Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hillary News & Views 8.4.16: Knotty Ties, Female Donors, Views from Indian Country, Good for Boys

Hillary Clinton and friends in Omaha Nebraska. By Barbara Kinney for Hillary For America.

Guest post by aphra behn

Hello Hillary Clinton-supporting community! It’s great to be here with you.
Hillary campaigned in Denver yesterday, and the Colorado Gazette has some crowd reax from one of her appearances:
"I dropped my husband off at work, kissed him and said, 'I'm gone,' " said John Kirby of Fountain. "I don't trust Trump. Any man who's going to bash Muslims, to bash women and Gold Star families? I have a problem with that."
Palmer Lake's Jennifer Thompson said she and her husband, both Air Force veterans, also believe Clinton will protect the nation from unnecessary war. "I feel she is going to do right by the American people," Thompson said. "If she has to engage us in a war, it'll be for a damn good reason.
Colorado Springs resident Roberta Garcia said she loves Clinton's values. "She will bring justice to Latino families," Garcia said. "I speak about Latinos because they were on the front lines of abuse. We need this to stop."
Said Mike Perez, also of Colorado Springs: "I've been supporting her for a very long time. I knew this was a campaign that was going to happen. This election is more about the soul and the future of this country."
Clinton also visited a local company that manufactures ties to emphasize her plans for building the US economy and criticize Trump. Via the Denver Post :
“As I was walking through, … I was thinking to myself, ‘I wish Donald Trump could meet all of you and see what you are making here,'” she said after taking a tour of the business, which hires African refugees to produce ties, pocket squares, bow ties and scarves.
“I would really like him to explain why he paid Chinese workers to make Trump ties,” she continued, holding aloft a white-stitched red tie whose production was overseen by her rival. “Instead of deciding to make those ties right here in Colorado with a company like Knotty.”
She showed off a lighter-colored red tie with her campaign logo that Knotty made for her. (“I’m keeping this one,” she added later. “If you don’t mind, this would look really good on my husband.”)
In other news, Clinton’s endorsement from Meg Whitman continues to make an impact on the news. Clare O’Connor at Forbes has some insights:
Whitman is one of a growing number of billionaires and Forbes 400 list members to endorse Hillary Clinton in recent days, joining the world’s most successful investor Warren Buffett, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Her defection could prove the most important of the bunch for Clinton. Running an election ground game is expensive, and Whitman is an effective fundraiser with a powerful network of wealthy Republicans and tech players.
While it remains to be seen exactly how much she’ll donate to Clinton’s campaign and its affiliated Super PACs, Whitman’s real significance may be in encouraging other disillusioned Republicans to open their wallets — even if they don’t do so publicly.
Also at Forbes, Rob Salkowitz has some analysis of Clinton’s media dominance:
According to the metrics site, in the past 14 days, Hillary for America, Clinton’s official campaign, has spent nearly $2.2 million on 808 national airings of its 30-second spots, almost all on the hard-hitting “Role Models” creative showing children watching some of Trump’s more colorful and offensive comments from the campaign.
Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of those ads ran on CNN (27.74% share of voice) and MSNBC (16.28% share of voice), including those networks’ coverage of the Democratic National Convention. But the single biggest show by spend for the Clinton campaign is TNT’s police drama Castle, where nine spots ran overall (four in primetime), costing an estimated $163,274 in media time. Based on the apparent audience affinity, don’t be surprised if you see Castle star Nathan Fillion turning up at Hillary Clinton rallies in the fall.
...NBC News reports that the Clinton campaign and Hillary-aligned SuperPACs – principally Priorities USA – have already reserved $98 million in ads for the fall, including over $20 million in Florida and nearly $17 million in Ohio. This kind of saturation buying not only makes a dent in the inventory available to the Trump campaign and its allies, it also locks Team Hillary’s media costs in at a much lower rate than Trump, the master negotiator, will end up paying for last minute placements.
