Thursday, July 31, 2008

Other Items

Jan Slakov examines the current situation in Canada and comes up with a few suggestions in "Lessons in how to prepare for peace" (BCLocalNews). We'll note the second one and include the fifth since it's an upcoming action:

2) Welcome war resisters: Former U.S. President John F. Kennedy once said: "War will exist until that distant day when the CO [conscientious objector] enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” A majority of Canadian MPs understand this, and voted on June 3 to allow U.S. soldiers who object to the “war on terror" on conscientious grounds to stay in Canada. However, the Conservative government is ignoring the will of the majority and allowing these deserters to be deported to face punishment in the U.S.
[. . .]
5) Join us for this year's Hiroshima Day commemoration at the Peace Park across from ArtSpring, beginning at 5 p.m. on Aug. 6. This is a family-friendly event; all are welcome.

June 3rd, the House of Commons voted on a measure to provide safe harbor
to US war resisters in Canada. The decision to extradite Robin Long and the continued efforts to deport other US war resisters (whose 'deportations' might also turn out to be extraditions) ignores that vote as the NDP has pointed out repeatedly. In an attempt to make it clear just how much support the measure has, the War Resisters Support Campaign has posted video of the vote.

Turning to Iraq, Nicholas Spangler and Mohammed Al Dulaimy's "Firebrand cleric tells followers not to attack Iraqi government forces" (McClatchy Newspapers) report actual news:

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr on Wednesday offered full support for Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's government if it refuses to sign an agreement President Bush has sought to allow semi-permanent stationing of U.S. troops in Iraq. Sadr warned at the same time that he would oppose any agreement between Iraq and the United States.
Sadr's followers have abandoned active resistance in recent months, as Maliki's government has asserted its authority in military offensives around the country. Sadr's statement, posted Wednesday on his Web site, said that elements of his insurgency had erred in targeting fellow Iraqis and called for a centralized resistance directed only against U.S. occupiers.
Declaring that resistance to an occupier "is a legitimate right by human reason and in Islamic and human law," he called on Shiite clerics to "issue their fatwas against signing any agreement between the government and the occupier, even if it is for friendship or any other purpose."

McClatchy Newspaper's Leila Fadel has a blog post entitled "A Deadly Fate" (Baghdad Observer) that is must read.

Cedric's "Gutter Trash you can smell" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! THE LEADER TRIES TO CONTROL THE CULT!" (joint-post) covers the latest gutter trash from the Cult of St. Barack. There was no reason to get in bed with Ludacris but Barack chose to. Now he wants to play like Ludacris doesn't speak for the campaign? After praising the sexist repeatedly? To bring you up to date, Ludacris rapped a campaign song. It's insulting to Rev. Jesse Jackson. It may be seen as wishing violence on John McCain. It uses "bitch" to describe Hillary -- insulting her and all women. But that term (which the New York Times plays cute and won't name today) is a 'hallmark' of Ludacris' 'art.' And has been for years.

So the Barack campaign -- realizing that they have huge problems (a) with women voters and (b) with Hillary supporters -- rushes out a campaign statement trying to distance themselves from the 'song.' It's not a statement from Barack. And the campaign thinks that's enough. They think they can get away with this gutter trash -- more gutter trash from the campaign that offers nothing but. Barack's not calling it out but everyone's supposed to look the other way? Again?

Jake Tapper's "Comedian Jokes About 'Hos' at Obama Fundraiser; Obama Condemns" (ABC News, July 12):

Now this'll surely help Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., with all those still-angry supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., not to mention the feminists confused by his recent remarks on abortion.

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports that at a Chicago fundraiser last night, comedian Bernie Mac said his "little nephew came to me and he said, 'Uncle, what's the difference between a hypothetical question and a realistic question?' "I said, ‘I don't know,’ but I said, 'I'll tell you what you do. Go upstairs and ask your mother if she'd make love to the mailman for $50,000.’"

Mac's wife, in the joke, said she sleep "with anyone" for $50,000, and Mac's daughter said the same.

Explained Mac: "Hypothetically speaking, we should have $100,000. But realistically speaking we live with two hos."

