Monday, March 26, 2007

If I Were A Traitor

It seems that yours truly has had his patriotism questioned recently. This has happened in the past and I have always thought of the Mark Twain quote which Bill Maher uses in the above speech.

"Patriots support their country all time and their government when it deserves it,"

It's funny that this has come up because I was all set to write a column about the ever growing list of laws that Bush Co has broken and why they aren't considered traitors.

Oh, well. Bill beat me to it, as usual. Don't forget to check out the video below from Congressmen Patrick Murphy as well.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

If I Were A Congressmen...

...I would want to be just like this guy. Representative Patrick J. Murphy (D-PA) gave this speech on Friday March 23, 2007 that will be remembered as the beginning of the end of the delusion we have suffered in for the last four years in Iraq.

Oh, and for you neocons that might entertain the notion that Mr Murphy has no clue what it's "really like in Iraq"...sorry to burst your ever shrinking bubble of misguided patriotism but Representative Murphy served two deployments after 9/11 - the first to Bosnia in 2002 and the second to Baghdad, Iraq in 2003-2004 as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. In Iraq, Captain Murphy advised on offensive operations, initiated reconstruction efforts within the justice system, trained the new Iraqi Civil Defense Corps on the rules of engagement and was instrumental in the prosecution of Sheik Moyad, a radical lieutenant of Muqtada Sadr. For his service, Patrick earned the Bronze Star and his unit earned the Presidential Unit Citation.

Huh. Maybe Democrats do know a thing or two about the defense of this nation.

And what it means to truly be a patriot.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

UN Secretary General Speaks in Iraq

Check this out on You Tube. Wow. I guess the troop surge is really working. If the media could only report the good news...sigh.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Orewell That Ends Well

Bill Maher has been on a roll lately. This commentary dovetails nicely with my post this week. We have lost so much...if only more people could see really see it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Profiles In Courage Volume 8: A Voice of Reason

Four years ago today, our country embarked on what will be remembered as the biggest failing in our history. In an effort to "take the fight to Al Qaeda," President Bush invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003. Since that day, I have written many words on here about why Iraq has been a colossal blunder. I went from supporting the war in the beginning to seeing unconscionable actions by this administration result in disaster. I have listened to lie after lie about how we are "doing" in Iraq and tried to understand the people who still support this war.

A few weeks ago I started working on an anniversary piece on the Iraq invasion. After a few paragraphs, I realized that I was repeating myself and should probably come up with something else. On the evening of March 10 I sat down to watch one of my favorite programs, Real Time with Bill Maher, and the first guest said something which made me fall out of my chair. I was shocked for three reasons. First, he was a general. Second, he said something I didn't think it was possible for a general to say, which was:

"We've got this thing that so many military believe that Republican administrations are good for the military. That is rarely the case. And, we have to get a message through to every soldier, every family member, every friend of soldiers that the Republican party, the Republican dominated Congress has absolutely been the worst thing that's happened to the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps."

and third, he was the man who by many is considered to be the father of the Iraq Army. So I decided I would tell his story and let the General, who knows Iraq very well, comment on where we are at with "things" in Iraq four years later.

Major General Paul D. Eaton was born in Weatherford, OK and has served in the United States military for 32 years. Throughout his career he has received the following medals: Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters) and the Army Achievement Medal just to name a few. In June of 2003, General Eaton took over as Commanding General, Coalition Military Assistance Training Team, Baghdad, Iraq which essentially means he was tasked to build the Iraqi Army. In less than a year, he built an infrastructure out of nothing creating an army of a 27-battalion, nine-brigade, three-division army and air force, navy, coastal defense force, civil defense corps, police service, facilities protection service, border police force, customs police force, immigration police force, national security police force and a diplomatic protection service officers force.

Some would argue that General Eaton failed in his task when he ended his tour of duty in June of 2004. Violence in Iraq has spiraled out of control and the country is currently engaged in a civil war. I say he was handed a bag of shit from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and told to turn it into a steak dinner for 27 million people, a highly improbable task. In the end, he did the best he could possibly do.

