Turkey Time Again No, this is not about the traditional sacrificial bird consumed by Americans at this time of year to remember how the pilgrims of Plymouth Colony almost ate themselves into extinction to celebrate their harvest, leaving insufficient stores for the coming winter. I am of course discussion the Turkey in Europe, an even more ungainly notion than the sight of that waddling bird with a red tassel hanging off its head. Have you noticed how the LATimes, and perhaps papers as well, I know not, has been covering that country more of late? I’d last noticed this in the run-up to April 24, 2005. You might remember I suspected then some coordination in the amount of press Turkey was getting as a way of undercutting the annual lambasting it gets. The current bout of coverage may be due to the shoals Turkey’s entry into the European Union might running aground on. By this, I don’t mean to imply that the stories are biased, but they do create familiarity and comfort, that in turn lead to more support for this genocidal state. Here goes: "Turkey: Biographer of Ataturk’s Wife Goes on Trial" October 6, obituary- "Bulent Ecevit; Turkish leader pushed nation to west"November 6, "The EU-Turkey romance is on the rocks" November 7, "EU sets deadline for Turkey to open ports to Cyprus" November 9, editorial "Where West meets East"November 10, picture of Ecevit’s funeral captioned "Farewell In Turkey" November 12, and "Turkey: Military ties with France suspended" November 16. Clearly, not all of these are favorable reports. But the obit, editorial, and picture speak volumes. The obituary lionizes Ecevit, mentioning his five times as premier. Of course what’s omitted is that Turkey was falling apart with governmen’s changing like dirty underwear. The editorial picks up where the obit ends lauding Ecevit and using that opportunity to advocate the continuation of Turkey’s ‘integration’ with Europe rather then the pending suspension in talks. Finally, when was the last time you saw a picture of a foreign leader’s funeral in the American press, and I don’t mean someone from a close U.S. ally, or China, etc. It may be time for the ANC to sit the Times’ editors down for a good talking to. It’s one thing to give good, ongoing, and probing coverage to Turkey. I’d welcome that. It’s another to have these fitful bursts of reporting when someone in the State Department pulls a lever… The favorable slant bequeathed to Turkey is unacceptable. It undercuts and belies the Times’ recent adoption of an appropriate policy regarding the Armenian Genocide. If Kosovo and East Timor have a right to independence, if the people of South Africa and South America have a right for truth and justice, then Western Armenia, Artzakh, and Javakhk do as well. This is our message. This is what Turkey must understand. This is what the world both governmental, non-governmental, and media must convey to the perpetrator state. Of course none of this will happen without long-term, intense, and organized work on our part which through the inclusion of other decent humans will help us attain our goals. The Election at Last Between incomplete election results and other timely issues, my commentary on the November 7 U.S. election has been delayed. But things are pretty clear now, and it’s not as good as some hope, nor as bad as some fear. The Democratic Party clearly came out ahead. But not for anything it did, except maybe a bit of smart allocation of money. This election clearly served as a referendum on the Shrub dropping dying-lame-duck leaves in the White House and his cohort of incompetents. This provided an opportunity for numerous Democrats who are further left on the political spectrum to get election. Please note that a few right-leaning Democrats also got elected and the punditocracy has made much of this, disregarding the larger leftward trend. But none of this may matter much because, ultimately, organization wins barring outright stupidity coming into play. Quite simply, the Republicans are far more organized, and in good part, thanks to the evil genius Karl Rove. Lest you think the various factions composing the Republican juggernaut might become repentant, take this quote from Grover Norquist (the anti-tax extremist) about the loss of a Republican held House seat from Pennsylvania: "Bob Sherwood’s seat would have been overwhelmingly ours if his mistress hadn’t whined about being throttled," and "Yes. The lesson should be: Don’t throttle mistresses." Even if he was trying to be funny, these commen’s are indicative of the arrogance of power these people subsist on. Then, we have Donald Rumsfeld’s post-election resignation. Of course the smirking chimp claims that had been decided before the election, but as president he didn’t want such an announcement to have an impact on the election. Riiiiight. How many of you believe Rummy would have been out if the Republicans hadn’t gotten a "thumping"? It should be abundantly clear that the governance-incompetent but election-super-savvy Bushies are from finished. They’ve got a good machine and are already busy bringing in arguably competent people (Bob Gates) to attempt a cleanup of the six-year mess they’ve made. This will enable the Republican to make a resounding comeback in 2008. What are the Democrats to do? Now that some organization has been created, in significant part outside the party e.g. Move-On.org, they must continue to build. But two years is insufficient time. The right wing in the U.S. has been organizing and building infrastructure since Barry Goldwater’s failed attempt at the presidency some forty years ago. At that time, the Democrats were enjoying the fruits of left wing revolutions worldwide and labor-organizing inside the country. They failed to maintain that. They failed to "feed" their true constituencies. They actually allowed legislative changes that hurt their supporters and alienated them. Their ace-in-the-hole is the legislative investigation. The bums stealing from us have been so reckless (judging by what has come out so farDelay, Ney, Foley, etc.) and extreme in their corruption that just scratching the