Category Archives: Pentagon

What is it about Republicans and their need to create wars?

Here’s where to look for a World News Daily article by Jamal Abdi: New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli “Preventive” War on Iran.

Before reading it, here’s the first couple of sentences:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is planning to press the Senate next month to pledge U.S. troops, money, and political support to Israel should Bibi Netanyahu launch a preventive war on Iran.

Graham claims his effort would merely make explicit that the U.S. has Israel’s back. But when your friend is drunk, you don’t hand them the keys. If Graham has his way, he will hand Bibi the keys and lend him our car, while the rest of us ride shotgun.

If this gets you at all nervous about creating a new major mideast war at the behest of Israel (and Lindsay Graham), then get ready to write your senator.

 

A day I have not looked forward to… have you?

 

It’s the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy and it will be the subject of all of today’s talk shows. The very thought of everything involved in the event… from the destruction of the World Trade Center, the crash into the Pentagon and the plane that went down in a Pennsylvania field. I remember the father of one of Buddy’s friends when we lived in Marlborough,CT, who had made his monthly business trip to NYC and died in the attack… which means not only did it happen, but I knew someone killed in the tragedy.

We are at war in the Middle East… still going after Al Qaeda. It is the longest war in our history and seems to go on forever. After the loss of citizens on 9/11, we continue to lose even more Americans because of the attack. I ask my self: what have we become?

I will try to put the day out of my mind. I have thought about it so much over the past eleven years. I am just crestfallen to find it on my mind again.

 

What A Navy Seal Wants You To Know About Obama

(thanks to Linda Bartash for passing this around. You should, too.)

The next time you hear Romney say that Obama has no experience in the military (which Romney, btw, doesn’t either) haul this out.

Any idea who is reading your cyber posts?

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees work on the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) operational watch floor where they monitor, track, and investigate cyber incidents.

The Department of Homeland Security is watching YOU (and me, too).

If you are a blogger, or play on the Social Network, the DHS is monitoring the appearance of key words to trigger investigations of terrorist or other anti government postings.

How does it work? To start with there are hundreds of words which draw DHS attention… words which I guarantee you have used at some time or another.

RT.com gives this description of how it could happen to you:

So, you’ve just come back from a beach holiday in Mexico and posted about it on your blog. Or maybe you’ve tweeted about skiing lessons? Updated your status, saying you’re stuck home with food poisoning?

All those things will tweak the DHS antennae, according to a manual published by the agency. The Analyst’s Desktop Binder, used by agency employees at their National Operations Center to identify “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities,” includes hundreds of words that set off Big Brother’s silent alarms.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. It revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organizations for comments that “reflect adversely” on the government.

And what are the words, pray tell. Here they are in a graphic format so they don’t call attention to themselves as text:

List of words used by the National Operations Center to monitor social media (taken from the DHS Analyst’s Desktop Binder)

Any words you use in there? That’s what I thought.

Big Brother is Reading You!

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Get out, Get out, Get out!

Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Get out, Get out, Get out!

– and –

 

Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

Get out, Get out, Get out!

– and –

 

Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

Get out, Get out, Get out!

– and –

 

Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

Get out, Get out, Get out!

– and –

 

Dan Wasserman in the Boston Globe:

Get out, Get out, Get out!

 

 

Major Quote of the Day – Do you want to get out of Afghanistan?

