Yes, He’s Still Running, Thank Reason.

by matttbastard

Now that Keebler Kucinich has dropped out of the race, my main man Mike is the only (ahem) major US presidential candidate left who is in favour of impeachment:

Impeachment Statement by Presidential Candidate Senator Mike Gravel

While I’ve been outspoken in favor of the Impeachment of Vice President Cheney and President Bush since last July, today I’m announcing my very strong and unqualified support for Impeachment.

I want to very clearly and emphatically affirm the imperative of Impeachment as the Presidential Campaign begins to move into high gear and as the media is busy anointing the “front runners.”

As a Candidate for President, and most importantly as an American, I firmly believe that our most important and highest priority, both as individual American citizens and as a whole Nation, is to protect, defend, and nourish the foundation of American Democracy: the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Every other issue is of secondary importance.

I’ve chosen to run for President to effect what I consider to be much needed change. When people go to Internet websites that match them with the candidates that best reflect their own concerns and priorities, a very large number of voters find that I am the candidate best advocating the issues they most care about.

However, today I want to unequivocally state: without Impeachment first, what I or any other worthy Presidential candidate wants to accomplish is very unlikely to happen. Our words will in fact become another empty campaign promise and another sad political fantasy.

Why am I making such a statement?

Let’s review a few supremely important and disturbing facts:

Without Impeachment before we choose the next Administration, we as a Nation will be setting a legal precedent. We will saying yes to the systematic destruction of the Constitution and Bill of Rights engineered by Vice President Cheney and President Bush, and will be formally agreeing to the end of American Democracy. We, as Americans, will be giving our approval and consent to the idea that the Vice President and President are indeed above the law, that they are in fact a law unto themselves.

The Cheney and Bush Administration has openly boasted about their supposed right to break the law. This administration has claimed that it has the right to spy on Americans without a warrant. This administration has decided that it has no obligation to respond to any lawful subpoenas from Congress, and that it may invoke Presidential signing statements to declare its right to ignore any Federal Law. This administration thinks it has the authority to arbitrarily strip any American of his or her citizenship.

This administration has illegally declared that it has supreme overriding authority. The Vice President and the President have accumulated and consolidated unprecedented power that has replaced the co-equal system of checks and balances mandated by the Constitution with a new Imperial Presidency. This imperialism has given the President far-reaching powers that our founding fathers would quickly recognize as tyranny.

The illegitimate authority of this newly constructed imperial Presidency – this Supreme Commander-in-Chief created by Cheney and Bush has replaced the Rule-of-Law based on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Our system of co-equal branches of government, the unique and revolutionary principle of American Democracy, the great leap of faith that people could actually govern themselves, has been subverted. It is now almost dead.

America, the world’s oldest Democracy, is an astonishingly brilliant system of government based on carefully crafted and refined checks and balances between co-equal branches of government. The civil liberties given birth by this revolutionary form of government over 200 years ago are rapidly ending.

Our political elite, those we have entrusted to be the people’s representatives, have failed. Their oath of office, to protect and defend the Constitution, has been disregarded in the light of political power.

When we have a Vice President and President who openly declare they are above the law of the land, above the Constitution, how can we as Americans pretend that we live in a Democracy?

If We The People do not take action to demand accountability in the form of Impeachment, we become passive accomplices to the silent overthrow of American Democracy.

It is now time for the People to become leaders. We must teach our elected representatives to act in accordance with their oath of office and effect immediate impeachment of those who have committed these crimes against the Constitution.

If we do not act now we are all personally endorsing, sanctioning, and indeed celebrating, the end of the Bill of Rights, Habeas Corpus and all other fundamental civil liberties and democratic values. Such values have been the foundation of American Democracy for over 200 years.

The media-anointed “front-running” Presidential Candidates simply do not have the courage to tell the American public the truth.

If we elect any candidate from any party without first impeaching this outlaw Administration, we endorse and elect a new Imperial President of the United States. This cements into place a failed Democracy whose citizens have passively chosen to relinquish the cherished freedoms millions have fought and died to protect.

Do we really believe that we can trust the next President to give back the dramatically expanded power of the Unitary Executive? Once absolute power has been granted, it is never relinquished voluntarily.

We need to stop kidding ourselves. Let us summon 1% of the courage that those who landed on the beaches of Normandy had and recognize what is painfully obvious to the rest of the World: we are rapidly losing every fundamental freedom we thought we were fighting the “terrorists” to protect.

