Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just sharing post

Thursday. Ma's in the snapshot! I didn't know. :D I had a test and didn't see the snapshot before class. I'm leaving class (I think I aced the test) and some buds from a class are giving me the thumbs up. I'm thinking, "How do they know I did well?" Then Tony comes up and goes, "Dude, who wrote your mother?" I'm all, "What?"

I didn't know a thing about it. Ma did the beta switch for her site today because she read Rebecca's post about the problems with switching. It didn't take as long as it did Rebecca (Ma's site's fairly new so it's not as big) but it took a bit. So she went into her e-mails and read through them and it still wasn't done. So she thought she'd check out her Bulk folder and there was the e-mail.

From who? I'm not saying. (But I do know!) I think that's so cool. I was trying to call Ma but couldn't get her (and she refuses to carry a cell phone) so I call C.I. and go, "What's going on?"
I got the lowdown. Ma was always irritated about the refusal to cover war resisters by our 'independent' media. C.I. goes that Ma called while she was reading the e-mail and sounded like she was about to cry. (Ma said later that was correct.) Reading that e-mail really brought it home to Ma how much wasn't being covered (and she already was disgusted with the lack of coverage).

Ma told me later, she was just calling to say, "Keep on that issue." She wasn't trying to get included in the snapshot and feels like people going to her site are going to be thinking, "Meatloaf?" :D (Ma makes a great meat loaf.)

She told me C.I. listened and said it would be noted in the snapshot and then asked if she had any more time or had to go? Ma had some more time so C.I. pointed out that this is the whole point. Write in your voice and you'll find someone listening.

Everybody does their own thing in the community. Rebecca was the first site to start after The Common Ills and she knew not to try to be C.I. (She'll tell you that and that she knew that from their days in college.) So she made sure she was doing her own thing. And she has a very popular site. She has very loyal readers. Ma wanted to weigh in and I didn't get that. I thought, "Oh, she's asking to be nice like with sports" when she'd be asking about my site. She even asked C.I., not me!, to talk her through the Blogger/Blogspot program to create it. But she wanted to talk about food and she wanted to comment on stuff too. That's what she does. And I noted here before that there were some rude e-mails about "Food? Can't you write about something serious?"

Ma was really bummed by that and, here it comes, I find out about that from C.I.

But C.I. told Ma then (and Ma says she got it again today), that if you are writing about what interests you and not trying to sound like someone else, you will reach people. And Ma's getting a nice group of regulars and doing a great job.

I know Ma was embarrassed (her word) when C.I. was helping her set up the site and C.I. asked what it was going to be about (because it was time in the program to create a title for the site) and C.I. didn't go, "Food! Ick!" C.I. told her that was great because she might reach people that wouldn't be reached otherwise. And she has and I'm real proud of Ma.

But that a family member of a war resister found her site and wanted to share a bit with Ma really proves that.

I love Ma, I'm always proud of her, but I'm real happy for her tonight too. Something at her site spoke and that's so cool but she's pretty cool too.

While I'm heading out praise, let me sneak in one more because I'll be forgiven for putting it this entry. :D Tony's pulling a book out of his backpack and going, "Hey, did you see this mention of C.I.?" and I'm all, "C.I. gets mentioned a lot." Tony goes, "No, as C.I." So he opens up the book and shows me right there on the page where C.I.'s noted as C.I. and quoted. (Quoted, not ripped off.) I was all like, "Woah!" And Tony goes that it's the second time he's seen it. I'm all like, "What's the other book?" So Tony drags me to the campus library and grabs the book. I knew C.I. wasn't going to comment on that book, that was stated online by C.I., but I didn't know C.I. was mentioned in it as C.I. I call Jim while me and Tony are leaving the library and I'm all, "Did you know about this?" Jim's like no way. But, yeah, way! :D

C.I. never said a word about it. No one knew. I called Rebecca and she was like, "What? Why am I the last to know?" :D (That's a joke about her being one of the last to know that me and Elaine were a couple.) She's getting both books now. But we were on the phone trying to think how we'd handle that. We were both all, "It would be on my site! As mentioned in the book ____ and the book ____." I'll write about this at Polly's Brew Sunday.

I've pushed it by noting the book mentions here. But I'll tell you which ones in my column. I got off the phone with Rebecca and called Beth because she's The Common Ills' ombudsperson and she'll ask C.I. anything so I assumed Beth must know about it. Beth hadn't heard a word. It's too late for her column in this gina & krista round-robin that comes out tomorrow but she'll write about it next week.

So that was pretty cool news because it seems like the wrong things get attention. The wrong topics and the wrong people. War resisters need more coverage (or how about any -- for some outlets, it really is no coverage at all).

