Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ari Hest and other thoughts

Thursday! Wally and I were out funning and didn't realize the time until about 9:00! He got on the phone with Cedric and they've got their posts up but if anyone was waiting, too bad! :D I never get to have fun with Wally. He lives all the way out in Florida. And between my classes and work, he's seen Rebecca way more than me! :D That's cool cause he gets to see the baby. Do I still say "the new baby"? I think so. :D

But we all got to see Ari Hest at The Abbey Saturday. It was a road trip! :D If you can see him live, you need to and if you can't, listen to The Break-In. That's his new CD. My favorite track is the first one. He's a guitar player and a singer and a songwriter. Trying to think who he sounds like and can't think of anyone. Wally's grabbing the CD so I can find out the name of the first track. It's about Iraq and I think everyone will really love it. I would have made this the single. Probably cut off the first 30 or so seconds for radio. Okay, the first track is "When and If." And you click right here and you can see a live performance on YouTube.

I'd rather promote stuff like that here. People who could use publicity and don't stab you in the back. You know what I'm talking about! :D Wally and I didn't participate in the roundtable (it's probably finishing up) for the gina & krista round-robin because I knew I would get loud on this subject. I'm writing about it for Polly's Brew and Wally said I could put in here that he is "beyond angry" about that still. I think everybody is. Well, I don't know about C.I. That's the other reason I didn't want to participate, I didn't want to put C.I. on the spot. C.I.'s just kept the head down and done the work all week long. And I'm sure all the rip-off artists appreciated that and will, no doubt, be planning their next big rip off.

I'm not as nice as C.I. Wally goes to put in "Who is?"

True that, as Cedric would say.

I'm still working on my list of what I'll note here from now and on and what I won't. I just don't really see the point in being a cheerleader for back stabbers. I'm amazed that C.I. can be. I keep going back to the post Betty did at Rebecca's site and think there's a whole lot of truth there, C.I. really doesn't expect anything. That may be the way to live and all but I'm not that high minded. I admire C.I. for that. When I'm on the phone with C.I., I avoid this topic because I know from Jess and Ava that the e-mails are still pouring in on this topic.

C.I. really is about the work and the work is ending the illegal war.

And that's why, when it's time for independent media to get around to talking about or writing about Iraq, it's time to go rip off C.I. again and again. They can all go suck my left one, pretty much.

They'll get theirs, I really do believe that. The whole what goes around comes around thing. Look at the Bully Boy. He lied and lied and lied some more. And today, no one believes him, more than half the country thinks he's doing a lousy job. Took long enough, but it did happen. Reality's the ugly blind date you've got waiting when you act like a prick.

And reality will smack quite a few upside their face.

I know Rebecca's mother-in-law is working on something right now. :D I really love that woman. Rebecca goes, "She doesn't like everyone." That's what she told me right before I met the woman and I'm thinking, "Great, tell me that now!" :D

But she's a smart woman. And she doesn't suffer the faux left easily or at all. Watch your back, Peace Resister! :D

Or look at Kurt Waldman. The Nazi who just died. Even the mainstream media has to note that he's a Nazi. They try to clean it up a bit, but the whole world knows and they'll always know.

I believe in the truth because it always comes out. It may take forever, but it comes out. And everything you've built up crumbles. You go from United Nations chief to world pariah. The truth will always bite you in the butt.

Kat just called and goes, "Are you posting?" :D Yeah, I'm just way behind. But I had some e-mails that asked that too. Beau wondered what was really the point at this point and I know what he means. Why invest your time and energy trying to get the word out on this and that when all that happens is you get f**king used?

Hey, I get to see ____ on Saturday? Maybe I'll get in his fat face? Maybe I'll ask him why he can't give credit? Why he expects anyone to care about what he doesn't write about Iraq anymore? Or are we all supposed to give nonstop applause for work that's three years old? Stupid ass.

So like I said, I'm still working on my list. Maybe I'll just pull a Kat and plug music? I'll write about Iraq and plug music and save any deep thoughts for my columns in Polly's Brew so I don't get ripped off? I really couldn't do it if I was C.I. I mean I would not be posting anything. My attitude would be, "You little s**ts keep ripping me off and never give me credit." And when it's coming from people who've asked for favors, that's even worse. I don't know how C.I. does it because I couldn't.

People come along begging for favors asking for mentions and they don't give back s**t. I couldn't do it.

Who knew the uncool kids were as petty and clicquish as the cool kids? That's really all independent media is, the uncool kids. They can't get any friends so they start their own little world and then start begging for money while they claim that they are doing what they're doing for you. But the reality is that they're not doing anything for you. Pick up any copy of The Nation and you'll see that.

