Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Uncalculated Cost of War

War atrocities take their toll, not just on the victims within the war zone, but also on the troops who are led to commit them in America's name:

There is a particularly terrible irony in the relationship between suicide
bombers and the suicides of American soldiers and veterans. With the possible
exception of some few sadists and psychopaths, Americans don't enlist in the
military because they want to kill civilians. And they don't sign up with the
expectation of killing themselves. How incredibly sad that so many end up dying
of remorse for having performed acts that so disturb their sense of moral
selfhood that they sentence themselves to death.

Today, about 17 American Veterans will commit suicide. That's over 6000 a year. it is roughly 50 times the number of suicide bombers in the same period. This is a phenomenal cost to our society and to our Country.

The Iraq War must end now. There is no possible outcome that can be good for us at this point. Let's cut our losses and stop marching American lives over the cliff...Let us save, not only those lives we would lose in conflict of war, but also those lives we will lose to the nightmare of their continued existence in emotional anguish.

Here is more on the plight of the American Veteran.



Monday, November 26, 2007

Quote of the Day

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes
and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a
racket...Major General Smedley
Butler, USMC

General Smedly was a two time Medal of Honor winner and that was from a speech in 1933. It has never been more evident than this moment that the General was absolutely correct.

One Democracy Initiative

Ok...I'm going to shill for a Presidential Candidate.

If your mind is already made up, go away, unless you care about ideas that could possibly make America work. (I said possibly)

So I'm a John Edwards fan, nothing new about that, but I keep wondering why Edwards hasn't gone straight to the front of the pack of Democratic candidates? He has great ideas and is much more electable than Dennis Kucinich. Maybe that's why the $400 haircut myth is still being pushed out there by his opponents in both parties...Edwards has great ideas...And he's electable!

Nothing scares political operatives more than something that would actually give "Power to the People," and it scares elected politicians even more...There goes the old meal ticket, should an actual thought process be brought into the act of making legislative decisions.


Well John Edwards is backing just such a policy. It's called "A Citizen Congress."

"Wait a minute," I can hear you saying, "Isn't that what Congress was supposed to be when the Constitution was written?"

Well, Yea-uhhh! But that was back in the days of selfessness and idealism...You know, before Congress actually realized there was a lot of money to be had by whoring for Corporations.
Right now, this very second in time, is a very good example of why politicians shouldn't be allowed to get elected to office. (I know that sounds funny, but think about it) Congress continues to enable the Iraq war even though an overwhelming majority of Americans (68%) want us to bring the troops home. About that same number think we should impeach the President and most of his staff, and at least put the ones guilty of treason in jail for a little bit.

But Congress doesn't pay any attention to the people...Only Lobbyists, apparently.

So now there comes this idea that America belongs to the Americans and not Corporations, especially the ones that have some foreign ownership, which is just about all of them.

So John Edwards has this talk he gives about the Two Americas and it's a doozy. But now he has come out with this new one about:

One Democracy.

Wow...What an old fashioned idea.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving for Peace Kids

If there's one thing an American believes he has it is the right to Free Speech.

First Amendment rights supercede all others, but only in theory. The most protected of all speech envisioned by the Founders was that of the political opposition. If we don't protect the speech of those "Not in power" our country could fall into the hands of an unprincipled leader who might get us into an illegal war against a sovereign nation that poses no threat to us, or something.

So on this Thanksgiving Day, I want to give thanks for those who stand up for our Freedoms by expressing and fighting for their own.

Since the American Media have abdicated their role in preserving Free Speech by being the gatekeepers for facts, It is now up to us. We know that it is not supporting our Troops when they are sent to be maimed or die for a cause, falsely presented by our leaders...Leaders who brand those who oppose them as traitors even as they commit visibly treasonous acts themselves, for no better reason than to harm those who oppose their schemes. With this in mind, I would like to present two groups of great Americans who fight for our Freedoms in their own personal way and at great personal cost.

First is a group I call, "The Bridge Chicks". Statements against them include such as these:

“While I believe in the right to free speech, to me that doesn’t give anyone the
right to criticize one’s leader at a foreign venue in a totally nonpolitical

Note that had the little sign been in praise of Bush it would have been fine...No taking sides here? Another statement:

“It’s not that I don’t forgive them, but I still think they should be punished.”

