Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nader in Hawaii tonight and on the ballot in Nevada

Today's good news comes via Kellene Stockwell's "Nader Turns in Enough Signatures to Qualify for Ballot" (KTVN) which reports Nevada requires 5,746 signatures for a candidate to make the ballot and the Ralph Nader-Matt Gonzalez ticket turned in 12,000 today so they should be on the November ballot.

And, as KHNL reports, Mr. Nader is in Hawaii tonight. That is a very big deal. As a community member, I know how Hawaii is left out every election cycle. Members who live there have raised that point and noted that they had some Al Gore family members in 2004 . . . when Senator John Kerry was the nominee. They are repeatedly and consistently ignored by the Democratic Party that they vote for each presidential election. This may be the year when the base sends the message to the Democratic Party, "Ignore us at your own peril."

Last night, Mike steered us to an interview with Mr. Nader. Here is a section of Dave Zirin's "Talkin' Sports with Ralph Nader" (Edge of Sports):

DZ: You've actually been in the sports pages a lot recently in regard to a 2002 playoff game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers. Something occurred during the game that really troubled you. What was it?
RN: The worst performance by referees I've ever seen! The Kings were up three to one--here's this upstart, small-market team against the giant Lakers big-market, Lakers were favored three-to-one. They were in the sixth game, they could have won the championship. The referees called something like twenty-seven fouls in the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings and didn't call fouls--egregious fouls--against the Lakers. For example, Kobe Bryant elbowed Mike Bibby in the face, Bibby fell, was bleeding,
went to the sidelines. Everyone saw it; no foul against Kobe. So the suspicion arose of the referees being company referees--after all, they were selected by David Stern, the commissioner of the NBA to officiate in the playoff games. Basically, it was really good for the league financially to throw it into the seventh game. Well, the seventh game went to the Lakers, and the Lakers won the championship.
Now, nobody could prove this--there was no directive, no secret e-mail, no wink by David Stern. There didn't have to be. So is it just a case of massive, sudden incompetence, that favored one team, or is it something else to earn more revenue for the league by throwing it into the seventh game? Well, maybe we'll never know, but it was massive incompetence. Why didn't David Stern--who I spoke to on the phone after I sent him this
objecting letter... he's cordial but very imperious if you can believe the combination. He spoke like he was head of a corporate dictatorship.
The NBA is a corporate dictatorship. Once the contracts, however lucrative, are signed with the players it's dictatorship-land. There is a provision in the contracts with the players called the "antidisparagement provision" where they give up their free-speech rights. So if they complain publicly or criticize a referee or David Stern, they can be fined five-thousand, ten, fifty, a hundred thousand dollars! Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks has already paid
$1.5-plus million in fees, in penalties. Now, the government can't fine you for free speech. Most corporations can't fine you--they can fire you, but they can't fine you if you speak your mind. So my recommendation is the following: I understand that it's very disruptive while the teams are actually playing each other during the season to have people spouting off about managers, coaches, players against players and so on. But the antidisparagement clause should stop after the season, and there should be a free speech period in the off-season so that any potential cover-ups can be exposed.

Did you follow that? I did somewhat but only because my husband loved basketball. He could go to a football game and enjoy it but he really did not like watching football on TV (which made me the envy of every other wife in our neighborhood). But basketball was something he could watch on TV and enjoy as much as he enjoyed it in the arena. (With football, he felt the cameras played to many games with angles and the instant replay and the constant chatter got on his nerves.)

Also three of my sons played basketball. (They all played football but, as they will tell you, I went and I cheered but I did not watch. Even during the pee wee football days, I was a nervous wreck, afraid they were going to break something. But I did go to every game and when our side cheered, I cheered right along. Fortunately, none of my grandsons have been interested in football -- or my granddaughters. My grandchildren have focused on track, basketball, and baseball.)

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Thursday, July 3, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, war resistance in Puerto Rico (long going on) becomes more public, the White House continues to twist arms in Iraq, sexism watch and more.

