Sunday, August 31, 2008

Support Our Troops!

Iraq Veterans Against the War
at the Democratic National Convention

Dear IVAW Supporter,

IVAW Claims Victory in Denver and Heads to Minneapolis

Our members were in Denver on Wednesday leading a march of ten thousand to the Democratic National Convention where we delivered a message to the Obama camp in a meeting with senior campaign officials. IVAW called on the Democratic nominee to endorse the three main goals of IVAW: Immediate withdrawal, full veterans benefits, and reparations for the Iraqi people.

There was plenty of news coverage about our march and actions at the DNC, just go to our homepage to learn more. IVAW will continue to advance its goals through the strategic action of our members and the generosity of our supporters.

There is No Better Time Than Now to Support IVAW

IVAW members are now on their way to Minneapolis for the annual IVAW convention. Many will stay on in Minneapolis for the Republican National Convention. We need your support to help keep the momentum from this event going. Please make a donation to IVAW today.

Thank you for your continued support,

Kelly Dougherty

Former Sergeant, Army National Guard

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What killed the Russians ...

In Afghanistan will kill us as well:


The 'western' forces in Afghanistan have huge logistic problems. To put two feet on the ground they need twenty feet or more behind them shuffeling papers, organising and feeding the logistic queue. Their way of existence and fighting is incompatible with the country they are in. Too many trucks will not come through. The logistic lines are too long and to insecure. The road war will kill their mission.

What do I always say? Amateurs talk strategy and tactics, experts talk logistics. Don't matter how many great plans you have, if you can't support your operators, the plans ain't worth a shit. Ask the Russians about how many of their convoys got ambushed in the Hindu Kush. Ask their men how many helicopters were taken out by a buncha goat-humpers with AKs shooting down at 'em from the surrounding heights.

We shoulda learned from the Brits (read Kipling) and the Soviets. You cannot take and occupy Afghanistan; it's almost an impossible logistical nightmare. There should never have been 'boots on the ground'. We should have exacted a price for 9/11 (bombed everything into gravel and killed as many of 'em as we could) and then called it a day.

Cross-posted at the Brain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Bills WILL Come Due........

When one struggles through their early years without the benefit of Mother, Father, or blood relations to set one upon a path, one is bereft of any sense of culture or clan heritage. Thus I was a tradition upon myself, every day an opportunity to invent my place in the world based solely upon my own understanding, which would continue to evolve decade after decade, independent of any expectations laid down by a previous generation of my own origins.

What was left me was the "culture" of modern America, with all it's evolving sense of power, superiority, and entitlement. After all, I was born only ten years after the "sleeping giant" had been awakened by the Japanese, only to surmount an almost impossible victory against fascism and imperialism, to turn the tide and become the world's greatest military and economic superpower. It could only get better, and I had every expectation, even without the guidance of family or mentors, to benefit greatly. I believed all those rosy predictions of moon bases, universal peace, and a cure for all diseases. Fast-forward half a century, chock full of more advances than any previous era, and where am I? Where are WE?

The seeds of our own downfall were sown immediately after the signing of the articles of surrender of the former Empire of Japan aboard the Battleship U.S.S. Missouri. Within that decade we would attain our highest pinnacle in manufacturing, finance, innovation, and social evolution. We still had the social contract, only enhanced; we were sending a wave of young men, ex-citizen soldiers, to college, to become our new hope for the future, leaders of a whole new tomorrow. And we were determined to make the lives of our children, like those generations before us, better than our own, that they might never again know deprivation or the horrors of war. And we failed miserably.

We failed so utterly due to that very toxic characteristic of any great civilization.....ENTITLEMENT. Yes, we had cheap gas, cheap automobiles, ever-increasing wages (thanks finally to strong unions), increasingly advanced health care, cheap food, the suburbs with a quarter-acre of grass and a picket fence, and this ida that everybody else in the world wanted to be just like us.

Only everybody DIDN'T want to be "just like" us. On top of that, our first generation of children after WWII increasingly found reasons to not even like their own parents. It was then that all our shortcomings in the area of ethics and human rights began to show themselves in the faces of our own kids. Capitalism, that economic model that promised to deliver the goods to every corner of the land began to divide us ever more increasingly into the haves and the have-nots. Racial equality, something we were supposed to have taken care of courtesy of the bloody war between the States, wasn't even CLOSE to being reckoned with, only now it was GOING to be reckoned with, one way or another. And before we knew it, all the rules we had been raised with were going out the window in favor of a new freedom of thought and expression that did not want to recognize boundaries or responsibility.

