Saturday, August 30, 2008

What Elaine said

Alaska Governor and McCain Running Mate
Sarah Palin
NOW on PBS interviewed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin -- John McCain's running mate -- about her efforts to clean up corruption in her homestate in a story that aired earlier this month. Get a peek into herfeelings about Big Oil and ethics in an excerpt from that program on theNOW on PBS homepage:
Direct link:
See the full show in which Governor Palin appeared:Alaska: The Senator and the Oil Man

Elaine passed that over to me when I said I didn't think I could write still. Be sure to read Elaine's "I don't support the War Resisters Support Campaign..." and let me add that I do not support it either. For obvious reasons.

I am sorry for the war resisters being used as props.

I do support the individuals.

But that interview raises points I had stayed silent on myself.

They're not helping individuals, the campaign's about Vietnam deserters and dodgers, specifically one. He didn't get his statue and now he's using the campaign to advance himself.

In early 2007, a war resister wrote me about his case. I took it to C.I. who explained that it wasn't about helping. If it was about helping, Darrell would never have come back to the US. If it were about getting anyone into Canada safely, the campaign would have tried every tactic in the world but, instead, they stick to the same tactic because it's not about helping the young men and women, it's a desire to have some Canadian body rule the war illegal.

Shove your vanity aside. A ruling today won't make you a hero for what you did in Vietnam. If you can't find the pride in your resistance back then, a ruling today will not help you.

What the young men and women need are jobs and immigrant status or citizenship.

The campaign isn't interested in providing those. They are interested in getting that ruling.

So if Robin gets sent hom, oh well. It's about the "bigger" issue.

If Jeremy gets kicked out, oh well, he's one person.

The campaign wants the Iraq War declared illegal and that is the case they keep trying over and over -- with very little success.

I don't need a ruling body to know that the Iraq War is illegal. I was able to make that judgment all by myself.

And the resisters who make it to Canada are not coming in with the hopes that some ruling will say, "The Iraq War is illegal."

They are coming to Canada with the hopes that they can restart their lives.

The campaign doesn't help them with that because it wants that ruling. The campaign will gladly take in one resister after another and repeatedly argue the same case about the war.

And the resister (and their family if they have family) has to hope and pray that something different happens than what happened in case after case.

When something different does happen, the ruling on Joshua Key, the campaign still refuses to use it.

A resister coming to Canada wants to know they can stay there.

There are many ways to stay there.

You don't try those options when you exist solely to get a judgment that the war is illegal.

Such a judgment will not make you feel any better about your own actions during Vietnam.

It's surprising to me that one man could have so much self-loathing for his actions but think that a ruling on this war will make what he did so very long ago worthwhile. It's suprising to me that he can't find it within himself to feel worthwhile.

But it appalls me that today's kids are pawns in some long ago battle.

They deserve better.

As I said earlier, for obvious reasons I was in no mood to post. I thought of posting one line: "The kitchen is closed." I am so furious about the above and the attacks on C.I. that I'm not in the mood.

But I thought about how furious I was and how C.I. is more worried about her kids right now. And how even with all this crap, C.I. managed to post yesterday and last night.

So there's no recipe and there's no lengthy post. But there's this post.

If I try to say more, I will go off on Gutter Trash for trying to pull my son into it.

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

Friday, August 29, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces another death, John McCain declares a running mate, Cynthia McKinney campaigns this weekend in Michigan, and more.

Starting with the US presidential race. Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader held a Super Rally in Denver Wednesday and took the stage to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land." Below are some of his opening remarks and you can see the video here:

Ralph Nader: . . . one of the best songs of social justice ever written. And for those of you concerned, all this [points to confetti] can be recycled. Well, where do we start? Let's start with something dealing with Colorado. The Democratic Party Convention selling sky-boxes. And guess who paid big money for those sky-boxes? Coors. One million dollars. How about this one: Excell, one million dollars. Qwest, six million dollars.
Well, you know, if they are really a part of working people, the way they used to say they were, fifty, sixty years ago, under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. They'd have hospitality suites, not for these fat cat corporate lobbyists who are tearing the heart and soul out of America, they'd have hospitality suites for workers, for farm workers, for nurses, for patients trying to get health care, for consumers being ripped off, for students who are being gouged by student loans. They'd have all kinds of hospitality suites and maybe they ought to go and see how some people in Denver live on the other side of the tracks, to see the poverty and the desperation and the lack of affordable housing and the lack of insurance when they get sick.
This party is sick. It's decaying. It's lost its soul. And its leaders can't ever get up on the stage like at the Pepsi Center -- the Pepsi Center, imagine after you say "The Pepsi Center" -- I'll bet you the tax payer built that center.
You never talk about the poor. That's a no-no in Democratic Party dictionary. You talk about the middle class, which they've helped shrink through NAFTA and WTO and all the way they've crushed opposition to corporate power. Corporate power has crushed so much of its opposition they've brought trade unions to their knees. They've made it almost impossible for industrial or commercial workers to even form a trade union because of the Taft-Hartley Law and other obstructive laws that no other western country puts before it workers.
The Democrats are dialing for the same dollars, the same corporate dollars the Republicans are dialing for. And they don't even bother covering it up. They're being winded and dined by the corrupters, the corporate predators, the corporations who have ripped off American consumers and workers that depleted their pensions who are outsourcing your jobs when you get out of college. Who are saying to you when you get out of college, "You got a skill but try getting a good paying job, try getting affordable housing, try getting affordable health insurance, try getting anything that your forebearers were able to get." You know what you're doing? I'm talking to young people in the audience, you're the first generation that's ever polled and said they aren't going to be as well off as their parents.
And the indicators are all coming down. More and more, millions of Americans, not making a living wage, not even close. Wal-Mart wages. K-Mart wages. Millions and millions of people who have to get sick or become sicker or even die because they can't afford health insurance. Just think of that.
This is the richest country in the world and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, just to give you a fact, says 18,000 people a year in this country die because they can't afford health insurance. That's six 9-11s. Washington turned the country upside down after . . . 9-11. In a lot of bad ways, as we know. They don't turn the country upside down for 58,000 people who die every year from work-related diseases in the mines and foundries. They don't turn the company upside down for 65,000 Americans who die from asphyxiation or cancer due to air pollution. They don't turn the country upside down for the 100,000 people who die from medical negligence and malpractice in hospitals.
They don't turn the country upside down for any form of violence -- however preventable it is -- if it's source is corporate crime, corporate negligence, corporate greed and corporate power.
You know some people ask me this around the country, "Nader, what are you doing this for? What do you expect to achieve?" Well look at what we've achieved tonight. You have seen the young leaders of the future on this stage. You have seen not only veteran advocates like Cindy Sheehan, you've seen Ashley Sanders. You've seen Rosa Clemente. You have seen Nellie McKay. You've seen someone you're going to hear a lot more of in the next few months, you've seen Rev. J Wait and see. He's only 21-years old and he's breaking away from this notion that although many of us have always hoped there would be an African-American ascended to the presidency of the United States. He's saying something more than that. He's saying that's not enough, that may be an unprecedented career move into the White House but it's got to mean more than that, it's got to mean standing up to the corporate subjugation of the American people. It's got to mean pushing forward a war against poverty. It's got to mean coming from your background, something more than if it were just a White man or White woman in the White House, it's got to mean a peculiarly insistent sensitivity to the bottom 100 million Americans in this country who are at the bottom of the income scale: African-Americans, poor Whites, Latinos who do the most dangerous work, who do the most dangerous work for us, who do the most thankless work for us, who raise our children, take care of our children, be with our ailing parents, harvest our food, service us in all kinds of ways while they're underpaid and overcharged, while they're excluded. While they're disrespected. While their marginalized. And the only time they're held up before the country is when they ask them to go overseas and fight our criminal wars for us.

And we're stopping there to note Hispanic Business trumpets today that the US army has launched its "Leaders Among Us" tour in Illinois after having been through San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, NYC, Miami and Puerto Rico. Just reruns the press release as though it were a good thing. "Leaders Among Us" is a recruitment effort -- long on rah-rah, short on facts. Natalia Montemaor (The Ranger) told the sad, sad tale of the efforts in San Antonio and how everyone was just so mean to the ROTC. ROTC instructor Micheal Trujillo didn't conform to the rules and wants to whine about the unfairness of it all. Why can't he just he make his own dates for events? And what happened to the $300 he was promised by someone -- he doesn't say who -- that his field trip to the Bataan Death March cost. "Those funds were not promised through the office of student life," said its director Jorge Posadas. But it's a conspiracy by the well funded counter-recruitment forces who are bankrolled in the millions by the US government while the US army must depend on the donations of individuals and is not on the tax payer payroll -- oh, wait, it's the other way around. Someone explain it to the ROTC.

From the recruiting tricks to its outcome: violence in Iraq.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bombing that claimed 1 life and left another person wounded.


Rueters notes police shot dead 1 person in Tal Afar that they suspected was a bomber.


Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Today the US military announced: "A Coalition force Soldier died in a non-combat related incident Aug. 28 while conducting operations in Ninewa." The number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war stands at 4150 and, for the month, at 22.

It's Friday, very little violence gets reported. So who's going to end the illegal war? Not Barack Obama. But he's going to rip off the film The American President, as Delilah Boyd (A Scrivener's Lament) makes clear. Next up, Barack pretends he's Harrison Ford in Air Force One. Jeremy Lott (Guardian of London) observes of the speech in front of the mock Pagan Temple, "It was made-for-cable catnip. Obama looked at the last four years and yelled 'Enough!' He promised to end the war in Iraq but to do so 'reasonably.' . . . Obama prissily informed us that he's 'ready to have' that debate about all this. With all due respect, no he's not." Lott notes the usual MSNBC male orgy for Barack. Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher) reports that Olberman's yet again on attack, "So the liberal Olbermann was outraged that the AP's Babington had written, in his analysis of the speech, just off the wire, that Obama had tried nothing new and that his speech was lacking in specifics. He read the first few paragraphs on the air, lamented that it would be printed in hundred of newspapers on Friday, and concluded, 'It is analysis that strikes me as having borne no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization. Charles Babington, find a new line of work." Babington (whom I know) is not light with the facts. His work can strike some as 'boring' because he does not play the drama game in his copy but sticks to the basics: Who, what, where when. Babington has a long resume filled with many accomplishments. Olbermann? He's got a mike to yell into as he stars in a low rated, basic cable yuck-fest. The telling part of Olbermann's comments can probably be found when he whines that Babington's reporting will be in "newspapers around the country and web sites".

