hotels & web etiquette

how about that roundtable? be sure to read the gina & krista round-robin tomorrow morning and you'll know just what i'm talking about.

1 thing i need to put in is from 1 of my sisters. she took a vacation and stayed at a nice hotel. but, get this, she and her husband had to put up with some asshole next to them. he made noise but they didn't have to get up any specific time (it was a vacation) so they just ignored it. then, after his party breaks up, he's banging on their wall. she asked, 'is he banging at us?' they weren't even talking, let alone have the t.v. or radio on.

every few minutes he'd slam a fist into the wall. finally, my sister's husband gets off the couch (they were in a suite), walks over to the wall and bangs back. this leads to non-stop pounding on the other side. they called down to the front desk to complain and that stopped the banging for about 15 minutes but then it started up again. (my sister was reading a book and my brother-in-law was going over maps for their boating the next day, they were not talking to each other - not that talking should have caused a problem.) this time, her husband (my brother-in-law) wants to go over and kick the man's ass. but my sister calls the front desk and it becomes this big thing with the police.

the man gets taken away (he'd broken furniture during his party, among other things).

apparently the people below him had complained about the noise from his party which was why it broke up and he went around banging on the walls assuming it was some 1 on either side of him. now get this, he never should have had a room. he was under 18 and his parents who spoil him rented him the suite. the police could only take him down to the station and call the parents. apparently, he couldn't be legally responsible for the room because his parents signed for it and he was a minor (16). what kind of parents put their child up in a hotel room to party?

they knew he was going to have a party.

what got broken? the couch, the coffee table, there was a hole in the bedroom wall (which wasn't a shared wall for my sister so fortunately they didn't hear that noise), the drapes had been pulled down and ripped. the tv was trashed.

2 grown ups put their 16-year-old son in a hotel room to let him party and he trashed the place.
now i'm a new mother, granted, and won't have to worry about the 16 year old stage for some time (though i don't believe that's normal 16 year old behavior) but what were those parents thinking?

you don't put a 16 y.o. in a hotel to party. they're lucky no 1 got hurt. (there was intense drinking. it was the talk of the hotel the next day as various parents of children who showed up at the party staggered home drunk.)

they're on a 3 week vacation and already there's another horror story but my sister said she'll tell me about that on the next phone call.

it also involves under 18 y.o.s in a suite.

i can remember my prom (i wasn't raised rich, i have money now) and how it was a big deal for kids to borrow their parents car to drive to it. (the incident above was not a prom party for any 1 wondering.) then it became you had to rent a limo, then you had to do that. i guess those who spoil their kids are now renting hotel suites for them to party unsupervised.

please read elaine's 'Who's standing up for Iraqi women?' and mike's ' Day 13 Goodman still won't say 'Corey Glass'' and especially ava and c.i.'s 'TV: Grime & Grit TV.' on the latter, that was secondary topic of the roundtable for several reasons. 1st it is a great article by ava and c.i. 2nd, there was a lot of anger from members. why weren't we linking to it? mike had.

but the rest of us? really hadn't. that wasn't a slam on ava and c.i. and was actually due to the fact that we are all exhausted. you have to understand that we have spent all of may getting out the vote for hillary and some go back to april on that.

but we were called out on that by a member and gina said it was the biggest community complaint that she and krista had heard all week. ava and c.i. said it was no big deal and that every 1 was tired. (which we all are.) but it turned out there was another reason for the anger.

c.i. was ripped off repeatedly this week. i didn't know (nor did others). but it went through the community in e-mails the way it always does.

in 1 instance, c.i.'s very strong feminist statements about hillary appeared word for word for 4 sentences at another blog with the woman presenting them as her own. in another, c.i. linked to something this week.

i can get away with talking about this because c.i. and i go so far back (we're friends since college) so let me do that but do it in a way that c.i. won't be upset.

there's a feminist - and offline feminist. c.i. knows her and they share a common friend. c.i. was noting (all week) women's reactions to the attempts to install barack as the nominee. the common friend said, 'you need to note ___.' c.i. said, 'i didn't know she had a blog.' c.i. said no problem.

