Monday, November 03, 2008

Other Items

In the past year, Khudaer Muhammad Abdullah, 49, endured the loss of his two older sons. On Sunday he lost his last son, and his 4-year-old daughter is now hospitalized with serious wounds. His last son, Muhammad Khudaer Muhammad, 7, was killed when part of a rocket-propelled grenade exploded on a vacant lot where he was playing soccer with three other children, according to police reports.
Muhammad was killed instantly in the blast. His friend, Ahmed Hamid Jelu, 9, lost both his legs and died at a hospital shortly afterward.
Two other children -- Hassan Dhaya, 7, and Muhammad's sister, Ahlan Khudaer Muhammad -- were seriously wounded.

The above is from Katherine Zoepf and Sam Dagher's "A Decline in Deaths in Iraq Is Not Enough for a Family" (New York Times) underscoring the realities of "decreased" violence in a country torn by violence. The provincial elections are hoped to take place in Iraq at some point near the end of January. Whether the much delayed elections take place or not, Article 50 has been addressed. Hurriyet reports: "Iraq's parliament voted on Monday to guarantee religious minorities seats on provincial councils to be selected next year, but drew ire from Iraqi Christians by setting aside fewer spots than a U.N. proposal had urged." China's Xinhau provides the breakdown the vote (106 out of 150 MPs voted for it) and notes that it's six seats: "A seat will give to each Christians and Sabeans in Baghdad, and a seat for each Christians, Yazidies and Shabak in Nineveh, and a single seat for Christians in Basra." On the topic of Iraq's Christians, CNN reports Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has promised $900,000 (US equivalent)will be spent in some manner on protecting Iraqi Christians:

A committee of Christian leaders and representatives from Talabani's office will supervise the distribution of the money, the statement said.
More than half of Mosul's Christian population -- an estimated 13,000 people, or 2,300 families -- fled the city last month, though the departures tapered toward the month's end, Nineveh province's Deputy Gov. Khasro Goran told CNN on Tuesday.

Independent Catholic News reports that London saw a demonstration in the form of a Saturday march to No 10 Downing St on behalf of Iraqi Christians. A petition was presented and citizens and residents of Great Britain who wish to sign the petition can click here.

Bonnie notes Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Ms. Troll" went up Sunday. And we'll note Investing For The Soul which is investment news with an emphasis on green.

Turning to the US presidential race. Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. (No link to their website because it has been down since Wednesday. It may up come up before tomorrow but I doubt it.) The Green Party notes:

Greens appeal to progressive, independent, antiwar voters: invest your vote in McKinney & Clemente on Election Day


For Immediate Release:
Sunday, November 2, 2008

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

Greens promote ten videos of McKinney speaking on major issues; Green leaders stress 'Green Imperative' of building a progressive US party

Obama doesn't represent the views of millions of his own supporters who want real change in US politics; voters who seek a permanent alternative to two-party politics should vote for Green McKinney instead of independent Nader

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders are urging progressive, independent, and antiwar voters to invest their votes in a growing progressive, antiwar party on Election Day 2008 by voting for the Green Party presidential ticket: Cynthia McKinney for President, Rosa Clemente for Vice President.

Greens are making a special appeal to Obama and Nader supporters to vote for the 'Green Imperative' on November 4. Ms. McKinney is currently featured in ten online videos in which she details her positions on major issues, including corporate bailouts, foreign policy, health care, the rights of Katrina survivors, and the Green challenge to two-party dominance. Links to the clips are listed below.

"Millions of Americans who favor the Green Party's positions on the wars, health care, global warming, and other important issues plan to vote for Barack Obama, who doesn't share their views. It's not enough just to defeat John McCain and the GOP agenda," said Green vice presidential candidate Rosa Clemente.

"Democrats have retreated over and over and voted for Bush-Cheney policies -- war funding, the unconstitutional US Patriotic Act, telecomm immunity, corporate handouts and taxbreaks, the death penalty, record incarceration rates, and a $700 billion Wall Street bailout that doesn't help working Americans. The only way to reverse the dangerous direction of US politics is to build a real opposition party. Voting for Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente will strengthen a party that's dedicated to ecological, antiwar, and truly democratic values and doesn't take money and orders from corporations," Ms. Clemente added.

