powered by SignMyGuestbook.com

Wednesday Whatevers

Click here to join writercircle
Click to join WriterCircle

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

Get your ow
n diary at DiaryLand.com! contact me older entries newest entry

2004-09-28 - 5:27 p.m.

My husband and I received this forwarded e-mail from our Republican sister-in-law today:

Hello,

The biggest problem we have with all the data we're fed each day is that nothing is ever put in perspective anymore.

We normally loose about 6,600 people each day in this country. Big number. Compare it to the news. I would opine (I haven't researched it yet) that we loose as many people in the military daily in regular training, as we do with the current conflicts.

Each is a horrible tragedy for someone. So if 3 die in a unique, political, or attention-grabbing manner, this is for some reason played to us ad nauseam, thrown in our face, demanding our emotions, causing our own guilt, etc. Now I absolutely, positively do not mean to diminish the loss of someone in the military, but I just want to say that we're no longer given facts or informed of the large picture and we're also too busy to research all we're being mentally fed every second of our waking day.

We've got to spread the word that television and radio do not exist to entertain, but are merely tools used to sell merchandise, make others more wealthy, and influence political opinions. Dangerous stuff if you think about it...

And then there was a personal rant about Hummers, $450 sunglasses, American self-indulgence and propensity to be duped by media. And, of course, a “bless this email if this idea gets passed around.”

First of all, “loose” means unfettered, inaccurate, hanging, droopy. I do believe the writer of the original e-mail means “lose”, a euphemism in this case for death. Let’s call it what it is – people are dying and will continue to die in untold numbers for years to come. Untold numbers because we only hear about the Americans that die in our news media. However, the Iraq Occupation
Report
does give some numbers from April 5th when the ministry began keeping track: 3,487 Iraqi deaths (328 women and children) and another 13,720 injured, during which time 432 American soldiers were killed.

Juan Cole, a history professor at University of Michigan who specializes in Shiite Islam, said the widespread casualties meant that coalition forces already had lost the political campaign: "I think they lost the hearts and minds a long time ago."

Although American military officials say they're targeting only terrorists and are aggressively working to spare innocent people nearby, "they are trying to keep U.S. military casualties to a minimum in the run-up to the U.S. elections" by using airstrikes instead of ground forces, he said.

Nearly a third of the Iraqi dead - 1,122 - were killed in August, according to the statistics. May was the second deadliest month, with 749 Iraqis killed, and 319 were killed in June, the least violent month. Most of those killed lived in Baghdad; the ministry found that 1,068 had died in the capital.

Many Iraqis said they thought the numbers showed that the multinational forces disregarded their lives.

Does that put things in perspective? For a party that espouses being pro-life, it seems a bit ironic to me they are so casual about killing civilians. Of course, it's easier to think of "losing" these bodies, I suppose. My belief system believes these dead were once someone's babies. [And this is the same administration that is worrying about stem-cell research!]

Kerry Will Restore American Dignity
2004 Lone Star Iconoclast Presidential Endorsement

I just received the following endorsement of John Kerry for President by none other than the Lone Star Iconoclast, Bush’s Crawford, Texas, hometown newspaper from my friend Bev from Funny The World. I’m delighted to say, I agree! I’ll print it in its entirety:

Few Americans would have voted for George W. Bush four years ago if he had promised that, as President, he would:

• Empty the Social Security trust fund by $507 billion to help offset fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time slash Social Security benefits

• Cut Medicare by 17 percent and reduce veterans’ benefits and military pay.

• Eliminate overtime pay for millions of Americans and raise oil prices by 50 percent.

• Give tax cuts to businesses that sent American jobs overseas, and, in fact, by policy encourage their departure.

• Give away billions of tax dollars in government contracts without competitive bids.

• Involve this country in a deadly and highly questionable war, and

• Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficit in the history of the United States, creating a debt in just four years that will take generations to repay

These were elements of a hidden agenda that surfaced only after he took office.
The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda.

Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry, based not only on the things that Bush has delivered, but also on the vision of a return to normality that Kerry says our country needs.

Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq.

President Bush has announced plans to change the Social Security system as we know it by privatizing it, which when considering all the tangents related to such a change, would put the entire economy in a dramatic tailspin.

The Social Security Trust Fund actually lends money to the rest of the government in exchange for government bonds, which is how the system must work by law, but how do you later repay Social Security while you are running a huge deficit? It’s impossible, without raising taxes sometime in the future or becoming fiscally responsible now. Social Security money is being used to escalate our deficit and, at the same time, mask a much larger government deficit, instead of paying down the national debt, which would be a proper use, to guarantee a future gain.

