12 November 2006

Election results

Well, the elections are over. The pundits have had their say on how it all turned out. They have "spoken from on high" to tell us riff-raff why we voted as we did. "They" always have to explain how and why "we" do what we do in these matters. We cannot be trusted to give our own opinions, it all has to be dissected by the pundit class.
Well, from my lowly point of view, we the people, just were damn tired of the bullshit coming from the White House and Congress. Of course I am not a member of the pundit class. I am just a lowly citizen of this once great country. Oh, I am also a Viet Nam vet and a former Marine, but that doesn't count for much among the pundits. Funny how so few of them ever wore any uniform, not even a Cub Scout uniform. The same holds very true for the neo-cons as well. The war lovers have very seldom ever been in an actual war. Odd how that works isn't it? It is one of those "life mysteries" I guess.
OK, the donkey gang seems to have won enough seats in BOTH houses of Congress to hold majorities in both. Wow! Well, OK, they won, they had their "victory" parties and the paper cups have been picked up and the floors swept. Now what? Will they hold W. Gump and his side kick old "Dead Eye" Dick Cheney to account? Will they repeal that evil Patriot Act? Will they repeal that even more evil Military Commissions Act? Will they start(!) to bring the troops home? Will they ENSURE that the Gulf States get HONEST rebuilding efforts?
Just what will "THEY" do now that they are in control of Congress?
Hey! Democrats! The nation wants some direction from you. You folks have the "power" now, what are you going to do? Do you folks HAVE a plan? If so, what is it? Hells bells, you KNEW there was a chance you could get control of Congress (or at LEAST the House) before the election. You SHOULD have had at least some sort of IDEA of what you might want to do with that power. Let us in on the plan. You DO have one, don't you?
Me? Well, I do NOT look for much change in the way things are. The Democans are just the other side of the same coin as the Republocrats to me. I voted for the Independent candidate in my district. Yes, the "big two" would say I wasted my vote. Well, it was MY vote, and therefore mine to "waste" if I decided to do so. My vote, my choice. At least I deprived the War Party of one vote here in central Louisiana. It didn't matter, Mr. Alexander won any way. So, he could care less if he got my vote or not. So be it, that is how we operate. I can still send him emails and such. He IS my representative and I will continue to let him know my opinions. Bet he won't like that. Actually, he doesn't seem to care. I never even get a form letter reply from his office. How nice of him and his staff. They must know I never cast my vote for him. LOL!
One other reason I don't hold much hope for real change, the neo-cons are jumping ship and returning to their origin, the Democratic Party. Yes sir, most of them started out as "Scoop" Jackson Democrats. You can look this up on the net, or just google it. The neo-cons didn't lose the war either. They blame old Rummy. Nice to see him gone, but Gates is tied to the Iran-Contra deal plus much more from the Bush 1 administration and even that of old Ron Ray-gun and Nixon. Nixon called Rummy "that ruthless little bastard". Nice bit of character analysis there Dick! Hell, the description still fits today. Bye, bye Rummy. We won't miss you. Oh, and don't let the door hit your ass as you walk out.
Now if we can just bring him up on war crimes charges. Then get Cheney to quit and charge him also. Then get the rest of this criminal administration when they try to sneak out of Dodge. Put them ALL in orange jumpsuits and have them making little rocks from big rocks. For life.
We need to keep the heat on the Democrats to restore OUR Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law.
The election is over. The Democrats won. Now WE the people must hold them accountable for their actions.
semper fi

10 November 2006

Semper Fi

Semper Fi Marines.
On this day, 10 November 1775 in Tunns Tavern the Marine Corps was born.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Marines!!!

Now, you notice that our great organization was started in a tavern. Guess even back then you needed a good stiff drink before enlisting. LOL!
Just kidding, sort of.

SEMPER FI! And a huge salute from me to ALL Marines, former and present.
May the gods look over all of you and particularly those who are serving today in Afghanistan and Iraq.
charlie

23 October 2006

Fix to errors

Some how the links in my latest post didn't print right.
I will try them again for those who stop by here.
The Orwell link is; www.cato.org/research/articles/orwell.html
The link to Ms. Taylor's excellent article on reading is; www.lewrockwell.com/taylor/taylor131.html
I apologize for this error, the links should work now.
charlie

