Saturday, June 02, 2007

Thanks Lonna

L0nna sent me this and it is definately worth noting. She said:

It would be good for you to have read the column below when you hear the pundits really light into Edwards in the next few months. You will not, of course, get the real story. btw, has anyone seen aerial photos of all of Cheney's homes.
Feel free to forward.
Let me tell you after reading what happened to the Northwest airline employees while the 11 people who did such a great job of screwing them were allowed by the bankruptcy judge to take $60 million in bonuses for it while the pilots lost something like 900 million and the flight attendants lost $1000 a month, I think it is time we went "far left," even if Edwards were REALLY far left, which he isn't. Unfettered capitalism isn't doing much for the people, lately!! In the overall scheme of things in the world of "business," how stockholders fare matters a little. how workers fare matters not at all.
What bothered me most about Northwest was how it was reported. When I heard it reported on CNN several times as I sat waiting for my truck to be fixed, they mentioned "labor concessions" without going into detail, but they NEVER mentioned the $60 million in bonuses to the top executives! I suppose because it is SO "business as usual" for that to happen while the workers get screwed that it is not considered "news" when it happens. I think they got screwed even worse than workers for U.S. Air, and United.
I then read an article in the Minneapolis Tribune about it which went into more detail and told about the $60 million in bonuses and my blood boiled!! Some "shared sacrifice" for the good of the company!! I didn't read anything about what happened to their pensions. I know I read some time ago that taxpayers and not United will now be paying what reduced pensions United employees get. I could be wrong on that as I have not investigated it.
I heard some pundit's response to Hillary's plan of 'sharing prosperity." He yelped "sounds like socialism to me!" A little socialism in this country would be a good thing, or at least taxing the rich like Eisenhower did at 91% of the top end of their earnings, and the huge corporations like EXXON at 52% as he did would be a good thing!! Because the rich have not been taxed since Reagan and Bush is the only president not to raise taxes during war while cutting taxes for the rich even more several times, every household in this country now owes Uncle Sam over $500,000. Sorry if I am preaching, but I am really angry on behalf of the Northwest employees!! Everyone should fly Delta whenever possible. As I recall, THEIR CEO and top execs actually did sacrifice when they were in trouble!

Jeff Cohen: Are Media Out to Get John Edwards?
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 2:09pm. Guest Contribution
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTIONby Jeff Cohen Give me a break about John Edwards' pricey haircut, mansion, lecture fees, and the rest. The focus on these topics tells us two things about corporate media. One we've long known -- that they elevate personal stuff above issues. The other is now becoming clear -- that they have a special animosity toward Edwards. Is it hypocritical for the former Senator to base a presidential campaign on alleviating poverty while building himself a sprawling mansion? Perhaps. But isn't that preferable to all the millionaire candidates who neither talk about nor care about the poor? Elite media seem more comfortable with millionaire politicians who identify with their class - and half of all U.S. senators are millionaires. Trust me when I say I don't know many millionaires. Of course I don't know many presidential candidates either (except my friend Dennis Kucinich, whose net worth in 2004 was reported to be below $32,000.) But I'm growing quite suspicious about the media barrage against Edwards, who got his wealth as a trial lawyer suing hospitals and corporations. Among "top-tier" presidential candidates, Edwards is alone in convincingly criticizing corporate-drafted trade treaties and talking about workers' rights and the poor and higher taxes on the rich. He's the candidate who set up a university research center on poverty. Of the front-runners in presidential polls, he's pushing the hardest to withdraw from Iraq, and pushing the hardest on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to follow suit. Given a national media elite that worships "free trade" and disparages Democrats for catering to "extremists" such as on Iraq withdrawal, the media's rather obsessive focus on Edwards' alleged hypocrisy should not surprise us. Nor should it surprise us that we've been shown aerial pictures of Edwards' mansion in North Carolina, but not of the mansions of the other well-off candidates. Or that a snob such as Brit Hume of Fox News is chortling: "What Would Jesus Do With John Edwards' Mansion?" Or that we've heard so much about Edwards' connection to one Wall Street firm, but relatively little about the fact that other candidates, including Democrats, are so heavily funded by Wall Street interests. Or that Juan Williams and NPR this weekend teed off on Edwards for saying he's "so concerned about poverty" while pocketing hedge fund profits and $55,000 for a lecture at University of California, Davis. NPR emphasized that the Davis fee was for a "speech on poverty" -- but didn't mention that Davis paid other politicians the same or more for lectures. Or that Rudy Giuliani gets many times as much for speeches. You see, those other pols aren't hypocrites: They don't lecture about poverty. What's really behind the media animus toward Edwards is his "all-out courting of the liberal left-wing base" (ABC News) or his "looking for some steam from the left" (CNN). One of the wise men of mainstream punditry, Stuart Rothenberg, said it clearest in a Roll Call column complaining of Edwards' "class warfare message" and his "seeming insatiable desire to run to the left"; the column pointed fingers of blame at Edwards' progressive campaign co-chair David Bonior; consultant Joe Trippi; groups such as and Democracy for America; and a bring-our-troops-home message "imitating either Jimmy Stewart or Cindy Sheehan." Leave it to Fox's Bill O'Reilly to take the mainstream current over the cliff - bellowing Tuesday that Edwards has "sold his soul to the far left... MoveOn's running him... His support on the Internet is coming from the far left, which is telling him what to do." What seems to worry pundits -- whether centrist or rightist -- is that Edwards is leading in polls in Iowa, where the first caucuses vote next January. Indeed, current media coverage of Edwards bears an eerie resemblance to the scary reporting on the Democratic frontrunner four years ago, Howard Dean. If Edwards is still ahead as the Iowa balloting nears, expect coverage to get far nastier. The media barrage against Dean in the weeks before Iowa -- "too far left" and "unelectable" with a high "unfavorable" rating -- helped defeat him. (I write those words as someone who was with Kucinich at the time.) Today, elite media are doing their best to raise Edwards' unfavorable rating. But the independent media and the Netroots are four years stronger -- and have more clout vis-a-vis corporate media -- than during Dean's rise and fall. And it's hard for mainstream pundits to paint Edwards as "unelectable." Polls suggest he has wide appeal to non-liberals and swing voters. After years of pontificating about how Southern white candidates are the most electable Democrats for president, it'd be ironic for even nimble Beltway pundits to flip-flop and declare that this particular white Southerner is a bad bet simply because he talks about class issues.