So what did these women do? They waved American flags, hummed the Star Spangled Banner, and held up a sign that said,

"We did not vote for Bush."

The second group of great Americans wanted to form a "Peace Club" at their Florida high school.

Their posters were torn down or Swastikas were painted over them. Other kids wore Confederate flag shirts with slogans like,

"If Peace is the Answer, It must be a stupid question."

Another student had a peace poster torn off her locker and replaced by this one:

'I Love America, Because America Loves War' sign up.'

The school refused to allow the Peace club and has lied about it to the press, saying no written application was received by the Principal, but not only was that not true but the kids had a faculty sponsor. In dramatic irony, the Principal's name who won't let the Peace Kids have their club is...

Mr. Cool.

So today let us give thanks for these Great Americans who continue to believe in America.

Peace...And have a Happy ThanksGiving!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Al Gore will be in the White House

So that's not my prediction..It's for a ceremony in the Oval Office recognizing America's Nobel Prize recipients.

I wish it were to be at a huge ceremony open to the public. Al Gore deserves great accolades and should be revered by this country. Regardless of his failure to defeat George W. Bush and his evil minions for the Presidency, our world is a better place because of Al Gore.

And I'm thinking about something that this brings to mind...When Democrats leave high office, it seems like they spend a great deal of their time and resources "helping" as Gore's Live Earth, Inconvenient Truth, Current TV (which you should watch if you don't already), and other tireless efforts demonstrate. Gore has even made good honorable money in the process, of which I am a huge fan.

Then there's Jimmy Carter's work with the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity. His travels all over the world have done far more to promote fair elections than anything we have seen from a Republican.

I mean...Republicans spend their time...uh...what do they spend their time doing?

George H. W. Bush formed the Carlyle Group, an oil and war material corporation, and now owns northern Paraguay.

Dan Quayle...Remember Dan Quayle?...Qualye has made the big bucks as a financial operative.

But they've also done a lot of good for the world, right?...Ok, help me here...somebody...I mean aside from instigating a few wars, profiting massively, driving up the cost of oil by 300%, and causing the deaths of tens of millions, I'm sure there are some good things...Aren't there?

Well, anyway, how do you think Al will feel walking into the Oval Office to be congratulated by George?


And here's another interesting news item:

T. Boone Pickens stood up at a gala and gave a speech defending his support of the Swift Boat Veterans, offering John Kerry one Million Dollars if he could disprove one single claim of the Swift Boat Ads. That should be interesting, since essentially ALL of the Swift Boat claims have been debunked.

Kerry has offered to take Pickens to visit the Veterans organization he will donate the money to, and has challenged T. Boone's honor if he doesn't live up to his wager.

Kerry should know better than to think a man who supports the Swift Boaters HAS honor.

This could be fun!



Friday, November 16, 2007

Thoughtful Thursday?

Yes, yes, I know it's Friday but I'm just thinking about what an interesting Thursday we just had.

Barry Bonds was indicted for lying to Federal agents about what drugs he takes, and that seems to have been a huge deal. Do folks remember that Vice President Cheney was implicated in lying to Federal investigators about committing Treason...His Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, was convicted and, since he refused to testify against his Bosses, had his sentence commuted by a grateful George Bush. But that was just lying in order to cover up the treasonous offense of outing a covert CIA agent...Nowhere near as important as the integrity of baseball, Right?

Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein came under so much public pressure that Harry Reid might have had to remover her from the Senate Finance Committee if she had voted to give certain Telecom Corporations immunity for committing crimes against their customers at the request of the President of the United States. Remember that it was public calls, emails, and actual handwritten many that the phone lines into Feinstein's office were jammed...pressure from people not lobbyists that scared Feinstein so badly that for the first time in a long time she actually voted to represent her constituents. This is good for America...Bad for George Bush. If the telecoms go on trial they will point millions of dollars worth of fingers at George Bush, for instigating criminal acts...Thousands of them.

Wolf Blitzer asked the stupidest most prejudicial questions in the history of Presidential debates. Here's one:

If a million people die in the next 9/11, would you be willing to chill out about torture? Yes or no?

Right, Wolf...If we torture a bunch of people, the rest of the world will love America and not attack us any more right? Mathew Iglesias identified Blitzer's motive: "The point, after all, is to force a choice -- piss off an interest group, or say something that could be used in a GOP attack ad."