Greens stressed that votes for the Green presidential candidates, as well as for Green candidates for state and local office, will also help some state Green Parties achieve or keep official party status in their states. For example, Iowa requires 2% in a presidential race to maintain a party's ballot line, Arkansas requires 3%, and Minnesota and Rhode Island each require 5%.

Green Party leaders praised Ralph Nader for his strong political positions and have argued for his inclusion in the presidential debates (along with Ms. McKinney and other excluded candidates). But they said that votes for Mr. Nader would have no effect after Election Day, since he's running as an independent. Mr. Nader's Green run in 2000 helped put the Green Party on the political map, but his independent campaigns in 2004 and 2008 leave no lasting legacy.

"A vote for the McKinney-Clemente ticket is an investment that will continue to pay off as the Green Party grows and challenges bipartisan corporate-money politics in the years to come. A vote for an independent like Ralph Nader is a valid protest vote, but does nothing to establish a permanent political alternative. The Nader campaign will be over after Election Day, while the Green Party is a permanent political fixture with the hope of achieving major party status in the coming years," said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

Video clips: Cynthia McKinney on various issues, produced by Don DeBar
Single Payer Health Care
Sustainable Investment instead of Corporate Bailouts
Green Values: Grassroots Democracy, Peace Social Justice, Environmental Wisdom
Green Party Seat At The Table will invite the Public
The Two Party Paradigms
Restore Our Constitutional Rights
Rebuild the Economy with Energy Efficient Cars
Bring All The Troops Home
Katrina survivors right of return
Oppose Africom


Green Party of the United States
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193
Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information:
Green Party News Center
Green Party Speakers Bureau
Green Party ballot access page
2008 Green candidates to watch

Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 'Power to the People' Campaign for the White House

Cynthia McKinney on video
here interview, Oct. 19
Democracy Now! interview, Oct. 16
Music video

Rosa Clemente on video
Interview: Current TV/Rock the Vote

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

Pass It On: An Earful


Pass It On: An Earful .

Now that the election is approaching, everybody is coming down from the hype to ask: what will happen after? They are referring, of course, to how we will pressure whoever becomes president. But the question becomes relevant in a more disconcerting way when we look at the advisers backing both candidates, who are—from the looks of things—going to take us down the same paths as before. If Colin Powell’s recent endorsement of Obama isn’t enough to convince you of executive continuity, these articles should shed some light on the issue. Both are from several months ago, but what they lack in currency they make up for in clairvoyance: their warnings about the connections between advisers and abdicating on the issues has proved prescient. Both invite us to remember that whatever organizing we do after the elections can be outdone by a few people who have the president’s ear.


Ashley Sanders
The Nader Team

Today’s Pass It On interview appeared on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! You can read the transcript or listen/watch the interview here.

he article was written by Elizabeth Schulte and appears in Counterpunch. You can read the original article here.


And we'll also note this from Team Nader regarding a press conference tomorrow:

*DATE CHANGED - Nader to Hold One-Word Press Conference

Monday, November 3, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM


Press Release
Contact: Marc Abizeid, 202-471-5833,

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



The Nader campaign has a new video. I'm not linking to it (or posting it here) and the only one bringing it up is a visitor e-mailing the public account. If it gets the campaign votes or attention, good for them; however, we have no interest in it and never would. Guts and strength are not gender based and we've called out that thinking before. In fact, the only version of that term used here was done by Isaiah in a comic that made fun of the notion and, even then, he used the Spanish term.

John McCain is the Republican presidential candidate and Sarah Palin is his running mate. Cindy McCain (whom I know and like) is Senator McCain's spouse and they have four children. Meghan McCain (McCainBloggette) wrote the following at her site yesterday:

"America is worth fighting for" is my favorite line of my father's speech. I think it is so poignant, and essentially, it captures the reason why I have always loved, supported and believed in my father. It is why I believe he would be the best President for our country now, at a point where we face many challenges abroad and also at home, where so many of our fellow Americans are going through difficult times. The fact that our country is and always will be worth for fighting for is the essence of why I have been so inspired to participate in this campaign, and throughout this process I have been even more inspired by the people and the places I have encountered along the way, around our great country.