22 October 2006

Words and the MCA

Got some things to kick around today. Words, or language is the first one. Then on to the MCA, or as it is officially called, the Military Commissions Act recently passed and signed into law by our "dear leader" W. Gump.
Words or language and the misuse of it really has been a thing that has been wearing on this old fart for decades. Now I enjoy word games or "playing" with words as much as the next person. My Dad was really good at that. It makes you think, exercise for the old brain. It is the misuse of language that is what has got me really pissed off. The reason is that words are the way we communicate. When our language is abused, it makes any true communications very difficult.
I am NOT talking about the way our language has changed,that is entirely different. Our language IS changing and changeable. It is a fluid sort of thing. Meanings change with time, new words come into use, old ones drop from use. That is natural in my opinion.
The abuse of words has been a "sore spot" to me for many years. Those who know me, who have worked with me, my Marine buddies, any others who have any association with me know this. The "politically correct" bull that was on a high in the recent past and still continues somewhat is a good example of language abuse. What passes for communication from the criminal administration of W. Gump and his puppet master, Cheney are the new height of language abuse. Fueled, in my opinion, by the political correctness of the 80's and 90's.
It is my opinion that the political correctness crap let this current gang get away with their language abuse without notice by many. If we had not gone through the PC crap, their word abuse might be more noticeable. I may be wrong here, I did say this is my opinion, I did NOT take any survey or investigation of this issue.
I DID look to see if any "authority" had ever addressed this issue. I had figured that some "learned" person MUST have written a book or at least a paper on this. I found an interesting one on this subject. It is available on the internet for free. It is by George Orwell, entitled "Politics and the English Language". It was written in 1945. OK, so it might be dated, but it IS very good and worth reading. The link is; www.cato.org/research/articles/orwell.html. I recommend this one as an excellent start for those interested in the abuses of our language.
Another great article that is not quite on this topic is also worth your time. This is written recently by a very kind person, she allowed me to post the link here, that is kind in my book. The article is on the importance of reading. Reading? Yes, reading. Americans don't do enough of it. According to the author, our children are not even being taught how to read correctly. The link is;www.lewrockwell.com/taylor/taylor131.html. Ms. Linda Taylor has given us an excellent article on the lack of proper teaching of basic reading skills in America. If we and our offspring don't read, how will we get our information? From the TV? We ALL know that is so biased that it isn't really worth the effort to turn it on if we are looking for anything close to the truth.
Here we are, back to words, language, and reading. I am not much of a writer, but I never set out to be. After the Marines I worked as a machinist. I made parts according to the old blueprints. Writing articles was not a requirement. Reading was required. You had to be able to read to make the parts. Yes, blueprints have actual words on them, not just numbers.
Reading is one of the most cherished things I do. I have always enjoyed reading. It is one way to learn things. Good fiction lets you escape the cares of this world for a time. Reading is so essential to life, or I think it is.
The abuse of words takes away from this as well as confusing communications. The most outrageous abuse of language is "extraordinary rendition". What a term that is. What it really is, in fact, is plain old kidnapping of a person. Kidnapping and taking the person off to some facility for "interrogation", which can mean whatever W. Gump "decides" that day.
The man is president of America, but how is it that he gets to say what words mean? Where is THAT granted in the Constitution? Oh, right, in order to find out, one needs to read! The "decider" gets to "decide" what a word means now. We know he has declared that he can "decide" what law or portion of a law he will follow or obey.
Signing statements, another abuse of language. Why not be truthful there Gump, just tell us all in plain language that NO law applies to you unless you "decide" it does.
What makes this all so disgusting is the LACK of any outrage at this. Does the press ever ask anything about this state of affairs? I do NOT mean some blog on the net, I am waiting for the main stream press to WAKE UP to the language abuse. I am in for a long wait, the MSM hardly notices the physical and psychological abuses of real people. Words are so easy to abuse, and the press just goes along with all the abuses. Oh dear, don't rock the boat. If the "reporters" don't suck up to power, their careers may not advance or may not advance very fast. Abuses, whether of people or words, well, that doesn't count.
The Military Commissions Act. Wow. Now W. Gump got Congress to pass this piece of excrement. How they could do this is beyond comprehension. Senator Specter said it was unconstitutional before the vote. How did he vote? In favor of it! Senator McCain, who was tortured in Viet Nam was against it. How did he vote? He voted FOR it! What the hell you say. Yes, a majority of OUR senators voted for this thing, this rotten piece of crap.
Now this president can declare (decide) that ANY person, anywhere is a terrorist or at least an "illegal enemy combatant". Anyone! It does NOT just apply to foreigners. He can decide any American is an "evil doer", just because he says so. If he does, off you go to whatever hell hole prison they send you to. No way do you get to even SEE a lawyer. Habeas corpus? Forget it! This "law" kills that ancient right. Speedy trial? Maybe, maybe not. The right to see the evidence against you? Maybe, IF the "judge" thinks he feels like letting you see anything. Jury? Nope, just a judge. Oh, the judge can be ANY serving military officer who happens to get "judge duty" that day. They can hold you as long as they like. If they feel like letting you sit in Gitmo for 25 years BEFORE any sort of "trial", well, make a comfy nest, you gonna be there till they "decide" otherwise. Send you to a foreign country for some "aggressive" interviews? Sure. No problem. We "don't torture" anymore. The prez has said so. The Attorney General has said so. The thing is, they REDEFINED what IS torture. Water boarding is NOT torture by the new "rules" according to the "decider". In other words, once they get you, they can place you where they wish and do to you what they wish. For as long as they wish.
Another part of this deal. It is retro active. And the penalties are retro active also. I think they call it "ex post facto". If you WERE an "evil doer" oh, say 5 years ago, but stopped doing evil, they can still bust you and send you off to where ever. It also ABSOLVES ALL the "officials" of any PAST "crimes" that may have occurred since the "war on terror" started. Now this is VERY interesting. Ex post facto laws are totally un-Constitutional! So, basically, Congress passed, and the "decider" signed into law, a law that is completely UNLAWFUL! Well, we USED to live in a Constitutional Republic, welcome to the dictatorship of W. Gump! We are in for one hell of a ride folks.
In all this gloom, there IS one very small bright spark out there. When the current "decider" retires, the next president COULD use this same law to declare W. and his ENTIRE criminal administration to be "evil doers" and lock them all away. The same COULD even be done to those in Congress who voted for this goddamn abortion called the Military Commissons Act. Now THAT would be worth seeing! Would that be irony, or poetic justice? Either way, I think it would be damn good fun to see.
Just my 2 cents.
semper fi,
charlie

11 October 2006

Some random thoughts


Some of this may be a bit belated. I wanted to get permission from MickeyZ to link to his article before I wrote this. Thanks for the permission Mickey, I hope to do you justice with this.
On the Oct 9 web edition of Counterpunch, Mickey Z wrote an article entitled,
"Who Killed Michael Moore?". This was in response to the brutal killing of a very courageous Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. He basically is asking in this article, suppose the right wingnuts in America killed Michael Moore, what would the reaction be here in America.

I replied to him that such an event might rate all of say 15 seconds on CNN. I also thought that O'Reilly and all of Faux News, the likes of Ms. Coulter, etc, would be an orgasm. Then, it would be forgotten, old news, and that would be it.
The following is a link to his excellent article. Please read it and answer the question for yourselves.
http://www.counterpunch.org/mickey10092006.html
Another article that jumps out is by Jim Lobe today over at Antiwar.com.
The link is http://www.antiwar.com/lobe/?
This is about the neo-cons calling for war with North Korea now that they have supposedly tested a nuclear device. I say supposedly, as the "hard" evidence is not in yet. According to some experts it may take days or even weeks to confirm as the yield was quite low, as in, it was a small blast.
The neos wanting war with North Korea is nothing new, nor is it very surprising. They want another war, in fact they love any war they do NOT have to do any actual fighting in. Indeed, they are very willing, too willing for me, to send our children off to fight and die for their lofty goals of world domination.
What with the North Koreans now supposedly having an actual atomic bomb, the Navy sending extra ships to the Persian Gulf, and our two "other" wars failing, it comes as no shock at all that we NEED more war. No shock that is, if you are one of the "great" neo-con "thinkers". If you are a regular working class person in America, it should scare the living shit out of you. Why? Well, our armed forces, ground pounders (of which I am proud to have been one of) are stretched paper thin in Afghanistan and Iraq already. Troops are being extended before the can rotate home. Units that have rotated home are being recalled for deployment sooner than they thought. In other words, we are running out of boots to put on the ground.
Oh, the Navy isn't doing too bad, they may be extending the tour of duty for some ships in the Gulf region, but not that many, yet.
The Air Force seems the only service that has more or less "regular" capacity for more war right now. That may explain why the main "strategy" for an Iran war is to bomb the hell out of them. There is a problem with that however. As has been explained by others who know more about all this sort of stuff than I do, folks called experts, bombing is fine, but to "win" any war, you need boots on the ground. Don't think so. Just look to Lebanon this summer. Israel bombed them back at least the 20 years they set out to do. Israel did not "win" in Lebanon because they didn't put the "boots on the ground". So they withdrew back across the border. Well, this way, both Israel and Hezbollah can claim they "won". Interesting, a war where there are only winners.
Back to Iran. Where will W.Gump (G.W.Bush) get the "boots" to put on the ground so he can "win"? Can't take them from Korea or Japan, it might signal Kim that we are letting him "off the hook". Germany? Britain? Where?
Can you say "draft"? Of course you can. This time around women will be drafted as well, hey, score a point for "equal rights". Yes, that was very cynical and sarcastic. I would also suggest that they MAY lower the minimum age to 16. The upper age is already 42 for enlistments, so make the maximum age for the draft, oh say, 45. That ought to get old W a few more "boots" to put on the ground. Why, with a draft, they may even be able to stop trying to enlist drug users, gang members, and mental patients. Wow!
Having been through Viet Nam, I am very cynical and distrustful of government. I remember Nixon got elected in 1968 because he said "elect me and I will end the war in Viet Nam". Then, he got re-elected in 1972 by saying "re-elect me and I will end the war in Viet Nam." And you folks still trust the government? Wow! What are you smoking?
I also tend to be sarcastic, that is my nature, and experience. I wish like hell I had some GOOD news to pass on. Well, last post, I gave that link to the commentary by Mr. Olberman, that was good, or so I thought.
Until my next post.
semper fi,
charlie

09 October 2006

Have they finally gone too far?

