Within hours of the ruling, Mr Bush signalled his intention to highlight the issue during a campaign visit to Iowa. Bringing up the subject unprompted by anyone, he declared: "Yesterday in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage." Reminding voters of his position that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, President Bush added: "I believe it's a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families and it must be defended."

that's from david usborne's 'Bush seizes on gay marriage' (independent of london). they'll say anything. his position?

his position when he needs to scare up voters. from lou chibbaro jr.'s 'Laura Bush attends swearing-in of gay Global AIDS Coordinator (Gay): Rice recognizes domestic partner, "mother-in-law" during ceremony' (washington blade):

As First Lady Laura Bush stood behind her, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice administered the oath of office on Oct. 10 to gay physician Mark Dybul as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, a post that has the rank of ambassador.
In a ceremony held at the State Department's historic Benjamin Franklin Room, Dybul placed his hand on a Bible held by his domestic partner, Jason Claire. Dybul's parents and Claire’s mother stood nearby as Dybul became the nation's third openly gay ambassador.
"I am truly honored and delighted to have the opportunity to swear in Mark Dybul as our next Global AIDS Coordinator," Rice said. "I am pleased to do that in the presence of Mark’s parents, Claire and Richard, his partner, Jason, and his mother-in-law, Marilyn," she said.
"You have a wonderful family to support you, Mark, and I know that's always important to us. Welcome," Rice said.
In remarks following the swearing-in, Laura Bush noted that Dybul will oversee President Bush’s $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, a widely acclaimed program backed by AIDS activists and approved by Congress as part of an aggressive U.S. effort to fight AIDS in developing countries.

he needs votes so he uses gays as a scapegoat. and homophobes are stupid enough to fall for it. they think that bully boy's going to be just like them but there's condi rice calling a gay man's spouse his 'mother-in-law.'

i don't like condi rice, i think she's a liar and inept in her job(s). if there's 1 moment in the last 6 years she can be proud of, i think it was in the swearing-in when she proved she had some humanity. i think, however, that she's full of shit if she's silent while gays are scapegoated.

i think it's ridiculous that dick cheney has a lesbian daughter and this white house continues to preach hatred towards gays and lesbians whenever they need a goose in the numbers.

i think lynn cheney is a disgrace as a person, as an administrator, as a novelist and as a mother.

i think the press was an idiot for allowing a 'scandal' to erupt in the 2004 debates over the fact that john kerry made the obvious point that the cheneys had an openly gay daughter. i guess they were all sleeping during the 2000 debates when a similar point was made?

or maybe they think that gay is so 'shameful' that to even note some 1 is gay, some 1 out of the closet, is just too much?

i'm sick of it. i'm sick of the fact that we live under a backlash where women are targeted, gays and lesbians are targeted, people of any race other than white-anglo are targeted and it's all 'funny'. it's 'funny' when stephen colbert makes 'fun' of asians. and i'm sick of the fact that the supposed left doesn't want to deal with that. much better for them to provide links to him and be his guest. despite the fact that there have been protests from asian-americans.

so we're supposed to ignore the racism involved and then we're supposed to ignore the protests as well?

that's how a backlash gets traction.

'oh, come on, it's just a joke, it's just people being silly.'

and we're all supposed to go along.

it happens all the time and every time we go along with it, every time we act like it's 'funny' and laugh, we perpetuate it and we degrade others and we degrade ourselves.

that's not 'can't we all just get along?'

i don't want to get along with racists, sexists, homophobes or war mongers.

and it is really appalling that the bully boy has ushered in a climate where they're all free to proudly proclaim their hate at groups of people and no 1 calls them on it.

yesterday's post got a lot of e-mails (all but 1 was favorable). a lot of the women (the whiner was a white male who felt i needed to 'realize that women had their day and now it's back to the kitchen.' just for him, i'll avoid the kitchen for the rest of this month and next.) wrote in, women of all ages, who did wonder why we were so eager - female or male - to look the other way when alterpunks work so hard to eliminate women from the equation?

i wonder that too.

but i saw so much passion in the e-mails and i'm a lot more hopeful tonight.

women of all ages, at least the 1s who e-mailed, aren't going to put up with it. they're tired of men giving marching orders and designating other men to be the 1s in charge.

i think there's a real awareness forming out there that i honestly wasn't aware of.

that gives me hope.

1 e-mail was from a woman who said i could share her story but not to use her name so we'll call her 'may'. may is fearing thanksgiving because she'll be with her father and uncle who will once again crack their 'jokes' about african-americans, mexican-americans, mexicans, any 1 who speaks spanish, gays and lesbians and 'femin-nazis.' she says she can't imagine the jokes are any funnier on rush limbaugh (which both men listen to) but at least she doesn't have to listen to rush.

what makes it especially hard for her is that she's objected for years and this year she'll be there with her kid sister who just came out to her last month. the 'jokes' have always offended may and she's always spoken out. now she's not just going to be speaking up for the friends she has who aren't present, she's going to know that her sister is gay and have to hear 1 'joke' after another about gays and lesbians.

her kid sister is going to continue to come out, that's what i wrote back in my e-mail. and as she does, others will know. it may take a year or more. but the 'jokes' will be far less funny to many. i'm sure they are now. but when it's some 1 in your family, from what i've seen, you are more likely to speak out.

the father and the uncle may never learn that the kid sister's gay. were i her, since her father's paying for her college, i wouldn't come out until after i had the degree. not to 'hide' but to make sure this man who hates everything had to pay for the degree. in fact, i would make my coming out happen at the dinner after college graduation. i would choose that moment to announce it.

may was thinking that this year she would just say nothing. this summer, she'd been thinking about it and thought maybe the whole day would go quicker if she didn't say anything, just ignored it the whole time. then her sister came out to her last month. now she knows she can't be silent.

and she can't be.

it would be really easy for me to be silent on the issue of sexuality. but it wouldn't be fair. t is 1 of my best friends and she has to live with this sort of crap aimed at her from jerks. i think i can 'suffer' through speaking out.

but here's a reality for any 1 who thinks 'i'll just be quiet.' it is about you.

the same person telling 'jokes' about gays and lesbians is going to start calling me a 'slut' as soon as i'm out of the room. i don't have a get-out-of-jail-free card because i'm straight.

to these people, we are all the enemy.

so you can object because it's the right thing to do, you can object because of some 1 you love or you can object for yourself because any 1 preaching hate to you when you don't preach hate is obviously censoring themselves around you and letting loose as soon as you are out of the room.
grab whatever reason you need, but start speaking out.

we need to confront this, not stay silent.

it's so bad for may that she only sees her father at thanksgiving. that's the 1 time a year she visits. she makes up an excuse about how she can't come to christmas due to work. each year she does that.

so you can also realize that people thinking this sort of behavior is acceptable pushes families apart.

so there's another reason to speak out.

however and why ever you find the reason to speak out, speak out. it's not the 90s anymore. the hope that we're progressing can't be maintained. we aren't. bully boy has drug us all back about 10 to 20 years. the haters were out there, broadcasting on a.m. radio, all along but now they get invited to the white hosue, the administration gives them face time, and it sets a tone.

last night, c.i. wrote about the importance of not going-along-to-get-along after this war is over. we need to be brave and discuss reality. that didn't happen with vietnam. that's how the revisionism took place. 'And the war drags on' is the thing i'm talking about, by the way. that was just amazing. a mutual friend of c.i.'s and mine at a network called today and asked me if i realized how much 'copy' c.i. is generating? i really hadn't. not in those terms. we laughed about that. i think kat was getting at that (and i missed it) back in september. she was talking about how sometimes she doesn't have anything in here (when we were all in d.c.) and she has no idea how she's going to write anything. but how c.i. just seems to open a vein and let it all pour out. it is a lot of writing, just at the common ills. that's before you weigh in ava and c.i.'s weekly tv review or working with every 1 for the third estate sunday review, or doing 2 weekly columns (1 in the gina & krista round-robin, 1 in polly's brew). that is a lot of copy.

on the phone we were laughing because we both know the pressure on c.i. to go into the family business and how c.i. rejected it. we laughed and called it 'karma.' but it really does amaze me because i work with the third estate sunday review most weekends and i do 5 entries here a week and i am worn out.

i couldn't imagine doing any more online. so it really is amazing to think about how much copy c.i. generates now.

on the phone, we played around with the nature or nurture issues behind all this copy and then both agreed it's the war. c.i.'s always been political but only the war could be behind this. it's also true, and i had forgotten this as well, that it's really written as a conversation. i think that makes a difference. prior to the website, most of us were used to conversational letters. i'd probably get a letter from c.i. at least every other week and 7 pages would be brief. i miss those.
they really are the website now. not just because there's only so much time in a day but also in terms of what goes up there.

whatever it is, we both agreed it was a lot of copy. and it really is. so i was asked to note that and i'm glad to. i'm really proud of c.i. and all the time that's been put into this. i think it's made a difference and made as much of a difference as c.i.'s going around the country speaking to groups. i think every 1 who has done their part is making a difference and i think it's taken every 1 doing every thing they have to wake the country up.

