I seem to be in a mood to remember events today by using Bruce's music, and I just came across this video at YouTube. It's a very elegant tribute to the woman whom the Man in Black loved all his life. Thanks to "Yankees123456."
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I seem to be in a mood to remember events today by using Bruce's music, and I just came across this video at YouTube. It's a very elegant tribute to the woman whom the Man in Black loved all his life. Thanks to "Yankees123456."
I should have posted this a couple of days ago, and I apologize for being tardy. I don't know who made this video (somebody at YouTube who posts under the name "DarkSkyMind"), but I sure as hell appreciate it.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Can someone tell me when we, as the American people, are finally going to get fed up with the idiot-in-chief? I'm serious....
Now it's Iran who supports Hamas, Hezbollah, is pursuing WMDs, etc. Didn't we just go through this four years ago?
And if, as the most corrupt, incompetent administration in the history of the country now claims, we are fighting for democracy in the Middle East, why are we so determined to demonize groups that, while I think they are despicable, have actually been brought to power in elections that are actually more fair than the last two presidential elections in our own beloved democracy?
As I watch the Bush administration continue to dismantle our Constitution, I can't help but wonder -- why is it that the Democrats, moderate Republicans, and independents still allow this bullshit? It just makes me want to puke.
Yes, 9/11 was one of probably the two most catastrophic days in our history. I lost two very good friends that day, and it pissed me off. Yet when I hear rhetoric such as, "if we don't fight them there, we'll have to fight them here," I wonder why we don't seem to have a single politician in the country willing to stand up and be counted. Let's face it, from the 50's through the 80's we actually had an enemy who had the power to destroy us. We defeated them. And we all know that while the fanaticists in the Middle East have the power to inflict damage -- and possibly some severe damage -- on us, they do not, by any stretch of the imagination have the power to destroy us as the Soviet Union did.
In fact, it seems to me that the most dangerous thing my beloved country faces -- and I speak as a disabled vet -- is the administration currently in power which seems determined to eliminate the Constitution. And why 28% of the country still supports them is absolutely beyond me.
But hell, I guess it really doesn't matter in the long run. We're raising a generation of idiots, as Miss Teen South Carolina has amply demonstrated, and it is surely more important for Bubba, Billy Bob and all the other 28% who still continue to blindly support our idiot-in-chief to worry about how Michael Vick's woes will affect their fantasy football team.
I'm sorry, this is the first time in a while that this pissed off vet has posted, but I'm more sorry that no one seems to give a crap.
By the way, we lost a few more soldiers today. I guess that doesn't really matter to most folks in this country.
OK, I am so pissed off at the Democratic Party that I haven't posted anything in quite a while -- but this really takes the cake.
I heard Bruce's new single, "Radio Nowhere," today. I personally can't wait for the new album to be released. And then I saw the first tour dates.
You see, I grew up and now live again in Arizona. If any of you know anything about Springsteen's history, you'll know that we loved him in Phoenix long, long before anybody in Chicago, Minneapolis, etc. ever heard of him. We are fanatical. Yet, today I found that he's not going to be performing in Phx, Vegas, or anywhere within 350 miles of me in the first leg of the tour. He will be in L.A. on Oct. 28, but there's still no announcement of the venue or when tickets will go on sale.
Maybe this seems petty, but this actually pisses me off as much as the way the Dems caved on the freakin' surveilance act.
What is going on, Bruce? Did you forget all those peeps out here who sold out shows when you couldn't draw 500 people in other towns?
I'm sorry, but I am really, really fucking angry today. I just finished checking on hotels in the L.A. area for Oct. 28 and it looks like I'm going to have to pay more than $300 bucks for a room in the L.A. area due to conventions booked that week. C'mon Bruce, can't you use one of those open dates to do a show that I, as a poor, working fan of yours, can actually attend?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Iraq Vets Against The War is a group of men and women who have done their time in a "war/occupation" built on lies.
They spend their days taking the hard earned experiences, many earned in blood to military bases, demostrations, forums and other meetings across the country. Their message is clear.
"END THE SENSELESS SLAUGHTER, BRING OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS HOME!"
For bringing that experience to the people they've been arrested by MPs and the Police, called "back stabbers" and "traitors" by cowbell clanging "vets on bikes" and "cowards by people who have never worn a uniform in their lives.
Rather than back down in the face of this BS IVAW continues to "bring forth the truth".
When Eli refused to follow orders he was supported by many but also attacked and ridiculed by others.
Here is his story. Believe him or those who attack him. It's your choice.
I'll support IVAW every way I can.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
or was it Iraq about Iran? who da fook knows? The little imp can't remember so why should we?
I want to link a article from the Times about a 23 year old on his 4th tour that should have been home in June but got extended and died with 3 of his brothers yesterday but I dont want to remind you of the fucking war.
My thinking is that for every GI that dies at least 2 if not more are maimed, at least 10 Iraqis have been zapped and 30 maimed.
Meanwhile america says "lets try this".
War cuts off peoples arms, makes fathers have to touch the faces of their daughters rather than see the beauty and america says "we have time".
Yep!!!!!!! Our asses arent on the line anymore.
Fook those who say "It dont mean nothin" and we have time.
A 24 year old kid on his 4TH tour died with 3 of his brothers. Sitting back on our cynical Preparation H using asses makes us old. I'll grow up the day before I die.
Fuck with me old friends.
most times i sit down here I'm so angry i cant say a word. i rant like a 19 year old who watched a man older than me, maybe 28 step over the bodies of my friends to grab a cupie doll and show no respect.
If you stumble across here ill try but be warned. I think im more pissed than the other 2.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I wholeheartedly urge any of you who read this blog to read this opinion piece from Timothy Garton Ash in today's L.A. Times regarding the future and consequences of the Iraq fiasco.
Ash closes with this:
"In history, the most important consequences are often the unintended ones. We do not yet know the longer-term unintended consequences of Iraq. Maybe there is a silver lining hidden somewhere in this cloud. But as far as the human eye can see, the likely consequences of Iraq range from the bad to the catastrophic.
"Looking back over a quarter of a century of chronicling current affairs, I cannot recall a more comprehensive and avoidable man-made disaster."
According to NBC News this evening, President Musharraf in Pakistan is in imminent danger of having his government toppled, leading to what Brian Williams said could be called the number one foreign policy crisis the United States will face in the near future.
As usual when dealing with foreign policy crises, the Bush administration, after having poured billions of dollars into supporting Musharraf's dictatorship, has no plan B for what to do about Pakistan if his government does fall to a coup of some sort.
Why does this not surprise me?
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I sure hope Bruce and E Street play SeaTown.
Dont understand how folks can support this war and not be in it.
I think if al the folks who dont vote and claim they dont give a fook stood on a corner in america on 10/12/07 and gave a fook the world could change.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Army Spc Eleon "Eli" Israel has refused to participate in the occupation of Iraq any longer. I think this young man has taken a very brave action. I also think those who think his refusal doesn't reflect the sentiments of thousands of his brothers and sisters are naive as hell.
If you know this occupation is wrong and should be ended support Eli and others like him. They don't have the time to wait for an election.
Bring' Em Home!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I will admit that I've been busier than usual lately with two jobs and two or three poker tournaments a week. However, what's taken up the most time lately has been the release of both the DVD and CD, Bruce Springsteen and the Sessions Band "Live in Dublin."
Unfortunately, the Seeger Sessions tour was the first Bruce tour I've missed since my first Bruce show way back in 1974. So this has been my first chance to experience the joy Bruce brings to this music. "Oh Mary Don't You Weep" ignites the band, as does "Pay Me My Money Down." I even like the re-worked versions of some of my favorite older tunes, e.g. "Further Up The Road" and "Atlantic City." "Highway Patrolman" and "Open All Night" are perfect for this tour, capturing the spirit of the protest songs of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.
I know this tour was not a favorite with many of the oldtime Brucefans, but I loved the CD when it came out last year and I really love seeing the show on the DVD, since I didn't get to see it live.
I'd like to hear from some of the other folks here what everyone thinks of this.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I sure hope the funk I've been in has run its course. The frustration wears me down.
