Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bush/McCain: The Arlington Plan

Politics Plus

All of the soldiers interviewed passed the rigorous health screening given recruits before being accepted into the Army. All were deemed physically and psychologically fit in a second screening as well, before being deployed to Iraq, and served honorably there in combat. None of the soldiers interviewed during this eleven-month investigation had a documented history of psychological problems.

Yet after they returned from Iraq wounded and sought treatment, each was diagnosed with a pre-existing personality disorder, then denied benefits. As in Town's case, Army doctors determined that the soldiers' ailments were pre-existing without interviewing friends, family or fellow soldiers who knew them before they were wounded in combat.

In this article you will hear from Army doctors who say wounded soldiers are routinely misdiagnosed. One says he was pressured by superiors to diagnose personality disorder in cases where soldiers were physically wounded or suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Inserted from The Nation

This is just the introduction to a major five page article, and I urge you strongly to click through and read the rest. I have watched with growing frustration as Democrats in Congress have put forward measure after measure to improve the lot of our troops and veterans only to see them either vetoed by the ChickenHawk-in-Chief or fall to GOP filibusters, in which the GOP could always count on John McHypocrite to vote against our nation's troops and vets.

GW Bush, McConJob, and the GOP have a formula for supporting our troops and vets. I call it The Arlington Plan. If that isn't clear, see the graphic.

Live Veterans cost money that might better go to the war profiteers. Dead ones cost nothing. Nor do any the government can screw out of their benefits. See Chief's post just below this one.

Crossposted at Alternate Brain.

Erosion of Benefits

I know that most folks that visit The American Patriot Institute did not stay in the military long enough to retire. And folks, that's fine. The military is not for everyone. But I did. Retire that is, from the United States Navy after serving 21 years, going where ever I was sent, protecting that old parchment (U.S. Constitution) from enemies, foreign and domestic.

And when I retired Uncle Sam promised me a whole bunch of benefits for my faithful and loyal service and for all my sacrifices (like lower wages). Well, quite a few Presidents have been screwing around with reducing those benefits, especially the last two, Clinton and George "I Support Screwing The Troops" Bush.

Here is a link that lays out some of the more egregious broken promises to us retirees.
If you've been in the military, call your reps in Congress and tell them that you don't like broken promises. For those of you that have not served in the military, you can call your reps in Congress, too. Give 'em an earful.

When caught, Army acts

Following up on last week's post about the awful living conditions for Iraq returnees at Fort Bragg, from Yahoo!News:

Army officials said Tuesday they are inspecting every barracks building worldwide to see whether plumbing and other problems revealed at Fort Bragg, N.C., last week are widespread.

Yeah, like the soldiers didn't tell the Corporals who didn't tell the Sergeants who didn't tell the First Shirt and so on and so on that shit was backing up into the barracks. Gimme a break.

I wonder how many of those GIs wrote to their Congressmen about the conditions? In my day, that was the way to get things done. When the Congresscritter inquired of the Commanding General just WTF was going on, things happened. It may have been out of trying to avoid an investigation and resultant damage to their careers rather than a sense of duty to the enlisted swine, but things got done.

Oh, silly me, I forgot - the military works for Bush now, not us. Congress doesn't count any more.

I got a sneakin' hunch that these kinds of things are known by the local brass, but get put on a to-do list because the Bush administration would rather borrow trillions to profit their cronies than expend thousands on the welfare of the troops. I've heard that some bases have even had trouble paying their electric bills.

The operative word here is 'revealed'. One rightly pissed-off dad with a video camera and YouTube made more difference than a barracksful of soldiers in knee boots. That got this deal moved to the top of the list. The Army'll put a little PR lipstick on the pig and hope it goes away.

Support the troops. Yeah, right, until they gotta do something expensive like hire a plumber.

Crossposted at Alternate Brain.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

'Support The Troops!' - Part 2

Our Brother, Gordon, a United States Marine, currently on In-Active Duty, has a post below this one illustrating how the Republicans reward our fighting men and women when they return home after a 15 month tour in Afghanistan. First read that one. Once you have, you can do something to correct this travesty by following the links in this post.

It's time to show some backbone and give the troops the "support" they really need.


Dear Supporter,

We need your help. This week, Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Richard Burr offered a watered-down substitute to the 21st Century GI Bill, which was introduced by Senators Jim Webb and Chuck Hagel.