John McCain's showed no more indication of ending the Iraq War than has Barack Obama. And no doubt Keith will be spewing his usual sexism tonight at the McCain campaign because today McCain announced his running mate: Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva and the Los Angeles Times Michael Finnegan pretty much write the same exact story except Silva's obsessed with one beauty pageant and, in fairness, neither writer wrote a story -- the Obama campaign did. It's the Obama camp's narrative in both: She's inexperienced!

Seems Sarah Palin's crime is daring to go for the vice presidency with a little less than two years of being the governor of Alaska. But, Team Obama insists, you can declare the presidency with less than three years. Unlike Obama, Palin has an actual resume -- one that the press tries to trivialize -- which includes having been elected mayor and having been elected to city council twice. She and her husband Todd are also the parents of five children. Palin's not pro-abortion, she's not pro anything for the left. She also isn't someone who deserves to be derided as "beauty queen" or mocked for her gender which has already become all the rage online since the surprise announcement today. Klownhaus notes, "Sarah Palin is young and telegenic, and any attack on her lack of experience opens up the GOP counter-punch of attacking Uh-bama's lack of experience. When the He-Man Woman Haters Club launches misogynistic attacks on Palin (and they have already begun) it puts the GOP in the position of supporting and defending women." It's noted that her oldest son will deploy to Iraq shortly.

Geo Beach (Christian Science Monitor) observes:

McCain gets a running mate who is young (diminishing the perceived negative of his age), female (snookering Obama for Hillary's hold-outs), executive (to his legislative) and most important, both by her deserved reputation and by the impact of the choice itself, re-establishes McCain's eroded credentials as a genuine maverick candidate. That appeals to the middle voters who will decide the election.
Plus, McCain's choice of Palin achieves what McCain himself can never do -- it took the words right out of Obama's mouth.
The acceptance speech that was so essential to Obama has been filed in the dusty back drawers of political history, as if the text had never been given voice. Media are addicted to the new and the now, and now the Labor Day Weekend will be all I Dream Of Sarah and no echoes of I Had A Dream. Magic.

The McCain team's Matt Lira blogs of Palin:

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington. Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us -- Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent. In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the "bridge to nowhere" that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars. As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops. Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today.

A number of female 'leaders' have taken to trying to forcibly escort women onto the Barack bus (the one that they were previously thrown under) and they love to make statements, "Well, like Hillary asked, were you in it just for her?" It's time for those same 'leaders' to prove whether they are in it for women or just the Democratic Party? Sarah Palin becomes the second woman to run for the vice presidency on a ticket of one of the two-major parties. Are they going to demand that she be treated with the same respect/tone a male running would be? Or are they just going to stay silent? Put up or shut up. Feminist Wire posts two items today -- neither noting Palin's nomination. Do they needed to be reminded of their tax free status? Or do they need to lose it? That really needs to be explored since their tax status forbids them from endorsing but Feminist Wire likes to 'fact check' McCain's statements while just reposting Barack's without any 'checking.' Today a woman was named to be the running mate of the GOP presumed nominee and Feminist Wire couldn't find a thing worth noting?

Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for the vice-presidency from one of the country's two largest political parties. could note Palin's significance. Kristine Johnson (CBS) quotes Ferraro declaring today, "I've spent a lot of time over the last 24 years saying, 'Gosh, I wish I weren't the only one.' So I welcome seeing a woman on the ticket. . . . The potential for a woman to be vice president will really make a difference for girls in this country." NOW on PBS notes that they interviewed Palin for a broadcast earlier this month "about her efforts to clean up corruption in her home state." But Feminist Wire? Nothing.

Which is indicative of the 'coverage' they've given Cynthia McKinney for her presidential run. McKinney is the Green Party nominee and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. Does Feminist Wire really think that one brief, on July 14th, cuts it as 'coverage' of McKinney's run? And then later they wonder why Ms. is falsely seen as "White, White, White" and when Ms. is seen that way, feminism gets seen that way. Feminist Wire exists on the Feminist Majority Foundation's tax-free status -- as does Ms. these days -- and they are forbidden from endorsing candidates. So it's about damn time they started offering coverage for all the candidates -- and there's never a need for a feminist publication to explain why they cover female candidates. (Though there is a need for Ms. and Femnist Wire to explain why they failed to call out the attacks on Hillary.)

The Green Party of Michigan notes Cynthia will be campaigning in Michagan August 30th through September 1st. She's working the holiday. Maybe Feminist Wire could do the same? Saturday night (7:00 pm) she'll be speaking at the International Institute in Detroit at a press conference with a rally immediately after (7:30). Sunday, Cynthia will appear at the National Welfare Rights Union Awards Dinner where she will deliver a speech on poverty. Monday, Cynthia will be standing shoulder to shoulder with union members as they march down Woodward Avenue in Detroit to mark the historic workers struggle in this country that produced the 40-hour work week, that produced a respect for the workers in this country and that produced the Labor Day holiday (among many other things).

Meanwhile, China scores big! Erica Goode and Riyadh Mohammed (New York Times) announce that China National Petroleum signed a contract with the puppet government in Baghdad. With the DNC speeches this week repeatedly hitting on the borrowing from China, that will probably not go over well in this country. Some examples:Mark Warner: "Two wars, a warming planet, an energy policy that says let's borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don't like us. "Al Gore: "As I have said for many years throughout this land, we're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization."Hillary Clinton: "The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis."

Ava and I cover the DNC convention Sunday at Third. Ralph Nader's Super Rally took place in Denver and, with little media attention, Team Nader turned out a large crowd of 4,000. As the huge crowd gathered and the event geared up Wednesday, Jesse A. Hamilton (Hartford Courant) reported that Sean Penn had spoken and notes "major cheers" for Nader's "amnesty talk for non-violent drug offenders" and quotes Nader stating: "Every politician I've ever known from the major parties . . . starts flattering the people. Oh, how they flatter the people! Because that's what gives the people weak knees. . . . Read the grim lesson of history, here and abroad. When people do not turn on to politics, politics will turn on them." Not noted is that Ralph noted the historical importance of the week (19th Amendment enacted). Something that Barack skipped out on but no one's supposed to notice that. Team Nader notes:

What a wild last 24 hours.
With the help of more than a hundred Colorado volunteers and our best roadtrippers we worked day and night to pack 4,000 people into the University of Denver's Magness Arena.
(As usual, this was done with zero help from the Denver media. For example, not a mention all week in the Denver Post, the city's largest newspaper, before or after the event.)
Now we're re-focusing and gearing up for the RNC.
I just flew into Minneapolis and we need your help to fill thousands of seats for our September 4th rally at Orchestra Hall.
Right now nearly a dozen Nader's Raiders are driving across the country in three large vehicles armed with sandwich boards, our two large inflatable props, and boxes of promotional material.
Before they can join us in Minneapolis, they have to make an emergency stop in Wisconsin where we need 3,000 more signatures over Labor Day weekend or we won't make the ballot.
It's just that simple.
Before we can crank up the energy this week in Minneapolis, we need you to donate right now to help us fuel our roadtrip team through the cornfields of Iowa to the dairy lands of Wisconsin.
A donation of $10 helps provide a roadtripper a hearty and (as Ralph would say) nutritious meal.
A donation of $50 helps put a roof over their heads.
A donation of $100 helps outfit our roadtrippers in the new Buffalo Nader '08 t-shirts like you see our team wearing in this photo.
To meet our most recent fundraising goal, we've got to raise more than $70,000 more on our way to $100,000 in less than one week.
Please give whatever you can, to help us knock out Wisconsin fast so we can hit the streets this week at the RNC and demand that McCain invite Nader/Gonzalez into the presidential debates.
And remember, if you give $100 or more now, we'll send you three DVDs -- the Denver rally, the Minneapolis rally, and a special debate DVD. (Three DVD offer ends September 4 at 11:59 p.m.)
Onward to November

Tonight and over the weekend on PBS (check local listings) NOW on PBS (debuts Friday night in most markets) explores affirmative action and state-ballot measures attempting to overturn it. Katty van van sits down for a chat and chew with Bill Moyers -- hope he brings the oats and remember to keep the kids out of the room. Cat Radio Cafe does not air on WBAI Monday (fundraising) but The Next Hour features Michael Heller, Harvey Shapiro and John Taggart on the topic of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Goerge Oppen broadcasting from eleven to noon Sunday on WBAI. And iIndependent journalist David Bacon's latest book officially is released next week, Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press). (Some bookstores already have it in stock currently -- and you can order at the link if you order online.)

Finally. The 'peace' organization passes on e-mails. A number of visitors and members have e-mailed to explain that they complained about what went down and their 'reward' was to have their e-mails passed on. They end up getting the Gutter Trash's stark raving partner screaming at them in e-mails. Well, we know they have no ethics. Until Third on Sunday, that's all I plan to say. We will address it there and some community sites will address it now. Visitors also e-mail to ask that it be passed on: Don't bother posting to Gutter Trash''s blog. She will not allow you statement to go up. Of course not, she can't play victim and get her small posse to lie with her by allowing outside voices. Best visitor e-mail runs in Polly's Brew (with sender's permission) this Sunday -- it's a Canadian who's had it with the "pushy American" who is "as phoney as Madonna's British accent." We're done promoting the organization. There were questions about that in e-mails. They've been pulled from the links and I'm weighing whether or not to pull their chapters from the links. We were not speaking of Courage to Resist, for visitors who e-mailed asking about that. Courage to Resist is a real organization and remains linked at this site. I've passed on the e-mail to Mike (I've never read Gutter Trash's site) that asks if he gave permission for his e-mail to be posted (Gutter Trash apparently claims to be concerned about "niceness" in reposting people's e-mails). No, he did not. He will address that at his site tonight as well as what Gutter Trash leaves out.

the new york timeserica gooderiyadh mohammed
mcclatchy newspapers
david bacon
charles babington
now on pbs
bill moyers journal

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pesto in the Kitchen

Is the Army a chapel? Or is the Army the Army? Have yourself a rollicking good time and read the comments pro and con posted by military personnel and interested onlookers. As if we didn't already have enough things to fight over.

