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With all the noise on mainstream media and fake rage from the White House over the slaughter in Burma, still we have only one candidate that has declared himself the peace candidate. Even in this time of the Iraq war where most of the population wants to bring the troops home, we only have ONE peace candidate.
That is a disconnect I cannot puzzle out.
I can understand the Republicans - the reach-around party, wanting to "double Gitmo" and wage continuous war, but the top three Dem candidates are as strong as watered-down tea when it comes to peace.
Is it safe to discuss peace in Burma because it is "near that Viet-Cong place?" Or does BushCo simple want the regime to chill so his corporate junta can get back to business?
As I try to ponder this, I am just going to sit around and Text PEACE to Dennis. God knows my elected officials aren't taking my calls.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I am sick to death of all the pussyfooting around the subject that has occupied the media for the duration of this premeditated, illegal war of terror that we the people of the United States have allowed to be waged against the people of Iraq, in our name, for the last several years.
1. Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
I believe that the actions of following people must be investigated and, if warranted by the evidence, tried in criminal courts, and if convicted, face the full consequences of both US and International law:
Posted by Bob Higgins at 2:25 PM
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I cannot escape Vietnam... and I was never there.
My first memory was the assassination of JFK and the memories following dealt with adventures in the backyard, a fist fight over a teddy bear (don't ask) and Cronkite signing off every night with the dead and wounded tallies of the Vietnam War.
We all went "up river" and more than 50,000 dead came down river. This nation is still up river - the Mekong Delta is very much ingrained in our culture and our actions. It is a hinge on which our society swings - served vs. deferment is still a gold standard to many Americans, a standard in which Republicans scoff at.
Al Gore went up river, he went to Vietnam - he VOLUNTEERED to go even when his family reserved him a spot in the National Guard. Others fled service or took spots reserved for them by their families. Gore went up river.
Time is becoming short for Al Gore to run for the Presidency. From Daily Kos:
This is what so many of us have waited so many long - and I mean long! - months for. It is very likely that within three weeks, we will know whether Al Gore will enter the 2008 fold and seek the presidency again. Many of us have been trying to read the tea leaves and keep up enthusiasm and hope. If you're still waiting and hoping and haven't given up, thank you. I'm confident that I can speak for everyone within the Draft Gore movement when I say that - we have worked tirelessly for months, some of us years, to get Gore to run; that there are still thousands of people here, and millions of people nationwide that are still receptive and hoping for a Gore run means a lot to us and our work.
We are in another American misadventure in a far-off land and we can't find our way out. The Republicans want to continue the war in a direction that will not lead to a solution. The current crop of front-runners in the Democratic Party seem unable to commit to an action of quick withdrawal.
We are still under the spell of the Nine Dragons and the claws of the beasts hold us still.
Al Gore met the Dragons head-on and he came back.
This country needs someone who has gone up river. Only they can show us the way out.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
When we evaluate the facts, the use of private military contractors appears to have harmed, rather than helped, the counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S. mission in Iraq, going against our best doctrine and undermining critical efforts of our troops. Even worse, the government can no longer carry out one of its most basic core missions: to fight and win the nation's wars. Instead, the massive outsourcing of military operations has created a dependency on private firms like Blackwater that has given rise to dangerous vulnerabilities.The dark truth about Blackwater
During the first Gulf War the ratio of "private contractors" to regular troops was something like 6 or 7 to one, in Iraq today it is closer to 3 to 1.
By now you've probably seen videos of Blackwater and other mercenary outfits racing down Iraqi roads firing indiscriminately at innocent civilians to the tune of rock and roll music and raucous laughter. Paid at a rate four to ten times what we pay our legitimately serving soldiers, Bush's army of "rent a thugs" has become yet another hairy wart on the perception of America in the eyes of the international community.
A clerk in the Iraqi customs office in Diyala province, she was in the capital to drop off and pick up paperwork at the central office near busy al-Khilani Square, not far from the fortified Green Zone, where top U.S. and Iraqi officials live and work. U.S. officials often pass through the square in heavily guarded convoys on their way to other parts of Baghdad.
So, Blackwater was a subcontractor to Regency, which was a subcontractor to ESS, which was a subcontractor to Halliburton's KBR subsidiary, the prime contractor for the Pentagon -- and each company along the way was in business to make a profit.
For all the hubbub over the recent Blackwater incident, the American public remains largely unaware of the private military industry. While private forces make up more than 50 percent of the overall operation in Iraq, according to a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, they have been mentioned in only a quarter of 1 percent of all American media stories on Iraq.
Posted by Bob Higgins at 4:34 PM
we are quite fed up with the left trying to propigate the meme that rush limbaugh is a comedian.
Jena remains in the news. Through the great efforts of students, community activist, and yes black bloggers like DallasSouthBlog.com
Now Ryan Grim of Politico not only covering the Jena issue, he is taking a look at the AfroSphere Bloggers Association and AfroSpear Black Blogger Shawn Williams of DallasSouthBlog.com. More HERE
Meanwhile, in Washington, DC WaPo reports, About 80 protesters chanting "No justice, no peace" gathered outside the Justice Department on Tuesday to demand that federal authorities aggressively investigate the racially charged "Jena 6" case.
