BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
SHE TALKS TO ANGELS. HAS HER OWN COOKING AND DIETARY STAFF. FLOCKS REALLY BAD BOOKS AND BEGS FOR MONEY.
BUT, JUST AS SHE NEVER GOT STEDMAN DOWN THE AISLE, SHE HAS LITTLE EFFECT ON HER NEW BOY-TOY BARACK OBAMA.
BAMBI'S NOT IN THE SENATE THREE YEARS AND RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT WAS GOING TO REQUIRE A LOT OF HELP SO HE PULLED OUT THE HEAVYWEIGHT OPRAH.
A NEW POLL DEMONSTRATES THAT DAYTIME TV MOGUL OPRAH REALLY HAS NO OUTREACH BEYOND SHUT-INS FINDING THAT THE MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS (8 OUT OF EVERY 10) STATED WHO GIVES A DAMN WHO OPRAH SAYS VOTE FOR WHILE A LARGER NUMBER OF DEMOCRATS SAID OPRAH'S HAWKING OF BAMBI AS THOUGH HE WERE A CHEAP PRODUCT MAKES THEM LESS INTERESTED IN HIM.
WHEN REACHED FOR COMMENT THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN TOLD THESE REPORTERS "WE ARE WORKING ON THE PROBLEM" AND THAT THEY ARE LINING UP OTHER CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS "INCLUDING PARIS HILTON, DANNY BONADUCE, ROBERT BLAKE AND WE'RE HOPING TO GET A HOLD OF WHOMEVER PLAYED BABE IN THAT PIG MOVIE."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with war resisters. So we are driving in to Canada as this is dictated hoping to catch the Parliament's hearing that will provide war resisters who went to Canada the opportunity to testify in public. And no one seems to know anything about today's hearing. It is taking place right? A call to the Parliament (613-992-3150) results in a nice man on the phone who is looking to find the hearing scheduled for the Citizenship and Immigration committee. "Don't seem to have anything to do" today he says of the committee while we're all wondering (Ava, Kat, myself and a friend), "Did the meeting get cancelled?" No. He finds it. It's been going on for "over an hour." So, fingers crossed for luck, it hasn't been cancelled and the reason members e-mailing can't find information on it is that the hearing's ongoing. (Although for all we know, we'll get there and it's been cancelled.)
What has taken place already, on December 6th was a meeting of thecommittee and we'll note the minutes of it in full.
The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration met at 3:34 p.m. this day, in Room 269, West Block, the Chair, Norman Doyle, presiding.
Members of the Committee present: Dave Batters, Colleen Beaumier, Robert Carrier, Olivia Chow, Norman Doyle, Meili Faille, Nina Grewal, Hon. Jim Karygiannis, Ed Komarnicki and Hon. Andrew Telegdi.
Acting Members present: Lloyd St. Amand for Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua and Bradley R. Trost for Wajid Khan.
Other Members present: Alex Atamanenko.
In attendance: Library of Parliament: Penny Becklumb, Analyst; Sandra Elgersma, Analyst.
Witnesses: Department of Citizenship and Immigration: Les Linklater, Director General, Immigration Branch; Micheline Aucoin, Director General, Refugees Branch. Mennonite Central Committee: William Janzen, Director. War Resisters' Support Campaign: Phillip McDowell. As an individual: Jeffry A. House. Canadian Friends Service Committee: Gay Anne Broughton, Program Coordinator.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Committee on Thursday, November 22, 2007, the Committee commenced its study of Iraq war resisters.
Les Linklater made a statement and, with Micheline Aucoin, answered questions.
William Janzen, Philip McDowell, Jeffry A. House and Gay Anne Broughton made statements and answered questions.
Jim Karygiannis moved, -- The Committee recommends that the government immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members (partners and dependents), who have refused or left military service related to the war in Iraq and do not have a criminal record and/or there has been no criminal or military warrants issued against them, to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and that the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions that may have already commenced against such individuals.
Olivia Chow moved, -- That the motion be amended by replacing the words "the war in Iraq" with the words "a war not sanctioned by the United Nations"; and by deleting the words "and/or there has been no criminal or military warrants issued against them".
After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Olivia Chow and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Colleen Beaumier, Robert Carrier, Olivia Chow, Meili Faille, Jim Karygiannis, Lloyd St. Amand, Andrew Telegdi -- 7; NAYS: Dave Batters, Nina Grewal, Ed Komarnicki, Bradley R. Trost -- 4.
After debate, the question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: Colleen Beaumier, Robert Carrier, Olivia Chow, Meili Faille, Jim Karygiannis, Lloyd St. Amand, Andrew Telegdi -- 7; NAYS: Dave Batters, Nina Grewal, Ed Komarnicki, Bradley R. Trost -- 4.
The motion, as amended, read as follows:
That the Committee recommend that the government immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members (partners and dependents), who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations and do not have a criminal record, to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and that the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions that may have already commenced against such individuals.
At 5:14 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.
That was December 6th and, again, a hearing is supposed to be taking place right now.
