Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Out Damn Spot!"

Corey over at Powers&Morrison (DeepCon runs at P&M) had a funny today that made me laugh out loud, so I thought I'd share it. Go over to her blog I Am The Change and give her a shout-out. And while your at it buy something with this label on it from Tom Bihn, Washington,USA.

2nd Trial Set for Objector Watada

The Army has set a second court-martial for July 16 for an officer who refused to deploy to Iraq and spoke out against the war and the Bush administration. Read more.

More AYFKM: Walter Reed

Loose Lips Sink Shits

Beyond the Bush administrations incredibly shameful behavior after the discovery of the abuses at Walter Reed that came to light in recent reports, the newest information posted in an Army Times article tells us the DOD has ordered these soldiers to stop talking to the media. If that doesn't make your blood boil maybe this will: soldiers are being punished for the speaking out that has already occurred. Seasoned, experienced, professional soldiers are being told to wake up, clean their rooms, and report for formation and inspection by 7AM. The Army Times article states it this way,"It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training."

"Unusual" doesn't begin to cover it. I'm a Veteran, married to an active duty servicemember. Formations and room inspections are part of training for new recruits as part of instilling discipline. To expect these soldiers, marines and airmen who have been in war to engage in these punitive practices is not only humiliating but possibly medically unsound. These servicemembers are amputees, some multiple; they are blind, deaf, have serious traumatic brain injury and multilple other serious health problems. Once you move past the facility neglect exposed in the WaPo write-ups, the stark reality of the more severe problems are brought to the fore: the warehousing and abandonment of severely brain-injured troops.

Where's the outrage America? Is this how we support the troops? Is there a car magnet ribbon for this one? Get back to me on that one.

Profile in Courage: CBS Interviews Keith Olbermann

Station Agent, part of The Unruly Mob over at Les Enrages posted this Keith Olbermann interview done by CBS News.

Bush Family=Cowards (can I add selfish to that?)

I came across this at Brother Tim's place, Blog of Revelation. He found it at Buzzflash. Read how not a single member of the Bush family (extended version),"...have volunteered for service in any branch of the military or volunteered to serve in any capacity in Iraq."
Not one of them has felt the cause was noble enough to put his or her life on the line.
Read this and explain to me how this family of criminals can claim to, "support the troops." Pleeze use small wurds so I can unnerstan.

Walter Reed Patients Told to STFU

File under AYFKM? (are you f'ing kidding me?): Patients at Walter Reed have been ordered to stop talking to the media. These severely injured servicemembers are active duty and still subject to orders from superiors. The Army Times brings this compounding shameful behavior of the US Army to light.
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.
Tell me again how junior's administration supports the troops? These warmongering hawks HATE the troops or worse don't care about them one whit. If there is one way to truly show support for the servicemembers of this country, not just lip service, please contact your representatives and DEMAND action. Heads should roll for this ignominious disservice. Our troops were doing their jobs; make congress do theirs.

In related news, ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff who himself was severly injured by an IED in Iraq, produced a special documentary called "To Iraq and Back" broadcast last night on the topic of wounded soldiers and their recovery process.. Watch it here.

Finally, please go to the site "Wounded Warriors" and toss some support their way. They are advocate for veterans and applying pressure to this criminal administration to compel them to do the right thing in regard to our injured soldiers and veterans.

Thanks to my ear to-the-ground, Lotus.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Final Mission:Updated

I posted the story a few weeks ago about an Army Captain who's last act on earth was to save a young Iraqi boy. Today an update comes in via the Washington Post regarding the Iraqi boy's current disposition. If this story doesn't break your heart, you don't have one. [H/T to Mary for the link.]

