Dockworkers against the War

For someone who witnessed all the confrontations between anti-war protestors and “hard hats” during the Vietnam War, this blows me away:

Thousands of dockworkers at West Coast ports stayed off the job on Thursday in what their union said was a call for an end to the war in Iraq.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said more than 25,000 members in 29 ports stayed off the job. The action came despite an order issued Wednesday by an arbitrator directing the union to tell its members to report for work as usual in response to a request from employers.

“Longshore workers are standing down on the job and standing up for America,” Bob McEllrath, the union’s president, said in a statement. “We’re supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it’s time to end the war in Iraq.”

The walkout was held in spite of orders from an arbitrator (the International Longshoremen’s and Warehouse Union is in negotiations in a soon-to-expire contract) that the Union stop workers from taking action.

Here in the Portland area, the walkout essentially shut down operations.

The Port of Vancouver shut down all of its terminals Thursday and the Port of Portland closed its key Terminal 6 as longshore workers took the day off in protest of U.S. military action in Iraq.

Bruce Holte, secretary/treasurer of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union Local 8 in Portland, said his 1,300 workers from ports in Portland, Vancouver, Astoria and Longview are part of 25,000 ILWU at 29 West Coast ports who are standing down in protest of the war.

“We’re taking a stance for the majority of Americans who oppose the war in Iraq,” Holte said.

The longshoreman conduct most of the work in loading and offloading cargo at port terminals. Holte said workers are scheduled to return at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Nelson Hanover, a spokesman for the Port of Vancouver, said all terminals would be closed Thursday as a result of the protest. The most important of those is the port’s grain terminal, which handles 16 percent of the country’s annual wheat exports, Hanover said.

Richard Nixon was highly successful pitting working people against the antiwar movement, but the Bush administration has so thoroughly and blatantly screwed the Occupation and the economy that it’s not a strategy that works well for Republicans 40 years later.

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Worst. President. Ever.

CNN:

A new poll suggests that George W. Bush is the most unpopular president in modern American history.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush his handling his job as president.

“No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president’s disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

“Bush’s approval rating, which stands at 28 percent in our new poll, remains better than the all-time lows set by Harry Truman and Richard Nixon (22 percent and 24 percent, respectively) but even those two presidents never got a disapproval rating in the 70s,” Holland added. “The previous all-time record in CNN or Gallup polling was set by Truman, 66 percent disapproval in January 1952.”

CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider adds, “He is more unpopular than Richard Nixon was just before he resigned from the presidency in August 1974.” President Nixon’s disapproval rating in August 1974 stood at 67 percent.

The Mayor of London Race

The British are known for a very specific sense of humour and they honor the eccentric. You only have to watch Monty Pythons movies if you doubt what I say. While some Americans get their knickers all in a bunch, because Barack Obama is so different, they should have a look at who the English have running for mayor of their capital, London. Remember London is one of the most powerful financial centers in the world.

Ken Livingstone: He is over his firebrand days, but still so far to the left of anything American, he’d fall from the face of the earth. He gave London the congestion charge.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson: Young and eccentric a very fine intellectual and great speaker. He is the candidate of the conservatives, although you’d find it hard to believe. Some think, he is quite dangerous in his eccentricity, but Londoners may well think differently.

Brian Paddick: A former assistant commissioner and Britain’s most senior openly gay cop, who is soft on cannabis and wants to protect civil rights. A little less flamboyant than the former two, but definitely unconventional.

One of the three men will be elected Mayor of London tonight. All of them are brilliant personalities and no, I don’t think they’re too exotic to run one of the world’s most powerful cities.

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Brian Williams’ “Response” to the Military Analyst Story

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Paul Jamiol
, Jamiol’s World

Common Dreams

by Glenn Greenwald

It has now been more than ten days since the New York Times exposed the Pentagon’s domestic propaganda program involving retired generals and, still, not a single major news network has even mentioned the story to their viewers, let alone responded to the numerous questions surrounding their own behavior. This steadfast blackout occurs despite the fact that the Pentagon propaganda program almost certainly violates numerous federal laws; both Democratic presidential candidates sternly denounced the Pentagon’s conduct; and Congressional inquiries are already underway, all of which forced the Pentagon to announce that it suspended its program.

Still, there has not been a peep from the major news networks at the center of the storm, the integrity of whose reporting on the Iraq war is directly implicated by this story. Even establishment media defender Howard Kurtz called their ongoing failure to cover this storypathetic.”

Like Fox and CBS, NBC News outright refused to answer any questions about the allegations when asked by the NYT’s David Bartsow, and its prime time anchor, Brian Williams, has delivered seven broadcasts since the story was published and has not uttered a word to NBC’s viewers about any of it. Yesterday, I wrote about an entry on Williams’ blog — which he calls “The Daily Nightly” — in which Williams found the time to mock one frivolous cultural puff piece after the next in the Sunday edition of the NYT, even as he still had refused even to acknowledge the expose in last Sunday’s NYT that calls into serious question the truthfulness and reliability of his “journalism.”

After I wrote about Williams’ blog item yesterday, his blog was deluged with commenters angrily demanding to know why he has failed to address the NYT expose. In response, Williams wrote a new blog item last night in which he purports — finally — to respond to the story, and I can’t recommend highly enough that it be read by anyone wanting to understand how our establishment journalist class thinks and acts.

Read entire article…

This is a long article, but an important read. I hope Glenn stays on this.

Mandela a terrorist..?

Is there anyone left anywhere who ISN’T on the U.S. Terrorist Watch List..?

USA Today

Nobel Peace Prize winner and international symbol of freedom Nelson Mandela is flagged on U.S. terrorist watch lists and needs special permission to visit the USA. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls the situation “embarrassing,” and some members of Congress vow to fix it. More…

UPDATE: I should have added this earlier..

As of February 27, 2008, there were over 900,000 names on the U.S. Terrorist Watch List. The ACLU actually has a Watch List Counter.. They say the list grows by 20,000 names a month.

“Mission Accomplished”

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On May 1, 2003, George W. Bush pretended to land a fighter jet on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, announcing that major combat operations in Iraq were at an end.

In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

Complete bullshit, of course. Although he never spoke the words “Mission Accomplished,” there was the biggest banner on the planet screaming the words behind him. The White House later tried to say that it was the crew members of the Lincoln celebrating their mission being accomplished. Nice of the White House to provide the sign, eh?

To the date, approximately 213 of our troops had died in Iraq. Now there are 4063 dead, and counting.

There is no “Mission Accomplished” for the men and women whose lives George W. Bush has wasted in this illegal war. No 21st birthdays, no falling in love, no wedding days, no babies, no grandchildren, no career, no retirement or growing old.

Our troops deserve better than this. Will they ever forgive us?

From ThinkProgress: Emanuel: On baseball and Iraq, Bush is ‘0 for 2.’

Juan Cole of Informed Comment remembered today with a number of quotes from Bush’s now-famous (or ‘infamous’) speech.

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