MedfordTim's Easily Ignored Musings
...we'll have to wait and see if an additional 30-40,000 changes that perception of being "occupied."
As stated in one of your snippets, Afghanistan has been in turmoil for (at least) the last 30 years. How long do you propose United States forces stay there? 'Cause NATO has been looking for a way out for about 5 years - they were more than happy to hand the reins back over to this debacle. So, propose a number - 10, 20, 30 years? More?
Surveys are wonderful things - according to them, Barack Obama will never be elected President...oh. WAIT! Imagine yourself a farmer who is caught between the West by day and the Taliban by night. One day someone approaches you as you tend your poppies and they start asking questions about how secure you feel. Are you going to be honest and tell them you NEVER feel secure or are you going to try and give them the answer they want to hear? These numbers are "feel good" and if they make you feel better about the fact that we send drones in to drop bombs on people - oops! Sorry about that, innocent bystanders! We'll try to aim better next time! - then I'm happy for you. I wish I could so easily ignore what is happening, AGAIN, in our name. Before we invaded, the way Afghanistan is run and the government in power would have assured them a place at the top of our "Drug War" wanted list - yet, here we are supporting and enabling this corrupt regime. Karzai and his brother feel pretty damn secure, too. They have the entire American military as their backup. Meanwhile, the rape numbers continue to climb and the schools are blown up as fast as they are erected. Yes, the cost of freedom from an oppressive religion based government is harsh, especially on the most innocent.
"...Understandably, these positive features are not present in the eastern and southern areas along the Pakistan border..."
Really? Where the heaviest fighting is, the people don't feel secure, but the people who live on the other side of the country where there is very little fighting and the people in Kabul where there is a soldier for every citizen are snug as little bugs in rugs. Huh. Who could have guessed?
There is NO military solution. Let me repeat that, there is NO fucking military solution. Want to win the hearts and minds? Fill the bombs with food and things people can use instead of explosives. Use the money we are wasting on things that go boom and use it the way the people who live there want us to. Water, electricity, indoor plumbing, that sort of thing. That is something the Taliban CANNOT do.
One question I would have liked to see asked in that survey is: why have troop deployments always seemed to be concentrated along the proposed oil pipeline route? Strange coincidence that the fighting has always been heaviest there, huh?
If Obama wanted to send in 30,000 people who could actually help Afghanistan regain it's footing, I wouldn't mind. SeaBees, teachers, agri-specialists, diplomats to work out areas of dispute - That is what the country is in desperate need of - not more men with guns.
I'm glad that Cenk has finally come around. Took him long enough to see the folly. I've been trying to tell him for close to 6 years, now....
Remember the outrage over Bush appointing John "Bombs Away" Bolton to the UN during a Congressional recess?
It's Goose and Gander time.
As noted over at Think Progress, quite a few Obama nominees for various position are being held up by the "Straight Up Or Down Vote" party. We have no Ambassador in Iraq because of these Republican obstructionists. (Thank you, Sam Brownback)
If you have a moment or two, maybe you could send an email to the White House or a news outlet hungry for something to talk about and suggest that President Obama follow George's lead and appoint Tammy Duckworth, Dawn Johnsen, Chris Hill, Harold Koh, and Ashton Carter while Congress is away for their recess.
If for no other reason than to watch all the Right Wing talking heads who supported Bolton's appointment go berserk with hypocrisy...
First, this article appeared at Raw Story about a bill here in Oregon which would have the state take over growing Medical Marijuana...and adding a $98 per Ounce tax.
"Oregon's current medical cannabis program allows care providers and patients to grow their own supply, but both Republicans and Democrats in the state feel the system is not working. Their solution is to bankroll the bud on the public dime and charge a weighty tax -- $98 per ounce -- every time an approved patient makes a purchase."
They carefully neglect to say what that "purchase" price may be BEFORE the tax. My letter to the Democratic sponsor of the bill below.
Dear Representative Harker,
I realize you aren't my state Rep, but since I live in the state, am a registered Democrat, and am a Medical Marijuana card holder, this legislation would affect me directly, I'd like to share my thoughts.