That's a question To The Contrary's Bonnie Erbe asks in "General Petraeus's Spiritual Literary Endorsement—More Controversy We Don't Need" (US News & World Reports) over Petraeus publicly praising a religious book with "it should be in every rucksack for those times when soldiers need spiritual energy."

Would I do a recipe in easy to read form again? That was Jeanie's question. I asked for an example of one that she found easy? She means just talking. I replied to her last night and she wrote that she'd really like to know how to make a pesto because her 10-year-old daughter will eat that.

I had a long day so I'm not even looking at my notes to see if I had something planned. For Jeanie, we'll just go with this.

Jeanie, at the store buy one container of dried basil. (Dry spice.) Buy a small packet of walnuts. You'll be using walnuts instead of pinenuts. You'll need 1/2 cup of olive oil. If you have a food processor, you can put the oil, the walnuts and the basil in that.

If you don't have a food processor, smash the walnuts or crumble them. The need to be in little pieces. You can smash the walnuts with a fork. You can also smash them in the package which is even easier. You want the pieces to be very small. To smash them while they are in the package, do not open the package. With your fist or by pressing down on the package with a cutting board, break the walnuts. Place them in a bowl. Add the olive oil and basil and mix.

Cook dried pasta according to directions.

Now you can add 1 to 3 cloves of garlic to the recipe. You can add more olive oil to make the pesto creamier. You can use fresh basil (you'll need two cups of basil if using fresh). You can add grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. You can add all the extras in this paragraph or just one. (If using fresh basil, you will not be using dried as well.)

It's a very simple recipe. Serve with bread and a green salad and you have a full meal.

So, for Jeanie, that's a pesto recipe and I hope it was easier to follow like that for many. For me, it's easiest (a recipe) if the ingredients are listed by themselves and the directions follow. But I do get Jeanie's point that she really fears her kitchen and that a recipe in that type of format intimidates her while, like above, she says is more like someone just talking to you.

I'll try to offer recipes here like that more often. We're not trying to impress anyone here. If you're someone scared of cooking or just learning, this site was created for you. If you feel I'm getting too complex, please let me know. I will not be offended.

I'll also try to cover questions here. I won't identify if you don't want me to. A man e-mailed this week and I won't name him. But he lives alone and his big problem is food going bad. Actually, his biggest problem is not knowing food has gone by. I honestly thought his e-mail was a joke when I saw it Tuesday. He was serious, my apologies. But he had this happen and it might happen to someone else.

He bought eggs. A while back. He went to use them Tuesday morning figuring he'd whip up scrambled eggs before work and avoid purchasing a breakfast taco at work. He picked up the egg and found that it had 'juice' in the egg tray in the fridge.

That means you toss out all of those egss. They have gone bad. You cannot cook with those unless you want to make yourself sick. Eggs will go bad. He replied to me the following day asking if that was the smell in his fridge. He had already tossed out the eggs and couldn't figure out why it now stunk. The reason was he wiped the egg tray, he did not wash it.

You need to wash it. Both to get rid of the smell (which will only get worse if you don't wash it) and both because it's not healthy. You do not want to put fresh eggs into that tray without first washing it. Washing it is water and it is some sort of anti-bacterial detergent.

Again, my apologies to ___ because I thought he was pulling my leg. I mentioned the e-mails from him to friends and one friend had tried to cook with bad eggs. She had to fix a dish for company coming over, she thought the eggs were good until she broke one. She didn't have time to go to the store. She figured cooking would make the egg safe. It doesn't work that way. When the egg goes bad, it is bad. It can not be cooked into 'goodness.' If it's one or a dozen, you toss them out immediately and you wash the tray.

If you don't go through eggs quickly (a dozen in no more than two weeks), you should consider leaving them in the carton because the carton has an expiration date on it and that can be your guide; however, eggs can go bad before the expiration date as well.

Those are some basics and if you grow up around the stove because one of your parents or a sibling cooks, you pick these up. Many people today grow up with take out or microwave and some of these basics are skipped. If there's a basic you have a question about, feel free to write and I'll answer it if I can. In fact, I'm not naming you even if you say to. That should make it easy for anyone to ask any needed question about cooking.

A Super Rally comes to Denver next week. This is "Free Speech TV to Carry Denver 'Open the Debates' Rally Live" (Nader-Gonzalez):

Next Wednesday, Denver is going to be rockin.
Thousands will be gathered at the University of Denver Magness arena to protest the corporate lockdown on the Presidential debates.
Sean Penn, Val Kilmer, Cindy Sheehan, Tom Morello, Jello Biafra and others will join Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez.
Demanding an end to the corporate control over the Presidential debates.
So, if there is any chance you can get to Denver Wednesday, you can make a donation to reserve your ticket
If you can't get to Denver, no problem.
Free Speech TV will be streaming the event live on the Internet. (Wednesday, August 27, 7 p.m. Mountain time, 9 p.m. Eastern.)
click here to watch.
Also, the Free Speech TV will be broadcasting the event live on Dish Network Channel 9415.
And many local public access channels will be carrying the Free Speech TV feed.
(If your public access channel doesn't carry it, call them and ask them to do so.
Click here for a list of public access channels.)
Anyway, it's going to be an historic event -- protesting the corporate control over our politics -- in the midst of the corporate Democratic spectacle.
So, join us in Denver if you can.
If not, invite your friends over, and dial up the live Internet feed -- or watch on television via satellite or on your public access channel.
Onward to November.

Robin Long is a US war resister. He was railroaded by Judge Ann Mactavish last month. She extradited him. Today he had his court-martial and while the sentence could have been worse, it could have been a lot better. In a fair world, there would have been no court-martial.