Obama addressed the issue in his remarks, saying, "We can't afford to be divided by race. We can't afford to be divided by religion, or by region or class. Or by gender. That means, by the way, Bernie, you got to clean up your act. This is a family affair. ... I'm just messing with you."

That should have been the BIG NEWS the Monday after but PATHETIC Feminist Majority Foundation (via Feminist Wire) and NOW decided to betray women and instead carry Barack's water one more time (they focused that Monday instead on a political cartoon). So "girls," you going to do a damn thing today?

'Leadership' better grasp real damn quick how out of touch they now are with the grassroots. 'Leadership' does not lead feminists around by the nose to a polling booth. 'Leadership' is supposed to speak out. Learn to do it or accept how useless you are now being seen.

After what Tapper reported, there should have been outrage. Both that it took place at an official campaign event -- with the candidate present! -- and that the candidate made a 'joke' out of the offense. Now Barack thinks he can yet again get away without addressing the latest sexism? It's not that easy. (Pay attention Kim and Eleanor, it's not that easy as "Feminist History: Learn it or repeat" documents.)

On a related front, the New York Times works themselves into a lather with Jim Rutenberg (who once went to town on Whoopi Golberg and other 'Bush haters') whining from the front page about John McCain's efforts to portray Barack as a celebrity. Well, golly, when your buddy Ludacris is utilizing his offensive mouth to 'drive up support' (bully) for you, most may feel McCain's point was made.

I said this was related, it is. Those visiting Barack's website this morning will find "Obama Campaign Releases Response to Misleading McCain Ad: 'Low Road'." They will find nothing (because there is nothing) on Barack's campaign calling out Ludacris.

He again wants to have it both ways. He wants to run his sexist campaign and have his staff offer statements to the press. This crap, this UGLY SEXISM, has been coming from the campaign and from Barack. He wants it to stop, he needs to address it. But you'll notice HE NEVER DOES AT HIS OWN WEBSITE. Not today, not ever.

Without sexism, he wouldn't be the presumed nominee. He knows it, everyone knows it. Let's all stop kidding otherwise.

Dropping back to Monday's snapshot:

Ava and I covered the travelogue and Barack's alarming statements (alarming to those who played fool or were fools) re: Iraq, Syria, Israel and more. We will come back to that later in the week but for now check out Katie Couric's interview with Barack (CBS Evening News -- links has video and transcript). Now we're turning to Peggy Simpson's report (WMC) on the NOW convention (July 18-20) which took place in Bethesda and featured Marie Cocco, Patricia Ireland, Carol Jenkins, Carolyn Maloney, Irshad Manji, Monica Aleman and others. Simpson reports NOW president Kim Gandy announced to one and all that "sister" (I'm being sarcastic) Barack sends greetings. From prison, Kim? Do we need to mount a Free Barack action? He sends his greetings? That lousy pig who used sexism non-stop sends his greetings? Let's drop back to June, to Katharine Q. Seelye and Julie Bosman (New York Times) reporting on the media finally maybe noticing the sexism targeted at Hillary:

In response, the Obama campaign directed a reporter to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida who supported [Ms.] Clinton but who is now speaking for the Obama campaign. She said Mr. Obama had no specific plans for a speech on sexism, partly because he already incorporated themes of discrimination as a societal problem in his speeches.

No specific plans -- now or ever. He could travel all over the globe but he couldn't show up for the NOW convention? No feminist wants to hear his garbage. Which is obvious from Simpson's report. She notes that Gandy's message from Sister Barack resulted in "a minor ripple of applause." Simpson focuses on one organizer who spoke to the conference, Jehmu "Green spoke last weekend at the national NOW convention, one that was subdued rather than boisterous, in the wake of Hillary Clinton's primary defeat by Barack Obama. Some NOW delegates wore Hillary tee-shirts. There was minimal talk of Obama and loud cheers whenever someone mentioned Clinton." She quotes Green explaining, "We increased [women's] turnout by 200 percent in the [Democratic] primaries -- gosh, we came really close to nominating Hillary. . . I also was disheartened when I saw young women vilify Senator Clinton and vilify being a feminist."