I called a friend to talk about the M's game tonight. It was right after the Cubs catcher had dropped the ball allowing Vidro to score. The M's won in 13. Lou must be seething.
As always happens with our talks the subject turned to politics and the occupation. He said he wondered when the occupation will end. I told him that its not going to. Its coming to that realization that's put me in the funk. Hell, I turn on a R&R station and hear a add from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DynCorp_International offering 134K jobs in Iraq training border guards.
They're building the largest embassy in the world. They're demanding that the Iraqis sign over 75% of their oil to foreign companies by the end of July and when it really is "our oil" the chances of pulling out are slim and none. Besides, I just don't think enough american people will get angry enough until a draft is reenstated.
I'd love it if someone can prove me wrong.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The first thing I have to do is say a resoundingly loud "Happy Birthday" to my good, good friend Roy -- or as you may know him, Peace Vet. I hope he and his wife Kat have many, many more days of happiness.
I've done double shifts for the last three days, so I haven't followed through on my promise of more posts. In fact, this is the first time I've even been online for a couple of days, but I think it's time for me to check the news.
I'll be back quickly with some more pissedoffedness....
Monday, June 11, 2007
Maybe we didnt see the family die because it would have asked us to invest more than we want to. If the mafia tv family dies maybe the deaths in Iraq are real.
The dark screen works every day when we're dealing with the war/occupation doesn't it?
3500 fooking dead and I'll bet the only people who can name a name are family.
Ooops, maybe Im wrong. We all all know who Cody is right?
His mother has been called everything but a mother in mourning.
I dedicate 57 to Cindy, her family and peace.
Fook the soprano organized crime drug dealing womens body selling. DID YOU SEE HOW WHEN AG dissed the yard plant he was ridiculed but when he wanted to go they said no?
Welcome to the assholes who send OUR children to war.
yeah im pissed
Ya wanna show some anger now?
I spent my 20th birhday in a hospital in Vietnam. Today I'm spending my 57th sitting at a cumputer wondering what folks will be saying about this piece of shit occupation in 20 let alone 30 years.
It devided the country but I had a support the troops sticker on my car? on my car? Boy, we didnt let that hippy chick spit on the vets during Iraq did we? Yeah man, all politicians suck?
I sure hope those who have told us we'll have to wait to see if its right or wrong have given all they can to the new Wall before they sit down to their meal on Memorial Day.
I hope they have the proof that shows the thousands who have died have not done so in vain.
I've been accused of trying to turn the subject of every conversation I'm involved in towards Iraq. I plead guilty.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
I was out of work for quite some time, but now I'm working at two equally low-paying jobs with no benefits; therefore, I really haven't had the time or energy to focus my general pissedoffedness over the last couple of months. I've missed writing here, though, and I've decided it's time to come back.
For starters, check out this post from Jon Swift about what a Scooter Libby-hosted Halloween party for children of the rich and powerful (and in some cases, irrelevant -- see Carville, James and Matalin, Mary).
I may never sleep again -- at least with the lights off.....
Friday, June 8, 2007
7 dead on 6/7. I fookin know ya wanna think about other shit but guess what folks. Im on the verge of tears and all yer peace shit dosent mean that much.
Remember basic at Ft Lewis? Remember AIT? Kids are fookin dead. I cant put Iraqis ahead of GIs and it fucks with me.
You folks love us on a street corner telling the truth but you hate us at the dinner table
Is knowing you know you have the ability to be much angrier but folks tell you to chill.
The dead and maimed Iraqis number in the 10s of thousands. The dead and wounded of "coalition forces" number in the thousands and the bastids in DC play games and act like they give a damn while they sing "Bomb Iran".
I dont know about anyone else and their dreams on turning 57 but this wasnt mine.
I was idealistic enough at at 20 to think we could change the world.
Now all I can do is fight to save lives.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Apparently, it's much too hard for the layabout we currently have in the White House, the guy who managed to screw up every business he ever tried to run, and one of whose current titles is "Commander-in-Chief." It seems that the "decider" has become the "delegator." However, there's just one small problem -- no one wants the job. As Kevin Drum in his "Political Animal" blog at the Washington Monthly says, "Does anyone truly think that a shiny new White House staffer with no budgetary authority, no bureaucratic support, and little in the way of institutional levers of control is going to be able to magically get everyone on the same page sometime in the next few months? It's a suicide mission, and the fact that Bush apparently thinks that a bit of org chart shuffling will make a significant difference in Iraq is just one more sign of how deeply out of touch with reality he is."
Even the guy who came up with the idea for the surge wants no part of being the "war czar." That would be retired four-star Army general Jack Keane. According to the Washington Post, "Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff, was one of the primary proponents of sending more troops to Iraq and presented Bush with his plan for a major force increase during an Oval Office meeting in December. The president adopted the concept in January, although he did not dispatch as many troops as Keane proposed."
Why on earth would anybody want this job?
If I weren't so busy crying, I'd have no choice but to be laughing instead.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
I was watching Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on CNN this morning, and I saw what may have been the most bizarre political conversation I've ever seen. Arlen Specter, the Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, was defending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial trip to Syria, while Democrat (in name, at least) Joe Lieberman was vigorously denouncing the trip. You can see the video at Crooks and Liars.
Is there anyone out there who still believes 1) that Lieberman is a Democrat in anything other than name; or 2) that he has any credibility left on anything? I honestly cannot remember a single issue in the last four years that he's gotten right -- of course, that might be because he sides with the White House more than Dennis Hastert.
I don't know what the good folks in Connecticut were thinking when they re-elected Liebermann in the '06 general election after the Dems booted his butt in the primary. Evidently the Republican candidate must have been a real yo-yo...
I just found an extremely interesting discussion at Pandagon regarding the thin line between religion and politics. If you're interested in the subject at all (and I think that progressives need to be very interested in this age of culture wars), I recommend that you check out Amanda's post as well as all the comments. Very intellectually stimulating...
Thursday, April 5, 2007
For those of you who haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.
The book is an exhaustive history of the terrorist organization, with over 500 sources utilized to detail how a small group of Islamofascists brought America to its knees five and a half years ago.
Wright doesn't take a political stance in the book -- there's no bashing of either the Bush or Clinton administrations (or even Israel for that matter). Instead, he paints a steady portrait of an organization that remained all but unknown throughout most of its history, even going bankrupt at one point. The account is riveting, reading more like a suspense novel than a history tome.
The book traces the history of al-Qaeda far beyond bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to the man who formed the radical theocratic notions that resulted in al-Qaeda, Sayyid Qutb, who became al-Zawahiri's mentor. It is impossible to understand Islamic terrorism without understanding Qutb.
One thing the reader will come away with is a knowledge of how the U.S. intelligence services charged with protecting the nation failed utterly -- not through laws preventing the sharing of information, but rather through bureaucratic boondoggles that prevented anyone from ever gaining enough pieces of the puzzle to accurately see what was happening. The author makes it abundantly clear that this was due to misplaced pride and jealousy, especially between the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. This is also the result of an American mindset that is simply incapable of understanding the forces that lead to such hatred.
I believe this is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in ascertaining the truth about terror.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I don't know why this caught me by surprise -- after seeing the attorney scandal and everything else the idiot-in-chief has done for the past six and a half years, nothing should surprise me.
Remember Sam Fox? Sure you do. He's the guy Bush nominated to be the ambassador to Belgium recently. The same guy who donated $50,000 to the Swift Boaties. If you recall, the nomination was pulled when it became apparent that there was no way in hell he could be confirmed by the Senate.
Well, guess what. With the Senate in recess for a week, Bush gave him a recess appointment. That's right, an appointment until the end of term with no necessity for confirmation. Not only that, but if you look at the announcement from the White House, you'll see that they really tried pretty hard to hide it -- all the way at the bottom.
If a Democrat (let's say, for example, Bill Clinton -- or Barack Obama -- or Hillary Clinton -- or Al Gore -- or John Edwards) pulled this kind of crap, I can only imagine the response we'd be hearing from the likes of Crush Limpoop, Bill Orally, Sean Inshannity, etc. I do know that it wouldn't be pretty.
This is without a doubt the most offensive recess appointment Bush has made since John Bolton. If you remember, that was another case of the Prez waiting until Congress was in recess in order to thumb his nose at the confirmation process.
Is this legal? Unfortunately, yes. The recess appointment process was designed to keep government running without lapses during the times Congress takes off -- it was not designed to circumvent the confirmation process. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the Federalist Papers knows this. Does it carry an unbelievably rank stench? Of course it does.
If anyone really thinks that George W. Bush has any regard for the Constitution, I want to know what that person has been smoking -- because it's certainly better than anything legal I can find.
Monday, April 2, 2007
This post may not make much sense. You see, I read the other day the quote by my Senator, John McCain, about how an American could go walking through the streets of Baghdad and feel perfectly safe. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "John McCain is an honorable man..."
Therefore, I was obviously surprised when I saw that John McCain, who is "an honorable man" needed 100 American troops, three Blackhawk helicopters, two Apache gunships, and a kevlar flak jacket to go walking down the street in Baghdad.
But John McCain is an honorable man. So, I guess he's right -- any American can walk down the street in Baghdad and feel completely safe. Right?
As long as you have the entire U.S. military at your disposal, and you stay in the most secured area of the city, you wouldn't be technically lying about being able to walk down the street safely. Right?
Glad to know how much progress we're making over there. Ask John McCain -- an honorable man.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
I believe that our beloved leader, the Shrub, has really convinced himself that no matter what he says, no one will remember at a later date. Then again, if someone does remember, he simply ignores any inconsistencies with reality and his worldview. So I suppose this example of how well things are going in Iraq shouldn't surprise me either.
March 20, 2006 -- GWB speaking to the Cleveland City Club at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel:
"See, if you're a resident of Tal Afar today, this is what you're going to see: You see that the terrorist who once exercised brutal control over every aspect of your city has been killed or captured, or driven out, or put on the run. You see your children going to school and playing safely in the streets. You see the electricity and water service restored throughout the city. You see a police force that better reflects the ethnic and religious diversity of the communities they patrol. You see markets opening, and you hear the sound of construction equipment as buildings go up and homes are remade. In short, you see a city that is coming back to life.
The success of Tal Afar also shows how the three elements of our strategy in Iraq -- political, security, and economic -- depend on and reinforce one another. By working with local leaders to address community grievances, Iraqi and coalition forces helped build the political support needed to make the military operation a success. The military success against the terrorists helped give the citizens of Tal Afar security, and this allowed them to vote in the elections and begin to rebuild their city. And the economic rebuilding that is beginning to take place is giving Tal Afar residents a real stake in the success of a free Iraq. And as all this happens, the terrorists, those who offer nothing but destruction and death, are becoming marginalized.
The strategy that worked so well in Tal Afar did not emerge overnight -- it came only after much trial and error. It took time to understand and adjust to the brutality of the enemy in Iraq. Yet the strategy is working. And we know it's working because the people of Tal Afar are showing their gratitude for the good work that Americans have given on their behalf."
Today's headline at MSNBC.com -- Tal Afar bomb toll hits 152, deadliest of Iraq war
"BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi government raised the death toll on Saturday from a truck bomb in the town of Tal Afar to 152, making it the deadliest single bombing of the four-year-old war."
Read more here...
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I've been out of town for a few days, so I haven't had much time to post -- or even think much. However, I just got finished reading Glenn Greenwald's column today at Salon and it is a brilliant analysis of the death of traditional conservatism under the neoconservative movement that has taken over the country in the last few years.
Greenwald uses David Brooks' column in today's NYT as a starting point. Brooks argues that the traditional conservative philosophy -- "that government power should be restrained in order to maximize freedom" is no longer relevant. Instead, it has been replaced by a neoconservative radicalism that argues "for expanded government power on every front."
Greenwald states convincingly that the Bush administration and its followers, while paying lip service to Goldwater/Reagan traditional conservatism, are in fact the farthest thing from it. Instead, they advance an extreme authoritarian philosophy. With this realignment of the "right" to radicalism, the "left" is also nothing like the left of the 70s. Instead, it is reduced to opposing the shift of power to the executive and to attempting to impose some form of check and balance to our government before everything previously recognizable as "American" is completely demolished.
This has been, as Greenwald notes, crystal clear since the Bush administration came into power. At any rate, it's an article well worth reading -- and memorizing.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Diarist VermontGriz at Daily Kos alerted us in his diary post today to something that he found infuriating, and when I read the diary and watched the embedded video, I was infuriated as well.
It seems that Tony Snow, our erstwhile W.H. Press Secretary, gave us all a lesson in Constitutional Law this morning on the CBS Morning Show with Harry Smith. Snow said, with a perfectly straight face, "The Legislative Branch has no oversight responsibility over the White House." Smioth found it difficult to hide his contempt, and Snow got visibly frustrated as a result.
For the record, I note that Kos and Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker also wrote about Snow's appearance on ABC with Diane Sawyer. Sawyer tried to hold Snow's feet to the fire, but she wasn't nearly as effective as Smith. That video is here.
It wasn't that long ago that I took two courses in Con Law, and I can't recall anything of the sort being mentioned. I managed two As without knowing this crucial fact about our system of government.
I agree with VG -- this is something that should be brought to the attention of every Senator and Representative in Congress. I've already emailed my two Senators, McCain and Kyl, as well as my Rep, Trent Franks. Quite frankly, I doubt that it will do much good -- especially in the cases of Kyl and Franks, who have proven themselves over and over to be administration bootlickers.
However, I still urge anyone reading this to read VG's diary, watch the video, and then please contact all these folks in Congress and let them know how you feel about this lawless administration, which seems intent on a bloodless coup. Also, please contact everyone you know who is concerned about this country remaining a federalist republic with checks and balances on each branch to do the same.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post arguing against impeachment. It is now painfully obvious that I was totally and completely wrong -- not just wrong, but absolutely insane. IMPEACH NOW!!!!!!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
This piece by Bobby Muller was just posted at Huffingtonpost.com, and I know that Peace Vet and Medic would want it shared here. Please read it, if you haven't already.
A quote: "When my government asked me to serve, I did. I paid an immense personal price, and my country subsequently turned its back on me. I had been betrayed."
"As the war began to wind down and we became aware that our government lied about the necessity and purposefulness of the war, I became very angry and the betrayal that I felt was debilitating."
After four years of another unnecessary, purposeless war (unless you consider our domination of all the oil in the Middle East a valiant purpose for the sacrifice of our fighting men/women), we need to pay heed to what folks like Bobby, Peace Vet and Medic have to say. They've seen it, done it....and, unfortunately, been repaid abysmally.
Monday, March 19, 2007
In more news about the U.S. Attorney scandal, I just saw in this story from Tuesday's Washington Post by Dan Eggen and John Solomon that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the Libby prosecutor, was ranked "below 'strong U.S. Attorneys . . . who exhibited loyalty' to the administration but above 'weak U.S. Attorneys who . . . chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.,' according to Justice documents." Those documents were among 3000 pages released yesterday by the Justice Department related to the recent firings.
Fitzgerald's supervisor had something to say about the rankings --
'He is probably the best prosecutor in the nation -- certainly one of them,' said White, who worked in the Clinton and Bush administrations. 'It casts total doubt on the whole process. It's kind of the icing on the cake.'"
Remember, this is the same prosecutor who has put a few Al Qaeda types away in his time, including the mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing, and whose prosecution of Libby has overwhelming support among the American public (those who can be bothered to pay attention, at least).
In a bizarre way, I wish he had been caught up in the firings as well, because I truly would have loved to see Fredo and the Shrub run away from this one.
I finally caught yesterday's edition of Meet the Press late last night (transcript here), and I am once again absolutely astonished that anyone can call the mainstream media "liberal."
Tim (I'm the easiest guy to get V.P. talking points through) Russert had four guests: two Dems and two Repubs. The Democrats were former Congressman Tom Andrews, director of the Win Without War coalition, and Congressman Joe Sestak, retired vice admiral of the U.S. Navy; while the Republicans were former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, author of "No Retreat, No Surrender", and Richard Perle, former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.
Once again, Russert refused to act anything like a serious moderator. He didn't question Perle when he kept trying to turn the word "redeployment" into "cut and run;" he didn't do anything to stop DeLay's continuous allegations that anyone who opposes this war (or worse, goes out and protests) is "aiding and abetting the enemy." For those of you not familiar with the Constitution, that's a flagrant slander -- accusing someone of treason on national television.
However, the funny part was watching DeLay attempt to lecture a retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy on military strategy -- and then trying to say that he has better sources in the military. This is priceless --
FMR. REP. DeLAY: But surrender does not bring security.
MR. PERLE: You must be...
REP. SESTAK: Tom, it's a different strategy.
FMR. REP. DeLAY: No, it's surrender.
REP. SESTAK: That brings about a more--no. Tom, we've learned so much in the military that...
FMR. REP. DeLAY: "This is hard, so I want to surrender."
REP. SESTAK: Absolutely not.
FMR. REP. DeLAY: That's exactly what it is.
REP. SESTAK: You never just keep banging your head against the wall, we learn in the military. Is there a better way to go about it? And that's what this bill does is it takes the last leverage we have to make it happen."
Why isn't DeLay working on his defense right now in his corruption case, and why is Russert even allowing him to have a platform on what is arguably the most important of the Sunday talk shows? Not only that, but at the end of the interview Russert actually shills for DeLay's book.
Some things I guess I just don't understand. One thing I do understand, however, is that NBC really needs to do something about letting Russert continue to be a mouthpiece, or at least a facilitator for the Bush administration. He's gotten to be almost as bad as the Faux Noise Channel.
EDITED BY PEACE VET
A lot of the counter-demonstrators are veterans -- of Vietnam and other
wars. They're always ready to have this fight again, anytime. But then, a
lot of the peace marchers are veterans, too, filling the front rank of the
protest column from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon. "Boo! Boo!" shriek
the sideline veterans at the marching veterans. "Traitors!"
Bands of brothers in Baghdad, broken apart at home. The veterans for peace,
including active-duty men and women, and guys fresh from Iraq in desert camo,
one of whom is sobbing, don't seem prepared for veteran-on-veteran trash talk.
The marching vets look so much younger and more vulnerable than the ones on the
side waving flags. They still have the thousand-yard stare, and a
battlefield hauntedness. "Bring our brothers home," is what they say.
I can't help but shake my head in wonder when I read or hear of fellow nam vets booing and calling vets and active duty from this war/occupation traitors because they want to bring their brothers and sisters home.
I wonder how history will show who treated the Iraqi vets like shyt when the rewritting of the history starts this time.
There have been 3 days of protest in this country and around the world. Most in the US have been led by vets/active duty and their families.
To my fellow Nam vets who would condemn those vets, their families, and tear up the signs and banners of those marching with them I say:
You were used as tools in "our" war and you're being played even worse today. The corporate war pigs will never allow you into the fold. They used us as pawns then, they're using you as pawns now, and they'll try to use those brothers and sisters you condemn today in the future.
If you insist on being welcomed home every Memorial and Veterans Day for 20 years you'll never get there.
A lot of these guys are the ones who claim they were spit on when they returned home. Who was doing the "spitting" Saturday if not these brave men in there medal bestooned "cut aways"? It seems they want the men and women they were jeering to sacrifice more in a senseless war so they themselfs can rewrite history and put their seal of approval on "their" war that slaughtered 2 1/2 million SE Asians and put 68,000 names on the Wall. They claim to speak for every one of those names. Well they don't.
Most of them are bullies who relive the false glory of Nam every day. They show up at the Wall every Vets Day demanding to be welcomed home for the 5th, 7th, or 10th time. They refuse to listen to any vet Iraq, Nam, Korea, etc. who dares to call BS.
The reports I've heard about some of the things these "brave men" did on Saturday discust me. They claimed to have been protecting the Wall. In reality they were there to pose and intimidate people. The Park Rangers used them to cut off routes to the rally site. I could go on but I'm sure I don't have to.
They may want us to send our families and friends to this fooking war, they may want to send their own sons and daughters. Fook em.
BRING EM HOME
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I usually think I'm a pretty bright guy, but the more I get into this blogging, the more I realize there are some really smart people out there who are a lot more on top of things than I am.
For example: I've railed for a long time (as have both of my partners here) about Bush relying on his conversations with God to take us into a totally unnecessary war which has cost the lives of well over 3000 American soldiers and uncounted Iraqi civilians. However, I really never made the connection that Bill Cusack makes at Huffington Post.
As Cusack notes, the God that talked to Bush must really hate us.
"Why does God want to destroy us and humiliate us? There is no doubt that is exactly what is happening. All of Bin Laden's dreams and goals are coming true. God isn't just teaching us a lesson in Iraq from which we can recover- he is stripping away our strength and power. We are done in the Middle East as a military influence, and we are now fated to sit by and watch China become king of the hill. Does God love Osama Bin Laden more than he loves Bush? Why is Bush taking orders from a God who loves Osama Bin Laden and wants to humiliate the U.S.? Did Allah kill Jesus? Jesus was a pacifist, after all, and Allah has been known to kick some serious booty- doesn't even seem like a fair fight. Poor, poor Jesus!
Perhaps Cusack is right with his conclusion:
"God put Bush in power to bring down the authorities that run this world so we will be forced to take responsibility for our lives and for our government. What say you men of faith in Bush? What does your God say now? I for one would like Bush to come clean and release the tapes of his conversation with the God who ordered this idiotic, unwinnable self-destructive war. And there had better not be any 18 minute gaps."
All I can say is, damn, I wish I had thought of and written this piece. And I hope that God, if he's really there, doesn't equate me with GWB in any form or fashion.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Several years ago a radical vet friend of mine burned a cassette of 60's music I'd given him years before that onto a CD. The artwork on the CD shows a picture of me placing a "Body Bag" on a row of concertina wire at the CNWS in California. I was there with thousands of others to protest the shipment of weapons to Central America. Behind that wire was a row of US Marines whose purpose was to prevent thousands of protesters from getting onto the base or "hijacking" a weapons train.
I'll remember the looks on the faces of those GI's for as long as I live. Dozens of vets were challenging them as to where the weapons they were guarding were going, who they were supporting, and who those weapons would kill and mutilate. We got sneers of hatred from some but many of those GI's winked and and gave gestures of support.
I never got the chance to talk to any of those Marines one on one but I often wonder what they thought when Brian Wilson lost his legs to one of those trains. I know the majority of them have been out of the service for years but I wonder if they remember those days at Concord as I do.
I know I've changed young peoples minds. I've had more than a few folks say that hearing me speak in a classroom or on their campus changed their politics or made them rethink joining the military.
I'd like to think that a few of those Marines, vets now, who see this war/occupation for what it is will be in the streets this weekend. And that they'll be there because one of the vets on the other side of the wire years ago said something that struck a nerve, and that their speaking out today can do the same.
BRING EM HOME
Monday, March 12, 2007
While I'm as critical as the next person about the inability (or refusal) of the Democrats to try and end the war in Iraq, I am happy that they are at least taking their oversight responsibilities seriously.
After too many years of the Republican Congress allowing Bush, Cheney, et al., to do as they jolly well pleased, public be damned, we're beginning to see some scandals uncovered and investigated that would have been swept under the table by Hastert and Frist -- three top people have fallen in the Walter Reed/VA scandal with more to come; hearings are beginning on the repulsive and regrettable firings at the Justice Department (which were apparently aided, if not requested or pushed, by Karl Rove); and Darth Cheney, Rove and possibly even the Shrub will apparently be investigated as a result of the Libby verdict.
Which brings us to today. According to Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker, the State Department is unable to find room in Baghdad for three congressional auditors, stating that having the auditors around for three months would be "a serious challenge to mission resources." The State Dept. agreed to a two-week visit, since three months would be far too long to have GAO auditors in Baghdad, and even that "will place considerable burden on Embassy staff and resources." You can read the entire letter from the State Department to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) here.
I like the response to this by the Democrats, however. Sen. Harkin leads a group of 22 senators who have sent a letter to Condi Rice requesting that room be found for the auditors -- not for three, but instead for six months.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Some breaking news from the New York Times -- apparently Halliburton, criminal Dick Cheney's former company, is moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai. Could it be that they might be a little worried about the future?
"The announcement about the Dubai move, which Halliburton made at a regional energy conference in Bahrain, comes at a time when the company is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegations of improper dealings in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria. Halliburton has also paid out billions in settlements in asbestos litigation....
The move seemed to raise questions about whether Halliburton might gain tax advantages or other benefits from shifting into a foreign country with pro-business regulations."
I gotta give 'em credit -- they certainly don't lack for cojones.
By the way, the Washington Post ran the story, but failed to mention anything about the investigations.
For several months, but especially since the conviction of I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby on obstruction of justice and perjury charges, a number of liberal bloggers and diarists have been calling for the impeachment(s) of Dick Cheney and/or George W. Bush. However, I believe that it is in the best interest of the liberals/progressives/Democrats to leave these folks exactly where they are for the next 22 months.
Why? One reason is that, as much as it disgusts me to say this, the time frame for impeachment has passed. Unfortunately, the time for impeachment was in '06, two years before the next presidential election. Unfortunately, that was impossible with a Republican Congress, but I don't see how things are much better now.Looking at things in a realistic manner, if the House were to pass articles of impeachment now, it would do nothing more than create a firestorm of controversy, with no realistic chance of success.
Let's face it: there definitely aren't enough votes in the Senate to convict. Now that could change if something even worse is discovered about this administration's corruption, but given what we already know and the inability of the Dems to capitalize thus far, I don't see that as likely. Instead, as a result of the lack of votes at present that would be necessary to convict, I think that trying to impeach now could easily backfire on the Dems, as it would give the Republicans ample ammunition to say that all we were interested in is smearing the "good name" of GWB and his administration in an effort to gain political capital just before the 2008 election. In a perverse way, this could easily make voters lean the other way and forget the malfeasances committed by the administration over the past six years. Mind you, just writing these two paragraphs has made me feel the need to vomit over what's happened to this country and its political system over the past forty years or so, but it's still true.
Even if an impeachment were successful now, we across the aisle must look at the possible consequences. Unless both were convicted, in which case Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be elevated to the Presidency, the options for the Dems are bad. If Bush were convicted but not Cheney, that would move Darth Vader into the White House. Is that something we can live with for x number of months? If Cheney is convicted but not Bush, then Bush would be allowed to nominate his choice for replacement, and Senatorial confirmation would be almost certain. This would allow the Republicans to move into the V.P.'s office immediately someone who could very well be on or aid the Republican ticket in 2008. In other words, to quote an old proverb, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.
The best reason not to impeach is this: Right now, it's open season (to use a term Cheney understands) for the Democrats. With this pair in office, everytime they open their mouths it should provide more ammunition for any and all of the Democratic candidates to use over the next months. Let's face it, the best thing the Democrats have going is the combination of the incompetence and corruption this administration has displayed during its six-plus years in office, aided and abetted by a Congress completely controlled by Republicans for four of those years. They sure can't run on their own record of inactivity and passivity. If you can't win an election when the other side gives you the kind of ammo that Bush and Cheney can provide over the next few months, then perhaps you shouldn't be in politics to begin. Ask John Kerry.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
For those of you who might have forgotten what happened 35 years ago, or for those of you too young to remember, I ran across this essay written by Arthur Schlesinger for The Atlantic Monthly in November 1973, shortly after the publication of his book, The Imperial Presidency (a book which went a long way towards cementing my political beliefs). Reading this essay again after all these years really brought back to mind the similarities between the push towards ultimate executive power by the Nixon administration and the same push by the Bush administration.
Another quote worthy of examination:
"Today the pessimism of the Supreme Court in an 1866 decision, ex parte Milligan, seems a good deal more prescient. The nation, as Justice Davis wrote for the Court then, has 'no right to expect that it will always have wise and humane rulers, sincerely attached to the principles of the Constitution. Wicked men, ambitious of power. with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln.'"
I strongly urge you all to read the entire essay, and then read the book if you can find it in a bookstore or your public library (I'm not sure if it's in print anymore, but it's worth looking for).
and didn't say anything so as not to embarrass the Army and the bushivics.
Senior Republicans knew about Walter Reed soldier abuse, but didn't speak up by John Aravosis (DC) ·
They knew, but didn't want to embarrass the Army. Yeah, what's 600,000 disability claims not yet responded to, soldiers sleeping in their own urine, mold, cockroaches and asbestos compared to embarrassing the Army.
From Congressional Quarterly:Senior Republicans who knew about problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while their party controlled Congress insist they did all they could to prod the Pentagon to fix them.
But C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., former chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, said he stopped short of going public with the hospital’s problems to avoid embarrassing the Army while it was fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Young and Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., the former chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, both acknowledged in interviews that they were aware of patient care problems at Walter Reed long before The Washington Post exposed them two weeks ago.And get this: The Republican in charge of all military funding in the House didn't want to weild his influence to fix the problems at Walter Reed and across the entire military hospital system because he discovered the problems during his time off, and he didn't want to mix business with pleasure. I'm not kidding.“What else do you want me to do? I am not going to go into a hospital and push my way into a medical situation,” Young said after the hearing.
Young said he “separates my life as a member of Congress and the work I do on a volunteer basis,” visiting military hospitals with his wife almost every week.
Young said he used his role as an appropriator to push to fund a new lab at Walter Reed and a new phone system at Fort Carson so patients could more easily make appointments.
But he said he purposely opted to bring concerns about individual patients’ care privately to the attention of Walter Reed commanders, rather than wield his clout as an Appropriations subcommittee chairman.Wow, a new lab and a new phone system. I'm sure that really helped the guys sleeping in their own urine while you and your wife did practically nothing to stop it
Makes you feel fookin proud, doesn't it?
Friday, March 9, 2007
Glenn Greenwald over at Salon notes that only Silent Patriot at Crooks & Liars brought this up:
I have to agree with Greenwald when he himself notes in his column, "When a country is ruled by an individual who repeatedly and openly arrogates unto himself the power to violate the law, and specifically proclaims that he is under no obligation to account to Congress or anyone else concerning the exercise of radical new surveillance powers such as NSLs, it should come as absolutely no surprise that agencies under his control freely break the law."
Is it really any surprise that Alberto Gonzales felt perfectly free to politicize the U.S. Attorney's Office, or that Scooter Libby got caught lying to cover up for his boss, the V.P.?
I truly believe that there are no depths to which this administration will not sink in order to try to prolong and promulgate its power. As Medic noted in an earlier post here, these guys are starting to make me pine for the days of Nixon.
I'm sure, by now, most people have heard how the FBI misused the (Un)patriot Act to illegally spy on Americans. Why does this not surprise me in the least. The current administration will do anything, legal or not, to advance their agenda. The bushivics have trashed our country and the Constitution. Should we continue to tolerate these law breaking, under-handed liars who run this country? They are beginning to make the nixon administration look good.
I needed to get this off my chest.
Apparently it took an insult from Faux News chief Roger Ailes about Barack Obama to make it happen, but according to the Huffington Post, the Dems are pulling out of the Fox-Nevada debate.
From a speech Ailes gave at an awards ceremony Thursday night: "[I]t is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'"
Geez, that Roger Ailes is a card isn't he? He's almost as funny as Ann Coulter.
It looks to me as though the Republican Party, its conservative base, and its propaganda arm are all terrified of all the top Democratic candidates for 2008. But then again, I can understand their terror.
If the top choices on my side in the Presidential race were Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Gingrich (I don't see any point in even mentioning Brownback or Huckabee in the same context), I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.
If my side had begun an unnecessary war that's going as badly as this one, and lied to the American people to do it, and then got caught trying to cover up those lies, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.
If my side had just had one of the four or five most important people in the White House convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.
If my side were trying to deal with the fallout over the disgusting situation at one of the top military medical facilities in the country after screaming about supporting the troops for four years, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.
If my side had one of its leaders in the Senate begin to publically ruminate on the possibility of impeachment of the President and/or Vice-President, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.
If my side were outed for politicizing the U.S. Attorney's Office by firing people for no apparent reason other than politics after slipping into the Patriot Act a little tidbit that allows the Attorney General to circumvent the Senate in appointing replacement U.S. Attorneys, I would be doing anything I could to demonize or belittle the other side as well.
Oops, I forgot....they do that anyway. No excuse needed.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
You've got to love this one, by that erstwhile conservator of morals Bill Bennett. It seems that the fact that the American people are now privy to some of the most anti-Constitutional processes and programs of the Bush administration is horrible, compared to his idea of the Libby case as "a seemingly innocent disclosure of Valerie Plame's name where her husband started the process."
I don't recall, in all the testimony I've read, anything showing that Joe Wilson outed his wife. I also seem to recall the same sanctimonious Republicans screaming about perjury about nine years ago -- "Rule of law! Rule of law!"
Yet when it's one of their own, who is admittedly the fall guy in all this, goes down for perjury and obstruction of justice, we don't hear much about the "rule of law."
The hypocrisy makes me ill.....
Looking for a flick to throw into the DVD player this weekend? I'd like to recommend Articl 99.
When it was released in 1992 most of the reviews said that it was "to far out there" concerning the conditions in VA Hospitals. Here is a good one. In reality many of the scenes depicted in the film were based on things that happened in the stuggle for decent health for vets. (see my "thats right its nothing new" post)
Anyway check this out. I think you'll want to pass it on to a lot of folks if you do.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Any vet dealing with the VA from the late 70's through the mid 80's remembers the horror stories well.
Ask any vet with "Gulf Syndrome" if they can relate to a "Agent Orange" vet. The answer will be yes.
Thanks to our brother "one pissed off veteran" for the link to this story.
This is a documentary about resistance in the military. It's a film about men and women saying NO MORE!
We've all heard of GI's refusing orders to Iraq. Many because they've already done multi-tours. Others because they've come to understand the occupation is wrong. Some have seen and know how they'll be treated if their wounded. Others just refuse to kill or die for a lie.
I believe whatever the reason they should be supported by anyone who opposes this war..
Sir No Sir is a film about GI resistance during the Vietnam War and the impact the GI movement had on the anti war movement overall.
If you have a son, daughter, or know anyone else who is considering "joining the fight" and you don't think they should go Sir No Sir just might give them some food for thought.
Monday, March 5, 2007
The WP was the only paper to get this story today, but it's a good one. It seems that we don't really have much of a plan to win in Iraq if the surge doesn't work.
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to a group of governors at a White House meeting about the strategy for the war. Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) summarized Pace's remarks thusly: "Plan B was to make Plan A work."
You gotta love the long-range planning we keep doing to make sure we win over there.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
It's been a few days since I've been able to post (you know, life just keeps intruding sometimes), and my first instinct with this one was to go after Ann Coulter. However, I decided there's really no point as that's been reported to death all over the blogosphere (not the mainstream media, however -- nary a word to be found in Saturday's WP or NYT about her offensive comment -- I didn't check the LAT, but I didn't find anything at AP either). I'm also beginning to be of the opinion that if we just ignore the Wicked Witch of Michigan, she'll eventually go away (although not bloody likely after seeing the applause she got at the convention and from the freepers at their website).
Something else happened at the CPAC conference though -- and this one could have implications for all of us.
Newt Gingrich, that lovable curmudgeon from Georgia, apparently wowed the crowd, helping his standing among those conservatives who fervently wish the ex-Speaker who left Congress in 1998 would consider a run for the Presidency. Liz Sidotti of the AP writes glowingly of the Newtster, mentioning several quotes that drew applause at the convention.
She neglected to mention this one, however: "How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane." (emphasis added.)
Yes, folks, that's a man who conceivably could the the Republican nominee for the Presidency blaming the victims for their own poverty and lack of education, thereby making them responsible for their own fate in the hurricane.
Naturally I couldn't find any mention of this in the mainstream media -- but I did find the transcript at Crooks and Liars, while you can hear the audio at Liberal Oasis.
Now that's what I call compassionate conservatism.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Anna was buried today. I played Candles In The Wind for her. I do hope that folks let her rest in peace. I can't remember what day she died but I know that in the month of Febuary 72 GI's died in country (how many died in hospitals later) and hundreds if not thousands of Iraqis were slaughtered because of "our" occupation.
Am I wrong for wanting to stand up on a bus and scream WTF? Am I wrong for telling my friends who say "peace vet, people are moving" yeah well they aren't moving quick enough? Am I wrong for thinking that every able and fit man and woman in this country between the ages of 18 and 40 should be forced to take a stand and put something on the line for or against this war/occupation?
I don't think I am and I don't know what else a pissed off vet can do but say it.
If you look under Cool Spots you'll see a link to One Pissed Off Veteran. I stumbled onto farnsworths site after Mission Man had invited me to join this one with him.
We had already chosen our name so we didn't steal it from him but I'm sure he knows he's not the only pissed off vet on the net.
I like his blog a lot and I'm hoping that he and some of the great folks over there will check this place out and contribute here also.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Having worked in several different military hospitals I can state that we always tried to give the best care with what we had at our disposal. While stationed at Tachikawa, a fancy new officers club was being built while I was resharpening hypodermic needles for medication injections. First things first, I guess.
It seems that the facts, as usual, can get in the way of people who are determined to hate. The L.A. Times has reported that, according to a new study, illegal immigrants actually make better citizens than the native-born.
A study by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that, "Two new studies by California researchers counter negative perceptions that immigrants increase crime and job competition, showing that they are incarcerated at far lower rates than native-born citizens and actually help boost their wages."
You can read the actual study here.
I wonder how Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly, those bastions of the border, will try to spin this.....
Thank goodness for bloggers. I was unable to locate this story in any of the four major U.S. papers, the NYT, WP, LAT, or USA Today, but several bloggers picked up this followup to the Walter Reed scandal.
It seems that the Army, which made a big show last week of cleaning up its act after the Post exposed its our government's neglect of returning wounded and incapacitated soldiers, has begun paybacks for the embarrassment it suffered.
Who's taking the brunt of the Army's fury? You guessed it, the soldiers.
"Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.
'Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,' one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity."
One particularly galling piece of information in the story, which is from the Army's own mouthpiece, the Army Times, is this: "The Pentagon also clamped down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities, to include suspending planned projects by CNN and the Discovery Channel, saying in an e-mail to spokespeople: “It will be in most cases not appropriate to engage the media while this review takes place,” referring to an investigation of the problems at Walter Reed."
I suppose they have to take this approach, because more coverage of this would lead to increased scrutiny of the plans to send more soldiers into battle underequipped and lacking the proper training, which will only lead to more casualties and neglect of more wounded soldiers.
Everytime I read about this horror, I feel like I need to increase my supply of barf bags. Heck, pretty soon I'm going to need a new computer keyboard.
William Rivers Pitt over at Truthout.org describes the Bush administration in one sentence, here.
It's a long sentence, granted, but well worth the read for any progressives out there who have had enough of these liars and incompetents and who remember that our Constitution opens with the phrase, "We the People..."
There's an excellent article on the political purge in the Justice Department from Mark Follman in Salon. One quote in particular nailed the whole reason for these dismissals, with all replacements receiving interim (read: no Senate confirmation required) appointments: "Some former Justice Department officials say they believe the administration's moves are a politically driven power grab -- aimed not only at a tighter grip on policy from Washington, but also at creating openings with which to reward their friends and build up a bench of conservative loyalists positioned to serve in powerful posts in future administrations."
This administration demonstrates over and over again that cronyism, politics and ideological unity trump competence every time.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
This has to be causing apoplexy at the WH and the Pentagon. I haven't read the entire story, because I'll be damned if I'm going to pay money to the Wall Street Journal, but just from the free snippet available online, it seems that once again, our administration is shown to be inventing "truth" about a possible enemy. Since the Bushies say that Iran is supplying all the EFPs to insurgents in Iraq, it must be true, right? No chance those pesky Iraqis are smart enough or have the capability....do they?
And remember, this is from a paper that has supported GWB and his war 100% from the beginning.
An editorial in today's Salt Lake Tribune criticizes the Utah legislature's plan to impose a flat tax on the state. As noted in the editorial (and as anyone who can do basic math can easily figure for themselves) a flat tax places an undue burden on the poorest among us.
Cheers to the Tribune (a phrase I never thought I would hear myself say) for their stand against yet another attempt by the "have-mores" to have even more at the expense of the "don't have enoughs."
I had the chance to hear Ron Kovic interviewed by Randi Rhodes last night. It really wasn't an interview because the minute Randi asked her first question Ron let loose and rapped almost non stop. With a hundred more Rons we could end this fookin war in a month.
Anyone surprised by the conditions in building 18 (see mission mans posts) should read an essay Ron wrote over a year ago.
Randi has last night's interview up on her site. .
Like Ron says "we should demand more than an investigation".
The current administration has lied to us for 5 years about this war. Now they say the conditions facing the wounded is a big surprise. BS! With every bill they intruduce more money is taken from those who suffer because of it. They know very well what they're doing.
I ask you.
Whats a pissed off vet to do?
Keith Olbermann's Special Comment last night on Condoleeza Rice's appearance on Faux News with Chris Wallace was absolutely priceless. After watching her prove over the last six years as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State that the Peter Principle is absolutely correct (one eventually rises to one's level of incompetence and then is promoted one level above that), it was a laugh riot to watch her state her interpretation of history -- it was not only inaccurate, but hilarious. You would think that someone with both a Masters and a Ph.D in Political Science would have taken at least one history course somewhere along the way -- or maybe at least have read a book.
To see the video, go here:
Monday, February 26, 2007
As Michael Klare notes at TomDispatch.com, if you substitute the words Ahmadinejad and Iran for Saddam Hussein and Iraq in the speech the Shrub gave on the eve of war (March 19, 2003), the words sound eerily familiar.
To read Klare's piece, go here. To read the Shrub's warmongering speech, go here.
And then be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
Kagra X over at the DailyKos has a perceptive piece on our humble VP and his thoughts on executive power. I urge you all to read it as soon as possible, and really think hard about what it means if we don't somehow get the Dems in Congress to start asserting its status as an equal branch of government.
The Associated Press reports that Dick Cheney made an unscheduled trip to Pakistan to confer with Dictator (I mean President) Gen. Pervez Musharraf yesterday.
I wonder if he found any time to go looking for Mr. bin Laden while he was in the area? Somehow, I kind of doubt it. I keep forgetting that he's just not that darned important anymore.
Well, the trip at least accomplished one thing. It kept him away from the U.S. for an extra day, and I see that as always being a plus.
I caught the last few minutes of the Academy Awards last night, just in time to see Helen Mirren rewarded for her brilliant spot-on portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II. I was extremely glad to see Martin Scorsese finally win his Oscar for "The Departed," even if I don't think it's his best film, because it could easily be argued that he's deserved it many times over in the past and been screwed every time (see "Goodfellas). I also don't argue that "The Departed" shouldn't have beaten "The Queen" for best film, although I would have preferred to see it go the other way.
However, while Forest Whitaker's rendition of Idi Amin was amazing in "The Last King of Scotland," I shed a tear that one of the greatest actors of our time was once again denied by the Academy.
Peter O'Toole must be the most snakebitten actor in the history of film when one considers his unrewarded performances in such films as "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Lion in Winter," "The Stunt Man," and "My Favorite Year."
The sad part is that with his age (and obvious frailty), this may have been his last shot. And that's a crying shame.
I knew when I was young that the Oscars were a bit of joke when Cliff Robertson in "Charly" beat out O'Toole in "The Lion in Winter." It was confirmed when "Titanic" got the nod over "L.A. Confidential." But I really hoped that this year would be the year when they got it right in most of the major categories. Well, I suppose two out of four ain't bad.
P.S. I was gratified to learn the Al Gore did win the Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth," even if Leo DiCaprio couldn't talk him into announcing a run for the big job last night. Oh well, there's still Stockholm to come.
The Bush administration just gets funnier by the day. First, it gives us the most incompetent Secretary of Defense since Robert McNamara, and praises him for his extraordinary ability up until (and after in Dick Cheney's case) the day he is fired. It gives us the man who had absolutely no comprehension on how to run FEMA before or after the Katrina disaster. And in the Justice Department, headed by the man of whom Keith Olbermann said, "I'd really like to see his diploma," eight attorneys have recently been fired.
Each of these attorneys, all Republicans appointed by Bush, received strong performance evaluations repeatedly between 2003 and 2006. Yet, the administration claims they were fired due to "poor job performance."
In today's NYT, Adam Cohen looks at possible reasons for the firings. And they are not pretty -- unless, of course, you encourage cronyism and politics as a more acceptable way of running a government than competence.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh has written an explosive look at the U.S. dealings with Iran in this week's New Yorker. In the article, Hersh takes a look at how our dealings with Iran could affect our presence and strategic interests throughout the Middle East. It's definitely worth a look-see.
Welcome MEDIC I'm sure you'll get under the skin of a few folks who drop by here. Oh well.
I'll tell ya guys the last week has been hard on me. The articles here and the images on TV of our brothers and sisters being treated like cattle is taking my head to some places it hasn't been in a while. I know the smells and moans are coming back to you too MED.
If our sons and daughters are being treated this way at home I can't imagine how the "collateral damaged" (wounded civilians) are being treated in hospitals in Iraq where the electricity functions only a few hours a day in some places.
Though some will jump to defend these deplorable conditions most in this country are outraged and maybe this time some things will change.
From the days Civil War vets had to stay in line for days waiting for their papers that were bound by "red tape", yes thats where the words came from, to the day "Dugout Doug" ordered his men to beat and bayonet "Bonus Marchers" while burning down their tents vets have had to fight for every damn thing they've received from this government.
Ask any vet who has gone through the "red tape" to receive their Agent Orange or Gulf Syndrome bennies.
I can't believe there are officers in the military who would defend this BS. But thats me.
I'm a "traitor who stabbed my brothers in the back for protesting in the 60's", and "have the blood of the dead and wounded on my hands" today because I march against this one.
Whats a pissed off vet to do?
BRING THEM HOME!
Newsweek has two stories published today regarding our vets returning from Iraq, and while they are both sad, this one absolutely breaks my heart.
Dan Ephron and Sarah Childress have done a remarkable job reporting about the plight of many of the new returnees -- homeless in many cases, suffering from PTSD, and already turning to alcohol and drugs to get by.
I am so f***ing fed up with people and their magnetic stickers on their SUVs and Mercedes not doing a damned thing to really support the troops. As a disabled vet, perhaps my anger is out of proportion, but I think not.
Folks, if you have any heart, do not leave this to the VA or the military. Do not show empty support with a stupid ribbon on your vehicle. Instead, take it upon yourself to write to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan and see what they need. Go to your nearest VA hospital and see what you can do to help. You would be amazed at what just having someone who cares can do for a person, especially when the system has failed them miserably.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
You mean there's a chance that the U.S. may be providing faulty or incorrect intelligence to diplomats in attempting to get backing for a possible war with Iran? That can't be true -- we would never stoop so low.
It seems the L.A. Times is more on top of the Iran story than any of the leading East Coast papers, and this story in the Sunday edition is just another example.
The Christian Right is struggling with whom to support in the '08 Presidential election according to David Kirkpatrick in today's NYT.
According to the story, many of the conservatives attending the meeting of the Council for National Policy said they are "dismayed at the absence of a champion to carry their banner in the next election," as they are already not happy with front-runners McCain, Giuliani and Romney, all seen as being too liberal on core issues such as abortion and gay rights.
After watching the mess the Dems are already making in trying to winnow the field after the '04 fiasco and the current Obama-Clinton brouhaha, it's fun to see the GOP having its own problems as well.
