Thursday, January 18, 2007

White House gambled, and lost, war in Iraq

Letter to the Editor: Times-News

White House gambled, and lost, war in Iraq

Americans must stop enabling this administration's addiction to gambling with America's human and financial resources. We've lost 3,024 American lives while spending $360 billion (that's billion with a "B") on this poorly planned and horribly managed war.

At some point, America must recognize this war as the money pit (and a body pit) that it is and call it a day. We may not have accomplished all that some wished, but there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that the goal of "winning" in Iraq is no longer in America's best interest.

America can no longer continue this gamble. We've experienced a horrific losing streak, our accounts are empty, and we're borrowing from our grandchildren (including borrowing their parents - some which will never be paid back). To continue gambling like this, to throw more of our Americans and our dollars into Iraq, is a desperation play.

Whether with chips or human lives, our country is headed for ruin if we don't wake up and start recovery here at home.

DIANA ROWE PAULS
Gooding
[Published January 18, 2007]

Speak up to Idahoans and our reps:

NOTE: Mike Simpson is "Leaning toward Support" and Mike Crapo has "Refused to Answer". Both Sali and Craig are listed as supporting Bush. Maybe if Idahoans turn out in force and contact them, perhaps Simpson and Crapo may be influenced in making the right decision... I don't have ANY hope for Sali and big doubts for Craig, but it still wouldn't hurt to contact them as well. SAVE THEIR RESPONSES!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bush's mission still full of brown goo...

Thoughts from a fellow member of Gold Star Families For Peace:

Alas, the occupant of the White House is just making things worse.

We hear the words "the Iraqis must step up and take charge of their own country."

Who was in charge before the Americans took their country from them? If they hated Sad-Damn so much, why were there never any car bombs, IEDs, suicide bombers, etc., trying to put him out of power?

Year after year, US TV showed his birthday party. He stood on the balcony, waving to the crowd. Vast numbers of men and women stood below, firing automatic rifles in the air, in a Mideastern-style celebration. If they hated him so much, how's come no bullet ever went toward him?

And when the Americans and Brits (and token others) invaded and began the occupation, they did not follow the advice of their best-educated experts on how to deal with the resistance fighters. Instead, they were brutal to them. Everybody ought to know that to deal with resistance fighters (or, as they call them, "insurgents"), we must have small units of highly-trained, culturally sensitive soldiers and special operators living among the people, winning their hearts and minds.

But for four years, this has not been policy. The result is that near 'bout everybody in Iraq (and in the Arab world, and the Islamic world) now hates us.

Bush had a chance to bring them over to his side, and he blew it. And now, his new way backward is to move smaller units of bedraggled, tired, worn-out soldiers into Iraqi police stations, to be closer to the people.

And am I the onliest one who has noticed that the police houses are the places the resistance fighters prefer as targets of suicide car-bombers? When the news guys told that hundreds of US soldiers would now be bedding down in Iraqi police stations at night, was I the onliest one that remembered the truck bomb that killed hundreds of sitting-duck Marines in Beirut, on Reagan's watch?

Bush's plan, alas, will increase the death-rate dramatically, and then I suppose he will say, "All the more reason to stay there, to complete the mission."

I think his "mission" is to kill our soldiers.


--Jerry Stopher from Louisiana
World War Two Orphan
Viet-Nam Era Veteran
Father of a Desert Storm Era Veteran

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I just wish he'd kiss me first...

WARNING: If you are sensitive to suggestive/racy/risque videos, do NOT watch this! They don't "show" anything but it is VERY suggestive.

That being said, it's pretty funny... in a sad sad way.

Thanks, Lane at News For The Left, for sharing this!

Rice isn't the only chickenhawk supporting the war...


Cat fight? Not hardly!