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

Friday, August 22, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the Shi'ite thugs want the Sunni ones gone, US war resister Robin Long is court-martialed and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, there is no treaty ('agreement') between the US and Iraq yet, and more.
Starting with war resistance. US war resister Robin Long was
extradited from Canada in July. He was turned over to US authorities at the border by Canadian authorities (that is not deportation) and has spent the last weeks at Fort Carson in Colorado. Utah's Daily Herald noted last night that Robin "plans to plead guilty Friday to a reduced charge of desertion, his lawyer said." The Detroit Free Press added: "He faces a dishonorable discharge as well as prison time." The Whig Standard explains that Robin's attorney James "Branum said Long has reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to desertion with intent to remain away permanently, a lesser charge than desertion with intent to shirk hazardous duty." Nick Kyonka (Toronto Star) quotes Branam explaining, "In exchange for him pleading guilty, they've agreed to (lower) the three-year maximum sentence that usually comes with those charges." Branum added, "I think they want to prosecute him for free-speech issues without actually charging him for them." Free Speech Radio News will have an audio report today (for those needing or requiring audio).
Karen, with Fort Carson Public Affairs Office, states Robin was sentenced to 15 months, reduced in Rank E1 and given a dishonorable discharge. Long has been held at the Criminal Justice Center in El Paso County while awaiting the court-martial. He will receive credit for the time he has served ("about 40 days").
The Canadian government has announced that US war resister
Jeremy Hinzman will be deported if he does not leave their country by September 23rd. Whether he would be deported or "deported" is an unanswered question. Actions are taking place to make the Stephen Harper government respect the will of the people and let Jeremy remain in Canada. Jeremy is being highly pro-active and has already taped a video, which you can find at the War Resisters Support Campaign, where he speaks directly to Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada:
Jeremy Hinzman: Hello, Mr. Harper. This is my family Nga, Liam and Meghan. We've been in Canada for the last four and a 1/2 years. I was a specialist in the 82nd Air borne division of the United States Army and served honorably in Afghanistan. In 2004, my family and I came to Canada because we would not participate in the Iraqi War, a war which Canada also refused to participate in because it was condemned by the international community. One of your predecessors, Pierre Trudeau, once said that Canada should be have from militarism and we took him at this word. On June 3, 2008, the Canadian Parliament passed a motion saying that United States war resisters should be able to remain in Canada. We're asking you to abide by this motion and allow us to stay in Canada. Thank you.
Title Card: On September 23rd, the Harper government plans to deport the Hinzman family back to the United States.
Title Card: Hinzman faces a court martial and up to 5 years in military prison for opposing the Iraq war and coming to Canada.
Title Card: War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada):
In addition, Independent Catholic News reports that demonstrations will take place in support of war resisters (10-hour vigil outside Canada House in Trafalgar Square) and "members of Pax Christi, the Oxford Catholic Worker and Fellowship of Reconciliation will join Voices in the Wilderness". The War Resisters Support Campaign announces:
September 13th is a pan-Canadian Day of Action to support U.S. Iraq war resisters and to demand that the Harper government immediately stop the deportations. Actions, demonstrations, and pickets will take place in cities and towns all across Canada.
Click here to see a list of actions and to download materials.
If your city is not listed, consider organizing a local action for September 13th. Whether it is petitioning in your local farmer's market, picketing a Conservative MP's office or rallying at a federal building, we need to go all out to stop the deportation of resisters like Jeremy Hinzman and Corey Glass!
In addition they are coordinating screenings of Michelle Mason's documentary on war resisters
Breaking Ranks for September 14th. Spencer Spratley (Center for Research on Globalization) publishes an open letter to Stephen Harper where he notes, "I feel that some of your polices are beginning to depart from deeply held traditional Canadian values. And you are transforming the face of Canada with the mandate of a minority Government. You also have a majority in the House of Commons who voted, on behalf of Canadians, to support the request made by American War resisters to remain in Canada. I believe you are turning your back on a majority of Canadians on an issue that is very important to us. That is not the sign of a democratic Prime Minister. Somehow Canada has always been a little bit different and we have always been proud of that. We don't want to be more like anyone else. . . . . Sir, in the name of decency, compassion, and a higher justice, I request you to allow American War resisters to remain in Canada as conscientious objectors. Please don't send them off to have their lives and families desroyed by an unjust war. Your decision to begin deporting American war resisters lacks decency and compassion. I strongly urge you to reconsider your position."
Courage to Resist alerts, "Supporters are calling on Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene. Phone 613.996.4974 or email,"Iraq Veterans Against the War also encourages people to take action, "To support Jeremy, call or email Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and ask her to intervene in this case. Phone: 613.996.4974 email:"
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Yovany Rivero, William Shearer, Michael Thurman, Andrei Hurancyk, 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, Daniel Baker, 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 England, police are announcing that three suspects have been taken into custody for threats against Gordon Brown, the country's Prime Minister.
Reuters explains that did not just happen and at least two of the three have been in custody since last week. The threat against Brown was in written form (Telegraph of London has posted it), from "the Leader of al-Qaeda in Britain, Shaykh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila" and demanded both "A complete withdrawal of the British troops from Afghanistan and Iraq" and "To free all Muslim captives from Belmarsh prison, and the foremost of them Shaykh Abu Qatada al-Filistini and Shaykh Abu Hamza al-Misri." The threat gave the deadline of "the last day of March 2008" and, yes, that has passed. "Threats" may be too strong of a word. If the demands weren't met (and they clearly weren't) the note promised to "target all the political leaders especially Tony Blair" former Prime Minister "and Gordon Brown, and we will also target all Embassies, Crusaders Centers and their Interest through out the country, with the help of Allah." 'Target'? Via protests? Via violence? The letter is not clear. Which may be why the BBC -- which is hyping the story to high-alarm-level -- tucks this at the end of their report, "Police have until Thursday to charge the men, release them or seek an extension to their custody." We'll go ahead and bring in presumed Republican candidate in the US, John McCain who, as Kat explained last night, had campaign headquarters in New Hampshire and Colorado evacauted yesterday as a result of 'strange' envelopes with at least one containing substance. CNN reports that the substance remains unknown ("tested positive for protein") but is "not dangerous." Mary Hudetza (AP) notes that there's a suspect "Sheriff's officials said the inmate suspected of sending the letter is Marc Harold Ramsey, 39, who has been incarcerated since September 2007 on investigation of felony menacing, harassment and second-degree assault on a peace officer. Ramsey may face federal felony charges for Thursday's incident, sheriff's officials said." Back to Iraq.
Today on
NPR's News & Notes, Farai Chideya hosted a roundtable with Eric Deggan (St. Petersburg Times) and John Yearwood (Miami Herald) where they dealt with such non-news topics as the Olympics, political conventions (where the question was at least asked as to whether or not they were "legitimate news events") and "Just this morning US and Iraqi negotiators announced they've reached a deal to withdraw US troops from Iraq." No. There is no deal. At best there is draft. In the US, the treaty (which is what the SOFA actually is) needs Senate ratification -- and Republicans and Democrats in Congress made noises in April of bucking the White House if it attempted to bypass the Senate's Constitutional duties and powers. In Iraq, it will a draft would go through a number of processes including approval by the Parliament. Yearwood made a real ass of himself when Chideya stated that US combat troops would be out by 2011 and that the rest would be out by 2013. Yearwood: "I'm sure that this will be approved by the Parliament as soon as they come back from vacation and they get their act together." When will Yearwood get his act together? Deggan was equally foolish noting that there was talk that timetables were impossible (and "ill advised") "And here we've done it." No, idiot, nothing's been done. And if the two 'reporters' were less concerned with cheerleading Barack and more concerned with reality, they could have avoided making asses out of themselves. David Alexander and Wisam Mohammed (Reuters) explained: "A draft agreement between the United States and Iraq contains no fixed dates for U.S. forces to withdraw, but Iraq would like combat troops out by the end of 2011, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Thursday." No deadlines. NPR needs to stop wasting the tax payer's dime with bad gas bagging that's so bad, it's downright embarrassing. No one, not the host, not either of the guests, grasped that it was a draft (and approval isn't a mere formality) nor did they grasp that there was not enough information on the draft for them to know what was in it. The New York Times front paged the nonsense today -- no facts, just a lot of tease conducted by Stephen Farrell. Also missing the boat are Paul Richter and Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) who make a point to note that US Secretary of State Condi Rice "downplayed expectations that approval of an agreement was imminent" -- Condi was correct on that but the reporters had trouble grasping it. She's quoted stating, "We'll have agreement when we have agreement." Leila Fadel and Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy Newspapers) explain what happens on the Iraq side, first stop the Executive Council and "If the council agrees to the draft, it will move to the Political Council for National Security before going to the Iraqi parliament, which must approve the agreement before the U.N. mandate expires."
Here is Gordon Johndroe, White House spokesperson, speaking today (in Crawford) about the draft, "Towards the end of July, after a secure video conference between President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki, we announced that, as part of any agreement with the Iraqis establishing our future bilateral releationship, would include aspirational time horizons -- goals for women Iraqi troops begin to take over more of the combat mission in various parts of Iraq, which allow for more US troops to come home. So any discussions that are ongoing, that we are having with the Iraqis right now, include these aspirational timelines, these goals for more troops to come home." Afterwards, asked if the talks were still "ongoing," Johndroe replied, "And ongoing and ongoing."
Real news was reported by a small number of reporters. One was
Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) who explores the latest on the "Awakening" Council -- Sunni thugs lured by coin. The White House repeatedly credited the "Awakening" Council members with the small reduction in violence in Iraq. Appearing before Congress in April, US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker repeatedly hailed the "Awakening" as a reason for the reduction. Oppel reports that, "The Shiite-domination government in Iraq is driving out many leaders of Sunni citizen patrols, the groups of former insurgents who joined the American payroll and have been a major pillar in the decline in violence around the nation." Throughout the article, US voices will pop up objecting. Comments made by a Shi'ite general should alarm Americans who mistakenly believe the puppet is anything but a thug himself.Of the "Awakening" members, Brig Nassir al-Hiti declares, "These people are like cancer and we must remove them"; while Gen Nassir declares the "Awakening" are "like a drug addict who quits only to take drugs again." There's no question that the "Awakening" members are thugs; there's also no question that Nouri has put thugs in place in the Interior Ministry, the police force and more. The only difference is one group of thugs is Sunni ("Awakening") and one group is Shi'ite. The US installed the Shi'ite thugs. Elections will take place (provincial elections) at some point. A great deal of what is taking place (the targeting and arrests of "Awakening" members) has to do with Nouri & company shoring up their own power base before going into those elections.
Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) quotes US Gen David Petraeus declaring of the "Awakeing" Councils (also known as Sawa and Sons of Iraq), "We're not going to walk away from them, and as I said, Prime Minister Maliki committed to taking care of them. I do think it is somewhat understandable that the government struggles to hire former insurgents for its security forces or for its ministerial positions... But this is how you end these kinds of conflicts. That's why they call it reconciliation. It's not done with one's friends, it's done with former enemies." Fadel also notes that a "senior Iraqi commander in Baghdad" who states of SOI, "We cannot stand them, and we detained many of them recently." The illegal war has not improved but you can be sure Bully Boy's worried about the little bump (provided by the "Awakening" Councils) that he had hoped to ease out (sneak out?) of office on and how it's fading. Reuters reporter Ali al-Mashhadani (see was noted in the July 31st snapshot) made news yesterday. Karin Laub (AP) reports that Ali al-Mashhadani has been released (finally) and that US Maj John C. Hall told the press the release came about "because he was deemed not to be a security threat."
It's Friday. Violence is rarely reported on.
Reuters notes an aide of Moqtada al-Sadr was shot dead in Baghdad as was 1 other person, while "guards" were wounded in Samarra when an "Awakening" Council member opened fire on those he worked with, and there was a mortar attack on the Green Zone with at least one mortar making it inside "the heavily fortified Green Zone."
Turning to the US presidential race. The Democratic and Republican Parties have not declared nominees. John McCain is the presumed GOP nominee, Barack Obama is the presumed Democratic Party nominee. Beginning tonight (in most markets) both
Bill Moyers Journal and Washington Week travel to Denver but not to cover Robin Long's court-martial. No to cover the same old and tease it out and tease it out. The DNC convention (barring a surprise shocker) is nothing but a pageant and shouldn't even be broadcast, let alone covered. It's garbage, it's trash and IT'S OLD AND OUT OF DATE. But let's all pretend there's something to be learned in Denver at a political convention. (And let's pretend like either show gave a damn when the Green Party had their convention last month.) (They didn't and they didn't provide coverage. So much for the 'diversity' of public television.) Bill Schneider (CNN) breaks down the basics: "Conventions are relics. They don't decide the nominees anymore . . . No one pays much attention to the party platforms except a few ideological activists. So why do we still have them? Two reasons: money and publicity." NOW on PBS uses its time more effectively by traveling to Africa to again examine health care. Book note: Independent journalist and artist David Bacon has his latest book published next month. September 1st, Beacon Press released Bacon's Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants which the publisher notes "explores the human side of globalization, exposing the many ways it uproots people in Latin American and Asia, driving them to migrate. At the same time, U.S. immigration policy makes the labor of those displaced people a crime in the United States. Illegal People explains why our national policy produces even more displacement, more migration, more immigration raids, and a more divided, polarized society."
Back to the US presidential race.
Ralph's Daily Audio -- is independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader's audio commentary. Monday through Friday, the campaign provides audio commentary at that page. This is "Bob Herbert's World" from earlier in the week:This is Ralph Nader. The New York Times columnist Bob Herbert has a problem. He's written numerous columns complaining about presidential candidates and their campaigns ignoring serious policy issues. It's as if no one else is running for president in Bob Herbert's world other than Barack Obama and John McCain.In a recent article that he wrote in the New York Times, he complains about how the two major candidates and their campaigns are ignoring the problems of the cities: the poverty, the transportaion problems, the lack of repair and expansion of public works and facilities, the crime. He complains that the mayors have been complaining that they have been abandoned by Washington, citing a recent gathering of city mayors that he attended. In one of these gatherings he cites the mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, John Robert Smith saying that he believes the nation should devote the same level of commitment to developing a first-rate passenger rail system as was marshalled for the interstate highway system in the Eisenhower era. Well, the Nader-Gonzalez campaign has taken a strong stand for the expansion and modernization of passenger rail as a way to save energy, to reduce casualties on the highway and to provide more immediate evacuation of the cities in case of a calamity or a natural disaster. But to Bob Herbert, the Nader Gonzalez campaign which supports almost one-for-one so many of the issues that he advances and champions doesn't exist. To him, the Nader-Gonzalez campaign or any progressive third party campaign doesn't exist in his column so I say to Bob Herbert, "At least level with your readers, Mr. Herbert, tell them that you think the two major parties, Republican and Democrat, own all the voters and there's no one else on the ballot. At least level with them."This is Ralph Nader.
And (again from
Ralph's Daily Audio) this is "Forestalling More of the Same:"This is Ralph Nader. This year two and a half to three million Americans will lose their homes to foreclosures. Next year another two and a half to three million Americans will probably lose their homes. Instead of helping these Americans keep their homes, both the Democrats and the Republicans are bailing out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Wall St. banks and their high paid executives -- the same executives who got us into this mess by betting the house on sub-prime mortgages. I call this "Socialism for Spectators." Senator McCain takes a hands-off approach to the mortgage meltdown. Senator Obama talks about helping the home owners but is surrounding himself with the culprits: Wall St. bankers. Obama's economic director? Robert Rubin protege Jason Furman. Rubin was the Clintons' Treasury Secretary. He engineered the disastrous deregulation of Wall St. including the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act. This Depression-era law separated investment banks from commercial banking. Had it been in effect, the current mortgage crisis would have been limited. Rubin went on to be an overpaid executive at Citigroup which he helped tank. Rubin is now advising Senator Obama. Nader-Gonzalez would bring back Glass Steagall. Nader-Gonzalez would re-instate the usury laws that cap interest rates and we would regulate Wall St. instead of bailing it out on the backs of American tax payers. This would include forcing mortgage companies to re-negotiate the mortgages of millions of home owners who are currently faced with being thrown out onto the street as a result of foreclosure. Instead of punishing the home owners, Nader-Gonzalez would bring justice to the predatory lenders on Wall St. who deceived them and who got us into this mess in the first place.
Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential nominee. The Green Party of Michigan announces Cynthia will be campaigning in Michigan:
The Green Party of Michigan (GPMI; willbe hosting a press conference for Congresswoman McKinney at7pm Saturday, August 30 at the International Institute (111E. Kirby, Detroit). The press conference will be followed bya rally with other GPMI Federal, state, and local candidatesat 7:30pm at the same location. The rally is open to thepublic, and free. The following evening -- Sunday, August 31 -- CongresswomanMcKinney will deliver a key policy speech on the eliminationof poverty at the National Welfare Rights Union ( Dinner. The dinner, starting at 6:30pm, will be heldat St. Paul of the Cross Retreat House, 23333 Schoolcraft,Detroit. On Monday, Labor Day, Congresswoman McKinney will be joiningthousands of union members in Detroit celebrating Labor Day bymarching down Woodward Avenue.
August 27th, while the DNC holds their corporate dog and pony show, Ralph Nader is staging a Super Rally in Denver.
From Team Nader:
Next Wednesday, Denver is going to be rockin.
Thousands will be gathered at the University of Denver Magness arena to protest the corporate lockdown on the Presidential debates.
Sean Penn, Val Kilmer, Cindy Sheehan, Tom Morello, Jello Biafra and others will join Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez.
Demanding an end to the corporate control over the Presidential debates.
So, if there is any chance you can get to Denver Wednesday, you can make a donation to reserve your ticket
If you can't get to Denver, no problem.
Free Speech TV will be streaming the event live on the Internet. (Wednesday, August 27, 7 p.m. Mountain time, 9 p.m. Eastern.)
click here to watch.
Also, the Free Speech TV will be broadcasting the event live on Dish Network Channel 9415.
And many local public access channels will be carrying the Free Speech TV feed.
(If your public access channel doesn't carry it, call them and ask them to do so.
Click here for a list of public access channels.)
Anyway, it's going to be an historic event -- protesting the corporate control over our politics -- in the midst of the corporate Democratic spectacle.
So, join us in Denver if you can.
If not, invite your friends over, and dial up the live Internet feed -- or watch on television via satellite or on your public access channel.
Onward to November.

