"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Remembering the Veterans On a weekend when we are remembering our veterans and honoring our troops comes this dismal news...
"Almost four months after an election that held so much promise, the outlook for U.S. forces in Iraq is taking a turn for the worse. Some 14 U.S. troops have been killed in the last three days, bringing the U.S. combat casualty total for the month of May thus far to 54. (Almost 600 Iraqis have died in the same period.) As May shapes up as a contender for the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the past year, worse news comes from the sober assessment of one of the most respected — and U.S.-supportive — strategic thinktanks in Europe. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which hosted President Bush during his last visit to London, warned Wednesday that it would take five or six years before the Iraqi security forces being built by the U.S. were close to being capable of imposing and guaranteeing order in Iraq. Until then, Iraqi security would likely remain the responsibility of U.S. forces, meaning continued strain on U.S. military resources and, as things stand, limited prospects of prevailing against the insurgency for the foreseeable future. Indeed, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick conceded last Friday that the counterinsurgency war in Iraq could last a number of years. "[ source ]
Someone tell me again how this war doesn't mirror Vietnam? Did you know the Vietnam war started in 1954 and didn't end until 1975? Twenty-one years of soliders dying. A war in which 58,000 US troops lost their lives and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese.
Daniel Ellsberg's , 1974 Academy Award-winning documentary Hearts and Minds, outlines how the American people were lied to about Vietnam by Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon (nice bi-partisan mix of republicans and democrats wouldn't you say) . Once again, the US government has lied to the American people about the need to fight a needless and deadly war. Our government is rapidly creating a new Vietnam in Iraq, with the tragic loss of American and Iraqi life.
There is so little we can do for our troops in Iraq. We can not have them pack up and come home now. There is no easy solution. We can however demand answers and accountablity.
Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm unrealistic. But in my opinion we best honor those who served and those who continue to do so, by demanding that our government make an in depth investigation on how we were so wrongfully misled into the war in Iraq. By holding those who lied and those who aided in those lies, accountable.
We can start here .... Something You Can Do To Get At The Truth
Thanks to James at Left End of the Dial for the link to this letter.
May God bless, and protect our troops as they put their lives on the line every day to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Honor a vet by helping those who follow in his footsteps.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Bill's (and Republicans) Terrrible, Awful, Very Bad Week
First there was the Magnificent 14 and their bi-partisan deal
, which snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Victory for whom is still being debated, but no matter how you look at it , it was a smack down for Frist (and Cheney since you KNOW he was panting at the gate for his opportunity to play a leading role in killing the filibuster). That battle lost, Frist moved on to another defeat, on a bill that would ease restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The bill passed in the House on Tuesday and seems to have a veto-proof majority in the Senate. But Frist is not part of it. Then on Thursday, Frist stood by as Democrats forced a delay in the confirmation of John Bolton, the president's combative nominee for U.N. Ambassador.
There are those who would say Frist may be bringing trouble on himself by trying to satisfy the exorbitant demands of his party's far-right wing, which, like the old Soviet Union, views one concession simply as an occasion to ask for another. Before Frist truckles any further to the conservative base, he would do well to remember that the Hippocratic oath should apply to the Senate as well: First/
do no harm.
On Thursday, Texas State District Judge Joseph Hart issued a decision finding that the treasurer of Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (TRMPAC), a PAC founded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, violated Texas campaign laws
by failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Seems like somebody's going to be shelling out some BIG bucks to a few democratic candidates. In TEXAS no less! OH YEAH
Poor Tom then got dissed by none other that Law & Order which royally pissed him off. [DeLay angered by 'Law & Order' mention
Then wonder of wonders our fearless leader stepped up and promised $50 million in aid to Palestine! PALESTINE! Will wonders never cease. The religious rightwingnuts must be ready to burn a cross on the White House lawn.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that today in Los Angeles a jury acquitted the former top campaing official for Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign on charges of lying to the government. Guess they won't be able to use this one against Hillary after all. **snigger/giggle**
To sum it all up...
Frist gets smackdown.
Bolton gets stalled yet again.
DeLay gets putdown and dissed.
