Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The distractors (FMF), the liars (ibid) and more

Sharon Smith has an article entitled "The antiwar movement retreats" (US Socialist Worker). I'm not a big fan of Smith for obvious reasons (Elaine's outlined many -- as has been noted over the years, we generally agree on everything but the only real difference is Elaine usually reaches a conclusion a little bit before I do.) After having acted like a raving lunatic, maybe Smith's going to come back to the real world? Maybe not?

But the article's worth reading and I'll use it to clarify a point. I have donated often to the Feminist Majority Foundation. An e-mail came in on yesterday's snapshot and Debra Sweet's article linked to in it which can be summed up as 'B-b-b-but you're a booster of the Foundation!'
No. Elaine and I closed our checkbooks some time ago. It had to do with Ms. ignoring the historic year of 2008. It was long before Ms. (published by the FMF) did that idiot cover hailing homophobic Barry O as a feminist.

Ms. magazine pimped Barry O's campaign. And when confronted on it, they lied, they denied and then they got bitchy. And I use the word intentionally and they better hope I never get so pissed off I post the e-mail where they trashed Hillary in non-feminist terms (and that's putting it mildly). If you're new to this, you missed it in real time when Ava and I covered it throughout 2008.

The 2008 election cycle was historic for women. You had (a) Hillary Clinton run for the Democratic Party nomination and garner over 16 million votes, (b) you had the Green Party run a presidential ticket consisting of two strong women: Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente and (c) you had the second woman to run for vice president on one of the country's two major political parties, Sarah Palin.

It doesn't matter what you thought of any one woman. It doesn't matter if you loved them all. It doesn't matter if you hated them all. 2008 was historic for women and those four women should have been covered. They weren't.

If Ms. magazine needs to exist today (to do those hard hitting "I was brought into the country to have sex!" stories?), it needs to exist to chart the history when it's made and Clinton, Clemente, McKinney and Palin made history in 2008. Each one of them, yes. But collectively, the four of them absolutely.

And the lie was that Ms. couldn't be partisan.

No one asked Ms. to endorse any of the women. But Ms. is supposed to be a news magazine and when women run for office it is news.

They refused to cover it. There's no excuse for that. There's no excuse, after claiming they had to strive not to look partisan (and, yes, I also have that in an e-mail, Michele Kort -- Kort, the liar supreme) for them to put homophobic Barack Obama on the cover and call him a feminist. That's partisan beyond belief.

Then there's the fact that when it was publicly hinted on the pages of the New York Times early in 2009 that the administration was about to get cozy with the Taliban, we called it out. All the women in this community did a mid-week roundtable immediately calling that out. And you'll note the FMF women didn't say a damn word. And you'll note a lot of women didn't say a damn word. Lot of people tried real hard to look the other way.

So don't confuse me with FMF. I have supported them in the past and might in the future if they ever get their act together. At present, they don't have it together.

If you're late to the party and wondering what is going on, read Smith's column.

By the way, Ellie Smeal? She beat herself up after the 2002 elections because she'd allowed herself to be used by the administration (I'm paraphrasing her). No one should be surprised FMF is yet again being used by an administration to promote war.

And this community does not support continuing the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War for even one more day. (See "Editorial: Responsible Withdrawal" at Third.)

William Petroski (Des Moines Register) reports on the impact the continued, illegal wars have on Iowa:

State officials are developing contingency plans to respond to disasters such as floods and tornadoes in anticipation of a major deployment of Iowa Army National Guard soldiers to Iraq next year.
The U.S. Department of Defense is expected to formally announce this week that the Iowa-based 2nd Brigade of the 34th Infantry Division will be mobilized in fall 2010 for duty in Iraq. An official announcement could come as early as today, said Lt. Col. Chris Garver, an Army spokesman in Washington, D.C.

We don't spend a great deal of time anymore covering US war resisters who go to Canada. We cover them if they go elsewhere but (a) 'helpers' don't know what they're doing and (b) the little attack from a site pretty much guaranteed that I won't waste a great deal of my time on this 'issue.'

Laurie Essig? We're not linking to her garbage but do you know, according to her, why US war resisters can't stay in Canada? Bill Clinton.

Didn't you know that was coming.

All the lies. All the liars.

Let's recap.

1) You can go to Canada and resist the war. And you can do that without any help from any of the 'helpers.' A group of us sponsor a large number of war resisters in Canada. I've helped people across the border myself in this illegal war. Our goal was never to have our big 'statement.' Our goal was to help people who needed help. We did that. Those who didn't need to be asking what they did wrong.

