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July 22nd, 2009
Those crazy “Birthers” are getting an awful lot of ink and air time lately, offering good comedy fodder for late night television while occasionally making regular people turn away in revulsion. Like the “Teabaggers” weren’t hilarious enough to use the name of a sexual weirdness as their moniker, or to publicize their racist rants and ridiculous charges against the President, after being the very same wackos who accused those who questioned any illegal act of the last administration by calling them traitors.
CNN commentator Roland S. Martin has a piece up today (July 22) entitled, Obama birth issue is nutty that proceeds to make good fun of the wingnuts. But since one of George W. Bush’s first serious actions as President after 9-11 was to arrange the biggest government overhaul since the New Deal – by inventing the so-called “Department of Homeland Security” – there are Americans out in the hinterland who are suddenly quite confused about their legal status. I’m one of them, and so is recent Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. Who, like me, actually wasn’t born in the United States of America.
McCain, like me, was a Navy brat. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, I was born in the Philippines. There used to be a clear law on the books that held the children of American citizens born in a foreign country are indeed ‘natural born’ American citizens, even if they automatically get dual citizenship for the country in which they were born. I had that until I was 18, though after that I would have had to formalize, and I was never very fond of Ferdinand and Imelda “Shoe-Lady” Marcos. So I let it slide. Still, if nobody questioned McCain’s citizenship qualification for POTUS, the fervor with which wingnuttia rants about Obama seems even crazier. I mean, even if Hawaii hadn’t been a state when he was born, did not all Hawaiians receive automatic citizenship when it WAS made a state? It was a territory, after all. Like Puerto Rico. Which apparently some wingnuts in Congress think is a foreign country too, thus Judge Sonia Sotomayor couldn’t be a citizen. Weird.9-11, Barack Obama, COM, History, Humor, Intelligence, John McCain, Media, Military, Outrage, Racism, Slime Machine | Comment (0)
November 11th, 2008
A new day has dawned, we have a new President-elect coming into office on January 20, and a couple of too-long ongoing wars in far places to bring to as honorable an end as possible, as soon as possible. With a hearty shout-out to all our veterans, especially those with whom we served all those many decades ago. Here’s hoping the new day will bring about the ‘right thing’, despite the distractions of economic meltdown. Real help for the tens of thousands of returning veterans from our current wars who have suffered grievous injuries. Schooling and re-training for all. Treatment for PTSD, even for the oldest veterans among us, war does terrible things to people’s minds.
So, in honor of our nation’s brave veterans, what follows is an edited repost of my experience the first time I visited ‘The Wall’ – the Vietnam War Memorial. It was May of 1985, we had been called to D.C. to testify at a hearing. We brought the kids, 15 and 16 at the time, since they had few memories of when we’d lived close enough to Washington to be there for the 4th of July, to visit the Smithsonian museums regularly, to picnic and fly kites on glorious spring days on the Mall.Memorials, Military, Veterans, War | Comment (0)
August 6th, 2008
…Nobody believes the gub’ment anymore
Sure, there have been tin-foil hat conspiracy theories aplenty for as long as anyone alive can remember. The Jewish bankers got together with the German Illuminati and plotted the ‘New World Order’, getting its first nail in the coffin in 1913 with the Federal Reserve, going straight from there to instigating WW-I with a well-planned assassination in Sarajevo, culling the first wave of accumulated wealth in 1929 to start the Great Depression, which could only be alleviated in the end by WW-II.
And they needed an excuse to overrule America’s strong isolationism at the time, so they didn’t bother to do anything about the incoming Japanese fleet as it sailed en masse toward Pearl Harbor. Not exactly a “false flag” operation, but certainly despicable. REAL false flag operations got famous when the wholly fictional Gulf of Tonkin ‘incident’ allowed the US military to ensconce itself in perpetuity in South Vietnam, admittedly (by several ‘memoirs’ since, by people who could know) for the purpose of testing the nifty new armaments and chemical warfare agents amassed when they ‘forgot’ to cut the wartime military budget after Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war.
Then there was 9-11. A textbook case made for tin-foil speculation, undoubtedly. Huge skyscrapers imploding perfectly from jet fuel in the upper stories, a whole different, un-damaged skyscraper that mysteriously collapsed in the same fashion late that afternoon for no apparent reason, a hole in the danged Pentagon but zero signs of anything that might have caused it, etc., etc., etc. I doubt anybody’s unaware of the grand conspiracy theories for that dreadful day.
