Saturday, May 31, 2008

Janet Hook has trouble with reality and history

Late yesterday  Canada's Liberal Party issue "Liberals Call on Government to Show Compassion for War Resisters."
The Liberal Opposition is calling on the Conservative government to support a motion that would allow conscientious objectors to apply for permanent resident status in Canada, said Liberal Citizenship and Immigration Critic Maurizio Bevilacqua.           
"Five years ago, the Liberal government made a principled decision not to participate in a war that wasn't sanctioned by the United Nations (U.N.). We should not now punish individuals and their families for making the same decision based on their personal principles," said Mr. Bevilacqua.        

The motion, which was passed by the Immigration Commmittee and is being debated in the House today, calls on the government to allow conscientious objectors, and their immediate family members, who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the U.N. and who do not have a criminal record to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada. The motion also stipulates that the government should not proceed with any action agains any war resister who currently faces deportation.     
"The government has a choice: it is not compelled to force these people to go back to a country where they may face prosecution under military law, or may be permanently branded for making a principled decision," said Mr. Bevilacqua.    
"Stephen Harper has indicated that, had he been Prime Minister in 2003, Canada would have participated in the Iraq war. I hope that the fact that Mr. Harper got it wrong at the time will not prevent him from showing compassion for those who made the right decision."
Kristen Thompson (Vancouver's Metro) reports that retired US Col and former US diplomat Ann Wright will be speaking in Vancouver Sunday "at an event honouring women war resisters".   While Wright speaks up, many stay silent and war resisters in Canada today need support as they wait to see if the motion for safe harbor is going to come to the Parliament floor.  You can utilize the following e-mails to show your support: Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( -- that's pm at who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion ( -- that's Dion.S at who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua ( -- that's Bevilacqua.M at who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.  In addition Jack Layton, NDP leader, has a contact form and they would like to hear from people as well. A few more addresses can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.  Lahey quotes NDP's Oliva Chow, who steered the motion, explaining, "If (Liberal leader) Stephane Dion were to say tomorrow that he supports this motion . . . we will then debate it.  So we need people to call Mr. Dion . . . 'whose side you on Mr. Dion'?"  The number to call is (613) 996-5789.       
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
[. . .]
Turning to US political races.   Panhandle Media is a complete utter failure and they damaged not only themselves, they damaged the work of the few truly independent journalists who actually work.  John Pilger is one of the few and you can view the hatred in the comments (some of which may be deleted when this goes up) his article (New Statesman) has received.  Pilger's not doing anything different than what he has always done, be a journalist.  But those who pretend to be his peers have so debased 'independent' media that the real independent journalists have to put up with nonsense from the Cult Panhandle Media built.  From Pilger's article (and, note, Pilger would be just as harsh on Hillary and has been before):
On the war in Iraq, Obama the dove and McCain the hawk are almost united.  McCain now says he wants US troops to leave in five years (instead of "100 years", his earlier option).  Obama has now "reserved the right" to change his pledge to get troops out next year.  "I will listen to our commanders on the ground," he now says, echoing Bush.  His adviser on Iraq, Colin Kahl, says the US should maintain up to 80,000 troops in Iraq until 2010.  Like McCain, Obama has voted repeatedly in the Senate to support Bush's demands for funding of the occupation of Iraq; and he has called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.  His senior advisers embrace McCain's proposal for an aggressive "league of democracies", led by the United States, to circumvent the United Nations.
[ . . .]
Despite claiming that his campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, Obama is backed by the biggest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as the huge hedge fund Citadel Investment Group.  "Seven of the Obama campaign's top 14 donors," wrote the investigator Pam Martens, "consisted of officers and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged time and again with looting the public and newly implicated in originating and/or bundling fraudulently made mortgages."  A report by United for a Fair Economy, a non-profit group, estimates the total loss to poor Americans of colour who took out sub-prime loans as being between $164bn and $213bn: the greatest loss of wealth ever recorded for people of colour in the United States.  "Washington lobbyists haven't funded my campaign," said Obama in January, "they won't run my White House and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president."  According to files held by the Centre for Responsive Politics, the top five contributors to the Obama campaign are registered corporate lobbysits.   