We need you to write to your Senators telling them that the McCain bill is unacceptable.


The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (S.22), the Webb-Hagel bill that we support, now has 57 supporters in the Senate, from both sides of the aisle. With three more supporters, this bill would be filibuster-proof, and guaranteed to get to the President's desk. Senator McCain's bill could split the Senate, undermining the common-sense legislation that Senators Webb and Hagel offered. In doing so, it also undermines America's veterans.

Here's how.

1) The McCain-Graham-Burr legislation creates a flat education benefit, not taking into account the cost of state colleges where veterans live. This would mean veterans in states where the cost of education is higher than the benefit would have go to into debt to get an education, or uproot themselves and their families to move to a place where the benefit would cover college. In many cases, the McCain bill won't even cover half the cost of college. The Webb-Hagel Bill determines the education benefit based on the highest state college tuition in a veterans' home state, allowing veterans to come home and attend college, without upheaval in their lives.

2) The McCain-Graham-Burr legislation creates second-class veterans, by offering those who serve in the military for 12 years the chance to transfer their education benefits to their children. This says to a veteran who serves for two years and loses both of his legs in combat that his service isn't as valuable as someone who has served for longer.

3) The McCain-Graham-Burr legislation leaves the National Guard and Reserve out in the cold. In the current conflicts, the National Guard and Reserve have served faithfully alongside their active duty compatriots, and deserve equal benefits. Yet, the McCain bill does nothing to reward our Guard and Reservists for their cumulative service. Under the McCain bill, over 160,000 members of the Guard and Reserves who have done more than one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan would get no credit towards an education for their additional sacrifice.


A fair education benefit is a sacred promise made to America's military after World War II. That promise has been allowed to become outdated and tarnished. Only the Webb-Hagel bill will restore its luster. And, for that reason, it is the only acceptable bill to America's veterans. Any Senator who joins Senator McCain on his bill does not support our veterans, and it is important that you let your Senator know that, right away.

Thank you for your support.
Jon Soltz Iraq War Veteran Chairman,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

'Support the troops!' Yeah, right. Again...

Hi. My name is Gordon and I'm proud to be hyar. Be gentle, this is my first time...

From Attackerman:

“America has three-quarters of a billion dollars to spend on the embassy in Baghdad, but our troops have to live like this.”

In my service days, I lived variously in Quonset huts, WWII-vintage two-story brick barracks, six-man pyramidal tents, snap-together shelter-half pup tents, old ships and new ships, and occasionally in godforsaken swampy, rainy places with no roof and a long walk to plumbing, and I never once saw anything like that.

Crossposted at Alternate Brain.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Soap Box Time

“Federal agents at the border do not need any reason to search through travelers' laptops, cell phones or digital cameras for evidence of crimes, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, extending the government's power to look through belongings like suitcases at the border to electronics,” is the lead paragraph of an article on the Wired Blog Network.

“The unanimous three-judge decision reverses a lower court finding that digital devices were "an extension of our own memory" and thus too personal to allow the government to search them without cause. Instead, the earlier ruling said, Customs agents would need some reasonable and articulable suspicion a crime had occurred in order to search a traveler's laptop,” the article continues.

The article contains a link to a PDF of the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. It makes for interesting reading.

During July of 2005, Michael Arnold flew into Los Angeles International after a vacation in the Philippines. When he went through customs, Arnold was randomly selected for further scrutiny. While the agent inspected his luggage, she asked the sort of routine questions they ask at a time like that. As she went through the luggage, he was asked to boot his computer. The agent continued her questioning after handing the computer to another agent.

When the desktop full of files came up, the agent noticed two files in particular. One was named Kodak and the other Kodak memories. When he opened the file, he immediately saw a picture of two nude women. Arnold was immediately handed over to ICE. After being questioned, he was released. His laptop and external drives were seized as they contained images ICE believed to be child porn. About two weeks later, he was charged and subsequently taken to trial.

Arnold’s attorney argued that the border agents had no right to search the laptop; in fact, it was necessary for them to secure a search warrant as the contents were protected under our 4th Amendment rights. The lower court agreed and tossed the evidence. An appeal was filed and heard by the Superior Court whose decision came down on the side of the government.