it turned out to be a problem because c.i. couldn't find it. the woman writes for (may do more than just write for) a feminist print periodical. so c.i. finally went there. flipping through various pages online, c.i. found a page that listed the woman's blog. c.i. went there and found the hillary commentary. c.i. included it.

last night or this morning (days after c.i. highlighted it) another blog's highlighting it.

i said 'so' in the roundtable and the member loudly said 'so?' back. c.i. stepped in and explained what i didn't know, what c.i. didn't know at the time the feminist was included in the iraq snapshot. that's not the woman's blog. it was the woman's blog. the woman's moved her blog.

point, any 1 wanting to highlight the feminist because she just stumbled upon it by accident would have highlighted the new blog (and c.i. explained 'i didn't realize the blog had switched, i am planning to highlight the new blog as soon as i can' - c.i. heard from the common friend that it was the old blog address after the feminist was quoted in the snapshot).

so the point that the member (and others knew - before c.i. did) was that c.i. had highlighted the old blog when the blog's been moved. any 1 stumbling upon the website today by accident would automatically be taken to the new blog. meaning that, yes, a woman online obviously saw c.i.'s snapshot quoting the feminist and decided to play like (her own words portray it this way), she just happened to find it all on her own.

now it takes 2 seconds to say 'via __, i found __'

and if i'm not being clear, you had to go ass backwards to find the old web address. c.i. did because c.i. couldn't find the feminist's blog. so c.i. went to the feminist periodical and flipped through various webpages to find the site (which gave the old address). the post c.i. was highlighting was from the middle of the may. the feminist later moved her site (to word press or from word press, i don't know that for sure) and there's no way that this 1 post - from the middle of may - was highlighted by another blog (over 24 hours after c.i. had highlighted it) without the blogger having seen c.i.'s snapshot.

why is it an issue?

because c.i.'s too kind with links and c.i. has in fact linked several times in the last 3 weeks to the blog that ripped c.i. off.

it's a very big issue to the community.

it's an issue that people show up asking for highlights and never give anything back. it's an issue when c.i.'s steering traffic to other sites and those sites never do anything back. members know not to complain about that to c.i. c.i. doesn't care. but when 1 of those sites is turning around and ripping off c.i. it is an issue and even c.i. has to hear about it.

okay, i made some notes for myself when this came up. ___ highlighted it this morning and made it their morning post. it is their big post.

the feminist blogging about hillary wrote her post may 14th.

c.i. linked to it in tuesday's snapshot and, in fact, mislinked because it is the old site (the new site has moved all the old stuff over). so this morning, a woman suddenly finds a may 14th blog post on her own? and finds it at the old site?


that woman ripped off c.i. she saw the tuesday snapshot and decided she better link to it as well. that's fine. but pretending like you stumbled upon something written on may 14th when you didn't? refusing to say, 'as c.i. linked to tuesday ...' or some such thing?

'via c.i.' two words. it wouldn't have killed the woman.

now the woman can forget about her site ever being highlighted community wide.

members are outraged.

8 different members have been posting at that woman's site since c.i. linked to her starting 3 weeks ago. and their comments have included highlighting c.i. or ava & c.i.'s writing.

not only has the woman refused to provide any link to c.i., she's now raiding c.i.'s snapshots?

let me explain to the thief, you are outraged that hillary did not receive her just due and you turn around and rip off another woman? you're asking for people paying attention to be outraged.

no 1 in the world believes you found the may 14th post all by yourself. it's not a democratic site and the woman's not a democrat (she's a left feminist). she posts pretty much every day, the feminist, and you want people to believe that on your own you found a may 14th post? that you paged back through the archives (by chance!) on june 5th and found it?

or that you just happened to make the same mistake c.i. did of linking to the old site?

c.i. is always gracious and explained to the member during the roundtable, 'the important thing is that' the feminist got highlighted somewhere else as well.

and that is good.

but good is also giving credit where it's due.