nick kyonkarobin longjeremy hinzmanspencer spratleyindependent catholic reporterthe new york timesstephen farrellrichard a. oppel jr.the los angeles timesned parkerpaul richterleila fadeljonathan s. landaymcclatchy newspapers
david baconwashington weekpbsnow on pbsbill moyers journal
free speech radio news

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Split Pea Soup in the Kitchen

I had a busy week and am behind in the e-mails. I've read most. Taking my granddaughter to the doctor was among the things on the list this week and there's also the fact that she's in a grabby phase. That just surfaced Tuesday. She wants to be held which was regular prior to this week; however, she usually wants to be set down (unless she's sleepy) after five minutes tops. This week she didn't want to be set down at all. Her father had to work late on Wednesday and Thursday (and that was known ahead of time so I wasn't surprised) which might have been some of it but it started Tuesday (when he didn't work late). Who knows why and three of my eight children went through that so it's not all that uncommon and may have little to do with anything other than her own personality developing as she matures. My husband is being teased by all of us because her birthday was last month and he blew up a photo of her (it was her first birthday) so that it was lifesize and put it in her room. It frightened her. Then it seemed to make her angry. She'd reach for it with a closed hand when he held her next to it to show her it wasn't anything scary. So he took it down and she got really upset about that. It's back up. (And that was Thursday evening so that's after she started her never-put-me-down phase. And I rocked her Thursday from seven p.m. until after ten o'clock hoping she would fall asleep. She never did. Mike, her uncle, came in and took over and I went onto bed.) (For those who will leap to some conclusion about her father working late, the fiscal year ends shortly and he's grabbing additional hours twice a week right now so that it won't be every night the last two weeks of September.)

Before I get to the recipe, Julie e-mailed and I wanted to clear something up. My granddaughter is not a burden in terms of helping out. I had eight children. Not having a child in the house is more different than the norm. I don't want anyone to think I'm the great, suffering Trina. After eight children of my own, my granddaughter is a breeze. Around baby number five or six, I stopped obsessing. The phase my granddaughter is in now would have, for the first four children, had me wondering what was happening, why it was happening, what does it mean? After eight, I'm fully aware that this is the stage where they really develop their personalities. I'm sure outside influences are effecting her as well but I'm also sure this is part of her personality as well. (And, yes, her mother no longer living here would be one of the outside influences.)

Tonight, she's got everyone. Everyone's over and right now C.I.'s rocking her. She'll probably expect to be rocked until she falls asleep. Right now, she's fighting going to sleep. Her little eyes will close for a second and then open back up. And she's a very happy baby. She's not a crier. There's nothing wrong with a crier. My first four were all criers. I have no idea why the last four weren't but that might have had something to do with them having so many older brothers and sisters. Meaning both modeled behavior and extra hands to hold them and play with them. When she's upset she flaps her arms and you know she's displeased. Crying's usually when she's fighting off sleep (which is why I'm surprised she's not crying right now but C.I.'s singing to her while rocking her and that may be why she's not crying).

Mike wrote two weeks ago about how he's leaving. It's almost time for move out day. I am going to miss him but he does need to go. Not because he's not welcome here. He's always welcome. But because he really is at a stage in his life (including his relationship with Elaine) where he really needs some more private space. I'm not going to link to it because if I look it up, I will then read it and then I'll cry or blubber; however, two Mondays ago he wrote about it at his site and did so very well.

I'm hopeful my oldest son will be here for a long spell. He could meet someone else and immediately decide to marry and that they needed their own place. If so, it's his life and he needs to do what makes him happy. But Mike's the last one out of the nest shortly (his younger sister moved into a dorm room last year) and I would probably be freaking out over Mike leaving if our grandchild (and her father) weren't living here.

I'm hesitant to write about this because I don't want Mike to read it and think, "Okay, I've got to stay." But I always did try to be honest in terms of age appropriate. Mike's a young man, he's not a child. He knows I'm going to miss him. He also knows that he's (my words) put in his time.

That was my argument when he first floated it back in June.

I would love to have him here forever but he needs to live his life. My husband took the news so hard (when it was just floated) that I felt I'd better be the strong one. He and Mike are very much alike, as I've noted here many times. And with the other six children out of the house, Mike was really his running buddy. But that was true before as well. With the other boys, they got to a point where, in establishing that they were becoming young men, they needed to distance from their father. A natural process. Mike never had that need. Which isn't my way of suggesting he's clingy. He's not. But the other three went through this hero worship of their father and then the normal growing up where you realize your parents have their own issues and aren't infallible.

Mike's over six-feet-tall and he gets that from his father. With all the children, that seemed to be an intimidating factor. It never was with Mike. Mike just decided his father was his best friend at an early age and I love my husband but patience is not his strong suit. (Ask any of the children and they'll back that up.) Mike's temperment is such that it was never an issue. Mike's always been an old man in many ways and seemed to sidestep many growing phases (which is why I always say if he has some sort of young adult crisis or mid-life one, it won't surprise me, he's always been overly responsible). The other boys will tell you that they went through their estrangement periods with their father as they became teenagers.

The girls did that with me. With their father it was more like, "I've discovered boys, don't have time to talk to you, Dad." So there would be some Saturday outing when Mike was young and the girls would want to go out with their friends and the boys would want to do the same. Mike would say, "Come on Pops, let's hit the road." So that's been over twelve years of their Saturday activities and Mike's the only one who could get as much enjoyment out of his father in listening to records. I love music but can't sit for three to four hours listening to music and discussing it.