Wolf Blitzer is a Republican operative...Duh!

No event more clearly illustrates how disasterous CNN's editorial choice has been to become just another outlet for Faux news. Their ratings are dropping...Ever since they abandoned Ted Turner's personal mantra to "Tell America the Truth." CNN is just not news anymore, and now Keith Olbermann and MSNBC are rising.

Of course, If you want real news...You have to watch Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert on the Comedy Channe, or the late night TV monologues. Problem is, they are all reruns because the writers are on strike, because the Corporate media won't pay them what they deserve.

There's something funny about that.




Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fred explains electoral and economic theory...It's all about the pendulum, or something

So Republicans are always promising prosperity and economic growth...Only, it ain't necessarily so, Right, Fred?

"You know, you look back in history... whether it's been in the 20s or the Reagan administration or the Kennedy administration or this administration, when you've lowered taxes and lowered tax rates, you've got economic growth. I mean, everything depends on economic growth."...Fred Thompson

Well, Fred...not really! As an actual researcher points out....

"In other words, Republican presidents produce poor economic performance because they're obsessed with helping the well off. Their focus is on the wealthiest 5%, and the numbers show it. At least 95% of the country does better under Democrats"...Washington Monthly

Also: ...if you make less than $150,000 a year, Republicans are your friends only one year in four. (That fourth year would be... Election Year...And then you're screwed for three years)


And then there's this...Susan gets email about the White House Thanksgiving Dinner:

....we'd start off with crow, sour grapes, trickled down crumbs, face-blasted cronyberry sauce, waterboard crackers, and pained-looking tight-lipped very neat serving of Condi rice pilaf.

More at: KissMyBigBlueButt

Fall in the Gorge

The forecast was for strong storms later on last night, so I wanted to take this before the leaves got knocked off the trees. We did have the storms and about 2 inches of rain.

Did anyone else think it was funny that Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue waited until rain was in the forecast before he held his prayer vigil?

Cheap theater.

The good news is that we still have lots of color left. It's a beautiful morning.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sex, Lies, and Abstinence Ed...

This line caught my eye:

...U.S. educators wanting a piece of the nation's $200 million "abstinence only" budget must adhere to a curriculum that links sex to delinquency and explicitly precludes discussion of contraception.

So the Bush Government is spending $200,000,000.00 a year telling your
children that if they have sex they're more likely to be delinquents.

Two hundred million bucks...

So providing them a little health care is socialism but lying to them is just fine?

The required curriculum handed down by the Bush Government requires that the children...YOUR told that sex is one precursor to becoming a petty criminal. They might as well add that becoming a Republican is a precursor to getting arrested in a public restroom for homosexual solicitation or paying prostitutes to dress you up in a diaper and spank you...Wait...those last bits are true...

Well anyway, early teen sex is NOT...repeat...NOT...a precursor to juvenile delinquency and if anything, kids who are sexually active turn out to be LESS LIKELY to engage in other forms of risky behavior including delinquency. I would term it the..."Happy kids aren't as mean as unhappy kids" syndrome.

"...the Virginia study found that adolescents who had sex at younger ages were less likely to end up delinquent than those who lost their virginity later. Many factors play into a person's readiness for sex, but in at least some cases sexual relationships may offer an alternative to trouble, the researchers say."

It worked for Mom and Dad.

What is clear in all this is that the Bush Government panders to anyone who it thinks can help it stay in power at any cost whatsoever to our society. Truth be damned! It also points out the bankrupt principles of an Evangelical movement willing to support any government, however corrupt, in order to advance its own oppressive and fallacious agenda.

Why can't we simply be honest with our children? Prepare them with knowledge, understanding...and the two commandments:

"Thy shalt be responsible for thy actions!"

"Thy shalt not have unprotected sex!"



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Sermon

I am in awe at the simplicity of all the solutions to all the world's problems.

You could point out that nearly all of them involve too many humans on one small planet and you'd be correct. The old joke about solving the greenhouse emissions problems by simply having all the people on Earth hold their breath for five minutes is obviously true but wouldn't be much fun for most of us. Reducing the human impact, whether by reducing population or, well, by reducing human impact, is the only way we can save our planet. Sorry, but for the aware, this is an inescapable conclusion.

