Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mission Accom......U.S. Bombs Basra

You thought it couldn't get any more weird, did you.

What an idiot!

The sad story.

American Public is Possessed of Stunning Political Immaturity.

I am on the mailing list of David Michael Green who runs The Regressive Antidote - a website dedicated to diluting the voices of the Regressives who are poisoning America on a daily basis. This latest work is entitled, "The Swiftboating of Barack Obama." I used a line from this article as the title of this post. He said, "And, second, just about everything they [Regressives] try works when employed against an American public possessed of stunning political immaturity.

After that he goes on, "It comes as little surprise, therefore, that two things happened over the last couple of weeks. One, that Barack Obama was swiftboated by means of a bogus inference in order to make him look like an angry black radical. And two, that a lot of dumb voters went for it."

Later on Green defines the dumbing-down of the electorate: "We live today in a polity characterized by the most unsophisticated public discourse, one where twenty-second scare ads win elections every time. And one where attempts at thinking through basic questions - such as whether our enemy resides in Afghanistan or Iraq - are ridiculed as effete intellectual elitism."

Indeed, Mr. Green, we do and that is what scared the hell out of me as well! If this blog of mine represents the mainline voter, and I have no data on that, then I am treated on a daily basis with nonsense comments from people who do not think for themselves, but rather parrot something 'they heard on TV.' Or that oh-so ghastly remark, "I heard..."

Green identifies the purpose of the regressive actions, and I think he nails it on the head: "The American plutocracy paid good money to create such a well disciplined voting class, and they’re not about to let that investment go down the drain without a fight."

The term, American plutocracy, is of course an oxymoron, but the moron part fits.

Further on, Green says this about Obama and his speech on race: "He also made clear why those who peddle the politics of contempt have lately shown such desperation to somehow silence his revolution, a revolution not so much of policy - Obama is no V.I. Lenin; he’s not even a Paul Wellstone - as it is of esteem. Think, for a moment, of the sheer absurdity of what they are asking you to accept on the face of their argument."

Here, I believe, is the most interesting statement so far: "If it seems like a helluva logical conundrum that Obama gets trashed for comments his pastor makes, over which he has no control, while McCain goes scot-free after seeking the endorsement of a king-size bigot, well then welcome to Swiftboat Land. Park your brain over there, to the right."

Park your brain. That's it in a nutshell. Do not think, do not engage in meaningful dialog, do not examine the issues. Just listen to what 'they' are saying and mimic it.

Here are the concluding paragraphs:

"In truth, what Reverend Wright said is of as much actual concern to regressives as was John McCain’s supposed black love-child or Willie Horton’s crimes. Which is to say none at all. The point is to swiftboat Obama by injecting race into the campaign and frightening away closet racist voters. The point of doing that is to win power. And the point of that is to steal your money and your country.

"That’s why Obama’s ‘revolution’ represents that most threatening commodity of all for those who employ contemptuous deceit to mask “economic policies that favor the few over the many,” as he accurately labeled it.

"It’s a revolution, ultimately, of respect - and that’s really dangerous. For the first time in a very long time, a presidential candidate is speaking to Americans as if they were grown-ups.
We’re about to find out if anyone is listening."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mission Moment Now

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Friday Iraq is facing a new "defining moment" in current violence as the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki cracks down on Shi'ite militants.

By the way, the date is March 28, 2008 just in case you thought this was March 28, 2003.

Politics in Your DNA?

Oddly enough, Hillary Clinton and I have something in common: we both were raised in conservative GOP households but, later in life, we saw the light. The BBC recently ran a story entitled, The search for the 'political' gene. It begins:

Activists sometimes say "politics is in my DNA" - but there may be more truth in that than they realize. Research now suggests some of our voting habits may be hard-wired into us from birth.
When Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor set out to trace his birth parents at the age of 35, nothing prepared him for what he describes as a "stunning" discovery.

Along with the news that his biological mother was alive and well and living in New Zealand with a family of her own, came another revelation - that his great-grandfather had been, like himself, a Liberal MP.

