Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Other Items

New movie Stop-Loss tells the story of a soldier who decides he’s not going back to war. A recent article in the Washington Post tells the story of 16,000 American soldiers who made the same decision.
Phil McDowell joined the Army after 9/11. He served his tour in Iraq and became a sergeant, but he also became disillusioned about the war through personal research and bitterness over the apathy he found back home.
When the Army rescinded his discharge, McDowell joined an estimated 200 Iraq war deserters who have fled to Canada with no promise of asylum. "It would've been easy to go to Iraq and have it done with again. But being a sellout to my own beliefs--I just felt it was wrong on so many levels," McDowell told the Post.

The above is from Cherise Ryan's "Convictions gone wrong" (World On the Web) which looks back at the lies and 'sureness' that led to an illegal war. Phil McDowell is among those US war resisters who went to Canada in search of asylumn. For those in Canada, the nation's Parliament remains the best hope for safe harbor war resisters have, you can make your voice heard by the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: 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. A few more 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 (with no cost). The measure is expected to come up this month.

Meanwhile PlanetOut includes an article "by a bunch of suckers," as three memberse-mail this morning. Barack Obama who used homophobia to campaign in South Carolina, who refused to have his photo taken with Gavin Newsome in 2007 (Newsome, the mayor of San Francisco, is straight) and who is under new scrutiny for the latest homophobe supporter in his campaign, met with some LGBT members at a fundraiser. The idiots are dazzled by his speech. They are idiots. The speech is being compared to 'big one' last month that was also nonsense. The reality is that the event was closed to the press and the sort of crap Republicans have pulled with their gay supporters for over a decade. The idiots are this year's Log Cabin Republicans, they just haven't grasped it. There's a reason the event was closed to the public, Obama didn't want it in the news.

Also true, had real journalists been present they wouldn't have been blown away by what Obama said was 'possible.' All the things he listed are things that Congress is already doing. Real leadership? He offered none. He stated that same-sex marriage wasn't "politically feasible" and real journalists would have noted that all the things he told those present could happen are things that will happen because Congress is working on them. That doesn't include Obama working on them.

As the article notes, he avoids the gay press. He also avoids gay issues when addressing the press. For a reason. In terms of same-sex marriage, real journalists might have caught what Ava and I did regarding his nonsense response in a debate when Anderson Cooper pointed out that Loving v. Virginia made legally possible the sort of relationship Barack's father and mother had. Barack's response was that he was for individual churches deciding. While he was not a legal professor in any real sense, he did study Constitutional law and Loving v. Virginia is a landmark Supreme Court case. It did not say, "Hey, let's leave it up to churches!" It addressed governmental discrimination. From Ava and my piece:

Loving v. Virginia was a breakthrough, a legal landmark, for the United States. In a debate, Barack Obama was asked, "Senator Obama, the laws banning interracial marriage in the United States were ruled unconstitutional in 1967. What is the difference between a ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?" Obama mouthed a lot of nonsense about 'equality' and then went on to state it's a decision for different denominations to make. There should have been a gasp heard round the country.
Barack is a lawyer, a trained legal mind. Though we find it difficult to believe he's never studied Loving v. Viriginia (as difficult to believe as Clarence Thomas Senate testimony that he'd never thought about Roe v. Wade), we'll allow that maybe it fell into some gap in his education. But as a trained legal mind, he does grasp court billing. "v. Virginia" means versus state. Not versus a denomination.
In that historic case, the Supreme Court of the United States found the laws of the state of Virginia to be unconstitutional and illegal. That finding meant that all states could no longer refuse to issue marriage certificates to couples of different races. Obama's weak-ass response should have been considered weak ass. (John Edwards also embarrassed himself in that debate noting he was against "gay marriage" and "I do not" support it leading us to shout back at the screen, "Gee, John, we weren't aware you were being inundated with proposals!") But it was also dishonest. A law student, forget the former president of the Harvard Law Review, grasps that Loving v. Virginia was not about whether "denominations" could make a decision, it was about what the government could do. To provide perspective, imagine the issue was illegal search and seizure on the part of the government (forbidden by the Constitution) and Obama had responded, "I think it's up to denominations." The government was discriminating and the Supreme Court stood up for the rights of all. A trained legal mind should grasp that. If Obama didn't, he's either not much of a student or he's a really bad liar.

Barack tossed out some more of his bad Chicken Sop for the Soul and a few big moneyed from the LGBT set (I'm told it was the "LG" set) were so taken in by the fact that he would meet with them . . . privately, away from the press where his remarks could not be recorded allowing them to neither be scrutanized nor amplified. Congratulations to the Democratic Party, they just got their own version of the Log Cabin Republicans -- they spent 2000 assuing the country that Bully Boy would be fair and even good for the LGBT community. How'd that work out? Oh yeah, not so good.


Bambi served up his Chicken Sop and the fools sucked it down. All their lives.

In the real word, Maya Angelou offers "Celebrating Women: A Note from Dr. Maya Angelou" (HillaryClinton.com):

This entry is part of a series in celebration of Women's History Month.
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
This is not the first time you have seen Hillary Clinton seemingly at her wits end, but she has always risen, always risen, much to the dismay of her adversaries and the delight of her friends.
Hillary Clinton will not give up on you and all she asks of you is that you do not give up on her.
There is a world of difference between being a woman and being an old female. If you're born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female. But, to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies.
Hillary Clinton is a woman. She has been there and done that and has still risen. She is in this race for the long haul. She intends to make a difference in our country.
She is the prayer of every woman and man who long for fair play, healthy families, good schools, and a balanced economy.
She declares she wants to see more smiles in the families, more courtesies between men and women, more honesty in the marketplace. Hillary Clinton intends to help our country to what it can become.
She means to rise.
She means to help our country rise. Don't give up on her, ever.
In fact, if you help her to rise, you will rise with her and help her make this country a wonderful, wonderful place where every man and every woman can live freely without sanctimonious piety, without crippling fear.
Rise Hillary.

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