 This amazing solution is from Father Tyme on BlondSense:
You want to end this thing? Send every proponent who thought or thinks this American Military/Political/Business crusade justifiable; every Congress person who voted for this travesty along with their entire family; every Right Wingunt; every Pseudo-patriotic NASCAR sucking holier-than-thou Evangelical Right Wingunt Mother’s son and daughter; every Ted NugentVictoria JacksonPatricia HeatonKelsey GrammerMegyn Kelly-Money grubbing Rush Hudson Limbaugh-Bill O’Reilly-Glen Beck cocksucking bird brained “Let’s you and him fight, but not me” advocate; every unemployed Joe the Plumber who salutes the flag but hates anything non white; every media owner, media personality and political hack; every pajama-clad envelope stuffing/bake sale College Republican Chickenhawk; every money-loving bishop, priest, pastor, reverend who intentionally misinterpret and mouth beliefs different from a true Xtian gawd’s will (and any of their following sheep who thinks their religious leaders saints); every Fatherland Security Employee; every CEO, investor and banker’s child…send them all over there right now with the same equipment and unprepared training assholes like Rumsfeld, Powell, Bush etc. and now Obama thought and still think was and is acceptable…send them all over there – to Democratize and Americanize those heathens; to convert those infidels to American Business Dogma; to allow Americans their inalienable ability to suck all the oil they can suck; to make America safe for rapists, thieves and especially for increased business profits. While we’re at it send their aged, infirmed and invalid, handicapped or otherwise physically and/or mentally challenged parents as well.
 
I’d give it two days! They’ll all be home!
Send this to your Congress folks and Senators… send it to your local papers…pass it on all over the net. Someone has to get this travesty stopped!

I listened to Repub candidates propose that we could be invaded from Iran…

…but, although the USA professes itself menaced by Iran, it rather has Iran encircled by military bases:

Stars = US Bases

(thanks to Juan Cole‘s Informed Comment.)

So what I want to know is which of these Repub candidates has any kind of grasp on mid-east policy? Certainly Iran knows that they can be completely wiped out by us with little or no provocation.

 

An article that caused me to question…again…our position in the Middle East.

A question I would like an answer to:

Why Are We Fighting On the Same Side with Al Qaeda?

The U.S. Is On the Same Side as Al Qaeda In Syria

Reuters notes that the leader of Al Qaeda – Ayman al-Zawahri – is backing the Syrian rebels, and asking his followers to fight the Syrian government.

Some of the main Al Qaeda fighters who overthrew Gadaffi – and now appear to be in control of Libya – are already helping the Syrian rebels.

This is curious, given that the U.S. is considering military options for ousting the Syrian government, American allies Britain and Qatar allegedly already have foreign troops inside Syria, and the U.S. has been planning regime change in Syria for over 50 years.

Mainstream reports also state that the U.S. and its allies are backing Iranian terrorists.

I thought Al Qaeda was America’s mortal enemy. Why are we backing terrorists?

I was asked by a radio caller last week if I thought we should charge back full force into the Middle East a la Rick Santorum and the right wingers. My answer was a simple “No.” Frankly, after the past 15 years or so of wondering what the hell we were doing there anyway, killing off our young soldiers and an immense quantity of Middle Easterners to keep our access to oil, the value of maintaining war there is invisible.

No matter that we have built a huge military industrial economy spread over many states in order to keep Senators and Congress folks voting to spend what’s left of the national wealth on tanks, planes, aircraft carriers and guns,guns,guns… no matter that we have been building a population consumed by fear of attack by Iranian nukes (caught that on the news this morning)… wanting to get out of all of this gets harder and harder.

Like the tri-national divided world in the novel 1984, the enemies of the country change constantly and become social buddies while previous friends become the enemies. It is an international trick to keep people under control. It is not far fetched to see Al Qaeda become our fighting allies.

I will say once again: Get out, get out, get out… oh, why bother repeating it? No one in authority listens and no one under that authority seems to be able to do anything about it.

The State of the DisUnion

Just once, after a State of the Union message, I’d like to get the sense that the member of the opposing party making the comments on the President’s speech had listened to it.

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R – Indiana) was the opposition leader commenting last night, and he was content to give a list of everything the Republicans consistently say is Obama’s lack of policy decisions. This, of course, ignored just about every statement the President made that not only contradicted the Republican positions, but backed up each statement with statistics and examples proving their fairness and worth.