surface will probably bury many Republican legislators and severely taint the White House, rendering it out of reach for that party. Let’s hope the Democrats, for a change, have the guts to do this. Such a clean-up will undoubtedly nail a few Democrats too, but it’ll be well worth it. There is serious flux in the country and it should be a politically exciting two years. But let’s move to California. Perhaps the most important election was for Secretary of State. It is this constitutional officer who has final say over what election equipment is utilized. Fortunately, the winner, Debra Bowen has been talking the right talk. Let’s hope she now walks it, otherwise elections themselves will become subject to tremendous fraud. For some insane reason, electronic voting machines have come to be seen as God’s gift to democracy. But without a verifiable paper trail, these machines are nothing but a tool of whoever manufactures them! Do the right thing Debra! With the ballot measures, the results were mixed. The infrastructure and water measures passed, thankfully. But as someone observed, voters passed anything that billed the future, but nothing that taxed the present. Thus, the cigarette and oil taxes went down to defeat, though they were reasonably close. Thankfully, the deceptive Prop 90 tanked, though it too was close, allowing local government to continue functioning and providing what its constituents want. The biggest mystery to me was the lopsided defeat of the campaign finance reform measure. Perhaps because it can seem so complex, people just vote against it, even though it would improve their electoral lot. The sex-offender residential restriction passed overwhelminglyso much for minimizing the fear that governs our lives. Now, these people, who have done their time, may get kicked out of their homes. Boy, that sure guarantees their proper conduct… Happily, Prop 85, the one endangering young girls’ lives also failed. On the Armenian front, we’re still doing OK. Greg Aghazarian will be joined by Paul Krekorian in the California State Assembly. In the Senate, we’re losing Jackie Speier and Chuck Poochigian (who lost his Attorney General bid as expected), but Joe Simitian is still there. Anna Eshoo is still in the House of Representatives. This is not too bad, since we constitute about 2% of the state’s population and there are about 200 legislative and state-wide seats available. An unfortunate non-development in the electoral sphere is the impunity surrounding the grotesque anti-Armenian mailer sent out during the primary between Paul Krekorian and Frank Quintero for the 43rd Assembly District Democratic nomination. Not pursuing this will come back to haunt us as we will be seen as pushovers with no dignity who will take whatever is dished out. Here is an example of insufficient organization on our part, thus allowing the culprits to get away without paying the requisite political price. Also, much noise attended Bill Paparian’s congressional candidacy. Running against Adam Schiff in the 29th district, the preeminent Armenian district, as an anti-war Armenian candidate on the Green Party ticket, he got 5% of the vote. I actually elicited two responses on this topic. One private, the other public- sent out to an e-mail list. In both cases, I only wish they’d sent it as a letter to the editor. It’s important for our community, in general, and for our political development in particular, to have an ongoing dialogue about these issues. Finally, for those excited by the prospect of passing a Genocide Resolution in either or both houses of Congress this year, relax. There are no guarantees, and Democrats have not been any better for us than Republicans, historically speaking. However, with a little more organization and effort, maybe we will pull it off this time! Miscellaneous Musings Isn’t it great? What started as a small, two-part (Los Angeles and San Francisco) effort the ANC Artsakh Fund has grown and morphed into the Armenia Fund Telethon coming once again Thursday, November 23. I just hope it elicits more support from more people, not just the big givers. That would speak well of our connectedness to our homeland. Of course a shortage of donors is not our only embarrassment. I was wondering how many incompetent Armenian spoilers will run in the Glendale City Council and School Board elections this time. The only good that can come out of that impending fiasco is to run a pool guessing at that number, with the proceeds going to the Armenia Fund. Just think. If the Armenia Fund does its job well, it could be well placed to support the development and repopulation of Western Armenia, decimated by the Genocide. Luckily, Turkey hasn’t paid much attention to our lands; otherwise, we might be confronted by the dilemma facing the Navajo nation. Uranium mining and the pits and tailings it left on their land have become a radioactive health blight. Somehow, this eluded official attention and even when solutions came, they were slow to be implemented. Can anyone say s-l-o-w g-e-n-o-c-i-d-e, continuing in the path of the slaughter of the buffalo to eradicate the peoples of the North American plains? The ignoring of genocide, be it in the Southwestern U.S. or Darfur, is not the media’s only crime of omission. How much have you heard in the last two months about Mexico and Lopez Obrador’s challenge to a questionably seated president? Only when he declared his parallel presidency did the LATimes give coverage, and that, with the same mocking tone that has attended much of its coverage of the man. And closer to home, how much have you heard about a truly disconcerting behavior among school kids wherein they hurt themselves? No, not just rubber bands around the wrist that are snapped to cause some pain. Not even merely the "ABC Game" basically, a game of ‘chicken’ where one person scratches the back of another’s hand, rattling off the alphabet with each stroke until the scratchee withdraws. We’re talking about kids cutting themselves with knives or razors. Please be alert and watch out for this behavior and get help for your child should you see it.