Taylor says, "If I were to guess I would say that I have inherited the characteristics of wanting to get up and argue my case. Also, the belief in the individual as prime and a willingness to buck the trend. As far as I know, these were also the characteristics of my biological great-grandfather."


Hillary Clinton left the political party of her parents for some reason which I have not yet learned. I left the party of my parents because something inside of me moved me much more strongly toward the social aspect of politics. Perhaps it was the Civil Rights Movement or JFK himself who inspired me to seek another path. Or, as this article suggests, maybe it was hard-wired into my DNA.

My father had voted for FDR , but could not abide his 4th term in office. Additionally, the war raged on the European continent and my father's German ancestry raised red flags as FDR began preparing for war. Thereafter, he was a staunch Republican and convinced my long-time Democrat mother to join the GOP.

My grandfather and his brother who emigrated to America during the Bismarck era, were extreme socially conscious men who spoke out against what they saw as the big business interests power at the expense of the working man. My great uncle, I recently discovered, became a socialist and linked himself to Eugene Victor Debs, 5-time Socialist Party of America candidate for president. Letters of my grandfather, written in hard-to-read Deutsche Suetterlin script, assail this country for not taking care of its citizens, especially during and after the Depression.

Coincidentally, and unknown to me for many years, one of my oldest male cousins, now 85, was a university professor of political science in Florida. Recent conversations with him reveal that he, like our grandfather and great uncle, taught a liberal socialist form of political science to his students. He still writes and publishes books promoting the social welfare of a society. No doubt, he was on J. Edgar Hoover's list of suspicious Americans.

Did we all inherit a more liberal gene? Who is to say, but apparently I have passed it down on my Y-chromosome to my son. Perhaps it is in my grandsons as well.

Fresh Snowfall Adds Ironic Beauty to Tombstones

Truthout displayed the logo to the right on its website, a story about the gathering- named Winter Soldier- of more than 200 veterans in Silver Spring, Maryland to testify about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, urging an end to the occupation.

I received an email this morning asking if I would help take down the 5000 wooden tombstones that dot the lawn of the Lucas County Courthouse, now brightened by 3 inches of new snowfall overnight. Fresh snow usually is a welcomed sight, but not in late March. Yet it covers the ugly mud surrounding these 5000 memorials to our dead military men and women.

The snow cannot cover the reality of it all: the lies, the spin, the half-truths that were used to con the American people and the soldiers themselves into believing that this preemptive invasion of Iraq was essential to our security. A pack of lies told over and over again. Lives lost, families grieved, wounded forever scarred.

Fresh snow is a great cover-up but it will melt and the truth will once again be exposed.

The Farce Rolls Merrily Along

Just within the past 48 hours this farce of an administration, the Katrina-Iraq administration, has two more goofs getting world-wide attention. The administration shipped nuclear weapons parts to Taiwan causing China much anxiety. It was a mistake. Again. Incompetence.

Now we learn that another terrible Bush Administration blunder has happened to our allies in Afghanistan. CNN has the headline: 22-year-old arms dealer suspended

Twenty-two? Arms dealer? CNN: Investigators are looking into accusations that a company, run by a 22-year-old man and hired by the U.S. military, supplied corroded and decades-old Chinese ammunition to the Afghan Army and police. The U.S. government has reportedly suspended AEY Inc. for violating its contract.

Michael Brown, Donald Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby, Colin Powell, Alberto Gonzales, L. Paul Bremer, Dick Cheney....
What an incompetent set of fools running the affairs of state of this Bush Administration.

Bush lauds Iraq surge, criticizes call to retreat

That was the headline that greeted me this morning as I opened up the Toledo Blade. Not only that, but the photo of the nincompoop himself. It was a friendly group, of course, because he never speaks to any group that hasn't been vetted. No criticisms permitted.