When he retired from service in 2005, General Eaton became one of the first voices in what eventually became a chorus of military personnel who began to speak out about how poorly this war has been managed. In recent editorials, Eaton has said that the Iraq War can't be won militarily and there must be a "diplomatic surge" to secure peace. Naturally, he was criticized for being a "traitor" and a "pawn of the left." I find this to be odd as all the information about Paul Eaton that I got was from official military web sites which unanimously sung his praises and service.

On March 10, 2007, the stunning condemnation that General Eaton delivered on Real Time, which can be seen on video and in its entirety at the conclusion of this column, gave me hope that people of good faith, service, and reason can finally start speaking truth to power. For all the polls that say that most people are against this war, we still have just enough people that support it to keep it going. Everyone needs to realize that President Bush, Dick Cheney, and their mindless sychophants have NOT been fighting the "War on Terror." They have used 9-11 to systematically take away most of our civil liberties, destroy the constitutional balance of power, and waste countless American and Iraqi lives while spending billions of dollars, most of which went to their own friends in the corporate world. The disgust that I feel for these disgraceful people whom we call our "leaders" is unfathmable; they are an embarassment of biblical proportions and my children will have to endure the irrevocable harm that they have inflicted on our great nation.

Are there any more Paul Eatons out there in the world? Raise your voices, proud men and women, and tell your stories.

General Paul D. Eaton on Bill Maher

Monday, March 12, 2007

Great Bunch A Guys

It's been awhile since I have written about the firearm lobby. You know the fellas I am talking about....the ones who wish they could do what I do at least three times a week...if they could only get it up without a gun.

Last Sunday I read Dennis Anderson's weekly column in the Star and Tribune and saw what is perhaps the finest example of the pure psychotic paranoia of these dickheads. Jim Zumbo, an avid outdoors man, columnist, and popular host on the Outdoor Channel, has been ex-communicated from the cabal of gun boys. It all started on February 19th when he wrote:

I must be living in a vacuum. The guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. Only once in my life have I ever seen anyone using one of these firearms. I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tack drivers."

Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms." This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the prairies and woods.

Within 36 hours of this post on his blog, Zumbo was fired as spokesman for Remington, fired as Outdoor Channel employee, fired by Outdoor Life magazine for which he worked for over 40 years, and his blog removed from the Outdoor Life website.

Dennis Anderson, our very own outdoor columnist and avid hunter had this to say:

What's going on here? Can't a person -- particularly someone who has long supported anything and everything to do with the "outdoors" (including conservation) -- express an opinion without losing a career?

The answer is no, Dennis, a person can't. The reason for this is that the people who run the gun lobby are a group of mentally ill Nazis who are so insecure about anyone expressing an opinion that wavers even slightly from canon that any small step out of line is meet with extreme punishment. This is how they have always been and will always operate. It's how pretty much all conservatives seem to operate these days. None of this comes as a shock to me at all. Hell, I am surprised that didn't just shoot Jim Zumbo in the head with an AR or AK rifle.

Zumbo's biggest mistake was not dissing the rifles themselves but warning hunters of becoming just like terrorists. Huh. Imagine that. Wasn't it yours truly who has been called "nuts" and "paranoid" and "a traitor" by several neocons who post on this blog for saying the exact same thing? And now, here we have a member of an atypical conservative group stating what is very plainly the truth and look at what happened to him. Tell me again that I am nuts. Speak to me again about how my opinions about conservatives are inaccurate. Please explain to me how I am the irrational one, in the face of this complete bullshit, and am only presenting part of the truth.

His comments obviously struck a chord in nuttersville and, in the end, truly illustrate a mindset that is extremely dangerous. On almost every conservative issue, there is no wavering. That is a sign of weakness. No matter how awful the results of any action, conservatives must stay the course, not give in, and not allow any dissent. Iraq is an example of this. Our current "fuck you, we're better" approach to international relations is an example of this. Health Care, Education, the Environment, Homeland Security....have only one way to be handled and that's the "Right" way.