I've really been irritated listening to the over-reaction and desperate attempts to describe the exchange between Senator Barbara Boxer and Condoleeza Rice as a "personal attack" and a "low blow". It's being described as "degrading" and "vicious feminine politics". Boxer is called a "shrill harpy" and expected to apologize for "sliming" Rice.

In case you missed it, here's the text and video:
"Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price," Boxer said. "My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young."
Then, to Rice: "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family."
{Watch exchange here.}

White House spokesman Tony Snow on Friday called Boxer's comments "outrageous."

"I don't know if she was intentionally that tacky, but I do think it's outrageous. Here you got a professional woman, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Barbara Boxer is sort of throwing little jabs because Condi doesn't have children, as if that means that she doesn't understand the concerns of parents. Great leap backward for feminism."

Oh, give me a break!! Where has Tony Snow and Fox News BEEN for the last four years????

Do they honestly think that this is the FIRST time those of us who do not support this adminstration's attack on Iraq have also pointed out that those who are sending our servicemen and women do NOT have family members in the military?? (In addition to not having served themselves, which is another issue in itself!)

“Only four of the 535 members of Congress have children in the military; only one, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., has a child who fought in Iraq.”

[May 11, 2003] Kevin Horrigan, “Hired Guns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Until a generation ago, the children of presidents, oilmen and bankers regularly saw service. Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Kenedy, Prescott Bush--all titans--had sons who served. Today, 1% of those serving in Congress have a child in the armed forces--an institution that, according to sociologist Charles Moskos, is bereft of 'children of the privileged.' That's too bad. The real loss are the young and privileged adults themselves."

[January 18, 2005] USA Today

You can even purchase "The Deck of Republican Chickenhawks"TM, which not only portrays Rice as the Queen of Spades but also Katherine Harris, Ann Coulter, and Lynne Cheney (author of lesbian novels and wife of famous quail hunter).

For several years now, many of us have been painfully aware that neither of Bush's daughters enlisted in the service. In addition, there isn't ONE eligible member of his extended family enlisted in the military and willing to sacrifice their lives and limbs for his cause. Instead, the new Bush generation proves the adage that the "apples don't fall far from the tree" with drugs, alcohol, domestic violence and more.

So, Fox News and Friends, get over yourselves! Senator Boxer did not say anything that many of us haven't been saying for four years. Just like it's easy for you all to spend our money (and our children's money and our grandchildren's money...) while your own accounts grow by leaps and bounds, we are SICK AND TIRED of you sacrificing OUR sons and daughters on this fantasy quest of "winning the war in Iraq". I can't believe the nerve of you whiners... ("Waaaah! Mean old lady is picking on the poor spinster!") ... when the insult is not located in the statement to the childless unmarried woman... the insult is located in this administration's actions which result in sacrificing America's bravest and finest in order to save face and continue this farce of "Liberating Iraq".

I want to encourage everyone to adopt and distribute the following statement (adapted from an original post by Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars) to all Americans...

"It's a sad day when this administration and their propagandists would rather CREATE controversies than deal with the fact that they have asked our armed services to sacrifice themselves for a war that they cannot define, that they cannot elucidate a clear plan for and that they have no exit strategy to remove them from harm's way."

More links...
Give me a break!
Fox News has its Finger on the Pulse of America: Boxer Makes War "A Little Too Personal" While "Lynching" Rice
FOX focuses on what’s important

Curious George W. Gets A Job!


Read it here!

Another intervention is needed...

Americans must stop enabling this administration's addiction to gambling with America's human and financial resources.

We've lost 3,024 American lives while spending $360 Billion dollars (that's BILLION with a "B") on this poorly-planned and horribly-managed war. At some point, America must recognize this war as the money pit (and a body pit) that it is and call it a day. We may not have accomplished all that some wished, but there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that the goal of "winning" in Iraq is no longer in America's best interest.

America can no longer continue this gamble. We’ve experienced a horrific losing streak, our accounts are empty, and we’re borrowing from our grandchildren (including “borrowing” their parents… some which will never EVER be “paid back”). To continue gambling like this, to throw more of our Americans and our dollars into Iraq, is a desperation play.