Via Twitter, Clinton’s campaign reminded us that tax fairness is a part of her progressive vision:
 They also trolled Trump, as usual.
(For more Trump-trolling from her campaign, don’t miss “Is Donald Trump the least presidential-sounding candidate in history? We checked.”)
Indian Country Today Media Network has a roundup of Clinton’s nomination and last week’s convention from the perspective of the United States’ tribal nations:
MAKING HISTORY: The two national political conventions took top billing in Indian country this past week, as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were officially nominated as candidates by the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. Oglala Lakota tribal member and South Dakota delegate Shawn Bordeaux, one of four American Indian delegates in the 28-member South Dakota delegation, introduced his delegation in the Lakota language before casting the votes that pushed Hillary Clinton toward history as the first woman presidential candidate in U.S. History, as Suzette Brewer reported. Tribal nations reacted strongly to the first woman Presidential nominee. Also making history was White Earth citizen and Minnesota State Representative Peggy Flanagan, who became the first Native woman to address the Democratic National Convention from the podium. Tribal nations turned out in record numbers for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, perhaps because, “underscoring its commitment to uphold the government's treaty obligations with America's 567 federally recognized Indian tribes, the DNC has dedicated a lengthy plank in its platform to the most pressing issues confronting Indian communities in the 21st century.” In fact, the Native American Council kicked off the DNC, meeting with party officials, former policy advisors to the White House and members of Congress.
Clinton’s campaign is bringing in record amounts from female donors:
Women account for a little more than 60% of the identifiable contributions to Clinton’s campaign and outside groups supporting her through the end of June, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by Crowdpac, a political crowdfunding website. By contrast, nearly 31% of the donations to help Republican Donald Trump came from female donors.
The gap is the largest in the recent history of presidential fundraising and an indication that support for Clinton among women could set records this fall if voting patterns follow political giving.
...Earlier this year when Trump declared that Clinton was “playing the woman’s card” in the election, her campaign quickly began selling hot pink “women’s cards,” “Deal Me In” T-shirts and other merchandise pegged to Trump’s remarks. It paid off: The campaign collected $2.4 million in 48 hours.
The campaign’s most successful fundraising pitches allow supporters to show “that you are on her side, that you have her back,” said Amanda Litman, the campaign’s email director. “They feel very protective of her.”
Now this is pretty extended “woman card” deck:
The presidential campaign-inspired "The Woman Card[s]" deck has finally been produced and sister-brother team Zebby and Zach Wahls have unveiled the finished product to the masses. As promised, the deck features a host of influential women including Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Beyonce, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and others.
Two bonus cards have been added, featuring Ellen DeGeneres and Betty White as jokers.
You can read about the featured women here. A few examples:
Ace: Hillary Clinton—The word "ace" denotes "one" or "single," which is why there is only one spot on the card. A former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is now the only woman to have ever been nominated for President of the United States by a major American political party. 
10: Sylvia Rivera—In Sylvia's own words, "Ray Rivera left home at the age of 10 to become Sylvia. And that’s who I am." Sylvia then became a leading figure in what was then called the gay liberation movement, fighting to help protect young homeless drag queens and transgender women of color in New York City.  
3: Ida B. Wells—In 1892, three friends of Ida B. Wells were seized and murdered by a lynch mob in Memphis, Tennessee. Wells launched a ground-breaking investigation into their deaths and spent two months traveling through the South investigating and writing about other lynchings, under near-constant threat of violence. She later became a founding member of the NAACP.