Ehren Watada is in the snapshot and when I was on the phone with Jim, they were all headed to the Howard Zinn event. (Tom Hayden has an event as well tonight and they were torn about that but decided to go with art. If it had just been Hayden, I think they would have been there. Community members will understand why the fact that it wasn't just Hayden kept them away.)
That starts in like ten minutes as I type (it's 10:20 pm here but out there it's only 7:20). C.I.'s dictating the entry tonight. Or dictating the 'wrap around.' To make it easier for the friend taking the dictation, C.I.'s already pulled together the highlights. (I'm talking about the "And the war drags on" entry that goes up each Sunday and Thursday.) So I was on the phone with Jim and he goes "hold on!" So I hold and then he's back on the phone going they just said on the radio that Ehren Watada's going to be court-martialed. The decision came down.

So talk about Ehren Watada the way you've been doing. You know most media have ignored him and you know I'm not talking mainstream media. So get the word out on him, he needs our support.

Now here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, November 9, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, War Hawk down Donald Rumsfleld continues to collect professional obits but not many mourners, Cindy Sheehan continues to demonstrate more life and spirit than the media, Tom Hayden looks to what needs to be done now, and some data on the US elections is now known (even if not noted by gas bags).

Starting with War Hawk Down,
Rumsfeld is Rumsfled and though the obits continue to pile up where are the mourners for his professional demise? Has even the U of Minnesota drop-out lost her gift for hagiography? Some say it's lonely at the top, Rumsfled discovers it's lonely at the bottom as well. Around the world, the feedback comes in. Mussab Al-Khairalla (Reuters) reports on the Iraqi consensus and the AP notes that a similar consensus around the world while John F. Burns and Michael Lou (New York Times) note Iraqi Sadoon al-Zubaidi response: "The Americans came to Iraq three and a half years ago to do something good for Iraqis, to free them from dictatorship. That has failed. The Americans helped, encouraged and planted civil disorder and sectarianism. Now, I would like to see all American troops taken out. I’d like to see all the reins of power placed in Iraqi hands."

Philippe Naughton (Times of London) notes that the next US Secretary of Defense will have "the clearest missions: get American troops out of Iraq as quickly and cleanly as possible."
Bully Boy has nominated Robert Gates for that position. Speaking with Nora Barrows Friedman yesterday on
Flashpoints, Robert Parry noted Gates' involvement in Iran-Contra. Today on Democracy Now!, Parry also noted the involvement and the questions that had never been answered including, as Amy Goodman noted, his role in providing weapons to Saddam Hussein which he was just convicted for using. Online, Parry (Consortium News) delves into the world of Gates, his Bush family connections and concludes that "whether Gates can be counted on to do what's in the interest of the larger American public is another question altogether."

Another issue, especially considering the illegal warrantless spying by the administration, is whether former CIA director Gates is the one to be put in charge of the US Defense Department since, as many can remember, the illegal spying of an earlier period wasn't confined to the FBI and the CIA, it also included DoD spying?

In US elections news,
control over both houses of Congress shifted to Democrats yesterday when two Senate races were called: Jon Tester won in Montanna and Jim Webb in Virginia. On the Webb race, as Feminist Wire Daily points out, there was "a ten-point gender gap" between those voting for Webb and those voting for George Allen (with women favoring Webb over Allen by ten-points). FWD also notes that "women voted five percentage points more (56 percent) for Democrats than men (51 percent). Kim Gandy (president of NOW) sums up the results: "Women voters cleaned House. We turned out on Tuesday to turn out the politicians who were tuning out our concerns. Women are fed up with the 'stay the course' strategy in Iraq, the so-called economic recovery that has left most of the country behind, and the relentless efforts to limit women's reproductive rights. The 'gender gap' is alive and well, and making a difference on election day." [Juan Gonzalez (Democracy Now!) noted that "young voters voted overwhelmingly Democratic."]

Noting the Democratic control,
Tom Hayden (writing at Common Dreams) reminds that: "The Vietnam War continued for seven senseless years after the Paris peace talks began. While scaling back its original victory plans, the US still wants to station tens of thousands of troops in subdued, and perhaps partitioned, Iraq, and it wasnt the issue neutralized by the 2008 elections. The peace movement therefore needs to gear up for the 2008 elections by establishing anti-war coalitions that no candidate can avoid in the primary states."

