Which is of course, all that we “Obama Haters” ever wanted.
Well, I suppose we want him to be JUST as feisty on other issues too….like say, War crimes and stuff.
Jul 20 2009
Coming to you hot off the web page presses via The Cute Husband Who Works There(tm), this just in:
NEW YORK (July 16, 2009) – Four of the nation’s leading experts in suicide research, including Dr. John Mann of Columbia University Medical Center, will carry out the largest study of suicide and mental health among military personnel ever undertaken, with $50 million in funding from the U.S. Army. The announcement came today from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which signed a memorandum of agreement with the Army in October 2008 authorizing the NIMH to undertake the investigation with Army funding. Study investigators aim to move quickly to identify risk and protective factors for suicide among soldiers and provide a science base for effective and practical interventions to reduce suicide rates and address associated mental health problems.
Follow the link for the rest of the press release.
Since 2006, the average number of military suicides has skyrocketed. The last statistic I saw was 18 per month. This hidden casualty rate, part and parcel of the generally piss poor way veterans have been treated by the Bush administration, remains hidden in part because were these statistics common knowledge, the military would have difficulty meeting it’s enlistment quotas.
This iconic image is of Private First Class Joseph P. “Doc” Dwyer, a soldier from Long Island, NY. This obviously heroic, strong and compassionate man is one of far too many who are no longer with us. After his discharge, his life fell apart in a horror show of PTSD. He began “huffing” (inhaling solvents) and abusing alcohol and pills to ease the painful memories he brought home with him. Shortly after his friends tried to do an intervention in 2005, he shot up his apartment.
He overdosed on prescription medication and inhalants in North Carolina on June 28th, 2008. He was 31 years old. He is as much a casualty of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as anyone who died in the line of duty.
A Columbia University professor has also been noteworthy for her effort to draw attention to the plight women in the military currently face. In parallel with Col(ret) Ann Wright, Congresswoman Jane Harman and Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Columbia journalism professor Helen Benedict has recently published “The Lonely Soldier”, a collection of non-fictional stories told by women stationed in Iraq about the additional pressure they face dealing with sexual harassment and rape by those who wear the same uniform and serve beside them. For a short time there was a play, The Lonely Soldier Monologues, that was based on the book. This effort brings home the equally hidden statistic that one in three women serving in the US military today is raped by someone in her command. As Rep. Harman put it, a woman is more likely to be raped by a fellow servicemember or contractor than she is to be shot by the enemy.
Military sexual trauma is only part of the equation. PTSD; repetitive deployments of people physically and/or mentally unfit for duty; a concentrated effort to deny veterans their benefits based on trumped-up “pre-existing conditions”; the resurgence of “Spin Codes” (secret and discriminatory codes embedded into a servicemember’s discharge paperwork which can interfere with their ability to get a job or claim benefits) – all of these play a role.
I greatly look forward to what this study will reveal; and I equally look forward to the tepid response by the wholly-owned mainstream media who would like this oh-so-bad-for-the-war-business issue – and it’s sizeable crop of “problem children” for whom the big lie no longer works to simply… go away.
Jul 20 2009
Samadhi and the God-laugh of creation
I found myself one night sitting back with my eyes closed and witnessing what I could never truly describe but what I can best suggest as the dynamic, uncreated, convulsing, primordial energy of the universe; the fiery, orgiastic rippling cauldron of molten prima materia, cascading about within me, and then pouring out into the world as form; and it was upon opening my eyes that I recognized what I had never conceived as plausible- that I was carrying within myself this living, undulating, cosmic clay which I was projecting out and thus manufacturing the world; which is to say, I knew then that …I was God, and that we are all God, effortlessly producing a world yet without a clue of how we are doing it. I was making everything that night. The whole thing. That is, I was making the world, but not the I who the world thought I was, not even the nobody who I was, but the I which lives before the me in all of us; the original self, casting out the glowing, red, swirling energy of creation, out of the core, out of the mind of God, out into the realm of form, figure, and content.
And let me tell you I was laughing. I was laughing a laugh I had never laughed before in my life. I was laughing God’s laugh- the God-laugh which has never known care, nor worry, nor entrapment; the God-laugh which sprays out the universe from the immanent, infinite, incomprehensible bliss of formless consciousness; the great, emancipating God-laugh of hilarious nonexpectation, disbelief, and ambitionless wonder at the impossibility and unavoidable realization that I, God, was creating the miracle of creation.
Jul 20 2009
The LA Times reports the U.S. is increasing counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan. The Drug Enforcement Administration is sending dozens of DEA agents to Afghanistan. “The increased DEA effort is aimed at more than a dozen drug kingpins whose networks are producing vast amounts of hashish, opium, morphine and heroin”.
“The number of DEA agents and analysts in Afghanistan will rise from 13 to 68 by September, and to 81 in 2010. More agents will also be deployed in Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, the NY Times reports the Pentagon Seeks to overhaul prisons in Afghanistan. “Under the new approach, the United States would help build and finance a new Afghan-run prison for the hard-core extremists who are now using the poorly run Afghan corrections system as a camp to train petty thieves and other common criminals to be deadly militants”. Along with “vocational skills”, inmates “would be taught about moderate Islam”.