DeLay foundation gets to pay big bucks to democrats
right gets ignored by fearless
Maybe NTodd and Pie (see post two down) are right. Maybe there is reason to be optimistic. Or maybe the fates are just yanking my chain with a teaser of possiblities. Either way, I think I'll savor the taste of optimisim even if it's only for a long weekend. These days I'll take what I can get.
Don't forget to honor our Vets this weekend! Drive safe and be happy. Update
: I knew it was too good to last. This is bad. Bad for Democrats. REAL bad. [Tennessee state senator placed under house arrest
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Did George Lucas Foretell the Future
Lucas swears the wrote this chapter of the Star Wars saga a full 17 years ago.
What do you think?
The current episode of Star Wars
is dead on for the duplicitous Bush administration.
Sith lord masquerading as a [galactic] republican, becomes
chancellor of the
Galactic Republic through
voting machine fraud
Palpatine uses wars that he instigates to elevate security over the power of the Senate and to become dictator.
In a moment of triumph,
Palpatine tells the Senate: "In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into
a safe and secure homeland
the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society." The senators respond with sustained cheering and applause.
Padme says, "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause."
Religious rightwingnut zealots
Sith lords use the powers of the dark side of the force.
Jedi knights use the power of the good side. The
Jedi are selfless and use their incredible powers to protect the Republic.
Sith are evil and crave absolute power. [ source
Maybe it was unintentional, but I'd say Lucas summed up our current political enviroment perfectly.
You Win Some You Loose Some...
Regarding The Deal
"If nothing else, you see just how pissed the extreme rightwingers are about this deal. That's the best indication of a victorious compromise and we should revel in it."[Steve
"To put it bluntly, as long as the Republicans control the media and the voting machines, I find it hard to be real optimistic about much of anything. They're the ultimate keys to holding politicians accountable, and they've been grievously compromised."[Eli
"Then it's my unhappy duty to suggest that we're doomed. Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. The American public has not evinced even a scintilla of a whiff of a possibility of remote interest in paying attention to the latest outrage from the Republican radicals. As long as it doesn't interrupt their viewing of "Survivor" or the latest NASCAR race, the average American couldn't give two good shits about what those twits in Washington are doing. Dress the pig up in the War on Terra and watch it dance with inked hooves on the Bill of Rights, blotting out more and more of our rights with each hop, skip, and jump.
If I lived in an area where such transactions were feasible, I think I'd be hiring myself a really stunning escort for tonight, for one last big hurrah before I start seriously looking around for the next country I'll be calling home."[ Michael
"Personally I say go ahead and be optimistic. I sincerely hope you are right, but without a concerted effort to thrust their corruption into the news; we will lose. (and I am not sure that even a general uprising would work anymore, they will simply declare everyone terrorist and make them disappear - with the complicity of the courts.) My gut tells me we lost and will continue to lose. I wish I felt differently, but I cannot think of anything that can break their monopoly of power."[source unknown]
"The critical distinction between the Republicans who run Congress and the Republicans who have preceded them is their obsession with total victory. In other words, Republican congressional leaders nurture a zealousness, born of religious conviction, that they [alone
] know the one true way. They want to enforce that set of beliefs on the entire Congress and on the nation. That is why the GOP leaders are obsessed with installing federal judges who have demonstrated the willingness to undo decades of judicial precedence in the name of a religious mission."[source unknown]I've never wanted to be wrong about something so bad in my life.
I will close with this...
"But I found reason to be optimistic last night, and until something happens to change my mood (for better or for worse), I'm staying in cool mode. This country has survived other such trying times. I believe we'll get through this too."[Pie, who left no forwarding address]
"Whenever I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have always been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it: ALWAYS
I pray they're right.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
A Few Good Men & Women
Yesterday a "Gang of 14" senators, seven Republicans and seven Democrats, wrested control of the Senate away from their leaders and averted today's expected historic confrontation. When the line was drawn and the chips were down these 14 men and women stood up and confirmed their belief in our country and in our democracy. Senator John McCain
Senator John Warner
Sneator Joe Lieberman
Senator Ben Nelson
Sneator Lindsey Graham
Senator Robert Byrd
Senator Mark Pryor
Senator Mary L. Landrieu
Sneator Daniel K. Inouye
Senator Ken Salazar
Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Senator Susan Collins
Senator Lincoln Chafee
Senator Mike DeWine
I did not list their party nor their indivual states. Because yesterday they were American men and women representing us all.