Cindy Sheehan (OpEdNews) urges people to utilize Courage to Resist's easy to mail or e-mail resources to allow the Canadian government to know you are watching and to support organizations supporting war resisters as well as supporting war resisters:
Support actual war resisters in Canada by sending them expense money. From my friend Ryan (I gave him and his wife money to get to Canada over two years ago):
In light of the recent Supreme Court denial in Canada, I (Ryan Johnson), My wife (Jen Johnson) and Brandon Hughey need help raising funds to travel to Ottawa to attend hearings before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, where War Resisters will be giving Testimony to the committee. At these hearings the committee will be deciding on whether or not to make a provision to allow war resisters to stay in Canada. This is one of our last chances to be able to continue living in Canada. We will be leaving December 7th because the hearings are December 11th, 2007 so we need to act fast. They may try to send guys back soon and we need to have a strong War Resister Presence. We appreciate all of the support and Want to thank all of you who can help.
Checks/money orders can be sent for Ryan, Jen and Brandon to: 312 Tower Rd Nelson, BC V1L3K6
Checks and money orders can continue to be sent. They obviously will not get their in time since the hearing is tomorrow but they will help with expenses. In addition, the links offered should continue to be used. No one expects the Parliament to listen to testimony and say, "Okay, then! Here's our decision."
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes 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, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, 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. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
The voice of war resister Camilo Mejia is featured in Rebel Voices -- playing now through December 16th at Culture Project -- that's ten more days -- and based on Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's best-selling book Voices of a People's History of the United States. It features dramatic readings of historical voices such as war resister Mejia, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Malcom X and others will be featured. Musician Allison Mooerer will head the permanent cast while those confirmed to be performing on selected nights are Ally Sheedy (actress and poet, best known for films such as High Art, The Breakfast Club, Maid to Order, the two Short Circuit films, St. Elmo's Fire, War Games, and, along with Nicky Katt, has good buzz on the forthcoming Harold), Eve Ensler who wrote the theater classic The Vagina Monologues (no, it's not too soon to call that a classic), actor David Strathaim (L.A. Confidential, The Firm, Bob Roberts, Dolores Claiborne and The Bourne Ultimatum), actor and playwright Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride, Clueless -- film and TV series, Gregory and Chicken Little), actress Lili Taylor (Dogfight, Shortcuts, Say Anything, Household Saints, I Shot Andy Warhol, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, State of Mind) and actor, director and activist Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Beloved, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Rainmaker, Places In The Heart, Dreamgirls, Shooter and who recently appeared on Democracy Now! addressing the US militarization of Africa) The directors are Will Pomerantz and Rob Urbinati with Urbinati collaborating with Zinn and Arnove on the play. Tickets are $41.. The theater is located at 55 Mercer Street and tickets can be purchased there, over the phone (212-352-3101) or online here and here. More information can be found at Culture Project.
Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:
In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
March 13th through 15th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.
"Has the US turned the tide in Baghdad?" wonders the Independent of London's Patrick Cockburn at CounterPunch before outlining the actual realities (and noting "American commentators are generally making the same mistake that they have made since the invasion of Iraq was first contemplated five years ago"). Cockburn -- a non-embedded reporter -- explains how the escalation ('surge') has little to do with what's going on in Iraq ("the battle for supremacy between the Sunni and Shia communities"): "The US military -- the State Department has been very marginalized in decision making in Baghdad -- does not want to emphasize that many of the Sunni fighters now on the US payroll and misleadingly called 'Concerned Citizens' until recently belonged to al Qa'ida and have the blood of a great many Iraqi civilians and US soldiers on their hands." Cockburn traces the exodus of Sunnis from the capital at the start of the "The Battle for Baghdad" (Feb. 22, 2006) which was a surprise in the Shi'ite response and the lack of support from "Sunni states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt" and led to the forming of the militias/thugs/'Awakening councils' which are now being hailed by the US as a 'success' but are the same cause of tension as the Shi'ite thugs the US armed: ". . . the creation of this force is a new stage in the war in Iraq rather than an end to the conflict." US trained and backed to fight foreign fighters in Iraq seen as alligned with al Qaeda, that wait to turn that training on Shi'ites and on the US itself. Cockburn notes Moqtada al-Sadr's cease fire could end at any point "if the Shia community came under attack or the Americans pressured it too hard" and that al-Sadr is attempting "to purge" his Mehdi Army "of elements he does not control". Cockburn's analysis comes as Sam Dagher (Christian Science Monitor) reports that Moqtada al-Sadr insiders say he "is anything but idle. Instead, he is orchestrating a revial among his army of loyalists entrenched in Baghdad and Shiite enclaves in the south -- from the religious centers of Karbala and Najaf to the economic hub of Basra" with retraining, safe houses and samaritan efforts (such as donating blood) to win over Iraqis the violence may have alienated while developing a stronger, more controlled force that can take on the US. Dagher quotes al-Sadr's statment last week, "I tell the evil Bush, leave our land, we do not need you or your armies. . . . I tell the occupiers . . . you have your democracy and we have our Islam; get out of our land."
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