i'm going to return to this topic tomorrow night. but this does piss of the community as a number of websites have learned recently.

in april and may, to show that, yes, blogs are blogging about hillary, c.i. was very free with the links. that's because there was this myth that the hillary community was a tiny 1 and c.i.'s snapshots are read by the media (by friends in it as well as non-friends) so it was a way to refute the msm meme that hillary had no online support.

and what we saw was that c.i. got ripped off by those same blogs. there's 1 that links to me and i'll be ripping into it in the near future. (i'm waiting for a reason that has nothing to do with me being linked to on their blogroll - and to be clear, i'm not talking about susan of random thoughts, she may be the only other 1 that links to me and i don't want people thinking i'm talking about her when i'm talking about a group blog. i will rip into it when the titty baby who hates hillary returns with her 1st post. she's refused to blog while the blog's site has been pro-hillary. played titty baby because she loves barack. so i'm waiting for her big return to cover both topics at the same time.)

and here's the thing about ripping off c.i., the traffic c.i. supplies stops visiting. they see the rip offs and they get sick of it.

the 1st time they see a rip off, their reaction is 'well maybe it's an accident.' then they see the second 1. they note the fact that while c.i.'s being free with the links, these losers are do nothing for the common ills community. so then a member will post something and see what happens. usually a link to c.i. in the comments. sometimes a link and a comment like 'yeah, i love that point. i loved it when it appeared at the common ills.'

on that, we're talking about things like what's in today's snapshot.

did you know ed koch visited war resisters in canada during vietnam? that he was in congress at the time and he introduced 4 bills to give them amnesty?

i vaguely remembered that when i read the snapshot. (i should more than vaguely remember it because i remember c.i. and elaine working on that in real time.) now nobody's writing about that because, frankly, no 1 remembers it that lived through it and those who didn't live through it don't know because it's part of the 'hidden history.'

today c.i. writes about it (via that incredible memory that c.i. has). and it's the sort of thing that no 1 can claim they also just thought of because no 1 else is going to remember it. so when you see that pop up online elsewhere, you immediately know 'oh, s/he read what c.i. wrote and, look, they aren't giving credit.'

we see this happen over and over (we because i am a member of this community) and it is just so shocking.

c.i. has done incredible work over the last 4 years and if the people ripping c.i. off had given even 1/2 the credit owed, the entire blogosphere would know that. but they don't give credit. they grab c.i.'s work and pass it off as their own over and over.

'they' includes 'independent' media journalists.

it's appalling. it's disgusting.

and it happens over and over.

now c.i.'s attitude is always 'i don't need credit.' because c.i. was raised to be modest. but it's getting real old, all this raiding and stealing from c.i.

i give credit here to c.i. when i'm using something c.i.'s written and i could get away without doing so. every 1 knows c.i., elaine and i went to college together. every 1 who comes here knows that and knows that we are best friends. i could rip off c.i. and know 1 would bat an eye because it would be 'oh, they're friends.' but i don't do that. (i so don't do that that c.i. is always telling me, 'rebecca, you don't have to credit me.' or 'becky, we were both talking about that. it as much your point as it is mine.')

now if i'm not trading on my friendship to steal, there's no reason for strangers to think they can get away with theft.

but they do it and then wonder why their readership wanders off? because they know you stole.

and then, after a few weeks or months, these people who never credited c.i. while ripping off, show up at the public account of the common ills begging for links.

but, of course, they never heard of the common ills.

that's always their 'excuse'/lie when they get confronted on their theft. 'i don't even know that site!'

it was especially funny when a man tried that lie and apparently forgot that not only did his site link to c.i. but when his site changed their web address, he e-mailed c.i. to notify about the new address. but we're all supposed to believe that 2 days after c.i. wrote about something, he just found out about it on his own and that he's never heard of the common ills even though he's got it on the blogroll and even though he's repeatedly written asking for links from c.i.

c.i.'s attitude also includes 'maybe i'm too controversial.' i don't buy that excuse.