Watching Afghanistan and Walter Reed is burning up the wire with spot-on analysis and reports on the fall of Afghanistan and the continuing cover story the military spins about Walter Reed and the abusive treatment our servicepersons are receiving in the military hospitals and VAs paid for by our tax dollars. Talk about yer troop all about it. also read the series done in 2005 by Salon trying to shed light on the situation at Walter Reed. Anyone wonder where the MSM was on this story before last week? H/T to Lotus for the link. Photo:Sergio Caro

Rice Crispies

Snap! Crackle! Pop! Secretary Rice loses more ground on the reality front. Keith Olbermann calls Condyloma on her twisted view of history in another brilliant Special Comment. Crooks & Liars has the video.

Good Thoughts for Gilly

The left blogosphere's own Steve Gilliard is in the hospital with heart trouble. Jen is holding down the fort over at NewsBlog and we send her our best wishes and a beam of healing to Steve. Please put Steve and Jen on your prayer/good thoughts list.

Taliban Targets Cheney

Reuters reports the blast in Bagram, Afghanistan that killed 20 was targeted at Darth Cheney by the Taliban. Darth lives. Read it here.

Wounds of War

WaPo has ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff and his firsthand account of being a casualty of war. Woodruff delivers a scathing indictment of the military response to injured servicepersons. Read it here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Snow Day

How can you tell when Tony Snow is lying? His lips are moving. The presidential spokeshole, has put his foot in it again. TPM tells us how.

US Generals 'Will Quit' if Ordered on Iran

Times of London is reporting a number of senior U.S. commanders will resign if Bush orders a military strike against Iran.
“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”
In related news, 60 Minutes last night had a segment, "Dissension in the Ranks," Watch video here via Raw Story. Also, Servicemembers join war protest with petition to congress, Common Dreams has it. It would appear that finally the servicemembers are catching a clue. I knew they would. Please read/watch this story-in-progress.
H/T to Naj and Lotus for the links.

The People vs. Darth Cheney

GQ, the men's fashion mag weighs in on the public opinion of 'Big Dick'.
With Cheney, there are also no lingering questions about capacity, motive, or malice. Over the past six years, as the country has spiraled into military misadventure, fiscal madness, and environmental meltdown, the vice president has not merely been wrong about the issues; he has been duplicitous, deceitful, and deliberately destructive to the American democracy. These things can no longer be denied by rational more
Think Progress posts the interview of President Jimmy Carter ripping Dick an new one. Read or watch it here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

GOP:Stuck in the Mud

When Frank Luntz, GOP master-of-deception starts talking about how the Rethuglican party needs to "get real" you know there's trouble in paradise.
"... my recent public opinion research has recorded unprecedented anxiety about the country's direction. Just 34 percent of the voting public believe that the America of tomorrow will be better than the America of today, while 57 percent think it will be worse.This explains why so many people have lost patience with the current U.S. leadership. It is no wonder that 52 percent of voters in my election night survey said they were "mad as hell" about politics and politicians. [snip]Congressional Republicans didn't seem to notice in 2006, and certainly didn't seem to care.[snip]It is unfortunate that the Republican Party is currently dominated by hyperpartisan, gut-punching professional politicians and expert technicians whom I wouldn't want to face at the dark end of the electoral alley. They specialize in the flawless execution of "wedge" politics. That may have worked well in past elections, but no longer. The latest gimmick is "branding" -- a Madison Avenue technique -- to reverse the Republican slide. But political parties are not brands, slogans are not a replacement for ideas and you don't sell leaders the way you sell widgets." Read the rest...
Weird though how Frankie-boy espouses this new strategy of 'fact-based reality' thus changing the tactics of "branding" for which he has been not only a major proponent, but one who provided language and strategy to that GOP movement. Prick. Yeah, I'm one of the really pissed off Americans. The irony and hypocrisy runs so deep with these people, it's a shame it's not an alternative energy source---we could be off our "oil addition" in a hot minute.