What happened to the 4th Amendment? Did the Supreme Court repeal “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures …?” I checked. You will be relieved to know the 4th Amendment has not been repealed. You may, or may not, be relieved to know it was “redefined” by the Supreme Court. A few of the cases were Almeida-Sanchez v. United States, 413 U.S. 266, 273 (1973); United States v. Ramsey, 431 U.S. 606, 616 (1977) and United States v. Flores-Montano, 541 U.S. 149, 153 (2004).

In a nutshell, the government is saying “we have an interest in anything you are bringing into our country. Any rights, any expectations to privacy, begin and end at the border.” That doesn’t sound unreasonable, does it?

Yeah, it does sound unreasonable to me. Amended or not, our constitution protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. Empowering law enforcement agents to go on fishing expeditions without probable cause is absolutely wrong. The idea that an American citizen does not have any rights at an American border is ludicrous beyond words.

I’m not going to foam at the mouth over having luggage X-rayed before being loaded on an airplane. I don’t have a problem if luggage is X-rayed upon re-entering the country. If those X-rays reveal something suspicious, I don’t have a problem with a closer inspection taking place. Those are the times in which we live.

If a trained and competent border agent sees someone acting in a manner that reasonably seems suspicious, they should give that individual further scrutiny. The key word is “reasonable.”

Without probable cause, without reasonable cause, no law enforcement agent or officer should have the right to view the contents of anyone’s camera, cell phone, computer or any of those other marvelous inventions that allow us to store data.

There are all manner of files stored in my laptop. Some of those files are highly personal; files like my medical records for the last 20 plus years that I downloaded before taking off on my motorcycle to see the world. There are files that would enable someone to very easily steal my identity. You know there are nude pictures that I sure as hell don’t want someone drooling over. There isn’t one damned thing in the computer that is illegal and I would object to anyone viewing any of it without my permission. It isn’t anyone’s business.

The case that allowed the Superior Court to make this decision involved kiddy porn. The nature of the offense with which he was charged makes me want to cheer the agents that nailed him. That he was arrested as the result of a search that, in my opinion, was unconstitutional makes it impossible to cheer too loudly.

Life is sweet – because the Supreme Court ruled in the United States v. Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 541 (1985) that it is illegal to perform “alimentary canal” searches based on “mere chance” there might be evidence concealed.

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Bomb, bomb, bomb ...

Bomb, bomb Iran." Since John McCain is so eager to feed the bloodthirsty Republican 'base' some red meat in the form of an escalation against Iran, Cdr. Huber takes a look at what might probably happen if we did begin a bombing campaign over there:


The Navy’s tasks in an operation against Iran would include projecting air power ashore (from the carriers and cruise missile shooters), keeping the Strait open, and deterring or stopping another tanker war like the one that broke out in the 80s during the conflict between Iran and Iraq. To do all those things, the Navy pretty much has to go into the Gulf, and it has to go through the Strait to get there.

In the bathtub, defense in depth becomes nearly impossible to conduct. The state of the art anti-ship weapons Iran recently bought from the Russians—the SSN-22 Sunburn missile and the rocket torpedo—are bad news. One school of thought says the only way to defend against them is to stay tied to the pier stateside, but it’s not just the latest generation of ship-killers we need to worry about. Any time you find yourself in a point defense situation against a homing weapon designed any time after 1970 or so your whole day just became irretrievable.

I rather doubt that anything short of extra terrestrial intervention could actually sink a 100,000-ton Nimitz class carrier, but a rocket torpedo up its stern could send it out the Strait under tow. That would be an unmitigated nightmare. Even if not a single member of the ship’s crew were killed or injured, for a minor power like Iran to have knocked one of America’s preeminent instruments of military might out of action would be a strategic catastrophe for the U.S.


We've already gamed this scenario, in 2002, and the U.S. was handed it's ass.


In the days since the encounter with five Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, American officers have acknowledged that they have been studying anew the lessons from a startling simulation conducted in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats.


We cannot 'win' in Iran, just as we can't win in Iraq. We don't have the money, the troops, or the national will. If the Chimp doesn't destroy this nation before he leaves, McCain will once he's elected.

Cross-posted at the Brain.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kudlow On Kennedy...