I'll always love Stanley Abramaowitz for what he said about the 'vanden Heuvel crowd.' :D That still makes me laugh. But he's the exception. The others just kiss ass and won't call that Queen Bee out on anything. Why does she get to publish one useless issue after another? Because everyone's too scared to call out Money Bags. She might not ever post your guest column online! Oh heavens no! Get real. You're not making in the magazine unless, like her, you're a member of the Council for Foreign Relations.

Look at the bland and centrist writers she's brought in. That's where that crappy magazine is headed. You'll see people wise up and leave that have written for the magazine forever or maybe she'll push them out. Except for the columns, there's no difference between The Nation and The American Prospect at this point.

It's a joke.

And people who support it are a joke because they should be screaming their heads off. Instead, they stay silent hoping for that 'online column' that she'll run. I've got to stop here because I'm about to spoil two upcoming things. :D

But I will say that if you belong to a centrist organization, you should never be put in charge of what's supposed to be a magazine for the left. You also shouldn't be allowed to buy your way in when you've got no talent at writing. Stick to the (bad) joke books, Katrina vanden Heuvel, that's really about all your 'talents' can handle.

To get the latest on "Adam Kokesh" read that link. Rebecca calls C.I.'s and Ava's (Ava added stuff after it went up) "inspired" and says that it got Kokesh a lot more attention by including the second topic. I hope so. We all know The Useless Nation didn't do crap for Kokesh. Here's a taste of C.I.:

Katrina vanden Heuvel wants to wade in (late to the party as always -- and empty handed) and tells you it's not about sexism -- which is a bit like David Duke telling you Don Imus' remarks weren't racists.
Maybe if you were the editor and publisher of a magazine that has spent 2007 publishing approximately four male bylines for every one female byline, you'd rush to insist "No sexism! Not there! Not here! Not anywhere!"
It has everything to do with sexism. And the next time Katrina vanden Heuvel feels she has time to leave her regular beat of reality television, someone suggest to her she spend that time addressing The Nation's sorry record of publishing women under her leadership.

Here's a taste of Ava:

As a woman who would never marry one of my professors, I am quite comfortable stating, "Bring it on, little girl" to a woman physically older than I am even if she elects to pretend she's 15. 15 Going On 50 -- someone call Jennifer Garner and tell her the sequel's ready.

:D Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, June 14, 2007. Chaos and violence continue, mosques are attacked throughout Iraq, Adam Kokesh continues fighting, the Pentagon releases a report and more.

Starting with
Iraq Veterans Against the War Adam Kokesh who has been the subject of witch hunt by the US military that 'ended' (it's not over yet) yesterday with Kokesh receiving a general discharge from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Normally, service members are not discharged from the IRR. They are discharged from service (as Kokesh was, honorably, in November). Now the military prepares to set their sights on Liam Madden and Cloy Richards. (You can sign the petition to support of Madden.) Veterans for Common Sense (in a letter posted at Kokesh's website) demonstrate they are far wiser than the press by noting: "Neither marine wore a full uniform. They wore camouflage fatigues without themarine insignia, a right they have earned in blood. There is no law, or regulationagainst wearing camo. A camo shirt, pants, and hat is not a uniform. You cansee people wearing camo everyday all around America. The corps claims that is against regulations to wear a uniform, or apparently a part of a uniform, at political events. If that is correct, the regulation is selectively enforced by the Department of Defense. President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other politicians often have soldiers in full dress uniformstanding behind them for the cameras at political events. In short, the Marine Corps is attempting to stifle legitimate pro-American speech, which should not be tolerated. Are we fighting in Iraq to lose our freedoms at home?" That's still too much for the press to grasp.
Heather Hollingsworth (AP) appears to be competing for prize pig in this county fair judging by a hideous article where she states Kokesh has been "kicked out of the Marines" (he was discharged in November) and pretending to not grasp that Kokesh was participating in street theater, among other things.

The movement of resistance within the US military grows and includes Joshua Key,
Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Care, Kyle Huwer, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, forty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