This seems like the place for some Thursday Herstory!
Last week as Donald Trump dared to insult the Khan family, I couldn’t help but think of a different person named Khan who made the supreme sacrifice… a Muslim woman who gave her life, not merely for a single country but for a cause that reached across borders. Forgive me if this week I take a break from our usual American political herstory for something a bit different.
Although you may commonly hear her called British, Noor Inayat Khan was in fact half-American. Born to an Indian father and American mother in Russia in 1914, she lived in Paris, and served in a covert British operation against Nazis in occupied France. Hers is a story that crosses many borders and nationalities; like Capt. Humayun Khan, she lived the true meaning of self-sacrifice.
Noor’s father, Hazrat Inayat Khan Rehmat Khan Pathan, came from aristocratic Indian Muslim family, and was a teacher of mysticism and music. His Universal Sufism preached the common brother- and sisterhood of humanity, nonviolence, and adherence to a higher law of love as expressed though service to others. Her mother, born Ora Ray Baker, was a cousin of Mary Eddy Baker, became his pupil. Her family was open-minded in matters of religion but not of race; when the couple fell in love, they did their best to prevent the marriage. Now known as Ameena Begum, she defied them. The couple married din 1913 and went travelling around the world to spread their message of unity, love, and mysticism.
Noor and her siblings grew up in an atmosphere of intense moral self-reflection, of  music, and affection for each other. When her father died in 1927, Noor helped her mother cope. She studied music at the Paris conservatory, as well as child psychology at the Sorbonne, and became an author of stories for children, published in magazines and on French radio programs. She published an English-language book of stories,  Twenty Jakata Tales, in 1939. The stories, modeled on Buddhist fables, told of animals and humans moved to self-sacrifice out of loving kindness, solving their problems in peaceful ways.