Starting with war resistance. Corey Glass is a US war resister in Canada.
Yesterday, Russell Goldman (ABC News) reported: "Unbeknownst to him and his legion of supporters, Glass, 25, was actually discharged from the U.S. Army shortly after he went AWOL in 2006. . . . According to U.S. Army documents and officials Glass was discharged from the California National Guard on Dec. 1, 2006, four months after he arrived in Canada and six months after he failed to show up to a required muster." Matthew Campbell (Globe & Mail) reports, "Like thousands of other discharged American soldiers, once back in the United States Mr. Glass coulld still be called up as part of the Indvidual Ready Reserve, a program in which former soldiers can be forced to re-enter service." War Resisters Support Campaign's Lee Zaslofsky terms the announcement by the military "spin." David Wylie (Canwest News Service) notes that the announcement did not derail a planned event tonight in Toronto where supporters are to gather at the May Robinson Building. UPI notes the recent poll which found 64% of Canadians are in favor of allowing US war resisters safe harbor status. Workers World files "Iraq veteran faces deportation, wins support" observes, "The struggle to make Canada a sancurary for war resisters takes on greater importance as more soldiers refuse to return to Iraq. The increasing support for resisters demonstrates widespread opposition to the war and determination to stop it the simplest way: by helping the troops refuse to fight." They also note that IVAW chair Camilo Mejia wrote a letter of support for war resisters in Canada which noted that "it is because of what we saw and experienced [in Iraq] that we support our brothers and sisters seeking a new home in Canada. They are avoiding participation in a criminal, illegal and immoral occupation so that other families can live in peace in their own land. They are doing the right thing! . . . We call upon the Canadian government to implement the motion stopping all deportations of U.S. war resisters and allowing them to stay in Canada, not only because it is your duty to the people you represent to heed to their will, but also because it is a clear statement of support and solidarity for the people of Iraq."

As Camilo's letter makes clear, Corey Glass is not the only US war resister in Canada and he is also not necessarily in the clear. But all war resisters in Canada (and in the US) deserve support. In the US, Courage to Resist is planning "
July 9th actions at Canadian Consulates nationwide:"Join a vigil and delegation to a Canadian consulate near you on Wednesday, July 9th to support war resisters! On the eve of Corey Glass' possible deportation, we will demand, "Dear Canada: Abide by the June 3rd resolution - Let U.S. war resisters stay!" More details and cities to be confirmed soon!
Washington DC - Time TBA - 501 Pennsylvania Ave NW (
map). Sponsored by Veterans for Peace. Info: TBA San Francisco - Noon to 1pm - 580 California St (map). Sponsored by Courage to Resist. Info: 510-488-3559; courage(at) Seattle - Time TBA - 1501 4th Ave (map). Sponsored by Project Safe Haven. Info: 206-499-1220; projectsafehaven(at) Dallas - Time TBA - 750 North St Paul St (map). Sponsored by North Texas for Justice and Peace. Info: 214-718-6362; hftomlinson(at) New York City - Noon to 1pm - 1251 Avenue of the Americas (map). Sponsored by War Resisters' League. Info: 212-228-0450; wrl(at) Philadelphia - Time TBA - 1650 Market St (map). Sponsored by Payday Network. Info: 215-848-1120; payday(at) Minneapolis - Time TBA - 701 Fourth Ave S (map). Info: TBA Los Angeles - Noon to 1pm - 550 South Hope St (map). Sponsored by Progressive Democrats LA. Info: pdlavote(at) Help organize a vigil at one of these other Canadian Consulates: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Anchorage, Houston, Raleigh, Phoenix, or San Diego. Please contact Courage to Resist at 510-488-3559. Veterans for Peace issued a joint call with Courage to Resist and Project Safe Haven for July 9th vigils at Canadian Consulates: "Dear Canada: Do Not Deport U.S. War Resisters!" Contact us if you can help organize a vigil, or can otherwise get involved. Locations of the 22 Canadian Consulates in the United States.Recently on June 3rd the Canadian Parliament passed an historic motion to officially welcome war resisters! It now appears, however, that the Conservative government may disregard the motion. Iraq combat veteran turned courageous war resister, 25-year-old Sgt. Corey Glass of the Indiana National Guard is still scheduled to be deported July 10th.We will ask that the Canadian government respect the democratic decision of Parliament, the demonstrated opinion of the Canadian citizenry, the view of the United Nations, and millions of Americans by immediately implementing the motion and cease deportation proceedings against Corey Glass and other current and future war resisters. Join Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, and Project Safe Haven at Canadian Consulates across the United States (Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles confirmed--more to be announced).We mailed and delivered over 10,000 of the original letters to Canadian officials. Please sign the new letter, "Dear Canada: Abide by resolution - Let U.S. war resisters stay!"

To pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor the House of Commons vote,
Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at ""). Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote. Now they've started a new letter you can use online here. The War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here.

And in the US, AP's "
Mothers of 2 US soldiers say their sons left bases to hide in Puerto Rico," addresses Maria Santiago and Luz Eneida Morales -- two women in San Juan, Puerto Rico who have stated their two sons are there, not going back to the US military and that the police need "to stop searching" for the men. Hiram Lozada is representing the two families. Santiago states she went to Fort Campbell ("last March) and she and her son returned to Puerto Rico while Morales went to her son's base in Colorado and returned to Puerto Rico with him.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb,
Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Friday is July 4th, in the US, the day of independence.
Kelly Dougherty (IVAW) reflects, "Just a few days ago Independence Day came and went, and did anyone notice? June 28th was the day the US returned sovereignty to Iraq in 2004, and it should be a day of celebration, a day when Iraqis mark their equal status among nations, just as America did more than two centuries ago. But even when, finally, the Iraqi people are truly able to steer their own course and run their country as they see fit, I doubt that June 28th will be celebrated as a true Independence Day in Iraq. Would we be celebrating if our Declaration of Independence had been edited by King George III? What if Britain maintained troops and military bases inside our major cities? Would we mark the day this 'independence' began with fireworks and parades?"

As Dougherty explains, there is no independence in Iraq for Iraqis.
Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) reporting on the efforts by the White House to push through a treaty and notes that the complications include "political currents in both countries. Iraqi officials facing elections in the fall do not want to be seen as capitulating to the United States." The White House is pushing the notion that they want a "Status Of Forces Agreement" and not a treaty. By not calling it a "treaty," they hope to bypass the US Senate and the Constitutional provision that the Senate must ratify all treaties. In Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki already stated he would follow Iraq's Constitution and send the treaty to Parliament. (However, this is the same al-Maliki who pushed through last year's United Nations renewal of the authorization for the occupation -- after promising the Parliament that doing so in 2006 was a mistake he wouldn't make again.) With the White House timeline now 'iffy' (they want the treaty by the end of this month), Rubin reports that Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zerbari has began pushing the notion of a "memo." Doug Smith and Raheem Salman (Los Angeles Times) report that (regardless of what is called) the Iraqi Parliament isn't too high on the agreement and quote MP Rashid Azzawi stating, "He was like an American negotiator and not an Iraqi one. He didn't specify many details" and MP Nassar Rubaie declaring, "It is an unequal convention between an occupier and an occupied country." Again, as Kelli Dougherty noted, the Iraqis have no independence today. Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) quotes Mirembe Nantongo ("U.S. Embassy spokeswoman") stating that the White House and it's occupied, client-state of Iraq are speaking to one another with "a constructive spirit." Raghavan also notes Zebari's excitement over the possiblity that Iraq might maybe, fingers-crossed, deep breath, control their own airspace . . . if the White House lets them. Hiba Dawood (UPI) surveys the landscape and notes an Al-Basaer editorial entitled "Al-Maliki's dilemma between Tehran and Washington" which Dawood sums up as: "Maliki, the paper said, is in a state where he must choose between his old ally and main support, Iran, or his new ally that placed him at the premiership, the United States. The influential Sunni newspaper said that satisfying the United States means accepting the establishment of 50 permanent military bases, handing over Iraq's oil wealth to American companies, granting amnesty to thousands of U.S. troops and security contractors as well as granting the United States authority over Iraq's land and airspace. The paper said that among the various Iraqi political blocs opposing the status-of-forces agreement, only the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front supports it because it would deter Iranian influence in Iraq." While everyone pretends the White House is playing it above-board on this issue, James Glanz and Richard A. Oppel Jr.'s "Panel Questions State Dept. Role in Iraq Oil Deal" (New York Times) details Henry Waxman's House committee's findings that the US State Dept, despite denials to the contrary, actively assisted Hunt Oil in their contract with the Kurdish region of Iraq -- a contract called out by the central government in Baghdad and one that benefits Ray L. Hunt ("a close political ally of President Bush"). Meanwhile Reuters notes that the TSCs (technical support contracts) that were no bid, that the US State Department had a role in (despite denying) and which still have not been signed are in jeopardy with "payment terms" being one of the issues for the Iraqi Parliament.