Turning to the Pentagon's report [PDF format,
click here]. Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) informs that the report "acknowledges that violence in Iraq has not diminished, despite the arrival of thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops in Baghdad," that McClatchy Newspaper figures show a "70 percent increase in sectarian murders in Baghdad from April to May," and that the Pentagon report places the average daily death figure in Iraq (from February through May) at 100 a day. Also filing on the report was Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) who observed that the Congressionally mandate report "tempers the early optimism about the new strategy voiced by senior U.S. officials. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, for instance, in March described progress in Iraq as 'so far, so good.' Instead, it depicts limited gains and setbacks and states that it is too soon to judge whether the new approach is working." The Pentagon report has many sections and one of interest considering one of the 2007 developments may be this: "There are currently more than 900 personnel in the Iraqi Air Force. . . . The fielding of rotary-wing aircraft continued with the delivery to Taji of five modified UH II (Iroquois) helicopters, bringing the total delivered to ten. The final six are scheduled to arrive in June. Aircrews are currently conducting initial qualifications and tactics training. The Iroquois fleet is expected to reach initial operation capability by the end of June 2007." By the end of June 2007? One of the developments of 2007 was the (admission of) helicopter crashes. US helicopters. British helicopters. Some may find comfort in the fact that evacuations and mobility will be handled by Iraqis . . . whenever they are fully staffed and trained. Four years plus to deliver the equipment, training should be done in ten or twenty years, right?

Remarking on yesterday's bombings,
Lara Logan (CBS News) wrote: "No one knows for sure how it will play out this time. But there is one thing I do know for sure: tonight, somewhere in Baghdad, on one of those blackened streets, someone will pay for this act. Someone innocent, someone unarmed, someone who does not deserve to die this way. They will go into a house, wearing masks and carrying weapons, maybe even wearing police or army uniforms. They will take an innocent man from his bed, or from his family, and they will execute him. If he's lucky, they will be quick. But if not, they may torture him. Maybe they won't have time. Or maybe they will have too many others to kill. But if they do have time, most likely they will use an electric drill." Meanwhile, John F. Burns (New York Times) announced in this morning's paper that "appeals for calm by Shiite political and religious leaders, as well as by moderate Sunni politicians and the top two American officials in Iraq, appeared to have headed off the risk of a new sectarian convulsion, at least for now." At least for now transferred to "as I write." As Debroah Haynes (Times of London) notes, "A wave of revenge attacks on Sunni mosques hit Baghdad last night in retaliation for a devastating attack on a revered Shia shrine in Samarra". AFP counts three mosques, all Sunni, bombed today -- two in Iskandiriyah, one Mahawil and it was the second day in a row of attacks on the Iskandiriyah mosque. CBS and AP note that a total of six mosques have either been "attacked or burned Thursday" and that an attack on a Basra mosque resulted in 4 deaths (6 wounded). And CNN notes, "Hilla police said five mosques have been bombed in Babil province, three on Thursday and two on Wednesday."

Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reports on the demonstrations going on in the Sadr section of Baghdad where "thousands of protesters marched peacefully, many carrying Iraqi flags and photographs of [Moqtada al] Sadr." Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) notes that "[d]emonstrations also took place in Kut, Diwaniyah, Najaf and Basra -- all predominately Shiite cities in the south." CNN describes the Baghdad demonstration as "angry but peaceful" and notes: "The protesters carried banners, Iraqi flags and pictures of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his father. Al-Sadr has called for three days of mourning to mark the destruction of the two minarets at the Askariya shrine. 'We demand of our Sunni brothers help us rebuild Askariya Shrine,' one of the banners said. Shouting 'No, no for the devil' and 'Yes, yes for unity,' the crowd marched to al-Sadr's office." CNN puts the total number of mosque attacks, since the one in Samarra was attacked yesterday, at nine and notes the Askariya mosque, as the Samarra one before, lost both minarets (columns/towers).

In other reported violence today . . .


McClatchy Newspapers reports that a police station in Baghdad was "fully destroyed" today by bombings. Reuters reports a Mussayab bombing that left 4 Iraqi soldiers dead, while a Riyadh bombing left three Iraqis soldiers wounded as well as three police officers Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports a Kirkuk bombing outside a government builidng in which the bomber also claimed the the lives of three police officers, 2 security guards and a civilian.


McClatchy Newspapers reports that three people were injured in shootings in Baghdad today. Reuters reports that two police officers were shot dead in Diwaniya, and, outside of Balad, two farmers were shot dead (3 more wounded).


Reuters reports that 25 corpses were discovered in Baghdad yesterday, 4 were discovered in Mosul today with another one (also discovered today) found in Latifiya.

McClatchy Newspapers reports that "the head of Diyala university" is missing and this follows a phone call where he discussed the deaths of 12 university professors and the fact that 44 other ones had been "transferred to other universities in the south and north seeking" safety.