so when you think about where we are right now with an administration friendly to hate, that can be circumvented. we can get the country back on track.

now i'm doing the 3 highlights. 1st up, robert parry's 'Original October Surprise (Part 2)' from consortium news:

Editor's Note: Part 2 of our series about the "Original October Surprise" of 1980 focuses on the role of banker David Rockefeller and his collaboration with Republicans during the Iranian hostage crisis, which doomed Jimmy Carter's presidency and helped open the door to the modern era of GOP dominance.
To read the first part of the series, dealing with the inept investigative work of Indiana Democrat Lee Hamilton, click
here. The series is adapted from Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq:
On March 23, 1979, late on a Friday afternoon, Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David Rockefeller and his longtime aide Joseph Verner Reed arrived at a town house in the exclusive Beekham Place neighborhood on New York’s East Side. They were met inside by a small, intense and deeply worried woman who had seen her life turned upside down in the last two months.
Iran's Princess Ashraf, the strong-willed twin sister of the Iran’s long-time ruler, had gone from wielding immense behind-the-scenes clout in the ancient nation of Persia to living in exile -- albeit a luxurious one. With hostile Islamic fundamentalists running her homeland, Ashraf also was troubled by the plight of her ailing brother, the ousted Shah of Iran, who had fled into exile, first to Egypt and then Morocco.
Now, she was turning for help to the man who ran one of the leading U.S. banks, one which had made a fortune serving as the Shah's banker for a quarter century and handling billions of dollars in Iran's assets. Ashraf's message was straightforward. She wanted Rockefeller to intercede with Jimmy Carter and ask the President to relent on his decision against granting the Shah refuge in the United States.
A distressed Ashraf said her brother had been given a one-week deadline to leave his current place of refuge, Morocco. "My brother has nowhere to go," Ashraf pleaded, "and no one else to turn to." [See David Rockefeller, Memoirs]
Spurned Appeals
Carter had been resisting appeals to let the Shah enter the United States, fearing that admitting him would endanger the personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran and other U.S. interests. In mid-February 1979, Iranian radicals had overrun the embassy and briefly held the staff hostage before the Iranian government intervened to secure release of the Americans.
Carter feared a repeat of the crisis. Already the United States was deeply unpopular with the Islamic revolution because of the CIA’s history of meddling in Iranian affairs. The U.S. spy agency had helped organize the overthrow of an elected nationalist government in 1953 and arranged the restoration of the Shah and the Pahlavi family to the Peacock Throne. In the quarter century that followed, the Shah kept his opponents at bay through the coercive powers of his secret police, known as the SAVAK.
As the Islamic Revolution gained strength in January 1979, however, the Shah’s security forces could no longer keep order. The Shah – suffering from terminal cancer – scooped up a small pile of Iranian soil, boarded his jet, sat down at the controls and flew the plane out of Iran to Egypt.
A few days later, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an ascetic religious leader who had been forced into exile by the Shah, returned to a tumultuous welcome from crowds estimated at a million strong, shouting "Death to the Shah." The new Iranian government began demanding that the Shah be returned to stand trial for human rights crimes and that he surrender his fortune, salted away in overseas accounts.
The new Iranian government also wanted Chase Manhattan to return Iranian assets, which Rockefeller put at more than $1 billion in 1978, although some estimates ran much higher. The withdrawal might have created a liquidity crisis for the bank which already was coping with financial troubles.
Ashraf's personal appeal put Rockefeller in what he described, with understatement, as "an awkward position," according to his autobiography Memoirs.
"There was nothing in my previous relationship with the Shah that made me feel a strong obligation to him," wrote the scion of the Rockefeller oil and banking fortune who had long prided himself in straddling the worlds of high finance and public policy. "He had never been a friend to whom I owed a personal debt, and neither was his relationship with the bank one that would justify my taking personal risks on his behalf. Indeed, there might be severe repercussions for Chase if the Iranian authorities determined that I was being too helpful to the Shah and his family."
Later on March 23, after leaving Ashraf's residence, Rockefeller attended a dinner with Happy Rockefeller, the widow of his brother Nelson who had died two months earlier. Also at the dinner was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a long-time associate of the Rockefeller family.
Discussing the Shah's plight, Happy Rockefeller described her late husband’s close friendship with the Shah, which had included a weekend stay with the Shah and his wife in Teheran in 1977. Happy said that when Nelson learned that the Shah would be forced to leave Iran, Nelson offered to pick out a new home for the Shah in the United States.
The dinner conversation also turned to what the participants saw as the dangerous precedent that President Carter was setting by turning his back on a prominent U.S. ally. What message of American timidity was being sent to other pro-U.S. leaders in the Middle East?

it's important to know our history. i hope you'll check out the other installments as well. it's also important to note our strong voices. this is john dear writing about joan baez in 'Joan Baez, After All These Years' (common dreams):

Joan herself has kept at it a long time. She walked for civil rights in the South, befriended Dr. King, sang at the 1963 March on Washington, read poetry with Thomas Merton in his hermitage, sang to Dorothy Day as she sat behind bars with the United Farmworkers, and supported dozens of movements for social change, from Poland to Chile to Nicaragua. In the 70s she ventured on a perilous trip to Vietnam, and like Daniel Berrigan and Howard Zinn, suffered under an interminable U.S. bombing raid.
Joan, like Dan, King, Merton and Day, has a rare commitment to nonviolence. Armed only with her guitar and her voice, she helps us envision a world without war or injustice. And to make her songs authentic, she practices what she sings. She marches, organizes, gets arrested, has refused to pay part of her taxes, and has joined countless demonstrations. Last month, for example, she was the featured guest in Prague at the national birthday party in honor of Vaclav Havel, the heroic former president of the Czech Republic.
We can create a new world of nonviolence, she teaches, "by studying, experimenting with every possible alternative to violence on every level. By learning how to say 'No' to the nation-state, 'No' to war taxes, 'No' to military conscription, 'No' to killing in general, and 'Yes' to cooperation, to building new institutions based on the assumption that murder in any form is ruled out, by making and keeping in touch with nonviolent contacts all over the world, by engaging ourselves at every possible chance in dialogue with people to try to change the consensus that it's okay to kill."
In her famous essay, "What Would You Do If?" she concluded, "The only thing that’s been a worse flop than the organization of nonviolence has been the organization of violence."

finally, here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Friday, October 27, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, US war resister Kyle Snyder prepares to return to the US; a G.I. coffeehouse opens in Watertown, NY; Gerhard Schroder weighs in on the special relationship between Tony Blair and Bully Boy; and the barking puppet of the occupation gets his leash yanked.

Tomorrow Kyle Snyder will return to the United States,
Mike Howell reports for the Toronto Star noting that Snyder notes war resister Darrell Anderson's decision to return to the US (Anderson returned September 30th). Like Anderson, Snyder elected to self-check out of the military. For Snyder, that happened in April 2005. As Snyder explains in Michelle Mason's Breaking Ranks, military recruiters were circling throughout high school: "I had just received my high school diploma. I get off of the stage and here's another recruiter right outside the door -- waiting for me. I look back at i now and everything that I'm going through, everything that I've worked through I can retrace down to that moment that I signed the f**king contract." Snyder has addressed how the military broke its contract with him -- such as by refusing to investigate incidents of violence targeting Iraqis.

In August,
Synder explained his decision to self-check out of the US military and go to Canada to Karen Button noting, "You know, if they want to help people in Iraq . . . imagine a 15 year-old kid, for the last . . . years all he's seen is [US] military personnel with weapons going through his city. How is that child supposed to believe that the man, in that uniform is helping him? Now, if that child saw a convoy of logs being brought to his city, or a convory of water being brought to his city, still guarded, it would be a completely different situation. That's where the American military messed up. Because they forgot about the perception of civilisation. They forgot about the perception of the Iraqi people."

Kyle Snyder intends to return to the US Saturday and turn himself in. Michelle Mason's documentary
Breaking Ranks takes a look at US war resisters who have gone to Canada seeking asylum. In addition to Mason's film, more information on war resisters hoping to be granted refugee status (which the Canadian government has thus far refused to do, unlike during the Vietnam era) can be found at War Resisters Support Campaign.

Kyle Snyder, Darrell Anderson, Ricky Clousing, Mark Wilkerson, Agustin Aguayo, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Carl Webb, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes, Aidan Delgado, Ryan Johnson, Joshua Key, Katherine Jashinski, Ivan Brobeck, Robin Long, Kevin Benderman and Clifford Cornell are among those war resisters who have gone public. And that's only the names of those who have gone public. The war resistance within the military is a movement.

