Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Other Items

Three hundred supporters of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, the first two war resisters to cross into Canada after refusing to deploy to Iraq with the US military, gathered in Toronto calling upon the Canadian parliament to pass a motion allowing them to remain in Canada. The rally was attended by Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae, as well as Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow. Similar rallies and actions were held in 11 cities across the country. Days before, a rally of 50 Iraq veterans gathered at the Canadian Embassy in Washington urging the Canadian government to provide sanctuary to all military service personnel looking to escape deployments with the US military. In November the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear the cases of Hinzman and Hughey, on the grounds that they had previously been turned down by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board, which considered the illegality of the Iraq war under international law inadmissible. There are at least 30 war resisters in Canada at the moment.

The above, noted by Vic, is from Stuart Neatbydru Oja Jay's "January in Review: News from socials movements" (The Dominion). If you haven't caught on by the first entry this morning, we're not interested in the usual papers today. There's a lot of nonsense whether it's Tony-I-Always-Miss-The-Point at LAT or the New York Times, no one's in the mood for nonsense. That's obvious in the e-mails so we'll focus on things that really matter instead of noting who's recapping what we all already know happened yesterday.

Again, my apologies for forgetting Mike Gravel in the snapshot yesterday. We'll include him this morning. This is from Timothy V. Gatto's "Mike Gravel: His Time Has Come" (OpEdNews):

So there I sat, listening to everything I wished Edwards would have said, and amazed at the brutally honest speech of one of my long-time heroes. You can listen to the podcast here.
I must tell you in all sincerity that Democracy in America is not completely dead yet, not with men like Mike Gravel still calling it the way he see’s it. If this were some other countries, he would have turned up missing or worse. I hope that Obama and Clinton can take a few minutes from stuffing corporate money in their pockets long enough to listen to a real patriot that actually talks about what is wrong with this country. I hope that everyone that reads this listens to the questions I asked him and the answers he gave to those questions. Super Tuesday is tomorrow. I doubt that he will win a State. That does not mean that he shouldn’t. Any citizen that really cares about the direction this country is headed in should vote for Senator Gravel. There is no need to worry about whether or not he will win the Democratic Primary. The corporate players have that all locked up, and if the vote doesn’t go their way, they will just change it. It’s been done before, and you all know what I’m talking about.

Now the time has come, Time!
There's no place to run, Time!
Might get burned up by the sun, Time!
Well, I've had my fun, Time!
Well, I've been loved and put aside, Time!
And I've been crushed by tumblin' tide, Time!
And my soul's been all-revitalized, Time*

"The Politics of Change”… sure, change… from one war-mongering regime to another, that’s the change we will get. The handwriting is on the wall. If you desire real change, and a return of the principles of a modern, civilized United States of America, you will cast off the politics of fear and partisanship, and vote for Mike Gravel when he announces his independent run for the White House! This is not wishful thinking; he told me that he will run as an Independent! It will take hard work and hard campaigning. It will take people that give a damn about what kind of country we will live in, where we raise our children, what kind of a country we will fight for. Progressives and thinking Democrats and Republicans can get together when it is absolutely essential. It is essential now! The time has come today! Don’t let this chance pass us by; it may be the only chance we as a nation, have left. We should do this not only for America, but for the entire world. Isn’t it about time we cut through the self-interests of politicians and listened to our conscience for once? I believe it is time, it must be time. Our time has come today!

Meanwhile Julie notes Monster and Critics review of Lenny Kravitz's new CD:

It's been four years since he did a studio album (2004’s 'Baptism') and this year he returns in fine style with 'It Is Time for a Love Revolution.'
It's pretty obvious that Lenny wants to start a revolution by turning back the clock to the 1960s and nothing exemplifies this more than the track "Back in Vietnam" and is no doubt making a political statement about the war in Iraq. However, putting such derisive things are politics aside, the album is fantastic.