The Blade article began:
DAYTON — President Bush said the Iraq war surge is putting the United States within grasp of a “strategic victory” in Iraq and criticized those who advocate retreat in a speech yesterday at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.He said the war has been criticized at each step for political and military failures, and “no matter what shortcomings these critics diagnose, their prescription is always the same — retreat.”

Retreat. That's one of those loaded words my English teachers used to warn me about using. Seems his speech writers have an entire set of these words they like to slip into the text. 'Surrender' is another one, usurped these days by John McCain. 'Terrorist' has to have been the greatest boon for the Bush administration; they have dropped that bomb often. 'Freedom has been hijacked by these boys as well and they used to have a copyright on the word 'Patriotism.'

The audience was uniformed military who, of course, sat on their hands and kept their mouths shut. But, don't you just wonder what they were thinking? Here is a guy who duped their fellow service men and women into a needless war that has gone on for 5 straight years with no end in sight. Four thousand of their fellow service men and women are dead; 30,000 severely injured, many with disfigurement and amputations. And he's telling them that there will be no retreat.

Does Mr. Bush really believe that this audience believes all of the bullshit coming from this man? I think he does. Luckily over 70% of the citizens have finally caught on to this charlatan and con artist.
Oh, one more thing: here is a headline from the British Times on Line: Iraqi police in Basra shed their uniforms, kept their rifles and switched sides.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Blogging is an interesting hobby for lots of people. It takes work to maintain a quality blog that is more than a diary. I scour many sources each morning looking for stories that interest me and that I think would be worth discussing with others here on my blog. The newspaper and TV also suggest topics for my posts as well as many sources that I have in my 'favorites' folder.

Sometimes I am inspired from a comment someone has made in another thread and I decide to expand upon it. Once in a while an idea just comes to me. There are down times too. Times when I get little inspiration.

One of the most challenging aspects of running a decent blog occurs when negative comments begin to show up. Surely my political place on the spectrum drives my posts and ideas and I realize that not everyone will agree with my point of view. There can be discussion and debate, but too often, because of our highly polarized political atmosphere here in America, the discussion degrades into a battle of merely scoring points.

When that level has been reached, common sense fails and bitterness results. This can be see these days in the Clinton-Obama struggle- a struggle that may cost the Democrats an easy victory in November. That level has been reached on this blog.

My personal philosophy has run into a polar opposite who shows up here even when she is asked to cease commenting here. We will never agree on issues: she is far to the right of me. I am a liberal Catholic and she is a fundamental Free Methodist. We will never find any common ground. When I post a topic she immediately finds fault; I have done the same on her blog, although she does not post as often as I.

Earlier this evening I asked her to stop posting on my blog. This was the second time, separated by a couple of months. The first time it took quite a bit of persuasion to make her realize that I was serious about not posting. Finally, she understood what I meant and ceased.

Then, late in February, one short comment would be posted by her. A few days later came another. Then a longer one and then more. I asked her to stop posting but she replied, 'ban me!' Banning is not a function of blogger. Her audacity grew and she became bolder with her comments and she was right back to her old self flooding my posts with her trite babble and righteousness.

Interestingly she was asked to leave a French blog because of the same behavior over there. Of course, that did not stop her, and she continued on with 5000 word comments and Gospel preaching. She was clearly unwelcome but would not leave. The regular posters who had begun the blog started insulting her just to make her leave. But she would not. It became very nasty there and finally the blog owner convinced her that it would best if she went away.

She did for about 6 weeks and then she showed up, commenting just like before, oblivious to the pledge she made to not post there. She was defiant and told them that she had the right to post on the blog. Not surprisingly, the people became angry again, so much so that ugly remarks began to be hurled at her. She was still posting there this afternoon.

She defied my statement tonight too and posted another comment after my request to cease and desist. She must be terribly mixed up. She does not learn. She will not stop her intrusiveness. She knows no boundaries or common sense.

As a result, I have closed down the ability to comment freely on this blog. I have had to invoke that dreadful "comment moderation" mode that I, personally, have railed against on right-wing blogs.

