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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-09-16 - 12:45 p.m.

On the Road Again!

My drivers' license came up for renewal in January '03 just after I'd had my second knee replaced and two ankle tendon surgeries. Needless to say, I could barely get around the house and didn't feel much like risking a parking lot fall, so I had not bothered to take the trip to the DMV - until this morning. A couple of weeks ago my daughter Valerie, who lives in Irvine, mentioned that her birthday is coming up, necessitating getting a new picture taken for her license. You know, every five years or so they figure we may have changed just enough to warrant a new picture. Val moaned a bit about how crowded and disorganized the DMV in Irvine is...I suggested she come up and get her license renewed in Davis. I made the appointments, she flew in last night, and this a.m. bright and early found us at the appointment counter of the DMV.

I had to take a written test - I think because I'm over 70. I stumbled over a couple of the questions - 1)allowable weight for a child of 5 and 6 to be required to wear a special child's seat [I have no children that age nor do I have any car seats, but I took a guess and got it correct.] 2) legal blood alcohol limits -- I never drink and drive, so again...moot question...and I got it wrong. I was remembering the old limit.

Anyway, my new photo makes my eyes look like those of a deer in the headlights. I tried to convince them to let me use the last photo, which looks like one of those glamour shots. My hair had just been cut and styled! Today, my hair was definitely wash and wear!

I put my second contact in to pass the eye test...and watch out, folks! I'm on the road again!


Surely you didn't think I'd go one day without a good rant, did you? What's that saying about "Denial being more than a river?" Our President is a perfect example of someone either in denial or just outright lying...take your pick.

Yesterday, totally ignoring a U.S. intelligence report of a grim future in Iraq with the possibility of civil war that had just been issued, Bush assured voters that "freedom is on the march in Iraq".

What I can't understand is how he believed the intelligence reports about WMD without any equivocation before starting the war, but chooses to ignore their intelligence and "disagree with their assessment" now when they and even the Generals are saying it's a bleak scene over there. What is wrong with this picture?

Freedom on the March in Iraq, Bush Tells Voters

By Caren Bohan

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (Reuters) - President Bush said on Thursday freedom was on the march in Iraq even as a U.S. intelligence report depicted a bleak outlook for the country's future.

Bush insisted the U.S. strategy in Iraq, where more than 1,000 U.S. troops have died, was working as he campaigned in Minnesota, a traditionally Democratic state that Republicans are targeting in the Nov. 2 election.

"In Iraq, there's ongoing acts of violence," Bush told a rally here. But he added, "Freedom is on the march," emphasizing his campaign image as a "war president" in the election battle against Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry

Sidney Blumenthal in a recent Op-Ed in The Guardian writes that the

Far graver than Vietnam.

Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale

'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.

But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

W Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq there - said: "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency". According to Terrill, the anti-US insurgency, centred in the Sunni triangle, and holding several cities and towns - including Fallujah - is expanding and becoming more capable as a consequence of US policy.

..."The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."

After the killing of four US contractors in Fallujah, the marines besieged the city for three weeks in April - the watershed event for the insurgency. "I think the president ordered the attack on Fallujah," said General Hoare. "I asked a three-star marine general who gave the order to go to Fallujah and he wouldn't tell me. I came to the conclusion that the order came directly from the White House." Then, just as suddenly, the order was rescinded, and Islamist radicals gained control, using the city as a base.

"If you are a Muslim and the community is under occupation by a non-Islamic power it becomes a religious requirement to resist that occupation," ...

"I see no exit," said Record. "We've been down that road before. It's called Vietnamisation. The idea that we're going to have an Iraqi force trained to defeat an enemy we can't defeat stretches the imagination.


There are those who believe a full assault is scheduled for immediately after the November election. Not before, because Bush doesn't want to incite the voters with additional casualties and deaths prior to the election.

Denial...I call it denial.

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