Here is a question for you. Senator Arlen Specter says he KNEW the senate bill dismantling habeas corpus was a violation of the Constitution. If he knew this why did he and a majority of other senators vote FOR it?
How in the bloody hell can a US Senator vote FOR a bill that he/she KNOWS is a violation of the Constitution? Does some idiotic party loyalty trump your oath to uphold the Constitution? Does the though of W. Shrub not inviting you over for dinner make you forget that oath? Does Cheney scare you that much? Did Rummy tell you that if you voted against the bill he might have the Air Force drop a bomb on your D.C. area condo? Did Rice say if you voted against the bill she would come to your house and stand in your front yard and call you names?
What the hell could have made U.S. Senators vote FOR a bill that is a violation of the U.S. Constitution? Can somebody out there give me an answer? What trumps the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Hell, I took an oath to defend that Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic when I joined the Marines. When I was discharged, I was NOT asked to revoke that oath. Who got these senators to revoke their oaths? How did that happen? Goddamn it, I DEMAND an answer. So should every other American who has the least little bit of respect for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We need to know how OUR senators could vote a majority for a bill that VIOLATES the Constitution.
I want to give a HUGE shout out to Mr. Keith Olberman at MSNBC. Back when he was doing the sports report on KNXT/KCBS in Los Angeles, I would never have guessed that he had such an eloquence and satirical wit. I am providing a link to an article of his, it has a lot of advertising on it, but, as the person who sent it to me said, well worth reading. I second that! Very well worth reading indeed. In it, Mr. Olberman takes W. Shrub to task and does so in a style that is way beyond my ability. Then, I never did set out to be a writer. I was just a dumb kid who joined the Marines in 1968 (very dumb kid) and then spent my working life as a machinist. An honorable trade, but not the sort of thing that would tend to make a writer of a person. Notes to the engineers do not count as writing.
Here is the link; http://www.msnbc.com/id/15147009/
Another bit of news here, the Foley mess. Well, of course he has at least an excuse or three already lined up before he could admit to anything. After all, he is an American politician, AND a Republican. This is coming from a man who is trying his best to be a political atheist. I don't trust the donkey gang any more than I trust the elephant gang. Which is to say, not at all.
Look, they are both animals, neither is house broken, they both just tramp through the flowers and shit in the yard. Where is the big difference? Oh, right, Senator Kerry and Senator Hillary Clinton could fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan BETTER than W. Shrub has done. Sure, they could, and we have some very nice beach front property to sell you folks from the mid west. Yes sir, right down here along the good old Louisiana gulf coast. Prime real estate it is too. And the price, well, let me tell you, it can be had for a song. Just don't spit into the wind, keep your car gassed up at all times, and if it looks like a storm over the gulf, well, run like hell for Arkansas.
OK, back to Foley. Yes, what he is supposed to have done is despicable. It is not the sort of thing you would think your elected representative to the House would be engaged in. Well, it is probably not what you would want him/her doing. You might, if as cynical as I am, think he/she might be into that sort of thing, but you would not want them to be.
NO, I am NOT gay bashing. Personally, I think he is claiming to be gay as a "way out" (is that a pun?) of his troubles. Just as I think the being molested as a teenager and being an alcoholic are just "excuses" as well. Gay men are NOT pedophiles. Pedophiles are not gay. OK, they can be gay and gays can be pedophiles, nothing is 100% certain, not even the "divine" speaking to W. Shrub. Most gays are not pedophiles and most pedophiles are not gay. There, does that satisfy the "PC" crowd, or the "thought police" or whomever you are supposed to keep happy? If not, please write to your congressperson, in triplicate, using NO carbon paper, and do NOT tape,staple,or fold to your payment slip. Send the complaint to the said congressperson by pony express or your local chapter of the Hell's Angels.
Foley, back to him, would appear to be a very sick person. Those who use authority to "get something" from folks further down the "pecking order" are sick. I don't care if the power is abused for sex, money, position, whatever. If it is an abuse of power, it is wrong. When you throw into this mix, young, impressionable persons and an older member of Congress, the abuse is very bad. We are taught in high school civics that our members of Congress are honorable people. OK, so the school books got it wrong. Congress members are folks who are looked up to, in more ways than one apparently. Sorry, I can't stop the sarcastic remarks just now.
Let me stop for a while with this comment. If Foley is guilty as claimed, he should suffer the same punishment as if he were an "average" citizen, and NOT as a "respected" member of Congress. Do not let him use any excuse or rehab clinic to get off with a lighter punishment. Treat him equally as if he were just "Joe Citizen" and caught in/after the act.
As to all of the above, my wonderful German born grandmother used to have a little phrase she said when she had seen or heard something very bad, I think it applies to all the above. Here is what my Grandma Welke would have said to this mess; "For shame, all of you, for shame." That about sums it up quite well for me also. Of course having been a Marine, my language tends to be more "colorful" as it were.
Oh, before I stop for this post, some personal comments. W. Shrub is a damned coward! Dick Cheney is a goddamn draft dodger shithead who can't shoot straight, unless his target is a Republican lawyer. Take that you bastards!

02 October 2006

What interesting times we live in

What a fine mess we have now. The Senate voted on SB 3930 the other day. It passed. This is the so-called "torture bill". I am including the link so you can see how your Senators voted. Both Senators from the state I live in, Louisiana, voted in favor of it. Shame on them both.
To check how your Senators voted, go to http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00259#state.
Thanks to this bill, anyone can now be picked up and held for as long as "they" wish to hold you. If(!) you get a trial, it will be in front of a military tribunal. No defense lawyer, no knowing the evidence(?) against you, just you before some military officers, accused of being an "unlawful combatant".
How so, you say? Easy! If you are the least bit critical of Cheney/Bush and their imperial wars, you MIGHT be an unlawful combatant! If you put such thoughts into the written word, even more so, I would venture.
Free speech isn't quite so free anymore folks. Under the "rule" of the "decider", everything comes with a price, including speech. Blessed be the Shrub. And blessed be his master, Cheney. Blessed be his number one servant, Rummy. Blessed be his favorite clown, Rice. Screwed be the people of America.
I still wonder if there might not be some "incident" before election day. Just a "little something" to help the "decider" decide that we cannot afford to have an election. Then, well, you know, sort of declare martial law, for the "good of the country" of course. It will just be a temporary matter. Oh, and since we cannot have the election, well, the "decider" will need to be made "president for life". All for the "good of the country" of course. Just the thing needed to keep them "terrerists" off the streets of 'Merica. Best to fight them there, rather than here, ya know.
Course we got to "fight" that "fifth column" here at home also. Therefore the need for martial law. Marshall Dillon and all that cowboy, gunslinger stuff that our "decider" likes to play at so much. Yes sir, it's cowboys and Ay-rabs. Boy howdy! Shoot from the hip and ask questions in the next episode!.
And to think I once believed in what we were taught in high school civics. Hell, I even joined the Marines and fought in Viet Nam. Just so I could see our country devolve into this shit hole we are in today. Almost makes me wish I believed in some god or gods, at least then I could ask that god(s) for help. Well, we got ourselves into this shit, it is up to us to get ourselves out of it.
Now, let's start making a ladder and try to climb out of this hole.
semper fi

19 September 2006

Very interesting.........