In six short years, the Vice President and the President have actively conspired to commit the most grievous crimes against our Constitution and the personal freedoms it guarantees. America has gone from being perhaps the most admired and respected nation on the planet to becoming the ultimate rogue state. The world’s only remaining superpower is now feared as the greatest threat to world peace.

The Constitutional system of checks and balances that are the foundation of our civil liberties have been gutted. America has become the only “civilized” state to declare its right to arbitrarily imprison, torture, and spy on anyone it chooses to, including its own citizens. We are also the only state to officially declare a right to wage lethal preemptive war on any nation that dares to threaten its exclusive superpower status.

Every democratic nation has the government that is created by active participation of its citizens. Impeachment is the only option for us, as Americans, to effectively wake ourselves up from this collective nightmare. It is the only way for us to demonstrate to ourselves and the rest of the world that we are the Americans we like to believe we are. We need to demonstrate that we actually can summon the courage to live up to our self-proclaimed ideals.

Enough is enough. This is NOT allowed.

There is a lot of very good news that makes me tremendously hopeful that we as a nation are starting to wake up and insist our Congressional representatives act to make Impeachment happen now.

Our corporate controlled media works very hard to portray impeachment as a fringe issue not worthy of serious consideration, even though polls show the negative approval ratings of this administration have surpassed all historic records. Reputable national polling shows that 54% want the Vice President impeached and 45% of voters favor Impeachment for the President.

We The People
are indeed waking up – we have learned not to rely on the old top-down corporate media dinosaurs to tell us what they have decided is “the news.” Fortunately, We The People have an amazing network of online alternative information sources. These rapidly evolving reality-based, user-driven, independent media sites have made us our own news editors.

We The People are now realizing that we must act now to take the initiative to demand that our elected representatives in Congress initiate immediate Impeachment hearings. From the bottom-up, we have begun the process to restore the Rule-of-Law in America.

Here’s what we can all do now to take effective action:
Join your fellow Americans and Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary committee, by signing his petition that asks all other members of the Judiciary Committee to join his call for immediate hearings on the Impeachment of the Vice President.

Support and donate to these Impeachment Groups:

Impeach Bush

The World Can’t Wait

Code Pink

Support and donate to my campaign and tell your friends.

Support and donate to the other Presidential candidates who are also publicly and courageously calling for Impeachment.

Let the other Presidential Candidates know why you are not willing to support or contribute to their campaign: that you refuse to support anyone who isn’t willing to tell the truth to the American people about what has happened to their Democracy.

Join together to organize and petition your Congressperson to be true to their oath office: to uphold their most fundamental and sacred duty to protect and defend the Constitution by Impeaching the Vice President and President. Together we will restore the Rule-of-Law in America.

Senator Mike Gravel
Candidate for President

Related: Via Jon Schwarz, The Real News on impeachment; my Yankee brethren can still sign the Wexler Wants Hearings petition.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Canadian F-Word Blog Awards: Nominations are now open!

by matttbastard

Go, go, go!

Oh, and as Prole explains, there’s now an opportunity to participate in the awards, help out a deserving organization in need of financial assistance and maybe win an awesome prize:

Because feminists know that walking the walk is just as important as talking the talk, we are proud to announce the Canadian F-word Blog Awards fundraising initiative for WISE. WISE, or Wellbeing thru Inclusion Socially and Economically, is a national movement whose goals are:

  • Raising the collective voice of women who are living in poverty due to policies of exclusion;
  • Changing public understanding of poverty: from that of socioeconomic inevitability, to a condition of social and economic exclusion;
  • Encouraging community members to work with us to reduce poverty in our neighbourhoods to the benefit of all;
  • Ensuring that policymakers understand the worsening economic situation of an increasing number of Canadians to have a systemic cause, one that they can be instrumental in changing.

WISE is one of many organizations who have been mightily screwed by Canada’s Eww Government’s cruel and unnecessary cuts to the SWC, because of the need to toss some raw meat to their socially conservative, classist, anti-woman base. WISE needs your generous help more than ever to continue providing leadership, training, awareness, and advocacy for low income women across Canada.

We know that you would help women in need out of the goodness of your heart – there is no doubt about that. However, to sweeten the deal, we have added a super-fantastic raffle which will entice you to give more!
For each $10 donation to WISE – via paypal or cheque only – you will be entered into a drawing, i.e. if you donate $100, you will get 10 chances in the drawing. *Cheques must be mailed and received at WISE’s BC address no later than February 20 so that we can verify your donation.