Al Sharpton , Meet Strom Thurmond

In an interesting turn, the Reverend Al Sharpton, civil rights leader and former presidential candidate, is a descendant of a slave once owned by family of the late Senator Strom Thurmond. Eww. It's difficult to even type the words "once owned by". Read the complete HuffPO story here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mid-life Crisis

Not really, just my birthday. I'll be taking the day off to enjoy the few things in life that I'm not too old to do. Have a great weekend!

Walter Reed Stories Factual But Unfair, Medical Chief Says

WaPo reports the surgeon general is whining how "unfair" all the coverage of Walter Reed has been.
The SG goes on to say that repairs to Building 18 are nearly complete, but the aging facility needs a top-to-bottom renovation. "That's tough to do while you're trying to take care of soldiers," he said.

Go fuck yourself Kiley, you lying, brown-nosing weasel bastard. First of all Walter Reed WILL NEVER be renovated as it's been slated for BRAC closure in 2012. Once a facility goes on that list, any improvement budget goes the way of the buffalo. If you think a coat of paint and a few new beds are anything near to adequate care you can kiss my ass twice. Secondly, the real problems at WR aren't simply "building neglect" but the
Only available picture of Surgeon General Kiley

warehousing of soldiers with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD who get totally inadequate care and are unable to advocate for themselves. I hope you end up in the military health care system after you retire and what poetic justice it would be if you wind up under the care of one of the soldiers you've fucked over. Sweet dreams shithead.

If you didn't watch this video at Think Progress, please do.

Our Tattered Constitution

In the wake of the soldier convicted of rape and murder, and the latest information about junior slipping in his martial law hideousness in the dark-o-night, susanUnPC at Larry Johnson's No Quarter has a great post up about just how far we've sunk.
It's one thing to find one's self stuck for four more years of the next "unitary president" like George W. Bush, but it's quite another to participate in making that happen. That's not "accidental geography" or even what could reasonably be called a rational choice to spend time there. And the highest price being paid is one that slips our minds all too often: The erosion of the rights of ourselves and our fellow citizens, the evisceration of Constitutional precepts, and -- most precipitously and perniciously -- the loss of our own humanity as well as how others regard us around the world. So to my "til-hell-freezes-over" friends, I say two words: Supreme Court. Read the rest...

In Other News: Think Progress is on fire with this and this. Please watch the short videos at both links, it is well worth it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

U.S. Soldier Takes Guilty Plea

From Digital Journal:
According to the military, five soldiers Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, Spc. James P. Barker, PFC Jesse V. Spielman, PFC Steven D. Green and PFC Bryan L. Howard planned to rape a a 14-year-old girl named Abeer Qassim Hamza. PFC Howard was told to monitor a radio as the others entered the victims' house. Green ordered the father, mother and younger daughter into a bedroom. Shots were fired and Green emerged and reportedly said, "I just killed them, all are dead." Green and at least one of the others proceeded to sexually assault Abeer and when they were finished, Green fired two or three shots into her head, killing her.

The March 2006 killing of the family was originally reported to be the work of insurgents. Later, soldiers told their superiors of their suspicion that U.S. soldiers were involved. The deaths are considered among the worst in a series of alleged atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.
Read the rest of the story.
Cortez was sentenced to 99 years. He got off easy.

The only known picture of Abeer Hamza.

Rest in Peace sweet Abeer.

Saving Money for Bullets and Bombs

Graphic courtesy of Peace CentralMore reports from Walter Reed. Democracy Now! conducts in-depth interviews with a reporter, a soldier and a veteran about conditions at Walter Reed--not the horrific physical conditions of the facility which reporter Mark Benjamin calls a "red herring of mice and the mold" but the dangerous, abhorrent, total neglect of those with traumatic brain injury and the military refusal to provide adequate treatment. The DOD in charge of medical care for these service persons, is the same DOD that keeps them from proper care and fair compensation for their injuries.Watch it here.

9th Downed U.S. Helicopter in 5 Weeks

Can someone explain to me why I have to go to China to find this article that really should be on the front page of AMERICAN newspapers? Oh yeah, teh MSM and non-military people don't really care...