Wow! Some VERY interesting news today.
Thanks to the old satellite TV, I caught the morning edition of the BBC America news feed. Also interesting that I was awake at the right time.
The prime minister of Hungary was caught on tape telling members of his cabinet that "We fucked up....." In a later news conference, he admitted it again, in more polite terms. Can ANYONE imagine old W saying anything remotely close to that? Hell, can ANYONE even imagine him having that thought? I didn't think so..........
Old W is off to "speak" at the UN this week. The good news there is that old Bonkers Bolton may be looking for a new job soon. The Senate, in an actual moment of reality, does not look ready to confirm him for the job, AGAIN! As I understand it, he CAN get another recess appointment, BUT he would not be able to be paid for the job if he gets a second "appointment". Do you think he would work for free? I guess a "belief" system only goes just so far with the neo-cons. LOL. Poor baby......But I imagine he will get some government job or other. If not, he can always shop for work(?) at one of those many right wingnut "think tanks" that abound in the D.C. area.
Afghanistan is back in the news. That is never a good thing, always means things are going badly in that poor country. It appears that the NATO troops, "underestimated" the strength of the old Taliban. Hey, just like Wolfie, Rummy, Colin, and Cheney did. They got the Iraq thing wrong also.
Speaking of which, Iraq is off to a great fall. Oh.......Bad pun there. OK, autumn is not going well in Iraq. Record numbers of Iraqis are being killed. Things are so bad that the newest Iraqi construction project is for TWO new morgues. Well, if you don't build houses for the people, you got to put them some place.
I should apologize for the sarcastic comments, but, well, I won't. This whole Bushwar crap is just beyond ALL reason. Screw up two countries, don't have the decency to say "sorry", and now rattle your little tin sword at a third country. These idiots in D.C. never learn. It is one thing for them to ignore history of say, the early part of the 20th century, but when they don't even learn from their own last "invasion", that pushes tolerance of their stupidity beyond any human limits.
impeach the entire administration! Don't wait until after the elections, do it NOW. Then bring our troops home.
Tell the goddamned NSA to STOP spying on Americans in America. It is ILLEGAL! Tell Homeland Security to get their act together as well. We have been very lucky so far this hurricane season. It isn't over yet.......... Last year, we even had one "out of season", so be prepared folks.
One last "happy" note for this posting. The old housing bubble looks ready to burst. According to some reports, next year may see it break. That could start a world wide mess. If America goes into a recession, will China sell off those treasury bills they hold? If they do, look out for a very hard landing right here at home. What? You didn't know that good old China (aka communist China) holds billions of dollars of US treasury bills/bonds? Somebody needs to "google" like, right away.
That is right folks. Old W is fighting terror on borrowed money. Yes indeed, we are so broke, that we need to borrow money to fight the war on terror. Ain't America grand?
Well, that is more than enough, maybe too much for this posting. Until next time, if the NSA don't send me to Gitmo first.....LOLMAO
Screw the feds!

29 July 2006

The war victims

The news of the past weeks is extra depressing. Not bad enough that we have wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that are going badly, now we add to it poor old Lebanon and of course Gaza.
Gaza, they never get any peace there at all. Those people who live there are in the worst possible place on earth I think. They have their entire lives controlled by outsiders. The children, who have committed no crime other than be born to parents who live there suffer the most. Kids always do suffer the most during hard times. War, the "great depression" and natural disasters. Or in the case of Gaza, living in the worlds' largest open air prison. If they go outside to play they may get shot by a sniper for going too close to the border. Chase a soccer ball, get shot by a sniper. Go looking for scrap metal to pick up, get blown up by stay, unexploded bombs. If the are very "fortunate"(?) they may even pick up the unexploded contents of cluster bombs. Of course they have the chance of any day or time of day, seeing their parents or siblings get killed by the Israeli "protectors" ( not supposed to call them jailers, not polite to do so,even "liberal" Democrats refuse to use that term).
Children, YES even Palestinian children, deserve much, much better than that. So do the children of Lebanon. They live in a small country with a rather weak government. Their government is unable to "disarm" Hezbollah. The "wonderful" Israelis, "protectors" of the Middle East, want Hezbollah disarmed. The Lebanese government cannot do this at this time. Solution, the "wonderful" Israeli Army invades Lebanon to "disarm" Hezbollah. Now more children are dying, seeing their family members die. They are getting huge doses of PTSD.
As a former Marine, who did a tour in Viet Nam as a 20 year old who was trained for combat, my life after war has been a battle with this "disorder". No big deal, many others have lived through it as well, I am in no way special, nor do I claim any special status. Just pointing out that PTSD affects ALL who are involved in the war personally. The bystanders who get caught in the war through no active participation. The farmer, the teacher, the clergy, the children.
In Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, and now Lebanon, way too many children are being caught up in war. Children should not ever have to see the things they cannot avoid seeing in those and other war zones today. We have some idea of the effects of PTSD on adults who have been to war, the troops have been studied more than others who have been in a war. I admit the studies may not be very adequate, but at least there are some that have been done on this.
Have there ever been any studies done on the effect of PTSD on the children of wars? Have the Vietnamese children from that war ever been studied to see how this has affected them? Probably not. Will there be any done on the children of Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon, etc? Probably not. It would cost too much. They are "just Arabs" or some other bullshit, throw away reply to my question.
These children deserve better than that. ALL children deserve better. How would you feel if they were your children?
Just my depressed 2 cents for today.

22 July 2006

Getting a jump on the "end times"?

Well, we FINALLY got the satellite link fixed. What a mess. The "perfect" installation had left at least one coaxial cable connector un-crimped on the feedhorn! American professionalism at it's un-best. That does NOT even make it as a rookie mistake!
Anyway, a TRUE professional finally got the site up and running. Now I should be able to keep this updated better. The only outages would be powerful rain storms which cut the TV reception as well as the internet, or maybe an electrical outage. We have a nice generator thanks to Miss Katrina and her sister Rita who stopped by our way last year. Thanks ladies.
Pity the poor nation of Lebanon!
And the Israelis think they can "win" this time? They occupied that country from 1982 until 2000 and were unable to dis-arm Hezbollah. Why do they think they can do better now? America is in a much weaker position than back in 82. We have about 130,000 troops bogged down with Bush's tar baby Iraq. Where will we get more troops from? Our depleted National Guard? It IS hurricane season here along the Gulf and Florida. Maybe Cheney/ Bush haven't looked at the calendar lately.
Of course the poor Lebanese can thank America for all the missiles and bombs dropping on them. The weapons used by Israel are made by huge corporations right here in the good old US of A. Thanks be to Boeing and Lockheed-Martin for all that death from above. War, what is it good for? Corporate profits of course. For every missile fired, for every bomb dropped, there will be new purchase orders to replace them. Ca-ching! More money to the weapons makers. Of course, we American tax payers get the final bill. Much of the money America "loans" Israel comes back as weapons orders to the big defense contractors right here in America. Talk about the revolving doors. And the wheel goes round.........as the Bridgestone commercial says.
As one who has lived through war in Viet Nam, I despise all wars. As Smedley Butler said, there are only two reasons for war; to defend OUR homes and the Bill of Rights. All other war is a racket. War is the most pornographic thing we humans have ever devised. War kills not only the bodies, but the spirits of those who are involved in it. The effects of war stay with the participants for life. Memories, as one song says, are like star light, they go on forever. Many of us who have been to war wish it were not so. Wishing doesn't make it so, however.
I never want to see another human being kill another in war. I never want to see the absolute horror that war makes of lives. As my Veterans For Peace sticker says; No more Lies, No more Lives. Enough of war!
So how, some way, we the people need to stop the war machine. I don't have the answer, if I did, I'd be shouting it from the mountain tops. War kills in so many ways. It kills bodies of course, but it also kills the soul. It kills the humanity of the participants. Oh, sure, after time, we may awake from the nightmares and live "productive" lives, but there will always be that dead part of us, still there, still haunting us, until we are no more in this life.
We need to end wars and realize that people are people, no matter what religion, skin color, sex, race,creed, etc. All most "regular" people the world over want, is to live their lives in peace, provide for their families, and hope their children have as good or better lives than they have.
Just my 2 cents worth for today.