"We're here today in solidarity with the Jena 6," shouted Howard University senior Eugene Puryear, the organizer of the event. "All charges should be dropped and the Jena Six should be free."
The event, sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition, comes four days after civil rights leaders met with top Justice Department officials to push for more action on behalf of the six black teens arrested for beating a white classmate in Jena, La. More HERE
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I have been in a good mood for five days now.
It is just like 1984! Even though the Dems are in control of Congress, the Neo-Con in office is still trouncing all over the Constitution while the Dems stand impotently by. The Cold War is back on and what else? Oh yeah, there is another Middle East crisis.
I guess David and Eddie need to break up (again) before the nation will get back on course. Sad.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
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The Great Dismal Swamp used to be known for hideouts for Revolutionary spies, Civil War spies, cypress trees and the nemesis of Stephen Colbert - bears. It was also a place of fondness for Thomas Jefferson for his love of the scuppernong grape and the "affordable" wine it produces.
Jefferson lamented on occasion that when his finances warranted, he enjoyed the best of the wines Europe could produced, but when times were hard, he enjoyed the unique American sweet flavors of wines produced from the scuppernongs grown in the Great Dismal Swamp. Over the years, the size of the swamp has diminished with the constant harvesting of timber and many attempts to drain the swamp. Currently, it is a less than half its original size.
But now something else is harvested from the Great Dismal and it is mercenaries produced by Blackwater USA of Myock, NC.
North Carolina has a great history of defending this country - Pope Air Force Base, Cherry Point Marine Air Station, Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune. To this day the coast of North Carolina is dotted with old submarine watch towers that were active during the Second World War. NC even has a sunken WWII German submarine lying off of Beaufort, NC. Blackwater, however, it not such a point of pride.
I cannot think of a point in American History when a siting President controlled the American military while also commanding a private Army. I can think of plenty of OTHER world leaders, but none come to mind for history of American democracy.
It is something North Carolina and the United States of America can do without.
Note: Yes, the wine glasses are period correct for Monticello, in fact, Jefferson used glasses of this kind for his guests.
Monday, October 1, 2007
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We are entering the final stretch of this campaign, energized by a wave of enthusiasm and the hope that a Gore candidacy may be just weeks away. No, we cannot promise you that. But our candidate has left the door wide open and now it's up to us to try to persuade him to walk through it. Events over the next few weeks could affect this decision - and with it, the course of history. Some of them are out of our hands, such as the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize on October 12. But what we can do is make our voices heard to let Al Gore know that our call to service is backed by our willingness to fight for him.
The war is more or less my number one issue, however, the environment really trumps it. Regardless of the death toll in Iraq, the death toll from global warming could be exponentially greater. Not just for humans, but for other species as well. The war definitely sucks, there is no arguing it. But if the Great Conveyor stops, we are hosed on a scale that cannot be imagined.
Somehow, I doubt Hillary Clinton has the environment at the forefront of her thoughts.
Maybe she just hasn't been able to figure out how to triangulate it yet?
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Each of us has a specific daily sleep requirement. The average sleep requirement for college students is well over eight hours, and the majority of students would fall within the range of this value plus or minus one hour. If this amount is not obtained, a sleep debt is created. All lost sleep accumulates progressively as a larger and larger sleep indebtedness. Furthermore, your sleep debt does not go away or spontaneously decrease. The only way to reduce your individual sleep debt is by obtaining extra sleep over and above your daily requirement.
So, here I am, up to my eyeballs in sleep debt. How am I supposed to get out of debt? By sleeping, one would presume. Except that I get into this ironic-sounding but very real state of "overtired" and I can't. But now, at least I have something new to worry about during those sleepless hours.
Like, if I can't get sleep on my own, and I have to pay off this sleep debt, what options do I have? Go to the sleep bank to take out a loan? Maybe my credit isn't good, and I'd be forced to go to a sleep loan shark. What do they do if you can't pay on time. Instead of breaking your legs, maybe they burn your mattress...
Sleep researcher William Dement--who wrote the article I excerpted above--has said that a large sleep debt "makes you stupid". At very least, as evidenced above, it is making my jokes stupid.
Jokes aside, though, this has been on my mind a lot lately. I think we hear these things about how much sleep we need, and how unhealthy it is to rack up a huge sleep debt, many of us are inclined to nod seriously, but then file that away with all the other "shoulds" that most of us ignore. And I wonder if there's something in the Western, "rugged individualist" mindset that tells us we're supposed to be able to "conquer the natural world", even when it comes to our own biological needs. I can't say exactly where, but I picked up an idea like that somewhere along the line. The idea that I should be able to "overcome" tiredness by sheer force of will. Or the idea that, if my schedule is packed and I can't fit everything in, sleep is an area where I can cut some corners.
I'm coming to realize that I can't, and that I need to listen to what my body is telling me.Anyway, as I said in a comment that's attached to the My Left Wing essay, the upshot of all of this of all of this is that, when I take a realistic look at where I have to "cut corners", I realize that blogging is one area where I need to do that. Along with following political and news stories and getting outraged about them. Hopefully I can work some of that back into my life once I regain some "balance".
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 6:12 PM