense goes on in Denver inside the Pepsi Arena where a candidate's spouse (not a candidate) gave a bad speech as did the Speaker of the House (both stammered, stumbled and had nothing of value to say). Tonight Hillary speaks which means more crackpot theories from Amy Goodman & company tomorrow morning. Just like the garbage offered up on Monday. The convention is giving Panhandle Media a chance to explain to the country why they can't work in Real Media. Covering the exact same events -- despite all the hectoring and lecturing over the years -- they have nothing 'alternative' to offer. The Democratic Party Convention allows them to demonstrate the real reason they're in Panhandle Media: they aren't qualified to work in real journalism jobs. Tonight Hillary Clinton speaks and as Marie Cocco (Washington Post Writers Group) observes that it's seen as 'natural' for Hillary to do the heavy lifting: "But it is usually the job of the party nominee to build unity once a vanquished rival has conceded and made the right gestures. Unless the loser happens to be a woman. Then it's just like high school, and she must do the work." And everyone will pretend not to notice just like they pretend not to notice the absence of Iraq from the DNC infomercial. Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez' campaign issued a press release of 12 issues the Democrats will refuse to address at the convention and we'll note number eleven:

The Democrats will not call for the United States to begin a military and corporate total withdrawal from Iraq. Such a withdrawal would result in mainstream Iraqis no longer supporting or joining the insurgency. Internationally UN-supervised elections will allow for appropriate autonomy for the Kurdish, Sunni, and Shi'ite communities within a unified Iraq. Seriously waging peace will be far cheaper than a permanent war economy which is generating huge deficits and diverting attention, talent, and resources from the necessities of the American people.

Meanwhile Austin Cassidy's Independent Reporter notes Sewer Dweller Alexander Cockburn's attempt to make like Alexis Carrington (yes, Alex is that out of date) and get catty about Ralph Nader. Cassidy's confused by this. Cockburn 'reported' wrongly that Ralph wouldn't run this year. When Nader contacted him for a correction, Cockburn wrote a hateful piece (all he can really muster in his career's dying days) instead of just issuing a correction. More garbage can be found at The Socialist Worker which has always been on board with Barack. And, in fact, the John McCain campaign should probably start including some of the Socialist Worker's gushing praise for Barack in their campaign ads. (And to note the true 'international' spirit of Barack's campaign, toss in the raves he receives from Workers' Liberty in the United Kingdom -- which does know it's not voting in a US election, right?) Today the Socialist Worker tells you that Cynthia McKinney (Green Party presidential nominee) and Ralph Nader's campaigns don't matter (and insist that they won't "get a significant hearing" -- certainly not at the Socialist Worker). Daniel Williams (Denver Daily News) reports Cynthia spoke on Monday at the Mercury Cafe in Denver declaring, "We must have an opposition party in this country, and the Green Party with over 200 elected officials on the local level can be that opposition, but we have to expand and broaden the Green Party to reflect the entire fabric of all of the communities that are in this country. . . . We have done a great job of reaching out to people of all diverse backgrounds, and we wanted to make sure that people understood that not only is Green Party a viable alternative, it is imperative." Gabriel San Roman (Uprising, KPFK) interviewed Cynthia over the weekend and the interview was broadcast on Monday's show. We'll note her speaking on how she became a member of the Green Party.

I left the Democratic Party . . . Probably the Democratic Party left me a long time ago -- before I even realized that it had indeed left me. But I left the Democratic Party because it has failed during the time that it had a majority in the Congress -- to provide us a live-able wage, single-payer health care system, it's failed to repeal the Patriot Act, the Secret Evidence Act, the Military Commissions Act, failed to repeal the Bush tax cuts, and, in fact, the hallmark of the Democratic majority in Congress is failure. And therefore, when I took an inventory of my values, a alongside the values of the policies that were being implemented in Washington, DC, it was very clear that the Democratic Party no longer reflected my values so I decided to do something that I hope other people will follow suit as well. And I declared my independence from the national leadership that had made our country so complicit in crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, crimes against the global community and crimes against the American people.

