Friday, August 01, 2008

Rondi Adamson Lies

Rondi Adamson's "U.S. military deserters don't deserve refugee status" (Christian Science Monitor) is the usual string of lies from Adamson -- that, however, does not excuse the Christian Science Monitor for printing it. (Link provided for everyone to laugh at the under-educated, uninformed Adamson.) Rondi, a big mouth with no brain to back it up, starts from the premise that, during Vietnam, Canada welcomed "war resisters" which is defined as "draft dodgers." Wrong, Dumb Ass Rondi.

It's a real shame that you didn't value your education enough to actually learn but it's more shocking that the Christian Science Monitor would print your garbage. Canada welcomed draft dodgers and deserters. On the latter category, deserters were not required to have been drafted and many weren't. The draft was never an issue in Canada -- which didn't have a draft. The illegal war was the issue.

In fairness to Idiot Rondi, it's not like 'helpers' have made a point to get that fact out. A lot of 'helpers' have wasted everyone's time by talking about "draft dodgers" when there are no draft dodgers going to Canada today but there are deserters.

Since Rondi is such an idiot, let's drop back to January 23, 1977, Robert Trumbull's "Pardon Brings Cautious Response From Some War Exiles in Canada" (New York Times):

Jeff Enger, a deserter from the Army and therefore excluded from the Presidential pardon, will be sworn in as a Canadian citizen next Friday, one of the many self-exiled American war resisters who "want to make our lives here." However, like other deserters, Mr. Egner would like to be able to travel freely in the country of his birth.
The Presidential pardon covered nearly all draft evaders of the Vietnam War period. Mr. Carter postponed a decision on the men who entered but then deserted the armed forces.
Jack Colhoun, a leader in the Toronto exile community, is one of those deseters who insist that they would fight in a "just war," or "if the United States were attacked," as Mr. Colhoun put it.
The men interviewed, who rerpesent a cross section of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 American war resisters living in Canada, have in common a yearning for recognition by Americans at home that their actions were an acceptable exercise of principle "in the American tradition," as one said.
"We don't expect to be congratulated or anything," said Mr. Egner, a law student at the University of Toronto, "but we believe we acted correctly."
They also share a deep conviction that the deserters, as well as the draft evaders, should be pardoned.

What do you know, Dumb Ass Rondi, deserters during Vietnam! In Canada! Welcomed! Again, it's not just Rondi's fault. The strongest argument for today's war resisters was always CANADA WELCOMED DESERTERS DURING VIETNAM AND NEEDS TO TODAY.

But there's no excuse for the Christian Science Monitor repeating THE LIE.

Someone help Rondi off the floor, it's just hit that there are US deserters from Vietnam in Canada.

Rondi scribbles:

In some cases, it's not clear what the deserters are seeking refuge from. Corey Glass, who faces deportation, was discharged from the US military some time ago, according to ABC News. In other words, he's free to go – but might he miss the sight of those antiwar protesters carrying placards in his defense?

Deserters have attempted the refugee path due to the fact that land immigrant status no longer exist. Corey Glass does not believe that ABC News report and he (and his lawyer) believe that he is (at least) now listed as IRR status and, should he return to the US, the military would seek retaliation that way.

Rondi scribbles, "Try to imagine the reaction to someone spitting on a soldier returning from Iraq . . ." Rondi, are you saying Canadians spit on US soldiers during Vietnam? You must be because that LIE has long been disproven in the US. So you must be declaring that Canadians spat on US soldiers coming back from Vietnam.

Right-wing Americans, Canadian Ambassador Rondi's just delivered you a huge nugget of (mis)information. Have at it. Demand that the Canadian government apologize. Scream at the disrespect they've shown.