So my husband's immediate reaction -- and he knew this was coming, we've discussed it since Mike's senior year -- was a form of distress. I said the other night at dinner that it would hit me (that Mike had moved out) after he moved out. It will too. For now, I'm more focused on giving little "You will still be friends" speeches to my husband. (Who, to his credit, laughs. He has a wonderful sense of humor.)

If Mike decides to move back in (at any time) he is always welcome. All of our children are. But I've told his father since Mike's senior year of high school that when he moves out, he's not moving back in. I just know him and know how he is and how he defines maturity to himself.

Our youngest daughter is perfectly happy limiting visits to holidays. (Which is fine, she's establishing herself and figuring out where she fits in the world and what she wants to pursue.) She's got college and a job. She's dating. She was the baby of the family and it's even more important to her that she proves her independence and test her own strengths. It's a normal part of growing and it's silly to take it personally or think it's about you.

The biggest immediate adjustment is going to be in milk. I predict we'll either be short on it or we'll have a lot go bad because Mike drinks a lot of milk. We'll have to pay attention to shopping at the start and figure out how much we need.

I hadn't planned to write about any of this, believe it or not. This is really the longest time I've had to just sit and think all week.

And it is sad to see Mike move out. But he needs to do this and if he didn't leave soon, he was never going to. That's great if your his mother or father but pretty lousy if you're him.

In the post he wrote, he talked about his dog that died. I didn't see the post first, my husband did and he said, "You were right." For years now, I've said, "The thing that's keeping Mike here right now is that dog." He had that dog from an early age. When he got into his senior year and was doing sports, working and senior year (meaning clases and heavy socializing), he was in a time crunch and didn't spend as much time with his dog as he wanted. (For some reason, he didn't mention his dog's name so I won't. He might have not wanted to name him in the post.) So shortly after graduation, Mike's dog (who was old by this point) got really sick one night. Mike arrived home and it was obvious by then that the dog was dying. My husband had it in the living room but he'd gotten up and crawled/dragged himself into the hall by the thermost (and some vents). We laid out a blanket and put the dog on it. Mike came home and just turned pale. He stayed up all night with the dog until it passed away. Then he went and dug the hole in the backyard to bury him. And only after that did he go to sleep.

It was a very big and important moment to Mike. We had other dogs (all males) while the children were growing up but that dog was Mike's. And I knew his thoughts were, "I was so busy and didn't get to do this or that." And I have told my husband forever that if it weren't for that, Mike would have moved out long ago. But it created a What-if for him where what happened with the dog could happen to my husband or I or both. So, along with all the other valid reasons, he needs to move out just to realize that we're not going to be too busy for each other and that nothing bad's going to happen to us just because he's living his life.

I also think seeing how hard we took the other seven move outs played into it. I cried like a baby when my two oldest left. And did see it as all about me. Even though both were going to college out of state, it had to be something awful I'd done, in my mind. It had to be about me. But you experience it and you learn from it. Doesn't make it any less sadder but you get that it is about growing up.

My son whose moved back home used to call every Sunday when he was in college. We would talk on the phone for about an hour. That was my call. He called his father during the week. And he was very upfront (because he was so excited) about what he was doing. He knows this now but didn't at the time, sometimes I would be thinking, "Oh, you're creating a problem for yourself." That was true with his second girlfriend as well as with his first roommate. But these are experiences that they have to have because they'll learn from them -- mainly about themselves. It's part of growing (I don't say "up" because I don't believe we're ever done growing). So my role changed and I just learned to share his joy about all the exciting things that were happening.

My three oldest girls were always on the phone or here in person when something went wrong with a boyfriend. That's when I'd find out about their lives. And I wouldn't rush to a judgment or say, "Why didn't you tell me before that ___?" Your role changes and you can no longer prevent the boo-boos, nor should you. They have to live their own lives and you learn to be glad that when they are upset or hurt, they want to talk to you about it.

His father keeps talking about how weird it is going to be to walk past Mike's room after he moves out. And, for me at least, that has always been the stomach kicker. One of the kids would call or drop by and we'd have this great visit and then they'd be hitting the road and I'd walk by their old room a few hours later and just get all choked up. You just want to hold them forever. No matter how proud you are of who they've turned out to be, how mature they've become, you still want to be able to hold them.

My son who moved back in tells the story on me about how his first Christmas after he moved out, he spent a fortune (and he did) on gifts for me. I appreciated them. He spent too much money. But I appreciated them. So he loves to go over every gift (there were six plus flowers) and how I would say thank you and agree it was a great gift and add that it was too much. But then he gave me a hug and I just started crying. That was the gift that meant the most to me.

I better stop blubbering and get to the recipe. I'm just doing the recipe and the snapshot from here on out. I hadn't planned to talk about everything I wrote about. But . . .

Okay, last week I mentioned soaking beans and peas and a number of you did that. A lot of you were surprised by how many beans you get from a single bag. Yes, they are dried beans. And peas.

This is a soup recipe. I'll add things after the basic that you can do but the basic recipe will make a satisfying soup. You can fancy it up if you like.

Split Pea Soup
1 onion chopped
6 large-to-medium carrots chopped
2 bags of split pea beans

Soak the peas according to the directions on the package (that's a quick soak or an overnight so plan your time needed). After you have soaked the peas, drain the pot and rinse the beans.

Put the peas back in the pan with fresh water. Make sure an inch of water is covering the peas. Add the carrots and onions and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for one hour, stirring frequently and adding water.

You need to stir to make sure the peas don't burn.

If you use salt, you can add salt while it's cooking.

Serve the soup in bowls. I think a dash of pepper and a few drops of hot sauce (red hot sauce like you'd add to a BBQ sandwich) bring out the taste. You can eat with crackers but it's creamy enough and thick enough that they aren't needed.

If you've made a ham and have a ham bone, you can add that to the pot and boil it. The soup, however, does not require meat or a meaty taste. The 'stock' comes from the peas, onion and carrot.

You may decide you want more carrots or more onions. That's fine. Play with the recipe each time you make it to determine what you like best. You can chop up a bell pepper and add that when you're cooking the soup.

This soup keeps for days in the fridge (covered) but I wouldn't go more than four days. When eating it as a leftover, you can heat it on the stove (add a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water and stir frequently) or place some in a bowl and heat in the microwave. (I like a thick soup so if I heat in the microwave, I don't add water. You may think it's needed but heat a bowl of it up first and see if you don't agree.)

Kids and leftovers, I have found, work well with this. What you want to do is to get some crackers. Take it from the fridge, put it in a bowl (cold) and let them spoon the soup onto crackers. It can be a snack as well as a soup.

The bad news? If this soup works for your family and there are more than two members (counting yourself) don't expect a lot of leftovers. My mother has always said split pea soup is the potato chip of soups -- meaning, "You can't eat just one." You'll find an excuse for "one more bowl" very easily.

With the peas, the onions and the carrots, you've got a nutrious soup, you've got vitamins and fiber and protein. So that's part of the good news. Other good news includes that if this soup is a hit, it's very inexpensive.

I lied. I need to add one other thing. Jess called the Denver office of the Nader campaign and C.I. wrote about that in Thursday's snapshot:

Turning to the US presidential race. As they prepare to rock Denver, the Ralph Nader - Matt Gonzalez campaign opened up their Denver headquarters today. The office is located in Suite 111 on 1155 Sherman Street, a tree-lined street whose intersection with East 12th Avenue makes it very accessible becuase East 12th is a bus route. The office is wheel chair accessible. Jess spoke with Junue Millan this afternoon about the opening and the news confernce which was attended by at least five media people including Univision. The office was "specifically created" for the Super Rally that will be held in Denver (at the Magness Arena) on August 27th. They are expecting between 5,000 and 7,000 people to attend and are currently working on a website just for the Denver office.

The Denver event will take place as the Democratic Party stages there convention and there is a great deal of excitement for the Super Rally and volunteers are needed to help with fliers and getting the word out. Those interested in assisting can e-mail Junue Millan at as well as call the office (303) 832-2509 or walk in. They intend to be open from nine in the morning until nine in the evening Monday through Friday as they work to pull together this large project. Both Ralph and Matt will be speaking at the event and, as the event gets closer, they will begin announcing some of the guest speakers they've already confirmed. Artist, activist and rocker Jello Biafra is among those who will be participating.

The Super Rally in Denver (
September 4th, a Nader Super Rally will be held at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, during the GOP convention) will start at seven o'clock p.m and will PUT ON THE TABLE the issues that the two major parties refuse to address -- the Iraq War, single-payer universal health care, corporate crime, impeachment and more. It will also challenge the two-party duopoly by insisting that the presidential debates be opened. As Kat noted last night, " I really find it offensive that Ralph Nader, Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney (or Chuck Baldwin for that matter) have to fight to get into the debates. They are presidential candidates and should be in the debates. What are the Democrats and Republicans so scared of? Are their candidates so weak that they can't hold their own against Ralph, Bob, Cynthia and Chuck? Do John McCain and Barack Obama get the night sweats just thinking about being on stage with the other candidates? In a real democracy, debates would be open to all on the ballots. This nonsense that you have to meet X% would be called out. It's not a popularity contest. It's supposed to be a race for the presidency."

If you're in the Denver area, the Nader campaign could use you.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday and since I only post on the weekends, C.I. told me an error. It's "Meghan" -- Jeremy and Nga's three-week-old daughter (there's a typo that reads "Megahn," C.I. will note it was a typo in Monday's snapshot):

Friday, August 15, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the US military announces more deaths, Ralph Nader keeps issues on the table and more.

Starting with war resistance.
Wednesday US war resister Jeremy Hinzman learned that the Canadian government has ordered him out of that country by September 23rd. Today he appeared on Democracy Now! where Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman interviewed him.

JEREMY HINZMAN: Well, essentially, it turns our lives upside down. We, as you said, just had a baby [daughter Megahn]. Our son [Liam] knows nothing else aside from Canada. And if we do go back, which it's looking like, I will undoubtedly be court-martialed and serve some time in jail.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Is there any appeal process left to you yet that might delay the September 23rd deadline?

JEREMY HINZMAN: There is. It's not guaranteed that we'll be granted leave to appeal, but if my lawyer can find errors in the compassionate and humanitarian decision that the Canadian Border Services rendered, then we can--we can appeal. But there's no guarantee that the court will grant us leave.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And what were the arguments the court used in rejecting your appeal?

JEREMY HINZMAN: Well, in a compassionate and humanitarian case, you need to show that there would be undue hardship if you returned to your country of origin, and we--and you also need to show that you've been established in Canada and can live independently. And we did that. In the decision, the officer said we've established ourselves well in Canada. We haven't been a hindrance to the social assistance programs. But he said that wasn't enough for us to stay. He said the US has a fair justice system. My First Amendment right to free speech is protected. And they also mentioned that--for whatever reason, I don't know--they mentioned George Bush's No School Left Behind program to say that our son would be able to get a good education. I found that kind of humorous.

[. . .]

JUAN GONZALEZ: Have you maintained ties with other US war resisters who are in Canada, who have gone there in recent years?

JEREMY HINZMAN: There are a number of us in Toronto, and I am acquainted with them. There's a movement called the War Resisters Support Campaign that's been active pretty much since we got here, and we have meetings, and there's been a lot of lobbying in support of us. And on June 3rd, the Canadian parliament passed a nonbinding motion by a vote of 137-to-110 saying that US war resisters should be able to remain in Canada. However, the conservative government is refusing to enact the legislation.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, Canada, of course, has a long history of giving refugee status to resisters from American wars. Obviously, during the Vietnam War, there were many who went there. How would you characterize the difference between this government's treatment of war resisters and what you know of past times?

JEREMY HINZMAN: Well, during the Vietnam era, of course, Pierre Trudeau, who was a liberal, was in power, and he famously stated--at least up here--that Canada should be a haven from militarism, and that kind of opened the floodgates for American soldiers to come to Canada. I think 50,000 eventually settled here. Right now, there's a conservative minority government. Canada has a parliamentary system, and they hold the balance of power. And I wouldn't say they're lapdogs to the US, but they share many of the same values of the Bush administration and aren't really sympathetic to what we're doing.

AP files another story where they quote Jeremy stating, "I went through all the training. I served honorably in my unit. I used army provisions to try become a noncombatant and remain in the army as a medic or something, but I still would be subject to going on combat missions as a medic. I can't bring myself to shoot another person. If people want to criticize me for that, then I'm honored to be criticized because I'm not a killer."
Jeremy Hinzman and other war resisters in Canada need support and to pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor
the House of Commons vote, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at ""). Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote. Now they've started a new letter you can use online here. The War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here. Long expulsion does not change the need for action and the War Resisters Support Campaign explains: "The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on supporters across Canada to urgently continue to put pressure on the minority conservative government to immediately cease deportation proceedings against other US war resisters and to respect the will of Canadians and their elected representatives by implementing the motion adopted by Parliament on June 3rd. Please see the take action page for what you can do." The War Resisters Support Campaign has called an "Emergency Meeting to Stop the Deportation of Jeremy Hinzman and his family, Wednesday August 20 at 7 p.m. at the Steelworkers Hall, 25, Cecil Street" (Toronto) and encourages everyone to "Read the War Resisters Support Campaign press release and circulate it widely

James Burmeister is a US war resister. He is the whistle blower who went to Canada and told the world (or those who would listen) about the kill teams. Last month, Dee Knight's "
Army court-martials resister for blowing whistle on 'bait-and-kill'" (Workers World) offered an overview of Burmeister's court-martial providing the context and why the US military brass wanted to silence him. Today Evan Kornfeld (US Socialist Worker) also offers a look at James court-martial (James was not deported or extradited, he returned to the US from Canada of his own accord earlier this year and was court-martialed July 16th):

The Eugene Weekly has pointed out that of the 4,698 soldiers who have been charged with desertion in 2007, only 108 have been convicted. [Erich] Burmeister, James' father, believes that his son was prosecuted as punishment for speaking out about the bait and kill teams.After the trial, at which he testified on his son's behalf, he said, "I obviously now believe that James has been made an example to the rest of the soldiers and to the rest of those who dare think about what James did, that the punishment can be quite severe."

Courage to Resist has noted that "The PFC James Burmeister Support Campaign can be reached at" and that he can receive mail at this address:

James Burmeister
Box A
Fort Knox, KY 40121

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Yovany Rivero, William Shearer, Michael Thurman, Andrei Hurancyk, 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).

Turning to Iraq.
Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reports that the death toll for yesterday's bombing attack on pilgrims is 20 "and it raised the specter of more bloodshed as the pilgrimage route becomes crowded before the event Saturday." Sami al-Jumaili (Reuters) explains that "Despite the [security] precautions, Kerbala is bracing for the worst. Local health director Alaa Hammoudi said that 40 medical units were standing by, and that extra hospital beds were made ready. Near the mosque, makeshift clinics were set up in tents and trailers. Some pilgrims donated blood." Campbell Robertson and Riyadh Muhammed (New York Times) quote an eye witness to yesterday's bombing, Ali, who explains, "I saw smoke, and I smelled the very bad smell of burned flesh and blood. The reactions were a little less than at the last blast maybe because they already have been shocked." Sudarsan Raghavan and Saad Sarhan (Washington Post) cite Iskandariyah police chief Ali al-Zahawi insisting there is "a shortage of female police officers in the town". And why is that? Hey, remember when women were being purged? Remember when female police officers were informed they could not carry fire arms? And remember how the pig and thug and puppet Nouri al-Maliki was pleased as punch with all of that and shocked when a few (very few reports) objections were raised? The puppet needs the illegal war to stay in power. And the White House doesn't give a damn about the rights of Iraqi women. So it was the perfect blend for pigs everywhere. Anna Badkhen (Salon) reports that, even in the crack-downed Baghdad, "women here still feel threatened. One can't yet see a pervasive shift in the way women dress. They continue to wear the conservative clothing that the militias began compelling them to wear after the U.S. invasion. Most women remain cocooned in shapeless, black abaya dresses and hijab scarves that covered their hair. . . . Before the war, Tammy says, she could walk down the streets of her hometown, the southern and heavily Shia Iraqi port city of Basra, dressed like most teenagers in the United States -- in jeans and no head scarf. Saddam Hussein's regime was one of the world's most despotic, but it was secular and allowed Iraqi women personal rights and freedoms unparalleled in the Persian Gulf. Women, who make up more than half of the country's populartion, could drive, travel abroad alone, serve in Iraqi security forces and work side-by-side with men. They chose whom to marry and whether to marry at all, and were among the most educated in the region. . . . After the U.S. invasion in 2003, conservative Muslim clerics called for Iraq to become an Islamic state. In the name of Islamic values, they eroded the liberties women here enjoyed even under Saddam's oppressive regime. Schools, once coed, became segregated by gender; women were afraid to go outside without a head scarf. As sectarian violence engulfed Baghdad and other parts of the country in 2006, it brought in its wake even more constraints on women's freedoms." And the White House didn't just let it happen, they encouraged and, in fact, still encourage it. At a time when female bombers are said to be the biggest threat to stability in Iraq (foreign forces on the ground in Iraq are the biggest threat to the country's stability), the US military actively recruits women into their "Awakening" Councils and yet -- despite a supposed need which should be driving the market forces -- they pay these women 20% less than their male counterparts. No one objects. No one calls it out. And it reinforces the message to those installed into power in Iraq (by the US) that women are not equal and that their worth is less than that of a man's.

Helen Benedict (In These Times) reports on the increased number of sexual assaults in the US military -- women serving assaulted and abused by their "comrades-in-arms" -- and notes that "the attention always focuses on the women: where they were when assaulted, their relations with the assailant, the effects on their mental health and careers, whether they are being adequately helped, and so on. That discussion, as valuable as it is, misses a fundamental point. To understand military sexual assault, let alone know how to stop it, we must focus on the perpetrators. We need to ask: Why do soldiers rape?" It's the culture of the institution (which includes looking the other way) and that institution has had a bigger impact than any other US institution in Iraq.

Institutions, organizations. How does the peace movement ever plan to be effective in the US with such sorry-ass 'leaders.' Tom Hayden shows up to soil his own name at The Nation this week with "The Defunding of the Peace Movement." He pretends to be talking straight (no doubt inflicting howls of laughter from all who know Tom-Tom) and pretends like Barack has pledged to end the illegal war. Barack has pledged no such thing. He might reduce the number of US forces in Iraq (to send them to Afghanistan) but he has not called for all US troops out of Iraq -- and long ago refused to promise in a televised debate that, if elected president, all US troops would be out of Iraq by 2012. Tom-Tom's heart-heart races for Barack so he lies and lies. The problem, as Tom-Tom sees it, is that people aren't giving money to peace organizations. Or 527s. 527s? No, those are not peace organizations but Tom was never a peace leader. Not now, not back then. He was always someone lusting after a political career and that motivated him then and does so now. It's always been about setting Tom's end up. He talks to Leslie Cagan of UPFJ and she's wondering what her organization could do with $100,000? More of the same, Leslie, absolutely nothing. Say it again.

When UPFJ (not one of the worst offenders in my opinion) had more money it didn't change the way they operated. At best, they were silent on John Kerry. Other orgs and 'leaders' made it their life's work to shill for his 2004 election. If UPFJ is facing fund shortages it goes to the lousy leadership they've shown since the start of the illegal war. Engaging in their sniping with A.N.S.W.E.R. which is fine if it's just an open debate but is not fine when it prevents actions from taking place. There has not been a huge peace rally since January 2007. No one's in the mood to give one damn dime to any of these useless organizations. (IVAW remains the only organization that is working at ending the illegal war.) They all go rushing off to "War With Iran Tomorrow!" or "Saint Bhutto Has Died!" or one hundred and one other causes while they abandon Iraq. (Again, my opinion, UPFJ has not been the worst offender there. CODESTINK has been the worst and the most hypocritical. UPFJ has tended to go for silence as opposed to hawking non-peace events/candidates.) Barack's greedy. How surprising that people are just now grasping that. How pathetic that Leslie's going to whine to Tom-Tom instead of taking to the UPFJ website to state, "We are an organization trying to end the illegal war. We are not endorsing any candidate. We are endorsing the end of the Iraq War. If you are with us on that, we could use some donations to continue this struggle." Tom-Tom lies as well and claims, "The Obama finance committee is under more pressure, literally, to pay Hillary Clinton's debt to Mark Penn than to fund any messages on war, recession and global warming." Tom Hayden, you sexist pig, drop the
Bash The Bitch games. At your age, it only makes you look older, uglier and more pathetic. Barack hasn't done a damn thing to retire Clinton's debt (and Hillary has stated that she's paying off small vendors first). That joint-appearance where he gave the speech and 'forgot' to ask people to donate to Hillary and only returned to the stage when reporters questioned him on it? He's done nothing to help her with her debt and shame on you, a man who'd be living on the streets were it not for his divorce settlement, for pretending otherwise and yet again trying to make it all about Hillary. Your Lover Man has failed you Tom. Your limp and inactive and it has nothing to do with Hillary. You fell in love with Barack and he broke your heart. Those are the breaks, grow the hell up before senility sets in.

