i read some of the e-mails today. only some. we were picking out some new things for the home. i never repainted anything when we divorced and i hated some of the colors we'd chosen. in the case of the dining room, the paint turned out nothing like it was supposed to and i just grew tired of fighting with the painters. so 1 of the things we were going to do was figure out what colors we really wanted and make sure we get them this time. i've been interviewing and trying to do a real job of it. (we were foolish newlyweds the 1st time, thinking we could live with/tolerate anything.) so if you wrote and didn't get a reply (regular readers), i'll try to grab it tomorrow. we're also going to pick out some new furniture for a few rooms on saturday. this is our 1st week back since the honeymoon so probably for the next few weeks, i'll be as focused on the house as i am on this site or anything else.
t and her girlfriend as well as fly boy's best friend and his current date came to dinner tonight so i'm probably wiped out (from interviewing most of the day and from entertaining). sherry wondered if we would be going to mike's iraq group on fridays? i hadn't thought about it, honestly. elaine is going to them. i asked fly boy and he did a 'woops, i meant to tell you' thing. we're going friday, he promised mike. so thank you sherry because without your question, i still wouldn't know we had plans friday.
goldie wondered what the biggest problem was (and said not to answer if it was too personal). the biggest problem? he doesn't need to work, why does he? seriously, if you've got the money, use it to go after something you've dreamed of. don't do the rat race. (no, we aren't arguing. but that was my attitude and i expressed in the last year or so when we resumed seeing one another.)
courtney wondered if i would still talk about guy's bodies here? absolutely. not tonight because i'm wiped out and just want to crawl into bed. but i didn't realize how many people were worried about the site.
it didn't change when i miscarried. it won't change now because fly boy and i got remarried. (fly boy was mike's nickname for him and it's really stuck. even his friend charles is calling him 'fly boy' now.)
the site will remain the same. i'll probably be less focused while we're trying to get the house redecorated but i don't intend to change it or to adopt a 'quieter' voice.
i did check to see if joker-jeff had written again because i'd deal with that here if he had. (i only reply in e-mails to my longterm readers.) he didn't. i'll assume he got the point.
before i forget, carrie wondered if i'd be participating in the third estate sunday review still? i will be. there may be weekends where something comes up or we're traveling or something. hopefully, if that happens, i'll be able to participate on at least one thing. but i do intend to continue to participate. (and i will.) i will continue to take holidays off. i know jim and c.i. and jess haven't. (dona has. ty has, i believe. ava kind of did. i say 'kind of' because she and c.i. wrote their commentary ahead of time for the edition she skipped out on - at christmas - so i really don't think that counts for taking time off.)
this is the house cleaning post and i probably should have done it on monday when i officially returned to blogging from home. i want to thank kyle for pointing out to me that i didn't have flashpoints linked on my blogroll. that was an oversight. by monday it will be up. (it won't be tonight, i'm too tired to mess with the template.)
there was a great show tonight where they talked about a number of things including an important segment on immigration. t was talking about the show, she'd never listened, so i put it on. we were listening and talking throughout. carl webb was on. he is a war resister you should know about it (and he's been covered at the common ills as well as at the third estate sunday review which is how i knew his name - that and because ty and c.i. have mentioned him frequently in conversations). he said no to serving in iraq. so he's some 1 who refused to serve and finally heard that his national guard unit in texas was letting him go but there's another letter and he could be grabbed by another unit. which means he could get orders to deploy to irag as part of another group. if you missed that, thousands of people are getting those letters. people who thought there service was completed and had come back to the u.s. only to now learn, guess what, you're going back to iraq.
they should all follow carl's lead and say no. carl deserves attention because of his stance but also because of the length of his stance. he's an early name in the resistance to the war on iraq that could be forgotten because so much has happened. he shouldn't be forgotten.
have you seen sir! no sir!? if so, you realize how our history was robbed from us (by revisionists). it could happen again. it would be to the government's benefit for it to be forgotten. teaching the resistance will lead to others realizing they can resist.