And we all better fall in line otherwise we'll end up like Jim Zumbo.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Numbers Are In!

Thanks to one of my intrepid readers I have some wonderful statistics to share with all of you. On March 2nd, the three major news networks coverage of Anna Nicole Smith and the Walter Reed Scandal were totalled.

CNN made 40 references to Anna Nicole Smith and 53 to the Walter Reed Scandal. MSNBC made 96 references to Anna Nicole Smith and 84 to the Walter Reed Scandal.

and Fox oh my.....121 references to Anna Nicole Smith and 10 to the Walter Reed Scandal. Bwaa Haa Haa. Are you fucking kidding me?

Someone who thinks that Fox News is a real news channel please post in comments. C'mon, I double dog dare ya!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How the Republican Media is trying to bury Walter Reed Story

Really? Nah...the couldn't, could they?

How many Anna Nicole Smith videos and how many Walter Reed videos?

Yeah, talk to me some more about the "liberal" media....

Support Our a minute...

On February 15, 2004 John Kerry said the following at a primary debate:

"President Bush cut the VA (Veterans Administration) budget and is not kept faith with veterans across this country. And one of the first definitions of patriotism is keeping faith with those who wore the uniform of our country.”

He was laughed at by every neocon from here to Timbuktu because, as I'm sure you are all aware, Democrats don't care about the troops. Why would anything a traitor like John Kerry says be true anyway?

On March 19, 2005 President Bush cut $350 million dollars from the federal budget for veterans, specifically in the area of home funding which amounts to about 5000 medical beds for our troops. The Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, a Democrat, said this was unconscionable. Neocons accused Governor Rendell of being a traitor and not supporting the troops by criticizing the president.

On February 13, 2007 President Bush again proposed cutting part of the budget for veterans starting in 2009 and continuing through 2010 in the hopes of balancing the budget by 2012. Democrats again raised concerns about how our troops are our greatest treasure and the sacrifices they make should be repaid in kind. I remember asking a neocon friend of mine at a party about how he, as a veteran, felt about the cuts. He told me that Democrats lie about everything, no one cares more about the troops than Republicans, and it was his job, as a soldier, to kill any Democrat that came into his gun sight.

In the last two weeks, most of the major media began running stories about conditions at Walter Reed hospital. Pictures and video showed black mold in the bathrooms, mouse droppings on the floors everywhere, and holes in just about every wall in the place. Soldiers, heretofore afraid to speak out, began telling stories of the rotten medical care they have received since serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other military hospitals around the country have now been called to the mat, as several soldiers have cited similar conditions. Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who oversaw Walter Reed, was fired immediately. Last week, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey also resigned in what many have finally come to see as the most appalling fuck up of Bush Co's tenure in the White House.

Yes, that's right. You heard me correctly. This is Bush Co's fault. They decided we should go into Iraq and quite obviously didn't plan for how taxed the veteran's health care system would be. In fact, they made matters worse but cutting funding for programs that were already underfunded and thus, people like Cpl. Wendell McLeod were treated like animals. "This is how we treat our soldiers -- we give them nothing," Annette McLeod, wife of Cpl. McLeod said. "They're good enough to go and sacrifice their life, and we give them nothing."

Ms. McLeod is one many voices of veteran's families that I hope can be heard. These are the people that the right wing media ignore, spewing more of their lies and hate about how Democrats "don't support the troops." Neocons inability to look at these stories boggles my mind and is, in the end I guess, completely expected by a group of people who regularly accuse liberals as being out of touch with reality while they are, in fact, living life at fucking Disneyland.

The policies of George W Bush have been idiotic, incompetent, and utterly unkind which, quite honestly, I think is being polite. For him to stand up in front of the public and say he cares about the troops has now been categorically proven to be one of the greatest lies in the history of our country. The pictures and videos I have seen are nauseating, to the say the least, and I was so far beyond appalled by this it was hard for me to know where to begin. So I started with the man who might have been president whose words from three years ago ended up being exactly true.

I wonder what else he was right about?