Possibly having a panic attack over the concept of peace or just dismayed regarding the lack of breast-beating over Rumsfled's impending departure (and worried about his own ass), John Howard, prime Minister of Australia and professional War Hawk, rushes to weigh in. Though not known previously as a student of American politics,
Gillian Bradford (Australia's ABC) reports that Howard is downplying the election results and claiming that it boils down to Bully Boy "running a Budget deficit" that led to Republicans staying home. When considering post-government careers, Howard would be wise to skip teaching. Translation, the deficit was not covered as an issue in the leadup and it was not named in polling.

Howard's attempt to spin the illegal war comes at a time when Carne Ross is criticizing Tony Blair's government's actions with regards to the illegal war. On Iraq,
the BBC reports that the British diplomat told MPs that "our policy has been a rank disaster in the last few years in terms of blood shed. By that measure that invasion has been a much greater disaster even than Suez." Ross also informed the MPs that the current state was predicted and that during talks between the US government and the British government England's Foreign Office "would say, with emphasis, we do not believe regime change is a good idea in Iraq and the reason we do not believe that is that we think Iraq would break up and that would lead to chaos if you do that."

In Iraq the chaos and violence continues with
CBS and AP noting: "October was a particularly bloody month for Iraqis, with more than 1,200 killed, and November so far looks to be just as bad. At least 66 Iraqis were killed on Wednesday, although that is likely much lower than the true figure since many deaths go unreported. Since this summer, the United Nations has bumped its daily death toll estimate to 100 per day."


Sabah Jerges (AFP) observes there were "at least seven explosions" in Baghdad, "the worst being a suicide car bomb that exploded near the Mishin shopping center in the southeast of the city that killed seven people and wounded 27" that appears to be part of a coordinated attack including a mortar round prior to the car bomb (also noted is the death of 10 in Baquba from violence though no details are offered), while in Amara a bomb took one life and left three wounded. CBS and AP note a bombing in Tal Afar that killed three people (including a police officer) and the death of two "when a mortar bomb landed on a car on Palestine street in eastern Baghdad". Reuters notes a roadside bomb in Baghdad that left four wounded; the wounding of two police officers in Baghdad as they attempted to disarm a bomb; a car bomb in Baghdad (Abu Ghraib district) that resulted in five people being killed; and two dead and four wounded in Tal Afar from a rocket attack.


Qais al-Bashir (AP) notes an attack on "a primary school" in Muqdadiyah that left "a policeman, a guard and a student" dead; while in Baghdad, two incidents (one a drive-by) claimed three lives; and, in Mosul, a wife and husband were shot dead (the husband was with the Iraqi military). Reuters notes that in addition to the couple, four more people were shot dead in Mosul.


Qais al-Bashir (AP) reports that eleven corpses were discovered in Baghdad. The count increased to 26, Reuters notes, and four corpses were found in Latifiya. AFP notes that

Patrick Cockburn (CounterPunch) examines "the rise of the sniper" in the capital and concludes it "will incerase the already numerous ways that Iraqi civilians can die," that the US military often offers "no warning shots"

In peace news, as Sandra Lupien noted yesterday on
The KPFA Evening News, Cindy Sheehan was arrested outside the White House when she and others attempted to deliver a petition with at least 80,000 signatures on it. The petition was calling for an end to the war.
Military Families Speak Out attempts to deliver their petition to the soon to be gone Rumsfled calling for an end to the back door draft and noting: "We believe that the best course of action is to bring all of our troops home now, and take care of them when they get here. Our loved ones signed up to protect and defend the Constitution of this nation. That is not what they are doing in Iraq."

Trina received an e-mail from the family of a war resister which only underscored to Trina how "hideous" the lack of coverage on this issue is. Trina: "If you believe the war is wrong and needs to end, then you need to cover those who are saying 'NO!' loudly and clearly. The fact that most independent magazines -- even at their own websistes -- can't is beyond disappointing. People standing up need support and their stories need to be told."

US war resisters that should have been in the news in the last two weeks include Kyle Snyder, Joshua Key and Ivan Brobeck.
Kyle Snyder returned to the US Tuesday October 31st to turn himself in at Fort Knox after self-checking out and going to Canada. The agreement between Synder's attorney and the military was trashed after the US military had Synder in custody. Snyder self-checked out again. Joshua Key was denied refugee status by the Canadian government this week. Ivan Brobeck returned to the US from Canada this week, on election day, and turned himself in. These stories have garnered very little interest by independent media. Brobeck's return has hardly been noted. (Hurt feelings over the fact that Nora Barrows Friedman got the exclusive interview with Brobeck?) The verdict in Key's case has been noted even less. It's not cutting it and independent media (print and audio) needs to stop kidding themselves that it is. It's shameful.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Appeal for Redress is collecting signatures of active duty service members calling on Congress to bring the troops home.

