Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Hate The War

The Liberal Opposition is calling on the Conservative government to support a motion that would allow conscientious objectors to apply for permanent resident status in Canada, said Liberal Citizenship and Immigration Critic Maurizio Bevilacqua.
"Five years ago, the Liberal government made a principled decision not to participate in a war that wasn't sanctioned by the United Nations (U.N.). We should not now punish individuals and their families for making the same decision based on their personal principles," said Mr. Bevilacqua.
The motion, which was passed by the Immigration Commmittee and is being debated in the House today, calls on the government to allow conscientious objectors, and their immediate family members, who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the U.N. and who do not have a criminal record to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada. The motion also stipulates that the government should not proceed with any action agains any war resister who currently faces deportation.
"The government has a choice: it is not compelled to force these people to go back to a country where they may face prosecution under military law, or may be permanently branded for making a principled decision," said Mr. Bevilacqua.
"Stephen Harper has indicated that, had he been Prime Minister in 2003, Canada would have participated in the Iraq war. I hope that the fact that Mr. Harper got it wrong at the time will not prevent him from showing compassion for those who made the right decision."

The above is from Canada's Liberal Party and entitled "Liberals Call on Government to Show Compassion for War Resisters." Maybe that will do what Corey Glass couldn't, get Amy Goodman off her lazy ass and talking about war resisters? She's far from alone but after that laughable just-released (and already bombed) 'book' where she pretends interest in war resisters (she has not interviewed a war resister who needed attention -- as in their case had not been heard -- since 2006). She's hardly the only one who has deserted the topic but they didn't just put out a (bad) 'book' last month where they tried to trick the public into believing they gave a damn.

Olive notes "US soldier suicides the highest on record: army" (Australia's ABC)

The US Army says 115 soldiers on active duty committed suicide in 2007, the most in one year since the service began keeping records in 1980.
Nearly 1,000 soldiers attempted suicide.
The spike came in a year that saw the highest US casualties in Iraq and increased levels of violence in Afghanistan.

And you can pair that with this from the November 16, 2007 snapshot:

Another reality that some (the press) has a hard time acknowledging is the number of service members electing to check out of the military on their own. AP reports that this year the desertion rate has jumped to "the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase" since the start of the illegal war. AP continues to deny reality by offering the claim that the US military does little to track down those who go AWOL or desert -- despite the mountain of public evidence to the contrary.
As to the figure cited, September 21st, Nick Watt (ABC's Nighline) examined war resisters and noted the number of people being processed for desertion at Fort Knox "jumped 60% last year" (to 1,414 for Fort Knox -- US military figures) while concluding his report with, "If the total for the first six months of 2007 doubles by year end, it will become the highest annual total in twenty-six years." At 80% the total has more than doubled and not only is there another full month left in the year, it's also true that you have to be gone at least 30 days to be declared a deserter (unless you're Agustin Aguayo and the military wants to screw you over) and, in addition, the military figures have been 'lower' than they should be before (NPR caught that earlier this year) and the rolls aren't up to date for AWOL let alone desertion.

Strangely, Nancy Pelosi mentioned neither in her discussion with the San Francisco Chronicle (see snapshot) but she did lament the fact that there is not, according to her, a combat unit to spare should the US really, really want to attack another country. Priorities.

Her priorities aren't the only ones screwed up these days. Panhandle Media. Today Marjorie Cohn and the National Lawyers Guild links were all pulled due to the nonsense Marjorie wrote regarding Hillary. I like and know Majorie but she didn't do a damn thing to build this community. Members did and if they're sick of her now, then that's the way it is.

They have every reason to be sick of her. She wrote a disgusting and uninformed column. If you spoke to her, she would rush to cite Hillary and Iran and would either not know or leave out that Barack didn't vote against the Iran resolution last summer, he skipped the vote on purpose. She would be completely unaware that the resolution being voted on was not significantly different from the proposal Barack made on Iran.

Marjorie's not an idiot. She's a very intelligent person. So write it off as she's one more person poisoned by the toxic nature of Panhandle Media which can't be counted to tell the truth or inform but damn well decided to enlist in Campaign Obama.

Marjorie, to answer one question that popped up repeatedly, isn't anti-gay. I doubt she has any idea that Barack used homophobia to scare up votes in South Carolina. I doubt she knows that he announced he would put homophobes onstage at a campaign event. That he refused the efforts by human rights groups to convince not to do so. I doubt she knows that the event was protested or the words of the 'ex-gay' from the stage.

I'm glad to see that the question came from gay and straight members. I think that's a real strength of this community. It's not about "me first!" The community is very smart and very aware of the diversity in our society. That's why they now reject Panhandle Media because they're sick of the damn lies, the damn cover ups and all the crap that gets peddled.

Marjorie's one of the brightest minds in the country so if she can be poisoned by the toxic fumes of Panhandle Media, it can happen to anyone.

That's not a, "Please think about so I can put the links back!" The community made a decision. I found out about it after the fact. What's done is done.

But it's interesting to examine it in terms of what Marjorie didn't write about. No, she didn't write about Corey Glass. Does she not give a damn about war resisters? She cares about the issue very passionately. She works on that issue constantly.