If you use "islamofascists" or "jihadists" in a sentence, I will kick you in the nuts. If you don't have nuts...I'll figure something out.

18 April 2008

Kudlow On Kennedy...

(Larry Kudlow, April 8, 2008)

"Perhaps the anti-war forces should recall the portion of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, where he called on Americans to pay any price, and bear any burden, in order to preserve freedom, liberty, and democracy. Do these folks actually think 1 percent of GDP is too large a price, too heavy a burden? I sure hope not."


Kudlow's feelings are certainly not uniquely his...rather, they unfortunately exemplify the notion that the values of most importance to this country are somehow measured simply in dollars. There is no recognition of the thousands of lives lost, of the sons and daughters not returning home. Obviously Kennedy was speaking about sacrifice far greater than monetary ones...he was asking Americans to be ready to commit their very lives to protect these values we held so dear.

In 1960, lest we forget, the United States was the world leader in virtually every arena. Our education system was the envy of the world; our medical system was superb and affordable, our military, (with draftees), was far and away the leader, (even though we may not have known it); our businesses were the largest and most successful ...and they paid higher wages than those in any other country which gave us the highest standard of living. Our taxes were also...far higher than today.

But Kennedy wasn't talking about money to fund an invasion and occupation of a small country... he was talking about the problems that we faced at the time. We were in the early phases of the great racial uprising which would require us all to take a hard look at ourselves and our core beliefs. He had committed us to land a man on the moon within the decade...something which doesn't seem so amazing now...but was strictly the stuff of science fiction in 1960.

He was talking about the fight against communism. At the time it posed a terrifying threat to us. A country equipped with a nuclear arsenal equal to our own...with countless missiles targeted on our most populous cities...and a political system which might just use them. In 1963, of course, the Soviet Union brought the world closer to a nuclear Armageddon than we had ever been.

No, Kennedy wasn't talking about a percent of GDP when he asked us to "pay any price, bear any burden", he was asking each American to work side-by-side, to pitch in, to help one another ...not to fight a war...but to see ourselves fully and finally accomplish those goals of freedom, liberty and democracy for all Americans.

The "sacrifice" Kennedy envisioned was that of each American, united by the strength of our combined will, lifting all...the rich and the poor, so that we might all share in the enjoyment of those noble concepts committed to by our forefathers.

Unfortunately for America in 2008, the Kudlows of the country don't have this vision of our country. Their field of vision is limited to the fortunes of themselves and their friends..."sacrifice" to them is measured in dollars and the effect those dollars have on their lifestyle. America is a lapel pin and a flowery mention of "patriotism". It is a bucket full of dollars belonging to the rich and powerful. It is greed.

It is the ability to buy other people's children to die in a war far away.


Labels: , ,

(From "The Moderate Man" )

Flag Criminals ...

Maybe we should yank their pensions and benefits?


To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. [my em]


I would certainly feel comfortable calling these retired flag officers traitors.


Greenwald is on this too:


At the same time, though, in light of questions on this very topic raised even by the NYT back in 2003, it is difficult to take the article's underlying points seriously as though they are some kind of new revelation. And ultimately, to the extent there are new revelations here, they are a far greater indictment of our leading news organizations than the government officials on whom it focuses. [em in orig]


Cross-posted at the Brain.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Welcome to the API Chief

Dear Senior Chief Petty Officer, "Chief"

Welcome to the American Patriot Institute.
You have been unanimously and enthusiastically accepted by the current membership. We welcome you Brother. Your experience and wisdom will certainly be quite an asset to our organization.

If you have a picture of yourself in uniform, either your graduation picture or another, please post it on your website. One of us will capture it and add it to the image map, which will link directly to your blog or website. As a Resident Scholar, we ask that you capture the logo from one of our sites and post it on your blog, along with a link list to the other Scholars. Feel free to copy the link list from any one of our sites.

As someone who has spent his entire life dedicated to our cause, your insight and wisdom will not only be greatly appreciated, but sought after by those of us who lack your experience as a career Military Man.

Welcome aboard, Sir.

Respectfully yours,


What It Isn't

For several years, during my various postings to European locales, when in my civvies, I routinely wore an American flag patch on the sleeve of my jacket. I wore that or other identifying accoutrement there and in North Africa and the Middle East. I was proudly an American wherever I went. I proclaimed my Americanness BECAUSE I am a patriot, because I was willing to take the blame as well as the credit, because I was sure that in the balance, the positive won out. I was NOT a patriot because I wore the flag, I wore the flag because I was a patriot.