What is Obama's attraction to big business?  Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's.  By offering a "new", young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party -- with the bonus of being a member of the black elite -- he can blunt and divert real opposition.  That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state.  An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US anti-war and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults.  If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.
Meanwhile Barack is in trouble despite the efforts of John McCormick and Manya A. Brachear (Chicago Tribune) to rescue him.  Another crackpot Barack friend, mentor and supporter (as noted in yesterday's snapshot) showed their ass: Michael Pfleger.  Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite maintains that she spoke at Trinity (Barack's church) Sunday as well (different services -- Trinity has mutliple services each Sunday) and writes: "We in the United Church of Christ are trying to have what we call 'A Sacred Conversation on Race' and I did not find Pfleger's sermon to represent what we in the UCC are trying to do in having a sacred conversation.  Instead, Pfleger's sermon was a bullying rant that was disrespectufl of the members of Trinity United Church of Christ, disrespectful of Senator Hillary Clinton and really also disrepectful of Senator Obama" blah blah.  SBT, you lost it.  You were making sense and then you had to toss out poor Barack.  Poor Barack's been friends with Pfleger since Barack first breezed into Chicago over a decade ago.  Also, the members you are offended for, the video shows no booing.  Clapping, yes.  If SBT is not the most embarrassing person in all of this named Barack or Pfleger, that's only because Senator Dick Durbin had to butt into it.  He told the Chicago Tribune, "I like Mike.  He's my friend."  You need to find some better friends, Durbin. He almost outs himself in his vast wordage.  What's the difference between Jeremiah Wright and Pfleger?  Pfleger's White and that's it.  They both 'preached' hate speech.  But Wright, according to Durbin, allowed for 'marvelous' opportunities because Barack dould say, 'What's he so angry about?'  And a race conversation, according to Durbin, could begin.  That conversation never took place.  But here's where Durbin clams up -- obviously when you ask, "What's he so angry about?" regarding Pfleger, you can't point to this and that and everything else that was trotted out for Wright's crackpot theories such as the US government created AIDS to wipe out African-Americans.  Pfleger's just a hate monger. 
Jake Tapper (ABC News) quotes Cardinal Francis George of the Archidoces of Chicago in this statement: "The Catholic Church does not endorse political candidates.  Consequently, while a priest must speak to political issues that are also moral, he may not endorse candidates nor engage in partisan campaigning.  Racial issues are both political and moral and are also highly charged. Words can be differently interpreted, but Fr. Pfleger's remarks about Senator Clinton are both partisan and amount to a personal attack.  I regret that deeply."  All the links contain text (and most video) of Pfleger's hate speech yesterday.  This was Barack's response: "As I have traveled this country, I've been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that unites us.  That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-thinking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause."  That's not an apology. 
Here's an apology Barack: "This will be the second time in two weeks I have apologized to someone over the actions of a Roman Catholic Priest. It is not a pleasant thing but it is the right thing. Rev. Michael Pfleger had no business giving any kind of sermon like the one he did ridiculing Hillary Clinton let alone giving a sermon anywhere else than in his own Parish at a Mass. This kind of grandstanding mockery of another human being is totally against the Catholic faith and the spirit of inclusivity and respect for all human beings that Catholics hold dear. He has sinned against God, Hillary, and his priesthood for which an apology is not enough. I hope he has scheduled a confession and a retreat to rethink his role as Priest would not hurt either.  To Mrs. Clinton I apologize as a Roman Catholic and am embarassed by this priests words and actions. I have no idea his motivations but please do not take this man's view nor his words as that reflecting Catholics, or the Catholic Church."  That's Catherine J. writing at Gather.  