Friday, September 17, 2010

Bradley Manning

Starting with Bradley Manning. Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7th, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. This month, the military charged Manning. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." Manning has been convicted in the public square despite the fact that he's been convicted in no state and has made no public statements -- despite any claims otherwise, he has made no public statements. Manning is now in Virginia, under military lock and key and still not allowed to speak to the press. As Daniel Ellsberg reminded from the stage in San Francisco last night, "We don't know all the facts." But we know, as Ellsberg pointed out, that the US military is attempting to prosecute Bradley.

From across the Atlantic, support is expressed by people who knew Bradley when he lived in Wales. BBC News quotes James Kirkpatrick stating, "He is an absolute hero, anybody who is going to bring up such injustices, you've got to consider them a hero. I found out the first week he was being held and was shocked. I couldn't believe it. I felt proud of him really, whistleblowing against such controversies, it's quite a heroic thing. I was shocked but really impressed by him as well."

There are many rallies of support planned for Bradley around the world. In the US, World Can't Wait is among the organizations working on events. Last night, they organized some events as well. Was the NYC event streamed live? I'm told this morning the initial part was and that someone (Ethan McCord?) mentioned the then-breaking news that some part of New York City had been hit by a tornado (I'm told the broadcast expressed that it might have been the Bronx but this morning most reports are saying a funnel cloud was seen by residents of Brooklyn). Shortly after that, there were technical problems with the stream -- including heavy demand -- and they had to switch to a rebroadcast. Again, that's what I'm told this morning. (I didn't see the NYC stream. I was participating in the roundtable in the gina & krista round-robin and then speaking to a group of college students.)

In the Bay Area, the march and demonstration will take place in San Francisco tomorrow with a rally across from City Hall at two in the afternoon, followed by a march that will proceed to Union Square. Nicholas Hunt (Knoxville News Sentinel) reports that students at the University of Tennessee rallied for Bradley yesterday afternoon, "The group handed out whistles to students and had template letters to congressmen asking for Bradley Manning's release that students could sign. Overall, the reaction of the student body was mostly positive, said Kaitlin Malick, a junior in sociology, who was also at the event."

At The Nation, Peter Ludlow offers
a piece of crap article -- but don't we expect that from The Nation these days? The New York Times is a newspaper. Many, many reporters write for it. If you're going to call out, damn well have the guts to name the people you're calling out. Not only is nonsense not to, it's equally true that some of the better reporting on Manning has come from the Times's Baghdad-based reporters who grasp what Ludlow doesn't -- Bradley's accused and Adrian Lamo's claims are claims. Ludlow presents them as facts. To see how real reporters handle the allegations and assertions, use the BBC News link at the top of this entry. To see how lazy asses quick to believe 'evidence' not yet presented in court, not yet backed up or verified, read Ludlow. And always remember, Adrian Lamo is a convicted felon. As a result, anything he ever claims in public? It needs to be verified to nth degree before he's given any credence. It's hilarious that Ludlow wants to rip apart the Times (without naming the reporter or reporters) for repeating claims that make Bradley appear 'crazy' (Daniel Ellsberg spoke about that last night in San Francisco) but he then wants to trust Lamo who has not only made some claims to reporters for publication, he's said a lot worse -- A LOT WORSE -- about Lamo on 'background' to reporters.

Thane Burnett (Toronto Sun) reports
that Toronto's rally will take place Sunday:

Charlotte Sheasby-Coleman, a longtime Canadian peace activist and mother of three, says the planned noon rally outside the U.S. Consulate in downtown Toronto shows concern crosses boundaries.
"It's not just an American issue," she tells QMI Agency, adding she feels Canadians will sympathize with the plight of the young soldier.

Is there a planned rally in your area? A.N.S.W.E.R. offers this list:

United States

Los Angeles, California
Top of the Santa Monica Pier (Palisades Park, just north of the pier at the cannon)
Sunday, September 19, 1-3pm

Oakland, California
Thursday, September 16, 7-9pm
Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street, Oakland CA (Between Telegraph and Broadway)
Presented by Courage to Resist, with the help of National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Military Law Panel, Veterans for Peace-Bay Area Chapter, CodePink, War Resisters League-West, Iraq Veterans Against the War-Bay Area, and BAY-Peace.

San Diego, California
Rally and film showing
Sunday, September 19, 12-2 pm
Horton Plaza, 4th & Broadway
Sponsored by Activist San Diego, San Diego Peace and Justice Coalition

San Francisco, California
March and rally
Saturday, September 18
Rally at 2pm, march at 3pm, ending at 4pm at Union Square
in front of the SF War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue
Organized by Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace-SF Bay Area, ANSWER Coalition, Bay Area United for Peace and Justice, and CodePink

New Haven, Connecticut
Friday September 17, 4 pm
59 Elm Street, New Haven, CT 06510. In front of Rosa DeLauro’s office.
Sponsored by the Greater New Haven Peace Council

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sunday, September 19, 4 pm
In front of 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA (MIT building with the dome.)
Sponsored in part by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Rally & Film Showing
Friday, September 17, 4:30-6 pm
Mayday Bookstore – 301 Cedar Avenue – Minneapolis

Rochester, Minnesota
Peace Happening
Thursday September 16, 5 pm
South Broadway & 2nd Street SW
Sponsored by the Southeastern Minnesota Peace Makers

Keene, New Hampshire
Keene town commons
Saturday September 18, 11:00 am
NH Peace Action, in conjunction with the Free State Project

New York City, New York
Film showing and speakers
September 16th, 7pm
St. Mary’s Church, 521 West 126th Street