Doubtless you’re asking yourself,”Prole, what might I win?” Well I hope you’re sitting down…

It’s a pair of fabulous, bodacious, hand-knit (by moi) Teutonic Titpillows!

teutonic titpillows

These two-of-a-kind beauties will be the talk of your town, or at least your home! Your friends will be sick with envy, and your neighbors will be scandalized! So don’t delay, get your credit card or chequebook ready and show WISE, and the world, the spirit of generosity and advocacy that makes up Canada’s feminist online community!

  • One drawing entry per $10 donation
  • Donations accepted via PayPal or cheque, payable to WISE and mailed to:

WISE
PO Box 613
Duncan BC V9L 3X9

  • Cheques MUST be received by WISE no later than February 20 if you wish to be entered into the drawing
  • Drawing held on February 24, in conjunction with the announcement of the CFWBA winners
  • Donations are not tax-deductable

Open those wallets and give ’til it hurts – your sisters deserve your help!

Click here for more on WISE’s dire financial situation. Pony up some dough and don’t forget to nominate your favourite feminist blogs!

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Stephen Harper Party Secretly Halts Detainee Transfers

by matttbastard

Well, how ’bout that–mattt speaks, Harper listens. Retroactively. Without mentioning the fact that transfers actually had ceased several months ago (and after having cast despicable aspirations on those who noted that torture was taking place on Canada’s watch).

I suppose an apology is in order.

Ok, here goes *deep breath*

I’m sorry for correctly presuming that our country really is being held hostage by a bunch of lying, willfully indifferent right-wing authoritarians. I’m sorry that our government could give a good goddamn about international law and human rights, as long as their torture-luvin’ masters down south keep handing out cookies. And I’m really sorry that the Tories reserve the right to resume transfers at any time without prior notice.

Wow. I feel purged after getting that off my chest. Uncle Steve and Co. should give it a try sometime.

Yeah, and a pony.

Impolitical nails it:

The government’s handling of this issue tells you a lot about their character. Their instinct is to deny, cover up, circle the wagons, point partisan fingers elsewhere. Then, once they’re in a pickle, reverse course only when absolutely legally necessary. Like on the eve of a court hearing.

[…]

It’s an ugly, ugly government comprised of inhuman partisans we’ve got representing us

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

ABC News: Obama ‘Bout Ta Pop a Cap in Jeff Zeleny’s Azz!

by matttbastard

Last night on Political Radar, Sunlen Miller of ABC  News breathlessly recounted a “testy” exchange between Barack Obama and NY Times reporter Jeff Zeleny re: Bill Clinton’s recent attempts at race baiting aggressive campaigning on behalf of Senator Clinton:

“I am trying to make sure that his statements by [President Clinton] are answered. Don’t you think that’s important?” Obama shot back, while walking away.

When Zeleny yelled a follow up question suggesting the Illinois senator had not answered the question, Obama fired back angrily, “Don’t try cheap stunts like that.”

Obama then walked away and shook hands with the mass of voters that surrounded him.

A few minutes later, Obama came back and confronted Zeleny again.

“I will answer your question though off the record, would you like to talk off the record?” Obama asked. Zeleny refused to go off the record and then motioned toward the gaggle of TV cameras gathered around him.

“Shot back.”

“Fired back angrily.”

“Confronted Zeleny.”

Shit, Poindexter was damn lucky BHO didn’t go all OJ on his Wonderbread behind!

Er, not so much:

Ok, to recap the Official Beltway Narrative: poor Jeff Zeleny bravely faced the wrath of The Angry Black Man, (leather) gloves off stylez, bwoi! 

Billary betta pray Baby Bam ain’t strapped in S.C this Saturday.

 natodutch.jpg

Sweet Jesus, I hate teh MSM.

 (Wow, I’ve been channelling Melissa McEwan quite a bit lately. Hope she don’t get all litigious on my angry negro booty.)