A visitor notes Danny Schechter from yesterday:

Up in Boston where I spent the weekend, Obama seemed to be the fave in Kennedy country In Brookline, where JFK was raised, the contributions and posters leaned towars Barrack. Back in New York, it seems the other way around. I was startled to see a report in the New York Times that Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox News has trashed the Dems, is a Clinton contributor.

I don't know which article in the New York Times Schechter's referring to; however, the big article -- front page of the Business section -- on politics re: Murdoch yesterday was David Carr's write up about Murdoch's The New York Post endorsing Barack Obama last week. Murdoch has always spread the money around and was a huge backer of Tony Blair and is a huge backer of Gordon Brown. He also spread it around in the eighties which is how Fox was allowed to operate in violation of the laws and how the waiver was granted to begin with (this was prior to Murdoch becoming a US citizen).

If someone was going to note something from the New York Times 'recently' about the candidates, the thing to note would be Mike McIntire's article on Obama's ties to the nuclear industry. From McIntire's "Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in the Senate" starting with Bambi claiming in Iowa to have stood strong against the nuclear industry and insisting Hillary Clinton's campaign was spreading false rumors about him:

He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was "the only nuclear legislation that I've passed."
"I just did that last year," he said, to murmurs of approval.
A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks.
Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama's comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate.
"Senator Obama's staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we could see it weakening with each successive draft," said Joe Cosgrove, a park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive runoff had turned up in groundwater. "The teeth were just taken out of it."
The history of the bill shows Mr. Obama navigating a home-state controversy that pitted two important constituencies against each other and tested his skills as a legislative infighter. On one side were neighbors of several nuclear plants upset that low-level radioactive leaks had gone unreported for years; on the other was Exelon, the country’s largest nuclear plant operator and one of Mr. Obama’s largest sources of campaign money.
Since 2003, executives and employees of Exelon, which is based in Illinois, have contributed at least $227,000 to Mr. Obama's campaigns for the United States Senate and for president. Two top Exelon officials, Frank M. Clark, executive vice president, and John W. Rogers Jr., a director, are among his largest fund-raisers.
Another Obama donor, John W. Rowe, chairman of Exelon, is also chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear power industry’s lobbying group, based in Washington. Exelon's support for Mr. Obama far exceeds its support for any other presidential candidate.
In addition, Mr. Obama's chief political strategist, David Axelrod, has worked as a consultant to Exelon. A spokeswoman for Exelon said Mr. Axelrod's company had helped an Exelon subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, with communications strategy periodically since 2002, but had no involvement in the leak controversy or other nuclear issues.

Somehow 'independent' media missed that. The Murdoch and Clinton connection (now severed as David Carr reported) is old news. The old news won't effect a White House run. Things like the above will.

Things like lying about Obama's "present" vote on abortion -- it was not NOW's strategy. It was cowardly and totally in keeping with NARAL which has done everything possible to destroy reproductive rights -- not intentionally but because they are so pathetic and weak. Katha Pollitt is for Bambi and notes a big cry-baby from NARAL is too. Yeah, we saw the grown woman embarrass herself in the halls of Congress crying after a Supreme Court confirmation. Pathetic women tend to like Bambi, pathetic women who look for a 'man' to save them. Remember when the cry-baby was saying she'd run for Congress, she'd show them! Then the Dems made it clear to her they didn't want her to run and she caved again. Probably cried in private then. Boo-hoo. The pathetic women of NARAL are responsible for the destruction of reproductive rights as much as the right-wingers. They can cover for him all they want. "Present" was a bad 'stragegy' -- voting "present" in the Illinois legislature on reproductive rights bills -- but it was done for those who couldn't vote "yes" due to their districts. That didn't apply to Bambi. He represents a liberal and pro-choice district. He voted "present" because he didn't want it on his record.

I don't think Danny's "secretly endorsing" Obama as the visitor implies later in the e-mail. I think he saw something (maybe in the Sunday Times which I really don't read other than Iraq these days) that he didn't know before and thought it was worth mentioning. I would assume, Danny Schechter being a trained journalist, if he wanted to endorse someone, he'd come out and endorse them.