I served and traveled alongside Gawd only knows how many folks that I never saw wearing a flag. I was never of the opinion that they were not a patriot or even less of a patriot than I. As far as I know, they simply did not wear the flag but, they may have had a clear and logical and intent in not doing so. I didn't ask and they did not force it on me.

Now, years later, I hear folks who have never been anywhere less American than Berkley, CA (if that) bitching that a presidential candidate doesn't wear a flag lapel pin when traveling the highways and byways of our nation. These idiots actually claim that it is some sort of indicator of his level of patriotism. It isn't!

The proclaiming of one's Americanness while here in this nation is meaningless. It is shouting Black Power, at a Nation of Islam rally. It is wearing a Dodge Roadrunner tee shirt at a Mopar show. It is claiming to enjoy sex when you are at an orgy. It is claiming to be Christian in a Baptist church. It is safe. No one will challenge you because of what ever you claim in those situations. If you want it to mean something, take it someplace with less of an Amen Chorus

Those of us who took the vow and followed the orders know that patriotism isn't safe or easy. We know that the true measure of a (wo)man has nothing to do with removable externalities. Many of us realize that those who try to obscure this basic truth are not you friends and most likely, do not have your best interests at heart.

Call it fashion. Call it a thousand different things but, do not, DO NOT mistake the wearing of lapel pin for patriotism or the non-wearing for a lack of patriotism. That is exactly what it isn't.


Friday, April 18, 2008


Much has been written here about Patriotism. What it is, what it isn't. Here's my take.

Patriotism means being the "Right Kind of Guy". You either know what I mean or you don't. The kind of "guy" your Mom would be proud of. The kind of "guy" who won't look away when injustice occurs. The kind of "guy" who will stand up to the "bully" and say,"That's enough". The kind of "guy" who will tilt windmills. The kind of "guy" who will always protect the weak and defend the innocent. No matter what their race, color, religion or national origin. The kind of "guy" I want standing next to me when the shit goes down, whatever that shit may be. The kind of "guy" who will tell you to your face that you are fucking up, when you are fucking up.

A good friend will come and bail you out of jail. A true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn! That shit was worth it!"

This is our country. These are our ideals. This is what we swore to protect, against All Enemies, foreign and domestic. This is who we are. This is what we do. This is why we are here.

We believed. We took them at their word. We gave our word.. Now it is time to keep our word. And to make them keep theirs!

I am proud to be here, part of this thing we have created. Proud to be an American Veteran. Proud to keep my word to my fellow Americans, who I swore to protect and defend. All my fellow Americans. For when the blood runs it always runs red, regardless of the color of the skin that contains it.

My job is not done. My oath is unfulfilled. My greatest mission lies before me. That is why I am here.

We are all different. We all have different agendas. Yet we are all together. This is what differentiates us from the Republi-cons, who march to the same tune no matter who the Piper is. We think, then we act. They act, then they justify their actions with bullshit.

They claim to be Patriots.

We are Patriots. The difference is as simple as being the Right Kind of "Guy". The "guy" your mother would be proud of.

Semper Fidelis
(Always Faithfull)


Thursday, April 17, 2008

More About Patriots and Patriotism

I came across this article about John McCain, the perceived Republican nominee for President. It is from Alternet.

Here is the URL:

I feel that there is nothing more honorable and patriotic than to serve your family, community and country. The benefits given to returning Veterans are miniscule when compared to the benefits received working at most wage earner occupations. This article explains McCain's position against a new GI Bill that pretty much gives the Veteran a fighting chance to have a decent life, at least financially, because we know that chances are they will be all screwed up from the PTSD that occurs in many returning Veterans.

Patriotic? Serving in the armed forces with a promise of a little money for higher education and being told by a person who could become the next Commander in Chief that he'd rather you stay in the military to fight the war he's resolved to be involved in for the next hundred years instead of letting you go to college and have a civilian life.

Peace to All.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nomination For Membership

Brothers and Sisters:

I received this e-mail today from a Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy, seeking admission into the API. Below the e-mail is a post written by Chief entitled Winning. I ask that you vote yes on this candidate.

