Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Barack whines

Starting with war resistance.  Last Wednesday, US war resister and Iraq War vet Corey Glass was informed by the Canadian government that he had until June 12th to leave on his own and, after that, he would be deported.  The government is refusing to grant him asylum.  Attorney Jeffrey House explains to The Real News Network (link has text and audio), "A soldier discovers the war is illegal, and then he or she doesn't want to participate in it.  If they go back to the United States, they're treated as deserters, and they can't argue, 'Oh, this is an illegal war.'  The courts have said you're not able to raise such a complicated question.  And so a main argument and a main reason why these soldiers have refused to fight on honorable grounds is being kept out of the court system -- it tears the heart out of the argument."
Yesterday Sandra Cason (Marshall News Messenger) reported on the family of James Grady Johnson who died while serving in Vietnam (February 26, 1968).  Cason spoke with his siblings and oldest sister Linda Ford stated that her half-brother went AWOL for a brief period (three days) and is quoted by Cason stating, "'I bear a great burden of guilt. I'm the one who talked him into' going back 'and I took him to the plane in Longview. It is something I will always regret. I had the money to send him to Canada, which is what a lot of others did'."
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 (pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) 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 the political races in the US.  Where there are lies, there lies Katrina vanden Heuvel who writes, "The women of The Nation are the first to deplore the sexism in media commentary this primary season, but a 'cover up'?"  We'll get back to "cover up" but let's be really clear that "the women of The Nation" -- she makes it sound like a special issue of Playboy, doesn't she? -- didn't do crap.  Stab Barbara Ehrenreich?  Her idiotic nonsense about Hillary's 'scary' religion?  (While refusing to note Barack's ties to the same prayer group.)  Betsy Reed? Self-loathing lesbian Laura Flanders staying silent on Barack's use of homophobia but making time to slime Robin Morgan?  How about this simple and undeniable fact: The Nation magazine publishing 491 men, 149 women in 2007.  Want to fix sexism, Katrina, fix your own damn magazine.  Funny, you dispatched Ben to e-mail this site in the summer of 2007 claiming that you were going to do just that.  And you never did a damn thing.  True, Katrina did call out David Schuster's outrageous remark on MSNBC that Hillary was 'pimping' Chelsea. She deserves credit for that -- no sarcasm.  You didn't see anyone at The Progressive call it out, did you?  Amy Goodman played dumb.  So Katrina does get credit for that but that credit is off-set by the fact that she allowed longterm sexist (so sexist it got him kicked out of the Berkeley commune) Tom Hayden to hide behind his wife for his sexist rant which The Nation was happy to publish online.  No, Katrina, the women of The Nation have done damn little.  Over and over.  "Cover up"?  Bill Clinton (video here) was speaking of the push to force Hillary out of the race when she is in fact winning the popular vote.  Bill's not a crackpot, his remarks were not 'shocking'.  He called it like it was.  It's cute of Katrina to pretend like she's been pro-Bill Clinton until now.  She's written and okayed the publishing of the sort of crap one's more used to seeing in The Weekly Standard but fascists in love with authoritarian regimes stick together, now don't the?  Katrina, you're not a feminist.  (You also didn't win an award from Planned Parenthood -- The Nation was awarded, not you -- try correcting that lie.)  For the record, a feminist calls out homophobia but no one at your crap-ass magazine (with declining circulation that can no longer be hidden by including trial subscriptions in the count) ever called out Barack's homophobia.  Sell your lies elsewhere.
Katrina also feels the need to offer this version of the rules and 'democray': "when the polls close on June 3, superdelegates should move, expeditiously, to make their decision . . ."  Uh, no, they shouldn't.  The rules don't allow for that.  By the rules, it now goes to the convention floor unless Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama decides to drop out.  Democracy is a difficult concept for the school girl spending her days dreaming of the Soviet Union but that's what we've got in the US, accept it.  "Cover up" frightens Katty-van-van because she's been all up in the campaign since 2006.  She's been behind the scenes, using the Roosevelt Institution to conduct 'meet ups'.  If anyone ever checks out how the Institution played it this election season, it won't be pretty for Katty.  She brought on FaceBook to the campaign, she orchestrated coverage, she did a great deal.  She doesn't believe in democracy and it's no surprise that she's scared now. There's a push back and it's so huge, Katrina has to put aside the planning and aftermath time for the seventeenth birthday party to scribble some garbage quickly.  For more on how Panhandle Media has schemed to deceive the people, see "Realities in the Democratic presidential nomination contest," "The Democratic Race for the presidential nomination," "hillary, hillary and only hillary," "Only Hillary can win in November," "Hillary can win in November," "Want to win the White House?," "Realities in the Democratic presidential nomination contest," "Realities in the Democratic presidential nomination contest," "There's only one choice for Democrats,"
"The cruelest and most vile word you can call a Democrat," "Is the DNC paying attention?" and "Hillary's the only choiceAs Elaine's noted, Katty-van-van is no friend to women.  The women of The Nation have done damn little other than encourage it and waive it through (in one of three pieces -- columns and blog posts -- Katha Pollitt did call out Tom Hayden -- but how did he get published to begin with?  The same way that filth of a 'book review' sliming two women authors and extolling the virtues of a bordello was published in The Nation's first issue for 2007.  Take responsibility for that, Katrina.)   As Linda Hirshman (Slate) noted of Pig Hayden's nonsense:
In a recent Nation column, Tom Hayden (the '60s guy, now in his 60s) deployed a full arsenal of insults, comparing Clinton to Lady Macbeth and then going on to liken her appearance to a "screech" on the blackboard.               