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


The Turkish Press notes a Baghdad car bombing outside Al-Yarmukh Hospital which claimed 4 lives and left ten people wounded. Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports
a Baghdad home bombing targeting Iraqi Parliamentarian Shatha al-Musawi (of the "majority Sunni bloc") which "destroyed the house" (the house was empty), "damaged two adgjacent houses and injured four civilians" and a Nineveh Province roadside bombing left two police officers injured. Reuters notes a Tikrit roadside bombing that left five convoy guards injured, and a cafe bombing outside of Hilla claimed 4 lives.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that "late Wednesday" unknown assailants shot dead a police officer in Nineveh Province and left another person wounded. Reuters notes 2 people shot dead in a Mosul armed clash, another person shot dead in Mosul "inside a computer games arcade" and 1 police officer shot dead in Mosul as well.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports that Diyala Province was the location for two kidnappings on Thursday, 1 cab driver and 1 truck driver.


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 corpses discovered in Baghdad. Reuters notes the US military says the bones of 2 corpses were discovered in Samarra but that local officials state it was "14 decaying corpses" and they note (with no conflicting accounts) 2 corpses were discovered in Suwayra.

On the sexism front, notice the new target? We don't highlight Maureen Dowd at this site. I'm not a Dowd fan. But, if you missed it, it's time for Bash the Bitch and it's Dowd's turn. Maybe you didn't notice that? Maybe you think David Brooks or Frank Rich just isn't deserving of calling out for their own problems -- which really do exceed Dowd's. (And for the record, leaving facts aside, Dowd can out-write either of them -- both of whom also leave facts aside.) It's brewing. You saw Judith Miller take the fall not just for her own bad work but for Michael Gordon and a hundred others. Now it's time to throw another woman on the fire and it appears it will be Maureen Dowd. Can ____ honestly say he's referred to a male journalist being "spanked" before? Can ____ pretend that they've focused on any male the way they're focusing on Dowd now? Watch them try to if anyone calls them out. More than likely, no one will. Dowd's not above criticism. But we're not talking about criticsm. We're talking about (nod to Blondie) "Rip Her To Shreds" and note the "her." Dowd's got a twice-weekly column. Are we honestly supposed to believe that anything she could do the MSNBC no-stars don't out do her on? There's a free floating rage over a number of issues and it appears it's about to glom on Dowd. As usual, the woman's male peers will remain exempt. And let's see when anyone will stand up and say: "That's about enough." I doubt they will. And this nonsense of you have to like Dowd to defend her is nonsense. All you have to support is fairness and equality. But that's never existed online and let's stop pretending it will by magic. In the meantime try to pretend that Dowd's actions are worse than Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews, et al. And try to pretend that sexual degredation that's aimed at her would be used to 'critique' a man. (That's not a tone argument. We came up with
Todd S. Purdum 'cupping' the story here in response to all the 'knee pads' nonsense about Elisabeth Bumiller. It's noting that, regardless of the 'tone' you choose to use, you apply it fairly regardless of gender or you're a sexist pig.) If it's summer, it's Bash The Bitch.

