SENATOR BARACK "SWEEITE" OBAMA HAS FLIP-FLOPPED AGAIN.
AFTER ALLOWING HIS TWO YOUNG DAUGHTERS TO BE INTERVIEWED BY ACCESS HOLLYWOOD -- A PROGRAM THAT USUALLY HIGHLIGHTS YOUNG WOMEN ONLY WHEN THEY'RE DRUNK OR DRUGGED OUT -- BARACK IS NOW CALLING IT A MISTAKE.
IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, BARACK EXPLAINED HE WASN'T OFFENDED BY THE CHILDRENS' ANSWERS OR EVEN BY THE QUESTIONS THEY WERE ASKED, "BUT I JUST DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF ANYONE BEING SEEN AS MORE PRECIOUS THAN ME!"
ASKED ABOUT HOW THIS LATEST MOVE MIGHT BE SEEN AS YET ANOTHER FLIP-FLOP, BARACK DISMISSED THE CONCERNS STATING, "I'M HOPING TO GET THE LEAD IN THE MOVIE ADAPTATION OF FLIPPER. WANT TO HEAR ME SQUEAK? JIM BELUSHI IS SET TO PLAY THE FATHER! I ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK WITH HIM! HE IS A COMIC GENIUS!"
Starting with war resistance. There are celebrations in Canada today but before we get to that, two journalists get the facts right at the top and deserve note. Patrick Arden (Metro) opens with, "Canada was a safe haven for 60,000 U.S. military draft dodgers and deserters during the Vietnam War." Ian Austen (International Herald Tribune) also grasps and conveys the basics, "During Vietnam, Pierre Trudeau, the Liberal prime minister, welcomed American deserters and draft dodgers, declaring that Canada 'should be a refuge from militarism.' Americans who arrived were generally able to obtain legal immigrant status simply by applying at the border, or even after they entered the country." Adding a detail, prior to Trudeau's 1969 declaration, some were being advised to fly in because you could not be immediately turned back the way you would be if you tried to enter through a land border. London Topic notes a 5:00 pm rally this evening in Victoria Park for US war resisters attempting to be granted safe harbor in Canada and among those participating will be MP Irene Mathyssen who states of Judge Robert Barnes' decision in US war resister Joshua Key's case, "The federal court is filling the void that is left by the lack of political will demonstrated by Immigration Minister Diane Finley." Demonstrations were scheduled to take place throughout Canada. They found a celebratory note with some late breaking news. The CBC reported that US war resister Corey Glass, due to be deported as early as today, "can stay in Canada while the court reviews and decides on his applications for leave and judicial review -- process his lawyer said could take months"; and they quoted him declaring, "I was shocked. I was just enjoying my last little bit of time I had in Canada." AP and Canada's GMA pointed out that Glass "is one of about 200 American deserters believed to have come to Canada to avoid service in Iraq. So far, Canadian immigration officials and the courts have rejected efforts to grant them refugee status." Canwest News Services (via Ottawa Citizen) quotes Glass stating, "I had my bags ready and had moved out of my apartment. So I'm in the process of looking for another apartment." Colin Perkel (The Canadian Press via CNews) quotes attorney Alyssa Manning stating, "The fact that the stay was granted in both cases means that the Federal Court judge decided that there was a serious issue to be decided in both of the applications. There is a strong indication that leave will be granted." Perkel also notes the one carrying on the spirit of Pierre Trudeau today, MP Olivia Chow, stating that the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs "to stop wasting taxpayers' money" by refusing to implement any program (or heed the motion the House of Commons passed June 3rd) because "[i]n the meantime, we're wasting thousands and thousands of dollars throwing people in jail and attempting to deport them." Amnesty International updated their call for Glass not to be deported noting the latest developments. Kevin Connor (Toronto Sun) quotes the government's spokesperson for citizenship and immigration, Danielle Norris, stating, "His deportation has just been stayed -- it doesn't mean he can stay and he hasn't been granted refugee status." Liam Lahey (Inside Toronto) notes attorney Manning explaining that "Glass still needs three decisions to go his way in order to be on the path to permanent Canadian citizenship. The federal court first has to decide to