It is not acceptable. Nor is sending Michelle Obama out to toss out sop (Marcia called that crap out in "No sale, Michelle" Tuesday). Shame on any 'womens' organization or outlet that doesn't call this continued sexism out. Shame on any outlet (geared to women primarily or not). A lot of 'leaders' are yet again (as in 1976) setting their own asses up and betraying ALL WOMEN. It needs to stop. But it won't as long as we all stay silent or play stupid -- and sadly 'leaders' have done their share and then some of both. It's time to stop it.

Radio: Naomi Klein will be on KPFA's The Morning Show this morning (starts at 10:00 a.m. EST, 9:00 a.m. Central, 7:00 a.m. PST).

Staying on presidential politics, the independent presidential campaign of Ralph Nader visits Salt Lake City today:


Who: Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader with former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson
What: Nader/Gonzalez Campaign Rally
When: Thursday July 31, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 E President Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Dana suggests we provide the original Nader announcement on the dinner contest with the announcement from yesterday that provides more bonuses. First, the original:

Win Dinner with Ralph Nader


Win Dinner with Ralph Nader .

Yes, indeed.

You read that right.

You can win the grand prize -- a dinner with our main man -- Ralph Nader (at a mutually agreed time and place.)


We're looking to build our e-mail list, to expand our grassroots support, and to spread the bedrock Nader/Gonzalez campaign message -- shift the power from the corporate controlled political parties back into the hands of the people.

So, we're having a contest.

The person who brings in the most e-mail sign-ups by August 7 at midnight to wins.

Open to legal U.S. residents, 18 years or older at time of entry.

You invite your friends, family, neighbors and anyone else to sign up for Nader/Gonzalez updates.

The person who brings us the most e-mails wins the grand prize -- dinner with Ralph Nader.

(Check out our privacy policy here.)

During the course of the contest, you can keep track of how you are doing on our "Win Dinner With Ralph E-mail Contest Leaderboard."

It's sort of like kicking back on a Sunday afternoon and watching the PGA leaderboard.

Except that this isn't golf.

It's democracy.

And even if you don't grab the grand prize, there are a whole bunch of other prizes too.

Second prize is dinner with Ralph's VP running mate Matt Gonzalez (also at a mutually agreed time and place.)

Third prize is an invitation to our election night party in Washington, D.C.

Then the next seventeen people get an autographed copy of Unsafe at Any Speed and an autographed copy of the DVD An Unreasonable Man

Everyone who brings in at least 25 email sign-ups will receive a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Are you ready to play?

You are?


Get out your address book.

Start your e-mail engine.

And let 'er rip.

Click here to get started.

Remember, you can keep track of who's winning on our leaderboard.

(For the complete set of rules, click here.)

May the person who brings in the most e-mails to win.


Sally Soriano,
Campaign Manager
Nader for President 2008


And this is the update with additional incentives:

Join an invite-only call with Ralph and Matt


Join an invite-only call with Ralph and Matt .

Dear supporter,

We've just finished another hectic day here in the D.C. office and I wanted to dash off a quick udpate about the "Dinner with Ralph" e-mail contest. The whole team (including Ralph, who came up with the idea!) is blown away to see so many people sign-up as contestants, and even more as participants and supporters.

Over the last five days, over 200 of our supporters have reached out to more than 10,000 of their friends -- clearly there's nothing like a little of the good ol' competitive spirit!

So -- quickly -- I want to remind you that it's not to late to participate in the contest. The contest doesn't end until August 7th, so there's lots of time left to win dinner with Ralph, or Matt, or to win one of the many other prizes that are available.

And, we've just added two new prizes:

  • For anyone who enters and recruits at least five friends: take part in an invitation-only conference call with Ralph and Matt. That's right -- just recruit five friends to join our movement and you're in on the conference call, and a chance to ask your questions to Matt or Ralph.

  • And, if you recruit 20 friends to join our "people fighting back" campaign: your choice of a t-shirt from our Web store (and we have lots of new designs on the way). People who reach 25 friends will get a t-shirt and a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Reach out to friends. Win prizes. It's really that easy. And we make it even easier by providing a way for you to invite up to 30 friends at a time from your address book -- you can go back and invite more friends as often as you'd like.

The people who are currently in the lead -- Ramy Mousa of Baton Rouge, LA; Anna Chambers of Fort Payne, AL; Scott Keddy of Cambridge, MA -- all got there in just five days. Not only is there enough time to catch up, but with over 10 days left in the contest, there's time to be queen (of king) of the hill. (The contest leader board is one of the most popular pages on our site right now!)

We really need more people to get in on the competition. Why? Because this is our chance to reach out beyond "the choir" and to speak to the people you know who may not even be aware of the Nader/Gonzalez campaign. They may not realize that Nader/Gonzalez is ready to stand up for the issues that matter in this election; issues like single payer health care, reversal of U.S. policy in the Middle East, and military withdrawal from Iraq. These are issues that need to be on the table this year.

That's about it for today. Remember:

  • It's not too late to enter the contest
  • Anyone who recruits at least five friends wins
  • There's lots of time left (contest ends on August 7th -- that's 10 days away!)
  • The current contest leaders got there in JUST FIVE DAYS
  • We want more people to participate so our message can reach beyond the choir



Jason Kafoury,
National Coordinator
Nader for President 2008
P.O. Box 34103
Washington, D.C. 20043


Lastly, earlier this month John Murphy's "Something's Rotten in the State of Pennsylvania" (Dissident Voice) contributed a HUGE amount to the discussion of BonusGate (and would have done so even if the scandal was widely covered). He is running for office and Martha asked that we note this:

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2008
For Further Information: John Murphy (610) 384-4460

HARRISBURG, PA -- John Murphy the independent Congressional Candidate in the 16th district filed close to 5,000 signatures with the Department of the Commonwealth on Friday morning. Pennsylvania's egregious ballot access laws required Murphy to submit 2,300 signatures but, as the press has been reporting under the topic of "Bonus Gate", independent and third-party candidates have to collect at least twice as many signatures as required by law because the Democrat Party will even use state employees, on taxpayer time, to ensure that independent and third-party candidates never make it onto the ballot unchallenged or at all.

"While the Democrat and Republican candidates were able to spend the last four months campaigning and raising funds, our resources were completely absorbed in securing my position on the ballot" explained John Murphy. "It's bad enough that we have the most anti-democratic state in the union, singled out even by the Helsinki Accords Group, but the Democrat Party has taken these already draconian ballot access laws and exacerbated the situation by making use of the minutia embedded in those laws. It's one thing to remove the signature of a person who is clearly not a citizen of Pennsylvania, it is quite another to remove a signature because ‘Lucinda’ signed her name as ‘Cindy’ or somebody printed their name in the column where you're supposed to sign your name. That’s how the Democrats removed the independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader in 2004 and the Green Party’s Senatorial candidate Carl Romanelli in 2006."

John Murphy further explained that there may be some good news on the horizon for the citizens of Pennsylvania. "There are two ways you can defeat democracy" said John Murphy. "One way is by preventing people from voting, the other is by preventing worthy candidates from ever appearing on the ballot. In Pennsylvania the Democrat Party has chosen the latter method. Fortunately State Senator Mike Folmer has introduced legislation into the Pennsylvania Senate entitled the ‘Voters’ Choice Act’ which would redefine minor party's requirements by lowering the threshold to .05% of the registered voters and then allowing the minor parties to nominate their candidates by convention and, like the candidates of the two older parties, have no signature collection requirements for the General Election.

"Independent candidates like me would simply have to collect the same number of signatures that candidates from the two older parties have to collect for their Primary Election ballot. I hope everyone urges their state senators and representatives to support this important piece of legislation by Senator Folmer. If we can accomplish this in Pennsylvania we will be at last in compliance with the Pennsylvania Constitution which mandates 'free and equal' elections and on our way to fighting for Instant Runoff Voting", concluded John Murphy.


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