20 June 2006

Incompetence and un-professionalism

Today I am going on a more personal rant.
I am sick to death of incompetence and un-professional behavior for services that I pay for. We have come to expect such from all levels of government lately. This is even more true if we are not among the wealthy class of American society. Call me old fashioned, or reactionary or whatever else you wish, I will NOT tolerate this in things that I pay for directly.
The case of this rant is the "service", though that is being overly generous to use that abused term in this matter. I have Hughes net satellite internet. This used to be Direcway service. Now, when I had the old 4000 system and then upgraded to the 6000, the service was very good. Yes, every thunderstorm caused an outage. Thing is, the service returned as soon as the storm had passed.
With this new 7000, even on a crystal clear day, if a squirrel farts in the woods along the fence line, we lose the signal. This is NOT the fault of Hughes, they have been most polite and helpful, as much as they can be. However, when the signal strength is, at BEST 35, there is little or nothing tech support can do to help.
The last time I called tech support, the third level in fact, and told them my signal strength, the tech was totally surprised that I had an internet connection. EVERY tech has told me the ABSOLUTE minimum is 45!
The "installer"(?) has told me more than once that signal strength does not matter! Hmmm, 37 weeks of electronics and radio repair school in the Marines, three plus years of installing and maintaining microwave radio equipment, 5 years of building and testing microwave antennas and waveguides, 10 years of building, testing, and maintaining radar equipment, and NOW, suddenly, signal strength doesn't matter? As I asked more than one tech support person on the phone in the last weeks, when did they change the laws of physics? When did they change how electro-magnetic signals are sent and received? No technician has ever told me those things had changed! Interesting.
The "installer"/ "repair guy" just keeps giving poor, bullshit excuses.
My point here, if you get Hughes net satellite internet, do NOT let Vision Quest 2000 do the install. All you will get for your troubles, and there will be many, is excuses and bullshit. You will be told how you are "aligned" (LOL) to a low power satellite. Yes, the maximum signal will be about 80, with the NORM at about 60 or better. This is direct from tech support. The good folks at every level of tech support have told me many, many times that the ABSOLUTE minimum is 45. Not if Vision Quest does your install.
An example, on a crystal clear day, not a cloud as far as the eye can see, our signal was 34! No storms that day, nor for days before. As I said, when a squirrel farts, our signal goes to hell. Immediately.
Calls to tech support have been done professionally, and I get very good information from them. Thank you Hughes! Calls to the distributor, Perfect 10 have been handled with professional attitude as well.
Why pick on Vision Quest? First, they did the original install. They came back more than once to fix the problem. Our internet connection is still hit or miss, mostly miss. Never had this with either the old 4000 or the 6000. Another reason I am picking on them, they were to be here last Friday afternoon, we stayed home all day waiting on them. They did NOT show up. They did NOT even have the professional courtesy to call us to give any sort of excuse for not coming out. Got a call Monday morning, saying they would try to be out this afternoon. By rights, they should have been here yesterday morning with an apology for not showing up last week. No such deal from them. Highly un-professional behavior.
Bottom line, if you get Hughes net internet, which is very good when it does work, please don't let Vision Quest 2000 do ANY work on your system. Incompetent and un-professional is my experience with them. Oh, and if you do deal with them, don't say "crap" or you will be told to stop cussing at them. Not asked, mind you, TOLD. In your own house, with a system YOU paid for that needs work.
America, what a shit house we have today. It used to be that the customer was always right. Today, the customer is just the damned fool who bought the product or service. And our "leaders" still say we are the strongest, best country in the world? HOW?
Just my nickel's' worth today.

13 June 2006

What the hell is happening?