i'll give an example here. jess pulled the link c.i. had for make them accountable. carolyn whomever wrote to c.i. asking for a link. jess was the 1 who replied to that e-mail to the public account. he told her he would tell c.i. about her site. he told her he was sure c.i. would put on her on the permalinks on the left side of the site. c.i. did that.

that was over 3 months ago. c.i. has highlighted her site since in snapshots and other things. but carolyn, who sent a 152K e-mail to the public account of the common ills today, highlights everything under the sun including some things that are surely 'controversial'. but she never could find time in 3 months to work in even 1 link for the common ills?

brandon brought that to jess' attention and jess pulled the link last friday. i'll quote jess here, 'you've got a lot of nerve asking for links, then getting them and never returning the favor.' i agree with jess. c.i. put her on the permalinks (blogroll but c.i. calls them permalinks) and carolyn never did the same for c.i. carolyn e-mails non-stop asking for links in things c.i.'s writing and c.i. has given them. but to go to make them accountable, you'd never know the common ills even exists.

it's not right. c.i. has never begged for a link (and has, in fact, begged msm friends not to link). but for those who beg for links, the fair thing, the honorable thing, is when you get a link to show some appreciation.

c.i. wrote about gloria steinem and noted there would be no rude comments about gloria. c.i. said gloria campaigns every 4 year for whomever the democratic nominee is and that she would this time as well. c.i. said gloria's just a sweet person (and then quickly noted gloria was strong as well, lest some 1 misread that). gloria is a sweet person but she's got nothing on c.i. and i think both of them would benefit from being less sweet.

they both take an attitude of 'oh well, that's okay.' and it's never okay. it's not okay when gloria gets smeared and slammed. it's not okay when c.i. gets smeared and slammed. they both think 'big picture' and that's great of them. but it pisses off those of us who know them when they're attacked.

gloria's written about her own self-esteem and i think it's safe to surmise that she puts others ahead of herself. i'm not insulting her for that. (i would never insult gloria and if i made the mistake of even sounding like i was, it would be the only thing that would piss c.i. off. i can write anything here and c.i. doesn't care but if i did that, i would get an angry phone call. to be clear, i never would because i like gloria and think she's one of our modern heroines.) read revolution from within (a great book) to find out why gloria's that way.

but c.i.'s that way as well and it's for different reasons. for c.i., it was about 'the big head.' that's what we would have called it in my family. don't get the big head. but modesty was so important in c.i.'s family. c.i. is not false modest. c.i. really doesn't see anything to be proud of.

when i met c.i.'s mother (who was a great woman), i probably pissed her off many times because she'd tell me these stories and i would recoil. there was 1 where c.i. was probably six and she and her friends (c.i.'s mother and her friends) were having an afternoon get together. and 1 of the women, when c.i. walked through the room and came over to say hello, remarked that c.i. had the most beautiful hair. 'no!' was c.i.'s mother's immediate response. (my mother-in-law was at that tea party and still remembers that moment.)

c.i. never got a compliment from any 1 (except a grandfather) growing up. it's not false modesty on c.i.'s part. c.i. and siblings were raised not to be vain. i remember in college when 1 of c.i.'s grandparents was sick, c.i. had to leave immediately. i come from a tight family and i said, 'let me go with.' so we flew out together, went straight to the hospital.

an aunt of c.i.'s whispered, didn't say it to c.i. directly, that c.i. could be a model. c.i. heard it (most people did) and immediately whisked down the hall. that was embarrassing to c.i. they didn't get compliments. (c.i. goes out of the way to be supportive and give compliments. c.i. was like that with her children, always praising them. she didn't repeat the cycle.) but c.i. knew it would be a point raised and sure enough it was. a point of contention with the parents. resulting in, 'you're no better looking than any 1 else.'

and that was in part because, due to the money and the profession, the parents didn't want their children to expect the world and wanted them to now your job is to give back.

but when people hear 9or read) c.i. say something about not being any big deal or not being this good thing or that and they think, 'oh come on.' it's not false modesty. it is the mantra that was instilled growing up and c.i. honestly believes it.