Turning to the US race for president,
Dominic Lawson (Independent of London) reflects on Primary Barack and the flip-flops that have ensued of late, "Those who actually supported Obama during this process now divide neatly, if unevenly, into two groups. The first, smaller, group is full of buyer's remorse. The blogosphere is hissling like a catherine wheel with their anger with Obama, obviously, but above all with themselves. The second, much bigger group, continues to buy Obama's story. They argue that everything and anything is justified if it helps to get a Democrat back in the White House; some of them add that 'of course' Obama doesn't believe any of the things he is now saying to woo the 'redneck states' and that once in the White House he will revert to his 'true beliefs'. To this group we must address a simple question. How do you know what Obama really believes in, other than his own destiny -- and, of course, his conscience?" As Brian Montoli (CBS News) observes today, "What a difference a presidential campaign makes." Yeterday, Montopoli was noting Time's report of the religious right coming together in Denver to support Senator John McCain (the presumptive GOP nominee).

Hillary Supporters Vote Nader lists four reasons why: "(1) Single Payer Health Care will be back on the table, (2) The Wasteful, Bloated and Secretive Military Budget will be brought back to the forefront of the American People's minds. (3) Renewable Energy and American Jobs back on the front burner. (4) Persecution Protection From Corporate and Political Criminals will be spotlighted. This includes: Net Neutrality, Telecom Spying and the outrageous lies that put the American and Iraqis People in harms way, destroyed the US economy and our children's future. McCain and Obama have taken all these issues off the table." This as Honolulu's KITV notes Ralph Nader will be at the University of Hawaii tonight while Barack "has no immediate plans to campaign here" and the McCain campaign says "Hawaii is not on his schedule."

Team Nader announces:

Ralph Nader said on ABC's This Week that the Nader/Gonzalez campaign will be on at least 45 states in November.
Well, time to get it done.
Need a summer job?
We've got one for you.
Become a Roadtripper for Ralph.
Collect signatures to put the Nader/Gonzalez team on the ballot.
Optimum profile for a Roadtripper for Ralph - energetic, youthful spirit, personable, fun loving, adventure seeking, democracy warrior.
Check out Ralph making the pitch for more roadtrippers in this video.
Interested? Contact
By the way, in case you didn't notice, on Saturday, we launched our campaign to raise $40,000 in ten days - by July 6.
did it in six days.
Thanks to you, Nader/Gonzalez will be on the ballot in ten states, as promised, by July 6.
Our goal - 45 states by September 15.
We must now thank all of our roadtrippers. (Pictured above - our Illinois road trip crew turning in their signatures last week.)
You help fund them.
But they go out - day in and day out - and collect the necessary signatures to put Nader/Gonzalez on the ballot.
Our nationwide team has been busting it all around this country.
Today, our crew in Nevada will turn in 12,000 signatures - more than twice the 5,000 needed.
As they say - what was collected in Nevada, stays in Nevada.
And as a result, Nader/Gonzalez will be on the ballot in that key swing state.
Thank you and congratulations Nevada road trip crew.
Finally, why we are doing all of this?
We are doing this because we have no alternative.
McCain is the candidate of perpetual war.
Obama is the corporate Democrat and panderer in chief. (Still doubt it? Check out this
article in the New York Times documenting his flip-flop on telecom immunity and the political fallout.)
Let's keep our eye on the ball.
And get it done.
By the way, Ralph is in Honolulu, Hawaii tonight for a campaign speech and rally. If you are in the area,
please stop by.

TV notes.
Bill Moyers Journal will reair the program revolving around Tomas Young, an Iraq War veteran and a member of IVAW, including interviews with Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue who made the documentary Body of War which tells Young's story which is strong way to note the Fourth of July. NOW on PBS notes: A reminder: There is no NOW on PBS on July 4, 2008. However, on the website we do have an insightful interview with a North Korea expert commenting on the thawing of relations between our country and North Korea, including a look ahead and analysis of McCain's and Obama's reactions.

iraqcorey glassworkers world
iraq veterans against the warmatthew campbelldavid wyliebrett clarksonabcrussell goldmanellen spirophil donahuemichael winshipbill moyers journaltomas youngpbsnow on pbsjames glanzrichard a. oppel jr.the new york times
alissa j. rubinthe los angeles timesdoug smithraheem salmanthe washington postsudarsan raghavan
brian montopoli