2) Another meaningless House resolution in the Canadian Parliament? Are we really to believe in that crap one more time. The upper house won't go along. Why is that? Why is it that a friend (musician from Canada) confirmed a detail that should have been shared long, long ago? The Queen of England. The Queen of England has the last say. Anything Parliament passes -- a binding law -- still has to go through the Queen of England. (The United States fought for and won their independence from England. Don't make the mistake of assuming the histories in the Americas are all the same.)

Bill Clinton's your easy target, he is not your problem. And little lying Columbia professors need to stop lying to the public. They really need to stop.

It is highly unlikely the Queen of England will approve a law for war resisters to stay in Canada when the war in question is one that her own country sent troops to.

That leaves the courts and that leaves lobbying immigration. But any legislative measure is going to go through the Queen of England because she has the final say. And if you don't know that, you need to ask why you weren't told that?

You need to ask why some dumb ass professor is writing at True/Slant (heavy on the latter obviously) that it's Bill Clinton's fault?

With all that in mind, a friend's asked that we note US war resister Rodney Watson. Who? Stig Nielsen (Metro Vancouver) reports:

Rodney Watson of Kansas City had just returned from a deployment in Iraq in 2006 when the U.S. army extended his contract for three years. Watson said he felt he had served his time and that he wasn't about to go back to a war he doesn’t agree with.
"The main thing was the disrespect for the people -- some guys would have a bad day and they would just beat up on some Iraqi civilians," Watson said.
He deserted three years ago and crossed the border into Canada, where he fell in love and became a father.

Now the 31-year-old is at First United Church on Hastings Street in Vancouver where he's been granted asylum since September. Camille Bains (Canadian Press) reports that he was ordered deported September 11th:

Ric Matthews, lead minister of First United Church in Vancouver, said the board and the congregation support Watson.
Matthews said he met Watson at a rally organized on his behalf by the War Resisters Support Campaign and that Watson later approached him about staying at the church.
"There will be an effort to try and help create the momentum for something constructive to come out of this," he said.
"I think the United Church in general, beyond just us, would now be working through some of our people who have experience in working with refugee claims and in engaging with government in conversation."
Matthews said Watson's fiancee and son often visit him at the church, which provides daily meals for people in need.

There are other stories you can find on Watson. I'm not interested in lies, there have been more than enough of them from the north.

Repeating: the Canadian legislation process goes to the top. The Queen of England has the final say. She will not, especially while her own country fights war resisters, approve of a law in Canada that grants asylum to war resisters. England supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- supported? They helped sell those illegal wars.

Stephen Harper is still prime minister so it's very unlikely that immigration policies will be changed. Why Harper wasn't run out of office long ago is a question worth asking. But he hasn't been. So he can't do as Pierre did during Vietnam and issue his own ruling bypassing the Parliament (and therefore the Queen -- though England wasn't 'vested' in Vietnam to the degree they are in Iraq and Afghanistan). That leaves only the courts -- right or wrong, some believe
the court of opinion has been milked dry.

From Stacy Brown's "Author to speak on similarities of Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan" (Scranton Times-Tribune):

As a veteran of the Vietnam conflict, Tim O'Brien said he sees a number of similarities between that war and the current one on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The uncanny similarity is, as a soldier, you don't know who your enemy is. You don't know who you are supposed to shoot at," said Mr. O'Brien, whose book, "The Things They Carried," is the subject of this year's Scranton Reads: One City, One Book program.
The eighth annual event encourages local residents to read and discuss various classic books.
[. . .]
What: Scranton Reads: One City, One Book presents an Evening with Tim O'Brien.
Where: Marywood University, Sette LaVerghetta Center for the Performing Arts
When: Oct. 29, 7 p.m.
Details: Author Tim O'Brien will discuss his book, "The Things They Carried," as part of Scranton Reads: One City, One Book program. Tickets are free and available at the Albright Memorial Library, Marywood University, Penn State Worthington Scranton Library and the University of Scranton's Weinberg Memorial Library. For more information, call 348-3000.

Community sites updated last night:

And Marcia's "Do they get it?," Elaine's "John Pilger, Isaiah, counter-insurgency," Ruth's "Isaiah, CCR, Nicola Nasser," Ann's "Anita the Trash," Kat's "Carly & Joni" and Trina's "Global Warming"

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends