Tuesday, November 04, 2008

October's death toll? Want to run your corrections?

Iraq? Find the coverage. It's not in the New York Times. Do you see it anywhere? Reuters runs an article claiming that October had the lowest death toll for US service members. Oh really? No, they're lying through their teeth. 13 is the death toll for US service members. 13 was the death toll in July and when you embarrass yourself by claiming you're referring to X-type of deaths, you damn well better grasp that some deaths from October are still under investigation. Translation, you don't know how the service members died so stick with the data, don't go inventing.

Remember that? It's from Saturday's "Robin Morgan's homophobic candidate" and we're starting with that because, golly goodness, M-NF sat on a death. 13 wasn't the lowest (July also had 13) but the number was actually 14 for the month of October. Why so many enjoy being punked by M-NF month after month is anyone's guess. Maybe they believe it makes them Charlie Brown attempting to kick that football? (Though why anyone would want to be sad sack Charlie Brown . . . ) Staying with the issue of deaths of service members, this is from Michael Birnbaum's "Va. Soldier's Death Under Investigation" (Washington Post)

The Defense Department announced yesterday the death of Pfc. Bradley Shane Coleman of Martinsville, Va., who had been serving in Iraq.
Coleman, 24, died Oct. 29 of noncombat injuries, and the death is under investigation, according to a department news release. He was assigned to the 51st Transportation Company, based in Mannheim, Germany.
Yolanda Coleman, his stepmother, told the Martinsville Bulletin on Sunday that he died of a gunshot wound. She declined to be interviewed yesterday.

From Iraq, Corinne Reilly's "Iraq still thirsting for water that's safe to drink" (McClatchy Newspapers) reports the never-improving-realities under which Iraqis continue to live:

From electricity and health care to education and the economy, Iraq has many needs, and safe drinking water is among the most urgent.
"The water situation in Iraq is a crisis," said Bushra Jabbar al Kinani, an Iraqi lawmaker and a member of the parliament's services and public works committee. "We see the consequences in the health of our people, and they are very bad."
Waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid are endemic. A cholera outbreak this summer sickened hundreds in Baghdad and Babil province. Diarrhea is among the leading causes of childhood illness and death in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, a nonprofit aid agency.
"Everywhere there is not clean water there is disease," said Jalil al Shimari, a doctor with Baghdad's health directorate. "We see a steady number of people still getting sick from the water problems."

We'll drop back to Thursday's snapshot to note the ICRC's warning:

"There has been some improvement in recent months, both in terms of security and essential services. More people now have access to health services and clean water. But far too many Iraqis still have no choice but to drink dirty water and live in insalubrious conditions," said Juan-Pedro Schaerer, the ICRC's head of delegation for Iraq. "This leads to more sick people seeking treatment in a health-care system already stretched to the limit."

The ICRC is particularly concerned about people living in households not connected to a water network (some 40 per cent of the total, and mainly in the countryside and suburbs). They must either buy water -- at an average cost of 50 US cents for 10 litres -- or, if they are too poor to do so, collect it from rivers and wells, which are often polluted. Even households that do have piped water regularly experience problems owing to a chronic lack of maintenance and innumerable illegal connections to the network. Furthermore, many Iraqis have to live with the health hazards of uncollected household waste and untreated sewage.

As a result, many people contract water-borne diseases, further straining hospitals and clinics already struggling with a lack of resources. "My daughter is here because she drank dirty water," said a mother at Abu Ghraib General Hospital, near Baghdad. "We have no clean water at home. The only water we get is from the river."

Medical staff are struggling with chronic shortages of supplies and equipment. Dilapidated and sometimes outdated medical facilities lack proper maintenance and sanitation. Electricity shortages are common and many facilities have to rely on back-up generators. Many Iraqis simply cannot afford the treatment they need. Specialized surgery and treatment for diseases such as cancer are often available only in certain hospitals in the main cities.
Imogen Foulkes (BBC) spoke with the ICRC's Beatrice Megevand who noted the cholera outbreak (the now yearly cholera outbreak) and "said she was especially concerned about the lack of clean water supplies. Ms Megevand Roggo said even the most basic infrastructure in Iraq is not functioning."
Reuters notes a Baghdad bombing today has claimed at least 13 lives.