Inside Iran

Americans know so little about Iran, the Middle East generally remains an ancient mystery of hookah pipes and camels. Regeh Omaar and the BBC have once again come to the forefront to present a documentary which gives us a balanced look inside the modern Iran. Not a desert outpost but a cosmopolitan country where the population exceeds the US in the college-educated. Give this documentary 90 minutes of your time, very interesting and informative.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Walter Reed Update

The Diane Rehm Show today had Dana Priest and Anne Hull the reporters on the WaPo series among others. Give it a listen.

Mean Bloggers

Shoephone of Evergreen Politics has a great post up, "Mean Bloggers Threaten the White House Press Corps." If I could only vent my frustrations as well as she does...Read it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Walter Reed Horror

The unbelievable, shocking repugnance continues at Walter Reed. At the very least, the mainstream media is giving it some light, for which I am grateful. Read "The Hotel Aftermath" at WaPo. When you're done with that give these articles a read, Wounded and Waiting," "The Forgotten Families," "Uninvited." "Hospital Investigates Former Aid Chief" and when you're finished, get angry and write your senator or congressperson a letter. Then seek out anyone who will listen and if they are Republican, all the better, and ask them how they are 'supporting the troops.' Do it. Remember every letter received represents the same opinion being shared by 10,000 other people who feel the same way but didn't write, or so say the marketing pros. Thanks from a Vet.

Criminals or Gays?

WTF. Could someone please tell the DOD to STFU and get a clue? Who would you rather have in a foxhole a convicted felon or someone Gay? Whatever. Steve Clemons writes it up at HuffPo.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Peace Train to Iran

A lovely video of pictures taken in Tehran, Iran. Who would Jesus bomb? Also check out the blog Neo Resistance, posts from an Iranian woman's point of view. H/T to Sandie and Naj.

Dominionism: Bastard Child of the Far Right--Updated

Amy Goodman did it on Democracy Now!, I listened to several shows where it was featured, and now I'm chiming in. Goodman had the good sense to interview Chris Hedges about his new book "Fascist America:The Christian Right and the War On America". Hedges blows wide-open the hypocrisy, danger and truly warped cult of personality of The Dominionists, the far,far right religious movement whose leaders who are destroying the separation between church and state while cluster-bombing America with their doctrine of hatred. The Dominionists cloak sexism, racism, homophobia, and hatred for any difference in religion, love of God, and "traditional values." Hedges points out the resemblances between the fascist movements of the 20's and 30's in Italy and Germany and today's theocons. He uses some of the work of Umberto Eco which in itself is stirring and insightful.

My writing on the topic of the "religious right" is not about attacking faith or God, but exposing the cruel and dangerous nature of these "talibangical" groups that prey on the vulnerable human psyche of despair that arises from poverty, lack of human rights, and the despicable treatment of people at home and abroad in the name of "righteousness." What is basically the inexcusable excesses of power and greed that have created these conditions are in part, responsible for the move toward fascism in this country. BushCo has capitalized on this dynamic in spades.

I am a person of faith. My relationship with God is one I count as among the most important in my life, but that's me. I would never presume to force or even discuss what is a private, personal relationship with someone else who wasn't interested or doesn't share similar beliefs. The Dominionists believe that everyone and everything else must bend to their will. Period.

These 'Christian' people who have exerted extreme pressure on the political processes in this country and exported their brand of radical religious terror throughout the world indeed represent the most frightening trend in the world today because their evil is done with a smile and violence pretending the sincere belief that it is 'God's Work.' Unless the American public and politicians stop tip-toeing around these insane power-hungry, money-loving, war-mongering fiends, because this cult cloaks itself in an essential freedom, we will find ourselves in essence, a Christo-fascist police state. How long will it take before we Americans find ourselves clothed in a burka of religious-based fascism? We are well on our way.