Then, just a week later, some journalists and a congresscritters received letters in the mail containing weaponized anthrax spores and badly printed notes from what we were told was just another Arab terrorist. Only that wasn’t true either, as quickly became known. Why, it turns out that the weaponized anthrax spores came from the US Army’s own bioweapons facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland.9-11, Analysis, COM, Government Lawsuits, Media, Military, Outrage, Science | Comment (0)
June 16th, 2008
It seems that Bush’s visit to Europe last week has produced some recommitment to his ever-expanding Mid-East War, at least from the Brits. I’m figuring that Palau isn’t quite ready to invade Iran for us. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, however, did promise tougher sanctions on Iran and an increase in its troop strength in Afghanistan. Brown announced that he has ordered a freeze on the assets of Iran’s biggest bank.
The New York Times reported Monday that Brown sought to speak directly to the Iranian people during the joint Bush/Brown press conference.
“We will take action today that will freeze the overseas assets of the biggest bank in Iran, the Melli bank, and secondly, action will start today for a new phase of sanctions on oil and gas.”
Bush reiterated that “all options” were on the table in regards to U.S. actions against Iran, which includes military strikes. Brown committed to increased troop strength in Afghanistan as NATO began redeploying forces to meet a new threat there as hundreds of Taliban fighters took over villages in the south over the weekend during heavy fighting, releasing hundreds of insurgents from the Kandahar prison.
U.S. troops are primarily bogged down in Iraq, supplying the bulk of troops in that country, with fewer than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan. This years after “success” of the missions was declared – it looks like we’ve had less trouble ejecting leadership in those countries than we’ve had in “securing the peace” in either. Some troops have done as many as six tours of duty and are being prevented from leaving the service by “stop loss” directives.
Where the heck is he planning to get troops to deal with Iran? I mean, if he just sends in the Air Force to bomb them, what makes him think the Iranian Army won’t cross into Iraq and Afghanistan to wreak havoc on our troops there?
Despite Bush’s desire to leave America in much, much worse shape than he found it in 2000, opening yet another front in his ‘forever-war’ isn’t a very good idea. Will Congress act to prevent it this time?Filed under Bush, Counterproliferation, Military, Policy, War | Comment (0)
June 11th, 2008
Hillary gracefully conceded the race to Barack Obama this past Saturday, finally allowing us Democrats to get down to the nitty gritty of picking on John McCain instead of each other. While Clinton liked to brag about the 18 million who voted for her as if she could sell them on the market, or issue vague threats that they might not vote for Obama in November, her ‘army’ of feminist voters are indeed moving to support the party’s nominee as expected.
So, just to get us started focusing on what needs to be focused on, here’s Johnny McCain telling us why it’s “not too important” to get our troops out of Iraq any time soon…Filed under Campaigns, John McCain, Military, Presidential Candidates | Comment (0)
May 26th, 2008
It’s Memorial Day and we are not in Oklahoma or Kentucky to manicure gravesites or to solemnly place flags and poppies to honor our fathers for their service, or to recall our lifetimes of love and caring. We instead spent the weekend joyfully hosting the New Princess of the Universe (our newest granddaughter) and her beautiful, hopeful young parents.
The Oklahoma gravesite was manicured and decorated by family anyway, the Kentucky one – now so full of family that there’s no one left to tend it – was no doubt trimmed and swept as part of the spring duties of the groundskeeper, just brass plates in the ground beneath that weathered white marble angel in the sorrowful pose. Funny how life – and generations – go on as the past slips ever farther into the mists of time.
Since Memorial Day of last year, 624 soldiers, sailors, Marines, reservists and guardsmen have been killed in our “occupation” of Iraq. Diarist clammyc has details on each one, including age, date of death, branch of service and home town.
Today, when you’re watching the parade or grilling some dogs or enjoying the sunshine in a park or in the woods, remember these fallen and the fallen of all our endless wars – right or wrong – who answered the call and gave their lives. Maybe say a little prayer in hope that someday soon the world and all the generations alive in it may discover peace.Filed under Memorials, Military, Veterans, War | Comment (0)
May 12th, 2008
Warning: this will make you sick
The web page for Forever Friends Pet Cremation Services explains…
Pet cremation is a clean, sanitary way of saving your pet’s remains. Pet cremation is environmentally sound, providing an alternative to placement in municipal landfill sites, or for those who do not have adquate space for burying their pets.