Earlier this week, US service members created a website, Appeal for Redress, and are attempting to collect 2000 signatures for their petition to Congress to end the illegal war. From Appeal for Redress:

An Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq
Many active duty, reserve, and guard service members are concerned about the war in Iraq and support the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Appeal for Redress provides a way in which individual service members can appeal to their Congressional Representative and US Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation. The Appeal messages will be delivered to members of Congress at the time of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January 2007.
The wording of the Appeal for Redress is short and simple. It is patriotic and respectful in tone.
As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.
If you agree with this message,
click here.
The Appeal for Redress is sponsored by active duty service members based in the Norfolk area and by a sponsoring committee of veterans and military family members. The Sponsoring committee consists of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, and Military Families Speak Out.
Members of the military have a legal right to communicate with their member of Congress. To learn more about the rights and restrictions that apply to service members
click here.
Attorneys and counselors experienced in military law are available to help service members who need assistance in countering any attempts to suppress this communication with members of Congress.
Several members of Congress have expressed interest in receiving the Appeal for Redress.
Click here to send the Appeal to your elected representatives.

Citizen Soldier announces the opening, today, of "the first soldiers' coffeehouse of the current Iraq war in Watertown, NY." More information can be found at Citizen Soldier and at Different Drummer, the name of the coffeehouse. It is a movement and for those wanting more information on the importance of the GI coffeehouse to a peace movement should view David Zeiger's Sir! No Sir! documentary.

As resistance and opposition to the illegal war spreads throughout the world spreads, Bully Boy & Friends attempts to remarket/re-brand all week.
At the start, the US State Department's Alberto Fernandez was having to eat his own words ("arrogance" and "stupidity" used to describe the war) after the White House first attempted to claim that Fernandez had suffered from mistranslation. We also heard the announcement by Tony Snow, White House flack, that the phrase "stay the course" was being stricken from the official White House language. Wednesday, the Bully Boy attempted to show how involved and concerned he was with the war Wednesday by noting the "93" US troops who had died in Iraq this month when, in fact, the US military's official count before the speech, during the speech and until Thursday morning was "91." While the White House removed one phrase from the official lexicon, Donald Rumsfeld added a new one on Thursday, "Just back off."

While the US administration played word games and offered faulty numbers, chaos and violence continued in Iraq. Despite this,
Zalmay Khalilzad (US ambassador to Iraq) and George Casey ("top US general" in Iraq) held a joint press conference where they declared that success was yet again just around that ever elusive corner and it will only take a year to a year-and-a-half for it to show up. (For those who've forgotten, the illegal war began in March 2003.)

Meanwhile a US & Iraqi raid in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, led to a barking puppet of the occupation.
Nouri al-Maliki rejected the raid, rejected the notion that he (who holds the position of commander-in-chief of the Iraqi military) had been involved in the planning of the raid, and rejected the "timelines" and "timetable" speak that Khalilzad and Casey had told reporters of the day before.

his laughable Wednesday press conference, Bully Boy was asked why al-Maliki hadn't been included in the Tuesday press conference held by Khalilzad and Casey?
His response? "I have no idea why he wasn't there," said Bully Boy the 'decider' but not the planner. He added, "I have no idea. I'm not -- I'm not the scheduler of news conferences." Once again, out of the loop.

In Iraq today,
Alastair Macdonald (Reuters) reports that Nouri al-Maliki issued "a joint statement with the U.S. ambassador [that] his government had 'timelines' for the resolution of the country's problems". The strings get pulled, the puppet plays along.
Macdonald notes: "The statement appeared aimed at dispelling the impression of mounting friction between Washington and its Iraqi allies". If the 'friction' is gone, does that leave only fiction? Bronwen Maddox (Times of London) labels the whole thing "Operation Cross Fingers" -- surely a 'strategy.'

Monday night in Baghdad, a US soldier went missing and is believed to have been kidnapped. AFP reports that the US military continues searching Baghdad "with armoured vehicles and backed by helicopter gunships" but the soldier has still not been located. AP reports that the soldier has been identified as Ahmed Qusai al-Taei.

The US press had trouble locating the 2800 mark for US troops who have died in Iraq -- a milestone passed this week. (In October 2005, passing the 2000 mark was news. Possibly the press is saving their energies for the 3,000 mark?)
2809 is the current toll since the start of the illegal war with 96 for the month. Or was until the US military announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was injured Thursday as a result of enemy action in Diyala province. The Soldier was transported to a coalition forces medical treatment facility and later died of wounds." That brought the monthly toll to 97 and the number who have died since the start of the illegal war to 2810. October has been the deadliest month for US troops serving in Iraq this year.

a British soldier died today near Basra due to "road traffic" according to the British Ministry of Defense. This brings the total British soldiers who've died this month in Iraq to two and the total since the start of the illegal war to 120.

Among the violence reported so far today in Iraq, is the death toll in Baquba where fighting broke out Thursday.
CBS and AP report that 43 people died ("including 24 officers" -- police officers).


CBS and AP report that, in the Diyala province, a group of nine mourners returning from a funeral in Najaf were attacked with four being shot to death and the other five being injured.


BBC notes five corpses were discovered in Mosul Thursday and that the city is now under a curfew and vehicle ban. Reuters notes that number of corpses discovered in Mosul rose to 12. AFP notes that, "Thursday and overnight," eleven corpses were discovered in Baghdad.


Reuters reports the death of one woman "when two rounds slammed into the house of a Sunni Arab member of parliament, Abdul Nasir al-Janabi, in the town of Mussayab".

The woman's death comes at a time when, as
Edith M. Lederer (AP) reports, the UN's executive director of the Development Fund for Women speaks out. Noeleen Heyzer states: "What UNIFEM is seeing on the ground -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia -- is that public space for women in these situations is shrinking. Women are becoming assassination targets when they dare dfend women's right in public decision-making."

Meanwhile a new book, Decisions: My Life in Politics, takes a look at the special relationship between Bully Boy of the US and Tony Blair of England. The book's author? Gerhard Schroder, the previous chancellor of Germany.
Jess Smee (Guardian of London) writes that the book takes a look at Blair's rush to please Bully Boy, that Blair now pays for the price for his role in the illegal war, and notes that Blair had no interest in Europe -- Gerhard writes: "Quite the opposite, the country will continue to protect its role as a translantic mediator, even if that is to the cost of the European decision-making process."

In abuse news,
Anne Plummer Flaherty (AP) reports: "The Halliburton susidary that provides food, shelter and other logistics to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan exploited federal regulations to hide details on its contract performance, according to a report released Friday."

In England,
Michael Evans (Times of London) reports the latest on the seven British soldiers accused of abused prisoners in a Basra prison -- RAF soldier Scott Hughes has testified that he saw eye gouging of a prisoner and the prisoner being kicked "in the lower back". Donald Payne, one of the seven accused soldiers, has already pleaded guilty to war-crimes. In the United States, as Linda Deutsch (AP) reports, US marine John Jodka "pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice in the death of" Hashim Ibrahim Awad, 52-years-old, in Al-Hamdaniyah.

In music news,
Lydia Howell (Pulse of the Twin Cities) interviews singer, musician, songwriter and activist Michael Franti who says of his trip to Iraq, "I got tired of watching the news every night with generals and politicians talking about the economic costs of war WITHOUT mentioning the human crisis there. Rather than sit around frustrated, I picked up a guitar and a camera, flew to Baghdad and played music on the street." Michael Franti & Spearhead's latest CD is Yell Fire!

Finally, Bob Watada began his latest speaking tour yesterday. He is the father of
Ehren Watada who is the first commissioned US officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Below are dates through Monday:

Oct 27, 7PM
Albuquerque, NM
Location: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice202 Harvard Dr SE
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 63
Contact: Sally-Alice Thompson, 505-268-5073, 512-463-2014,

Oct 28, 1 -- 4:30PM
Houston, TX.
Sponsor: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War , Cy-Fair Democratic Club
Location: Live Oak Friends House, 1318 West 26th Street
Entertainment by Bill Passalacqua and Hank Woji, "
Sir, No Sir"

Oct 28, 6:15PM
Houston, TX
Location: Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 East 24th Street. "Celebration of Resistance"
Sponsors: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Sherry Glover,
sglover001@houston.rr.com,(H) 832-363-1741, (C) 713-929-1132-Bob Watada, ---- David Rovics

Oct 29, 1PM
Austin, TXPM
Sponsor: Code Pink/Austin, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66
Contact: Fran Hanlon, 512-454-6572,
Peter Ravella, 512-220-1740Heidi Turpin, (C)512-565-2242,

Oct 29, 5:30PM
Austin, TX
Café Caffeine -- 206 West MarySponsors: Code Pink, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Doug Zachary,
dbzvfp@gmail.com, (C) 512-791-9824Heidi Turpin, (C) 512-565-2242, heiditurpin@yahoo.com
Fran Hanlon (H) 512-454-6572, ,

Oct 30Austin High Schools
Oct 31, 7-9PM
Norman, OKLocation: Cleveland County Fairgrounds - Lobby615 E. Robinson
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Jeri Reed, 405-307-0352, cell 405-606-9598,

full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.
More information on Watada and other war resisters can be found at
Courage to Resist.