It's a shame that you all have to be 'punished' because of the actions of one woman. It reminds me of the 'class punishment' that kids had to suffer because one brat caused the trouble. But, that is where we are tonight.

Thanks for understanding.

Unexpected Colateral Damage from Climate altering

The photo is of a body of a person who died many years ago that was recently unearthed in siberia due to the melting on the tundra. Scientists worry that as more and more melting occurs, more bodies will be revealed. These people may have died of diseases that we no longer have such as smallpox.

The article in LiveScience says:

Smallpox was a vicious disease before its eradication in the 1970s, but the virus is hardy and can survive long-term storage. One such storage unit is the tundra of the high northern latitudes that preserves an unknown number of bodies that could have died from smallpox. Global warming is now rapidly thawing this freezer, increasing the chance that someone could come into contact with a smallpox-infested body, thereby reintroducing the disease.

Of course there are many people like my brother-in-law who scoff at global warming; uneducated folks pepper our nation like fleas. He wouldn't believe in anything that is connected to Al Gore. Such is life in America.

A Prediction Comes To Fruition.

[a guest-posting from Engineer of Knowledge]

The events of Monday, March 25, 2008 and the uprising of the Shia citizens in Baghdad and Basra, Iraq; has me writing and reiterating what I have already stated.

In my last posting, Bush Speech Hails Iraq,” I made a statement that the real power in Iraq was the religious cleric, “Muqtada al-Sadr.” I was commenting on Bush’s recent speech on the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and his comments of how the recent surge of US troops has brought a major strategic victory on the broader war on terror. I went on to say that the only reason that the surge appears to be working is because Muqtada al-Sadr has called a temporary cease fire from his followers and troops. The true decision of what happens in Iraq is his and not Bush’s.

The followers of Muqtada al-Sadr took to the streets and opened fire and bombed Sunni Iraqi citizens. This is just a sample of more things to come. The Iraqi government has sent in the U.S. trained Iraqi troops to try and return discipline to these areas but Muqtada al-Sadr has 2/3rds of the population following his Sunni religion. In the long run he will take over by democratic votes or from just plain force. We will see in due time.

Why is it that someone like myself and others who predicted this power struggle with just the information we have now, and the Bush administration with much better resources of intelligence did not see this coming? As I have stated previously, before the invasion of Iraq, this administration implemented John Nash’s “Game Theory” and knew the results that no matter how you applied the variables, when it is all said and done, Iran would ended up with the political influence in Iraq through the Shia religious population.

Last week Bush had just finished his “Speech Of Self Delusion” saying how well the surge was working. The ink was barely dry on the paper when Muqtada al-Sadr decided to flex his influential muscle to show the world who was really in control of Iraq. Was this administration so clueless of what is really going on in Iraq because of the self inflicted implosion of the intelligence gathering abilities in Iraq? They exposed the undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame, as retribution to her husband’s publicly telling the truth exposing the lie of Saddam Hussein trying to buy uranium from Africa. Was that not her job in the CIA working undercover setting up and gathering internal intelligence in Iraq? By exposing her, this administration not only exposed Valerie but everyone else in the intelligence community of Iraq destroying the whole intelligence system. Sadly, the only person to suffer any consequences in this administration was Scooter Libby. The stooge of Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, has now been disbarred from practicing law for his part in the treason to this country and then lying to a grand jury about his part in it.

In summation, many of good men and women in the armed services are doing the best job they can but are being undermined by the criminal corruption of the current administration. Yes, I am one Republican that is not afraid to admit that it is the Bush and Cheney administration’s corruption, lies, and greed, that has caused the current failures in foreign policy and the domestic economy. The citizens of the U.S. will have to live with the consequences for the next decade plus to repair their failures. Tighten your belts my friends, we are in for some hard times for years to come.