Whether with chips or human lives, our country is headed for ruin if we don’t wake up and start recovery here at home.

Go here to help stop Bush's escalation in Iraq.

Words from a King...

"This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate in to the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love."

--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

We don't need to be stuck with this lemon!

Late this last fall, as November approached, Mr. and Mrs. America decided to go shopping for a new car.

Almost from the day they had bought it six years earlier, their current car, a Liberator model, had been very unreliable. Its instruments were constantly telling them things they knew from their own senses to be untrue. The gas gauge would indicate empty when they had just topped up the tank, or the speedometer would show them at over the speed limit when parked in their driveway.

Worse yet, the only time it seemed to run strong was when headed off at breakneck speed for distant cities. And even there it had proven difficult to control, swerving wildly and always smashing into other cars there. Most of the time it behaved as if someone else were driving it. Repair and insurance costs were becoming shocking, even awesome, with no end in sight. In a word, it was too large, and ill-suited for doing the protection errands they really needed to do closer to home.

So it was that they set out to return to the dealership that sold them their Liberator. The salesman stepped forward as he saw them walking onto the lot. "We just got in all the new models." he enthused.

Mr. America interrupted him. "The Liberator you sold us last time has given us nothing but problems . . . we've decided to downsize."

The salesman countered, "But the new models are so POWERFUL, the ads are all over the TV newscasts. Take the new Escalation for example, everybody's going to want one."

Mr. and Mrs. America both frowned. "The Escalation has a very bad reputation," said Mrs. America. "Our family bought one 40 years ago and it was a total disaster. We lost a family member in that one."

"Never mind," urged the salesman, "take a look at this one. It's another brand-new model called the Surge."

The name sounded intriguing, and Mr. and Mrs. America were willing to look. But when they saw it they immediately reacted.

"I don't think you're hearing us," spoke Mr. America, "we wanted something smaller, this one looks just like the Escalation to me."

"But wait," interjected the salesman, "the deal is, it may LOOK like an increase in size now, but in a couple months when the factory has a smaller replacement vehicle ready, you can trade it in for what you really want."

"Gee, I don't know," said Mrs. America hesitantly, "how do we know when the replacement model will actually be ready?"

The salesman seemed a bit less confident now and started to hem and haw. "Well you know, there are always unexpected delays in producing a new product, labor strikes, things like that. But our estimates are it shouldn't be more than a couple months, a year at the outside."

Mr. and Mrs. America could not bear the thought of being stuck with an oversized clunker for another year.

"No," said Mr. America, "we're definitely not going to go for the Surge."

By now the salesman was starting to sweat profusely. He knew that the boss had already committed the entire capital resources of the dealership to buy a fleet of new Escalations, together with Surges and all its other sub-models. They were taking delivery on them already on the back lot. And the word had come down that any salesman who did not push the new lines would be fired on the spot. So many dedicated, talented, experienced and hard-working career employees had been terminated already.

"OK, OK," stammered the salesman. "I've got just the thing for you, here it is, it's called the Augmentation."

Mr. and Mrs. America were becoming increasingly annoyed, even angry. They could not for their lives tell the fundamental difference between this Augmentation and the other models the salesman had already tried to push on them. It was still too big for them and the one thing they knew for sure was that they wanted something smaller that would give them better service at home. They just shook their heads and started to walk off the lot.

The salesman came running after them in a panic.

"How about a Boost? It's just a little Boost." he pleaded.

"Is it smaller than the car we have now?", asked Mrs. America.

"No," admitted the salesman, as his face turned increasingly red, "but the Boost is only a SUBCOMPACT increase in size."

"We're not interested in anything you've got," asserted Mr. America firmly as Mrs. America also shook her head.