Update:Courtesy of Lotus
Hopey, now I see that Jim Wallis has this up at HufPo today:

Dear Kos, Can the Left Stop Shooting Itself in the Foot?
I think you’ll appreciate it. It concludes:

” … So Kos, let’s made a deal. How about if progressive religious folks, like me, make real sure that we never say, or even suggest, that values have to come from faith - and progressive secular folks, like you, never suggest that progressive values can’t come from faith (and perhaps concede that, in fact, they often do). If we progressives, religious and secular, could stop fighting among ourselves (shooting ourselves in the foot) and join together on some really big values issues - like economic fairness, health care, and a more just foreign policy - think of the difference we could make. How about it?”

Please check out the comments, valuable links and info from readers, whom I thank for their insights.

As If To Prove It...UPDATED being the true incompetence of BushCo, Shakespeare's Sister has a great post up reporting on the abhorrent "support" our troops get from the criminal BushCo and it's minions. Once beyond the facts of the incredible mismanagement and neglect of our servicepersons is the stunning irony and frequency with which the bushies invoke their oaths of "troop support." It is truly sickening.

UPDATE:WaPO reports repairs to begin on Bldg. 18 at Walter Reed.
Also I'm including a poem written by a friend especially for this topic:
Walter Reed
Ave to the wounded heart
To the fragile mind
To the shattered soul

To the morning
And the evening
And the morning again

Ave to the next breath
To the next thought
To the next prayer

To the waiting
And the asking
And the waiting again

Ave to the scarring
To the screaming
To the nightmares

To the enduring
And the suffering
And the dying

Ave to the healing
That flits like a shadow
Down dingy corridors

Like a mirage
In the desert

Like the armor
That never came

Like the mercy we denied them
To be its givers or receivers

Like the justice they are owed

Even if it comes
Too slowly
For too many

And is not enough

Ave to the wounded
And to those who will not let them
Be forgotten.

Incompetent Ass

Marty Kaplan at the Huffington Post has the results of a Pew research poll asking the timeless question: "Please tell me what one word best describes your impression of George W. Bush. Tell me just the ONE best word that describes him." Read the results.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dougie Gets Called Out

Douglas Feith the liar from the defense department gets taken to the woodshed by no other than Chris Wallace, the Faux News shill. Raw Story has the video from today's show.

Al Franken's Run

I'm not the biggest Al Franken fan but I do indeed like his message and would vote for him to replace Norm Coleman in Minnesota. Give his announcement for Senate a look.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Music

Blame Sally "If You Tell a Lie"
H/T to FitChick

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Not So Distant War

A touching oped by Ayub Nuri, a former reporter for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, is a student at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.
At school happy hours, while everyone was socializing and enjoying their drinks, I found myself having to explain the insurgency, the sectarian violence and what I thought would happen if American troops withdrew from Iraq. That was the question that troubled me most.
To me, it sounded like a question that only the defense secretary should be contemplating. Did people here feel entitled to ask it because they had voted for this government, and they therefore felt responsible for their government’s policies? I decided to think this was the reason, and it consoled me.
Read the rest...

Tammy Duckworth's Husband to be Deployed to Iraq

Iraq war veteran and former candidate for a congressional seat in Illinois, Tammy Duckworth, was notified that her husband Maj.Brian Bowlsby will be deployed to Iraq in March. Read the Chicago Tribune story here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Auditor:Iraq Billions Wasted

Live via the NYT and The Lotus News Service, Auditor in Iraq say Billions have been wasted and more waste is on the way.
From today's hearings, courtesy of YouTube and "Director" Nancy Pelosi via her new blog, "The Gavel":Many more videos of the hearings at the Speaker's blog.

Murtha seeks to restrain action in Iran

Read the John Murtha plan here.

