Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From the dessert tray













Starting with war resistance.   May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Corey Glass is an Iraq War veteran and a US war resister.  He went to Canada seeking asylum -- the kind of welcoming Canada provided to war resisters ("draft dodgers" and "deserters") during Vietnam.  After being told he was being deported, he's been 'extended' through July 10thJune 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters.  Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign will hold a  "Rally to Stop the Deportation of Parkdale Resident Corey Glass" July 3rd, begins at 7:00 p.m. (with doors opening at six p.m.) at the May Robinson Building, 20 West Lodge, Toronto: "In 2002, Corey joined the Indiana National Guard.  He was told he would not have to fight on foreign shores.  But in 2005 he was sent to Iraq.  What he saw there caused him to become a conscientious objector and he came to Canada.  On May 21, 2008, he got his final order to leave Canada by July 10, 2008.  Then on June 3 Parliament passed a motion for all the war resisters to stay in Canada.  However the Harper government says it will ignore this motion."   Meanwhile the Vancouver branch of the War Resisters Support Campaign needs help housing war resisters in that area: 


Dear friends; the two things that we need help with most right now in Vancouver are housing for war resisters and your participation in our outreach and lobbying in Conservative ridings and keeping up the media visibility. 
Below is a housing appeal, please pass it on freely. 
Also in Vancouver we will be doing another visit to a Conservative riding, probably either Emerson's in Vancouver or Nina Grewal in Fleetwood-Port Kells. That is tentatively planned for Saturday June 28.  
War Resister Housing Appeal 
Do you have an extra-room or a fold-out couch in your home? Do you want to help end the war in Iraq? Would you like to see Canada, once again, become a sanctuary for American soldiers refusing to participate in an illegal war? 
If you answered yes to the questions above, the War Resisters Support Campaign in Vancouver needs you! 
The War Resisters Support Campaign helps American soldiers who have come to Canada seeking sanctuary. These young men and women face imprisonment in the US because they obeyed their conscience. 
They turned their backs on George Bush's war. 
We need volunteers to house US war resister for a few days to a few months, while we help them to get settled in and work their way through the refugee immigration process.
Right now in Vancouver we are in urgent need of housing for two war resisters.
If you can house a war resister in the lower mainland, for at least a week starting this week please contact James Leslie at jamesleslie@telus.net or (604) 736-9804

After Friday June 20, 2008 call or email Sarah Bjorknas at 778-837-1475 or vanresisters@yahoo.ca

For more info, or to volunteer housing in other parts of BC or the rest of Canada, please see our website www.resisters.ca    

Dear Campaigners; As you know, on June 3, the House of Commons did a pretty important thing. The MPs voted 137-110 for the War Resisters Motion, which would make it possible for the war resisters to apply for permanent residence in Canada, and which would stop the deportation of any of them, including Corey Glass, whose deadline to "leave or be removed" is now July 10.         

The CBC and Newsworld, had a 7-minute report the previous Sunday (June 1), with Terry Milewski, a prominent reporter, anchoring the story. It was a great piece, and it mentioned that the vote would take place on the following Tuesday.     

Then, on Tuesday, NOTHING -- NADA -- ZERO -- ZILCH!   

And by the way -- don't be shy about writing to your local media, or to "national" media like the Globe & Mail, which has ignored the story except for a teensy little paragraph that whispered "don't read this" the day after the vote.      
The Tories would love this issue to disappear from view. Don't let them have their way.          
LEE ZASLOFSKY           


There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes 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, 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 politics.  In "The Triumph of double-think," Joseph (Cannonfire) examines the way The Cult of Barack requries that up be up until Barack says it is down.  He specifically examines Barack's NAFTA nonsense -- Barack's lying about Hillary Clinton's stand, Barack's printed handouts and the way, and when it was revealed that Barack's 'tough' talk on NAFTA publicly came as his campaign's Austin Goolsbee rushed to assure the Canadian government that these were just words tossed out and Barack didn't mean of them.  He goes into how an effort then took place to smear Hillary with an unsourced whisper claiming it was her campaign in talks with the Canadian government and charts how that lie was repeated online.  But it wasn't just repeated online.  Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! is available online, on radio and TV.  March 9th, Ava and I observed:



Noting that Nichols was in Canada, Goody let Nichols smear Hillary Clinton with a false whisper (that two days later still hasn't panned out) presented as a "revelation" by never-a-journalist John Nichols. Remember how Bambi talked big and strong in the Texas debate about NAFTA? Probably not because he mainly repeated the answers Hillary had already given. But he did. He talked big, he talked strong. Down with NAFTA! But his campaign also talked to the Canadian government and assured them that, basically, you have to say certain things to get elected, you know, you have to put one over on those stupid American voters.