It was then that they noticed another dealership across the street, so they thought they'd give them a chance. They told the salesman there, "We are interested in a new car, something less unwieldy than what we have now, and everything we've seen so far has been just the opposite"

"Yes, I know," said the salesman, "a lot of people are coming over to us for our flagship model, the Direction."

On first glance the Direction appeared to be much more like what they were looking for. It was at least somewhat smaller, but they remained skeptical.

Mr. America asked, "If we buy this new Direction, do you promise to give us responsive service, and that it won't turn out to be the same kind of trouble we have now."

"I promise," assured the salesman.

"OK," sighed Mr. America, "we'll take the new Direction, but you better be telling us the truth."

"Or else, we'll bring it right back again this time," added Mrs. America.

And that's the story of how Mr. and Mrs. America bought a new car.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Couldn't have said it better myself...

From "The Great Gatsby":

"They were careless people . . . they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

Posted By: IllinoisBC on January 15, 2007 at 07:50pm at Huffington Post.

Show us your commitment, Bush!

A chicken and a pig went for a walk around the farm. As they passed the farmer's window, they noticed a wonderful breakfast prepared for the farmer and his wife sitting on the breakfast table. As they peeked closer they noticed ham and eggs on the plates.

The pig and chicken were silent for a moment as they took in the impact of what they saw. Finally, looking at the eggs and prideful of her contribution, the chicken said, "Now that was a sacrifice!"

The pig looked at the ham on the plate and finally turned to the chicken and said, "Yes, for you it is a sacrifice. But for us it is total commitment!"

So, go ahead, George, keep blathering on about how you are committed to "staying the course" to victory in Iraq. I know you are a chicken. I know your whole family and your whole administration is chicken. You have NO clue as to what "commitment" means.

More at "Prove Your Commitment to the Cause, George."

Also previously posted at 43rd State Blues...

Don't underestimate Bush...

Since Bush was first elected, he made my skin crawl. There was just something about him that was scary. I've found several references by others who have been able express my gut feelings into words much better than I can:

In fact, if you Google "George Bush pathological psychopath insane", you will receive 14,500 hits. Here is another article, which after reading it, you may never watch Bush's speeches again without remembering that Bush is anything BUT a moron... he is WORSE...

Published on Thursday, November 28, 2002 by the Toronto Star
Bush Anything But Moronic, According to Author
Dark Overtones in His Malapropisms
by Murray Whyte

When Mark Crispin Miller first set out to write Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder, about the ever-growing catalogue of President George W. Bush's verbal gaffes, he meant it for a laugh. But what he came to realize wasn't entirely amusing.

Since the 2000 presidential campaign, Miller has been compiling his own collection of Bush-isms, which have revealed, he says, a disquieting truth about what lurks behind the cock-eyed leer of the leader of the free world. He's not a moron at all — on that point, Miller and Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien agree.
But according to Miller, he's no friend.

"I did initially intend it to be a funny book. But that was before I had a chance to read through all the transcripts," Miller, an American author and a professor of culture and communication at New York University, said recently in Toronto.

Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."

Miller's judgment, that the president might suffer from a bona fide personality disorder, almost makes one long for the less menacing notion currently making the rounds: that the White House's current occupant is, in fact, simply an idiot.

If only. Miller's rendering of the president is bleaker than that. In studying Bush's various adventures in oration, he started to see a pattern emerging.

"He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge."

"When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine," Miller said. "It's only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes."

While Miller's book has been praised for its "eloquence" and "playful use of language," it has enraged Bush supporters.

Bush's ascent in the eyes of many Americans — his approval rating hovers at near 80 percent — was the direct result of tough talk following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In those speeches, Bush stumbled not at all; his language of retribution was clear.

It was a sharp contrast to the pre-9/11 George W. Bush. Even before the Supreme Court in 2001 had to intervene and rule on recounts in Florida after a contentious presidential election, a corps of journalists were salivating at the prospect: a bafflingly inarticulate man in a position of power not seen since vice-president Dan Quayle rode shotgun on George H.W. Bush's one term in office.