Now while I may not agree with all the numbers on taxation, the idea that we should cut anybodys taxes, expecially the most wealthy, during a war that is suppose to be about the survival of our country it's self seems a bit disingenuous to me at least. Dell just turned in numbers that beat wall street estimates. Did that productivity result in job security for their employees? Not the 10% of employees that were told they had lost their job.
You see if they are to remain competitive and make maximum money they need to eliminate the very expensive "people" segment. Then maximum dollars could be obtained. Of course there are a few obvious flaws in this plan too but as Lana said above. Unfettered capitolism is not the answer. I would argue unfettered socialism isn't either but we had better quit pushing the extremes and find something that can work for all of us. That is the American spirit.

Monday, May 28, 2007

What Do We Expect Them To Do?

Here's some snippets of.. this story.... from the New York Times.

“I thought, ‘What are we doing here? Why are we still here?’ ” said Sergeant Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. “We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us.”
His views are echoed by most of his fellow soldiers in Delta Company, renowned for its aggressiveness.

A small minority of Delta Company soldiers — the younger, more recent enlistees in particular — seem to still wholeheartedly support the war. Others are ambivalent, torn between fear of losing more friends in battle, longing for their families and a desire to complete their mission.....
“We’ve captured 4 of the top 10 most-wanted guys in this area,” he said. And the streets of Kadhimiya are filled with shoppers and the stores are open, he said, a rarity in Baghdad due partly to Delta Company’s patrols. .......“My guys are all professionals. I tell them to do something, they do it.” His dictum is proved on patrol, where his soldiers walk the streets for hours in the stifling heat, providing cover for one another with crisp efficiency. ........

.....When the battle was over, Delta Company learned that among the enemy dead were at least two Iraqi Army soldiers that American forces had helped train and arm.
“The 29th was a watershed moment in a negative sense, because the Iraqi Army would not fight with us,” Captain Rogers said, adding, “Some actually picked up weapons and fought against us.”
The battle changed the attitude among his soldiers toward the war, he said.
“Before that fight, there were a few true believers.” Captain Rogers said. “After the 29th, I don’t think you’ll find a true believer in this unit. They’re paratroopers. There’s no question they’ll fulfill their mission. But they’re fighting now for pride in their unit, professionalism, loyalty to their fellow soldier and chain of command.”
To Sergeant O’Flarity, the Iraqi security forces are militias beholden to local leaders, not the Iraqi government. “Half of the Iraqi security forces are insurgents,” he said.
As for his views on the war, Sergeant O’Flarity said, “I don’t believe we should be here in the middle of a civil war.”
“We’ve all lost friends over here,” he said. “Most of us don’t know what we’re fighting for anymore. We’re serving our country and friends, but the only reason we go out every day is for each other.”