Pakistan's new leaders tell US: We are no longer your killing field

The title is from the UK Guardian. It begins:

The Bush administration is scrambling to engage with Pakistan's new rulers as power flows from its strong ally, President Pervez Musharraf, to a powerful civilian government buoyed by anti-American sentiment.

Top diplomats John Negroponte and Richard Boucher travelled to a mountain fortress near the Afghan border yesterday as part of a hastily announced visit that has received a tepid reception.
On Tuesday, senior coalition partner Nawaz Sharif gave the visiting Americans a public scolding for using Pakistan as a "killing field" and relying too much on Musharraf.

Yesterday the new prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, said he warned President George Bush in a phone conversation that he would prioritise talking as well as shooting in the battle against Islamist extremism. "He said that a comprehensive approach is required in this regard, specially combining a political approach with development," a statement said.


Well, well, so much for Pakistan's help in the coalition of the coerced. What will Cheney/Bush do with this new conundrum? My guess is that they will disregard any borders of Pakistan and do what they damn well please.

Freaky Fundamentalists: Girl Dies After Parents Pray for Healing


WESTON, Wis. — An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday.

Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said Madeline Neumann died Sunday.

"She got sicker and sicker until she was dead," he said.

Vergin said an autopsy determined the girl died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body, and she had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.

The girl's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to "apparently they didn't have enough faith," the police chief said.

They believed the key to healing "was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray," he said.

The mother believes the girl could still be resurrected, the police chief said.

Telephone messages left at the Neumann home by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.

The family does not attend an organized church or participate in an organized religion, Vergin said. "They have a little Bible study of a few people."

Foolish fundamentalists again. They are seemingly everywhere you look, but are especially dangerous in the political arena as I have pointed out many times on this blog.

Apparently fundamentalists live in an altered state of reality, somewhere between the real world and the world of fantasy- much like a child. I'm not sure what goes on inside of their heads; I can only surmise from stories like this and from reading fundamentalist Christian websites and blogs. Yet, I think that the phrase, altered state of reality might be as close to 'it' as I can get.

I have watched my grandchildren at play, the luxury not easily afforded me when their parents were growing up. They seem to vacillate between 'here and there' and they move between each state with ease. I'm beginning to realize that this is what it may be like for a fundamentalist.

Fundamentalists across the world, as we all sadly know, exhibit pathological bipolar behavior. We see them praying in their houses of worship and then blowing themselves up killing scores in their suicide. Or we see them pray and then take up guns to smite their enemies. Here in America, we have prayer breakfasts and then they go to the Pentagon to plan a bombing run.

On this blog I have been scolded by self-proclaimed fundamentalists for exposing their foolish and hypocritical statements. I was even recently associated with Satan. I am easily called an atheist and am scorned for my 'liberal' Catholic faith, as if that were the path to the Devil.

I'm thinking of bipolar disorder in my non-professional analysis of people like the Neumanns in the story above or in the righteous rantings of the fundamentalist Christians here in America. People with bipolar disorder live in two worlds, don't they? The mania half expresses itself in unusual thought patterns not unlike the parents of the 11-year-old girl. Or, I'd imagine, when on some 'spiritual high' not unlike a 'chemical high' experienced by the chemically dependent.

Do these fundamentalists have visions of 'God?' Is their altered state, their mania, accompanied by visions, voices, and songs of God, heaven, Jesus, and the figures in the Bible? How often? When did they first notice these visions or voices from God? Since childhood or when they were 'born again?'

After the mania, the mood swings to depression. Perhaps this is where I see the hypocrisy. This is where the ugliness, the righteousness, the scorn for others creep into their words. I've used the word, hypocrisy quite often when I challenge these people. But now, in this eureka moment, perhaps they are really not capable of hypocrisy at all. Maybe it is all part of the mania/depression of which they suffer.

Did 11-year-old Madeline Neumann understand what her parents were doing as she lay in bed with prayers mumbled around her? Did she, besides her diabetes, suffer from bipolar disorder? The genetic link is quite strong. Maybe the prayers and incantations kept her in the mania state long enough to ameliorate those painful physical symptoms of her diabetic ketoacidosis. We can only hope so.