But equating Bush's malapropisms with Quayle's inability to spell "potato" is a dangerous assumption, Miller says.

At a public address in Nashville, Tenn., in September, Bush provided one of his most memorable stumbles. Trying to give strength to his case that Saddam Hussein had already deceived the West concerning his store of weapons, Bush was scripted to offer an old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. What came out was the following:

"Fool me once, shame ... shame on ... you." Long, uncomfortable pause. "Fool me — can't get fooled again!"

Played for laughs everywhere, Miller saw a darkness underlying the gaffe.

"There's an episode of Happy Days, where The Fonz has to say, `I'm sorry' and can't do it. Same thing," Miller said.

"What's revealing about this is that Bush could not say, `Shame on me' to save his life. That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely proud of his own inflexibility and rectitude."

If what Miller says is true — and it would take more than just observations to prove it — then Bush has achieved an astounding goal.

By stumbling blithely along, he has been able to push his image as "just folks" — a normal guy who screws up just like the rest of us.

This, in fact, is a central cog in his image-making machine, Miller says: Portraying the wealthy scion of one of America's most powerful families as a regular, imperfect Joe.

But the depiction, Miller says, is also remarkable for what it hides — imperfect, yes, but also detached, wealthy and unable to identify with the "folks" he's been designed to appeal to.

An example, Miller says, surfaced early in his presidential tenure."I know how hard it is to put food on your family," Bush was quoted as saying.

"That wasn't because he's so stupid that he doesn't know how to say, `Put food on your family's table' — it's because he doesn't care about people who can't put food on the table," Miller says.

So, when Bush is envisioning "a foreign-handed foreign policy," or observes on some point that "it's not the way that America is all about," Miller contends it's because he can't keep his focus on things that mean nothing to him.

"When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about democracy, he can't do it," he said.

This, then, is why he's so closely watched by his handlers, Miller says — not because he'll say something stupid, but because he'll overindulge in the language of violence and punishment at which he excels.

"He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy. He's much like Nixon. So they're very, very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't want him anywhere near protestors, because he would lose his temper."

Miller, without question, is a man with a mission — and laughter isn't it.

"I call him the feel bad president, because he's all about punishment and death," he said. "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for laughs."

Copyright 1996-2002. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited
[Previously posted at 43rd State Blues]

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Luna challenged to be a man...

Thank God for people like Joe Vandal over at IdahoFallz.com! He doesn't waste time pussyfooting around, but is open and up front with his challenge to Luna--explain the discrepancies or admit the lies.

Joe Vandal points out that Luna keeps dancing around the subject and ignores the questions... instead Luna hides behind the skirts of his former boss--who tries to convince us that the REPORTER was the one who lied, not Luna.

No, the reporter was not fired. And in case anybody STILL thinks that Luna is just misunderstood, Joe Vandal points out the following:

Discrepancy #1: Luna claims he was a presidential appointee, however the 2004 Plum Book (page 55) describes Thomas R. Luna as an “SC” type of appointment, defined on page 5 as a “Schedule C Excepted Appointment”. A presidential appointment is defined as “PA” or “PAS” types. How does Luna counter this evidence?

Discrepancy #2: Luna claims he was a “Senior Advisor”, however the same 2004 Plum Book entry describes Thomas R. Luna as a “Special Assistant”. How does Luna counter this evidence? Does Tom Luna have a certificate or promotion papers that describes him as a “Senior Advisor”?

Discrepancy #3: Luna’s federal pay grade is described in the same 2004 Plum Book entry as a GS-15, indeed a few pay levels lower than what a presidential appointee would earn. This bolsters the AP reporter’s argument. How does Tom Luna counter this evidence? Does Tom Luna have a pay stub describing him at a higher pay grade?