Amy Goodman likes to put one over on viewers which is why, before the show began, she was laughing with John Nichols about how they could introduce the unsourced smear against Hillary. (We are actually told she was "cackling.") Goody did that on the program with this fanciful lie, "Well we have covered the Barack Obama aspect of that [NAFTA] quite a bit. What are they saying about Hillary Clinton?" Goody thinks she covered Bambi's NAFTA-Gate "quite a bit"? No, she just thinks her viewers are too stupid to remember reality and that they are too lazy to check the archives


[. . .]


So informed viewers were most likely laughing when Goody declared that she had "covered the Barack Obama aspect of that quite a bit." She did two headlines. One minimized what had taken place by leaving out the fact that his campaign had offered non-stop denials over a series of days that only ceased when AP published the memo, the other that attempted to act as if the leaking of the memo was the story. (Yes, this is the same Goody who grandstanded recently on the shutting down of Wiki-leaks. Leaks are only good when they don't effect her candidate. And again, she calls this distract-from-the-discovered-lie-by-launching-an-investigation-into-the-leak nonsense out when the White House does it.)

Despite the fact that the AP had to publish not just the stories of NAFTA-gate but also the memo before Goody could get off her tired ass and note NAFTA-Gate, on Friday, she was eager to set John Nichols up so he could turn an unsourced whisper into a "revelation." It was nothing and not worth repeating. It certainly wasn't journalism but, hey, consider the two goons we were watching.


Yes, John Nichols of The Nation.  And Amy Goodman.  Who had nothing for the March 7th Democracy Now! broadcast.  But he smeared and he lied with encouragement from Goody.  "So this story just gets deeper and deeper and more complex," lied Nichols from Canada, 'hunting down' the story that was a non-story.  But it was never about reality.  It was about launching a smear, an unfounded rumor against Hillary because Barack had been caught lying.  Saint Barack wasn't so saintly and it was really important to spread rumors and lies about Hillary to take the focus off that fact.   As Joseph explains, "Even though Austan Goolsbee initially asserted that he never spoke about NAFTA with Georges Rioux of the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago -- and even though the Obama campaign officially denied the CTV report -- all parties now admit that Team Obama lied.  Lied.  The Canadian government conducted an investigation which confirmed the existence of the Goolsbee/Rioux meeting and sought to assign blame for the leak."  Hillary's campaign was never in talks with the Canadian government about NAFTA.  Barack's campaign was telling the government to ignore what Barack was saying, that it was just words.  And now?  Nina Easton (Fortune magazine) reported last week, "In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine's upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn't want to unilaterally repopen negotiations on NAFTA.  'Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,' he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA 'devastating' and 'a big mistake,' despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.  Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? 'Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself,' he answered."  The article also notes Goolsbee's being dispatched to "the Canadian counsul general in Chicago" February 8th to provide "assurances that Obama's rhetoric was 'more reflective of political manuevring than policy'" according to a new memo that Fortune got a hold of.   Yes, Barack lied.  He lied to get votes when he needed them.  He was caught out in the middle of lying and he denied it.  His Holler Monkeys had to distract from the damaging revelation so they tried to drag Hillary into it and smear her with lies.  Now that he thinks he has the nomination, Barack admits he never meant what was he was saying -- something he had Goolsbee tell the Canadian government in real time.  He LIED to American voters while telling the Canadian government he was LYING.  And he thinks he's qualified to be the leader of the United States?


Ralph Nader is running for president with Matt Gonzalez as his running mate.  AP reports that they turned in over "50,000 signatures" yesterday and are now should be on the Illinois ballot in November.  Team Nader notes:


Tomorrow, Senator Obama has a choice.

He can vote to defend the American people and the U.S. Constitution.

Or he can vote with the snooping Bush White House and the telephone companies.

The bill in question grants immunity to the phone companies that illegally participated in the White House's warrantless wiretap program.

Obama says he will seek to remove the immunity provision - but will vote for the bill if that doesn't succeed.

Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) calls the bill a capitulation to the phone companies and to the White House.

According to Senator Feingold, under under this bill, "the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S."

Last October, Obama said he would "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."

Now he says he will vote for it.

Liberal Democrats are surprised and outraged that Obama would flip-flop this way. 

But we're not surprised. 

From the beginning, we saw through Obama's "Change You Can Believe" mantra.

Obama is just another corporate candidate

At times, he might sound like a progressive.

But he's not.

That's why we're here.

We're here to give the American people a choice in November.

You can support the corporate candidates - Obama and McCain.

Or you can shift the power from the corporate candidates and the corporations to the people.

And support Nader/Gonzalez.  

Increasingly, progressives and liberal Democrats are seeing the light and breaking away.

What's your breaking point?



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