The Christian Science Monitor practiced no journalism or oversight. Click here to request the correction that their shoddy practices demand. If you do, remember that they are responsible for the headline, not Rondi. That means it's their LIE that war resisters do not have support in Canada. From the July 1st snapshot: "The Angus Reid Poll finds: 'A majority of Canadians would agree with the decision to let American military deserters stay in Canada as permanent residents, a new Angus Reid Strategies survey reveals. . . In the online survey of a representative national sample, three-in-five Canadians (64%) say they would agree to give these U.S. soldiers the opportunity to remain in Canada as permanent residents. Quebec (70%) houses the highest proportion of respondents who agree with the motion, while Alberta (52%) has the fewest supporters. A gender breakdown reveals that while both males and females would agree to let U.S. military deserters remain in Canada, females are much more sympathetic (69% versus 57%)'." Click here for the polling results and below is AngusReid's summary:

Canadian communities, faith, social justice andpeace organizations, and support organizations for U.S. Iraq War resisters are celebrating the results of an AngusReid poll showing strong support for all Iraq War resisters seeking refuge in Canada.
Results show that three in five Canadians (64%) favour giving U.S. soldiers the opportunity to remain in Canada as permanent residents.
The national public opinion pollster noted that Quebec - at 70% - houses the highest proportion of respondents who agree.
With no word yet from the Government of Canada and only nine days remaining until U.S. war resister Corey Glass is scheduled for deportation, a broad spectrum of organizations including Parliamentary opposition parties and Amnesty International Canada are calling on the Prime Minister's office and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to take immediate action to stop all
On June 3rd, the successful passage of a landmark parliamentary motion called on the federal government to allow U.S. war resisters and their immediate family members the opportunity to remain in Canada as permanent residents.

So the Christian Science Monitor needs to retract this sub-headline to Rondi's bad column: "They broke their contract. Even Canada gets that." Meanwhile, Tom Sandborn's "An ordinary house" (Vancouver Courier) reports on Vancouver's Catholic Workers:

Home to the city's Catholic Workers and their guests (and sometimes referred to as Samaritan House), the modest dwelling has offered shelter to the homeless and support to American war resisters for a decade. All this tireless activism is conducted in the name of an interpretation of Christian ethics first articulated by Dorothy Day, an ex-Communist newspaperwoman, and Peter Maurin, a French émigré and former Christian Brother, more than 75 years ago in the Depression-scalded slums of New York.
Inside the cluttered homey kitchen, the two women who opened this unusual experiment in practical spirituality a decade ago share multiple cups of strong coffee. Library worker Sarah Bjorknas and Vikki Marie opened the Vancouver Catholic Worker House literally on a wing and a prayer. Since then, they have provided hospitality to well over 125 homeless guests, some overnight, some for several years.
Since the beginning of the Iraq war, they have cheerfully housed young American soldiers fleeing combat service, and Bjorknas is a key figure in the local movement to support such war resisters and call on Canada to give them legal status.
"Generally, if someone shows up and we have a bed available, they can stay," says Bjorknas. "We have developed some instincts and discernment skills over time and use those when making decisions about guests. We don't take in families--it's not a good space for kids. We have only three rules that pretty much cover everything--no drugs, no alcohol, and respectful behaviour to everyone in the house."

Republican US Senator Ted Stevens is in the news (due to his indictment). NOW on PBS earlier probed the story of that corruption and return to it this Friday (Friday is when all three programs first being airing, some PBS stations air the programs on other days, check your local listings):

This week, NOW goes behind the breaking headlines to shine a bright light on the scandalous connection between VECO and Alaska's old-boy political network. Three state legislators have already been convicted in Federal court for accepting bribes from VECO, and the FBI has video and audio evidence that reveal VECO executives shockingly handing out cash to those legislators in exchange for promises to roll back a tax on the oil industry. And more lawmakers - including Senator Stevens' own son, former Alaska State Senate President Ben Stevens - are being eyed in the growing scandal.

Bill Moyers Journal have been exploring Capitol Crimes and this Friday on the program will continue their exploration of Capitol Crime:

The Wave of "Capitol Crimes" Continues

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Like the largesse he spread so bountifully to members of Congress and the White House staff -- countless fancy meals, skybox tickets to basketball games and U2 concerts, golfing sprees in Scotland -- Jack Abramoff is the gift that keeps on giving.

The notorious lobbyist and his cohorts (including conservatives Tom Delay, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed) shook down Native American tribal councils and other clients for tens of millions of dollars, buying influence via a coalition of equally corrupt government officials and cronies dedicated to dismantling government by selling it off, making massive profits as they tore the principles of a representative democracy to shreds.

A report earlier this summer from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform builds on an earlier committee investigation that detailed some 485 contacts between Abramoff and the Bush administration. According to the new report, "Senior White House officials told the Committee that White House officials held Mr. Abramoff and members of his lobbying team in high regard and solicited recommendations from Mr. Abramoff and his colleagues on policy matters."

