Friday, June 27, 2008

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May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Corey Glass is an Iraq War veteran and a US war resister. He went to Canada seeking asylum -- the kind of welcoming Canada provided to war resisters ("draft dodgers" and "deserters") during Vietnam. After being told he was being deported, he's been 'extended' through July 10th. June 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters. Douglas Glynn's "On borrowed time: U. S. war resister hopes to stay in area MIDLAND"(The Barrie Examiner) reports that a petition in Ottawa is being passed around to allow Glass and other war resisters to remain in Canada by following the House of Commons motion. Corey is quoted explaining, "The motion is not legally binding, though the majority of Parliament voted for it. I realized innocent people were being killed. I tried to quit the military while in Iraq," he said, "but my commander told me I was just stressed out and needed some R and R (rest and relaxation), because I was doing a job I was not trained to do. I went home on leave and said I was not coming back."

"I'm refusing to kill innocent people and I'm the one waiting to go to prison and they're the ones setting us up to commit war crimes and they go free," Ryan Johnson explains to Bill Kaufmann in "Writing on wall for deserters" (The Calgary Sun). Johnson and his wife Jenna went to Canada in 2006 and, as he tells Kaufmann, if Corey is deported, he's probably right behind him. The article concludes:

Johnson says he's aware of some resisters in the Calgary area but they won't go public.
And for a prime minister who argues Canadians are fighting for democracy, Johnson wonders why he's dismissing a June 3 Parliamentary vote renouncing the deportations.
"He ran on a platform of democratic reform -- he should take some advice of his own," says Johnson.
Until Americans come to their senses and try their leaders for war crimes, Canada shouldn't be forcing the return of people principled enough to oppose them.
But with a U.S. preparing for a permanent colonization of Iraq and a Canada mired in its own misbegotten military occupation slavish to its neighbour, it's a long shot.

Turning to the US, "Sgt. Matthis Chiroux was to report the Individual Ready Reserve last Sunday at Fort Jackson, but he refused. It's a decision that has made headlines around the world, and a decision that has sparked the opinions of many of his fellow soldiers," is part of Trey Paul's "Opinions mixed about soldier's refusal to report" (South Carolina's WIS10, link has text and video). Iraq Veterans Against the War Matthis Chiroux announced June 15th that he would not report to duty (as he'd stated he wouldn't on May 15th). Chiroux served his time and was honorably discharged. Then the army decided to 'recall' him and to send to Iraq. Chiroux knows the Iraq War is an illegal war and will not take part in that. On the 15th of this month, he explained, "Today I stand in resistance to the occupation of Iraq because I believe in our nation, its military and her people. I resist because I swoare an oath to this nation that I would not allow it to fall into decay when I may be serving on the side of right. . . . I stand here to make it known that my duty as a soldier is first to the higher ideals and guiding principles of this country which our leaders have failed to uphold. I stand here today in defense of the US Constitution which has known no greater enemy, foreign or domestic, than those highest in this land who are sworn to be governed by its word." The below is from IVAW:

Matthis ChirouxIVAW members Matthis Chiroux and Kris Goldsmith have been pounding the pavement in Washington DC, with the help of IVAW's DC chapter, to get members of Congress to support Matthis in his refusal to deploy to Iraq. Matthis was honorably discharged from the Army in 2007 after five years of service, but he received orders in February 2008 to return to active duty from the IRR for deployment to Iraq.

On Sunday, June 15th, the day he was due to report for active duty, Matthis stood with his father and supporters in DC and reaffirmed that he is refusing his orders on the grounds that the Iraq war is illegal and unconstitutional.

How you can help:

Find out more about Matthis Chiroux.

Independent journalist and artist David Bacon continues to cover the immigration experiences and his photos from Mixteca are amazing. His photos are always amazing but the colors, shades and depth in these . . . Click here for his photos of documenting the experiences of immigrants. This fall (September) Bacon's Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants us released by Beacon Press.

Miguel notes this from Team Nader:

Nader on ABC’s This Week Sunday

Nader on ABC’s This Week Sunday .

Ralph Nader will be a guest on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sunday June 29, 2008. (Check here for broadcast times in your area).

By the way, there are many definitions of "talking white."

Here's our definition, from the Nader/Gonzalez dictionary:

Talking white means telling the white corporate power structure what they want to hear, rather than calling them out and telling them what they need to hear.


And Bill Coleman shares his thoughts on the presidential race in a letter to the Bennington Banner:

In reality, candidates such as Ralph Nader are disregarded from the outset because the election of someone such as Mr. Nader would bring about a true day of reckoning for American corporations.
As long as these corporations are permitted to on the one hand have the same or greater rights than individual citizens, and on the other hand to never face the death penalty or anything more than self regulation or slap on the wrist fines, they can continue to wreak havoc everywhere they go and drain average people of every last cent of economic vitality they can muster.
Yes, Ralph Nader supports an end to corporate personhood, in contrast to Barack Obama or John McCain, whose campaigns are awash in contributions from corporate America.
The differences between Mr. Nader and the candidates that you are permitted to read about or see on television each day are very far reaching and vast.

In other TV news, US Senator Barbara Boxer will be among the guests on this week's Bill Moyers Journal. Moyers broadcasts Friday nights on most PBS stations (and may repeat in some markets so check local listings) as does NOW on PBS:

This week NOW on PBS takes a look at the non-profit organization Just Price Solutions and the man behind it, Brian Cosgrove. Cosgrove identified a problem: many low or moderate income borrowers were getting steered into subprime scams because they had low credit scores. But these scores were often low because the home buyers simply didn't take out enough loans or credit cards. Cosgrove's goal was to help the millions of Americans with lower incomes purchase a home without being caught in a "subprime" nightmare.

So Cosgrove and his team created an online software application to measure creditworthiness differently: their track record of paying regular bills, like rent and utilities. By making it cheaper and easier to analyze creditworthiness, Just Price Solutions helps banks offer affordable mortgages to people who would otherwise be forced to pay high interest rates.

The organization has received financial backing from Fannie Mae, Citibank and State Farm Insurance, and has developed a related innovation to assist people facing foreclosure in their homes.

Cosgrove says their success is due in part to their community-focused approach. "We're connected with them. We have people back in the neighborhoods that know them. We've involved municipalities in the solutions, we've involved the non-profits, sometimes we've involved the employers. It just produces a community," Cosgrove tells NOW.

But not everyone's a fan of pushing homeownership so widely. Economist Dean Baker says homeownership is just too costly for many families these days. "When we're talking about low, moderate income people, they don't have a lot of money to throw around. So if we're talking about spending more money on housing costs than necessary, that's coming at the expense of health care for their kids, of getting good food, of child care."

But the way Brian Cosgrove see it, America needs new homebuyers now more than ever. "When a community breaks, it's just as important for those of us who are lending in there to step in and say, look, I don't want all the capital to come flying out of here. Let me find another borrower and bring them into the community."

This is part of NOW's continuing segment on social entrepreneurs and their life-sustaining innovations called Enterprising Ideas.

PBS' Washington Week will find Gwyn speaking with the New York Times' Linda Greenhouse and NBC's Pete Williams about the Court's latest rulings; Peter Baker (New York Times) and Shailagh Murray (Washington Post) will round out the roundtable.

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