So why is she smearing Hillary instead of writing about Corey Glass?

Because that's all that Panhandle Media has fed all of us who have consumed for two years now. And now that there's a problem (to steal from Ani diFranco's "Napolean"), some of the same toxic types want to suddenly note sexism -- the same ones who took part in sexist attacks. What was CounterSpin's nonsense about Katie Couric (come on, her ratings are a 'media criticism'?) but a sexist attack?

In the new issue of FAIR's Extra! check out pages six and seven for big belly laughs.

FAIR's decided it damn well better say something about the sexism in the race. Hillary might be pushed out any day! They better weigh in before the whole world grasps what hypocrites they are, right?

They're disgusting. I'm saying "they" and avoiding naming the writer because who knows what she wrote or wanted to write. Her article is in keeping with the crap FAIR -- at its own website, on CounterSpin and in Extra! -- has done the entire campaign season: ignore sexism.

So you get a dumb ass article that goes after Tucker Carlson. For those who missed it, Tucker no longer has a MSNBC show. David Schuster? FAIR's little pet? Not mentioned in the article. He was suspended (and should have been fired) for his nonsense about Hillary "pimping" Chelsea. A network suspends someone for sexism. And yet it's not mentioned in the Extra! article?

The article's garbage it's nothing but nonsense that tries to weigh in (before it's too late!) and avoids the big targets like David Schuszie and Keithie Olbermann. Can't call out Keith?

They don't call out the vile and disgusting Bill Maher either but, hey, he's a 'lefty,' right? (Wrong.) They play favorites.

Naomi Wolf got called out in Extra! (the issue before last) and that's because she's not on the friends' list. That's all it was about. Wait and wait for another 'left' to be called out. Oh, there's one other reason Naomi was called out: she's a woman.

So they question her intelligence and smirk. It's all so very amusing.

To them anyway.

They do a weekly program and Janine Jackson is apparently their two-fer. She is one of three hosts. She's a woman and a person of color. So no one's supposed to notice that the other two hosts are White males. Just like you're never supposed to notice that CounterSpin has a horrible record featuring women. (In 2006, while FAIR was calling out PBS' NewsHour for the number of women they featured on air, CounterSpin actually featured a lower proportion than did The NewsHour. But no one's ever supposed to notice that.)

CounterSpin, FAIR and Extra! all ignored it when the "pimping" remark was made. Couldn't call that out. But they could rescue David by republishing a piece on how the Fox "News" performer (who got in trouble before he went to Fox for his loose and estranged relationship with the facts) finally saw the light! (That often happens when someone leaves Fox and it's always treated as 'wonderful!' Wonderful would be them calling it out when it was needed.)

The article's a waste of time. First off, having ignored sexism (other than the one fleeting sentence last week on CounterSpin that didn't even tell you the pundit's name -- if Hillary's called a "bitch" -- by a right-winger anyway -- they can apparently find sexism finally) the entire campaign, they had a lot of ground to cover and a two pages was never going to cut it. I'm a bit limited in what I can say here because when the race for the nomination is finally over (that should be after the August convention unless a candidate drops out, anything else is a violation of the process and spitting on democracy), Ava and I plan to examine one of FAIR's most ludicrous lies. But there's nothing "FAIR" about FAIR in this campaign season. It went beyond refusing to call out their peers (always a problem for the 'media watchdog') and moved into refusing to call out the mainstream. They did it because they had their own agenda and it was not media criticism. It was get Obama into office.

Most likely, Krauthammer has one thing right; most likely, Obama’s error will not be flogged by the wider press corps. But Clinton is helped by no such preference, and that explains how her citation of Robert Kennedy’s assassination did become such a major issue--an insight into her depraved character. Indeed, even after major pundits agreed that her statement had at first been misread, they continued to pound away at her offenses, finding new ways to be offended--inventing principles she had broken. As Krauthammer created a “you can’t say Auschwitz” rule, Keith Olbermann came up with a rule about saying “assassination”—a rule he himself seems to observe in the breach (details below). But to see the way these life-forms will cling to their manufactured cases of outrage, consider the way Chris Matthews played it throughout the day on Tuesday.

FAIR didn't write that. FAIR couldn't write it. (It's Bob Somerby from today's Howler.) FAIR won't call out Keithy. He can do whatever he wants. He's a fair headed boy to them (for various reasons and, if you're interested, e-mail and I'll cover it for Polly's Brew Sunday). Keithie is not in the news business. He's a loud mouth sportscaster who doesn't know his facts and has long practiced sexism. He doesn't get called out by FAIR. Tucker Carlson they take another swing at. (I don't care for Tucker and Ava and I have called him out for his sexism in this campaign season. And done a better job than FAIR which couldn't notice that in one of his most blatant moments, he was being 'gifted' by David Schuster.)

What the campaign season has taught us about Panhandle Media?

That they are sexists pigs -- be they male or female.

That they play favorites and will resort to any lie.