Discrepancy #4: Luna claims he had several meetings with President George Bush and Bill Hansen, but the AP story said Hansen did not recall any. Given that Bill Hansen has attacked the AP story, does Bill Hansen now remember these meetings with President Bush and Tom Luna? Does Tom Luna have records of any meetings with President Bush? (Note: Staged photos in front of the desk are not enough.)

Joe Vandal reminds us that "Luna has said he will demand accountability from our schools. We Idahoans will demand accountability from Luna to answer these allegations before he lays his fingers on our schools."

In the Comments section, it is pointed out that Luna won by a small margin... and it's probably safe to say that those same voters would NOT have voted for Luna if he had admitted that he lied about his background... or had even honestly reflected his less-than-qualifying experiences in the first place! FYI, a recall can begin 90 days after Luna takes office (not 90 days after he was privately sworn into office).

Stop by Tom Luna Must Directly Answer Allegations or Face Consequences and read the whole post... send it on to friends... heck, send it to Tom himself and let him know, that as an Idahoan AND a voter, that you want him to answer these questions!

Any regrets?

For those of you who voted for Tom Luna or Donna Jones, does anybody wish they had known then what they know now?

Or would your vote remain the same...?

For Sale: Idaho

We know that we are in debt... Iraq, Katrina, etc., has immeasurably damaged our country financially in addition to the personal damage to our citizens. I recognize that sacrifices will need to be made in order to get America back into financial shape and stability.

But, as we enter another political season, with some repeat offenders representing us in Boise as well as in Washington DC, we need to remember that some politicians believe that selling off our public lands the answer to their problems.

Is this really in Idaho's best interest? And will we REALLY know what the money will be used for? National debt? Katrina? Iraq?

Simpson's plan seems to be in limbo now, but has it really gone away? Or will new deals be made? Can we trust Otter and Kempthorne to stand up and protect our lands? Simpson tried to sell his project by promising that the money is to be earmarked for "rural schools" --which appeals to many Idahoans considering our concerns about education. But we need to remember that the federal government has already failed to make the originally agreed-upon payments for prior land agreements! They've shown they can't be trusted to pay Idaho's children what they've promised... and we want them to sell our children's heritage? Is this worth it?

For those of us in the Magic Valley, did you know that one of the proposed sections for sale was "the 10,701-acre L-shaped tract [that] runs east from the Little Camas Reservoir and north to Anderson Ranch Reservoir, and then east again to Salix Creek 20 miles west of Fairfield." I can't find a current reference to this parcel, but it was listed at one time. Please don't support any project like this if you don't know which lands are being sold! Or you will end up mapping your future hunting/camping/fishing/etc. trips around private (second) homes and "No Trespassing" signs...

Here are some articles to read... become informed and speak up!
Winston-Salem Journal
Idaho Press-Tribune
Idaho Mountain Express
Western Democrat
New West
Stand Up and Oppose CIEDRA Wilderness Bill
More articles and postings...

Contact your representatives and tell them that Idaho is not for sale!
Write letters to the editor as well. Educate Idahoans about what our government has planned for our recreational lands!

We can't afford to take our eyes off the ball in this game, folks...

I AM THE NEW YEAR

I am the New Year. I am unused, unspotted, without blemish. I stretch before you three hundred and sixty-five days long. I will present each day in its turn, a new leaf in the Book of Life, for you to place upon it your imprint.

It remains for you to make of me what you will; if you write with firm steady strokes, my pages will be a joy to look upon when the New Year comes. If the pen falters, if uncertainty or doubt should mar the page, it will become a day to remember with pain.

I am the New Year. Each hour of the three hundred and sixty-five days, I will give you sixty minutes that have never known the use of man. White and pure, I present them; it remains for you to fill them with sixty jeweled seconds of love, hope, endeavor, patience, and trust in God.

I am the New Year. I am here—but once past, I can be recalled. Make me your best.

--Author unknown