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for Conscience
Friday, September 17, 5-6 pm
SE Corner of S. 59th and Western Avenue

Corvallis, Oregon
Friday September 17, 5 pm
Benton Country Courthouse, Corvallis, OR, 97330
Supported by Veterans for Peace

Knoxville, Tennessee
Thursday, September 16th
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Norfolk, Virginia
Friday, September 17, 11:30 am-1 pm
Granby St. & City Hall Ave.
Sponsored by the Norfolk Catholic Worker

Quantico, Virginia
Rally followed by outreach
Sunday, September 19, 11:30 am
Town of Quantico Municipal Park (River Road and 4th Avenue)
Sponsored by IVAW, Code Pink, and other area activists

Seattle/Fort Lewis, Washington
Saturday, September 18, 2-4 pm
“Freedom Bridge” and gate area at I-5 exit 122 (Madigan Hospital exit).
Sponsored by Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace (VFP 92)

Spokane, Washington
Thursday, September 16, 12:00 noon
Corner of Wellesley and Division


Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, September 19, 12:00 noon
U.S. Consulate, University Avenue

Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Speakers and cultural performances
Friday, September 17, 7-9pm
SCU Room, upstairs in the Byron Community and Cultural Centre

The community sites last night covered the World Can't Wait stream and we'll note them as well as Cindy Sheehan and the Wilders' On the Wilder Side:

And we'll close with this from the Democratic Policy Committee:

Senate Democrats know that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. In fact, over the past 15 years, small businesses have created approximately 12 million, or two-thirds, of America’s new jobs. That is why we have already passed eight important tax cuts to help small business owners grow their companies. The new tax cuts, eight in all, will increase lending to small businesses, eliminate capital gains taxes on key investments, reduce start-up expenses, and reduce health care expenses for the self-employed. And, this week, we have finally been able to secure passage of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297), which includes more tax relief for small businesses.

In contrast, Senate Republicans have chosen to protect big corporations and millionaires at the expense of small businesses across the country. Republicans fought against the provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5) and subsequent legislation, and continued to block the Small Business Jobs bill. At a time when America’s 27 million small businesses are starving for adequate access to capital and desperately seeking to hire workers and expand their businesses, why are Republicans fighting against tax cuts for small businesses?

Democrats Have Passed Eight Key Tax Cuts for Small Businesses

· Payroll Tax Holiday for New Hires: The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act provides a payroll tax holiday for businesses that hire unemployed workers and an income tax credit of $1,000 for businesses that retain these employees. According to the Treasury Department, between February and June 2010, businesses had hired 5.6 million workers who had been unemployed for 8 weeks or longer, making those businesses eligible for HIRE Act tax exemptions and credits. (P.L. 111-147)

· Tax Credits for Health Insurance Coverage: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides $40 billion in tax credits for small businesses to help them offer employee health insurance coverage – if they choose to do so. These tax credits will cover a portion of the premium costs for their employees’ coverage. More than 4 million small businesses are eligible for these credits. (P.L. 111-148)

· Net Operating Loss Carry Back: The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act allows businesses to use net operating losses from 2008 or 2009 to offset profits from five previous years, up from two years. (P.L. 111-92)

· Enhanced Small Business Expensing: The Recovery Act spurs small business investment by providing enhanced small business expensing, doubling the amount small businesses can immediately write off their taxes for capital investments and purchases of new equipment made in 2009. (P.L. 111-5) The HIRE Act extends the enhanced small business expensing provisions for investments and purchases made in 2010. (P.L. 111-147)

· Increased Bonus Depreciation: The Recovery Act helps businesses quickly recover costs of new capital investments by providing increased bonus depreciation for businesses that made investments in new plants and equipment in 2009. (P.L. 111-5)

· Capital Gains Exclusion: The Recovery Act spurs investments in small businesses by providing an exclusion of 75 percent (up from 50 percent) of capital gains from taxes for investors in small businesses who buy stock (in 2009 and 2010) and hold it for more than five years. (P.L. 111-5)

· Reduced Estimated Tax Payments: The Recovery Act reduces the required estimated tax payments for certain small businesses in 2009. (P.L. 111-5)

· Reduction in Built-In Gains Holding Period: The Recovery Act provides tax relief for taxable corporations converting into S corporations in 2009 and 2010 by reducing the built-in gains holding period from 10 years to 7 years (with gains held for the holding period exempt from tax). (P.L. 111-5)

Small Business Jobs Bill Would Provide
Additional Tax Relief to Millions of Small Businesses

Over the objections of Republicans who tried to hold relief for small businesses hostage to their effort to reward corporate law firm partners and billionaire hedge fund managers, Democrats fought to pass a strong Small Business Jobs bill so that millions of small businesses will get the tax relief and access to credit that they need to expand, grow and hire. The Small Business Jobs bill includes the following eight tax cuts:

· Zero Taxes on Capital Gains from Key Small Business Investments: Under the Recovery Act, 75 percent of capital gains on key small business investments were excluded from taxes. The Small Business Jobs bill would eliminate all capital gains taxes on these investments for 2010. Key investments in 1 million small businesses would be eligible for this tax cut.

· Extension and Expansion of Small Businesses’ Ability to Immediately Expense Capital Investments: The bill would temporarily increase for 2010 and 2011 the amount of investments in new plants or equipment that 4.5 million small businesses would be eligible to immediately write off to $500,000 – its highest limit ever – while raising the level of investments at which the write-off phases out to $2 million.

· Extension of 50 percent Bonus Depreciation: The bill would extend through 2010 a Recovery Act

Fact Sheet | Senate Democrats Fighting for Small Business Tax Relief

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