Daniels, however, accused President Obama of doing the things which just about everyone who watches this stuff would lay at the feet of Republicans:

“No feature of the Obama Presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others,” he said.

Obama dealt directly with reducing the deficit, with everyone playing “by the same set of rules”, by adjusting taxes on the rich and saving deductions for the middle class. He gave support to businesses, while the Republicans stated that he ignored business.

Obama’s speech was positive and moving. The total result of the Republican response was that they could only solve all our problems by reducing the deficit. The President gave the outline of what is going to be a very strong campaign. The Republicans seemed to be on the ropes.

Today starts the removal of troops from Iraq…

… and over the next couple of weeks they will be out, with a few thousand (more?) advisors remaining… doing what, I don’t know. There is, I guess, a certain amount of relief being felt, but the government is not making this a huge event. It’s pretty quiet actually.

While looking at comments from warriors and people who made their billions off of war, I found this in the NY Times from 2009 when the forthcoming (2012) pullout was announced:

“Now that the war’s over, we’re going to get to go back to developing exciting new weapon systems, instead of just trotting out the ones that are proven to work,” said a visibly excited Robert Stevens, Lockheed C.E.O., before a reporter informed him of the Senate moratorium on new weapons systems development.

“Oh,” said Stevens, looking flushed, and quickly excused himself.

As for me, the most exciting weapon systems are the ones you dismantle.

Thoughts on Pearl Harbor Day

Seventy years ago the United States was attacked by the Japanese and we were plunged into what became World War II…and we stayed in some form of military activity for decades thereafter. Korea, Cuba, Viet Nam, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan… even times of peace have been warlike.

However, Pearl Harbor Day makes us realize that we were vulnerable to someone else’s plans (as did 9/11) and we became a defensive nation as a result.

I’d like to think that here in the 21st Century it was going to get better, but I don’t really think it will. Just think of the fun we’ll get into if Gingrich becomes President.

Obama: Troops out of Iraq over next two months…

The President scored another foreign policy day following  the demise of Qaddafi… All US troops are coming home from Iraq ASAP.

The major reason is that the Iraqi government would not extend immunity from legal prosecution to US Troops if they stayed as trainers… therefore Obama is pulling them out. Relations between Iraq and America are now turned over to the State Department.

Obama’s successes in foreign policy (especially in the past year as he completed goals that the Bush administration couldn’t get to over two terms… notably the ends of Qaddafi and Bin Laden), although played down and ignored by Republicans, puts him in a position of leadership many didn’t expect. Of course, the Republicans are going to find away to play this down as well.

If we credit the Bush Administration with anything, why not the almost 4,500 military deaths in Iraq (and over 39,000 permanent injuries)?

I’m interested in what the debating clowns say next Tuesday when their topic is supposed to be Foreign Policy.

Congress pledges to work all weekend to solve Deficit Problem. I pledge to stop laughing as soon as I get off the floor.

We know for, what is now, a fact that the children in control of the House are going to pound their hands and feet on the floor to avoid compromise and the Democrats in the Senate, without seeing what the House may pass, has already vowed to vote against it.

John Boehner seems more concerned with shifting control of the Tea-Party loaded House back to his office… this, of course, he does by promoting Tea-Party principles… and Harry Reid and friends are working hrd to make sure Republicans are responsible for the Economic cesspool we are in.

President Obama seems to be staying on top of the fray… but that doesn’t mean anything is being accomplished. Then, there’s the possibility of the 14th Amendment brou-ha-ha to come into play… although Obama is indicating it won’t.

Rich and Greedy folks like the Koch Brothers are sitting on their money piles and holding off any attempts to get them to pay their fair share. Control freaks like Grover Norquist are waving signed copies of the no-tax pledges that have gotten Republicans to sign over their heads and yelling “small government” (as we continue to pursue our role as World Policeman at a cost of Billions of Bucks a day.)

And now they have indicated they will work the weekend in Congress to solve the problem… something they have not been able to do in their string of regular 3-day weeks (gee… they have to travel on Mondays and Fridays.).

I no longer wish to pay congressional salaries unless they actually come to a positive compromise. Nor do I think we should support their staffs. And if they don’t come up with this compromise.. and protect the lower and middle classes… in time for the August 2 collapse, they should be ejected from their offices as well. Let them sit out in the rain predicted for Saturday and figure out how they are going to justify their jobs.

Some thoughts while listening to the Republican “debate” in New Hampshire.

CNN

I thought I’d watch this tonight for the potential humor in the situation, but I began to realize as I watched it and started yelling at the television, that all seven of these people would be disastrous in ANY elected office.

First point: How did CNN manage to put together so many puffballs to ask these people? On top of that, why are there no followup questions when these folks tell obvious lies (or at the very least show that they are extremely misinformed)? When Romney shot down the success Obama had in saving GM and Chrysler he said that they had to go through bankruptcy anyway… did you know that? I didn’t. You would think it would have been in the news. Yet John King and the other reporters didn’t challenge the view that was brought up.

Second point: What was the point of wasting time with questions like “flat pizza or deepdish?” or “Spicy or mild wings?” Very entertaining, I guess. Not news. Not important to those seeking a President. Worse than the other softball questions.

Third point: Which one of these idiots is going to create a government where all sides work together? These folks… even Romney who changes positions from week to week… are putting themselves in as far a right wing extreme as possible. Whether it is religion, abortion, Social Security, Medicare or any other major thing which we have learned over decades that we have a right to, these “debaters” are totally blind to opposing views,

Fourth point: Are there nothing but white people in New Hampshire? As I view the, I guess, all-Republican audience, I see rows and rows of one group of Americans.

Fifth point: I don’t see anyone here that can stand up to Obama. Maybe it’s just me, but the problems these people create by cutting programs and imposing their religious and social beliefs on others are frightening.

Repeat after me: LESS TAX CUTS!

I’m getting really tired of these right-wing corporation kissers who are demanding MORE TAX CUTS when we are already taxing less as a percentage of GDP than we have since 1950 (and if you remember at that point, the upper 1% of rich Americans was being taxed close to 90%).

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BCA) puts it this way in it’s report:

Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

“‘The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts,’ says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress.”

Let’s get down to the real changes that are necessary:

A. If we are going to cut expenses let’s bring home the troops and cut the military…

B. Let’s get the same deal on pharmaceuticals that the VA has for all Americans (and save $50 Billion)…

C. Bring the tax levels on the upper 1% back to what they were the day before Bush lowered them…

Of course, we are going to see the Republicans hang on to the Paul Ryan plan because they have all but married it. Don’t expect changes from the House then. And hope that Obama and the Senate don’t knuckle under. Just get us to the 2012 elections and eject the idiots who have made the House the non-voice of the people.

Have a nice day off…

Support The Troops…

Bring Them Home.

I am curious about the Conservative concept of “Socialism”

“Those in power are blind devotees to private enterprise. They accept that degree of socialism implicit in the vast subsidies to the military-industrial-complex, but not that type of socialism which maintains public projects for the disemployed and the unemployed alike.”

William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice,  1969

Whenever one of the Conservative (read Republican) members of our Congress, or those campaigning for the Presidential nomination, discuss Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid. or unemployment funding, you are certain to hear the word “socialism” pop up with an extremely negative cloaking. It has happened so frequently that the word has lost any of it’s original meaning (“a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole” – Webster’s) and, indeed, has been connected to everything from community farming to Communism.

Socialism appeared as a concept in the early 19th Century in France (“socialisme’) which came from the concept of “social” (needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities : we are social beings as well as individuals) or “society” (the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community)…a term which itself goes back to the 16th Century.

The fact that our 21st century civilization shows that the need for the companionship of individuals, states and countries in order to face potentially devastating changes in climate, creating non-polluting energy methods to protect our air and water and educating our children to eventually take over the mess that has been made on our watch, is so obvious that many don’t see the forest for the trees.