Now Abramoff's doing time in Maryland, at a minimum security Federal prison, serving five years and ten months for unrelated, fraudulent business practices involving a fake wire transfer he and a partner fabricated to secure a loan to buy SunCruz Casinos, a line of Florida cruise ships that ferried high and low rollers into international waters to gamble (its original owner, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, was gunned down, Mafia-style, in February 2001). But come September, Abramoff will be sentenced for his larger-than-life role in one of the biggest scandals in American history, a collection of outrages that has already sent one member of Congress to jail, others into retirement and dozens of accomplices running for cover.

Over the last couple of years he has been singing to the authorities, which is why he has been kept in a detention facility close to DC and the reason his sentencing for tax evasion, the defrauding of Indians and the bribing of Washington officials has been delayed -- the FBI is thought to be using Abramoff's testimony to build an ever-expanding case that may continue to shake those who live within the Beltway bubble for months and years to come.

Bill Moyers Journal is airing an updated edition of "Capitol Crimes," a special that was first produced for public television two years ago, relating the entire sordid story of the Abramoff scandals. Produced by Sherry Jones, the rebroadcast comes at a moment of renewed interest, with not only Abramoff's sentencing imminent, but the most important national elections in decades little more than three months away and continuing, seemingly daily revelations of further, profligate abuses of power.

Monday saw the publication of a 140-page report from the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, confirming that, as the Washington Post recounted, "For nearly two years, a young political aide sought to cultivate a 'farm system' for Republicans at the Justice Department, hiring scores of prosecutors and immigration judges who espoused conservative priorities and Christian lifestyle choices.

"That aide, Monica M. Goodling, exercised what amounted to veto power over a wide range of critical jobs, asking candidates for their views on abortion and same-sex marriage and maneuvering around senior officials who outranked her, including the department's second-in-command... [The report] concluded yesterday that Goodling and others had broken civil service laws, run afoul of department policy and engaged in 'misconduct,' a finding that could expose them to further scrutiny and sanctions."

With the next day's sunrise came the indictment of Alaskan Republican Ted Stevens, the first sitting US Senator to face criminal charges in 15 years. Apparently, the senator was playing the home version of "The Price Is Right," for among the gifts a grand jury says were illegally rewarded him by the oil company VECO were a Viking gas grill, tool cabinet and a wraparound deck for his mountainside house in Anchorage. In fact, VECO allegedly gave the place an entire new first floor, with two bedrooms and a bath. How neighborly.

(By the way, just to round the circle, Senator Stevens received $1000 in campaign contributions from Jack Abramoff directly, which subsequently he donated to the Alaskan chapter of the Red Cross, and $16,500 from Native American tribes and others represented by Abramoff, which Stevens gave to other charities.)

Coincidentally, this week also marks the publication of a new book, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, written by Thomas Frank, the author of What's the Matter with Kansas? In an essay in the August issue of Harper's magazine, adapted from the book, Frank adroitly weaves the actions of Abramoff and his pals into a vastly larger ideological framework.

"Fantastic misgovernment is not an accident," he writes, "nor is it the work of a few bad individuals. It is the consequence of triumph by a particular philosophy of government, by a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society. This movement is friendly to industry not just by force of campaign contributions but by conviction; it believes in entrepreneurship not merely in commerce but in politics; and the inevitable results of its ascendance are, first, the capture of the state by business and, second, what follows from that: incompetence, graft, and all the other wretched flotsam that we've come to expect from Washington.

"... The conservatism that speaks to us through its actions in Washington is institutionally opposed to those baseline good intentions we learned about in elementary school. Its leaders laugh off the idea of the public interest as airy-fairy nonsense; they caution against bringing top-notch talent into government service; they declare war on public workers. They have made a cult of outsourcing and privatizing, they have wrecked established federal operations because they disagree with them, and they have deliberately piled up an Everest of debt in order to force the government into crisis. The ruination they have wrought has been thorough; it has been a professional job. Repairing it will require years of political action."
Have we the stamina, commitment -- or even the attention span -- to take such action? Abramoff may be cooling his heels in minimum security but his pals Delay, Norquist and Reed appear on television and radio whose hosts treat them as political savants with nary a nod to their past nefarious association with Abramoff. Few in the audience seem to notice or care. Former House majority leader Delay's awaiting trial on money laundering charges, and the incorrigible Ralph Reed, who played Christian pastors in Texas for suckers in enlisting their unwitting help for Abramoff's gambling clients, even has a political potboiler of a novel out -- Dark Horse, the story of a failed Democratic presidential candidate who finds God, then runs as an independent, funded, presumably, by the supreme being's political action committee.