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

PSA: 20th Anniversary of the Morgentaler Supreme Court Decision

by matttbastard

Via Choice Joyce @ Bread and Roses:

Events Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Morgentaler Decision

Toronto, Friday, January 25, 8:30 am – 5 pm. Symposium to Mark the 20th Anniversary of R v. Morgentaler, Of What Difference: Reflections on the Judgment and Abortion in Canada Today. This symposium will examine the significance of the judgment today: What difference has it made to women, providers, and the politics of abortion in Canada? Sponsored by NAF Canada and the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Location: Flavelle Classroom C, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Free registration. Register and find details at: www.law.utoronto.ca/conferences/ofwhatdifference.html. Contacts: Dawn Fowler, dfowler@prochoice.org or Joanna Erdman, joanna.erdman@utoronto.ca

Toronto, Friday, January 25, 7:30pm. Fundraising Reception for National Abortion Federation Canada ‘s Patient Assistance Fund. Many women lack the resources to pay for costs associated with abortion care, such as transportation, childcare, and medications. Also, some women cannot access medical coverage and require financial support. Donations to this fund will allow NAF Canada to provide financial assistance when it is urgently needed. Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue. $30 per ticket or $50 for two tickets. RSVP by January 24 to dfowler@prochoice.org or 250-598-1858.

Toronto, Saturday, January 26, 7pm. Another World is Possible: Cultures of Resistance. An evening of music, art, film, and poetry inspired by diverse struggles for justice as part of the World Social Forum Global Day of Action, and a special tribute to the reproductive choice movement on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in Canada. Featuring Dionne Brand, LAL, Marcelo Puente and Heather Chetwind, Choice Monologues, Ulla Laidlaw, PATAC (Phillipine Theatre Group), Global Aware Photo Exhibit, video on World Social Forum by Velcrow Ripper, and many other artists and performers. Free admission. Ryerson Student Campus Center, 55 Gould St. More info: www.ryerson.ca/tsf Contact: Michelle.langlois@ryerson.ca

Ottawa, Monday, January 28, noon-1 pm. Planned Parenthood Ottawa will be peacefully standing outside the Morgentaler Clinic at 65 Bank Street to thank Dr. Henry Morgentaler and to remind everyone that there is still an ongoing struggle for accessibility nation-wide. If you would like to join us, please do. Bring pro-choice signs, bring your friends, sisters, brothers, coworkers, and neighboors. We anticipate anti-choice groups to be there as well. Also, on Tuesday, January 22, from 3pm-9pm, please come to a poster-making session for the rally at Planned Parenthood Ottawa, 251 Bank Street, Suite 201. Materials provided. Invitation and details: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=21600536808

Ottawa, Wednesday, January 30, 7-9:30 pm. Gala Night, featuring Honourable Senator Lucie Pepin, Judy Rebick, video presentation from Dr. Henry Morgentaler, and performers Lesley Hoyles (singer), the Asinabika Women’s Drumming Circle, and introducing Peggy Cooke, winner of the Pro-Choice Canada Contest. Free admission, but limited to 200 people. Location: House of Commons, Centre Block, Room 200. Invitation-only event: you must RSVP before Jan 28 to Tracey Bellingham at info@canadiansforchoice.ca or 613-789-9958 ext 222 or toll-free 1-888-642-2725, ext 222.

Regina, Monday, January 28, 12:30-2:30 pm. Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Morgentaler Case. Enjoy tea and anniversary cake. Free admission. Location: Women’s Centre, University of Regina. More info: water_lover2001@hotmail.com Also, in the days leading up to the event, there will be a “coat hanger campaign” to promote awareness of abortion rights.

Vancouver – Monday, January 28, 6-10 pm. The Morgentaler Decision: Before and Beyond. Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decision that finally gave Canadian women true reproductive choice. Reception, cash bar, speaker’s panel with Jackie Larkin, Nitya Iyer and Shelagh Day. New documentary film “Henry.” Location: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings St., Vancouver. Free admission. Poster with details: http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/Morgentaler-Jan-28-08-flyer.pdf More info: jharthur@shaw.ca

Related: Sweet Jesus, I hate David Frum.

Update: JJ preaches gospel:

Thanks to Dr. Morgentaler we have unrestricted reproductive choice. Thanks to Chantal Daigle, nobody can fuck with that choice by using (abusing) the legal system to force women to be unwilling incubators. Remember “freedom is on the march” and “let freedom reign” and “they hate us for our freedom”? Freedom is good!

A-fuckin’-men!

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Happy Birthday Roe V. Wade

by sassywho

Blog for Choice Day
It’s the 35th anniversary of Roe V. Wade and Blog For Choice; NARAL wants to know why we vote pro-choice. After 35 years of legalization it’s hard to imagine why this very personal and intimate medical procedure is necessary of such vigilance in its continued support. Our public discourse is painted in caricatures and broadcasted with soundbites; there is little room for nuance or real women.