I am trying to teach myself to tone down my use of the word hypocrisy when I refer to fundamentalist rantings. The term should only be applied to mentally stable individuals who deliberately act in bipolar fashion.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sadr Offensive Shows Failure of Petraeus Strategy

This title is from a piece on IPSNews by Gareth Porter, an historian and national security policy analyst. His opening statement is this:

WASHINGTON, Mar 26 (IPS) - The escalation of fighting between Mahdi Army militiamen and their Shiite rivals, which could mark the end of Moqtada al-Sadr's self-imposed ceasefire, also exposes Gen. David Petraeus's strategy for controlling Sadr's forces as a failure.Petraeus reacted immediately to Sunday's rocket attacks on the Green Zone by blaming them on Iran. He told the BBC the rockets were "Iranian provided, Iranian-made rockets", and that they were launched by groups that were funded and trained by the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Petraeus said this was "in complete violation of promises made by President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and other most senior Iranian leaders to their Iraqi counterparts".

Blaming it on Iran. I hate to say that I told you, but I did. Petraeus, like Colin Powell before him, is a patsy, a fall-guy for Cheney who wants to bomb Iran more than John McCain. I'm thinking of that full-page ad titled, 'Don't Betray Us, Gen. Petraeus,' the one that got all of the right-wing talking heads undies all in a knot.

Porter adds this: "Petraeus statement was clearly intended to divert attention from a development that threatens one of the two main pillars of the administration's claim of progress in Iraq -- the willingness of Sadr to restrain the Mahdi Army, even in the face of systematic raids on its leadership by the U.S. military and its Iraqi allies." When he, Bush, Cheney, and McCain all tout, "The surge is working!" I harken back to the statements that got us into this war like Weapons of Mass Destruction and Uranium form Africa.

How many more times can the American electorate be fooled by this bunch of con-aritsts? Easily if past experience is an indication. The rest of this article is scholarly in its detail and damning to both Petraeus and the Bush/Cheney War.

Why Ron Paul Scares the GOP

The title of this post is from Time/CNN They begin:

There used to be an organization for people who believed in a truly limited government — limited taxes, limited spending, limited interference in individual lives and limited intervention in foreign affairs. That organization was known as the Republican Party. But the only one of those beliefs that still motivates the G.O.P. establishment is limited taxes. In 2008, people who still hold all of them joined the Ron Paul Revolution.

That, sadly was your father's/grandfather's GOP; it is quite ill and has a terminal case of suffocation. Suffocated by religious zealots and neocons who both kidnapped the party and hold it hostage. Today's GOP is a nightmare conglomeration of self-interest groups who have no ide4a what the Grand old Party used to be when real statesmen were proud members. Today kooks like Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson and Dick Cheney typify the idiot junta strangling the party to death.

The article continues:

But even if Paul's ideological purity is never going to get him to the White House, it does help illuminate the impurities — and sometimes the hypocrisies — of today's Republicans, just as Ralph Nader can do for the Democrats. The G.O.P. candidates all claimed to defend taxpayers, but Paul was the only one who refused to accept a taxpayer-funded pension or taxpayer-funded junkets. The candidates all talked about shrinking big government, but Paul was the only one who included the Pentagon and NSA wiretaps and petroleum subsidies in his definition. Bush's approval ratings have been abysmal for years, but Paul was the only Republican who really campaigned for change.

Hypocrisies? In the GOP? Now there's a real surprise. Who'da guessed something like that? Yet, listen to the rest of this article:

And in doing so Paul illustrated what was so striking about the Republican race. The leading candidates had all strayed from Bush and current orthodoxy in the past — Rudy Giuliani on abortion and gay rights, John McCain on tax cuts, torture, health care and campaign finance, Mitt Romney on just about everything. But while Paul was getting attacked every time he called for a new direction, the rest spent the primaries minimizing and renouncing their previous departures, implicitly promising four more years of Bushism. McCain is lucky he has some time to craft a new message, because that's not where America stands today, either.