NJ Supreme Court Rules: Equal Rights for Same-Sex Couples
The New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled yesterday in a 4-3 decision that same-sex couples should have the same benefits of marriage as heterosexual couples. The court gave the state legislature six months to pass a law granting civil unions or amend the marriage laws to allow same sex marriage, the Chicago Tribune reports. Justice Barry Albin wrote in the majority decision, "Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution," the Associated Press reports.

Many gay rights advocates are happy with the decision, yet will continue fighting for the right to same-sex marriage.
"We now turn to the Legislature to say there's really no reason to try to set up some other scheme to exclude same-sex couples from marriage," said Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, a gay rights legal organization, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

the above is from the feminist daily wire. that's good news but, waringing, i'm tired and have a killer headache. i wouldn't be writing at all tonight if i had blogged last night but blogger/blogspot was screwed up and i couldn't even log in.

log in?

i couldn't even see my site or any other on blogger/blogspot. they wouldn't pull up, you'd get an error message. so i'm posting tonight but follow what you can and if you can't, it's me.

i was hoping to make this post about women. i'm a feminist, i care about issues that effect every 1 and i care about issues that target my gender, targeting usually means to discriminate against women because there's not much targeting to give us a leg up. so i checked out another women's site and found an article i thought i could link to but there was the usual hold mainstream media accountable but look the other way when it comes to independent media b.s.

meaning? they cite fair's study and the woman writes that 'PBS's "NewsHour" is largely a stag event, with fewer than 2 out of 10 guests being female, says an analysis from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting released this month.' that's the 1 female for every 3 males. written by some 1 who obviously hasn't read 'Are You On CounterSpin's Guest List?' or she'd make the obvious point that not only is that true of the newshour but counterspin isn't much better offering 3 men for every 1 woman.

you know what i miss? feminists that weren't afraid to call sexism 'sexism.' i miss feminists that didn't pull punches. instead, too many women look the other way. and i think it's partly why we're where we are today: begging for crumbs.

let's focus on 1 outlet. i'm looking at the october 30th issue of the nation. jonathan schell, the disarmament correspondent, usually writes fairly well about 'big topics' (i don't call him 'the peace' correspondent because he's not covering the peace movement - no 1 at the nation has that beat). this is page 4 of the issue, from his 'shock waves from kilju:' 'But President Bush, who seems to despise any work of man with Clinton's fingerprints on it . . .' 'any work of man.'

thanks to the nation. thanks to that 'turn of phrase.' i just love being excluded in non-inclusive language. and the use of 'man' is a battle we supposedly won long ago but notice how 'chairman' is ued by the media these days.

now let's go to page 10, to the cindy brady of the faux left - eric alterman.

his column is called 'no "comment"' and besides humping bob dylan's leg (well, it's nice to know he has a back up to bruce springsteen), he just flaunts what an idiot he is. truly, this space needs to be turned over to a real writer.

here's the basics. moveon.org got slimed for what some posters posted at the site.

eric alterman thinks it's ludicrous for reporters to report what gets posted. as c.i. would say, remember that.

eric alterman feels that anonymous comments are just awful and blah blah blah and why does the press quote them and blah blah blah.

contrary to what he thinks, overheard comments have always been published.

but here's the thing that demonstrates why eric alterman is so useless. he brags about himself (always) and notes "When I took the apparently unthinkable journalistic step of contacting the organization itself to discover what it knew of the incident" - he's praising that he called moveon.org. big woop.

he missed the whole fucking story. his theme is that comments (anonymous) are damaging. (i kind of think his tirades where he swears and makes an idiot of himself are amusing but others might find them damaging. probably depends upon whether they're laughing at the e-mail or receiving it.) the lisper tells us that when the new york times printed posted comments about dylan's 'borrowing' (academic standards might call it 'theft') '. . . the primary casualty was the Times's repuation for veracity.'

oh, eric, quit fondling dylan's crotch. i hate the little boys who try so hard to run with the big boys to prove they're men.

i disagree that it's damaging to note comments from a website.

but if i'm going to tackle that subject, i think i'd do it in a way that mattered.

for instance?

as c.i. can tell you, the times didn't just print comments in an article, they altered them - get it, alter man. that was a lot more damaging to the 'veracity.' the 'journalist' got a little slap on the wrist but is now turning in articles again.

now that happened not to man but to a woman. and the matter was brought to the entire chain of command of the times. there was no correction, there was no apology. just a slap on the wrist for the 'journalist.'

let's be real clear, i'm okay with comments at websites being quoted, i'm not okay with them being 'improved upon' when you're doing a hit job on an artist and feel the quotes are just too bland but if you 'rework' them, they really add spice and flavor to the story.

now that incident is not an unknown. it's rather well known at the paper and outside.

if it had been about dylan or another man, alterpunk would write about it.

but he's out of the loop.

more importantly, the nation doesn't need his crap. i'm sick of reading his attempts to sneak into the locker room. i'm sick of all his columns and the fact that women rarely even get mentioned in them. this isn't a 1 time thing, and i've commented on it here before.

for alterpunk, the world is made up of men and women sometimes come in for a moment or two if at all - mainly we're diane keaton, after al pacino closes the door on us.

'veracity' at the times died in 2004. alterpunk doesn't know about it because the target was a woman.

if he knew about it, he might wonder, as i do, whether the comments quoted were indeed word for word. since 2004, i've known never to take the times at their word when they 'quote' a comment on a website. he might have sobbed a little less over his bobby dylan this year if he'd known about 2004. but i guess he's not quite the journalist he thinks he is.

no surprise there.

in the 1970s, i can't imagine a columnist like eric alterman (who, if you remember, couldn't even think of 1 woman who knew ahead of time that the illegal war would turn out bad) would get by with a pass.

but this column, the new 1, is such crap and it's so degrading for readers of the nation.

supposedly, he's writing about moveon. but what he wants to do is give his 'props' to bob dylan so he starts out there but that's not the starting for the times and 'quotes' from comments at websites. he doesn't know what he's writing about, he never does. the reason is he starts in the middle and he only focuses on men. 1/2 the population are left out of his equation and it happens over and over.

(and don't bother me with a drippy little e-mail where you snarl & hiss eric alterpunk. i won't be as nice as elaine, c.i. and i were in our response where we pointed out that 'good friend to susan sontag' that you claim to be, you stabbed her in the back in your stupid ass, overrated book - a book, which like all of his work, shoved women to the side.)

i'm just sick of it. or sick of, like last week, being addressed, as a reader, in male groupings. i'm sick of all the nonsense and the left letting little pischers like alterpunk off the hook.

his garbage is always useless. it's useless in book form, it's useless online.

it's useless in the nation because it's october and he's boring us with something that could have been (and knowing him already was) a post online. why am i paying for this crap? why is the nation printing it?

i have no problem with media criticism, but do media criticism. don't toss off you half-assed, under thought comments and send them to the printers because no tree should die for this nonsense.

he can't carry through a theme. he can't write anything worthy of being printed in a weekly magazine.

goldie and lisa both e-mailed wondering what i hope the world is like 10 years from now? i hope women aren't afraid to call out their 'friends,' i hope we've gotten beyond that. i'm sick of women who are afraid to say 'that's wrong' when something is wrong because it comes from the left. there's no excuse for it.

if you've been reading online latter day dylan, you know he's been tackling a book. it's a book c.i. dismissed as nonsense (rightly) but alterpunk was pushing it. so online latter day dylan found nice words for it. as each day passes, he trashes the book more and more. so it's not just women. it's men too. that book was crap when it came off the printers, it was crap when it was being written. but online latter day dylan is (again!) afraid of going against alterman so he writes drippy praise for the book weeks ago and then spends the last few weeks telling us how awful it is.

it is awful, no question. and online latter day dylan has written some of his best work since he's started ripping that book apart. but it's a real shame that because alterpunk gave it a thumbs up, online latter day dylan felt the need to toss out a little praise for the book before he could really address it.

it would be a great world if people could say what they meant and not couch it out of fear of going against the evaluations of others or fretting that ___ is classified as a 'friend.' hopefully, the next wave of feminism will speak their minds and not fluff or look the other way.

my sarcastic response for what's wrong with so much of it today? too many push up bras mushed their brains.

we're not post-feminism and you don't have to look at what's going on in iraq or afghanistan with women to get that point. you only have to look at this so-called 'democracy' and 'open society' where our 'brave voices' (male almost all) get passes when they ignore women. or their outlets get passes for ignoring women.

you only have to look at the fact that reproductive rights are not only still under attack but that so many 'brave voices' find the topic 'weary.' those poor boys. they've had to stand up for reproductive freedom. now they're tired.

you wonder if that attitude would pass for race but the sad reality is that many of them write in a such a manner that they might as well declare themselves against affirmative action since their writing demonstrates that they're all white boys in an all white boy world.