elaine grew up immensely wealthy as well. she lost her parents before she was a teenager but she'll tell you they complimented her on her looks and on her achivements. and my husband got non-stop ego stroking growing up. so it's not a rich thing.

i have no idea what happened to c.i.'s parents (who were very nice and i'm not saying anything against them) but something must have happened with vanity when they were children because they were bound and determined that their children would have no vanity or self-pride.

so when you're dealing with some 1 like that, like c.i., and you see other people ripping her off, it is outrageous. she is the last person to ever rip any 1 off. she gives credit generously (and often gives credit when it's not deserved). she is the last person to ever grab credit for herself.

and when she's ripped off, you have to remember she was raised to believe it's to be expected and you don't toot your own horn. so there's no point in getting angry at c.i. for this.

but those of who know and love c.i. do get outraged by the rip offs and i have no problem calling the rip off artists out. when it gets really bad, elaine will always point out, 'at the end of the day, c.i. can go home to the mansion, can pick up the phone and speak to any 1 in the world. you really think she gives it a second thought that some website ripped her off?'

and that's true but, also true, elaine will be outraged anytime she hears about some 1 ripping off c.i.

now if we get ripped off, if any of us gets ripped off, c.i. is a like a mother bear. c.i. will call them out and do so publicly (like when mike got ripped off by the hack writer who stole his 1st blog post). and when third gets ripped off, the best way to convince c.i. to pull a link or stop linking is to say, 'they ripped off ava, dona, jim, ty and jess.' if you say, 'they ripped you off,' you've lost c.i. c.i. doesn't care. but if you make the argument about dona, jim, etc., c.i. will get outraged.

it's that way offline as well. if any 1 ever speaks meanly about me, there is hell to pay. the same person can call c.i. the worst names in the world and when it gets back, if c.i. even mentions it it's either to explore why that was (assuming blame for some 1's anger) or to laugh at it.

c.i. really has no ego. it just rolls off the back.

on gloria, c.i. has told people before, 'don't talk bad about her to me.' if they have persisted, they get a warning that if it continues, they will no longer be friends. if it does continue, c.i. cuts them off cold. you do not say a word against gloria. that was betty friedan's big mistake and how betty ended up on c.i.'s s**t list and stayed there until she died. (she's probably still on it.) and, as betty friedan learned slowly, you get on c.i.'s s**t list and doors start closing on you.

so when community members or c.i.'s friends like elaine and i defend c.i. so strongly it's because (a) it's the right thing to do, (b) we know c.i. would do the same for us and (c) we also know that c.i.'s never going to acknowledge (even privately) that some 1 c.i. was kind enough to link to turned around and put a knife in her back.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, June 5, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces a death, the Senate releases a report and more.

Starting with war resistance.
On Tuesday, Canada's House of Commons passed a motion to grant safe harbor status to US war resisters in Canada. Aaron Wherry (Macleans.ca) observes, "Liberal Jim Karygiannis and New Democrat Olivia Chow put together a motion and got it to a vote." Ontario Now notes that the Tory party was against the motiong but they "were outvoted by the other three opposition parties, 1137-110 in the vote" and quotes MP Olivia Chow explaining, "There is a lot of support by ordinary citizens to allow U.S. war deserters the right to stay in Canada." Travis Lupik (The Straight) speaks with US war resister Brad McCall: "Reacting to the news, McCall told the Straight that he planned to celebrate, and then field interviews and prepare for the next battle. McCall said that he was hopeful that the Conservative government will abide by the House's recommendation, but cautioned that the war resisters had not won yet. 'I think they [the Conservatives] will probably just ignore it and see if anybody notices,' he said." [For previous coverage of McCall from The Straight click here and here.] Elliot Robins (Kootenay Western Star) speaks with US war resister Ryan Johnson who states, "We're pretty excited. It's a big step for war resisters here in Canada. We have a direct show of support from Parliament and it could be a very important thing to help end this [Iraq] war. . . . It's pretty hard to start your life based on the hope that a country that you've never been to before will suddenly decide to change its entire law around something to allow me to stay here. My life has been dramatically changed by our [Johnson and his wife, Jenna] decision to come to Canada, but even if I was deported, I wouldn't take back my decision to have come here."