Now it becomes crystal clear why the current GOP will have nothing to do with Ron Paul. And, as the title of this piece states: Why Ron Paul Scares the GOP.

How's that Surge Going?

Poor John McCain. Nothing seems to go the right way for the man. He's stuck supporting the Bush/Cheney War and the Surge- something that, until yesterday, he touted in every political speech he gave. "The surge is working!" he would say with conviction.

Then came the 'unrest' in Basra and then in Baghdad. Seems the Shia militias have had enough of playing goody-goody and watching their future stake in Iraq diminish. There is talk that Conoco wants Iraqi oil, oddly enough. After all, what else does that country have to offer the rest of the world? Pre-war sign: NO BLOOD FOR OIL!

So no doubt John McCain is talking other issues today while the 'unrest' continues to spread throughout the country. Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has ordered all militia to turn in their weapons in 72 hours. Sure. Where is the collection pile?

Militia. Isn't the 2nd amendment to the Constitution all about militias and bearing arms?

Meanwhile we can expect 2 or 3 Americans to die in these 72 hours as we referee their civil war.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Film: War Made Easy

War Made Easy is an examination of the ease with which U.S. Presidents go to war and how the media helps them sell the war to the citizens. It is a powerful indictment of our leaders and our media.

Here is a trailer.

Here is the 1 hour 10 minute film.

'A Splendid Little War'

Mad kings and other miscreant politicians are always willing to use their citizens as canon fodder to spread their own personal and skewed visions of grandeur. This weathered bronze statue is of a Spanish-American soldier. He stands on the north lawn of the county court house and I snapped this photo while I was on volunteer duty for the 5000 tombstone markers for the Afghanistan/Iraq wars on the south lawn.

There is some sort of plaque attached to the statue with words like 'bravery,' 'honor' and 'courage.' This soldier was lied-to. 'Remember Remember the Maine! and to Hell with Spain!' Yellow journalism was an instrument in fanning the flames of patriotism as newspapers throughout the nation decried the dastardly sinking of the U.S. warship by the Spanish. The 'cause' of the explosion that sank the ship is still in doubt, but it was the excuse that warmongers in the United States latched on to. Now they had a real 'reason' to declare war with Spain.

WMD's. Uranium from Africa. Mushroom cloud. Mobile biological laboratories. Al-Qaeda connection.

Yellow journalism as my post, Journalists as Stenographers revealed. This bronze soldier was fed a pack of lies, too. And, in his own patriotic way, he grabbed his gun and headed off to war to 'protect' his nation from the 'terrorists.' Bush's War on Iraq has killed more than the 3,548 dead Americans of this war. Interestingly, British Ambassador Hay wrote to Theodore Roosevelt that 'from start to finish it had been “a splendid little war.'

A splendid little war. Except for the 3,548 dead soldiers and sailors. No doubt George Bush thought the same thing as he stood on the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln to declare 'mission accomplished.'

It is always a splendid war except when one catches a bullet in head or spine. Then, the 'splendidness' wears thin.

Bush to "Honor the Dead" Through More Dead

He's pathological, but most of us already knew that. Yesterday the ne'erdowell governor of Texas proclaimed that those dead shall not have died in vain. Well, hot exactly those words. He said, "The nation can best honor the dead by "defeating the terrorists. ... and by laying the foundation for a generation of peace."

Often his remarks need to be interpreted. For example, when he said, "Mission accomplished" in May 2003 he meant: "I told you it would be a piece of cake."

Thus his newest statement about 'honoring the dead' really means: 'We'll throw another thousand soldiers into their graves if we have to.'

What the hell does he care? Or Cheney? Or Rice? None of them have children or grandchildren dying. As Dick Cheney noted yesterday, "They all volunteered." Of course, he didn't and deferred out 5 times as he 'had better things to do.'