.........Sergeant Griffin understands the criticism of the Iraqi forces, but he believes they, and the war effort, must be given more time.
“If we throw this problem to the side, it’s not going to fix itself,” he said. “We’ve created the Iraqi forces. We gave them Humvees and equipment. For however long they say they need us here, maybe we need to stay.”

I respect his dedication and service but I think it is time for him to come home, or at least be moved to more fruitful ground. We are not fixing the problem the way we are doing it. It continues to worsen. We did give them Humvees and equipment which I knew would be a problem eventually. They are already starting to use what we gave them against us. Let's refocus our terrorism efforts in...Oh,... lets say Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and maybe even here in America. I think there is a lot of evidence that those would be far more key areas than Iraq. Who knows, we might even get Bin Laden!

Memorial Day

Here's a guy in the Des Moines Register that got a “letter from a solider” that excoriated the media and liberals as the enemy of all they are doing:

His greatest frustration? The performance of the people who deliver the news to the American people.I'll let him say it, in his own words, in the letter, which found its way to me:"Hello media, do you know you indirectly kill American soldiers every day? You inspire and report the enemy's objective every day. You are the enemy's greatest weapon. The enemy cannot beat us on the battlefield so all he does is try to wreak enough havoc and have you report it every day. With you and the enemy using each other, you continually break the will of the American public and American government."We go out daily and bust and kill the enemy, uncover and destroy huge weapons caches and continue to establish infrastructure. So daily we put a whoopin on the enemy, but all the enemy has to do is turn on the TV and get re-inspired. He gets to see his daily roadside bomb, truck bomb, suicide bomber or mortar attack. He doesn't see any accomplishments of the U.S. military (FOX, you're not exempt, you suck also).

First, I respect their service, I admire their drive and determination to do their job well. I understand their obsession with winning the battle. It's what they are there to do for God Sakes! I most admire that they risk their lives. I have no doubt that each one of them has noble intentions. I am not of the opinion that this whole quagmire of failure has anything to do with them. As a matter of fact they won some time ago, but the Commander And Chief keeps changing the mission and unendingly raising the bar making success a distant and impossible mission.

All that said, let's take a sober rational look at this. Under the Constitution it is not up to the soldiers or the military whether we continue in a war or not. It is, through indirect Democracy, up to the people of the United States. That absolutely includes the troops but is largely up to the civilians who are not as emotionally invested to make a rational decision. We owe the solider the support in college, medical care and all the things that are promised to them. If we don't uphold our promises to them...well, I can't think of a more dishonorable thing to do to our troops.
It is quite possible that the media is not showing our bombing or machine gunning down of the enemy. It is quite possible that they aren't giving the count of how many we have killed. That may be to the advantage of our soldiers. If the enemy were seeing how many of them were dying everyday I think that may embolden them even more.
I am sure the soldiers feel a sense of pride when they destroy a huge weapons cache and attempt to put the infrastructure back on track. They are certainly doing what they have been asked to do and doing it well. I think the overwhelming number of Americans know this. Unfortunately they have done all they can do. The bringing peace side hasn't kept up with the winning the war side. That is hurting the winning the war side. The ultimate victory is peace. We can not get there by military alone. They only have a part and it is done. It is easy to make a huge list of things the bungled Cheney plan has done to embolden the enemy. If anybody doubts just ask. I think most people reading this blog know a number of them.
Finally, I again see in this article another attempt to turn other Americans into the enemy or enemy sympathizers. I am so tired of this. It is time to end it and I am never going to let it ' just pass' again. Since terrorism is now far worse than it was after 2001. Since more soldiers are now dying; since the American people have held with this longer than we took to win WW2, I think it would be a crime if there was no one criticizing this terrorism fighting plan. It's not the soldiers plan, they are doing what they are told. Don't dare equate me with an enemy sympathizer though. Troop or not I will immediately dismiss you . Ron's not EVEN playin dat. When you get back to the planet of common sense we can talk.
God Bless America and all the wonderful things in it's potential to represent.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

God Bless America

Watching NASCAR tonight. Ya, I know, big surprise. An interesting bit occurred though. They showed a crew member who had served in Iraq. The young guy was Vietnamese. However he was born and raised in America, and served our country. While he was of the Vietnamese race he was surely as much an American as any of us. It really gave me an, as of lately, rare very proud moment.
This is also a good example of why I can not believe people get away with calling huge masses of other Americans "terrorist sympathiser" and belching "they hate America". How disgustingly short of the American spirit is that! I think every time someone says something like that the response should be ...HOW DARE YOU! Don't let them get away with that crap. It's disgustingly low mudball politics. Here's to an America that belongs to us all . THANK YOU veterans for being willing to risk your life for our country. I hope we all can help you preserve all you fought for.