Chris Cook (Pacific Free Press) takes a look at media in Canada (such as the CBC) and finds it lacking as it works hard to ignore the news about Tuesday's vote. What of so-called 'independent' media in the US? What's Panhandle Media in the US doing? As usual, not a damn thing. The Nation hasn't done a story on it or even a blog post (they have at least nine blogs supposedly updated regularly). It's not news to our 'friends' at The Nation. (Ask Katrina what happened on Wife Swap last night and she'll write you an essay.) The Progressive? Matty Rothschild and company are far too busy. CounterPunch -- the allegedly non-electoral hokum Counterpunch? At least 20 articles published today and yesterday. Number on war resisters? Zero. Cost of publicly pretending to give a damn about ending the illegal war? Priceless. Amy Goodman, apparently putting down her copy of Hu**ler magazine for a moment or two, surfaced yesterday morning with four sentences on the ruling. And still managed to do severe damages. "As many as 200 U.S. war resisters are currently living in Canada," she gushed. As many as? 200 was surpassed in 2006. But Goody hasn't sat down with one since November of 2006 so we can't expect up to date info from her. Mike addressed trashy Amy Goodman last night (including linking to the piece on Hu**ler that we can't here due to being 'work safe' for all readers). 14 days and she still hasn't found it worth informing her listeners that US war resister Corey Glass was ordered to leave Canada. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. Apparently that's not news and not important to Panhandle Media.

Laughably, a Panhandle Media 'conference' takes place this weekend to talk up the importance of a . . . useless echo chamber? We're supposed to strengthen something that already refuses to deliver the news we need? We're supposed to give a damn about Panhandle Media? It's really past time to stop rewarding bad behavior. Now if we didn't have so many in Panhandle Media who were stupid, uncaring or damaged from intensive drug use, we might be able to end the illegal war. We might have ended it some time ago. But to do that, we'd need to be informed of two things (1) what is actually happening and (2) our own history.

Panhandle Media will never save one person, let alone the world. So let's save ourselves while they stay useless. In 1969, a member of the US Congress went to Canada to speak with war resisters. His name? Ed Koch. Better known today as the former mayor of NYC. Between then and the end of 1974, Kokch introduced how many amnesty bills in the US House of Representatives? Four. Now if we know that, we can ask why none of our 'friends' in Congress have yet to make that trip? Dennis Kucinich, Canada is calling. Where are our bills in Congress calling for amnesty for war resisters? Forget "laws" -- which are bills that have been passed -- where are our bills arguing for amnesty. By the end of 1974, because of the work by people like Koch, a Republican would step forward in the Senate with a bill for war resisters (only one group of them). Who was that Republican? Ask Panhandle Media. Remember they care sooo much and they are soooo informed and they have all the information to give you . . . right after the never ending pledge drive cycles.

In the real world,
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 finley.d@parl.gc.ca -- that's "finley.d" at "parl.gc.ca") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail pm@pm.gc.ca -- that's "pm" at "pm.gc.ca").

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).

In today's New York Times,
Andrew E. Kramer reports, "American airstrikes in Hilla, the city once known as Babylon, wounded five people on Wednesday, according to the local police, who said the Americans were responding to a mortar attack on the American Consulate." So five people wounded in another 'precision' air strike. File it under 'helping' along with the topic Elaine examined last night (Iraqi women). Also in today's papers is Patrick Cockburn (Independent of London) stating that the White House and the puppet of the occupation (Nouri al-Maliki) are putting together "[a] secret deal" which would allow permanent US bases, the US to "conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for the unending conflict in their country." Cockburn was off the mark when attempting to predict US reaction (he thought it would be explosive, Amy Goodman buried the news in a fleeting headline today). What else was he right or wrong about? Sue Pleming (Reuters) quotes Ryan Crocker, the US Amabassador to Iraq, declaring that the White House doesn't want permanent bases and were not putting together anything that would extend in the "long-term." So Cockburn was way off the mark?