Our job should be to make the trees visible to all, and especially to the people we elect to office… the people who make the rules and allot the funds to give us those necessary services.

And it’s not like the anti-socialist campaign of the current Conservative is something new, urged on by Corporations that are concerned… apparently by Federal regulation… only of making profits for a limited number of shareholders and executives. Justice Douglas’s quote from over four decades ago points out that it has been present for awhile. In fact, if we go back further to when Eisenhower warned us about the “military industrial complex”, something his whole career had given him great insight into, we see our post-WWII economy as a challenge we never met.

Have you wondered why, in all the discussions of the budget and raising of the debt ceiling, we have not heard people yelling for cuts in the military expenditures that keep our remaining industrial giants flowing in dough.  As a whole “community”, the military/industry mix is about as socialist as you can get. Add to that the VA medical system which provides the closest thing to “socialized medicine” (another concept that Conservatives would like to deny the average guy) that exists in the world today. This system, by the way, is praised by just about every politician, probably out of guilt from sending so many of our young soldiers into a life of crippling disabilities.

It is time to make a strong change of focus in our social environment, something which is not going to happen if we leave the decisions and actions to politicians. Republican or Democrat, they keep their jobs because of election funds for advertising and lobby persuasion with highly focused corporate contributions. As we saw, for instance, in the 1940s and 1950s, many cities lost the public transportation systems of mini-railroads that gave people inexpensive commuting transport … without parking, fuel and other expenses… due to the money spent by the automobile industry on lobbyists and state and federal (and local) political campaigns. General Motors even bragged about it in public.

The question is “how do we do it?” There are no easy answers, but I’m pretty sure it will take a lot of time and will begin on a very local level. Here in Shepherdstown, WV, our recent completion of a 10,000 square foot Community Garden allotting 10′ by 10′ growing plots to locals who have no planting areas in their town houses or  downtown apartments is a good example of modern socialism.  At a very low fee (starting at $20 and going up to $30 if you take three plots), which has paid for deer fence construction and publicity to get members, and with volunteers for construction of the fence (and the donation of land and so much more from a local entrepreneur who has created a neighboring public market to serve local farmers and craftspeople), community interdependence has resulted in community celebration.

This only one concept of local change which can be achieved. Tie that together with activities that follow such as expansion of public libraries (which is part of both education promotion and public interaction), involvement in schools beyond their operations budgets, group purchase alignments for reduction of basic living costs, etc., and you have a good start at what can then expand to the state level… and eventually to the national top. This can also, I would hope, be the start of a new political structure, beginning in local government and expanding upward over time.

Now… if we can only protect ourselves from corporate corruption and maintain the basic concept of “socialism”… that our community organization is controlled by ALL of it’s members and not the artificial “Citizens United” persons funded by the corporate bankbook.

Frontline is covering WikiLeaks on Tuesday… and is promising new info.

Bradley Manning

We haven’t heard a lot about Bradley Manning in the news lately, although the untried, unconvicted supposed leaker has been held in the military brig, often without clothes, for a year now. Oh, there was a brief statement last month about his transfer from the maximum security brig at Quantico to a medium-custody military prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, while he awaits trial. But that’s it.

PBS’s Frontline is planning an in-depth program on Manning, Julian Assange (who the info was leaked to and who published it on-line) and WikiLeaks. They  promise to air new information. My guess is that it may make the military look even worse than they do now.

Tune in to this one if you are interested in knowing what’s going on in our name that we are not told about.

A Quote for the Afternoon – doing the RIGHT thing…

“New Rule, the Pentagon must apologize to Native Americans for giving such a universally reviled character as Osama bin Laden the code name “Geronimo”… and admit they should have gone with their second choice, The Donald.”

– Bill Maher

If you’re going to make a joke, take someone who IS a joke.