On The Lam

TPM Muckraker has posted the letter from congressional members to the Abu Gonzales DOJ requesting that San Diego federal prosecutor Carol Lam be kept on as outside counsel in the Cunningham/Foggo/Wilkes corruption scandal. Will we ever hear this stuff instead of Anna Nicole's paternity fight in the MSM? Sadly, no. Sigh. In a related story, Raw Story has the DOJ's "leaked" talking points on the corporate corruption scandal. [H/T to Lotus for the linky]

Final Mission of Mercy

I read this in the WaPo this morning and wept into my coffee. The poignant heartbreak of this senseless war deepens daily. This is the story of an Army Captain who's last act on earth was to save an Iraqi child's life. Read it here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Open Letter to the Senate

I have just emailed this to my Senators. Please take any part of it or write your own and send it. Send it to your Senators today.
Dear Senators Boxer and Feinstein,

My request as an American , a voter, a USAF service-connected disabled veteran, the spouse of an active duty USAF officer and constituent is that you and the other 98 senators go to the nearest VA hospital, or Walter Reed, or Bethesda and look those broken souls in the eye. Explain to them why you can't take a more principled stand on their behalf. Then tell these soldiers, marines and airman that if they wait another two years, there might be enough funding to help with their problems.
Then I want you and your duly elected colleagues to go to the nearest military base and look those kids, and the parents who must leave their kids, and tell them why you can’t do anything to prevent their deployment to Iraq. Then tell them if they are still alive in two years, you might be able to help them then.
Next, I would like you to go visit some widows, widowers and family members, part of the one percent of the American people actually sacrificing, and tell them you would have really liked to have taken a stand to prevent their loved one from dying, but you couldn’t figure out a way to do that and get re-elected. Tell them you are sorry that in two years their loved ones will still be dead, but only then you will try to keep someone else’s kid, parent, spouse, from getting killed.
Finally, I want you to face the American people with respect to the resolution against the escalation of the war, and follow Chuck Hagel's advice, “I want 100 senators to look in that camera and tell your people back home what you think. Don’t hide anymore.”

This hand wringing on the part of those of you in power is unconscionable. As you posture, people die. It’s that simple.

(my name)or yours

Please contact your senators and congressperson. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Okay, So it's not Monday...

But I am here, starting slowly and boy is this good: Al-Qaeda calls Bush an Alcoholic Liar. I like it no matter who does the plain talking about the preznit.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Down and Still Out

Sorry to be so tardy on today's post. I'm still quite ill but finally feeling a bit better. I have not read a thing or listened to the news but I did want to check in and leave an update. I hope to post tomorrow. Thank you all for the well wishes.

Friday, February 09, 2007


because I'm down for the count. I have a terrible flu. Have a great weekend, see you Monday.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Quote of the Day

Our quote today comes from from Shoephone that irrepressible sprite over at Evergreen Politics. She has a great post up about the US Attorney firings prompted by Abu Gonzales and BushCo Inc.

Is this the new majority's idea of gate crashing?

Senator Patty Murray said she's finds it "deeply disconcerting that he could have been let go for political reasons". That's a nice sound bite, but I'd like to ask Senator Murray exactly what she and her newly Democratic majority plan to do about it. It's not just a matter of pushing good attorneys out, it's that the re-strengthened Patriot Act allows for replacements without even a cursory look by a Congress needing to conduct oversight. I have hopes that Senator Pat Leahy, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, will be looking into this, but it's time for all of our senators to start undoing some of the damage that's been done to this country - before the 2008 campaign season begins in earnest and they start skipping votes. So, as they wade through the broken glass of the last 6 years, I'd like to remind the Democrats that flying the banner of "majority" doesn't mean much until you crash the gates and really take the castle.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The 25 Most Corrupt BushCo Officials

C.R.E.W., citizens for responsibility and ethics in Washington, has released their top 25. This is a 'hit' list you have to read to believe.
"For the first time, the report chronicles the criminal activities and misconduct of high level officials in the current administration. Using public and court records, CREW developed a comprehensive list of government officials who have abused the public trust."

Lt. Watada Court-Martial Ends in Mistrial

Thank You Lt. has posted the breaking news.