I hope and pray we all remember these brave men and women when election 06 comes around.
[Editors note] Monday night at 7 PM, the A & E network will present Faith of My Fathers
, an inspiring movie based on John McCain's book Faith of My Fathers
. The made for tv movie only focus's on the time period when McCain was a POW during the Vietnam war after the young Navy pilot's aircraft was shot down.
Considering that Monday is Memorial Day, this is a perfect opportunity for people to see what a real hero
is. This is no swaggering John Wayne (who incidently NEVER served a day in the military) wannabe, this is the real deal. As he continues to be today.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Why They [Really] Hate Us
Protesters surround Laura Bush at Jerusalem mosque...
It has nothing to do with those two puny little lines in an article in Newsweek magazine. They hated us long before then.
They hate us because they think we're infidels. Some of us are.
They hate us because they think we're bullies. Some of us are.
They hate us because we represent everything they believe is wrong in the world today. Some of us do.
They hate us because think we have no respect for their religion or their culture. They're right about some of us.
They hate us because they can. At least some of them do.
Newsweek magazine could have written about how the guards and interrorgaters at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, treated the Koran with the utmost of respect. It wouldn't have altered our image one iota to those who hate us.
Of course the pundits who are determined to tar and feather Newsweek magazine and it's reporters aren't interested in the facts. Anyone who dares to criticize the military or our chickenhawk leader is in for a beatdown.
Much like Rathergate, it isn't the content of the article that's in question, it's the inablility of the Pentagon to verify
that the accusations are valid. Or rather their willingness to do so. Of course they failed to notice the Pentagon failed to confirm or deny
The faux news pundits have conviently forgotten that incident back in 2002 of alleged Koran mishandling
They've not bothered to mention that indeed there must have been incidents of mishandling of the Koran. It wasn't tossed in a toilet, but disrespecting an inmate's Koran got at least one American soldier reprimanded at the Guantanamo prison for terrorists. At least two reliable military sources confirmed the previously undisclosed reprimand at the Camp Delta prison.[source
This people, is why they hate us. Because what they see is a country of arrogant, bullying, hypocrites. If all there was to us is what you see in the news an in Washington DC, you'd be pretty close to right.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Down an Out in the USA
I know I've been remiss in my blogging of late. Granted part of that was due to computer problems, but I've also been experiencing something akin to the doldrums. I just don't seem to be able to find the fire and the passion to write.
I watch the news and I get this sinking feeling we're losing.
There's a mob of self-righteous religious zealots that have hijacked the Republican party. The poison and hate they spew forth is rapidly eating away at the very fabric of our Constitution. They're a rabid bunch of fundamentalists who condone violations of up to four (or more)of the ten commandments, they claim to so highly honor, in pursuit of political power.
Our nations capitol has to be the most dishonest place on earth. Congress is being over-run by bullies. Judges are being threatened not by thugs on the street but by Senators and high profile religious leaders.
Newspapers, news magazines, and network news channels can't report the truth for fear of being tarred and feathered by a handful of cable news bullies.
Where are the hero's? Woodward and Bernstein where have you gone? Or were they really heros? Was it nothing more than being in the right place at the right time, with the right story? Will such a time ever come with the current administration? If it does will it come before the
religious right takes over the last bastion of our free society, the so called fourth estate, OUR media
It is these days when I find myself filled with dispair that the unforgiving, selfish and greedy predators in our government will in the end win this battle and we will be left with a ruined country.
There are times when I look longingly northward to Canada and wonder. Is it time to seriously consider a move? To the land that embody's what our forefathers surely had in mind when they came to this country seeking not just freedom of religion, but freedom from discrimination rooted in religion. A land where the church leaders were not the all emcompassing power of the land.
The country I grew up in, grew up loving and being proud of, is disappearing. I fear my grandchildren will never know the United States of American that I once knew.