i'm happy about the new jersey decision. so, for goldie and lisa, 1 hope i have is that the homophobia of today will be seen as shameful 10 years from now. i hope we will have moved beyond 'tolerance' into acceptance.

love is love, sex is sex. if you've got it, good for you. the gender shouldn't matter. what 2 adults do shouldn't be 'tolerated,' it should be 'accepted.' the same way it has been for years for straight people.

fly boy and i were out with t and her girlfriend last week. fly boy and i are touchy and we were kissing (not tongue, just pecks from time to time) and that wasn't a problem with any 1 around our table. but when t and her girlfriend did the same, you could have heard a pin drop.

i couldn't believe it. this was an upscale club and no 1 should have turned a head or been bothered - the way they weren't when it was fly boy and me or the young men and women grinding into each other on the dance floor.

maybe it was also race because t is african-american and her girlfriend is white?

or maybe it was just a double whammy of discrimination?

but that shouldn't happen. later, t, her girlfriend and i were in the ladies' room and i saw this tacky bleached blonde who'd glared when t and her girlfriend were kissing. i was applying my lipstick and had no desire to speak to the woman but she felt the need to whisper to me, 'i get uncomfortable when 2 women kiss.'

what was she expecting me to say? did she not notice that i was at the table with t? that i walked in with her? maybe she didn't know t was my best friend, no reason she should, but she should have known we were at the same table.

i was just glaring/staring at her and she felt the need to say, 'i think they deserve rights, i just don't want to look at it.'

well stay home.

seriously, stay the fuck home. if you can't take 2 people kissing then you shouldn't be at a club. and if it's that you can't take 2 people of the same gender kissing, then don't kid that you're 'open' or 'progressive' or whatever. because you aren't. you're homophobic.

now there are people who don't want to see any 1 kissing. i call those people 'grumps.' but fine, apply it across the line. but if you're getting grossed out because you see 2 people kiss in a club and they're of the same gender, you're the 1 with the problem, not the people kissing.

here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, October 26, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the puppet's bark continues to resonate, the American troops toll continues to rise as October becomes the month with the highest number of US military fatalities for 2006, and John Howard, prime minister of Australia tries to spin a new excuse for Australia's continued involvement in the Iraq war.

"There are two options. One is everybody out by midnight tonight, and the second option is everybody out by midnight tomorrow. I don't think it's cutting and running, I think it's getting out," Seymour Hersh stated to Matthew Hays (Montreal Mirror) summarizing the realities of Iraq today.

From reality to joke, John Howard. As Peter Hartcher (Sydney Morning Herald) observers of the coming parliament elections in Australia: "The war in Iraq, also unpopular, is another live risk for Howard. . . . beccause it is such an unpopular policy, Howard cannot win on Iraq." No, he cannot. So apparently he's going for the jokes. AAP reports: "Australian troops must stay in Iraq to maintain the country's friendship with the United States". Can someone get John Howard to a self-esteem class quickly? Somewhere a mother asks, "John Howard if everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?"

From Australian joke to American joke, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. AP reports that Rummy wants people to "just back off" on this talk of benchmarks or timelines or, probably, even stopping the violence. "Just back off!" hollers Rummy who actually did promise you a cakewalk if not rose garden. Meanwhile, Peter Pace (US Joint Chiefs of Staff chair) was reported by AFP to have stated yesterday that 'another war' would require "brute force" due to other options being "tied down in Iraq".
"Just back off!" hollers Rummy, "just back off!"

Writing of the reality on the ground in Iraq, Patrick Cockburn (CounterPunch) observes: "The greatest American mistake was to turn what could have been presented as liberation into an occupation. The US effectively dissolved the Iraqi state. It has since been said by US generals -- many of whom now claim to have been opponents of the invasion all along -- that given a larger US army and a more competent occupation regime, all might still have been well. This is doubtful."

Cockburn also notes that "the Iraqi government has always been weak. For this, the US and Britain were largely responsible." Which brings us to the shock still greeting Wednesday's bark from the occupation puppet. James Hider and Tom Baldwin (Times of London) note: "Nouri al-Maliki anxious to prove he is not a US puppet, criticised a heavy-handed American raid on the Shia militia stronghold in Sadr City, made without his knowledge. He also repudiated the US assertion 24 hours earlier that his Government has 12 months to quell Iraq's nascent civil war. 'This government represents the will of the people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it,'
he said." As Nancy A. Yousseff (McClatchy Newspapers) noted: "U.S. officials and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are increasingly at odds over strategy and goals". As the AFP noted yesterday, "The joint force did not say whether they had captured their main target." Today Paul Holmes and Mariam Karouny (Reuters) report that the target "escaped" according to al-Maliki. The barking puppet has gotten a lot of press in the last two days. He may need to save the clippings for his scrapbook because,
as Raed Jarrar and Robert Dreyfuss discussed with Amy Goodman on Monday's Democracy Now!, the puppet may be about to be replaced by the US government.

Meanwhile, Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) notes that the US military death toll in Iraq has "reached the highest level in nearly two years on Thursday following the deaths of four U.S. Marines and one Navy sailor in volatile Anbar province." The US military announced: "One Sailor assigned to 3rd Naval Construction Regiment, two Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 and two Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Wednesday from injuries sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province." The BBC notes that Bully Boy "on Wednesday admitted being seriously concerned about the scale of American casualties." Not 'seriously concerned' enough to get the number of American fatalities correct. Some people are seriously concerned such as Diana Unger who spoke to CBS' Byron Pitts about her son David Unger: "My son died in a country that I have no idea, really, why we're even there" and, of the Bully Boy, "Unless he puts his daughters over there and he has that real fear everyday of not wanting to turn on the television, that fear that gets into your heart and your head, he can't fathom what that means."


In Tal Afar a man with an "explosive-laden belt" killed himself and left two Iraqi soldiers wounded, Reuters reports.


The BBC reports at least eight police officers were killed by "gunmen" in one attack in Baquba with 25 more wounded and 20 missing while another "attack on a checkpoint" left an additional six police officers dead and ten wounded. Reuters puts the number of missing police officers from the first attack in the previous sentence at fifty and notes that "an Arab local official" was shot dead in Mosul. Update: Reuters raised the number killed in the attack listed first in the first sentence to 28 with the wounded staying the same (25) -- no mention of any change in the figures for the missing. The fighting in Baquba is ongoing and AP notes 30 killed and 42 wounded in their most recent update. KUNA reports that Saad Shalash, a journalist and professor, and his wife (name not supplied) were shot dead in Amiriyah.


Reuters reports seven corpses ("shot and bound") were discovered in Mosul yesterday. CNN reports that ten corpses ("bullet-riddled") were discovered in Baghdad Wednesday.

On Iraqi fatalities, CBS and AP note "more than 961 Iraqis have been killed in war-related violence this month, the highest level since The Associated Press began tracking civilian deaths in April 2005. That amounts to an average of more than 41 each day, compared with a daily average of about 27 since April 2005, as more Iraqis fall prey to sectarian death squads affiliated with militias. The AP count includes civilians, government officials and police and security forces, and is considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual number is likely higher, as many killings go unreported. The United Nations has said 100 Iraqis are being killed each day."

In legal news, AP reports that John J. Jodka has entered a plea of guilty "to charges of assault and obstruction of justice in the [April] death of . . . Hashim Ibrahim Awad in the Iraq town of Hamdaniya." As CBS and AP note, Jodka's plea follows that of Melson J. Baco who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy: "The group approached a house where the insurgent was believed to be hiding, but when someone inside woke up, the Marines instead went to another home and grabbed 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad, Bacos said. The squad took Awad to a roadside hole and shot him before planting a shovel and AK-47 to make it appear he was an insurgent placing a bomb, Bacos said. He was sentenced to a year's confinement; murder and other charges were dropped."

In other legal news, CNN reports: "Five companies, including a subsidiary of military contract giant Halliburton, billed the U.S. government a total of $62.1 million for administrative operations, which is more than twice the amount those companise spent directly on the projects in Iraq that they had been contracted for, according to a report released Monday by the Office of the Special Inspecter General for Iraq Reconstruction." Earlier, James Glanz (New York Times) reported on the same government estimate noting: "Overhead costs have consumed more than half the budget of some reconstruction projects in Iraq . . . leaving far less money than expected to provide the oil, water and electricity needed to improve the lives of Iraqis."

In peace news, Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin are among those who continue speaking out. Denny Boyles (Fresno Bee) reports that Sheehan spoke at Fresno State, Satellite Student Union, yesterday to a "near-capacity and supportive crowd for more than an hour, talking about not only the loss of her son, but what she said was the loss of rights suffered by everyone in America." Boyles quotes Sheehan: "Last summer I felt my role was to convince people that the war is a lie, based on lies. Now, I've seen polls that show most Americans believe that to be true. My job is to activiate those who disagree with Bush and get them to act for peace." Video of her speaking to press before her speech can be found here (KFSN). The day before Cindy Sheehan was speaking truth in Iowa City and O.Kay Henderson, of Radio Iowa, has an audio report here.