Ivan Brobeck, Kyle Snyder and Joshua Key are part of a movement of war resistance within the US military that also includes Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Ehren Watada, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Agustin Aguayo, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, and Kevin Benderman. Their stories do matter. It's only the coverage that is lacking.

Which gets to a point
Anthony Arnove made on yesterday's Flashpoints regarding the importance of knowing our history and how much energy is expanded to rob people of their history. History is all around -- it's just not getting the coverage. Arrnove and Alice Walker, both guests on yesterday's Flashpoints will be among those bringing history to life via a reading of Howard Zinn and Arnove's Voices of a People's History of the United States tonight (7:30 p.m.) at the Berkeley Community Theatre (1930 Allston Way) and along with Walker and Arnove, other participants will also include Mos Def, Steve Earle and Zinn himself.

Ehren Watada's father, Bob Watada, and his step-mother, Rosa Sakanishi, continue their speaking tour to raise awareness on Ehren -- the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. Due to increased interest there have been some date changes and a full schedule can be found here. Upcoming dates include:

Nov 9, 11AM, Philadelphia, PA, Press Conference
Location: TBA Sponsors: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Delaware Valley Veterans for America, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Mothers
Contact: Bill Perry, 215-945-3350,

Nov 9, 12:30PM, Philadelphia, PA., University Appearance
Location: Rutgers, Details TBA
Sponsors: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Delaware Valley Veterans for America, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Mothers
Contact: Bill Perry, 215-945-3350,
Professor Elizabeth Hillman (RU Law School), Board of Governors Professor Roger S. Clark (Rutgers-Camden), and Bill Perry of Delaware Valley Veterans For America

Nov 9, 3:30PM, Philadelphia, PA., University Appearance,
Location: St. Joseph's University, Bldg. & Room TBA
Sponsors: : Iraq Veterans Against the War, Delaware Valley Veterans for America, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Mothers
Bob Watada, Patrick Resta of IVAW, Bill Perry of Delaware Valley Veterans For America, and Professor Katherine Sibley (St. Joseph’s University)

Nov 9, 7PM, Philadelphia, PA., Location: University of Pennsylvania
Annenberg Center Room 109,
Sponsors: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Delaware Valley Veterans for America, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Mothers
Contact: Bill Perry, 215-945-3350,
Bob Watada, Professor Carolyn Marvin (Annenberg School for Communications), Patrick Resta of IVAW, and Bill Perry of Delaware Valley Veterans For America

Nov 10, Early PM, New York City, NY., Press Conference
Location: UN, 777 United Nations Plaza, First Avenue and E. 44th Street
Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapters 138 & 34
Contact: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203,
George McAnanama,

Nov 10, 7:30PM, New York City, NY.
Location: St. Paul/St. Andrews Methodist Church -- West End Avenue and West 86th Streets,
Sponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapters 138 & 34
Contacts: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203,

Nov 11, 10AM-2:30PM, New York City, NY.,Veterans Day Parade
Sponsor: Veterans For Peace Chapters 34 & 138, IVAW, MFSO
Contacts: Thomas Brinson, 631-889-0203,
George McAnanama,

Nov 11, 3-5 PM, Flushing, NY.,
Location: Macedonia AME Church (718) 353-5870
37-22 Union St.
Sponsors: "United for Lt. Watada"
Contact: Gloria Lum 646-824-2710,

Nov 11, 7 PM, New York City, NY., Manhattan,
Location: Columbia University, Broadway and W 116 St., Bldg- Mathematics Rm 312
Sponsors: Asian American Alliance, "United for Lt. Watada",
Veterans For Peace Chapters 138 & 34
Contact: Gloria Lum 646-824-2710

Nov 12, 11AM-1PM, Providence, RI.,
Location: Brown University, The John Nicholas Brown Center,
357 Benefit Street at Williams
Sponsor: Veterans For Peace National
Contact: Naoko Shibusawa, 401-286-1908,

Nov 12, 7PM, Rockland County, NY.
Location: TBA
Sponsor: Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice, Veterans For Peace National and Veterans For Peace Chapter /Rockland County
Contact: Nancy Tsou,
Barbara Greenhut

Nov 13 , TBA, Ann Arbor, MI, “The Ground Truth” and Bob Watada
Location: University of Michigan, Angel Hall, Auditorium B
Sponsors: Michigan Peace Works,
Contact: Phillis Engelbert, work - 734-761-5922, home - 734-662-0818, cell- 734-660-489,

Nov 14, TBA St. Louis, Mo. Location: Friends Meeting House1001 Park Avenue Sponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 161, 314-754-2651Contact: Chuc Smith, 314-721-1814,

kyle snyder
amy goodman

democracy now

joshua key

ehren watada
bob watada