The visitor says, "I imagine you will all have to leave the US when Bambi gets the nomination." I don't know where that's coming from.

First, if the US makes it to January 2009, we will have survived 8 years of the Bully Boy. After that, anything will be a cakewalk. People have died all over the world (including US service members deployed by Bully Boy), the Constitution has been shredded, go down the list. If we survive all of that, we can survive anything -- except total fascism.

In terms of Bambi, no I don't support him. I haven't endorsed Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney or anyone else and don't plan to. But, no, I don't care for Bambi. This has been discussed before and at length. He's not 'anti-war.' He wasn't when Elaine and I were asked to donate to his Senate campaign. (We passed.)

But if Bambi gets the nomination, speaking only for myself, I won't be going out of the country. I'll be front and center, laughing. Laughing at the idiots who nominated another Dukakis. Remember when that wasn't going to happen again? (Dukakis actually stood for something, in fairness to him. I'm referring to the way he played out nationally.) I'll laugh as the groupies slowly grasp that Bambi's not anti-war. I'll laugh as his dirty-tricks from his past campaigns come out. I'll laugh as the Rezco dealings take up the attention of the serious press while the public recoils from the housing deal (including Michelle Obama's committee position that allowed the mansion -- in a historical district -- to be split into the mansion and a lot because the Obamas couldn't afford to buy the property).

I'll laugh as the GOP piles on and they get Bambi to come out swinging. I'll laugh as the nation recoils at that because Bambi didn't show that in the debates. He can't invent a new personality after having sold himself one way.

It will be a dirty election and he can't fight without destroying his carefully constructed image.

Now maybe his usual dirty tricks will be used to destroy opponents. If so, he could end up in the White House. Then I'll be laughing as the liars in 'independent' media are exposed.

It's their fault -- 'independent' media -- they fawned and panted. They wasted time and print space. They never explored Bambi's negatives and they never pressed him. This is as 'left' as Bambi gets, folks. This is a primary. A general election follows. Bambi's not going to sprout left-leanings in a general election. He's not of the left, he's not about progressives.

If he gets the nomination, I won't be leaving the country (I doubt members will either), I'll just continue laughing at the train wreck that is the Bambi campaign and begin laughing at the pathetic 'independent' media in this country. Begin laughing? I didn't catch on that they were all singing the song until too late to really enjoy that. As Rebecca noted last night, you really need to ask yourself how that happened? 'Independent' media all agrees on one candidate? In the primaries? When has that ever happened before?

It's the natural follow up to 2004's "Ralph Don't Run!" nonsense. That's when 'independent' media mistook themselves for an arm of the DNC and thought their job was to elect candidates -- as opposed to reporting and opining. It's insane. And you need to remember who has praised Bambi. Look at the list. Grasp how Amy Goodman turned her show over to Bambi love. They all trashed themselves, they all betrayed what they allegedly believe in (a free and independent press), they made themselves liars and worse.

If he gets the nomination (he may not, Zogby polls have serious problems and no one should be citing them -- there's a 'new' development Zogby added two or so years ago that explains why the polling is off), it will be a thrill ride of laughs. And maybe it will lead to an actual revolution as the people rebel against all the liars who pretended they were 'independent' and 'working for' them.

What did Molly Ivins always say about herding cats? Think about that and think about how 'independent' media just happened to all come behind one candidate. 'Independent' media which can't offer universal agreement on anything else (nor should it).

This is dictated and my friend who's typing it says there's a font issue. I may be able to log in this afternoon and fix it. I may not. In Kat's words, it is what it is.

ADDED after this went up: Eddie wanted to note that Law and Disorder is new this week. It is and you'll want to hear the interview with Lynne Stewart. Some stations, in fundraising, won't be playing it but it is up at the show's website. We'll try to work that into the snapshot today since it didn't originally make this entry.