Noor Inayat Khan in her  WAAF uniform.

When the Second World War engulfed France, Noor and her family fled to Britain. Wanting to aid the fight against Nazism, but also desiring to keep true to her pacifist principles, she decided to join the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force as a wireless operator, a nonviolent form of war work. In 1942, she was spotted by a  recruiter for the SOE, which was looking for recruits with flawless French and the ability to operate a wireless radio.
The Special Operations Executive was one of Britain’s most secret of services. In the words of Winston Churchill, their goal was to “set Europe ablaze” by aiding resistance movement sin Nazi-occupied countries. According to the Imperial War Museum:
Colonel Colin Gubbins, SOE's first head of training and operations, organised in-depth training for recruits in unarmed combat, firearms, sabotage and wireless techniques. Research and development stations were set up near Welwyn in Hertfordshire, where scientists and technicians worked on specialist weapons, sabotage equipment and camouflage materials.
Agents operated in countries under the occupation of Nazi Germany, including France, Belgium, Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia and Italy. They also operated in the Far East in a branch known as Force 136. Agents were generally dropped by parachute, although some were transported by submarine. SOE also had a Naval Section, which used small boats to put agents ashore.
Secure and well-organised radio communications between SOE headquarters and agents in the field were crucial, as living and operating secretly behind enemy lines was extremely hazardous. If discovered, agents risked arrest, torture and execution. Of the 470 agents sent into France, 118 failed to return.
Agents were recruited largely from the refugee populations of occupied Europe living in Britain. Churchill approved dropping women into France only in 1942. The idea of sending women to, potentially, a dreadful death did not sit easy with him, but there were strong arguments for doing so.  In Occupied France, most healthy young men were supposed to be working for the Reich, so a strange man would arouse suspicion in the way a woman would not.  And , it was hoped, women might be able to use their social invisibility to evade capture. Yet women were officially barred from combat under the regulations for military service, so sending them off to wage guerilla warfare had to be done covertly. The female agents received commissions in what was officially a civilian organization, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), as a cover and the get around the combat bar.
Noor was not a natural agent. Although dedicated and hard working, she hated the idea of lying and did poorly in her mock interrogations. Some of her instructors believed she would prove unable or unwilling to physically defend herself if necessary. According to Nigel Pennington, there were other concerns as well:
The final report from Beaulieu characterised her as being “not over-burdened with brains” and concluded that it was “very doubtful whether she is really suited to work in the field”. The latter comment was backed by fellow recruit Yvonne Cormeau, who requested that Noor be withdrawn. The response by the head of F Section, Maurice Buckmaster, was contemptuous. “We don't want them overburdened with brains” he scribbled, under which he added “[it] makes me cross”. For him the equation was simple. The demand for wireless operators was greater than ever; Noor wanted to go; and he needed a qualified “body” to send. But of the four women on the course, only Cormeau would return.
Codenamed Madeline, Noor was parachuted into France in June 17, 1943. Unbeknownst to her, it was a doomed mission. One of the spies working for the SOE, Henri Déricourt, was a double agent, who kept the Germans informed of when drops were made and other key information about the spy circuits of Paris. One June 24, the heads of the PROSPER network were arrested, and through July, other, lower ranking agents, along with their families, were picked off too.  Noor stayed one step ahead of the Nazis, somehow, moving from safe house to safe house, but many of the safe houses were compromised.
German trucks patrolled the streets with equipment that could detect radio signals, which meant that Noor had to transmit only for brief periods, as well as keep moving. The wireless set was disguised as an ordinary suitcase, but it weighed nearly 40 pounds. Dyeing her hair, wearing sunglasses, she lugged the heavy set across Paris day after say. She took the risky step of contacting pre-war friends and hiding with them, out of necessity. She had the chance to leave Paris, but refused, continuing to broadcast vital intelligence, despite the physical and psychological strain of the constant danger. She finally agreed to be evacuated in October, but it was a flight she would never get to take.
Sometime in September, the counter-espionage police  (SD) Gestapo finally closed in on Noor.  She had chosen not to carry a weapon, so when an agent cornered her in her apartment, she could only bite and claw him as she tried to evade arrest. She was taken to their headquarters, where, almost immediately, she attempted escape, by requesting a bath and then climbing out the window once the door was locked. She was unsuccessful, and taken for questioning:
SOE agents were told to try and hold out for 48 hours, to give others in their network time to disappear, but no-one could ever be sure how they would react to the shock of capture. When grilled by her SOE trainers Noor had crumbled, yet when facing the real thing she proved her critics wrong and performed better than anyone could have imagined. In spite of the best efforts of her interrogator Ernst Vogt, Noor showed complete contempt for her captors and refused to tell them anything during her time at Avenue Foch. Their wireless expert Josef Goetz later admitted that “Madeleine refused to give us any assistance whatsoever”, and in a post-war statement, Hans Kieffer, the SD commandant, confirmed that they “could never rely on anything she said”.
She remained uncooperative throughout her imprisonment, despite repeated attempts to coerce her with promises of better treatment. But unfortunately, the SD had her wireless, codebook, and copies of her previous dispatches. They were able to send disinformation to London, where, incredibly, despite several tells that the operator was not Noor, the messages were accepted as genuine.
But, Noor was not done defying her Nazi captors:
In November she formed an escape party with [fellow prisoner John] Starr and Léon Faye, the former head of MI6’s ALLIANCE intelligence network. Stealing a screwdriver, Starr passed it to Faye and Noor via a hiding place in the bathroom, in order to loosen the bars over the skylights in their cells. One night Starr climbed out of his window and onto the roof where he met Faye: they planned to haul Noor up through the skylight of her cell, but she hadn’t been able to remove the bars, causing a fatal delay. Around 3am an RAF air raid suddenly alerted the guards, who then checked on the prisoners’ cells. Within minutes the breakout had been discovered. Using a rope made from sheets and blankets, the three of them managed to climb down and break into a second-floor apartment next door, but by now Kieffer had the whole area secured. Faye was shot and wounded when he made a desperate dash for liberty, leaving Noor and Starr to savour their few remaining moments of freedom before being escorted back
After this, Starr promised not to attempt escape again, and was returned to his cell. Noor and Faye, however, refused. So they were sent off to the East under a “Nacht und Nebel” order—“Night and Fog,” the Nazi term for prisoners who were to vanish into the concentration camp system. She was sent first to Pforzheim prison, where she was chained and put on a near-starvation diet. She was regularly interrogated and tortured, but refused to give her captors any information. Incredibly, she held out for eight months of this. There are disputed accounts about her death, but it seems likely that she was transferred to Dachau with three other SOE women in September. A Dutch prisoner later reported that she was tortured before being shot. According to his account, her last word was “Liberté.”
Noor was Mentioned in Dispatches in 1946; in 1949 the French government honored her with the Croix de guerre,  and the British government with the George Cross. Hercitation for the latter reads in part:
“Assistant Section Officer INAYAT-KHAN displayed the most conspicuous courage, both moral and physical over a period of more than 12 months “
Today, Noor is honored with a plaque at Dachau.  She is also named on the FANY Memorial at St. Paul’s in London and the Air Forces memorial at Runnymede. In 2012, a bust of her was unveiled in London’s Gordon Square Gardens.