We are truly the luckiest people in the world, and I have been very fortunate to be a part of this experience on the campaign, and to be able to share it with so many of you. The next three days will fly by and no doubt be pretty crazy, so let me just say thanks right now for getting involved too. This is what was at the heart of what I hoped to achieve with my blog, and it has gone beyond my expectations. Stay tuned for more from the trail tomorrow!

I noted that. I have not endorsed and am not endorsing. (I have stated I'm not voting for McCain or Obama.) The Albuquerque Journal has endorsed and Sofia notes this from McCain - Palin '08:

"McCain For President"
Albuquerque Journal
November 2, 2008

Weekly town hall meeting-style debates for the last two months, as proposed by Sen. John McCain, would have done much to inform the public about the issues -- and about McCain's long, clear record as a moderate who works across party lines. Sen. Barack Obama, whose record is very thin, shrewdly rejected the joint tour that could have given swing voters a more substantial comparison of the candidates.

The Republican hasn't fared well in the traditional campaign that ensued, though voters caught a glimpse of the real McCain when he firmly told a supporter there was no reason to "fear" his rival, publicly squelching the notion that Obama is anything other than a patriotic American who has run a masterful campaign.

We encourage those who are still uncommitted and those who vote on the basis of a candidate's qualifications instead of party label to give McCain's experience a closer look and to consider the consequences of concentrating too much political and economic power in the hands of one party.

Vernon notes that the McCain - Palin campaign has a very busy schedule today:

11/3/2008 10:45:00 AM - Moon Township , PA
Road to Victory Rally in Moon Township, PA
Please join Senator John McCain for a Road to Victory Rally in Moon Township, PA on Monday
November 3rd. Doors open at 10:45 a.m.

11/3/2008 12:00:00 PM - Dubuque , IA
Road to Victory Rally in Dubuque, IA
Please join Governor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Dubuque, IA on Monday November 3rd.

11/3/2008 1:00:00 PM - Indianapolis , IN
Road to Victory Rally in Indianapolis, IN
Please join Senator John McCain for a Road to Victory Rally in Indianapolis, IN on Monday November 3rd. Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

11/3/2008 3:00:00 PM - Roswell , NM
Road to Victory Rally in Roswell, NM
Please join Senator John McCain for a Road to Victory Rally in Roswell, NM on Monday November 3rd. Doors open at 3:00 p.m.

11/3/2008 3:30:00 PM - Colorado Springs , CO
Road to Victory Rally in Colorado Springs, CO
Please join Governor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Colorado Springs, CO on Monday November 3rd. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

11/3/2008 4:00:00 PM - Henderson , NV
Road to Victory Rally in Henderson, NV
Please join Senator John McCain for a Road to Victory Rally in Henderson, NV on Monday November 3rd. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.

11/3/2008 5:30:00 PM - Reno , NV
Road to Victory Rally in Reno, NV
Please join Governor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally in Reno, NV on Monday November 3rd.

11/3/2008 8:30:00 PM - Elko, NV
Road to Victory Rally in Elko, NV
Please join Govenor Sarah Palin for a Road to Victory Rally on Monday November 3rd in Elko, NV.

11/3/2008 9:00:00 PM - Prescott , AZ
Midnight Road to Victory Rally in Prescott, AZ
Please join Senator John McCain & Cindy McCain for a Midnight Road to Victory Rally in Prescott, AZ on Monday November 3rd. Doors open at 9:00 p.m.