"Do we Americans really want good government?" That's a question asked, not by Thomas Frank, but the muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, writing more than a century ago in his book, The Shame of the Cities. He wrote, "We are a free and sovereign people, we govern ourselves and the government is ours. But that is the point. We are responsible, not our leaders, since we follow them. We let them divert our loyalty from the United States to some 'party;' we let them boss the party and turn our municipal democracies into autocracies and our republican nation into a plutocracy. We cheat our government and we let our leaders loot it, and we let them wheedle and bribe our sovereignty from us."

From more than a hundred years' distance, Steffens would recognize Abramoff & company for what they are. And we for who we are; a nation too easily distracted and looking the other way as everything rightfully ours is taken.
--30 --
Bill Moyers is managing editor and Michael Winship is senior writer of the weekly public affairs program Bill Moyers Journal, which airs Friday night on PBS. Check local airtimes or comment at The Moyers Blog at

And on Washington Week, Gwen and the gas bags chews up this week's factoids and the scenery. Guest stars include: Time's Karen Tumulty and National Journal's James Barnes.

Devona notes this from Team Nader:

Urgent: Five Days Left in Ralph's Home State


Urgent: Five Days Left in Ralph's Home State .

We're up against it here in Ralph's home state --- Connecticut.

I'm Ken Krayeske, the state coordinator, and I promised Ralph I would get him on the ballot here.

We have only 7,000 signatures in hand. And we need to get to 15,000 in five days.

We have 30 to 40 people on the ground collecting in Connecticut and we need to pay for their gas, transportation, copying costs.

You get the picture.

To do that, we need your donations now -- $10, $20, $50, $100 -- whatever you can afford.

Why are we busting it so hard every day to get Ralph on the ballot here?

Because it's not just about Ralph.

It's about you and me and a young man named Derek O'Kanos. (Check out Derek's short video here about why he likes Ralph ---

Last Friday, Derek phoned me.

"I want to help petition," he said.

"How old are you?" I asked.

"Sixteen," he said.

"Wow! That's fantastic, but you need an adult to help you out, because you have to be a registered voter," I said. "But before we get into logistics, I don't often get calls from 16-year-olds. Can you tell me how you know about Ralph?"

"Two years ago, Mr. Nader came to my high school," Derek said.

"What school is that?" I asked.

"Enrico Fermi in Enfield," Derek said.

"No way," I said. "I helped organize that. There was a standing room only crowd. What did you think of Ralph's speech?"

"I didn't see it," Derek said. "I was a freshman, and I was in World History class, and my class didn't go. I guess they thought that Ralph didn't fit with world history."

"Bummer," I said.

"Yeah, but I've been interested in Mr. Nader since then, reading about him, and I want to help him," Derek said.

So we discussed strategies for him to convince adults in his life to go out and petition with him.

Derek recruited his uncle's girlfriend to transport him and witness signatures at grocery stores.

Next, he corralled his grandfather to drive him around neighborhoods in suburban northern Connecticut. (Above is a photo of Derek and his grandfather)

Shortly after, I got this email from Derek:

"Today was truly amazing. No more than a few days ago I felt an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness. I felt that there was nothing that I could do due to my age and transportation issue. Then we talked and I went out and did something. I truly felt like I was a part of something, that I was making history. I could have volunteered for many other political campaigns, but it was the Nader/Gonzalez campaign that truly inspired me. I can openly support every policy of the campaign and sleep at night. This is a campaign that puts national interest before personal interest. We the people -- not for sale! Gives me chills. It is truly amazing to see an entire organization of everyday people working towards one beautiful common goal and putting power back into the hands of the people."

Let's not let Ralph, Derek and all our supporters down in Connecticut.

Donate now whatever you can afford.

Hit the contribute button.

Together, we are making a difference --- in Ralph's home state and beyond.


Ken Krayeske, The Nader Team

Your contribution could be doubled. Public campaign financing may match your contribution total up to $250.


Be sure to read Martha's entry from last night. The e-mail address for this site is

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