Thank you,


Dear Sir;
I have been posting for about nine months at Liberty Street
at Kathy's invitation. I am a Senior Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy (Retired) who fervently believes that the U.S. Constitution is much more than a "piece of paper" and have been defending that same Constitution and it's ideals since I first enlisted in 1958.
I hope that I can be of value to the American Patriot Institute.


April 10, 2008


This is the last paragraph of “Out of Iraq” by George McGovern and William R. Polk published in 2006.

“Finally, all war is unpredictable and horrible. Our wise old statesman Benjamin Franklin once said, “There never was a good war.” But among wars, guerrilla wars are the worst; at beat they are unwinnable, lasting in Ireland for centuries and in Algeria for a century and a half. Chechens suffered massacre, deportation, rape and massive destruction at the hands of the Russians for nearly four centuries, and now incorporated into Russia, Chechnya still is not “pacified.” Aware of this history, the American neoconservative advisors to our government plan for (and indeed advocate) perpetual war. If they get their wish, then the final lesson of Iraq will emerge from the “fog of war.” It is that insurgency and counterinsurgency brutalize whole societies, even those of the victors. This was true of the British in Kenya, French in Algeria, Americans in the Philippines, Russians in Chechnya, and Chinese in Tibet. Hegel may be right - we may not learn; but certainly, we would be wise to heed the warning of Santayana not to “blot” the lessons of this costly adventure out of our minds. It has been our most expensive school.”

Winning. There are many different meanings for “winning” depending on who you are. For the average American, winning means to stay in Iraq as long as it takes to set up a society similar to the one we are used to here in the United States. The average American, who is not the least bit familiar with Iraqi history and Iraqi culture, thinks that that outcome is obtainable while we have over 100,000 troops in Iraq. It hasn’t occurred to that average American that as long as foreign troops are occupying the country it is fiction to believe the Iraqis will do anything but fight us.

Winning for the neo-cons means keep raising the patriot issue by calling anyone who suggests we find a way to withdraw, “cut ‘n run liberals.” Never mind that over 80% of the country thinks the country is heading in the wrong direction. Neo-cons will continue to demagogue and use their empty arguments about not withdrawing as a way to divide the electorate.

Winning for George W. Bush and his handlers is getting cheap access to Iraqi oil. Iraq has the largest reserves of oil in the mid-East. And it is sweet crude (low sulpher). Saudi has a lot of oil but is sour, high Sulpher. The Iraqi government has signed long term contracts with some major international oil companies at terms that are not real favorable to the Iraqi people.,

Once the United States troops leave, you can safely bet that the government that is installed after the civil war will not be the one that signed the contracts and the oil companies may be nationalized. No greater fear has an oilman than a government taking over their company, equipment and profits. This is really what Bush fears.


Friday, April 11, 2008

What is an American Patriot?

The title of this post is something I have asked myself several times since being invited by Moderate Man to join the American Patriot Institute, and again now that Deuddersun has invited me to contribute here.

I'm not sure what it means to my fellow members; only what it means to me. I used to think it was just because I served my country in the Marine Corps. Then I would think that no, that doesn't make me a "patriot" per se, just a military member. These back and forths inside my head would get to be pretty annoying and I would just file the question away in my brain housing group for recollection another day. The dictionary definition of Patriot is as follows:

pa·tri·ot n. One who loves, supports, and defends one's country.

Looking at that definition, I figured I definitely fit at least 2 of the criteria. I love my country. As a veteran I can say that I served my country and was willing to defend it if the need arose. But ever since I took up blogging, I've had a hard time saying that I "support" my country. Truth be told, I don't support my country. Now before any extreme right-wingers say "See, I told you them Libtards hate America!", let me clarify that statement: I do not support the actions of our government as it relates to the War in Iraq among other policies adopted by President Bush.

I started my first blog, Unpopular Opinions, as a means to speak out against the War in Iraq and its effect on my older brother's service in the National Guard. If you go back to my site, The Bulldog Says... and check my archives, you'll see my very first post was my outrage about Road Rage's stop-loss. You see, he was a good and faithful servant of this country for 20 years and was waiting to retire when 9-11 came around and then our desert fiasco, Iraq. That had me fuming and so I began to write. Now the tagline that deuddersun placed up there says to "...defend the Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic". Notice that last word there, domestic. Well, that's what I started writing about and continue to do today. Domestic enemies as I see them. In my view, our current President and his Cabinet could very well be called domestic enemies. In my view, they have trampled the Constitution, shredded our civil rights, and invaded a sovereign country just because they wanted to.