Returning to the topic of service members, Victoria Kim's "Gunman on 101 Freeway overpass in Santa Barbara is arrested" (Los Angeles Times) offers

A masked gunman who was waving an American flag on a 101 Freeway overpass in Santa Barbara was in police custody after an hours-long standoff that shut down the freeway in both directions and caused a rush-hour traffic snarl this morning, officials said.
Edward Van Tassel, a 28-year-old Army veteran who served in Iraq, first surrendered his handgun to police, officials said. As part of the negotiation, Van Tassel asked authorities for a Barack Obama sign, which he posted on a chain-link fence on the overpass along with the flag he was holding, said Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Turning to the US presidential race. It is election day. Finally. As Katharine Q. Seelye notes on the front page of today's New York Times ["Election Night (Popcorn Included)"], "The fact is, there is plent of mystery -- nad there is only one poll that counts." Anything can happen. Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) will live blog the election tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST. So check out her site which will go beyond the D and R to include other letters in the alphabet. Including "G" (Wilder is a Green.) The McKinney - Clemente website remains down but we will note this from Rosa Clemente's personal website:

We are not the alternative ;
we are the imperative.

Donate to the Green Party Now

M1 from dead prez speaks about Cynthia
McKinney & Rosa Clemente

Rosa A. Clemente released the following statement:

"I am honored and excited to accept this invitation to run with Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia McKinney is a hero to me and many others across this country and around the world for her courage in standing up to George Bush while the Democratic Party establishment caved.

"This campaign is the opportunity the Hip-Hop generation has been working for. This is our time to address the issues affecting our communities – rising unemployment, the high cost of food and housing, a lack of quality public education and access to higher education, the prison-industrial complex, and unaccountable corporate media. These issues are not being addressed by either the Republican or Democratic nominee.

"I choose to do this, not for me, but for my generation, my community and my daughter. I don't see the Green Party as an alternative; I see it as an imperative. I trust that my Vice Presidential run will inspire all people, but especially young people of color, to recognize that we have more then two choices. Together, we can build the future we've been dreaming of."

Hip-Hop artist M1 says, "I've never voted in the Presidential election; I've never felt strongly enough about a candidate to. Knowing that Rosa Clemente is down with Cynthia McKinney's run, I feel that now is the greatest opportunity for the Hip-Hop community to put our collective strength and power to the test and vote for someone who represents who we are and what we stand for."

For more info visit:

John McCain is the Republican Party presidential candidate, Sarah Palin is his running mate.
Vernon notes this from McCain - Palin '08:

McCain-Palin Campaign Launches Honest and Open Election Hotline

ARLINGTON, VA -- The McCain-Palin campaign launched the Honest and Open Election hotline to help citizens learn the location of their polling place, as well as report any instances of irregularities at the polls, including voter fraud, intimidation, violence and electioneering. The hotline can be accessed via phone at: 866-976-VOTE.

"With the tomorrow's election, our Honest and Open Election hotline will serve as an informative guide for all Americans participating in the electoral process," said McCain-Palin National Political Director Mike DuHaime. "The hotline will allow us to learn about and take steps toward remedying any voter irregularities at polling places across the country. While we are hopeful that Election Day will be free of any wrongdoing, allies of the Democrat Party, such as ACORN, have shown a willingness to commit fraud in both this election cycle and in 2004. Given the tightness of the polls, all examples of fraud must be addressed to preserve the integrity of the election."

In 2004, multiple forms of voter fraud occurred, including voter intimidation, fraudulent registrations, multiple ballots cast and votes bought for money. Already during the 2008 election cycle, a dead woman in Missouri cast an absentee ballot, individuals were arrested for voting twice in Florida and people in Ohio registered and voted on the same day.

Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Matt Gonzalez is his running mate. Lewis notes this from Team Nader:

*Election Day - Nader to Hold One-Word Press Conference

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM


Press Release
Contact: Marc Abizeid, 202-471-5833, marcabizeid@votenader.org

TUESDAY, NOV. 4 - Nader to Hold One-Word Response Press Conference


Special questioning/interview opportunities for members of the foreign media

In deference to the sound bite journalism that dominates presidential political media coverage, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will host a press conference at which he will only issue one-word responses to questions for the first 30 minutes.

Who: Ralph Nader

What: Special One-hour Press Conference. For the first half of the Press Conference, Mr. Nader will answer all questions with just a one-word response. For the second half of the press conference, foreign press credentialed media will be given priority.

Where: National Press Club, Murrow Room, 13th Floor - National Press Building, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

When: 12 Noon, Tuesday, November 4



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