Brits Hit By Friendly Fire

The Sun's story and the shocking 15 minute video that shows the British being hit by USAF pilots. "They kept telling us there were no friendlies..." Quote from one of the air force pilots during mission.

Escalation in Iraq:A Tragic Farce Continues

The Unclassified Producer and Media has a new video out.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Children of War: the generation traumatised by violence in Iraq

The Guardian has a story in their Tuesday early edition about the heartbreaking truth of how the children of Iraq are faring in a violence riddled society.
"That day they came home and they were changed because of the things they'd seen," said Sayeeda as she ladled rice into the boys' bowls. "The youngest two have been wetting their beds and having nightmares, while Abdul-Muhammad has started bullying and ordering everyone to play his fighting games. I know things are not normal with them. My fear is one day they will get hold of real guns. But in these times, where is the help?"

Queen Mary Goes 'Round the World

The Queen Mary sailed through the Golden Gate today on her world-wide voyage. Read The Gate article and see the great pictures.

Men Without Pants

Not a hot new band from Down Under but a humorous banned ad for Rolling Rock beer. In honor of my Pennsylvanian husband and for a little needed levity, men in thongs:

The Barren Political Landscape and Ways to Get from Here to There

The "here" is obvious:

polarized, corporate-funded, mean-spirited politics where most Americans feel powerless and subsequently, dismissive of the whole system. The "there" of which I speak is the fecund, vibrant, living geography where we can flourish rather than the bleak, disparate havoc of today's America body politic.

The political landscape as it is makes being informed not only difficult because of the mainstream media owned by corporate concerns but the two-party system which often forces average Americans to pick "the lesser of two evils." I myself have voted for democrats I didn't like because the candidate I really liked didn't have a chance of winning and my vote would have been 'wasted.' Dennis Kucinich certainly falls in that category. Truth is it's a dirty, rotten, shame. Americans are so turned off to the system as it is that they simply don't participate. Then corporate concerns and politicos play their games, a pitiful percentage of Americans vote and we continue in the destructive-to-democracy cycle we find ourselves in currently.

I listened to an interview with Ralph Nader this morning. He has much to say and it was worth a listen to if nothing else, get me motivated to write this piece today. There are still voices that resonate for me, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, bits and pieces from the current crop of candidates for president. Some speak of the things wrong while others speak of ways to change. I'll stick with the revolutionaries rather than the revisionists.

Ralph Nader has been called many things: consumer advocate, hero, spoiler.
There is talk that Nader will again run in 2008, primarily it's been called as a spoiler. Amy Goodman interviews Nader about his potential run in '08 and the release of his new documentary "An Unreasonable Man," a reference to the George Bernard Shaw quote, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him... The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself... All progress depends on the unreasonable man." His take on things to my mind is the kind of progress I want to see in this country. Listen and weigh in on what you think. The Nader interview begins at 13:00.

Today's Democracy Now! also features an insightful view of today's Muslim-Americans. Since 9/11 American Muslims have become the most targeted minority group in America. Yet they participate in American life in America in ways and at rates the general public does not. Did you know Muslim-Americans graduate from college at a rate of 59% as compared to 28% of the overall population? Muslim-Americans also register to vote at a rate higher the general public. So says Paul Barrett, author of "American Islam:The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion" and former Wall Street Journal editor and reporter. Muslims in America still have the "can-do spirit" America was so famous for yet most Americans no longer embrace.