11/4/2008 8:30:00 AM - Grand Junction , CO
Election Day Road to Victory Rally in Grand Junction, CO
Please join Senator John McCain for an Election Day Road to Victory Rally in Grand Junction, CO on Tuesday November 4th. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

A visitor wanted a highlight. We'll gladly note it and thank you to ____ for sending it. This is from William H. Willimon's "Electing Not to Vote: Christian Reflections on Reasons for Not Voting" (The Christian Century):

If there is one idea that unites Jim Wallis and Pat Robertson, it is the idea that voting is a good idea. American Christians of both the right and the left have been so thoroughly indoctrinated into thinking that democracy is an unarguable good and that voting is the price we pay for the privilege of life in a constitutional democracy that there's nobody left among us to question the practice. Voting has been inflated from a democratic right to a Christian responsibility, and we have been so accustomed to thinking positively about voting that it's difficult for us to think like Christians.
Here is a wonderful little book that answers a big question that most of us American Christians have lost the theological resources even to ask: Why vote?
Each of these nine essays defends Christian refusal to vote—"conscientious abstention"—with a variety of reasons, all of which (with the possible exception of those offered by a Catholic author) seem indebted to the ecclesiology of John Howard Yoder. American Christians have succumbed to a state-as-savior mentality in which voting has assumed religious-like trappings. Registering, showing up on the appointed day, entering the curtained booth and secretly voting has become an unquestioned, sacred "confession of faith," says Andy Alexis-Baker; it's the little pinch of incense we offer to Caesar. All of the essays argue that though voting doesn't make much difference one way or the other, Christians ought to take care in their worship because the pinch of incense may not be inconsequential.

I haven't read the book but it's a point worth noting: You have the right not to vote. We've noted that many times but we'll note it again. This is a democracy and your vote is your business and no one else's. That includes who you vote for, who you don't vote for or whether you vote at all. You should vote (or not vote) as is comfortable and feels right to you. Non-voters are stereotyped as lazy, ignorant and apathetic. Some may be. Some are making a decision and doing so for various reasons. They owe no explanations. Your vote is your vote. Use it as wisely -- by your definition of wisely.

And we'll go out with this from independent journalist John Pilger -- one of the few who can make that claim and one of the few who can hold their head high. For those who've forgotten how embarrassing Panhandle Media has been in 2008, flash back on Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Wheel of Greed"


Pilger never sold out and this is from his "The Diplomacy Of Lying" (Information Clearing House):

The beatification of President Barack Obama is already under way; for it is he who "challenges America to rise up [and] summon 'the better angels of our nature'", says Rolling Stone magazine, reminiscent of the mating calls of Guardian writers to the "mystical" Blair. As ever, the Orwell Inversion Test is necessary. Obama claims that his vast campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, yet he has also received funds from some of the most notorious looters on Wall Street. Moreover, the "dove" and "candidate of change" has voted repeatedly to fund George W Bush's rapacious wars, and now demands more war in Afghanistan while he threatens to bomb Pakistan.
Dismissing the popular democracies in Latin America as a "vacuum" to be filled by the United States, he has endorsed Colombia's "right to strike terrorists who seek safe havens across its borders". Translated, this means the "right" of the criminal regime in that country to invade its neighbours, notably uppity Venezuela, on Washington's behalf. The British human rights group Justice for Colombia has just published a study concerning Anglo-American backing for the Colombian regime of Álvaro Uribe, which is responsible for more than 90 per cent of all cases of torture. The principal torturers, the "security forces", are trained by the Americans and the British. The Foreign Office replies that it is "improving the human rights record of the military and combating drug trafficking". The study finds not a shred of evidence to support this. Colombian officers with barbaric records, such as those implicated in the murder of a trade union leader, are welcomed to Britain for "seminars".
As in many parts of the world, the British role is that of subcontractor to Washington. The bloody "Plan Colombia" was the design of Bill Clinton, the last Democratic president and inspiration for Blair's and Brown's new Labour. Clinton's administration was at least as violent as Bush's – see Unicef's report that 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of the Anglo-American blockade in the 1990s.
The lesson learned is that no presidential candidate, least of all a Democrat awash with money from America's "banksters", as Franklin Roosevelt called them, can or will challenge a militarised system that controls and rewards him. Obama's job is to present a benign, even progressive face that will revive America's democratic pretensions, internationally and domestically, while ensuring nothing of substance changes.
Among ordinary Americans desperate for a secure life, his skin colour may help him regain this unjustified "trust", even though it is of a similar hue to that of Colin Powell, who lied to the United Nations for Bush and now endorses Obama. As for the rest of us, is it not time we opened our eyes and exercised our right not to be lied to, yet again?

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