The problem of taking up space in municipal landfill sites must have been a big consideration when an officer accompanying the body of a comrade to his final disposition discovered that the military had contracted with Forever Friends to handle the bodies of US servicemembers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On Friday [May 9] the Pentagon banned the arrangement, which had been in place since 2001. According to a story in the Washington Post, Some War Dead Were Cremated at Facility Handling Pets, Pentagon officials say they don’t think human and animal remains were ever comingled at the facility. That will probably soothe the outrage of families who might suspect from this news that they’ve got some dog’s ashes in that urn or plot instead of their loved one.
Continue reading »
March 24th, 2008
The Associated Press reported on Easter Sunday that the American Death Toll in Iraq Reaches 4,000 after a roadside bomb killed four soldiers in Baghdad.
At least 61 other people died across Iraq on Sunday, but the U.S. is not keeping any official records of how many Iraqis pay the ultimate price for the ‘freedom’ we have brought them. …and bought them, at a price so far to American taxpayers of ~$600 billion.
Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, J.P. Morgan upped its bid for the bankrupt Bear-Stearns investment bank to $10 a share, 5 times the negotiated price agreed upon last weekend just in time for the Tokyo stock market opening on St. Patrick’s Day. The unprecedented bailout of an investment bank that is not a member of the Federal Reserve system was seen as necessary to prevent a worldwide financial market meltdown. The Fed is guaranteeing Bear-Stearns’ worthless investments up to $30 billion (of American taxpayers’ money).
Speaking of American taxpayers’ money, the Bush administration assures us that the $200 – $600 in tax rebates set aside earlier this year in hopes of stimulating the economy (perhaps we’ll all go out and purchase shares of J.P. Morgan?) will be mailed in May. Perhaps this will come just in time for millions of soon-to-be homeless Americans to buy a nice three-room tent to live in during the warm summer months. If they’re very careful with their budget, some of those families might save enough to buy kerosene space heaters for their tents before winter!Filed under Anti-War, Class War, Depression, Economics, Federal Reserve, Memorials, Military, War | Comment (0)
February 20th, 2008
Kangaroo Trials for Gitmo prisoners
The Pentagon announced on February 11 that it is charging six detainees at Guantanamo Bay with war crimes, and will be seeking the death penalty for all. According to ex-JAG officers, it has already been decided that all will be convicted, and all will die. The highlights will be secret evidence and confessions gathered under torture from people who have been held for years sans habeas corpus.
Ross Tuttle’s Rigged Trials at Gitmo appears online from The Nation. Looks like BushCo are fixing to compound their own war crimes. Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for Gitmo’s military commissions detailed a conversation with Pentagon general counsel William Haynes, who now oversees the tribunal process for the Department of Defense…
Filed under 9-11, al Quaeda, Appointees, Guantanamo, Military, Torture, War, War Crimes | Comment (0)
“[Haynes] said these trials will be the Nuremberg of our time,” recalled Davis, referring to the Nazi tribunals in 1945, considered the model of procedural rights in the prosecution of war crimes. In response, Davis said he noted that at Nuremberg there had been some acquittals, something that had lent great credibility to the proceedings.
“I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process,” Davis continued. “At which point, [Haynes's] eyes got wide and he said, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them off? We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions.’”
December 5th, 2007
16 US Intelligence Agencies agree, but not with Bush/Cheney…
With Bush and his cadre’s recent hyperbolic rhetoric introducing “World War III” in the same sentence with Iran, it looks to me like the various US intelligence agencies don’t plan to be made scapegoat once again for Bush/Cheney’s delusions of Hitlerian grandeur. They all got together this time and reported in the most recent National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and is years away from having nuclear weapons even if it tries really hard. CNN reported that…
A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate found with “high confidence” that the Islamic republic halted an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.
Worse, this report was prepared in December of 2006. Which explains why Cheney and the boyz were so anxious to keep a lid on it while they beat the drums toward a opening a new front in their forever-war. Ex-CIA counter-terrorism expert Larry Johnson offered this observation:
Analysis, Bush, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Military, War | Comment (0)
There are some unsung heroes in the National Intelligence Council who insisted on the integrity of the product. In the face of enormous political pressure to tailor information and pull punches that undermine Bush Administration talking points, the intelligence professionals did their job. They told the truth based on the facts in hand.