Privatization is problematic in that it would subject Social Security to the ups, downs, and outright crashes of the Stock Market. It would take millions in brokerage fees and commissions out of the system, and, unless we have assurance that the Ivan Boeskys and Ken Lays of the world will be caught and punished as a deterrent, subject both the Market and the Social Security Fund to fraud and market manipulation, not to mention devastate and ruin multitudes of American families that would find their lives lost to starvation, shame, and isolation.

Kerry wants to keep Social Security, which each of us already owns. He says that the program is manageable, since it is projected to be solvent through 2042, with use of its trust funds. This would give ample time to strengthen the economy, reduce the budget deficit the Bush administration has created, and, therefore, bolster the program as needed to fit ever-changing demographics.

Our senior citizens depend upon Social Security. Bush’s answer is radical and uncalled for, and would result in chaos as Americans have never experienced. Do we really want to risk the future of Social Security on Bush by spinning the wheel of uncertainty?

In those dark hours after the World Trade Center attacks, Americans rallied together with a new sense of patriotism. We were ready to follow Bush’s lead through any travail. He let us down. When he finally emerged from his hide-outs on remote military bases well after the first crucial hours following the attack, he gave sound-bytes instead of solutions.

He did not trust us to be ready to sacrifice, build up our public and private security infrastructure, or cut down on our energy use to put economic pressure on the enemy in all the nations where he hides. He merely told us to shop, spend, and pretend nothing was wrong.

Rather than using the billions of dollars expended on the invasion of Iraq to shore up our boundaries and go after Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Arabian terrorists, the funds were used to initiate a war with what Bush called a more immediate menace, Saddam Hussein, in oil-rich Iraq. After all, Bush said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction trained on America. We believed him, just as we believed it when he reported that Iraq was the heart of terrorism. We trusted him.

The Iconoclast, the President’s hometown newspaper, took Bush on his word and editorialized in favor of the invasion. The newspaper’s publisher promoted Bush and the invasion of Iraq to Londoners in a BBC interview during the time that the administration was wooing the support of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Again, he let us down.

We presumed the President had solid proof of the existence of these weapons, what and where they were, even as the search continued. Otherwise, our troops would be in much greater danger and the premise for a hurried-up invasion would be moot, allowing more time to solicit assistance from our allies.
Instead we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda.

Now he argues unconvincingly that Iraq was providing safe harbor to terrorists, his new key justification for the invasion. It is like arguing that America provided safe harbor to terrorists leading to 9/11.
Once and for all, George Bush was President of the United States on that day. No one else. He had been President nine months, he had been officially warned of just such an attack a full month before it happened. As President, ultimately he and only he was responsible for our failure to avert those attacks.

We should expect that a sitting President would vacation less, if at all, and instead tend to the business of running the country, especially if he is, as he likes to boast, a “wartime president.” America is in service 365 days a year. We don’t need a part-time President who does not show up for duty as Commander-In-Chief until he is forced to, and who is in a constant state of blameless denial when things don’t get done.
What has evolved from the virtual go-it-alone conquest of Iraq is more gruesome than a stain on a White House intern’s dress. America’s reputation and influence in the world has diminished, leaving us with brute force as our most persuasive voice.

Iraq is now a quagmire: no WMDs, no substantive link between Saddam and Osama, and no workable plan for the withdrawal of our troops. We are asked to go along on faith. But remember, blind patriotism can be a dangerous thing and “spin” will not bring back to life a dead soldier; certainly not a thousand of them.
Kerry has remained true to his vote granting the President the authority to use the threat of war to intimidate Saddam Hussein into allowing weapons inspections. He believes President Bush rushed into war before the inspectors finished their jobs.

Kerry also voted against President Bush’s $87 billion for troop funding because the bill promoted poor policy in Iraq, privileged Halliburton and other corporate friends of the Bush administration to profiteer from the war, and forced debt upon future generations of Americans.

Kerry’s four-point plan for Iraq is realistic, wise, strong, and correct. With the help from our European and Middle Eastern allies, his plan is to train Iraqi security forces, involve Iraqis in their rebuilding and constitution-writing processes, forgive Iraq’s multi-billion dollar debts, and convene a regional conference with Iraq’s neighbors in order to secure a pledge of respect for Iraq’s borders and non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.