Turning to US politics. Mary Frances Berry utilized some of that 'wisdom' she's not famous for to
explain on NPR that, basically, for non-White, non-males, it's all a choice between senators Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama when it came to the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. Confronted with polling that had Clinton ahead of Obama by 10%, Mary Francis Berry reached back into her shallow pool of wisdom to come back explaining that "people like me who are intellectual" respond more to Obama. Intellectual? The campaign who appears to rip off Chicken Soup for the Soul is now the home of the intellectuals? Or maybe Mary Francis Berry was just attempting to get a dig in at Maya Angelou who has recorded a video endorsement of Hillary Clinton? Regardless, hopefully the laughter greeting Mary Francis Berry's remarks, across America, allowed many to miss some troubling statements by Mary Francis Berry about Latinos and Asians -- don't worry, Mary Francis Berry just knows "their children are legal even if they're not"! To this day, no one sours a room faster than Mary Francis Berry. And both she and Farai Chideya seemed unaware that it is a requirement that you are a US citizen but wasn't it 'cute' for them to smear Latinos and Asians and wasn't it 'cute' for NPR to turn over public airwaves to those falsehoods?

In the real world,
Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report) explains the basics on Obama as he and Bruce Dixon discovered while at The Black Commentator: " There followed a month-long series of interchanges - June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, 2003 - in which Obama danced like Mr. Bojangles to get around the issues at hand. Was he a DLC Democrat, by affiliation or political affinity? Finally, tiring of the charade and the reflexive spin from Obama's mouth, Dixon and I compiled three questions to the wannabe senator, the answers to which would determine if he should be in the DLC and, therefore, unworthy of our support. Obama, a genius at double-speak, fudged all three, on the Iraq war, universal health care, and NAFTA/so-called free trade." At his campaign site, Obama continues to hide behind the James Baker Circle Jerk (whose authors are fudging in recent days). Meanwhile, Bill Richards has presented a plan for ending the illegal war and made the war a strong point in his campaign likening a vote for Richardson as a vote to "Get America Out Of Iraq" (click here to see the campaign bumper sticker). US House Rep Dennis Kucinich wasn't mentioned by NPR (nor were Mike Gravel, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden) maybe Farai Chideya hosts a program entitled News & Notes as opposed to News? Kucinich's campaign commerical can be seen at YouTube and is entitled "No more blood for oil."

In the US Congress,
Anne Flaherty (AP via Democracy Rising) reports, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing for another vote on the Iraq war that would take place before Congress takes its next recess for the July 4th holiday and this is being discussed because "[l]ast month, Democrats helped push through legislation funding the war for four more months, triggering a backlash from liberal voters who helped Democrats take control of Congress in the November elections." Meanwhile, in Iraqi politics, Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's foriegn minister, did his own song and dance. Al Jazeera reports that the illegal war has been exteded by Zebari who went to the United Nations Secuirty Council to ask that the "mandate for US-led forces in Iraq" be extended. The UN Security Council quickly agreed and apparently never took a moment to think about how angry the Iraqi parliament was when the mandate was previously extended without their input or request. This also ignores the recent (nonbinding) action by the Iraqi parliment expressing their desire that the US forces leave. The mandate is actually up for renewal in December, this was a review. Along with Zerbair, US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad also spoke at length to the Security Council and what was the first 'economic' thing he emphasized? Did you guess "passage of legislation on the hydrocarbons sector with regulations governing oil revenue sharing"? More likely, you didn't pretty it up and just guess, "Theft of Iraqi oil."

In media news, as independent media continues to be under attack, News Dissector Danny Schechter's "
Special Blog: Can Our Media Channel Survive?" announces the potential fate of which may shut down: "If we can get 1500 of our readers (that means you) to give $25, we can keep going for another quarter. [PLEASE CLICK HERE TO MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION ONLINE]"

Finally, independent journalist John Pilger is on a speaking tour with his new book Freedom Next Time and his documentary Breaking the Silence: Truth and Lies in the War on Terror (which looks at DC, Afghanistan and Iraq). His next stop is Chicago for the 2007 Socialism conference. At 11:30 am Saturday June 16th, he and
Anthony Arnove will participate in a conversation, audience dialogue and book signing (Arnove is the author most recently of IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal) and that evening (still June 16th) at 7:30 Pilger will be at Chicago Crowne Plaza O'Hare (5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018) as part of a panel of international activists. To attend the conference, the fee is $85. For Saturday and Sunday only, the price is $70. To attend only one session, the cost is ten dollars. "Presented by The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, The Nation Institute, with support from the Wallace Global Fund. Co-sponsors: Obrera Socialista, Socialist Worker, International Socialist Review, and Haymarket Books. For ticket information, call 773-583-8665 or e-mail For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or For more information, email" The Socialism 2007 conference will take place in Chicago from June 14-17. Along with Pilger and Arnove, others participating will include Laura Flanders, Kelly Dougherty, Joshua Frank, Amy Goodman, Sharon Smith, Dave Zirin, Camilo Mejia, Jeremy Scahill, Jeffrey St. Clair and many others.