The average person can picture someone that has had an abortion, and very well may vote with her in mind. She’s the virginal woman whose fetus suffers a fetal abnormality, she’s the slut who can’t keep track of her lovers much less her cycle, she’s the rape victim, she’s the cancer patient, she’s the woman that birth control failed, she’s the drug addict, she’s the impoverished mother, she’s the incest victim, she’s the diabetes patient, she’s the irresponsible but promising college student, she’s the woman of ethnic background, she’s the career-driven bitch, she’s the vain one, she’s the taxed mother with 4 other children, she’s the mentally unstable woman, she’s the woman carrying the child of someone other than her husband, she’s the woman left by her lover; she’s the woman that many voters may pity.

While her circumstance may be acknowledged, she is not. If she was treated as a fully sentient, independent and whole individual do you believe that she would be forced to justify her choice to the phoned in straw polls every 4 years? A woman’s womb has become a permanent fixture in the town square, and the village is full of righteous shopkeepers. If she dare exercise her rights she had better be prepared to justify it to those around her with tales of woe or be forced to forgo inherent occupancy of her own body. How is this exchange any different than being declared mentally incompetent in order to obtain an abortion 40 years ago?

The justifications that women have been subjected to have been enacted through mandated wait times, parental consent, spousal approval, and even insurance coverage; a battle that also includes birth control. Voting pro-choice doesn’t focus exclusively on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion, it also subscribes to the belief that a woman is wholly capable to make the choice that is right for her within the recognized limits of the law. Unfortunately we live in a society where others(and there are plenty of them) believe women are less important than their potential to produce.

I vote pro-choice because I believe in women, their health, and the notion that every child in the world is a wanted one. I believe that women already cater to their loved ones enough to take into account what their wishes are, already care about making the world a better place to be resourceful in their paths, and know themselves well enough to have the wisdom that only comes from being the heiress of a uterus. I vote pro-choice because I trust women.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Re: Detainee Transfers–What Impolitical Said.

by matttbastard

Stop the detainee transfers. Now. 

Compelling evidence that Canadian-transferred detainees are still being tortured in Afghan prisons emerged Monday from the government’s own follow-up inspection reports, documents it has long tried to keep secret.

In one harrowing account, an Afghan turned over by Canadian soldiers told of being beaten unconscious and tortured in the secret police prison in Kandahar. He showed Canadian diplomats fresh welts and then backed up his story by revealing where the electrical cable and the rubber hose that had been used on him were hidden.

Under the chair we found a large piece of braided electrical cable as well as a rubber hose,” reads the subsequent diplomatic cable marked “secret” and distributed to some of the most senior officials in the Canadian government and officers in the Canadian military.

The Globe and Mail has established that the report of the case is recent, written after a Nov. 5, 2007, inspection of the National Directorate of Security prison in Kandahar. That was six months after a supposedly improved transfer agreement was put in place to monitor detainee treatment. The agreement was designed to address problems raised by critics about the ill treatment of prisoners taken by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and handed over to Afghan authorities with insufficient follow-up.

The bottom line:

This evidence brings a violation of the Geneva Conventions directly into our house. Canada cannot be participating in such violations and should immediately signify to the Afghan government that enough is enough. We need to put an end to this barbarism now. That’s what we should do. It’s what Canadian values, humanity, morality, and the rule of law require.

Pogge’s bang on here–“Maybe that DFAIT training manual should have included Canada on that list of countries that torture.”

Indeed.  This is beyond “embarrassing”. This is shameful.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

The Manley Report: Stay the Course, Part Infinity

by matttbastard 

Teh shocking newz! Manley Report sez: NO END BUT VICTORY!

matttbastard sez:

natodutch.jpg

As intimated, I’m not at all surprised by the recommendations (extend the military mission past 2009 as long as NATO ponies up more troops and kewl new toys). 

As Stageleft observes:

It’s not just that the outcome was never in doubt. Stephen Harper commissioned an ex-politician whose views of the Afghan mission mirrored Harper’s from the outset. But that doesn’t matter: had the report been prepared by Maude Barlow, Jack Layton and the ghost of Mahatma Gandhi, the impact on the Harper government would have been the same: Very Interesting. Thanks For Your Work. We Will Study Your Recommendations. Meanwhile, We’ll Do What We Were Going To Do Anyway

In other words, once again (right-wing) ideology trumps (objective) reality.  The Great Game is rigged, regardless of who plays. Welcome to faith-based governance, Stephen Harper Party stylez. 

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers