Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More on military hospitals.

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.


Take this, Lou Dobbs

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.....

And the repercussions begin....

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.

We the People....

William Rivers Pitt over at 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..."

More on the Justice Dept. bulimia

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

Oops...we goofed again! Please don't tell anyone...

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 they?

And remember, this is from a paper that has supported GWB and his war 100% from the beginning.

And the rich just keep getting richer

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."

Something new or deja vu

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 on Condi

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

Here we go again....

As Michael Klare notes at, 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.

Cheney, the Constitution, and Iran-Contra

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.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

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.

Lucky Marty, poor Peter

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.

Bad performance, or bad politics?

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

Iran, here we come -- maybe!

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.

I've just found a great new religion!

If you're not aware of it yet, I've found the Holy Grail of religion -- comedism. You owe it to yourself to check this out!

Hey we're a team!!!!!!!!

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?


This breaks my heart

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

Say it can't be so

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.

"Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," said a senior diplomat at the IAEA."

Sunday's open thread

Feel free to comment on anything and everything, with the exceptions of Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears....

Which way should we look?

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.

Failing in Baghdad - the British did it first

Toby Dodge of the University of London has an interesting op-ed column in today's WP about the historical similarities between the current war in Iraq and the British occupation 87 years ago.

Another Democratic fiasco

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'm the Third Pissed Off Vet.

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........



Canada becoming off-limits

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.

Just exactly how is this rebuilding going to work?

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.

Darth Cheney strikes again

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

Alterman nails it

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.

Dems showing some backbone re: Iraq?

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.

Rudy pulling a Bush

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

Same stuff, different war

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.'

Occasionally the press works...

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

More on Presidents Day

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 --

"Over the centuries, America has succeeded because we have always tried to maintain the decency and the honor of our first president," Bush said.

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.....

Supporting the troops

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

President's Day

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 --

"Today, along with all the other US presidents, we remember two great leaders: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Both men understood and practiced the wisdom of executive restraint even in times of crisis. They understood that power flows from righteousness not from soldier's steel. The measure of a nation, as much as the measure of a man, is the ability to hold true under pressure to universal truths of decency and humility. "

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.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hello out there

Hi everyone, I'm new to blogging, but I'm a political junkie so I might as well jump into the fray. I'm also a huge fan of the greatest rock 'n' roller that's ever lived, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, and a former sportswriter, so the blog will focus on politics, music and sports -- however, anything that may be sticking in my craw on any particular day is fair game.

I encourage any of you to send your comments on anything posted here.