Holy crap world!
I try to take a short vacation. End up in the bloody damned hospital for still unknown reasons and the world really goes to hell in a handbasket, FAST. Elements of my old Viet Nam unit, 5th Marine Regiment, are being accused of what can only be called war crimes. Shrub is still lying even more than usual. The donkey gang is as gutless as ever. (No doubt stabbing each other in the back in hopes they win at least one house in the November elections.) Never too early to outdo the competition. Cheney must be in his undisclosed location, not many "peeps" from him of late. Scooter is still awaiting trial. Rove appears to be off the hook for the Plame mess, for now at least. The wars are still not showing any positive signs for the old US of A. We just killed poor old Zarqawi. Osama is still a free man, or maybe just an illusion. Rummy is still the Secretary of Defense. Oh boy, Alberto is still the Attorney General.
Come to think of it, being "away" didn't make much difference. Still the same shit, different day. Unless you are a Palestinian, they lost all foreign aid apparently. See what a free, fair, democratic election gets you these days!
Oh joy! Our gutless Senate approved General Hayden as the new chief of the CIA. Bet he didn't have to resign his commission either. Nice move folks, let a military man be in charge of a civilian agency. Even better move was a "promotion" for the general. This is the guy who was overseeing the ILLEGAL NSA wiretaps on OUR phones and computers! What opposition party is there in Congress? It sure as hell isn't the damned Democants! They can't raise a voice in opposition to much of anything, unless it is one of their own getting busted by the FBI! Then they raise holy hell about police abuse! Crap, Jefferson was caught with the goods. Everyone in Louisiana knows that our politicians are dirty. Down here in Louisiana, politics is a contact sport. Only the roughest survive. Makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with Mr. Foster, our last governor. The man is NOT in jail. And to think he followed old Mr. Edwards. Guess he decided to not follow to closely. Jail isn't fun, or so I have heard.
Back to General Hayden for a minute. He is the new Ollie North I guess. More of the old, just following orders crap. The president and the attorney general said the NSA taps of phones and computers (aka spying on Americans in America) was legal and please could he do that. Well, hell yes. Salute and off he and his NSA spooks went. Spying on those sneaky, underhanded, evil Americans. And this is the guy the Senate gave the OK to be the new head of the CIA? Shit on a stick people. What will it take to wake this country up? Yes, sure, when they came for the Muslims I didn't care as I was not a Muslim...........Etc. Remember, when they come for you, there won't be anyone left to care. But then, if you are so brain dead as to let this continue, well, I won't care. Hell, I won't be by then anyway. That may have been uncalled for. I DO care. Deeply, passionately, about America. I care about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law. I don't give a shit about Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rice or any of the other criminal gang in power. I care very much about the abuse they have done to OUR country, to our laws, to our standing in the international community. They are running us down a rat hole, fast.
This most criminal administration in American history has done more harm to our country than any outside enemy ever could have hopped to have done. And we have let it happen. Oh, sure, the poll numbers for Bush are in the toilet now, but so what. The damage has been done, and nobody seems to have a way out. At least nobody in either political party. Opposition party? What opposition party? The donkey gang is just the other side of the elephant coin. As Justin Raimondo over at www.antiwar.com likes to call them, the War Party is in power and holds ALL seats in both houses of Congress.
Donkey and elephant; neither are house broken. Both just stomp through the flower beds and crap in our yards. A pox on both their houses and parties. Two sides of the same damned coin.
The killing of poor old Zarqawi. Big deal. It won't make any positive difference. It may even make things worse. Now he is a martyr. In some ways, that INCREASE his value. Good recruiting tool now. Some reports have suggested that al-Qaeda was tiring of his tactics. Kill two birds with one stone. Get rid of a loose cannon and get a new martyr. Wow, what a deal for them. Not so good news for us. Same shit, different day. Again.
My old regiment, what has happened to the Marines? Actually, I understand what happened. Honest. Just like Viet Nam, you cannot tell the "bad guys" from the "good guys" in Iraq or Afghanistan. That puts extra stress on the troops. It does NOT excuse the crimes being brought to light. Just that, may whatever god or gods exist help me, I understand what happened. No, I never participated in anything like the Haditha mess or My Lai either. Never knew of anything like that happening to the regiment during my tour in Viet Nam. The stress, frustration, and seeing your buddies getting shot and or killed, that I understand all too well. Add to that, you cannot tell who is just an innocent bystander and who is trying to kill you and your buddies. Makes life one hell of an ordeal. And this goes on, day after day, with no let up. Leave your base and take your chances. So, yes, I understand, but NO, I do NOT condone what they are being accused of. A sad day for the Marines. A sad day for America. May the gods help us all, if we allow this to become the norm.
Bush and his evil side kick Cheney, with help from the idiot Bolton, want to nuke Iran! They all keep saying ALL options are on the table. Crap! If we nuke Iran, America will be the biggest war criminal state in all of human history! Using nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state! Forget your garden variety war crimes of killing unarmed civilians. That would be the biggest crime against humanity ever. Period. It would be something that centuries would be needed to live down, assuming there would be any people left on earth to live it down or remember the crime. Don't think dropping nukes on Iran might be the end of the world? Are you willing to make that bet? Looks like our fearful leader is willing and ready to do so. I don't think even the gods can bail us out of that bet if he places it "on the table" as it were. End of history indeed. Doubt my warnings all you want. Nobody would have ever thought that killing some archduke would ever send the entire world into war either, but it did. 1914, remember? Can't happen again? I don't ever wish to place that bet. More war, maybe an endless war, maybe the end of war, and human kind as well. Just some light ideas to think on this summer season.
Let me see, how many Democants want to be majority leader if they win the House this fall? How many of them are in the House today? I bet the numbers are equal. The election (do we still actually have them in America?) is still months away and these folks are counting their chickens, not just before they hatch, but before the eggs are even laid! Wow, and we thought politics was dull here in the old US of A! LOL! What a joke. If they fail to capture a majority in the House, then what? You got it, same shit, different day. Or, as they say in D.C., business as usual.
Poor Palestinians. They are foolish enough to hold free, fair elections, practice democracy, and what do they get? Cut off from all foreign aid. At least cut off from all revenue due them from Israel. Cut off from all American aid, about all aid from Europe as well. Ain't democracy grand? I guess democracy is supposed to be done like it is here in America. The election only is valid if the "correct" party wins it. Elect the wrong guy and look out, see Venezuela or Bolivia for examples. Poor Palestinians, guess they don't watch CNN or Faux "news" much. If they had done so, they would have seen what happens when you elect the "wrong" party or person. America approves of democracy only when the outcome is to our liking. Upset our fearful leader and all hell breaks lose on your country, even if you don't actually have a country, an occupied territory will do just fine for our wrath. America, land of the hypocrites. And to think we gave the world McDonald's, Coke, Pepsi, CNN, and this is the thanks we get! Get with the "program" Palestine, do as we tell you..............Or else! Not that it would matter. Neither the US of A nor Israel want any sort of peace with Palestine. If there was a real peace there, Israel would no longer be so damned important any more. Can't have that. Want to call me anti-Semitic? Go ahead. I know I am not. I might be anti-Zionist, but I do NOT hate Jews, nor any other "group". Well, I can't stand stupid, not liars very well, but hate takes way too much time and effort to do properly and is a waste of my time. Now, I might despise some things to hell and back, but I do not hate. So call me what you wish. I was a Marine and have been called everything under the sun and then some, including late for dinner. Hell, I joined the Marines in April of 1968, what else can you call me that I haven't already done so myself?
This afternoon, old Karl Rove is breathing a bit easy. No charges for him in the Plame affair. Yet............LOL
Poor old Scooter, still awaiting his trial for the Plame affair. Sorry Scoots, Cheney will dump you like a hot rock when the chips are down. Don't think so? Just wait till the trial starts. Make that a large tub of popcorn! (Smirk)
What another fine mess we have here.

Vacation is over, I'm back......Sort of

I has returned. More or less. The vacation wasn't. It sure wasn't the vacation I had planned on. The plan had been to take a few days or so away from the "news" and rest the old, gray thing that passes for a brain in my head. I think it is in my head.
It didn't work out. As the old saying about best laid plans and all. What can I expect? My plans weren't very well laid out, or so it seems.
Wound up, somehow that is still unclear to me, in the damned hospital. Why? Beats me. Even the doctors aren't quite sure on that.
Anyway, the vacation was not what was planned, and the bloody news has just kept getting worse. Even my old unit, the 5th Marine Regiment is in trouble now. I was with the 5th Marine Regiment in Viet Nam in 1970-71. Now they are being accused of what can only be called war crimes. Holy crap guys! What the hell happened? More on this and other news soon.
For now, the old man is back at the keyboard. If it matters to anyone. Even if it doesn't matter, I'm back anyway.

22 May 2006

Last post, going on vacation

Well, the shit is starting to hit the fan big time. General Hayden wants to be the big boss at the CIA. If he was to get the job, and I don't think he should, he ought to have to resign from the military. Somehow, having a serving military person in charge of a, more or less, civilian agency seems out of place. Just my opinion.
Shrub is still making war noises at Iran. Hell, he can't get Afghanistan or Iraq right. Now we may NUKE Iran! Holy crap! Welcome to the "brave new world" of Cheney/Bush.
My thoughts, impeach Shrub and Cheney. Put the ENTIRE criminal administration on trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity, treason, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. After they are convicted, sentence them all to life at making little rocks from big rocks.
What a damned mess we have right here in America. Hurricane season is about to start and New Orleans is NOT ready for a small thunderstorm, let alone a major hurricane. Good luck folks. Oh, and FEMA will be on the way, as soon as they can get someone who has a map and is able to read it.
Fuck Cheney, Bush, Rummy, Rice et al. Screw the majority of BOTH houses of the do nothing for the people Congress as well. Neither party(?) cares one bit for the average person. Witness how they passed MORE tax breaks for the well off. Screw the workers, disabled, retired, and others who are not rich. The new American way. Thank God for our Congress. BULLSHIT!!!!!!
Well, I need a break from the horse shit. Time for a vacation. I will leave you a sort of philosophy to think on for a while.
Why Worry?
There are only two things to worry about. Either you are sick, or you are well. If you are well, there is nothing to worry about. If you are sick, there are only two things to worry about. Either you will get better or you will die. If you get better, there is nothing to worry about. If you die, there are only two things to worry about. Either you will go to heaven or hell. If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about. If you go to hell (like I will be) you will be so damn busy shaking hands with friends, you won't have time to worry.
Happy summer people. Try like everything to keep the faith in our country. Screw the damned government.
America where are you now?