I've heard it said many times that the Democrats couldn't organize a two-car funeral procession, and according to this story about the proposed limitations on funding for the Iraq war in today's Washington Post, that's evidently true.
It seems that Rep. Murtha really jumped the gun on this one, infuriating not only the Repubs in the House but fellow Dems as well. This has opened up some internecine warfare in the party, with many anti-war Dems feeling not enough is being done, and many who lean more conservatively (the so-called Blue-dog Democrats) feeling left out of the party.
They tried to salvage something from this debacle, with FL Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz saying, "At least we're debating the topic, not blindly following the president." Sounds like a hollow victory (if even the most optomistic person could call it that) at best.
It amazes me that just three months after receiving a strong vote of confidence from the American people, the Dems seem determined to show themselves as inept as ever. When, oh when, will these blowhards ever learn the lessons the GOP learned almost 30 years ago?
I'd like to thank Mission Man for giving me this opportunity to join this merry group. I hope I can live up to the expectations he and Peace Vet have in me. I will attempt to bring insight on the world from a perspective of knowledge, experience and heart.
My background is in the medical field. I have taken care of wounded from another useless war we were involved in and am very outspoken in my beliefs. I may infuriate some of you with my candor but believe me, I will always be honest.
I will also attempt to bring some levity here by posting links to various Editorial Cartoons that I find pertinent. Feel free to add your thoughts about them.
That's about all for now. Enjoy your visits here, post your comments and above all........
Friday's San Francisco Chronicle published this front page story, which should open the eyes of anyone who might be thinking about visiting our lovely neighbors to the north in the near future.
"Welcome to the new world of border security. Unsuspecting Americans are turning up at the Canadian border expecting clear sailing, only to find that their past -- sometimes their distant past -- is suddenly an issue."
So if you've ever smoked pot, gotten a DUI, or shoplifted a pack of bubble gum -- even thirty years ago -- you can unpack those bags. You're not getting in.
A story in this morning's WP tells us, "the U.S. government has contracted the job of promoting democracy to a Pakistani citizen who has never lived or worked in a democracy. The management of reconstruction projects in the province has been assigned to a Border Patrol commander with no reconstruction experience. The task of communicating with the embassy in Baghdad has been handed off to a man with no background in drafting diplomatic cables. The post of agriculture adviser has gone unfilled because the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided just one of the six farming experts the State Department asked for a year ago."
I've been responsible for hiring and firing a few people in my time, and usually when hiring someone I wanted some assurance that they might have a clue about how to do the job they were hired for. But leave it to the Bush administration to ignore that little thing, Harvard MBAs be damned.
In case you missed it this week, our lovable VP was interviewed twice this week by Jonathan Karl of ABC News in a restaurant in Sydney, where he wasted no time in accusing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of being in league with Al Qaeda. Here is one notable excerpt: "You also have to be accountable for the results. What are the consequences of that? What happens if we withdraw from Iraq? And the point I made and I'll make it again is that al Qaeda functions on the basis that they think they can break our will. That's their fundamental underlying strategy, that if they can kill enough Americans or cause enough havoc, create enough chaos in Iraq, then we'll quit and go home. And my statement was that if we adopt the Pelosi policy, that then we will validate the strategy of al Qaeda. I said it and I meant it."
It seems to me that if there is anyone less likely to be correct about what may be any possible outcome in Iraq, it is Dick Cheney. Isn't he the one who told us that we would be greeted as liberators and the Iraqi people would basically strew flowers at the feet of our soldiers? And let's not forget this bon mot from May 30, 2005: "The insurgency is in its last throes."
The only time I can recall Cheney being correct about an invasion of Iraq was in 1991, when the stated, "For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who's going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire." However, in this week's interview, he defended that statement, saying, "Well, I stand by what I said in '91. But look what's happened since then -- we had 9/11."
Gee, where have I heard that one before?
On top of that, WH spokesperson Dana Perino, when questioned about whether the VP's comments re: Pelosi were out of line, had this to say: "The Vice President out of line? Absolutely not. He was questioning the merits of the -- of their proposal. And I think if you go up and take a look back at some of the things that they've said about the President, the tables could be turned. But we're not making the same accusations."
For the full transcript of the interview, go here.
Friday, February 23, 2007
There's a brilliant column by Eric Alterman and Tim Fernholz from the Center for American Progress here. Even though I don't always agree with him, I consider the Doc a must read. His positions are always well thought out and articulated. It also helps that he's a Springsteen fan.
The Senate Democrats apparently intend to introduce a new plan next week to limit GWB's ability to fight the war in any manner in which he pleases. According to the Washington Post's Shalaigh Murray and Jonathan Weisman, "Democratic lawmakers are eager to take up binding legislation that would impose clear limits on U.S. involvement in Iraq after nearly four years of war."
Carl Hulse of the New York Times states that although the legislation is almost certain to be vetoed by the President, it will still keep the pressure on the President and the Republicans to end the war.
Coupled with the British and Danish announcements regarding troop withdrawals, there is no way this can be seen as good news for the Bush administration, no matter how they try to spin it.
It looks as though Rudy is pulling a page straight from Dubya's 2004 election playbook -- only appear in front of friendly crowds who will throw nothing more than softball questions. From today's New York Times --"Instead of the sometimes barbed give-and-take endured by the other candidates, Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, fielded a few questions from the firefighters and police officers who gathered to hear him here. The questions, which began with comments like, “Being in your presence here is just unbelievable,” stuck almost entirely to issues on which Mr. Giuliani is most comfortable, like airport security and border control."
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Thank goodness there's a free press somewhere in the world that doesn't accept everything the Bushies tell us at face value. The BBC reports that sites have already been designated (including non-nuclear sites) for the attacks on Iran that we are 'not planning.'
It seems that the series the Post has been running on Walter Reed Hospital has drawn the attention of the powers that be. Today's installment tells us that repairs are beginning since "Walter Reed and Army officials have been "meeting continuously for three days" since the articles began appearing."
Isn't it a shame that we treat our vets and our soldiers this way until the light of the press begins to glare upon the powers that allow this disgrace to happen? If you haven't noticed, I'm very happy that things are beginning to change, but I'm also still pissed off that they were allowed to reach that condition in the first place.
And what happens when the light of the press fades? Based on this administration's record of funding for vets, I have no doubt that this is a temporary fix that will be forgotten in very short time. The next question is how many other facilities out there are in the same condition? Having visited a few VA hospitals in my time, I've no doubt that there are more than I want to think about.
Come on folks -- if you really support the troops, then contact your congressman and your senators, as well as the WH, and let them know that this is unacceptable.
Well I've made the leap. Does becoming a blogger mean I'm part of the system? I have no idea where this will go but knowing that the Mission Man and ? are as pissed about this war as I am ensures me it will be serious as well as fun.
Like MM said. If the WP article on vets care doesn't piss you off I don't know what will.
Monday, February 19, 2007
It's hard to believe, but the idiot-in-chief has gone over the top again. This is what he had to say today after helicoptering in for a speech at Mount Vernon --
This of course after likening the 'war on terror' to the American Revolution. I guess he forgot that the British considered the young colonists to be terrorists.....and I'm still not sure where George's sense of decency and honor are located -- probably in an undisclosed location where the VP is torturing them.
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are turning over in their graves.....
This appeared in yesterday's Washington Post and if it doesn't make you angry, then you're just not paying attention. It's a perfect example of how this administration and the Repubs in Congress spout lip service to "supporting the troops," but refuse to do exactly that.
Obviously, saying that you support the troops and putting a magnetic sticker on your SUV is much more important than actually doing anything.
Today's followup article
What in the world would the founding fathers think about the current administration? The answer, I fear, is not particularly favorable.
From the latest edition of The Nation --
The Bush administration shows absolutely no signs of "the universal truths of decency and humility." This bunch continues to operate as if the law doesn't apply to them in any form or fashion, aided by the stooge in charge of the Justice Department, Alberto Gonzales.
Perhaps, since today is a day we theoretically honor two of our greatest Presidents (and I don't mean with mattress or car sales), we should use the day to "reflect on whether in the Bush Administration, th[e] trust [we place in our leaders] continues to be fulfilled.