We can change the topography of an American run by tyrants and embraced disproportionally by newer Americans. Tyrants want only to 'get their way' and new Americans want to succeed in the America we used to be. There is new earth being turned to revitalize our life force in the form of Internet communication. The tubes have birthed a new grassroots politics, "the netroots". We can no longer (could we ever?) trust the powers-that-be to have our best interests at heart. Education has been gutted, civics a thing of the past and citizenship something debated over as the issue of immigration which is far from it's broader meaning of community participation. If we are to truly have a country and a world worth living in, it is up to us to build it. Please remember what we in our forties were taught as kids and that kids today no longer believe: America is a great place. It really is up to us.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cheney Cracks Up

Frank Rich alone is worth the price of a New York Time subscription. Read his piece, "Why Dick Cheney Cracks Up"
IN the days since Dick Cheney lost it on CNN, our nation’s armchair shrinks have had a blast. The vice president who boasted of “enormous successes” in Iraq and barked “hogwash” at the congenitally mild Wolf Blitzer has been roundly judged delusional, pathologically dishonest or just plain nuts. But what else is new? We identified those diagnoses long ago. The more intriguing question is what ignited this particularly violent public flare-up.

The answer can be found in the timing of the CNN interview, which was conducted the day after the start of the perjury trial of Mr. Cheney’s former top aide, Scooter Libby. The vice president’s on-camera crackup reflected his understandable fear that a White House cover-up was crumbling. He knew that sworn testimony in a Washington courtroom would reveal still more sordid details about how the administration lied to take the country into war in Iraq. He knew that those revelations could cripple the White House’s current campaign to escalate that war and foment apocalyptic scenarios about Iran. Scariest of all, he knew that he might yet have to testify under oath himself.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Saturday Night Blues

Shawn Colvin rare one-time only broadcast of "Round of Blues"

Friday, February 02, 2007

Be One of the 1%

This is old news now since it happened more than a week ago but the Blackhawk helicopter crash that occurred on January 20th where twelve servicemembers were killed really affected me.

If you read here you know I'm married to a USAF physician who is a CCAT team(Critical Care Air Transport) member. One of the people that died was Colonel Brian Allgood an orthopedic surgeon. Certainly that Dr. Allgood was in the medical corp hits close to home, but the awful irony of the highest ranking death to date being someone there to impart healing stops me cold. Equally upsetting was the death of Command Sergeant Marilyn Gabbard, the first woman promoted to the rank of Command Sergeant Major in the history of the Army. My emotional reaction is manifold, Cmd.Sgt.Maj.Gabbard being a military woman like myself, is one dimension and the loss of a physician, like my husband another. The other ten losses are no less tragic and my heart goes out to the family and friends of all who were lost.

I do not agree with this occupation. Three quarters of the American public concur that the US needs to leave Iraq. Two thirds of active duty military also want out but do not have a choice, they just continue to do their jobs. The highest ranking officer, 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who refused a second trip to Iraq, is now on trial. The people that serve need your help.

I cannot entreat anyone to have a personal stake in the loss of life that is now and will continue to mount as this illegal war/occupation continues, but look at the faces of the nearly 3,100 lost your government has shoved down the memory hole and withheld from public view. The lives the media scantly covered and George Bush refused to let you see return home. Then replace the face of someone whose died with the face of a loved one. Imagine yourself as part of the one percent and then contact your Senator.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Get to the Point George

Oh, I see you have.

"Fastest selling pencil holder" was the caption. Interesting.

H/T to RF for the pic.

Chess with Cheney

Sydney Blumenthal has the article "Libby Was Cheney's Pawn" up at
We can only hope Scooter ends up in checkmate.
Cheney knew that the intelligence for the war had been cooked. He was not obsessed with Wilson because he was angry that Wilson was allegedly falsifying information. Cheney was not seized with a feeling of injustice or a need to inform the public of the truth. Cheney is not a fool. "Cheney knows how to read intelligence reports. He knows how to read classified information," Richard Clarke, former director of counterterrorism on the National Security Council, told me. Of course, Clarke said, "Cheney had read the reports" that disproved the administration's line. "Cheney knew it was false," said Clarke. What worried Cheney was that he was keenly aware that the so-called intelligence the administration propagated was phony, shabby and shaky. What also peeved him was that Wilson had said that his mission had been triggered by a request from the Office of the Vice President.