01 May 2006

More May Day commentary

Just saw on CNN where they estimated contributions to the American economy by undocumented workers is at just under $1.3 Billion per day!
Just something else to think about.

May Day thoughts

Well, it is May Day again. Funny how that can have many meanings. Yes, I mean the use of "mayday" as a distress signal. Not a bad idea for America to send out a "mayday" signal for help. We sure are in a mess mostly of our own making.
Iraq is not quite going to plan. It gets worse there every day, if not every hour. Afghanistan isn't in much better shape. War lords still rule there. Opium production is hitting new highs, in every meaning of the term.
Our "Great Leader" still has "on the table" the option to use nuclear weapons against Iran. Holy crap! Does anyone in D.C have any idea how huge a war crime that would be? If there are any future generations after such an act, our great-great-great grandchildren will still be trying hard to live it down as they die from old age. Iran doesn't even have one nuclear weapon at all. Using such weapons against a non-nuclear state must be a war crime of the highest order. Iran is not a military threat to America. India has more than one nuclear weapon and has never signed onto any international nuclear protocol. Why do they get off, but Iran, just wanting to use the technology for generating electricity gets punished? Can you say double standards? Of course you can. Apparently our "leaders" don't care. I guess that when the only thing that drives you is profits, one has a much different view on the world.
There is some debate about abolishing FEMA now. I don't know if that is a good idea or not. Yes, based on the response (?) to Katrina, FEMA sure doesn't look like it could find its' hind end with both hands in its back pocket. What would replace FEMA though? Another bloated government agency. That would be like trading breast cancer for lung cancer to me. Either way, you get the dirty end of the stick.
The levees in New Orleans are still not back to pre-Katrina levels yet. Um, hurricane season is just 30 days away now folks. Why the delay? Well, somebody has to approve the funds. Then somebody else has to authorize the work to begin. Government at its finest. God helps us all, as our "leadership" sure as hell isn't. Things will start to get done as soon as our "glorious leaders" smell the profits and kickbacks. Just my take on this mess. Ain't America grand?
On a positive note, actually many very good notes, Neil Young has a new album coming to the stores soon. You can listen to it completely and for free at www.livingwithwar.blogspot.com. For this long time "fan" of Mr. Young and his music, I say "Thank you Neil. Right on man!" Yes, I like the entire cd. Neil Young sings his songs as he wants to sing them. Songs for our times, in my opinion. I do have just two very, very minor criticisms of the cd. In one song he mentions sending our men off to war. Um, we have more than a few women in the war zones today. Maybe it would have been better to say sending our troops off to war. OK, it is very "nit-picky" and I admit it. Just stating a fact is all. I am NOT trying to "score points" with any feminists.
The other is that in the song about looking for a leader, he mentions by name Obama and Colin Powell. Sorry Neil, neither of those two would be worth much in my opinion. They are both followers, NOT leaders. Powell, the "good soldier" goes out and does what he is told to do. That is what soldiers do. Obama, well, he does what the DLC tell him to do. That is what the Democrats do. I do not see much of a leader in either. Maybe Neil was naming them "tongue-in-cheek" style. I don't know, he didn't ask my thoughts on it. Why would he? Ok, so my "negatives" on the new cd are very,very minor indeed. What the hell, anybody can be a critic. Not much skill involved in being critical of the work of another. All you need to do to be a critic, is say; a) I like this work, or b) I don't like this work. See, it is very easy.
Well, overall, I like the entire album. Yes, I will be out and buying a copy as soon as it is available. Songs for our times indeed.
One last note. This blog is not updated with any regularity. My fault. Well, of course it is my fault, it is my blog. Even being "retired" means you some times run out of time for everything you want to do. That and some personal issues that are needing to be dealt with means that I get to this blog very infrequently. Well, for that, please accept my most sincere apology. I never intended for this to be a daily thing. I do not have the talent nor the ability to do a daily or even every other day blog entry. I may not even have the talent to do this once a year. I do try though. I do intend to keep at this as I think I may actually have something to say. My blog, my voice. Until I get shut down at least. Or sent off to Gitmo, which ever comes first.
Again, I encourage everyone to do their best to stay informed about the things happening around us. It takes hard work as you cannot depend on the mass media to inform you honestly. Search the web for the real news. It is out there. One reason I don't write that often is that I spend so much time reading. The truth is out there, we need to seek it out. See my earlier posts for some good news sites on the web.
Got to close for now. Time to see how the May Day walk out is going. Maybe some day the workers of America will realize they are all in the same boat. On that day, we might see a true national strike, just like happens sometimes in Europe. If the American workers ever do unite, the "rulers" will be running scared.
Just my 2 cents worth on this May Day, 2006.

14 April 2006

A New "Must Read" on the web

There is a new "Must Read" article on the web. Please go to www.antiwar.com and read the article by Justin Raimondo dated 14 April 2006. This is a speech he gave recently and is an absolute must read item.
In his speech, Mr. Raimondo makes a remark about personal responsibility. Wow! That is something that seems to be so foreign to America today. We seem to have a "culture" where we are always looking for someone to blame for the things that "go wrong" in our lives. Look in the mirror people. We are responsible for much that happens to us. True, some things that happen are not directly our own doing, but the concept of personal responsibility has been for too long, put in the closet as it were.
If we want things to change, WE have to make that change happen. It is OUR responsibility for our own lives. If you sit and wait for someone to change things for you, the change may not be what you wanted.
I realize this may seem a radical idea in America in 2006, but it was ( to my take on our history) what the Founding Fathers assumed we would do. They stood up and took personal responsibility for change. Many of them feared for their lives. They were, in effect and practice, traitors to the British crown. If they failed, they faced execution for treason. That is personal responsibility to an extreme. I am not saying we should all be prepared to die for our beliefs, that is your choice. (Again with the YOUR choice)
Our hard won freedoms come with an attached item, civic duty. The duty to be informed.
On another track, a comment was made here about the Iranians not being the sort of people to be trusted to have nuclear weapons. OK, fair point, to an extent. But, it begs a further question. Who in this world CAN be trusted to have such weapons? America? We are the only country to ever use them in war. Can we be trusted with these weapons? Why should the rest of the world trust us? Because we ask them to do so? Not much of a reason to me.
Maybe NO country can be trusted withy such weapons. A nuclear weapons free world, now there is a concept for you. I know it is now too late for such a scenario. The genie is out of the bottle and will not return to his captivity. Still, a nice idea to mull over in the late night hours.
Just my 2 cents for the day.
semper fi,
charlie

