Monday, March 24, 2008

Not One More: Bring Them Home!

US Deaths in Iraq Hit 4,000

The Hurt Locker

Nothing but the hurt left here.
Nothing but bullets and pain
and the bled out slumping
and all the fucks and goddamns
and Jesus Christs of the wounded.

Nothing left here but the hurt.
Believe it when you see it.
Believe it when a 12-year-old
rolls a grenade into the room.

Or when a sniper punches a hole
deep into someone’s skull.
Believe it when four men
step from a taxicab in Mosul
to shower the street in brass
and fire. Open the hurt locker
and see what there is of knives
and teeth. Open the hurt locker and learn
how rough men come hunting for souls.

Brian Turner
The Hurt Locker was first published in Crab Orchard Review, Documenting the Decade Issue.

Detroit Deserves Better

The Mayor refuses to step down in the wake of multiple scandals that have destroyed the people's confidence in his ability to manage Detroit's business.

There was a time when just the hint of malfeasance was sufficient to prompt public servants to step down. No longer. Regardless of their failings, today's public servants must be dragged kicking and protesting from elected office.

When one sees Mayor Kilpatrick attempting to divert the public's attention away from his history of unethical behavior by claiming that his attackers are fomenting a modern lynching, I'm reminded of the words of Tennessee Williams' Big Daddy, "There's a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our Lost Moment of Renewed Greatness

Obama was the right person for this moment of greatness foretold by our founding fathers. Working families with mortgaged homes living side-by-side with the world's hopeful, without the fear of medical costs foreclosing the family home. I weep for what America could have been with faith in our abilities to make things right again.

I had hoped to live long enough to see America shine once again. It's not to happen thanks to the 527s and the YouTube screeds of the Rev. Wright with his dander up.

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
Langston Hughes - Let America Be America Again

You're Terminated

You dread telling someone their services are no longer needed. Excuses to put off the inevitable arise with every replay of the dreaded moment to come. Fifteen years of honest work repaid with a last request to clear out your desk. Embarrassed moments of tears in the company restroom. A momentary splash of cold water to minimize the red eye. A few deep breaths to quell the sobs dying in the throat. Coworkers avoiding direct eye contact. In the abnormally quite office you can almost hear the refrain, "Dead man walking." You don't terminate a worker - you terminate a family.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Public is Less Aware of Iraq Casualties

Thursday, March 13, 2008

15 US Troops Killed Since Sunday;
McCain more Hawkish than Bush

If we have a liberal media, why do the deaths of our brave soldiers go unreported?

Current US deaths: 3,987
Current US wounded: 29, 395
Michigan war dead: 174

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Top Iraq contractor skirts US taxes offshore

The Boston Globe (Farah Stockman)
Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.

More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands. More ...
"Big Dick" Cheney has never been questioned about his financial interests in Halliburton/KBR. A suspicious person like myself might question the billions in DoD contracts awarded to a company whose former CEO happens to be the VP. An Army soldier told me about his experiences with an arm of KBR that provides food service to troops in Iraq. KBR charges the government about $24 per meal and bases its daily count of meals served on the number of disposable meal trays used. According to this soldier, he and many of his fellow soldiers prefer to get their meals "to-go." Not a problem for KBR folks who simply cover each "to-go" meal with a second meal tray to keep it warm. And do to its use of tray counts to determine the number of meals served, KBR receives $48 dollars for each "to-go" meal. Duyba says we're in Iraq to bring democracy to the Middle East. What bullshit! We're in Iraq because the war generates huge profits for companies like Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, and a host of other companies with connections to the Bush White House. Our precious assets are being bled out in the sands of Iraq. With almost 4,000 dead and over 30,000 seriously wounded, Senator McCain says we need to continue the fight. Unfortunately, there's no military solution to the problems in Iraq. Until our government recognizes that we can't seed democracy from the barrel of a gun, our brave soldiers will continue to pay dearly for our government's criminal incompetence.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Rep. King waxes Anti-Semitic

Republican Congressman King: Terrorists Will "Dance In the Streets" With Obama Victory

ABC News, March 08, 2008 11:19 AM

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaking to a local Iowa radio station, said that terrorists would dance in the streets if Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, is elected president -- precisely because of not only Obama's position on withdrawing US troops from Iraq, but because Obama's middle name is "Hussein," his father's Muslim roots, and his appearance -- or "optics," as King put it.