Are you insane?
Are you under the impression that card holders are wealthy people with vast resources? Most of us are on some form of Disability with fixed incomes. My source of income in VA Disability, $985 per month, and I am at the TOP end of the scale.
$98 per Ounce?? Are you also going to introduce legislation for pharmaceutical medicines to be taxed $1 per pill? Why not? If you want the state to get rich off sick people, why not tax hospital visits, too? Say, $500 per day? $1000?
How the hell did you arrive at the $98 figure? What is this tax based on? How much is the Ounce itself going to cost? Isn't this really Yet Another Plan to kill the Medical Marijuana program?
If your bill goes through and the state no longer allows me to legally grow my own medicine, I will be FORCED to become a "criminal." I can't afford your prices, so I will continue to grow my own and when the cops break down my door, I will go to jail. And there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of others just like me filling the court system. Will you sleep better at night knowing that people with chronic pain are safely put away in prisons where we won;t be a threat to society?
Rethink your position. Talk to some people who currently use the program instead of getting all your information from people opposed to it. Call me and let's talk about it.
A point in all this which is very important yet overlooked is that no matter if Jindal or any other Governor could and did refuse the money, the people in their state would still be responsible for paying it back.
Do they think their citizens could exempt a portion of their federal taxes because they didn't receive their "portion?" How are their citizens going to react when they figure out they paid for the band but aren't doing any of the dancing due to a grandstand play by their head of state?
Why isn't anyone talking about this?
I admit it - I have Conservative friends. I can't help it; it's the damn Liberal "acceptance" thing! Well, one of them sent me an article by Doug Patton telling me how much he agreed with it and how he couldn't understand why I didn't. Maybe this will help clear it up for him...
(AXcess News) Omaha - Remember how liberals told us that America would be respected again, by friend and foe alike, once Barack Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress were in charge of everything? Well, welcome to the real world, where friend and foe alike are either laughing at us, aghast at our stupidity or making plans to kill us.
No, the laughter you hear are the echoes trailing after the Bush administration. Thanks to him pissing away the goodwill
of the world after 9/11, the U.S. is at it's lowest popularity in history. Just in Europe, Pew Research found the following:
The world was aghast at our stupidity when Bush was re-elected in '04 - so much so that CHINA was more popular than WE were in 2005! There was a sigh of relief last November and THAT is the "real world" - not some neo-con fantasy land. Some of that laughter is, certainly, directed at asshats who are acting like it's 3 years into Obama's presidency instead of one month. What else can we expect from people who believed the Iraq war would be "Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that"
Take, for starters, President Obama's incredibly naive decisions with regard to the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, where we have been detaining terrorists and others captured on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. One of his first acts as president was to order the suspension of all military tribunals at GITMO. This decision came on the eve of the trial of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. As a result of Obama's decree, charges against this terrorist have been dropped.
Disinformation, much? The charges were dropped because he was tortured and none of the prosecution's testimony was admissible. The charges can be reinstated when they build a case not based on coerced "confessions."
I am a little shocked that this writer admits and acknowledges that there were (and are) "others" held at Guantanamo not being held for "terrorism." Now, if he could just get over the hump and acknowledge that Guantanamo is an illegal facility built on lies and bad legal findings, he could take a step back towards reality. That's not a "Liberal" finding, it was Bush's Department of Justice and the head of the War Tribunal talking.
Additionally, in order to fulfill one of his campaign promises to his far-left kook base, Obama has ordered that GITMO itself be closed within a year, which leaves us with the thorny problem of what to do with those imprisoned there. The president and his supporters wring their hands over the possibility that these thugs might be subjected to uncomfortable treatment they like to call "torture," and yet if they are sent back to their country of origin, they will likely be released, whereupon they will recommence their war against the United States. If we bring them to our own shores, you can bet dollars to donuts the ACLU will demand they be assigned public defenders and protected by the U.S. Constitution.