So am I a patriot? After all is said and done, all my internal arguments for and against, I believe I am. I am doing my part, however small it is, to defend my country even now. I feel it is my obligation to speak out against actions taken by our government to subvert the will of the people and destroy the Constitution. This is an obligation I take very seriously. So ask yourself the same question: Are you a Patriot?

Monday, April 7, 2008

In the Name of Patriotism

You know, at first, when I got the e-mail inviting me to be one of the American Patriot Institute blog participants, I wondered if I should be part of it or not. My feelings have changed somewhat and maybe I’m not so much in agreement with the rest of the members anymore. Let me explain.

No, I didn’t go over to the Dark Side and side with chain dick the almighty or all of a sudden think that we should be fighting an illegal, immoral war that we started on false pretenses. No, nothing like that. I’m still one hundred percent against the war and for the unforeseeable future, I’m against all war. So it’s nothing like that.

What has changed in me to a certain extent is the way I actually feel about our government. And not just this current corrupt and dishonest administration. I’m talking about the 500 years of genocide that has been offered to the original inhabitants of this Nation. Most of this at the hands of the government of the United States of America.

The evil they are doing now, in Iraq and other parts of the world is bad enough. But look back at your history. We have had a hand in so many things around the world trying to tell other countries how to live their lives. How their governments should be run. How they should practice their religious beliefs. How to run their markets. How to allow or disallow immigration into their country.

This is the main problem here in America with the Indigenous people and their rights. These people are treated as second class citizens unless they adjust and accept the governments way of doing things. When they don’t, they are cast aside and forgotten, allowed to remain poor with no opportunity for advancement, held on Reservations as their land has been and still is taken from them.

So, I’m having a hard time being patriotic and proud to be what I once felt proud to be, that is, A Warrior, a combat soldier who served his country. God knows I didn’t serve the country that was doing these things to people. Yet I paid no attention as it went on right before my own eyes. I didn’t know what life was on the Reservation. I didn’t know about the land grabs. I didn’t know about the poisons thrown into and onto the land and the water where the Indians live.

I didn’t know so much because I had the luxury and privilege of being a white man. Even the poorest of white people can reinvent themselves when times got bad. If you are white, you could move and become someone else, meet new people, get a job. The Native Indigenous person didn’t have this choice or opportunity. They would always look like an Indian. The Latino or Mexican American the same, the African American too.

My most recent experience was with the Indian Nations, so that is the fight I’m picking right now. It is hard to honor the flag when I know the Eagle Staff was the first flag of this Nation. The Eagle staff was here long before Betsy Ross sewed a flag and we called it our National flag. Yet the Native people honor the Flag right along with their Eagle staffs. And they serve in the military, with honor, more often, per capita, than any other race.

It is confusing, to say the least, this idea of our great country taking language away from people. Sending children to boarding schools and not allowing them to have their own culture. Taking the land away by devious methods of misinterpretation of, or outright disregard for, treaties. To say we are in a country with religious freedom and force people into churches as we judge them as savages and heathens just wreaks of running things with a double standard, the old “forked tongue” idea.

Now, we do this in the modern day with the Islamic religion and any Muslim. The Muslim is put under scrutiny. Like Barrack Obama’s middle name, Hussein. Make the comparison that he is a Muslim and therefore a terrorist. Attack those that don’t share the anglo saxon white man way of praying to a god that kills and hates and steals for greed, their messiah is money.

Nope, I’m just confused. I wasn’t born an Ojibway. I wasn’t born from parents of people who were brought here against their will from Africa. I wasn’t born of a poor farmer whose family was starving, so he came North to pick grapes. None of these. I was born, in Chicago, at a hospital, and on my birth certificate in the space that states Race: Mine says Caucasian.