Or has that already happened. Tom-Tom was one of the signers of that ridiculous ass-kiss to Barack from The Nation.
As we observed at Third:

Because The Nation is run by the brain dead and the socially stunted today, they decide to copy that with an open letter. (They only know how to do what was done before, no visionaries or dreamers they.) The open letter is called "Change *We* Can Believe In" and if the starring of "We" didn't indicate to you there was a lot of ego tripping going down, you only had to read the names of those who signed on to the garbage -- including non-Democrat Frances Fox Piven (billed as Francis Piven -- what happened, she looked in a mirror?), The Ego Of Us All's Red Buddy who pimped her hard to The New York Times and did more to lie for Friedan than even she herself did, Democratic Groupie (in the worst sense of "groupie" in the rock world) Norm Solomon, Tom-Tom Hayden (still fretting about the 1969 violence we pointed out recently), Red Billy Fletcher, Take Me To My Divorce Pay Day! Jodie Evans, Emma Goldman lookalike Barbara Ehrenreich, Does-Marlo-Know-You-Signed-That-Garbage Phil Donahue, School Girl Katrina vanden Heuvel (who reportedly came up with the embarrassing phrase "the long night of greed" -- to which C.I. responded, "Oh, she's turned her hand to autobigoraphy?") and, yes, Howard Zinn.

At Dissident Voice, John Walsh calls out that nonsense:

The letter is also frankly dishonest when it says that Obama is simply moving to a more "centrist stance" In what sense "centrist"? The war is wildly unpopular and close to 70% of Americans want the U.S. out of Iraq asap. What is "centrist" about moving away from a landslide majoritarian position? And what is the "peace" candidate doing when he calls for 100,000 more active duty army and marines, when he calls for more military spending, when he calls for stepping up the war on Afghanistan, when he talks belligerently about Iran, and when he equivocates on how many tens of thousands of troops are to be left in Iraq? All these are positions that the "peace" candidate took during the primary. They are not new.

[. . .]

What is awfully irritating is that Katrina Vanden Heuval and the rest of the "liberal" elite criticize supporters of McKinney/Clemente and Nader/Gonzalez for "wishful thinking." Compared to the sentiments and views of the supplicants' letter, supporters of third party candidates are hard core realists. And it is very sad to see some of the signatories of this letter who in better times would have been men and women who put principle over "lesser evil" politics. Read the letter carefully. Look at the signatories. It may bring tears.

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


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports pilgrims continue to be targeted with a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 (nine more wounded), a Baghdad mortar attack left two people wounded, another Baghdad roadside bombing left six people wounded, and a Salahudding car bombing that claimed 5 lives (twenty more wounded).


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports an armed clash in Kirkuk that resulted in 1 death and an Al Anbar Province assassination attempt on "Sheikh Kahmees Al-Dulaimi, the Imam of one of the mosques in Falluja" who was taken to the hospital for medical care

Today the
US military announced: "A Multi-National Force -- West Marine was killed Aug. 14 when his unit received small-arms fire during security operations approximately 1 km east of Fallujah." And they announced: "A Multi-National Corps-Iraq Soldier died of non-battle related causes Aug. 15 in Baghdad. An investigation into the cause of death is under way." That brings the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4143 and the death toll for the month thus far is 16 -- which is 3 more than the July total that all the news outlets thought was news.

Neil Conan: We're talking with independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader here at the Newseum. I'm Neil Conan along with
NPR Political Junkie Ken Rudin. If you'd like to join us, 800-989-8255 e-mail This is Talk of the Nation from NPR News. And let's get a question from here in the Newseum.

Patty: Hi, good afternoon. I'm Patty from San Francisco, California and as a retired public school principal I'd like to know your views on No Child Left Behind. And I'd also like to know what your education platform is.

Ralph Nader: Well the way No Child Left Behind has been implemented is not good. First of all, there are too many tests. It ruptures the relationship between teachers and students -- they've got to have a test Tuesday and a test Thursday. They're the wrong kind of tests in my opinion: A, B, C, D, "None of the above." That's not the assessment test that I think are better evaluators They make teachers teach to the test. It's this frantic test mania. It creates unnecessary anxiety among children. So I'm against it. Teachers are against it too. A lot of people think it was underfunded and I think the key thing in environmental agenda for a presidential candidate is more decent facilities -- I mean a lot of these inner-city schools are crumbling, we have gleaming stadiums funded by you the tax payer in the same cities the schools, and clinics and libraries are crumbling. The second thing is decent pay for competent teachers. They should be assessed too. And the third is citizen skills, civic skills. We should teach students connecting the classroom with their town with their community so they can learn about the history, the geography, economics, government of their town and in the process learn citizen skills. How to use the Freedom of Information Act in your state, how to build coalitions, how to get information from City Hall. How to do comparative price analysis of staples in supermarket. That's what makes student learn indirectly reading, writing and arithmetic. I hope a lot of teachers will . . . push to replace No Child Left Behind with this kind or practical and down to earth and very exciting educational process.

Neil Conan: Thanks for the question. Let's go the phones, line six, and Mike is with us from Boca Raton in Florida.

Mike: Good morning or good afternoon. Mister candidate, considering what's happened since the year 2000, don't you think that your candidacy creates too much of a risk of unintended consequences based on your past performance?

Ralph Nader: Well the social scientists who studied that say that [Al] Gore won the election, he won the popular vote. The electoral college stood in his way and the press investigations and others in Florida indicate, and Gore believes this, that he won Florida but it was taken from him before, during and after election day in all kinds of tricky ways that have been subject to documentaries and investigations, to the five Republicans in the Supreme Court who selected George Bush. I keep saying to Democrats "Look in the mirror Go after the thieves because they might do it again and there was a lot of shenanigans in Ohio -- the swing state that left Kerry behind --

Mike: You obviously can't win. Which of the two candidates would you prefer to be president. The other two candidates.

Ralph Nader: The ones that are closer to the agenda of Nader - Gonzalez and we don't have time to go through a checklist but if you want to look at we have a sheet which says these are the issues on the table for Nader - Gonzalez -- like full health insurance -- and they're off the table for McCain and Obama. It's quite remarkable how similar they are on about 15 major re-directions for country and the reason is they've been dialing too much for corporate dollars and they're too close to these corporate interests.

Mike: Well you know, I'm all for anyone being able to run but candidly we can't stand another eight years of George Bush, McCain and that crowd.

Ralph Nader: Nor can we. In fact if Al Gore picked up my withering criticism in detail of Bush's record in Texas when he was governor, he'd have won even over the obstacles that these Republican illegally put in his way.

Team Nader has set up
Ralph's Daily Audio to leave audio commentaries and the one that went up today is entitled "Impeachment:"

This is Ralph Nader. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the most impeachable president and vice president in the history of the United States. The Constitution of the United States structures our democracy within the rule of law. Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator Barack Obama and their Republican associates are seriously subverting the rule of law by blocking the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Bill Clinton must be shaking his head in wonderment. High Crimes and Misdemeanors are what get a president impeached. That's in Article II, Section IV of our Constitution. Let's consider the case of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.
High crimes and misdemeanor number one: The criminal war, invasion and occupation of Iraq in violation of our Constitution, federal statutes and international treaties that our country belongs to. The second is systemic torture condoned at the top of our government. That even violates the US Army Field Manual as well as FBI procedures. High crimes and misdemeanor number three: the arrests and imprisonment of thousands of Americans without charges, denying ha beaus corpus the fundamental requirement for a restraining power to show why the liberty of a person is being restrained. High crimes and misdemeanor number four: spying on millions of Americans without a judicial warrant. This one violates the FISA Act which provides for a five-year jail term. High crimes and misdemeanor number five are all those signing statements that George W. Bush declared when he signed one bill after another from Congress saying that it would be up to him to decide whether or not to obey the law. I guess one could call him King George IV.
The American Bar Association, the largest barre association in the world, quite conservative, has sent three major reports to President George W. Bush outlining his serious violations of provisions in our Constitution. I stood in front of the White House for 45 minutes a few weeks ago and declared the reasons for the impeachment or resignation or subsequent prosecution of Bush and Cheney for the five categories of High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
If we allow rampant, recidivist criminal activity in the White House -- as Speaker Pelosi, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have done week after week, month after month -- that'll simply set the stage for future presidents to think that they too can break the law with impunity and run our civil liberties, our civil rights, our safety, our freedoms, our status before the world into the ground. I'm Ralph Nader.

Friday (in most markets, check local listings),
Bill Moyers sits down with Andrew Bacevich to discuss the imperial impresidency. PBS tonight (and throughout the weekend depending on when your local station airs it) will also feature Washington Week. Janine Zacharia (Bloomberg News) will be among the guests. She's been doing a ton of research on refugees so she should be able to pull that into her topic (the positions of Barack and McCain), Todd S. Purdum (Vanity Fair) will discuss the upcoming Democratic National Convention (will Gwen or anyone mention the Nadar Super Rally that will take place in Denver August 27th?), and Jeffrey Birnbaum (Washington Post) will be among the guests (Birnbuam will be addressing campaign monies and laws). And NOW on PBS explores the US and Mexican border.

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