hear his case. If that happens, he'll get another hearing at and if that decision comes down in Glass' favour, he'd then be allowed to argue his deportation order anew with immigration officials." In the US, UPI reports, "News of the judicial reprieve was greeted favorably by protesters in Washington, who gathered outside the Canadian Embassy to show support for Glass and other war resisters living in Canada." CTV News notes that the news has led to celebrations and today's planned demonstrations "will now celebrate the news" but, War Resisters Support Campaign's Lee Zaslofsky explain, "We're also going to try to put pressure on the government to resolve this whole thing on war resisters instead of dealing with it one court at a time." Which brings us specifically to US war resister Robin Long. Rod Mickleburgh (Globe and Mail) explains, "Mr. Long, 25, was arrested and taken into custody by Nelson police last Friday on a warrant from the Canada Border Services Agency. The CBSA alleged that he had violated his release conditions by failing to inform them of his address changes in the charming Interior city, home to several other U.S. deserters seeking to remain in Canada. With no work permit allowing him to earn money, Mr. Long had been 'couch surfing' at the residences of friends. He was further shocked on Tuesday to learn for the first time that authorities were planning to deport him almost immediately, despite a key Federal Court ruling last week ordering the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to reconsider another deserter's failed refugee claim." Jack Keating (The Province) adds, "The surprise decision was revealed by a Canada Border Services lawyer at an Immigration and Refugee Board Hearing in Vancouver on Tuesday. Long, 25, is being held in the Nelson city jail after being arrested by police last Friday on an outstanding immigration warrant." Lahey pins down July 14th as the day Long faces deportation. Meanwhile Steve Clarke, Federal Liberal candidate for Simcoe North, writes "Gov't can't keep ignoring motion concerning war objectors: Clarke" to the Orillia Packet & Times.
To pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor the House of Commons vote, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's "finley.d" at "parl.gc.ca") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail email@example.com -- that's "pm" at "pm.gc.ca"). Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote. Now they've started a new letter you can use online here. The War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here.
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).
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Turning to the US presidential race. "We were taught as young children," Ralph Nader explained, "that in our democracy, under our system of justice, nobody is above the law -- nobody. But this bill puts the President and the telecom companies above the law." It was the expansion of spying on Americans. And it passed. Barack Obama broke another pledge, flipped another flop, and voted for it. (Those voting against it included Senators Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer and Russ Feingold .) As Nader noted, "This legislation . . . sets up a double standard of justice. Break the law as a citizen, go to jail. Break the law as a corporation, go to Washington and get immunity. Remember, there were telecom companies, such as Qwest, that refused to follow President Bush's illegal wiretap orders and chose instead to obey the laws of the land." Barack caved. He broke his word. He sold out his supporters and the rule of law. Rebecca's "your frankenstein monster has escaped," Kat's "Hillary and Barbara stand up, Barack crawls," Marcia's "Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, Barack, Hillary," Ruth's "Barack, Hillary, Ralph, Glen Ford," Mike's "He tore apart the Democratic Party, now its families," Elaine's "Who stood up? The woman they attacked.," and Cedric's "Jesse Jackson Jnr. has a new Daddy" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! GUESS WHO GOT A NEW DADDY!" (joint-post on the last two) address it. A Barack supporter blogs at the Nader-Gonzalez presidential campaign site: "With yesterday's vote, it was last straw, for my decision not to contribute to Senator Obama's presidential candidate."