The problem is NOT "thorny." What needs to be done is what should have been done in the FIRST place - bring them here, charge them, have a trial. It ain't rocket science. It's what Constitutional scholars have been saying all along. Why are people like Patton afraid of the Constitution? Why the panic at the rule of law and us living up to our legal obligations instead of trying to figure a work-around? Can they point to even ONE example of a terrorist who has gone though our justice system being set free? Other than Scooter Libby, I mean...
I invite the Patton over for a couple of days - but it might be "uncomfortable" because I'm going to force a hose down his throat while playing loud music, shining bright lights in his eyes, and attach a lamp cord to his testicles - but I won't torture him...
Of course, one of the biggest sources of entertainment for our enemies has to be our wide open southern border, through which they send their minions to do us harm. Perhaps not this week; perhaps not next year; but sooner or later they will attack us, and when they do, everyone from George W. Bush to John McCain to Barack Obama who insisted on keeping that border open will have blood on his hands. Remember, our enemies are patient people. They waited eight-and-one-half years between the first and second attacks on the World Trade Center. They are patient, and they are laughing.
There's that "our enemies" toss away again. Please tell me - specifically - Who Are These Enemies? Are they the same people who have been laughing at the incompetence of the Bush waste of lives, prestige, and treasure accomplishing far more toward the aims of "our enemies" than they themselves could EVER have accomplished? I think the author is mistaking the laughter at these tired, worn out platitudes meant to keep a level of fear in the uninformed masses 1000 times greater then the situation calls for something else. The only ones being laughed at are the people who keep pushing this tripe. With a little bit of anti-Mexican prejudice thrown in to keep the racists happy. Maybe he is unaware that the stimulus bill includes $200 Million for their precious "fence."
Another source of amusement for the entire world must be our refusal to tap into our own natural resources to supply much-needed energy. Instead, we have allowed environmental crazies to hold us hostage their "green" agenda. Now those crazies are running our government, and while they fiddle with "alternate" sources of energy - most of which don't work or are not practical - they would rather continue to give billions of dollars to oil-producing nations around the world who hate us than to utilize our own resources.
"Crazies?" Pot, calling Kettle! I'm glad this moron is amused easily, it makes shopping for "shiny things" that much easier. Does Patton understand that the Bush years "war on science" and his ties to the oil industry prevented research into making alternative resources practical and workable? Of course not. He would rather have us return to the early 20th century and pretend that the same oil reserves exist today as did then. Maybe he should look up the definition of "conserve."
Finally, consider a recent comment by Lueo Ping of the Chinese Regulatory Commission, concerning the imaginary money America will have to print in order to fund our recent "stimulus" bill and other proposed spending: "We hate you guys," Ping said. "Once you start issuing $1 trillion to $2 trillion, we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys, but there is nothing much we can do." When the most repressive, controlling communist government in the world criticizes the stupidity of your policies, you know you are in uncharted monetary territory.
Idiot. Moron. Dunderhead. What is that paragraph supposed to MEAN? When one reads the article that quote was taken from, you get the humor being conveyed. Patton has taken a gentle chiding and turned it into some sort of angry rant. OF COURSE we are in "uncharted monetary territory" - thanks to Conservative fiscal policy! There is no road map for the situation we are in. Is Patton suggesting that it would be better to go through another Great Depression in order to prove a point? To let the "Free Market" run it's course so that 99% of the country gets wiped out financially so that the top 1% can eat their gold-flaked ice cream? Stupid, stupid, stupid. The typical whine of "What about ME??" we hear from Conservatives. As Rush proclaims, they would rather see the stimulus fail for political gain than to see the country pull out of this slide before it's too late.
It is said that the two things no one wants to witness being made are sausages and laws. In the case of the massive spending by Congress, think of it as sausage being created by children, without adult supervision, oversight, or FDA or USDA inspections. Imagine "Lord of the Flies" set inside a sausage factory, with malicious kids throwing everything they can find into the mix, from rotten, maggot-infested pork and rat droppings to the sweepings off the floor, and then serving it to a restaurant full of people and telling them it is the best breakfast in the world.