What the Democratic Party fought so hard to establish that would truly make us that "shining city on the hill" would soon be turned upside down by a new generation of righteous nay-sayers, disillusioned with the loss of social order and strict rules, who began to be manipulated by "Conservative" party bosses to try and contain this populace who were trying to throw off the yoke of the rich and powerful, by calling upon religion and fear to power a backlash which would destroy the American dream from the inside out, all the while feeding the coffers of increasingly wealthy king-makers, even starting wars to distract us and have us fight each other for the right to claim a purer practice of patriotism. Thus, in order to form a more perfect union, we fed the beast our children, and our hopes for a free and democratic future for our grandchildren, who instead face the very extinction of our species.

I want all of you to understand that it's not the commies, or the terrorists, or the pinko-fags that brought us here; it was each and every one of us, thanks to our worship of the devil himself...ENTITLEMENT. Thanks to entitlement, we have a healthcare system which isn't working for us anymore. Thanks to entitlement, we can't get enough gas and can't afford the gas we get. Thanks to entitlement, our cars are bigger than they ever had to be. Thanks to entitlement, we will heat up our planet faster than we can wean ourselves off our poisons, and our grandchildren, if we even HAVE any, will curse us for our avarice. After all, weren't we supposed to make THEIR future better than our own, rather than cutting it short altogether?

Make excuses if you want. I'm sure you're entitled.

P.S. To my readers; please do not think I direct this at you unless you recognize within examples of your own complicity, as do I. Most of those who remain within my readership I would hope have recognized the truth of what I say already and would not take offense at such self-examinations. For those of you entirely new to my pontifications, I invite you to rail against what is said here by turning your rage into positive action rather than denial, even if it means something simple as changing out all your house lights to fluorescents or car-pooling when possible. Hope is Hope; denial is nothing but death.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Absence

Been absent from blogging for a few months. I'm getting old. Suffered from a stomach/GI problem which left me in constant pain all day long until I laid down. Add to that...a constant case of the "trots" and you can get an idea of how wonderful I felt. Couldn't go anywhere...not even my own kid's sucked. Dr's ruled out first concern...and settled on some god-awful thing called "Irritable Bowel Syndrome"...

Anyway...I'm finally starting to feel a little better. I'll try to add to the conversation whenever I have anything important to say.

Stay strong...Peace


THIS is the State of our Nation

Over many years upon the pages of many posts, I have pontificated my understanding of the events that have brought our nation to the perilous precipice it now totters upon. Yet, in all my days, including those remaining, I will NEVER be able to articulate the utter and dismaying truth that has been placed before us better than this gentleman, an ex-military officer, and professed conservative. I want all who view this post to please go to THIS site and if possible, view the episode of Bill Moyers Journal in which this gentleman is interviewed. I think you will want to pass this on, and think deeply about what he has said.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Am a Conservative

This was written by a friend of mine named John. John is an artist and writer from Minneapolis. This is cross-posted at my Round Circle Blogspot along with more verbage.

Hi Joe,

Here's the piece I was telling you about.

Attach any additions that you think of to the following list and
continue to forward it to your friends. You can also send it back to
me. I'm interested to see what other people might add.

If you know anyone that shoots YouTube videos, I think that it could
make a great video with people standing up and declaring that "I am a
conservative..." and re-framing the definition by context.



Conservative: tending or disposed to maintain existing views,
conditions, or institutions : traditional b: marked by moderation or
caution, a conservative estimate marked by or relating to
traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of the freedom of assembly.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of the freedom of speech.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of the freedom of the press.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of the right to privacy.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of the right of
due process.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of civil liberties
and rights granted under the constitution.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of small businesses.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of natural resources.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of quality education.

I am a conservative...I believe in the conservation of the family farm.

I am a conservative...I believe in conserving the separation between
church and state.

I am a conservative...I believe in conserving a woman's right to choose.

I am a conservative...I believe in conserving the middle class.

I am a conservative...I believe in conserving representation for taxpayers.

I am a conservative...I believe in conserving cultural diversity.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Another Hit to Morale

According to this post at Raw Story, at least two Marine units will have their tours in Afghanistan extended. According to the article

Asked about Gates' decision, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said the secretary was responding to a request from the commanders.