The publishers of the Iconoclast differ with Bush on other issues, including the denial of stem cell research, shortchanging veterans’ entitlements, cutting school programs and grants, dictating what our children learn through a thought-controlling “test” from Washington rather than allowing local school boards and parents to decide how young people should be taught, ignoring the environment, and creating extraneous language in the Patriot Act that removes some of the very freedoms that our founding fathers and generations of soldiers fought so hard to preserve.

We are concerned about the vast exportation of jobs to other countries, due in large part to policies carried out by Bush appointees. Funds previously geared at retention of small companies are being given to larger concerns, such as Halliburton — companies with strong ties to oil and gas. Job training has been cut every year that Bush has resided at the White House.

Then there is his resolve to inadequately finance Homeland Security and to cut the Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS) by 94 percent, to reduce money for rural development, to slash appropriations for the Small Business Administration, and to under-fund veterans’ programs.

Likewise troubling is that President Bush fought against the creation of the 9/11 Commission and is yet to embrace its recommendations.
Vice President Cheney’s Halliburton has been awarded multi-billion-dollar contracts without undergoing any meaningful bid process — an enormous conflict of interest — plus the company has been significantly raiding the funds of Export-Import Bank of America, reducing investment that could have gone toward small business trade.

When examined based on all the facts, Kerry’s voting record is enviable and echoes that of many Bush allies who are aghast at how the Bush administration has destroyed the American economy. Compared to Bush on economic issues, Kerry would be an arch-conservative, providing for Americans first. He has what it takes to right our wronged economy.

The re-election of George W. Bush would be a mandate to continue on our present course of chaos. We cannot afford to double the debt that we already have. We need to be moving in the opposite direction.
John Kerry has 30 years of experience looking out for the American people and can navigate our country back to prosperity and re-instill in America the dignity she so craves and deserves. He has served us well as a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and has had a successful career as a district attorney, lieutenant governor, and senator.

Kerry has a positive vision for America, plus the proven intelligence, good sense, and guts to make it happen.

That’s why The Iconoclast urges Texans not to rate the candidate by his hometown or even his political party, but instead by where he intends to take the country. The Iconoclast wholeheartedly endorses John Kerry.

And doesn’t that just about say it all?

Baghdad Burning

Please stop by these two sites:Hold Them Accountable, where there is a petition to the moderators of the debates asking that some hard questions be asked, and Baghdad Burning. Here’s an excerpt from the latter site. It gives you an idea of what some Iraqis think of Prime Minister Allawi’s impressions of his country’s state:
You know things are really going downhill in Iraq, when the Bush speech-writers have to recycle his old speeches. Listening to him yesterday, one might think he was simply copying and pasting bits and pieces from the older stuff. My favorite part was when he claimed, "Electricity has been restored above pre-war levels..." Even E. had to laugh at that one. A few days ago, most of Baghdad was in the dark for over 24 hours and lately, on our better days, we get about 12 hours of electricity. Bush got it wrong (or Allawi explained it to incorrectly)- the electricity is drastically less than pre-war levels, but the electricity BILL is way above pre-war levels. Congratulations Iraqis on THAT!! Our electricity bill was painful last month. Before the war, Iraqis might pay an average of around 5,000 Iraqi Dinars a month for electricity (the equivalent back then of $2.50) - summer or winter. Now, it's quite common to get bills above 70,000 Iraqi Dinars... for half-time electricity. After Bush finished his piece about the glamorous changes in Iraq, Allawi got his turn. I can't seem to decide what is worse- when Bush speaks in the name of Iraqi people, or when Allawi does. Yesterday's speech was particularly embarrassing. He stood there groveling in front of the congress- thanking them for the war, the occupation and the thousands of Iraqi lives lost... and he did it all on behalf of the Iraqi people. It was infuriating and for maybe the hundredth time this year, I felt rage. Yet another exile thanking the Bush administration for the catastrophe we're trying to cope with. Our politicians are outside of the country 90% of the time (by the way, if anyone has any news of our president Ghazi Ajeel Al Yawir, do let us know- where was he last seen or heard?), the security situation is a joke, the press are shutting down and pulling out and our beloved exiles are painting rosey pictures for the American public- you know- so everyone who voted for Bush can sleep at night.
And a blog worth reading every week is this one by Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan...especially the one entitled If American Were Iraq.What Would It Be Like?

Remember it was not long ago that a US administration called Saddam Hussein "friend."

Sign up for my Notify List and get email when I update!

email:
powered by
NotifyList.com
Visit the U.S. National Debt Clock

Electoral College Vote - Current

Current Iraq Body Count

previous - next

about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at DiaryLand.com!