Meanwhile, Medea Benjamin spoke at Ohil University yesterday. In a Q&A with The Post, Benjamin was asked about her thoughts on the importance of protesting with the interviewing noting that Benjamin was "removed from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 2004, Pres. George W. Bush's second inauguration and a Congressional speech by Iraq's Prime Minister (Nouri al-Maliki) this past July, all for anti-war protesting." Benjamin's response: When governments realize they don't have the backing of their people, they start to find a way out . . . It's both the (continued violence) on the ground in Iraq coupled with loss of support for this war that is forcing even George Bush to start looking for alternatives. Many times, for activists, it feels like we're not effective. It feels like we're being ignored or ridiculed or marginalized, which we often are by the mainstream media, but in the end it's often times the protestors who end up convincing the general public of their opinions and changing history, and I think that's what we're saying now."

". . . truth is often denied at first, then grudgingly accepted until it becomes comventional wisdom," Danny Schechter News Dissector notes writing about the parallels between Vietnam and Iraq (at BuzzFlash): "There is a word missing in most of the coverage of Iraq. It's a ghost-laden word that conjures up distressing memories that Washington and most of our media prefer to keep in that proverbial 'lock box,' hidden away in dusty archives and footage libraries. The word is Vietnam. Its absence was never more noticeable than in the coverage this past weekend of the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, marked in Vietnam with celebrations, but largely ignored in America where CNN led with the story of a bride who went missing when she had second thoughts. Is this denial or is it deliberate?"

In sweat shop labor news, David Phinney (IPS) takes a look at the construction of the US Embassy in Baghdad and quotes John Owen stating, "Every U.S. labour law was broken." And in other human rights news, Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington Post) looks at what effect the illegal war in Iraq has had on Syria: "silence public demands for democratic reformers here."

Bob Watada beging his latest speaking tour today. He is the father of Ehren Watada who is the first commissioned US officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Below are dates through Sunday:

Oct 26, 7PM
Phoenix, AZ Location: TBA
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 75
Contact: John Henry, 602-400-9179, 408-704-0192, ekjh7470@cox.net

Oct 27, 7PM
Albuquerque, NM
Location: Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice
202 Harvard Dr SE
Sponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 63
Contact: Sally-Alice Thompson, 505-268-5073, 512-463-2014, sally-aliceanddon@juno.com

Oct 28, 1 -- 4:30PM
Houston, TX.
Sponsor: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War , Cy-Fair Democratic Club
Location: Live Oak Friends House, 1318 West 26th Street
Entertainment by Bill Passalacqua and Hank Woji, "Sir, No Sir"

Oct 28, 6:15PM
Houston, TX
Location: Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 East 24th Street. "Celebration of Resistance"
Sponsors: Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace Chapter 12, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Sherry Glover, sglover001@houston.rr.com,(H) 832-363-1741, (C) 713-929-1132-Bob Watada, ---- David Rovics
Oct 29, 1PM
Austin, TXPM
Sponsor: Code Pink/Austin, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66
Contact: Fran Hanlon, 512-454-6572, mfhanlon@swbell.net
Peter Ravella, 512-220-1740Heidi Turpin, (C)512-565-2242, heiditurpin@yahoo.com

Oct 29, 5:30PM
Austin, TX
Café Caffeine -- 206 West Mary
Sponsors: Code Pink, Veterans for Peace Chapter 66, Iraq Veterans Against the War
Contact: Doug Zachary, dbzvfp@gmail.com, (C) 512-791-9824
Heidi Turpin, (C) 512-565-2242, heiditurpin@yahoo.comFran Hanlon (H) 512-454-6572, , mfhanlon@swbell.net

A full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.
More information on Watada and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.

Two notes: Those in need of the press brieifing in Baghdad on October 24th can click here for the US military's transcript. [The briefing was quoted in yesterday's snapshot.]
Second note, community one. Blogger/Blogspot went down yesterday. Elaine's "Daniel Ellsberg, the Mamas and the Papas, Iraq" went up (though she did not know that until she got up this morning -- she assumed when she got the error message that the post was lost). Mike's "Iraq and Tony picks 12 of his favorite Ava & C.I. TV reviews" went up this morning -- he left the computer on all night because he couldn't save or publish and didn't want to lost his post. Rebecca wasn't able to get in (she posts later) but plans to post tonight. Ruth wasn't able to log on (and guest blog at Kat's site). She hopes to do that tonight but it's iffy. Wally's "THIS JUST IN! IRAQ RESPONDS!" and Cedric's "Iraq hollers back to the Bully Boy (humor)" also went up yesterday to round that topic out.


fashion house, elections (feminist wire, robert parry, green party)

"Record Number of Women Running in State Elections"
A record number of women are running for state legislative seats this year, with 10 percent more women candidates running than in 2004. According to the
Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, 2,431 women are running for state legislative seats. The former record of 2,375 was set in 1992, the "Year of the Woman," when women's organizations made an effort to turn out women voters and women's representation made the largest increase in the US Congress. In addition to state legislative seats, large numbers of women are also running for statewide executive offices. Ten women are running for governor, and 93 women won a party nomination for other positions such as lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and state treasurer, Women's eNews reports. While these numbers do not break the 1994 record of 109 women running for statewide office, they do come close.

that's from feminist wire daily. i haven't heard much about the above news which is rather strange considering how much i've heard about various other demographic characteristics of candidates in the last few weeks.

i don't vote 'woman.' that's because not every woman is pro-woman. i had a friend who voted 'woman' in the so-called 'year of the woman' and she was so proud of herself. i pointed out the fact that by voting that straight ticket, she voted for anti-choice women. she couldn't believe it until we went over each woman that she voted for. that was 1992. hopefully, we're all smarter now. there are women who are anti-woman and would like nothing better than to turn back the clock of progress. so vote wisely.

reading the e-mails today, i was glad to see that the 'healing power' of bo derek worked for so many. she's so hideous in fashion house that just watching picks you up. ava and c.i.'s review remains a classic ('TV: Bo provides the B.O. stinking up Fashion House'). today in the arts section of the new york times, alessandra stanley also weighed in with 'high drama, little spirit in a season of telenovas.' stanley compares fashion house (and desire) to dynasty and falcon crest and notes: 'ms. fairchild, who actually was on "falcon crest," wears huge hats and tight suits to play a selfish, conniving sexpot-of-a-certain-age.' i didn't remember fairchild on falcon crest so i called c.i. she was on one season. she played a character who was the victim of incest while she was a child and was dealing with that as an adult. c.i. noted she was also on dallas (she was jenna wade before priscilla presley) and, of course, first got america's attention with her role as constance in flamingo road. i'd forgotten, until c.i. jogged my memory, that she'd played racine on the tv prime time soap opera paper dolls. joan collins played the role in the mini-series or tv movie (i forget which) and when it was turned into a tv series, morgan fairchild took over the role.

she's also done a lot of sitcom spots: mork & mindy, roseanne, friends (as chandler's mother), that 70s show, cybill, dharma & greg and there is more.

i really like fairchild. she always brings something to her scenes. in terms of looks, i've been jealous of hair for years. it looks so thick.

every 1 who e-mailed noted that they had a hard time taking it episodes without fairchild and i'd agree with that. i couldn't watch fashion house regularly without her either.

returning to the topic of the elections, i'll note robert parry's 'How Democrats Might Blow It' (consortium news):

As Democrats go through their biennial rite of premature victory celebrations, they are inviting defeat again by obsessing on polls about how many congressional seats are "in play" rather than on explaining to the American people what a Republican victory on Nov. 7 would mean to the nation.
In the last three elections, George W. Bush has claimed mandates for his policies even when there were questions about the legitimacy of Republican victories. In Election 2000, Bush brushed aside the fact that he lost the popular vote to Al Gore and pressed ahead with a right-wing agenda.
The Republican congressional victories in Election 2002 convinced Bush that the voters were behind his plans for "preemptive" wars. He called Election 2004 his "accountability moment," ratifying both his invasion of Iraq and his expansion of executive powers.
So, there should be little illusion how Bush would interpret a Republican upset victory on Nov. 7. It would be taken as a public embrace of his authoritarian vision for America's future and as an endorsement of the neoconservative commitment to wage "World War III" against Islamic militants around the world.
If the GOP keeps control of Congress, Bush would be strongly tempted to double up on his bloody wager in Iraq with military attacks on Iran and Syria. That expanded war would guarantee reprisals by radicalized Muslims around the world and thus draw the United States into a virtually endless conflict.
At home, the consequences of indefinite war would be fatal, too, to the already wounded American democratic Republic. Bush would translate a GOP victory into public acceptance of his de facto elimination of key constitutional rights and his creation of an imperial presidency.
Though the major U.S. news outlets have paid scant attention - and the Democrats have mostly ducked the issue - Bush already has put in place the framework for a modern-day totalitarian state.
Operating under Bush's assertion of "plenary" - or unlimited - presidential authority, his administration has devised a system of electronic eavesdropping that can pry into the private lives of Americans; has set up arrangements for detention camps; and has secured from Congress the power to detain American citizens for allegedly aiding U.S. enemies.