Patton unknowingly sums up the Bush years in a very fitting analogy complete with lack of oversight. That pretty much sums up the Bush wars, the PATRIOT Act, the illegal warrantless wiretapping program, and the propaganda campaigns used to sell it to an unwitting populace.
Now you have a pretty good image of what is happening in Washington. It is a case of congressional vandalism. And this is just the beginning. The specter of it is spellbinding, like a bloody train wreck. We want to avert our gaze but can't. It is just too exquisitely awful. And so is the laughter of our sworn enemies.
And now we have reached the end of the article with absolutely NO clarity being offered as to Patton's assertion that he knows the reason "Why our enemies are laughing at us." Blah, blah, blah. If I was his editor, I'd ask for a refund of his paycheck. Twit.
Medford Tim, ranter-at-large
Republicans would LOVE to see "payroll taxes" stopped, even if only for a day, because that would give them the opening they need to shut down Social Security.
What ARE "payroll taxes", after all? When it's a national figure talking about it, it means FICA. What they are suggesting you do by not having payroll taxes is forego your contributions to your retirement account - AND the 50% your employer kicks in.
This is the last link in the Safety Net. Are you one of those who lost half their savings toward retirement held in a mutual fund or some other private retirement account which lost between 25-75% of it's worth in the last year? Which fund didn't lose a penny? That's right - Social Security.
Don't be fooled by their labeling. They have wanted privatized accounts since Social Security came into existence. What shape would retirees be in if EVERYTHING had been in private accounts? THIS IS PRECISELY WHY SOCIAL SECURITY WAS CREATED - to make sure that if all else fell apart, retirees (and the disabled and the children of people who die before their time) will have something to live on.
This sort of "help" is of the "I'll cut my head off so I don't have to shave anymore" variety. Not good...
Continuing down the Wrong Path...
Leon Panetta has stated clearly that his CIA will not be pursuing prosecution of agents involved in torture. He decided that before going to his confirmation hearings, before meeting CIA officials in preparation of taking his office. And he backed off his assertion that the Bushies transported prisoners to be tortured elsewhere.
"It was the clearest statement yet on what Panetta and other Democratic officials had only strongly suggested: CIA officers who acted on legal orders from the Bush administration would not be held responsible for those policies."
And it didn't take long.
Mind you, these are NOT soldiers we're talking about. Not some fresh from high school pimply faced country bumpkin dunking a few Hadji's in between thoughts of diddling his girl back home.
These are highly trained, well educated people placed in extremely powerful positions in our government. I can understand people giving passes to low level soldiers following orders in the heat of battle. I cannot comprehend doing the same for people who should know better. I will not accept that they had no way of knowing that what they were doing was not right, just, or legal, no matter WHAT John Yoo said. They knew Nuremberg, they knew Geneva, they knew what treaties we are bound by law to follow, and yet they "followed orders" without question, without argument, without conscience.
Now it's: "we just can't operate if people feel even if they are following the legal opinions of the Justice Department they could be in danger of prosecution"
That's the fucking POINT, dipshit!!
We WANT them to question the legality of such orders. We WANT them to recognize when something is out-of-bounds and just plain wrong and NOT DO IT. If they don't have the ethics or the judgement to discern that making a person believe he's drowning is FUCKIN' A WRONG no matter WHO tells you it's "legal" - WE DON'T WANT THEM WORKING THERE!
They SHOULD be looking over their shoulders, because when they are, they are looking out for America. Each of these people took an oath upon entering the CIA. I can't locate a copy of that oath (Secret?), but if it follows ALL the other oaths, they pledge to uphold and defend the Constitution - not a President, not a Justice Department memo, not the illegal actions of petty despot Vice-Presidents who out one of your own.
I'm not saying "Everyone should go to jail." I AM saying that everyone must be held accountable, we need to know who did what and THEY need to know IT CANNOT HAPPEN AGAIN. A blanket amnesty of the type Panetta is tossing over this bunch ensures that they and those who follow in their footsteps will surely do it again. As long as someone claims it's legal, their asses are covered and they can do as they please.
Another step down the wrong path. I thought this was an opportunity to clean the slate, not just turn it over and use the other side...
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