There were even times years ago when the darker skinned Sicilian Italian was called names by the whites. Dago, Guinea, Wop. We called names back at the Polish, the Irish and the Chinese. Yet we fought in wars to protect them all. Why don’t we stand up and protect those that were here before the occupation by Europeans? We spend billions to rebuild and repatriate the countries we attack. We spent billions in Japan after we bombed the shit out of them. We spent billions in Germany rebuilding. In each case, we allowed them their religion and their human rights, yet we don’t lift a finger for those whose land we took in conquest.

My plans have always been to treat everyone in a way I know to be right. Fair and equal to everyone, no matter how they eat, live and pray. No matter what language they speak, no matter if they know English at all. I’ll continue to pray that I understand all who are different so as to not have hatred or fear from that which I do not understand. I pray I learn and understand as I feel understanding is the key to accepting.

And I’ll continue to fight, ever so patriotically, for the wrongs that this government has done to others. After all, I am a Patriot. I don’t want to leave this land because of the horrible things that have happened at the hand of the American government of democracy. I want to bring it to your attention and to the attention of the people of the world. And with this knowledge, we go forth, one person at a time, and change the landscape. We allow and accept people as people, and pray that we ourselves are accepted as Americans.

I am proud to a part of the American Patriot Institute. I am honored beyond belief to be accepted by my fellow Veterans. And I proudly cry out to all to right the wrongs of the past and live from this day forward without hatred, judgment or bias of another human being, but rather leave that work for The Creator of all things.

Peace to all as ALL life is Sacred.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


So far Moderate, KWW, scroff and Spadoman have answered the invites and now have Admin rights. Since I will be gone all week, they can grant admin rights to whoever answers next. Just click on the settings tab then the permissions tab, (you can find the settings tab when you click on "new post".).

While I said earlier that this site should be all API, there may be room for posts like KWW did on Winter Soldier, or perhaps a weekly round up of topics related to API causes we all support. I don't know, what do you think?

Take care of each other. See you in a week.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Help Wanted!

As soon as you get your invite and respond you will have Author's privileges. So far Moderate Man, Spadoman and deuddersun have full admin privileges. Once you have answered the invite, one of us can authorize you for full admin status. Once you have that, well....

We are building something here and it needs a lot of work. A counter would be cool, one that tracks visitors and logs IP's, so long as it's free. At this point, why spend money on things we can get for free? A link list to other relevant sites would also be great - Vet's sites in particular are important, especially those that deal with the Fiasco in Iraq (IAVA, VVAW, etc) and sites that offer aid to Veterans. It's your blog, what do you think we need here?

While we all maintain our own separate and distinct personalities on our own sites, this site is our "Band of The Hand", where we work together to achieve our mutual goals. So dig in!! This is our collective public "face", so grab yer make-up crayon (sorry Ladies) and get busy!


Welcome to The American Patriot Institute

This is my lame attempt to establish a blog for the API. Here, we can deal with votes, action alerts and other business pertaining to the API without having to travel to each other's blogs. All members of the API will have full privileges.

I have sent out e-mail invitations to those members whose e-mails I had. If you didn't receive one, it's because I don't have your email, simple as that. Please send me your email at and I will add you to the Admin list. Also, feel free to change or add anything here, it's a we thing folks, and at some point it will grow into something we are all proud of. Please limit posts to API business or alerts, however, since that is the inherent nature of this blog, (as I see it, if you disagree, please say so).

Anyway, here it is. Let's work together to make it something great.



From The Moderate Man:

The American Patriot Institute needs you! We're a group of Veterans, some old, some younger, who believe in our country, our Constitution, and our honor. We're sickened by this administration's handling of everything...from the the environment most importantly, perhaps...the illegal war in Iraq. We're disgusted with the powerful who feel it's their right to buy and sell our lawmakers to enrich themselves and their friends. We try mightily to restrain ourselves when those who have never worn the uniform, much less seen action, continually promote war , seeing it as a game fought by underlings rather than themselves or their children. We don't always agree on everything...who does...but we agree that this government is not the one we supported when we proudly put on that uniform. If you'd like to join us...let one of us know. It's not hard. These are a great bunch of guys...and a superior woman. Give us a shout!

Kitchen Window Woman
Moderate...well...that's me, isn't it? (
Moderate Man is the Founder of the American Patriot Institute.)

Peace !

Moderate Man

If you are a Veteran of the Armed Forces of The United States of America who shares our views, why not check us out.