i agree with parry's comments, especially about how bully boy's already set up the stage for a totalitarian country. but since i'm talking elections, let me note something from the green party as well. you may be voting for a green candidate and have decided that long ago. you may have 2 people running that you're unimpressed with. you might not have even thought about voting for a green. it's something to consider and i hope every 1 who is old enough to vote (i know a lot of my readers aren't) will be weighing their vote. this is 'Latino Green Candidates Lead on Immigrants' & Labor Rights:'

Green Party of the United States
Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@greens.org
Latino Green candidates lead on immigration, call for living wages and repeal of 'three strikes' law
Repeal of NAFTA urged; sharp criticism for U.S.-Mexico 'security wall'
List of Latino Green candidates included below
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Latino Green candidates for congressional, statewide, and local office in the 2006 election have taken the lead on civil rights, immigration, labor rights and living wages, and numerous other issues.
In California, Peter Camejo, the Green candidate for Governor <
http://www.votecamejo.com>, has strongly criticized his state's 'three strikes' law. Mr. Camejo initiated and is serving as spokesperson for the campaign to free Santos Reyes, who was convicted six years ago for cheating by taking a DMV test for a relative <http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0914-07.htm>.
Mr. Reyes was convicted at age 17 back in 1981 for stealing a radio and at 22 for robbery; after serving time he had no offenses for the next 11 years, found a job, and raised a family.
"It's no secret that life sentences, 'three-strikes' laws, and the death penalty fall disproportionately on Latinos, immigrants, African Americans, and other people of color and the poor," said Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and an immigrant to the U.S. "Greens call this a civil rights issue. We believe that justice begins with making punishment commensurate with the seriousness of the crime. Otherwise, it means punishment for being the wrong color or not having enough money."
Greens have called for full human rights and amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and have blamed the passage of trade agreements like NAFTA for the increased flow of immigrants across the U.S.'s southern border.
"If we want to curb the number of undocumented immigrants, the first step must be repeal of NAFTA, which forced people all over Mexico into poverty and desperation," said David Minton Silva, Green candidate for California State Assembly (District 34, Tulare) <
"We must renegotiate with Mexico and Canada for a real 'fair trade agreement' that would provide for livable wages. Working people and families throughout North America would prosper, and there would be little need to sneak across borders. The worst things we can do are to enact vicious punitive measures against undocumented immigrants and those who assist them, or erect a medieval 'security wall' -- which passed in the Senate with a bipartisan 80-19 majority."
"We must look to the root causes of immigration -- our government's meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations for corporate profit, disastrous free trade agreements such as NAFTA, and economic strangulation and destabilization by the U.S. government of nations who decide to take matters into their own hands and care for their citizens, as opposed to having their national policy decided in Washington," said Paul Aranas, Oregon Green candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 5 <
Mr. Aranas noted Public Citizen's critical report on NAFTA's ten-year track record <http://www.citizen.org/trade/nafta>.
Other Latino Green candidates on the November 7 ballot:
Ricardo Costa, for California State Assembly (District 44, Los Angeles)
Pamela Elizondo, for U.S. House of Representatives, California (District 1)
Francisco Romero, California, for Oxnard City Council
Joseph Sanchez, for Maryland House of Delegates (District 36)
Edgar Rodriguez (incumbent), for School Committee, New Paltz Central School District, Ulster, New York
Anita Rios, for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
'Logan Martinez, for Ohio State House of Representatives (District 39)
Green Party of the United States

1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREENFax 202-319-7193

now if you're 1 of the readers who can't vote, that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay attention and that doesn't mean that you have no power. if there's a candidate you believe in, you can volunteer. or you can talk her or him up to people you know who are old enough to vote. c.i. was debating before voting, going around and supporting candidates by debating their merits against some 1 in favor of another candidate. if i'm remembering right, that was in junior high. (i found out about that in college when i visited during a break and i flipped through some photo books.) i'm not guilt tripping you but i had an e-mail from a young guy who wrote about how he wished he could vote this election (he turns 18 a week after the election) and he felt like he was left out. he already knows who he would vote for so my advice to him was to go down to the local campaign office and ask what he could do.

so i'm attempting to think of some things and if you're doing something to turn out the vote even though you will not be able to vote, drop me an e-mail and we'll note it.

but elections are just a prelude. i would love to see the dems take the house. but if they do, that doesn't mean we wake up the next day and every thing's wonderful and great. it just means maybe we've got a chance of being heard if we make our statements loud enough.

elaine and i were talking about this on the phone with betty last week and we were talking about how disappointed we were with the clinton administration. 1 thing we remember, besides the triangulating, was the right wing was organized. they contacted senators and congress members. they made sure their voices were heard. i think we too often make the mistake of thinking, 'oh i voted for her/him and they agree with me so my job is done.' that's not the case.

i want you to picture yourself in congress for a moment. there's an abortion vote coming up. you're going through the summaries of the calls, letters and e-mails and you're seeing all this stuff, the majority, saying abortion should be illegal.

is that going to influence your vote?

that's not the majority opinion - that abortion should be illegal. but that's 1 of the issues the right works like crazy. my opinion, a lot of candidates look at the summaries and think, 'oh the national polls must not apply to my areas, my constituents are all against abortion.' that's not true but if that's the only group that's bothering to weigh in, it can appear true. so what we need to do, on reproductive rights and other issues, is to make sure that we make ourselves heard.

we also need to realize that a lot of 'brave' candidates go soft when they get into office. it's our job to make sure they stay strong.

it's even more important that we remember we have the power. congress doesn't 'give' anything. they act when they're forced to. we can apply the pressure (and should). and that means standing up.

so no 1 should think that even if the dems won both houses of congress, that every thing is wonderful. politicians only act when they're forced to and there are other ways to be heard than just through the ballot box.

or just e-mailing, letter writing or phone calling. we need to be prepared and willing for mass mobilization. when reproductive rights supporters gather in d.c. it is noted. when people gather to protest the war, it is noted.

and more important than just congress noting, people notice.

so those are my election thoughts tonight. obviously, my ballot will be heavy on democrats. i have 1 green in a race that i will be supporting but otherwise i'm going strictly democrat. if you're voting straight ticket green party or straight ticket democrat, good for you. i did look at all the candidates and was honestly hoping there would be more greens in my area. that didn't end up being the case. but i did look at all running. (i'm on the fence about 1 and might go green in that race as well.)

remember that you're voting for more than congress. there are state races (noted at the top), there are local races, there are ballot measures. on that, please don't guess. if your ballot offers a measure in full, read it carefully. most won't. if you haven't looked into the issue beforehand or had a freind you really trust break it down for you, don't vote on the measure. they're usually carefully worded on the ballot so that they seem to say 1 thing but actually say another.

closing with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Tuesday, October 24, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, the US military announces the deaths of more US troops today, a US soldier is missing in Baghdad, CNN becomes the first news outlet to call the 2,800 marker, the people of England, Iraq and the United States do not support the illegal war and 65 active duty US soldiers call for an end to the war.

In England,
Julian Glover, Richard Norton-Taylor and Patrick Wintour (Guardian of London) report on a Guardian/ICM poll which found: "A clear majority of voters want British troops to be pulled out of Iraq by the end of this year, regardless of the consequences for the country" and that the breakdown is only 30% stand with the soon to be bailing ship Tony Blair's position of "as long as is considered necessary" while "61% of voters say they want British troops to leave this year, even if they have not completed their mission and Washington wants them to stay." The results are an increse of ten percent of respondents saying it's time to leave since the poll was last done in September 2005. In addition, Reuters notes, of the poll, that "72 percent felt the Iraq war was 'unwinnable.'"

On the other side of the Atlantic ocean,
CNN reports on a new poll by to determine American attitudes about the war which has found that only "[o]ne in five Americans believes the United States is winning the war in Iraq," that 64% of respondent opposed the illegal war, and thtat 57% of respondeds "want the United States to announce it will pull all troops out by a certain date."

Both polls reflect continued trends in their countries (as backed up by polling for the last year). In addition, as Amy Goodman noted at the top of today's
Democracy Now! and Aileen Alfandary noted on today's KPFA's The Morning Show, 65 active duty service members have contacted Congress. Goodman: "For the first time since the invasion, a group of 65 active duty service members are formally asking Congress to end the U.S. occupation and bring the troops home." The topic was raised Monday in the White House press briefing and White House flack Tony Snow job dismissed it:

Q Tony, quick -- there's 65 active duty troops that are coming out with a letter today, saying they think the occupation should end, and they're saying that -- this is part of the military whistle blower. Any reaction to that?

MR. SNOW: Well, number one, it's a Fenton Communications job, which means clearly it's got a political edge to it. But number two it's not unusual for soldiers in a time of war to have some misgivings. I believe at least two of them have served in Iraq proper, active duty. We don't know how many have actually served --

Q I think the majority of them have.