so along with our battles we're engaged in today, we need to realize that one of the long term battles will be passing on what we saw, what we heard about and what we took part in. we were talking about duing the show and t keeps a journal. tonight's she's going to journal about the war resisters and we all tossed out names for her (carl, camilo mejia, brandon hughey, jeremy hinzman, etc.). of course every 1 knew ehren watada's name.
that's because we make a point to discuss him. i hope every 1 who comes to this site regularly does the same.
elaine's favorite writer, howard zinn, has dedicated his life's work to rescuing the people's history. we can honor his accomplishments by continuing his work. 30 years from now, a lot of people won't know what happened, what we've lived through. they'll see some crappy movie starring cody what's his name (kathy lee's kid) or whomever where they play an iraqi vet wronged by society and those 'damn hippies' - a mythical creation like rambo. when that comes along, we need to not be responding to it then, we need to have laid the groundwork long before that so that we're ready to respond.
i have no use for democracy now these days but i will give amy goodman credit for keeping issues alive like fred hampton, to cite 1 example. she will bring that topic up whenever possible. we need to be willing to do the same. the names we know today, the people we applaud, will likely be forgotten or attacked.
look at the way the right wing has made it their life's work to attack jane fonda. (aided by more than a few on the left.) she makes them nervous. they need to attack her not just for vietnam but because in her life is the history of many movements and many struggles. that's the same reason the 60s are attacked or any other person or period where we can see the power of the people.
howard zinn's rescued so much history and we need to be willing to aid him now and continue his work when he's gone. we need to be aware of what happened, who did what and why.
it's obvious now but memories can fade. with vietnam, there was too much nonsense after it. by that i mean, 'oh we can't talk about it' or 'we might hurt feelings'. the result was that a revisionary b.s. version took hold and many people who weren't alive then really believe that a) that war was 'winnable' and b) that it was just 'hippies' who protested.
it was all americans. near the end, over 70% of americans were against the war. those resisting the war included soldiers and that's often forgotten as well.
so looking at that history, we need to realize that the best thing we can do for future generations is refuse to forget what we're living through and refuse to stay silent in the face of revisionary tactics.
resist the clampdown. there's a clintonista who's scared to death that democrats will come in to power after the november elections and he's penned, i'm so sure it's sincere, a helpful guideline of tasteful manners - the dems should do nothing. they shouldn't try for impeachment (something his delicate sensibilities can't name but it wafts from his dopey piece). they shouldn't try for anything. they should be in power, apparently, to do nothing.
that's the kind of b.s. we had to live through under clinton. we need to show more bravery and we need to demand that our elected officials serve the people.
those are my thoughts for tonight.
here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Wednesday, August 23, 2006 chaos and violence continue in Iraq, Ehren Watada's father Bob continues traveling and speaking to raise awareness about his son's case, a new poll by the New York Times continues to demonstrate the trend of Americans turning against the war and another witness in the military inquiry into the death of Jake Kovco blasts the way the investigation was conducted.
Today Bob Watada spoke with Philip Maldari on KPFA's The Morning Show about his son Ehren Watada, the first known officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Bob Watada spoke of the potential consequences that his son could face but noted that Ehren was aware of the consenquences, that there's " a real crisis in this country," and that even "knowing that he may got to jail" his son knew he had to take the stand he did an refuse to deploy. Bob Watada spoke of how his son's discovery of the lies that led a nation into an illegal war changed everything: "When he found out what was going on in Iraq, the president lying to the people, lying to Congress, lying to the military," he knew that he couldn't go to Iraq both for himself and for those who'd be serving under him.
Bob Watada spoke of the expectation that the US military will use Ehren Watada as an example in an effort clamp down on the dissent within the military. And, in answer to Maldari's question of what can be done, he spoke of the importance of public opinion in his son's case: "If the military sees that there is a large swell of public opinion on behalf of Lt. Ehren Watada, they're going to think twice about what they're doing."
The importance of public support/action was also demonstrated in the calls. One that stands out is caller Alden, WWII veteran, in The Underwater Demolition, spoke of being stationed in Hawaii and "about March of '46 the word came through that all the G.I.s were going to be sent back into China to start a war against the new Chinese government. Following this, a couple of days later, there was about 10,000 GIs in Honolulu protesting, saying 'We are going home' and about three days later another one, ten-to-twelve thousand G.I.s saying 'We are going home' and that stopped it. And that was what was going on back in those days and I'm just so supportive and feel completely what Watada is doing and the way he put it and the father and the way he puts it -- that is just outstanding."
Bob Watada is attempting to raise awareness of his son's case and upcoming events include:
7-9:30pm Reception & Educational Event St. Paul's Church, 405 S. 10th St,
San Jose Contact: Rose Takamoto 408-725-2933
World Can't Wait Youth & Students Conference San Francisco (site TBA) Contact: Jessalyn Gagui 415-286-3408
7pm Reception & Educational Event Newman Center, 5900 Newman Ct.,
Sacramento Contact: Sacramento-Yolo Peace Action 916-448-7157
No. Cal. Japanese Christian Theological Forum Berkeley Methodist United Church- chapel 1710 Carleton St/McGee in Berkeley Contact: Laura Takeuchi 510-848-3614
"Sir! No, Sir!"
Film Screening & Speakers Santa Cruz Veterans Building Contact: Sharon Kufeldt 650-799-1070
Educational & Cultural Event Berkeley Friends Church; 1600 Sacramento St., Berkeley Contact: Betty Kano 510-684-0239
4-6pm Speaking Event AFSC building, 65-Ninth St., SF Contact: Martha Hubert 415-647-1119
A complete list of the events Bob Watada will be taking part in can be found here.
We will again note: : Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go." Billie advises that you can use email@example.com to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD." Courage to Resist and ThankYouLt.org. will continue to offer resources, ideas and inspiration. Get the word out.
Of the various stops he's made so far to speak of his son, Bob Watada said, "It's been really postive here in the Bay Area. Just about everywhere we've gone, we've had packed crowds. . . The other day I had somebody who came up before the program started and said he was a veteran and he didn't really think he could support me or my son. . . . At the end of the evening he came up to me and said 'Whatever you need, whatever your son needs, I want to help you out.'"
In other peace news, Cindy Sheehan will rejoin Camp Casey III after "several days" reports the Associated Press. Sheehan is back in the Providence Health Center in Waco "recovering . . . after having a hysterctomy" on Tuesday. Next week, Sheehan is scheduled to be in Salt Lake City participating with the city's mayor Rocky Anderson and others in protesting Bully Boy's August 31st speech (during a trip on which Condi Rice is accompanying him).
That's how Sheehan plans to end the month, at the beginning of the month she went to Jordan with Ann Wright, Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Geal Murphy, Jodie Evans, Diane Wilson and others to meet with Iraqi legislators. Eric Horsting (Washington Beachcomber) reports that also on the trip was filmmaker David Rothmiller who shot footage "to create campaign material for Jeeni Criscenzo, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 49th district in California."
As the November elections approach, many get edgy and itchy. A new poll by the New York Times and CBS News continues to note the shift in public opinion of the illegal war. Summarizing the poll, Carl Hulse and Marjorie Connelly (New York Times) note of those surveyed: 51 percent "saw no link between the war in Iraq and the broader antiterror effort"; 53% said the "war was a mistake"; 62% agreed that things in Iraq could be rated "somewhat or very badly"; 46 percent felt the Bully Boy "had concentrated too much on Iraq". Hulse and Connelly's article also features comments from three follow up interviews. Those views worthy of being noted? Two Republicans and a self-described independent.
In Iraq, the violence and the chaos, to no one's surprise, continues.
In the Baghdad, city of so-called crackdowns, a roadside bomb (possibly targeting Jawad al-Bolani, the Interior Minister) claimed the lives of two civilians and left others wounded according to the Associated Press. AFP notes that a roadside bomb killed two civilians "between Basra and Nasiriyah." KUNA reports that "[a] car exploded . . . near an army special ops check-point in Dorra" and "that the explosion resulted in several deaths and injuries among the special ops troops in the area." In Mosul, the AP reports, one woman was killed and ten people were wounded by a suicide bomber while, in Falljua, a roadside bomb claimed two lives and left twelve wounded.