And she explained:

The Congress has voted to spend $720 million every day for war and occupation. That's above the one-half trillion dollars that the Pentagon gets in so-called 'defense' spending. And so consequently we are seeing more and more of hard earned tax dollars being sucked into a war and military industrial complex that does not serve the aims, objectives and ends and interests of the people of this country. So of course we want to see an end to militarization of US policy. We want to see a restoration of the bill of rights, we want to see a rollback of those infringements, as I said, the Patriot Act, the Secret Evidence Act, the Military Commission Act and we could go on. We want to see an end to the drug war. We want to see an end to the private operation over our US currency as it is now with the Federal Reserve. Most people don't even know that the Federal Reserve isn't "federal" at all, it's private. We would like to see an end to the drug war, an end to prisons for profit. We also are not afraid to talk about race and gender in this country. And we understand. The Green Party took as its 2004 platform position the fact that this country was built on genocide of indigenous people and we think that it is outrageous that the United States didn't support the United Nations' declaration on indigenous rights. The fact that this country also -- the economic foundation of this country was based on the enslavement of
Africans. And so the 2004 Green Party platform discusses the facts about reparations and, of course, we know that the two corporate parties and the two presumptive nominees have said that reparations is not something to be discussed. The status of women in this country is something that also needs to be discussed and its definitely something more than cleavage and whether or not a woman wears a skirt when she is campaigning for public office. The fact of the matter is that women wake up every morning and they go to work equally equipped as their male counter-parts and yet, at the end of the month, they bring home less money. We need to talk about that. We understand that it took seventy-two years when women and men decided together that they were going to declare their independence from the current political order that denied women the right to vote -- it took seventy-two years for that to be accomplished. So what we are hoping to kick start in this country is not only that the Green Party becomes the opposition party but that the Green Party becomes the vanguard of the movement for justice that this country so desperately needs.

August 26, 1920, US women (all US women) finally won the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment which states: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforse this article by appropriate legislation." Susan Fauldi offers "Second-Place Citizens" (New York Times -- click here for it at der Spiegel).

The Nader Super Rally takes place in Denver tomorrow night:

"Open the Debates" Super Rally at the DNC
Speakers/Performers: Val Kilmer, Sean Penn, Tom Morello, Jello Biafra, Nellie McKay, Cindy Sheehan, Ike Reilly and more
Magness Arena, University of Denver
2199 South University Blvd. Denver, CO 80208
Click here to go to the Denver Super Rally web page
(303) 832-2509 or
Map it
Jess spoke with Ashley Sanders, the Super Rally Media Coordinator this evening, and she states, "We're hoping for 5,000 people and we want the mood to be thoroughly Democratic and we want the peopl to feel inspired about voting for candidates who actually represent them." Which is a good time to note Ruth's post last week:

I had an e-mail on that today. A Barack supporter insisting Mr. Nader was running a vanity campaign. A "vanity" campaign would have seen him endorse Barack Obama back in February or after so he could get the love The Cult loves to offer. Being ridiculed and mocked does not feed "vanity." Mr. Nader is running because he thinks the country needs to change. He, Mr. Gonzalez, and the many who play a role in the grassroots campaign are working to change the country. They are working to keep democracy alive. It strikes me as very funny that someone supporting the vague and airy corporate candidate Barack would have the nerve to suggest that issue-heavy Nader campaign was a "vanity" campaign. And that is before you get into the cult's behaivor of fainting in the presence of Saint Barack. Mr. Nader is for ending the illegal war now. Not possibly in four years from now. Mr. Nader supports universal, single-payer health care. Not some program that might insure childen while leaving millions of Americans uninsured (and a program that is a mandate, despite Mr. Obama's lies otherwise). Mr. Nader supports the right to unionize, the repeal of Taft-Hartley. Mr. Obama supports making life even easier for corporations.

From Team Nader:

Drop $39 now on Nader/Gonzalez.
To protest Obama's choice of the Senator from MasterCard for VP.
That would be Senator Biden.
(By donating $39 now to the Nader Media Fund, you'll be helping us report more on Mr. Plastic in the days to come, but for starters, check out this account of how Biden fronted for the credit card companies in Congress.)
Why drop $39 now?
As a protest against the VP candidate from MasterCard.
Because $39 is key rip off number for the credit card industry.
Let's say you miss your credit card payment by one day.
What does the credit card company do?
They sock you with a $39 late fee.
And now, if Obama/Biden win the election, MasterCard and Visa will have a lock on the White House.
And who will stand up to the credit card industry and tell them -- no more rip off late fees?
And --
Only Nader/Gonzalez will stand up to the avaricious credit card corporations.
Who trap their consumers with --
29 percent interest rates.$39 late fees.Over limit fees.Double cycle billing.Disappearing grace periods.$15 phone payment charges.
And every other possible way to rip you off.
To keep you in hock.
Forever and ever.
So, step up to the plate.
And drop $39 on Nader/Gonzalez now.
You'll be protesting the corporate Democrats' descent into credit card hell.
And supporting the only campaign that has the independence and guts to stand up to the industry and say -- enough!
Protest now.
Better late than never.
Onward to November.

iraqrobin longjeremy hinzman
jim branum
mcclatchy newspapersleila fadel
the los angeles timestina susmanned parker
marie cocco
the new york times
susan faludi
campbell robertsonriyadh mohammed