Noor Inayat Khan
Memorial bust in London

You can learn more about her story from the 2007 British documentary“Princess Spy” or the 2014 PBS documentary Enemy of the Reich. There are several books about her and other female SOE agents; Sara Helm’s A Life in Secrets is one of the most exhaustively researched.
American, Indian, French, British…in the end, Noor Inayat Khan was a citizen of the world, who gave her life to stop one of the most relentless and evil regimes the world has ever seen.  And she did it as a volunteer. As General de Gaulle’s niece, Madame de Gaulle-Anthonioz put it at a memorial service:
Nothing, neither her nationality, nor the traditions of her family, none of these obliged her to take her position in the war. However, she chose it. It is our fight that she chose, that she pursued with an admirable, an invincible courage.
Few people could have predicted that this gentle musician and author of children’s fables, with her honest disposition and pacifist belief, could have proved such a redoubtable enemy of the Reich. Yet she did, sending vital information at a time when other radio operators could not. And her courage in keeping the SOE’s secrets despite months of torture undoubtedly helped save the lives of other agents in the field. She was one of millions of Muslims who fought in Allied forces against Nazism, doing so despite the undeniable colonialist oppression many of them faced from powers such as France and the United Kingdom.  Their self-sacrifices are yet another stinging rebuke to Donald Trump’s disgusting and obscene bigotry.

Melissa McEwan at Blue Nation Review has an awesome smackdown of the New York Times for suggesting that Clinton lied about her emails. It’s called “To the NYT Public Editor: Your Priorities on Hillary Are Bizarre and Offensive”:
This morning, as every morning, my husband woke up, showered and dressed, drank a cup of coffee, and kissed me goodbye before he left for work. If someone called the house looking for him, and I told them he’s at work, and then they try him at work, but he’s not there, either, because he’s at a deli getting a sandwich for lunch, would I be lying?
No, I would have made an incorrect statement; told a falsehood. But I would not be lying. Because I was not intending to deceive anyone; I was simply providing what I thought to be a true statement based on the best information I had at the time.
This is not an insignificant distinction.
...Can you appreciate my contempt, Ms. Spayd, for your effectively apologizing for not covering an intellectually dishonest garbage story about Hillary’s integrity, in the same week that your paper:
  1. Ran a despicable headline casting Hillary in the role of “hunter” stalking white male voters as her “prey.”
  2. Changed that headline, following public scorn, to the slightly less offensive variation of “targeting” white male voters.
  3. Did so without public acknowledgment, apology, or even a correction note to the piece, which still stands without any indication that the headline was changed because it was so objectionable.
Let me not mince words, Ms. Spayd: That seems like an intent to conceal the truth. Ahem.
And just because she’s on fire, let me close with another McEwan piece, from Shakesville, called “Hillary’s Presidency Will be Good For Boys, Too:”
Seeing a woman run for president and capturing her party's nomination is a crucial formative experience for boys who are growing up in a world of increasing gender equality. Many of them will work for female bosses someday—and men who don't reflexively recoil at the notion of female authority tend to do better with female bosses than men who regard them with suspicion or hostility.
Hillary's candidacy also gives boys a big opportunity to have a role model who is not a man. There are boys for whom the rigid definitions of masculinity and manhood proscribed by patriarchal norms don't fit and never will. Such a public alternative to the narratives of masculine leadership is critically important for all boys, but especially those who might deviate in one or many ways from the expectations of men prescribed by their culture.
Supporting a female presidential candidate may be the first green light a boy has ever had to like a female person other than his immediate family members. And further: To like her in a non-objectified way. Boys are taught, in overt and covert ways, that simply liking girls and women as human beings is unacceptable—and a female presidential candidate may present an exception to that rule.
(originally posted at Daily Kos)

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