She didn't do anything requiring an apology.  She and Pfleger are the same faith.  But she wanted to apologize and she offered a real and heartfelt one.  That's an apology.  What Barack offered was sop and insulting.  His friend for over twenty years, his patron, his mentor, a part of his campaing (until weeks ago -- as all the media rushes to insist) trashed Hillary Clinton and others in despicable terms, in outrageous sexist slander and did so at Barack's church of 20 years -- to the applause and shouts of encouragement from Barack's church.  He owes an apology.  But he's never been forced by the press to apologize once.  He's never apologized to anyone.  "I regret . . ."  That's not an apology, it's a declined invitation.  That's Barack's buddy offering that hate speech.  Barack steered $100,000 of tax-payer money to the crackpot's church.  Yeah, he owes a big apology.
Pfleger thinks he can get away with this crap as well.  CNN notes his 'apology': "I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama's life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them."  He doesn't regret anything.  He thought he was cute as he minced around and did his little parody of women on stage.  You can watch the video and see him grinning.  (Liars at the Chicago Tribune tell you he was rushed off stage by organ music -- that's a lie.   Watch the video.  There is a time lapse and no organ music is played to tell him to wrap it up.)  Foon Rhee (Boston Globe) reports the Clinton campaign's Ann Lewis declared on MSNBC, "I'm not sure what the 'if' was about" -- Pfleger's statements are "simply appalling."
John Bentley (CBS News) notes Senator John McCain (presumed GOP presidential nominee) stating, "I have known Sen. Clinton for a long time.  I respect her, and I think that kind of language and that kind of treatment of Sen. Clinton is unwarranted, uncalled for, and disgraceful."  Barack could have said that but chose not to.  If it's a race between McCain and Obama in November, McCain's ahead currently because spoiled little princes aren't generally embraced by America.  As Ken Dilanian (USA Today) points out, "Obama has not specifically addressed what Pfleger said about Clinton."
Hillary's still in the race and she's winning the popular vote.  Fabien Levy ( observes, "Wild weather did not stop residents of Huron from coming out to see Hillary on Thursday. Droves of voters turned out to see Hillary at Campbell Park, but due to inclement weather the event was moved into the Huron Events Center. Once inside, a packed house heard Hillary speak directly about the issues including our broken economy, the war in Iraq, veteran's affairs and universal health care."  Huron, South Dakota, bit of trivia, is where Cheryl Ladd was born.  So there's the trivia and now for the important take-away.  The primaries will end with neither Hillary or Barack having enough delegates awarded (through primaries and caucuses) to calim the nomination.  The race should continue to the convention in August.  Some are trying to stop democracy, some don't trust the voters, some don't trust Democrats.  Apparently, Democrats gathering together in Colorado this August is a frightening thought to Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and Harry Reid.  Oh goodness, the trio worries, what might they do!  They might ensure that the people are heard.  Shame on anyone who attempts to end this historic race before the finish line is reached.  Michael P. Forbes (Austin-American Stateman) tells you what Pelosi, Reid and Dean can't and won't:
As the last primary votes are cast on Tuesday, some will want a coronation before the will of the Democratic Convention has been adjudicated.
There will be very loud and very determined illegitimate calls for Clinton to bow out. They will cry of suspect pleas to party unity and ill-conceived suggestions that a prolonged nominating process -- one that rightfully should go to decisive balloting for president at the Democratic Convention from August 25-28 -- is harmful to the party.         
That's baloney. The excitement of this Democratic primary season as attested to by burgeoning party coffers and unprecedented levels of voter participation serve to reinvigorate the national Democratic Party after 12 years of Republican reign in Congress and eight years of a very unpopular Republican president. With daily reminders at the gas pump and in the grocery store of an ailing economy and two wars abroad, Americans are more than ready to put Democrats back in the White House.                  
A national dialogue that continues all the way to the Democratic Convention on the attributes and abilities of Clinton and Obama and who is the Democrat most competent to be president is healthy for the political process and advantageous to the nation.  


Americaneocon said...


With all respect, the stupidity's not located with Hook...

KeShawn said...

Oh Janet, how cute of you to post a comment. Yeah, Jan's stupid. And it's cute the way "americaneocon" avoids the issue of 1984. They have to, don't they? Disproves the lie Barack's peddling.