Meanwhile, the Green Party's confention began today and runs through the weekend (July 10th through July 13th). It's taking place in Chicago. Pacifica Radio will broadcast a three hour special on Sunday "as the convention comes to a close) that will stream online at the Pacifica website (noon to 3:00 p.m. EST; 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central and 9:00 a.m. to noon PST). Kimberly Wilder (On the Wilder Side) notes some initial press coverage. Vying for the party's presidential nomination are Kat Swift, Kent Mesplay, Jesse Johnson and presumed nominee Cynthia McKinney. Today is introductions and receptions. Tomorrow will provide several news conferences with Congressional and public office candidates (first at nine in the morning) with a Presidential Candidates' Forum beginning at seven p.m. The presidential candidates will hold their press conference at nine a.m. on Saturday. Saturday afternoon will have the roll call vote, the v.p. acceptance speech and presidential nominee acceptance speech followed by a press conference featuring the ticket. Presumed nominee Cynthia McKinney has picked her running mate: Rosa Clemente. Clemente declares, "I hope that my Vice Presidential run will inspire all people to recognize that they have more than two choices. The time has come to stop talking about what we have to do, but do it by building a 3rd party. I hope you join me on this journey." Austin Cassidy's Independent Political Report notes that Democrat Drew Pritt has launched a blistering attack at McKinney. As we said throughout the Democratic primary, if it's not your political party, butt the hell out. It's a real shame some Greens couldn't adopt the same policy during the Democratic Primary but instead acted as cheerleaders for Barack (Ted Glick for starters). Speaking to Green Party Watch Radio, Kat Swift encouraged people to contribute to Cynthia so that she might qualify for federal matching funds. The Green Party asked the four candidates to fill out a questionnaire. It's shocking that with the Iraq War over five years old it doesn't even qualify for a question. Asking 'your thoughts' on "Middle East Policy, including Iraq, Iran, and Israel" is not asking about the Iraq War. Note all candidates repsonses are in PDF format. Johnson responds, "Diplomacy is key." Mesplay responds at length but speaks of the "admitted mistake: poor intelligence." After that and his apparently mistaken belief that WMDs were found in Iraq, I'm not interested in quoting him, use the link if you're interested. Cynthia responds, "In 2006, I voted no on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. I consistently opposed every regular and supplemental appropriation meant to fund the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have participated in International War Crimes Tribunals (in Brussels, Spain and Malaysia) designed to bring to justice the Bush-Cheney administration. I was targeted by AIPAC and others for my opposition to the Israeli occupation of and genocidal policies toward Palestine." McKinney's referring to the House Resolution "On Prevailing in the Global War on Terror Bill" (June 12, 2006 for the vote). Her record in the US Congress allows her to cite many votes and she repeatedly voted (in all of them) against the illegal war -- going all the way back to HR 114 in October 2002. Should McKinney be the nominee, she would likely be one of two candidates who were in Congress in 2002 and voted on the original resolution. While McKinney voted against it, presumed GOP nominee John McCain voted for it (in the Senate). Mark Blumenthal (National Journal) writes of polling and his thoughts are mainly useless; however, someone might want to ask him where Cynthia McKinney is in his discussion? She's expected to be the nominee Saturday night. She's been expecte to be the nominee since at least January. John McCain and Barack Obam are not yet their party's nominee. So what's the excuse for leaving Cynthia out? You'd think the press -- having rubbed themselves raw as they got off on their own sexism -- would be making an effort at this point to be inclusive. But don't just call out the MSM, what's Yes! Magazine's pathetic excuse for Erik Leaver's crap called "Presidential Candidates on Foreign Policy" that does not cover Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader but includes John McCain? Answer: There is no excuse and Yes! is struggling for readers. Crap like this explains why. (A topic we'll return to tonight.)
Ryan Teague Beckwith (News Observer) notes Nader will be in Raleigh, Carolina Saturday night (St. Mary's School auditorium from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.) and that he needs 500 signatures to qualify for the North Carolina ballot which should not be difficult since Nader "was the top write-in candidate in North Carolina" in 2004. Matt Holmes (Charlottesville WCAV) notes Nader's Virginia Sunday rally, "Nader will be in Charlottesville on Sunday. He'll hold a rally at Gravity Lounge at 2pm. The campaign suggests a $10 donation for the general public, $5 for students who attend." Nader will be in Richmond, Virginia Saturday as well, at the Virginia Holocaust Museum from one p.m. to three p.m. And he became the first presidential candidate in nearly 50 years to campaign in Hawaii last week (1960 was the last time a presidential candidate campaigned in Hawaii).
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"