"It does matter, his middle name does matter. It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world, it has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict. More ...
Politicians like Rep. King illustrate just how shallow the congressional talent pool has become. There was a time when a public outburst like King's would have resulted in his being quietly asked to resign. Today, our professional politicians routinely transgress ethical, legal, or sexual boundaries with little or no reprimand from their fellow members. Our professional political class believe there's some inalienable birthright that secures their legislative careers. Gone is the time when just the hint of scandal was sufficient to cause one to step down for the good of the country. Our fallen politicians now have to be shamelessly dragged kicking and screaming from the halls of government.

Phony 'Voter Fraud' Angle in the U.S. Attorneys Purge Scandal

The Brad Blog (Brad Friedman)
An Insider's Report from a New Mexico Election Attorney on the Firing of David Iglesias and the Rove/DoJ/Republican Efforts to Create a 2004 'Voter Fraud' Scare in the State...

As you might expect, there is much more to the "voter fraud" angle in the U.S. Attorneys Purge scandal than initially meets the eye. As you might also expect, we've taken keen notice as we've long been following and reporting on the insidious machinations behind the GOP/White House/Rove scheme to (rather successfully) invent the cynical notion of a "voter fraud" epidemic in America for purely political purposes. More ...

So this is a three-pronged scandal. First, there is the scandal of the “voter fraud” fraud which the Republicans have been trying to use to help promote restrictive, disenfranchising voter i.d. legislation. Second, there is the scandal of the Republicans attempting to enlist the US Atty’s office in their voter fraud fraud by getting him, at taxpayer expense and contrary to the most elemental ethics, to use his office to generate headlines about “voter fraud” when none was occurring, for the sole purpose of shaving Democratic party margins. Third, there is the scandal of firing Iglesias for refusing to go along with this fraudulent manipulation. In other words, it’s not BETTER because the Republicans have been “disappointed” in Iglesias for some time. It’s WORSE.
John Boyd, Albuquerque, New Mexico, elections attorney.

"There is no Rove philosophy, doctrine, strategy. The man is the sum of his ugly tactics, a college dropout who spent a working lifetime winning, buying or stealing votes by all possible means--a porcine rooter in the garbage of American politics." Robert Stein

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Huckabee and the Right

Our deepest quarrel with fundamentalists in this country, then, is not about Iraq, health care, abortion, or gay rights. It’s about the very possibility of trying to be true without needing the truth. It’s about being able to commit to a truth while always remembering that this truth could be partial, incomplete, and provisional—a steppingstone forward, not an edifice of certitude.

Nick Bromell, Scooter and Me. The American Scholar

Would You Trust this Man as Commander-in-Chief?

CNN, April 19, 2007
WASHINGTON -- At a town hall meeting in South Carolina Wednesday, Arizona Sen. John McCain was asked if there is a plan to attack Iran. McCain began his answer by changing the words to a classic Beach Boys' song.

"You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran?" the Republican presidential candidate said. Then, he sang (caution: graphic images) "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."

Senator McCain would have us believe that Senators HRC and Obama lack the experience and strategic knowledge to answer the presidential hot line. This from a man that sang bomb, bomb Iran to a Beach Boys tune. McCain also said that we'll stay in Iraq for 100 years if that's what it takes to establish democracy. My fear is that the Conservatives will destroy American democracy long before we democratize Iraq.

[America] will always be sucker bait for the next war until the system that sustains ignorance-as-patriotism and militant religiosity ends.
Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus