Monday, August 18, 2008

Other Items

The above is a video from the War Resisters Support Campaign and it is Jeremy Hinzman, with his wife Nga Nguyen and their children Liam and Meghan, delivering a request to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Last Wednesday, US war resister Jeremy Hinzman was informed he had to leave Canada by September 32rd. Courage to Resist alerts, "Supporters are calling on Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene. Phone 613.996.4974 or email,"Iraq Veterans Against the War also encourages people to take action, "To support Jeremy, call or email Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and ask her to intervene in this case. Phone: 613.996.4974 email:" In addition to that, Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign is staging an emergency meeting this week (August 20th, Wednesday, 7:00 pm, Steelworkers Hall at 25 Cecil St.) and planning a day of action (September 13th) where "[a]ctions, demonstrations and pickets will take place in cities and towns all across Canada."

In Iraq today, violence is already registering. Reuters notes a Baghdad roadside bombing which left four people (three are police officers) wounded, a Baghdad roadside bombing that left five people injured (three are police officers), a third Baghdad roadside bomb that left nine injured, a Mosul roadside bomb that left injured "three prison guards," 2 people shot dead outside Abul Khasib, 3 "militants" killed by Iraqi forces in Baghdad, and 1 Shi'ite cleric shot dead in Baghdad (his wife was left injured in the shooting).

Lynda e-mailed to note Ralph's Daily Audio, one that went up Saturday.

Good morning, this is Ralph Nader. As you know, Nader/Gonzalez is being blocked from the presidential debates. The corporate controlled so-called Commission on Presidential Debates will not let any independent candidate in unless they show 15% in a series of polls in September. That's no surprise. What is surprising is the failure of other debates to fill the vacuum. Part of this is due to Senator Obama's reluctance to engage his opponents.
On May 4th, Obama told Tim Russert on Meet The Press that he was willing to debate with "any of my opponents about what this country means, what makes it great." But earlier this month, Obama's campaign manager backed off, saying that Obama would debate only Senator McCain and only in the three rigged debates that's sponsored by the two parties and paid for by corporations.
Senator Obama's also refused to participate in a number of other debates including the Google debate in New Orleans, the Texas Ft. Hood debate that is being organized by veterans groups and the series of ten townhall meetings proposed by Senator McCain. Senator Obama's refusal to participate is a mistake and is costing him in the polls. Just yesterday, the Gallup tracking polls put McCain and Obama tied at 44% each. If Obama doesn't agree to more debates he could end up at the end of a sentence that starts out "Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.
With only McCain and Obama on the stage , there will be no debate of key issues and redirections important to the American people . Just go down the partial list. Single-payer Medicare for all healthcare, supported by the majority of the American people, the majority of doctors and nurses, and just recently, unanimously, by the US conference of mayors? Obama says "no," McCain says "no." Reversing US policy in the Middle East? Obama says "no," McCain says "no." Cut the bloated, wasteful, redundant military budget? Obama says "no," McCain says "no." They want a bigger military budget. Empty the prisons of drug possessors and fill 'em up with corporate criminals? Obama says "no," McCain says "no." Nader-Gonzalez says "yes" to each.
The only way to change this systemic exclusion is for millions of Americans to become engaged now. If you can, please join with us at our two Super Rallies-- on August 27th in Denver at the University of Denver Magness Arena or September 4th in Minneapolis at Orchestra Hall. And help us raise the banner for all to see: "OPEN THE DEBATES."
If you are not able to attend, please go to and donate now whatever you can up to the legal maximum of $4,600 to help fund our Open The Debates Campaign. Our goal is to raise $50,000 by Wednesday night. Last night, we were close to $14,000 in less than three days, but we have a ways to go. So join with us in Denver and Minneapolis if you can. We're planning to have some prominent activists and musicians with us. Stay tuned for more information on that. And we have some surprise, giant, inflatable visuals that should be a lot of fun, that will travel with us as we move from Denver to Minneapolis and then, hopefully, will bring attention to our Super Rallies from the press.
Thank you for your ongoing and considered support to our campaign. Together we are making a difference. Onward to November. I'm Ralph Nader.

Lynda had a few questions and they're good ones so let me answer quickly. 1) What's covered each week at Third and in Hilda's Mix in terms of the daily audio? In both, I will do transcripts through Friday and Friday only. Anything after, I'm happy to grab the following week. And anyone else can transcribe it (members without sites or members with websites) and it can go up on the weekend. Saturday's flying back home and then comes the nightmare writing edition for Third. For me, Friday's the cut-off date. 2) Jess spoke with Nader's Denver campaign office and nothing on that went up at Third? News to me. (Lynda's right.) That was included in every draft. I don't know who typed it up and don't need to because I know no one objected to that section. What most likely happened is that whomever got stuck typing that was tired and missed that section. I'll see if Jim can take a look at it, find that passage and add it today. [How tired was everyone? When I was doing "And the war drags on" last night and going through the e-mails, I saw Jonah's suggesting I "take a look at 'Truest statement of the Week I' and 'Truest statement of the Week II'" and I saw why he suggested that: they were the same statement. We'd posted John Walsh twice and not even noticed.] 3) Lynda thought it was strange we didn't include Ralph's commentary above in "Open Up The Debates!" yesterday. I don't know that anyone saw it/heard it. Ava, Kat, Wally and I hadn't. "Open Up The Debates!" is three features cobbled together (which may explain why Jess' section got dropped). The first is about John Edwards' 'advanced' views. Marcia especially wanted that as an article. The second was about opening the debates. The third was Ralph's audio commentaries. Everyone was tired and the three were forced together from various drafts. Opening the debates contained several paragraphs and I believe that's where the section on what Jess learned from calling the Denver headquarters was. The thing on Edwards' 'advanced' and 'evolving' views just wasn't working. Marcia worked like crazy (she wasn't the only one but she was the only one with the persistence to rally everyone for another try). Dona's the one who said, "_____ is the strongest point in this and it's about the debates, so how about we pair it with the open the debates feature." Everyone was fine with that and then Ty suggested we bring the week's audio commentaries in so that they were part of that article and not a stand-alone. Again, I'll let Jim know that the section on the Denver headquarters isn't in the article and he'll try to locate those paragraphs. Thank you, Lynda. (And thank you, Jonah.)

Friday morning, this was noted: "Kimberly Wilder encourages people to check out this video of Asa Gordon 'explaining his electoral college lawsuits' which is about 'proportional apportionment of presidential electors'." Fridays until Monday morning, we avoid videos here because it takes the site longer to load for many (who aren't checking in on work computers the way they do during the week). If you saw the link and were interested Friday but forgot to check it out, the video is below.

And the following press release is from July. Jenny noted it and wondered if it was too late to note it here? Probably but it's from Jason Wallace's campaign. He's the Green candidate for the US Congress out of Illinois' 11th district and he's also an IVAW member.

Veterans issues personal for Wallace

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tanya Austin, Campaign Manager, 309-532-3446,

Brandon Punke, Media Relations Coordinator, 309-826-6605,

Normal, IL - Veterans issues are of key importance to 11th Congressional district Green Party candidate Jason Wallace. Wallace, the only veteran in the race, is calling for several key changes in the government's approach to caring for those who have served in the United States military. These include changes in funding and coverage as well as his support for the idea of replacing Silver Cross in Joliet with a VA hospital.

Jason Wallace personally recognizes the frustrations that can be encountered by veterans when trying to obtain benefits. As a member of the Air National Guard, Jason was activated twice to serve in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for a total of seventeen months. While serving in Kuwait, Jason volunteered for the base Honor Guard and earned the Air Force Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Wallace feels that his personal experience in the military gives him an advantage over his opponents in understanding the problems veterans encounter. Wallace commented that "while I appreciate the service of Debbie Halvorson's stepson in the armed forces, my own military career of six years has allowed me to personally experience the realities of the VA."

Wallace calls for complete, mandatory funding for the VA. This is an idea that is supported by voters in the district. According to a question posed on the February 5th 2008 primary ballot in 23 counties, 1.14 million people voted yes when asked if the federal government should fully fund the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide care to those who were honorably discharged. Over ninety percent of voters in Lasalle and Grundy counties approved the referendum. Wallace added, "I will provide all of our veterans with free health care so that they can seek the medical care they need anywhere in the district, state, or country. Furthermore, while I support the idea of turning Silver Cross into a VA hospital, it would be useless if the system continues to be chronically under funded."

For more information on Jason Wallace, please visit

I'll repeat my opinion (for however little that's worth), Jason Wallace should be supported and elected. Congress would be improved with his service and the 11th district would have a representative who truly wanted to work for and with them.

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