07 April 2006

Some special thanks in order for the day

I need to give some very special thank you(s ) to some folks.
First up, a very special Thank You! To Mr. Scott Horton. He has very kindly "plugged" this humble space on his excellent blog. You can read much of what he writes at www.Antiwar.com, but he also has an excellent blog site. Check out http://thestressblog.com. You will always get very good information and commentary over at Scott's site.
The next thank you goes to Professor Noam Chomsky. Heck, he rates a big Thank You just for being who he is and all the books and articles he has contributed to humanity. My reason for this thank you is his new book "Failed States". I just got my copy yesterday and so far, all one can say is, this is one very powerful, truthful book! Put this one on your Absolutely MUST Read list folks.
I thought Mr. Bovards' book, "Attention Deficit Democracy" was the book of the year. Now Mr. Chomsky comes out with a power house book that will certainly compete for that title on my list. This is an absolute MUST read. Using the "standards"(?) of the current criminal administration, Mr. Chomsky makes the case that America is either a "failed state" or is on the way to becoming one. And I have only got to page 38 so far!
Both Mr. Bovard and Professor Chomsky write the REAL truth. We the people of America NEED these truths. Read the books folks! You can get them at a fair price over at amazon.com. If you still believe in America, you will not be sorry for reading either book. Read them both. Hey, I am on permanent disability and I managed to buy both.
Mr. Horton, Mr. Bovard, Professor Chomsky, THANK YOU all!
charlie ehlen
Glenmora, LA

05 April 2006

It never stops

The Bush administration is working towards war with Iran. Iran has been testing weapons systems of late. New missiles, new torpedoes, and other weapons. This is a threat to Bush. Bullshit!
If my neighbor tells me he is going to kick the crap out of me, throw me out of my house and do what he pleases with my property, I have a right to defend myself. Going to town and buying a shotgun is NOT a threat to him. It is my self defense. This is what Iran is currently doing.
Bush has threatened Iran with everything, up to and including, nuclear weapons. What does he expect them to do? Just stop making any sort of defensive weapons and tell him, OK, just come and throw out our elected government? I doubt any American would feel like doing or saying anything of the sort if the situation were reversed.
Iraq, the killing of civilians continues. Of course it does. Iraq is very much like Viet Nam in that our troops are fighting an enemy that does not wear a uniform. It is a guerilla war. Even if you had a "score card" you could never tell the "bad guys" from the "good guys". Just like Viet Nam. So, when an IED explodes and kills or wounds a fellow Marine or soldier, the rest of the troops near by feel the need to take revenge on some one. Any one. If all the people close by are innocent civilians, well, that is their tough luck. Some on, any one, has to pay for their buddies being killed and/or wounded. Viet Nam was like that, so is Iraq, and Afghanistan also. That is how guerilla wars are done. I do not condone this, I just know that it is how these wars go. Been there, seen that. It all becomes reaction, emotional reaction. Right and wrong are not considered. My buddy was just killed/wounded, some "rag head" must pay for this. Substitute any other racial or ethnic slur and you get the picture.
This is how war destroys all who are involved. These acts, like all acts in this life, create memories. And as the song says, memories are like star light, they go on forever. PTSD is a life long disorder. The next war will bring back the memories of this current war. The memories do NOT lessen with age. Hell, I think they get worse with age. They are impossible to get rid of. Drugs, booze, they are temporary crutches. Long term, they do even more harm. You cannot hide from your memories. Hell, try to hide from any part of yourself. Can't be done. Maybe clone yourself and the clone, not having your memories might be able to hide from you. Of course the original you will still be stuck, for life, with your memories. Life sucks sometimes.
Another rant. It is time to quit talking about "private military contractors" or "private security contractors". Call them what they really are. Mercenaries. Hired guns. And they are NOT like the old Richard Boone character Palladian. These are people who sell their services to the highest bidders. They kill for money. That is their choice. Do not ever ask me to feel sorry for them when they are killed or wounded. They do not follow any international laws. They do not have to answer to a chain of command, just to their paymasters. They do not deserve the respect due to "regular" military troops. These hired guns make huge amounts of money, much more than our troops get paid. They do take risks, but seem to have the support of our military leadership. I imagine they get air support when needed.
Why go on about this? Well, the killing of four such "contractors" was huge news in the USA a few short years ago. What a crock. Regardless of their citizenship, they were hired guns, not regular troops. They had no loyalty to any country, just to whomever signed their pay checks. You want to give hired guns military status? Fine, next war, fight it with ONLY hired guns. See how much of a tax cut that will get you. The use of these "private militaries" should be a war crime, if it isn't. Yes, the death of any human being saddens me, but I will shed no tears for the mercenary. The hired guns get away with whatever they do. No accountability. If these hired guns torture prisoners they do not face court martial. They just get re-assigned to some other "trouble spot" else where. Not even a pay cut, and probably a pay raise. If they claim to be professionals, well, so do Mafia hit men claim such status. I see no difference. A hired killer, is just that, whether it is the government (through the back door of course) who pays them, or some Mafia don, it is the same. A hired killer is just that. Plain and simple.
On a lighter note, every American needs to read "Attention deficit Democracy" by James Bovard. In my opinion, this is one of the most important books about America in the last few years. Definitely a MUST read.
WAKE UP America. We are being sold into a new slavery of endless war.
Don't take my word for it. Check out www.Counterpunch.org. www.antiwar.com www.fff.org
www.democracynow.org www.tomdispatch.com www.lewrockwell.com These are just a few of the excellent real news sites on the web.
Read, learn, be informed! Do it NOW. Citizenship has implied duties along with the benefits. It is the DUTY of all citizens to be informed. Do NOT depend on any TV news station, they answer to the sponsors. Get the real news. Get informed and stay informed. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

02 April 2006

What is happening to America?

What is happening to our country? Are we all brain dead?
Bush has stated that he will send OUR troops to defend Israel(!). What for? They have the best trained and best equipped armed force in the entire Middle East! How many Americans are willing to have their young fight and die for some other country?
Well, it is coming folks. War with Iran. Bush wants it and he will most likely get it. He wanted war in Iraq, and by God, he got it! In spades. OK, it maybe hasn't turned out the way his "advisors(?)" told him it would. When have the "arm chair" warriors ever been right about any war?
This country is headed towards the most distresses time in our history and where is the media? Polls say that a large majority of Americans want our troops OUT of Iraq. A poll of the troops shows that a majority of them want OUT of Iraq, the sooner the better. How much coverage has this had in the "main stream" media? Faux News hasn't had much to say on this. Well, of course not, they are still the biggest "cheer leaders" for this damned war of choice. War seems to be good for the ratings of Faux News, so they won't "give peace a chance". War sells. War makes the idiot "news casters" on Faux sound so patriotic. How many of those people ever served in the military? Have any of them ever been in any war as combatants? I don't know of any of them who can answer yes. Those who cheer loudest for war, are usually those the furthest from the actual fighting. Man, if hot and and bullshit were weapons, Faux News would be worth something. Those blow hards could stop any enemy in their tracks, if bullshit were a real weapon.
America! WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!
Turn off the "reality TV" and look at what is happening to our young people. They are being killed and maimed for nothing! Even those not in direct combat are being affected. PTSD will get them, just like it got everyone in Viet Nam. The scars of war are permanent! Do you really want your sons and daughters to kill and be killed for this bullshit?
We the people need to stand up and say ENOUGH!!!!!!!!