No. These statements were repeated in April as well and, to any watching, weren't at all believable. Dropping back to the
April 9th snapshot, US House Rep Susan Davis was asking about and echoing US Senator Hillary Clinton's April 8th questions (to Crocker and Petraeus) as to why the US Congress was being cut out of the process. Davis: "That strikes people in our districts as strange. I wonder if you could talk on that" and how such an agreement might or might not "be used as leverage?"

From the statement Senator Hillary Clinton released April 9th:

"I also asked Ambassador Crocker if the United States Congress would have the same opportunity as the Iraqi Parliament will have to review any agreement or long-term security pact that President Bush is negotiating with the Iraqis. Ambassador Crocker said that the Congress, your representatives, would not have that chance. I have two requests of President Bush for his speech on Thursday. First, I call on the President to answer the question that General Petraeus did not. What is our end game in Iraq given the failure of surge to achieve the objective that the president outlined for it? Second, I call on President Bush to pledge to the American people, who have sacrificed greatly for this effort that the United States Congress will have the chance to review and vote on any long-term security agreement he has negotiated with the Iraqis."

It was also an issue in Congress
April 10th when the US Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations heard testimony from the State Dept's David Satterfield and the Defense Dept's Mary Beth Long. The chair of the committee outlined the topics of interest in his opening statements.

Senator Joe Biden: We will hear today about the two agreements that the Administration is negotiating with Iraq which were anticipated in the November Declaration. On Tuesday, Ambassador Crocker told us that these agreements would set forth the "vision" -- his phrase -- of our bilateral relationship with Iraq. One agreement is a "strategic framework agreement" that will include the economic, political and security issues outlined in the Declaration of Principles. The document might be better titled "What the United States will do for Iraq," because it consists mostly of a series of promises that flow in one direction -- promises by the United States to a sectarian government that has thus far failed to reach the political compromises necessary to have a stable country. We're told that the reason why we're not continuing under the UN umbrella is because the Iraqis say they have a sovereign country. But they don't want a Status of Forces Agreement because that flows two ways. The Administration tells us it's not binding, but the Iraqi parliament is going to think it is. The second agreement is what Administration officials call a "standard" Status of Forces Agreement, which will govern the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, including their entry into the country and the immunities to be granted to them under Iraqi law. Unlike most SOFAs, however, it would permit U.S. forces -- for the purposes of Iraqi law -- to engage in combat operations and detain insurgents. In other words, to detain people that we think are bad guys. I don't know any of the other nearly 90 Status of Forces Agreements that would allow a U.S. commander to arrest anyone he believes is a bad guy.

Meanwhile in the White House today, spokesperson Dana Perino faced some semi-tough questioning and se danced away from every one of them with statements such as "I would say that the issue of pre-war intelligence on Iraq has been thoroughly reviewed over the years by the Congress, as well as by the independent WMD Commission." What was Perino avoiding? The latest report on Iraq from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The chair, Senator Jay Rockefeller, stated today, "Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by intelligence. In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe the threat from Iraq was much greater than actuall existed."

Key points from the report summarized by Rockefeller include:

* Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa'ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa'ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
* Statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
* Statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
* Statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq's chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community's uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
* The Secretary of Defense's statement that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
* The Intelligence Community did not confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001 as the Vice President repeatedly claimed.

In a press conference today (
here for audio or video), Rockefeller declared, "It has often been said that truth is the first casualty of war and today the Senate Intelligence Committee reports in detail that this was the case in the Bush administration's march to war in Iraq. You don't get to tell the truth just some of the time when going to war. The American people expect their government to tell the truth all the time, that being 100% of the time. Let's be clear as far too many of our own country men and their families know this is a very deadly serious matter Making the case for war is categorically different than any other approach to public policy. There is nothing more serious in public life than the decision to go to war. There is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberatly painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully supported by intelligence. The bottom line is this, we owed it to the troops and the American people to tell the truth about how we got there. These reports are about holding our government accountable and making sure that these mistakes never happen again." PDF format warning, the first report is on public statements (and runs 171 pages), also PDF, the second report focuses on the Counterrorism Evaluation Group and Office of Special Plans within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (and is 56 pages).