Three cowards using our military for canon fodder to save a failed ideology. Napoleon and Bismarck would be proud.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Iraq War: It's more of a dull ache than a sharp pain.

The title line from an article on BBC, "American interest in Iraq slumps." Recent research shows that Iraq is not the everyday preoccupation for Americans that it once was. It's more of a dull ache than a sharp pain. The Pew Research Centre, earlier this month, reported that public awareness of the number of US military fatalities in Iraq had declined sharply since last August, with only about a quarter of Americans knowing roughly how many of their own soldiers had died. Pew linked the poll findings to the fact that press attention to the war has waned over the same period, with Iraq occupying 3% of the "news hole" (the amount of print space or air time available to report news) in February, compared with 15% last July.

The BBC article says that 'the economy' is the #1 concern for most Americans. The economy. I wonder if any of those who 'worry' can connect the dots back to the emormous cost of the Bush/Cheney War?

Too bad that so many of those who 'worry' were the cheerleaders for the Bush/Cheney War 5 years ago; too bad they didn't think of what a war could do to the economy.

Wisdom is precious and, obviously, scarce.

Run-up to Iran War: Iran 'behind Green Zone attack'

The BBC:

The most senior US general in Iraq has said he has evidence that Iran was behind Sunday's bombardment of Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. Gen David Petraeus told the BBC he thought Tehran had trained, equipped and funded insurgents who fired the barrage of mortars and rockets. He said Iran was adding what he described as "lethal accelerants" to a very combustible mix.

First, Cheney.

Next, Petraeus.

Who will be #3?

Cheney Prepping for His 3rd War?

The caption underneath the ugly Cheney photo says it all. Who would doubt it, especially from no-doubt-Cheney?

After all, he has been telling all of us that his other two wars were going well and were worth fighting.

One more war before his term ends; one more splattering of American blood before he flees to Bolivia to hide from the World Court's indictment for War Crimes.

What the hell does he care about what he has already done to this nation?

After all, when asked what he thought about the recent poll indicating that 70% of the American citizens think the war was not worth fighting, he replied, "So?"

Dick Cheney- America's greatest traitor!

Bush/Cheney War Crime: 4000 American Troops

I watched a clip from a soon-to-be released documentary, Body of War, detailing the extreme damage to a 22-year-old soldier on his 5th day in Iraq. His paralyzed from the nipples down; his skin sensory mechanism is non-functioning and thereby it cannot control his body temperature. He must wear a vest of ice packs to cool him down. Is he the 'lucky one' to be alive? Four thousand of his fellow soldiers are in the ground.

An interesting statement from a 90-year-old woman living in a nursing home comes to mind. She told my wife and me, "Most of the people here don't know they are here; they are the lucky ones. I do know where I am day after day."

I read that there are thousands of veterans of this war, young men and women, who now have a prosthetic arm or leg for the rest of their lives. Perhaps they are the lucky ones compared to those with severe brain damage or the ones with disfigured faces.

On Good Friday I volunteered for 3 hours at the Arlington West display of 4000 wooden tombstones on display in Toledo. One for each victim of the two Bush/Cheney wars. I saw through the blowing snow someone on the far side of the display, walking through row after row apparently looking for a name. I called to him, "Can I help you find a name?" He answered, "Yes, Sir." As he came closer saw his fatigues. "I'm looking for a buddy who was in my convoy he said," I told him that there was a book inside the tent with all the names." Oh, thank you sir," the young man said to me.

Two soldiers on that patrol were killed when their Humvee ran over an IED, he told me. "I don't know what state they came from, Sir; could you tell me the state so that I can find them?"

He told me that he felt so bad for their families and that he feels lucky to be alive. He found the names and the states and thanked us for 'what we were doing.'

Imagine that: 'what we were doing.' All we were doing is honoring the men and women who were not publicly honored when their caskets arrived in Dover. That political ban on photographing the coffins arriving back in the USA. The political stunt so important for this political war.

Off the young man went into the blowing snow, heading for the markers.

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