MR. SNOW: But let's say they all did. You also have more than -- you have several hundred thousand who served in Iraq. You have reenlistment rates that have exceeded goals in all the military. You've had a number of people serving multiple tours of duty. And it appears that there's considerable --

Q They don't have much choice.

MR. SNOW: Well, no, I mean they do have choice. If you've got a chance to sign up or not sign up, and you decide that you're going to sign up again and go serve in Iraq, it means it means something to you. And so I believe that there is also -- you get 65 guys who are, unfortunately -- no, not unfortunately -- 65 people who are going to be able to get more press than the hundreds of thousands who have come back and said they're proud of their service.

"Hundreds of thousands who have come back"? Does Snow Job know how many have served in Iraq and returned? His comments do not indicate that he does.

In Iraq, polling has consistently found that the majority wants all foreign troops out and the most recent poll to back that up was conducted by the US State Department.
Katherine Shrader (AP) noted that the polling focused on "Iraqi youth" and found the majority opinion to be that "security would improve and violence decrease if U.S.-led forces left immediately," that "strong majorities" expressed opposition to the option that they might join the either the Iraq military or the Iraq police and that "nine out of 10 young Iraqi Arabas said they see the U.S. and allied forces in Iraq as an occupying force."

The perception is not going away and certain events add to it.
Reuters reports: "U.S. troops pulled over a fire truck and killed four Iraqi firefighters in a case of mistaken identity on Monday after a report that a fire truck had been hijacked in western Falluja, the military said. The firefighters, whom U.S. troops first believed were armed insurgents, were responding to a call." Al Jazeera reports that the "killings happened . . . when the unarmed firefighters got out of their vehicle and were fired upon by US soldiers."


Reuters notes two Iraqi soldiers died and another was wounded in Kirkuk by a roadisde bomb while two other roadside bombs left five people wounded. CNN reports: "Five Iraqis also were killed in three incidents Tuesday in the capital. A bomb exploded in a parked car near a Shiite mosque in northwestern Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 12 others, Baghdad emergency police said. An Iraqi civilian was killed and seven others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in a central Baghdad market."


Al Jazeera reports that Ala Ghleim was shot dead in Amara as was Hussein Salah in another attack (a home invasion) which also "left two of his brothers wounded." Both of the men who were killed were police officers. Later, Al Jazeera updated the number of police officers shot dead in Amara to four. CNN notes two people were shot dead in Baghdad and seven more wounded.


CNN notes eight corpses were discovered in Baghdad ("riddled with bullters").

Meanwhile an American soldier is missing.
Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) reported that he "went missing in Baghdad on Monday night" according to the US military and that a search was ongoing. Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington Post) noted that "residents said American forces had sealed the central Karrada district and were conducting door-to-door searches, according to the Associated Press." AFP reports the soldier is "an American of Iraqi descent" and that Al-Forat television network was searched in addition to "neighbouring houses". Al Jazeera reports: "On Tuesday, the US military said that the soldier, a linguist assigned to a reconstruction team, was handcuffed and forced into a vehicle" and that he had left the Green Zone to visit "a relative's house in Baghdad outside the Green Zone." The US military's press release summarizes the events as follows: "It is believed that the Soldier left the IZ to visit with family. He was reportedly at a relative's house at the time of the abduction when three cars pulled up to the residence. The men, who were described to have dark colored rags over their noses and mouths, handcuffed the Soldier and forced him into one of the vehicles. The Soldier's relative, who claimed to be at the residence when the abduction occurred, was reported contacted by the kidnappers using the Soldier's cell phone. After being notified of the telephonic contact, MND-B leaders immediately took decisive actions to locate the Soldier."

Since the US military is now claiming all the above was known Monday night, one may wonder why they didn't bother to inform the press. They had stated that the name was not being released until the soldier's family could be contacted -- are we to believe the relative in Baghdad did not contact them? Are we also to believe that there was some 'value' in not identifying the soldier as an American of Iraqi descent which would have allowed the number fearing that it was a Baghdad soldier they knew or were related to be narrowed considerably?

Turning to US military fatalities, as noted at the top,
CNN was the first news organization to note that the number of US military fatalities had hit the 2800 mark.
Iraq Coalition Casualties currently puts the fatality count at
2803. Depending on the time zone of the intended audience for the report, three to four US troops have been announced dead today. The US military has released two press releases on Tuesday declaring deaths: a sailor was killed in Al-Anabar Province Monday, and two Marines were killed in Al-Anbar Province on Monday as well. Some reports count a release that went out late Monday noting the Sunday death of a US soldier in Baghdad from an IED.

In peace news, last week war resister Corey Glass spoke publicly about his decision to self-check out of the US military and relocate to Canada. The
CBC reports that Glass noted that early on, "[Army officials] stopped by my parents' place to try to find me. Somehow they must have gotten hold of my stuff that I'd left [behind] and started calling numbers they found." Glass was speaking at the Tilley Hall Auditorium at the University of New Brunswick. IMC Maritimes notes that "Glass joined the National Guard in Indiana in 2002, thinking he would be doing things like filling sand bags to stop a flood on American soil. Instead, he was sent to Iraq, and discovered he couldn't fight a war he didn't believe in. When he was given a two-week leave to return home, he deserted. After seven months in hiding, he fled to Tornoto where he is seeking refugee status." Glass has stated (in September): "I knew the war was wrong before I went, but I was going to fulfil my end of the bargain, right or wrong and eventually my conscience just caught up with me. . . I felt horrible for being a part of it. If I could apologise to those people [Iraqis], every single on, I would."

Also in peace news, peace activist
Cindy Sheehan will be speaking at the University of Iowa (Macbride Auditorium, 7:30 pm) while Sunday, Michael Yoder (The Intelligencer Journal) reports, Ray McGovern spoke at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren in Penn. noting, of Iraq, : "We need to call lies 'lies'."

Turning to the land of fiction and myth. The US administration continues to be jaw-dropping amazing in the worst way possible. After
hair splitting over the definition of milestone and hair splitting over the defenition of deadline, the administration, as reported by Jim Rutenberg and David S. Cloud (New York Times), has decided one thing they will drop is the phrase "stay the course." The dropping should not be read as a sign of embracing reality, just dropping a slogan that's no longer marketing well. Proving that they hold reality at arms length, Mark Tran (Guardian of London) reports that the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad (who did such a bang-up job with Afghanistan!) says the 'success' is still within reach in Iraq. As Sam Knight (Times of London) notes, "benchmarks," not deadlines, are the buzz of the day. Appearing with Khalilzad was George Casey ("top US general") and Paul Reynolds (BBC) notes that they are both "predicting an improvement in Iraq in 12-18 months". Reynolds observes: "The problem for General Casey is that he has said all this before. In July 2005 he predicted major troop withdrawals by this summer, only to have to accept today that he had to reverse that trend when summer came because the Iraqis could not cope with the surge of sectarian violence in Baghdad. He even said today that he would ask for more troops if necessary."

On Kahlilzad,
AFP reminds: "In July of this year Khalilzad had said that the 'next six months will be critical for Iraq'". Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post) wants you not to be fooled should a man in a Jack Murtha mask come to your door on Halloween because it's really Joe Lieberman: "Lieberman has been trying out his costume on the campaign trail in Connecticut, desperately trying to trick voters into thinking that he's against the war so he treat himself to their support. . . . Lieberman clearly hopes that by paying lip service to being against the war he can confuse voters into forgetting that he was a lead sponsor of the resolution authorizing the war, has been a bellicose backer of the president's failed policy ever since -- repeatedly voting against efforts to change course in Iraq -- and continues to attack Ned Lamont for working to end the war."

While the people can see reality (note the polling at the top), leadership refuses to. Tony Blair makes the illegal war a point of "
nerve." John Howard, prime minister of Australia, says to depart would mean "no hope of demomcracy." This despite the rumors that Howard has no intention of 'staying the course' and would turn over leadership to Peter Costello if his party wins in the upcoming elections. Elections? The Labor Party is arguing for pulling Australian troops out of Iraq. Australia's ABC reports Robert McLelland ('defence spokesman") stating: "There's every indication that the presence of Western troops is actually something that inflames the violence itself. It's just not working -- there has to be alternative solutions."

Now that McLelland has transitioned us back into reality,
David Goldstein (McClatchy Newspapers) reports on a recent study of Vet Centers in the US: "The report last week from the Democratic staff of the House Veterans Affairs Committee said demand had risen for outreach and other services at nearly a third of the centers because of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan." The report, entitled "House Veterans' Committe Report Concludes VA Counseling Center Services At-Risk," is available online.

Finally, in other reality news,
Philip Webster (Times of London) reports that Margaret Beckett (Britain's Foreign Secretary) "acknowledged the limitations to what could be achieved by coalition forces. She also accepted that the invasion might come to be judged as a foreign policy disaster for Britain."