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


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing killed 1 Iraqi soldier and a Kirkuk roadside bombing wounded seven people.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad today.

Today the
US military announced: "A Coalition force Soldier was killed by small arms fire June 4 during a patrol south of Baghdad."

John Stauber (PR Watch) observes, "Eight thousand pages of documents related to the Pentagon's illegal propaganda campaign, known as the Pentagon military analyst program, are now online for the world to see, although in a format that makes it impossible to easily search them and therefore difficult to read and dissect. This trove includes the documents pried out of the Pentagon by David Barstow and used as the basis for his stunning investigation that appeared in the New York Times on April 20, 2008." Stauber explains that "every major commercial TV network has failed to report this story, covering up their complicity and keeping the existence of this scandal from their audience."

May 22nd we noted Lavena Johnson who died while serving Iraq and whose parents do not buy the official 'explanation' of Lavena's death. As KMOV reported (link has text and video) last year, "Lavena was apparently abused" and it was impossible for her to have used the gun she's said to have killed herself with. Veterans For Peace notes "After viewing the black and white copies of crime scene photos, viewing multiple bruises on her body, and speaking to different military personnel as they prepared for her burial, her father and uncles realized that LeVena had been murdered. Eight days before her twenthieth birthday, LaVena was beaten, raped, set on fire, shot, and left in a contractor's tent in Iraq. Her family has been fighting for justice for LaVena for over two years now." They are asking you to help Dr. John Johnson (LaVena's father) find out what really happened to his daughter in Iraq by calling 202.225.2876 which is Ike Skelton's number, Skelton is the chair of the House Armed Service Committee. This will be picked up tomorrow and be a regular part of the snapshots.

Turning to the US political race,
Allison Stevens (Women's eNews) reports on Hillary Clinton's primary campaign: "And Clinton's candidacy shined a high beam on stubborn strains of sexism, said Clare Giesen, executive director of the National Women's Political Caucus, a group in Washington, D.C., that works to elect pro-choice women to office. 'This campaign has unveiled sexism as none of us thought existed," she said. "It's like some feral object; it's just out of control.' The depth of sexist attitudes became apparent in national news media coverage of Clinton, Giesen said. A Feb. 1 media study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., showed that from Dec. 16 through Jan. 27, five out of six on-air evaluations of Obama were favorable but only half of Clinton were.
Giesen said sexist comments in the media serve as a rallying cry for women's rights advocates. 'There is a definite second act that comes after this election. Even if she got the nomination, what we have looked at is a real resistance to women in power, and a fear. And we've got to do a lot to educate people'."
Froma Harrop (Rasmussen Reports) observes, "What's dangerous for the Democratic Party is that, for many women, the eye of the storm has moved beyond Hillary or anything she does at this point. The offense has turned personal. They are now in their own orbit, having abandoned popular Democratic Websites that reveled in crude anti-Hillary outpourings -- and established new ones on which they trade stories of the Obama people's nastiness. But worse than the online malice has been the affronts to their faces." Rev. Renita J. Weems (Something Within) compiles a list of what the campaign season taught her: "Fourth, now I know what I always suspected, namely that while racism is a sin, sexism is perfectly acceptable and tolerated in this country. Women are the worst culprits. The outright woman-hating jibes, the prejudice against Clinton as a middle-age woman, the physical mockery, and the anti-white woman rage have not been easy to witness. Clinton has not run a faultless campaign-- far from it. (Her surrogates need to be fired!) But Hillary Clinton the woman and the politician did not deserve the venom, the acrimony, the hatred, and the name-calling commentators and the public heaped on her throughout this race."

aaron wherrytravis lupickbrad mccallchris cookryan johnsonelliot robins
patrick cockburnandrew e. kramerthe new york times
john stauber