THE CELEBRITY IN CHIEF IS IN TROUBLE. IT'S NOT JUST THAT ED KOCH CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHERE BARRY O STANDS ON ISRAEL. NOR IS IT THAT PATHETIC RANDY NEWMAN HAS WRITTEN ANOTHER SONG ABOUT HIMSELF (THE NEW ONE'S ABOUT RACISM, HE'S MOST FAMOUS FOR WRITING A SONG ABOUT SHORT PEOPLE -- HE'S SHORT REMEMBER, YOU DO THE MATH).
NO, HIS BIGGEST PROBLEM IS THE MEDIA THAT CAN'T STOP LOVING AND LYING. MOST RECENTLY, IT'S THE MEDIA'S TREND TO OVERSAMPLE IN POLLS AND PRETEND LIKE BARRY O HAS A SIGNIFICANT LEAD. HOW IS THIS HARMFUL TO THE CELEBRITY IN CHIEF?
2012 WILL BE A CLOSE ELECTION. AS BARRY O HAS ADMITTED. VOTER TURNOUT WILL BE IMPORTANT. AS BARRY O HAS ADMITTED. IF HIS SUPPORTERS FALSELY BELIEVE HE HAS A CLEAR LEAD DUE TO SKEWED POLLING, THEY'LL BE LESS LIKELY TO VOTE WHEN THEY HAVE OTHER THINGS -- LIKE LIFE -- TO DO ON ELECTION DAY.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
This afternoon in Toronoto, Iraq War resister Chuck Wiley declared, "Like Kim Rivera, I am a war resister who developed an issue of conscience after witnessing events in Iraq and sought protection in Canada. Kim's actions were based in conscience, and her own understanding of the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Conventions, and the balance os international law. She took these principles seriously, and hoped and expected that Canada still did the same as it has for generations." Wiley was among a group of people gathered today to show their support for Kim. At The Strength of the Absurd, Kim's friend explains, "Kimberly Rivera grew up in Mesquite, Texas. When she was 17, Army recruiters visited her home offering money for college that her family did not have. She signed up to be a mechanic and was enlisted in the Army Reserves.In October 2006 her unit was activated and deployed to Iraq. What she witnessed during that deployment affected her deeply. In January 2007 on a two week leave in the US, Kim and her husband Mario agreed she would not go back to Iraq. In 2007 she became the first woman U.S. Iraq war resister to seek asylum in Canada. She lives in Canada with her husband and four children, two of them born in Canada." Now the Candiana government is stating she must leave the country by Thursday, September 20th or face deportation.
As the Toronto press conference got started, a statement from prominent Canadians -- including the children of two of Canada's most historic politicians, the daughter of "The Greatest Canadian" Tommy Douglas (Shirley Douglas) and the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (Alexandre Trudeau).
We the undersigned support conscientious objector Kimerly Rivera and her family who are threatened with imminent deportation from Canada on September 20. Kim deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in 2007. She faces a court martial and up to 5 years in military prison for refusing to participate any longer in the Iraq War -- a war which had no legal sanction. Kim would be separated from her four young children, two of whom were born in Canada. A felony conviction would mean a lifetime of difficulty finding employment. We call on the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kennedy to do the right thing and allow Kimberly Rivera and her family to stay in Canada.
Andy Barrie, broadcaster and Vietnam War resister
Dan Bar-El, award-winning children's author
Maude Barlow, author and activist
Maev Beaty, actor
Shirley Douglas, O.C., actor
Dennis Foon, award-winning writer
Richard Greenblatt, playwright/actor
Ron Hawkins, musician
Naomi Klein, author [child of a Vietnam War resister who went from New Jersey to Montreal in 1967 with his wife Bonnie]
Ron Kovic, author, Born on the Fourth of July
Avi Lewis, filmmaker
Peter Showler, Director, the Refugee Forum, University of Ottawa; former chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board
Jack Todd, journalist and Vietnam War resister
Alexandre Trudeau, filmmaker
Alexandre Trudeau's father left a mark on the world stage. He did that by taking brave stands. Stephen Harper is the current prime minister and he's little known outside of Canada despite holding the office for over six years now. If he wanted to be a world player and have all the world looking to Canada again, as so many did when Pierre Trudeau was prime minister, he could intervene and allow Kim and her family to stay in Canada. But maybe Harper's not interested in having a legacy or being known as a player on the world stage?
Also speaking at the media conference today was Beaches International Jazz Festival's Artistic Director Bill King who explained, "I arrived in Canada as a Vietnam War resister, and I have been welcomed and embraced by Canadians. Kim Rivera made the same difficult decision I did. Minister Kenney and Prime Minister Harper, please show us that strong leaders are compassionate and allow her to stay." War Resisters Support Campaign's Michelle Robidoux observed, "Canada's support for conscientious objectors to the Iraq War, and for the Rivera family specifically, has been overwhelming. If it was up to the Canadian people, there is no doubt that the Rivera family would be allowed to stay in this country. We are appealing today to Jason Kenney to stop a great injustice from being done, by approving Kimberly Rivera's application to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds." (All quotes from the press conference are from a press release e-mailed to the public e-mail account. They do not have the press release up at the War Resisters Support Campaign site currently.)
If Kenney and Harper were to do the right thing, it would have support from the Canadian people and Canadian lawmakers. Catherine (Soul Side) observes, "Twice parliament has voted to allow US Iraq war resisters to stay in the country, just as happened during the Vietnam war. Canadians understand the importance of personal conscience, of staying true to principles that matter. But the Harper government refuses to allow Rivera any justice." As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has joined the call for Iraq War veteran and war resister Kimberly Rivera (above) to remain in Canada. In early 2007, while home on a pass, Kim knew she couldn't continue with the Iraq War and she and her family moved to Canada. Erin Criger (City News) notes "Amnesty International, the Canadian Labour Congress and the United Church of Canada have all supported Rivera." In addition, many individual Canadians support her as well as organizations such as the United Steelworkers of Canada which issued a statement calling for the government of Canada to let Kim and her family stay and Canada's National Union of Public and General Employees which also issued a statement. She also has the support of the United Church of Canada.
And 19,231 people have signed on to the War Resisters Support Campaign's petition to let Kim and her family stay. Krystalline Kraus (Rabble) notes an action taking place tomorrow:
- Join a rally in support of the Rivera family. Bring your banners, flags, and signs in support of Kim and all of the Iraq War resisters.
In Toronto the rally will be held at the Federal Court, 180 Queen Street West, from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
For a list of rallies in other cities, go to http://resisters.ca/support-the-rivera-family/.
"Nouri's Iraq: Women not represented, inmates dying..."
"Will you help Kim Rivera?"
"The Chicago strike"
"The press war"
"The economy, so much worse than most know"
"why my vote actually matters"
"Tired of the whole damned machine"
"A bad movie"
"The end of the image"
"Oscar ignores the women"
"Barack wants verdict overturn"
"Afghanistan, Third, Isaiah and more"
"Look how they play favorites again"
"THIS JUST IN! WHO'S IMPARTIAL?"