Gates "is always pained to have to extend tours. He understands the effect that has on the families of our forces, but he also appreciates our commanders' need to make additional progress while the weather is still good in Afghanistan," Morrell said.

I would suggest that Gates has no clue to the effect that extending a deployment has on the service member and that member's family back home. It reduces the retention rate for those on their first enlistment and cuts short those senior enlisted members careers who just might have stayed past the minimum retirement of 20 years service.

And, it is not the danger that they face on a daily basis in Afghanistan that affects their decision. No, it is the loss of faith in those in positions of leadership to be able to stick to their promises, their commitments.

It is like saying, "You're doing such a good job, that we are going to reward you by letting you stay here a little longer."


Cross posted at Liberty Street.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Theft of Patriotism

It's hard enough to have been there, knowing the full brutal impact of what armed conflict means, both to the warrior and to the civilians he brings this terrible art to, but to have civilian chieftains who haven't wielded anything more lethal than a poison pen pontificate on strategy, consequence, cost, effect, and goals as if they truly have the slightest idea what they are talking about just nauseates me. Donald Rumsfield is the one man that comes to mind when I think of a clueless military genius who should never have been given command of peoples lives and the security of this nation. Dick Cheney is another man that I believe whose motivations have more to do with personal and familiar enrichment than the well-being of our first line of defense; our fighting men and women.

I suppose they must think that because these kids volunteered to put on the uniform, then they must know the full measure of what they could be used for. Of course, those amongst us who actually live on the streets of America versus it's ivory towers know full well that from an 18 year old perspective, the prospect of a college education, veteran's benefits, and the respect that (at least USED to) comes with having served your country totally crowds out any thought of putting their flesh and bone on the line for what could be a totally unethical use or their service; i.e. the occupation of a nation for no rational reason other than making money for certain twisted individuals in positions of power. I know in my case, I was not having grandiose dreams of bringing the communist juggernaut to it's knees through superior American morality and firepower; I just wanted a place to be, a way to feed my belly and expand my horizons after finding out I was soon to be turned out of my home and not enough credits earned to graduate from high school. I also had the specter of the draft hanging over my head, with no college to save me from dying in a far-eastern rice patty for no good reason any kid my age could fathom. It was 1973, and I didn't know a hell of a lot about politics or human nature in my short 18 years of life. But the next four years was going to provide me with a unique education.

Now, all these years later, I have to endure the bullshit spouted by people who in some other universe might be considered good, patriotic Americans. People who haven't "Been" there, or had and where coddled, or simply enjoyed being a soldier to the exclusion of any kind of human empathy for anyone beyond immediate kin. People who have been indoctrinated by their fundamentalist ministers to equate shallow patriotism with being God-fearing, totally ignoring the concept I was always told Christ tried his damnedest to promulgate; that you don't hate anyone for any reason, much less "kill them for Christ". People who use these perhaps genuinely caring and religious salt-of-the-Earth type of citizens to further their capitalistic agendas, using them to harp this "love it or leave" mentality that dares to suggest to the rest of us that we don't belong here if we can't buckle under to authority. Sounds suspiciously like communism, if truth be told, only your average redneck could never understand that.

Well, I've had about enough of this, this fake, yellow- ribbon- on- your- SUV- bumper patriotism. I've had enough of this willingness for the masses to do the bidding of the intelligent and sly architects of this disaster in the Middle East which has already consumed over 4000 of our finest and our good name throughout the world. If ever I regretted one thing, it's that these individuals will probably never be brought to justice, that they will leave laughing to enjoy their insanely generous government pensions, and that they will retain Secret Service protection till the day they draw their last criminal breathes, thus I can never entertain the idea of kicking Karl Roves' ass on a street corner of our choosing. I might be a shrimp of a guy, but you'd be amazed what the right motivation can accomplish.

But what shames me the most is that I entertain these ideas as a Wiccan, whose code of conduct decrees that "An it HARM NONE, do as thou will". If the Christians can constantly find exceptions to all those commandments, why can't I find wiggle room in my simple creed? I can't, but a guy can dream............can't he?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vets Against McCain

Here is a site deserving of much more attention. This is a site, perhaps a little biased, that at least is shining a light on the Senator’s failings. I particularly like the part about his less than stellar career as a Naval avaitor.

The part of his life we never hear about, is the lady he was married to before and during his extended shore duty in Hanoi. Read more here.

My question to you is: Just as McCain abandoned his first wife after an automobile accident left her less than perfect, will he abandon us when the going gets tough in the White house.