There are no ethics. Keith Olbermann can say anything and get away with it. He will not be called out. He will never be called out. He's given the same pass that Bill Maher is. But Tucker Carlson is everybody's whipping boy, apparently. (I have no sympathy for Tucker. I'm talking about standards and FAIR has none.)

You've seen gay members of Panhandle Media (Laura Flanders, Rachel Maddow, etc. -- there are many more but I'm not sure two that I'm thinking of are out) play dumb about Barack's use of homophobia. You've seen women thinking they're proving something by joining in the Hillary pile on.

You can lie about anything as long as it's about Hillary. We saw that with Stephen Zunes and Jar-Jar Blinks. Facts don't matter. She's been to Iraq more than once? Who cares? If your lie makes her look bad, that's all that matters, that's all anyone in Panhandle Media cares about. There are no standards.

They've not just betrayed their audiences, they've betrayed themselves and take comfort in that. Know that whatever else happens, they have to live with themselves and they are now as bad as every MSM gas bag they have criticized.

There is no standard they won't sell out. They have no ethics. They will lie and they will lie big.

Grasp too what they really think of you.

Granted most of them love the sounds of their own voices. No question on that. But they're talking and writing for more than their own self-love. They think they're going to influence and they're willing to lie to and trick the people who have supported them. They're willing to cheat the audience and that is the worst crime anyone in the public eye can commit. It's one thing to be wiped out and fake a performance. It's another thing to set out to deceive. They have done the latter over and over.

As WBAI has seen, people aren't going to pay for that crap. WBAI is the most exteme example of a short fall (and I'm not sure they are the worst offender in this, they have a diverse lineup and not the party line so typical on most Pacifica stations -- a friend swears LA is different as well but I always see that to be the case on any issue, but we noted they are the exceptions). The Houston station has been appalling. KPFA has been bloody awful.

And they want you to pay them for this. They want you to fork over your money so they can continue to do this. Include The Progressive and The Nation in that as well. Think about all the smears of Hillary from Matty Roth, Ruth Conniff, the No Star Airs of The Nation, John Nichols (who whispered a story that he never wrote and we're all supposed to pretend like it didn't happen?), Laura the self-loathing lesbian Flanders . . .

Repeating, they never agree on anything. You could tell them that Social Security payments wer going to increase by 30% and they'd have three million different opinions. But they closed ranks (and foundation money helped there, didn't it Katty-van-van) and did non-stop attacks on Hillary.

Bob Somerby's mistake this campaign season was not covering Panhandle Media because that's where it came from. No the MSM doesn't like Hillary or Bill Clinton. They spent the nineties trying to destroy both Clintons. Aided by the right-wing. This decade it was aided by the left-wing and The Nation especially was thrilled to repeat any crackpot (and disproven) rumor. (Long disproven.) How bad was it? Matthew Rothschilds whimpering about his mother passing away (act like a grown up, Matty, or head to the kiddie table) and at the same time, he's linking to The Weekly Standard. The Progressive is linking to The Weekly Standard. And not just in an article or blog post, under Editors Recommendations. What's the story? About the group whose letters spell the "c" word. That's how toxic Panhandle Media's been this campaign season. Matty wants sympathy that his mother passed away while linking to a story about a group insulting all women. Matty's among the Panhandle types with daughters.

Katrina's got a daughter. Guess it's okay to publish Pig Ritter since her daughter's a year away from eighteen? I mean, the only women he stalked were 14-year-old girls, right? The most hilarious and insightful moment into Panhandle Media may have come near the end of Laura Flanders live radio show when she objected to the fact that Barack used a pedophile's song for his theme (or did then), a Gary Glitter song.

That wasn't necessarily an inappropriate criticism. But it was awfully strange when you consider that Flanders had Pig Ritter on her show many times and, in fact, he was on only weeks prior. So it's wrong to use a song by a pedophile but you can invite on your show someone twice busted for being an online sexual predator?

That's an interesting 'standard.'

But it goes to how disgusting they are and how little they really respect women.

They never have and they never will unless they're called on it. It makes no difference if it's a man or a woman in charge of the outlet, they will all work overtime to attack women. No standards. No equal play. Just sexism over and over.

And while they smeared Hillary and promoted Barack (Stab never wrote about how Barack was connected to the religious group she found sinister for Hillary, did she? Of course not.), they were just acting what they've always done. What the country needs is a feminist media.

It doesn't have to be cable. It does have to say, "Screw you, I'm not going along." It needs to be willing to call out all the people who regularly use sexism. And we don't have that today. We have feminists who think they can make alliances. There's no point in doing that. This campaign cycle has demonstrated that women do not matter outside of the feminist press.

I've shared for months now that I don't see what's going on as frightening for feminism. I think it's going to kick start a very active wave of feminism.

It's a shame that to get there we had to witness daily, non-stop sexist attacks. It's a shame that Panhandle Media showed us that was what they were interested in and not ending the illegal war. But they haven't tried to end the illegal war in years. They're doing exactly what they did in 2004 only more so. What you've seen is what Naomi Klein was warning about repeatedly.

If she'd had a penis maybe more would have paid attention.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4079. Tonight? 4083. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,217,892 up from 1,213,716 as the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the Iraq War.

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