Hayden, apparently fearing some criticism, hid behind the voice of his never-before-heard third wife, Barbara, a "meditative practitioner of everything peaceful and organic," never previously given to offering hostile political pronouncements. But Clinton's appearance on TV apparently makes Tom's wife "scream." Poor Tom Hayden, still looking for a sufficiently submissive female. Everyone remembers Jane Fonda, Hayden's second wife. But probably few Nation readers remember the first Mrs. Hayden, one Casey Hayden. In 1965, right around the time she divorced Tom, Casey Hayden wrote the screed that helped launch the women's liberation movement, "Sex and Caste." Her ex-husband's most recent unleashing of the hysteria rocket shows how little distance we have covered since Casey Hayden picked up her pen.
That garbarge of Hayden's was brought to you by Betsy Reed and Katrina vanden Heuvel.  They need to own it and they need to apologize for it.  (Don't hold your breath waiting.)  They could have done a roundtable on the issue but weren't interested.  Instead CNN's Reliable Sources, anchored by Howard Kurtz, did that.  Susan (Random Notes) has posted the video of the discussion and notes "Marie Cocco really hits the 'liberal' or 'progressive' blogs and their commentators for their filth."  
Carol Costello: It does bother me personally.  It does bother me deeply.  And you know I've done many stories on The Situation Room on this.  One thing I would like to say, you know, we sit around and we blame males for sexist comments but women are guilty as well.  I remember Jane Fonda came out and called Hillary Clinton what?  "A patriarch with a vagina."  Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio talk show host played the Wicked Witch of the West music everytime she talked about Hillary Clinton.  Randi Rhodes, a liberal woman talker, she called Hillary a term I cannot say on television.  But at least she was fired on it.  But women play into this sexist culture as well.  You know, explain to me, ladies, why women play into this when they have been in the same position as Hillary Clinton, fighting to get to the top, they know what it's like and yet they play into it.  And they get away with it because the media doesn't cover that part of it."
Transcript here.  It should be noted Jane Fonda has denied that she made the statement everyone heard her make but, after saying the "c" word on NBC what do you expect?  While Katty-van-van issues dispatches from her Harlem mansion, her crush Barack puts his foot in his mouth again.  Not content to claim there were 57 states in the United States, Jeralyn (TalkLeft) points out Barack's now claiming to see dead people: "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of . . ."  Barack Obama, thinking he's fit to be president, doesn't even know what a "fallen hero" is. Apparently, they didn't teach that Indonesia (or Barack couldn't follow it) and skipped it in his posh prep school as well.  (Jeralyn also reviews the primaries and the caucuses here.) It's a hard knocks life, that elite life Barack's lived.  Rachael Jolley (New Statesman) speaks with Sidney Blumenthal about how he sees it as part of the Hillary campaign:
"She has a tangible connection with them that she didn't have before. She has very definite connections with these voters."        
Blumenthal, who has written extensively about the consequences of a Republican-dominated America and been an outspoken critic of Bush the younger, believes that the Democrats' key failure in the latter part of the 20th century was an inability to reach and represent working people: "This is a central factor for the regeneration of the Democratic party," adding they had come to be seen as "elitist".           
The Democrats were further stigmatised, particularly through the Reagan years, as less patriotic than the Republicans, and less competent with the economy - similar to the picture the Tories painted of the UK Labour Party in the 1970s and 1980s. "The Clinton period was an effort to deal with these inherited problems and to reconstruct the centre left," says Blumenthal.         
The strength of Blumenthal's conviction that Hillary should be the next Democratic candidate matches the strength -- and waspishness -- of his opinion that Barack Obama should not. For example, he dismisses Obama's foreign experience as "I think he stopped in Britain once for a day".              
"Obama's problem is, as a candidate he hasn't really extended his support beyond his base as a state senator." These supporters hail from liberal academia, the well-off young and African Americans, believes Blumenthal, who is not afraid to point the finger at Obama's attitude to working class as "insulting", plainly referring to comments during the Pennsylvania primary.          
Meanwhile Joan Walsh makes an idiot (and racist) out of herself at Salon where she posited on Monday that those White and Latino voters not supporting Barack may not be racist, they just may have a "lack of familiarity with Obama."  Quoting Ava: "How dare you write about people you know nothing about and how dare your Anglo publication try to talk about my community.  Kiss my Latina ass, Joan Walsh.  Latinos and Latinas know who Obama is -- I imagine so do most White voters regardless of income unless they're returning from a mission to Mars -- the reality is WE DO NOT LIKE HIM.  It has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with his empty rhetoric and the fact that he's a light-weight.  Hillary's the fighter and has earned that title.  But Barack couldn't take that title away from her with both her hands tied behind her back.  He is weak.  The Latino community does not look to weaklings to lead. Dolores Huerta is no cream puff.   Either leave your desk and speak to the people you think you 'know' or write about what you do know.  I doubt you know a damn thing about the White working class in Kentucky but I damn well know you don't know a thing about the Latino community.  Clue to Joan: Instead of you writing about my community, how 'bout you get off your Anglo ass and hire some Latinos and Latinas to write and, no, that's not a a request for a job. Tu no eres nadaien importante loca vieja.  If that confuses you, it just demostrates my point.  Let me throw it back to you: You may not be racist, you just may be stupid.  How does that feel on your end?" 
Lastly, Womens Media Center notes (link has petition and video): "On May 23, The Women's Media Center, along with our partners at Media Matters, launched, "Sexism Sells, But We're Not Buying It," a new video and online petition campaign illustrating the pervasive nature of sexism in the media's coverage. While Hillary Clinton's campaign has cast a spotlight on the issue of sexism, this isn't a partisan issue: it's about making sure that women's voices are present and powerful in our national dialogue. If you haven't already, please click on the image at right to watch the video. You can also read a statement about the video from WMC president Carol Jenkins. Then sign on below to join our petition campaign."

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