We humans stupidly ask ourselves how to sequester carbon while we continue to dig it up and burn it, causing great environmental calamity at both ends of the operation. In fact, very little of the energy we expend actually improves the human condition, whether it's hauling a 120 pound human female around in a fossil fuel powered three ton SUV, or the inappropriately named "security light" mounted 24 feet off the ground with an inadequate reflector shield so that it uses three times the wattage necessary while simultaneously irritating the neighbors by shining an unwarranted light through their bedroom windows.

Perhaps we can rename them "Paranoia" lights since they actually statistically increase crime in their vicinity. Renaming them does nothing concrete but installing adequate shielding reflectors would greatly reduce their energy consumption and eliminate the crime of "light trespass", a term I have recently become aware of and like a great deal. By what tortured stretch of the imagination should anyone be allowed to shine lights on someone else's person or property? It is a crime, plain and simple, but even so, it pales when compared to the fact that escaped light steals the very stars themselves from all of us.

We actually, at one time in our history, had our energy problems well managed with our well equipped and self sufficient communities of the fifties, needing only carefully chosen technological advances from today's cornucopia to make them little heavens on earth. I remember a time when the grocery store, the pharmacy, the school, and the place where my Dad worked were all within walking distance. There was such a thing as a family farm. Gas was 17 cents a gallon and sirloin was $1.19 and the President was our hero.

Then the Oil companies and the Auto companies and the War companies became ascendant. Mass transit was labelled a communist plot and GM brought out the Edsel.

President Eisenhower warned us...The "Military-Industrial Complex" he labelled it... but Ike, grand as he was, did not have the courage it would have taken to set this nation and thereby the world on a better course.

Imagine how little meddling the world at large would be doing in the Middle East if oil were currently worth less than $10 a barrel? It's possible even even now.

I am an Idealist, of course, and have this insane idea that people should sit down together, paint a common picture of a realistic Eden, and work together toward achieving it as a goal. The journey may seem distantly inachievable but each single step is very close and not so big.

It would be so easy.



Friday, November 09, 2007

Chamber of Commerce or Chamber of Horrors?

How about a little story today? Call it light reading, if you will.

This little story has ramifications in every community in America. It involves a United States Supreme Court Justice, Powerful Republican operatives including the just reelected governor of Mississippi, The Chamber of Commerce, bribery, corruption, and using the Justice system to unfairly prosecute innocent people who oppose the corrupt system put into service of the Corporate Political malignancy that currently rules America.

It starts with "The Count of Monte Christo" to show that Alexaner Dumas' France got nothing on our America.

A Minor Injustice

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pampleteers of the Resistance

The best writing on the web seems to be in the Blogosphere.

Some choose to remain anonymous and with some, it is an open secret as to who they are. The Freeway Blogger is anon and ever present, speaking our thoughts in the medium of cardboard and chainlink. But then there are the pamphlets that are not pamphlets. The bloggers:

"Rivulets of water ran down from his thumb and forefinger as he held them up, "I was this close... this f***ing close... to ruling the whole goddam world... but no, I had to be the power behind the throne of Bozo-the-F***ing-Clown..."

And also:
"I knew that a real journalist would’ve found a way to cross the river, climb the last line of mountains and then headed down to see the killing up close. Good journalists go to the places where people die: great ones get there in time to watch them do it. Once I realized that I knew I didn’t want to be a journalist anymore."

As we watch our Constitutional freedoms get picked off by fearmonger Fascists, we look to our elected officials for salvation but they are cowards. It is up to us to give them transplants of courage.

They can ignore our emails to the official Congressional web site..But they cannot ignore our cardboard screams. Will there be a price on our heads like that of John Hancock?

We are the Pamphleteers of the new resistance movement and it is an honorable company...But some of us are the essence of greatness are to be revered.

One such is Scarlet. Enjoy!

The Freeway Blogger

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Story

We are asking a great deal of our Troops. We are asking them to fight and possibly die for what we all know and believe, now, is a lie.

Of greater ultimate impact is the truth that each of us must is you and I who are killing them by allowing this senseless war to continue:

More service members killed themselves while serving in the Iraq war last year than in any year since the war began, and the suicide count for 2007 is on track to surpass that. The dead are generally junior enlisted soldiers who are single, white and male.

One Story