The AP reports that "1st Lt. Hassanein Saadi al-Zerjawi . . . was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Amarah". Reuters notes that eight people were shot dead in Baquba and a police officer shot dead in al-Hay. AFP notes that, in Kut, "two civilians were shot dead" with a child and one other adult wounded.
AFP reports that six corpses were found beneath a bridge "between the two volatile cities of Mahmudiyah and Latifyah" and three were discovered in Baquba.
In Australia, the military inquiry into the April 21st death in Baghdad of Jake Kovco continues. The most recent developments revolve around Soldier 47's testimony. Australia's ABC reports that Soldier 47, "[a] military police investigator" went to Baghdad from Melbourne to investigate the death of Jake Kovco and that "he was informed on the day of Pte Kovco's death to deploy immediately to Baghdad." AAP notes that during Soldier 47 three hour, video-link testimony (from Baghdad), he "detailed a litany of miscommunication and army bungles surrounding the death of the Victorian soldier who was shot in his Baghdad barracks room on April 21." The Daily Telegraph reports of the testiomony that "he was also angerd and surprised that Pte Kovco's body had been flown from Baghdad to Kuwait agains the orgers of the military police's special investigations branch" and "frustrated that forensic evidence was lost when the body had been washed and treated while Pte Kovco's clothes had been destroyed." ABC New South Wales notes that Soldier 47 voiced his frustration over being "told he could not view notes made by Private Kovco's room-mates" and finding out that "the room-mates were in Kuwait, not Baghdad, so he could not immediately interview them." Tracy Ong (The Australian) reports that Soldier 47 gave up custody of Jake Kovco's body because a) he wanted to "get to the scene of the shooting" and because "certain integrites had already been compromised" (see "forensic evidence was lost" two sentences prior).
Soldier 47's testimony of frustration and anger over the investigation echoes Major Mark Willetts testimony yesterday where he complained about being refused access to the room Kovco died in (Willetts was "the officer in charge of the immediate investigation") and feeling that Jake Kovco's two roommates were being less than fully forthcoming.
In addition, ABC notes that Soldier 30 is asserting that "some of the claims made about his troops during the course of the inquiry are simply not true" specifically he refutes Soldier 21's claim that "quick draw" games were played with weapons. Two weeks ago, Soldier 30 (who spoke today as he spoke then -- via video-link from Baghdad) asserted that he had given orders that the death/crime scene not be preserved for morale issues Soldier 21, the section commander, is most famous for issuing a statement following the death of Jake Kovco that he heard a cry (in the barracks) of "Allah Akbar" which translates as "God is great." When Soldier 21 testified to the inquiry earlier this month, he renounced that assertion. Then, as
Sydney 2GB reported, "He told the inquiry it had become unclear whether he'd in fact heard the comment."
In other legal news, on April 26th, Hashim Ibrahim Awad died in Hamdania after being allegedly kidnapped by US troops. Charged with kidnapping and the killing were the "Pendelton Eight" -- Saul H. Lopezromo, Derek I. Lewis, Henry D. Lever, Lawrence G. Hutchins II, Trent D. Thomas, Tyler Jackson, Marshall Magincadla, and Jerry E. Schumate Jr. Thomas Watkins (AP) reports that four of the eight want to skip the Article 32 hearing and instead "proceed straight to trial." Reportedly, John Jodka III's attorney was the one who made the request first (and did so on Friday) which isn't in the AP report. Reportedly not all involved were informed of the request when it was first made. Jerry E. Shumate was the last to join the four in making the request. Watkins reports that the military has denied the request and the Article 32 hearing could start as early as August 28th. But Gidget Fuentes (Navy Times) reports the schedule for the hearings as: September 12th: Jerry E. Shumate Jr.; September 25th: Marshall L. Magincalda, Robert B. Pennington, John J. Jodka, Melson J. Bacos; and October 18th: Lawrence G. Hutchins, Trent D. Thomas and Tyler A. Jackson.