Elsewhere, the LA Times reports a Helicopter crash in Afghanistan kills 16 civilian contractors. Russian news “identified the owner and operator of the helicopter as the Russian company Vertikal-T”.
This was the second crash in less than a week. “Six Ukrainian contractors were killed when their helicopter went down Tuesday in Helmand… Sunday’s crash came a day after an American F-16 fighter jet went down in eastern Afghanistan, killing the two-member crew.”
The LA Times adds Captors release video of U.S. soldier held in Afghanistan. The military identified the captured soldier as Pvt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho. The CS Monitor speculates Bergdahl may be Held by Haqqani network.
Four at Four looks at the evolution of CIA torture, CDC reports Bush administration policies sharply increased teenage pregnancies and syphilis, engineers got the U.S. to the moon, and the blob is identified.
Jul 20 2009
The assault has been brutal.
Insurance industry flacks, raving RePugs, craven Blue Dogs and K Street hacks have been beating the hell out of health care reform for weeks. Senator Jim DeMint (Orc) South Carolina is blasting it as National Socialism. The Mighty Wurlitzer up there in the organ loft of the Bipartisan Church of Beltway Believers has been cranked up to full volume, the choir is piously singing Onward Centrist Soldiers, the congregation is rolling in the aisles, speaking in tongues, the holy saints of Blue Cross and CIGNA must be defended, the trumpets have sounded, the heathens are at the gates, the Capitalists of Christ are no longer going to tolerate the unjust slandering of his Good Samaritan health insurance providers. Verily, the Prince of Profits has said unto them: those evil unhinged godless Leftists bent upon destroying the best health care system in the world must be slain and cast into the Lake of Fire.
As Armageddon approaches, the immaculately centrist Gang of Six is offering some friendly advice to Obama. They’re saying what reciters of the Catechism of Centrism always say when a Democratic President needs to be reminded that elections only have consequences when RePugs win them . . .
Bipartisanship is a temple,
It’s a higher law,
Bipartisanship is a temple,
It’s the higher law.
We’ve all heard their sermons, we’ve all heard them singing the praises of bipartisanship, we’ve all seen them telling Obama to sing along, telling him to join them in moderate fellowship, telling him to enter that Cathedral of Centrism and worship beside them.
Yeah. We’ve all seen it.
They ask Obama to enter,
But then they make him crawl.
So American soldiers are still dying, the NSA is still spying, CIA drones are still flying, Big Pharma, the Lords of Drugs, Blue Cross hacks and CIGNA thugs are still lying. We’re told we have to be patient while our wise and caring leaders decide what’s best for us, we’re told there must be compromise, we’re told we have to hold onto the healthcare we’ve got until a few drops of reform finally trickle down from on high later this year or maybe next year or the year after that.
Well we can’t be holding on,
To what we’ve got,
When all we’ve got is hurt . . .
Jul 20 2009
Happy Monday and welcome the Dog’s ongoing letter writing campaign in support of accountability for the Bush Administrations apparent State Sponsored Torture program. The basic idea of this campaign is to keep the issue of torture accountability in the minds of the decision makers. To do this the Dog writes a letter every week that you the reader can then either use as the jumping off point for your own letter or can cut and paste and send it to the links provided.
“Originally posted at Squarestate.net“
Jul 20 2009
Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee asks:
Is this the time to launch construction of a high-speed railroad line between Northern and Southern California that will cost at least $40 billion, much of it from bonds to be repaid from a state budget that’s already gushing red ink?
Yes, say its fervent advocates, contending that a bullet train, similar to those in Europe and Japan, will reduce air and auto congestion, reduce greenhouse gases and generate many billions of dollars in economic benefits.
Dan Walters then throws all the complaints about the California HSR project he can find into a big pot, and stirs. Underneath the individual “points”, lies the main New Hooverist thesis … in hard times, we cannot afford to invest in the future.
Jul 20 2009
We are One People.
We are One Planet.
We are One Heart…or are we?
We are only one people, though some people want to divide us.
We have only one planet, though some people want to destroy it.
There is only one world economy, because there are only one set of resources on the planet….though some people want to steal them for themselves.
We have only one heart, that cries out when the children are starving, when the elders can’t get the care they need when a family is foreclosed from its home, when someone is unjustly jailed…or when someone is tortured or killed.
Yet the same people who want to divide us…are the same people who want to destroy the planet, they are the same people who want all the planets resources for themselves, leaving others in poverty, they are the same people who starve the children, they are the same people who deny the elders health care, they are the same people who kicks families out of their homes, they are the same people who send us to jail for smoking pot, they are the same people who torture and kill.
We are one people, who wish to live in peace, share with our neighbors, protect the mother earth, and see equal justice for all.
But then again, we are not. We are not One, after all then, are we? We are Two, there are the We and there are the They. There are seven billion of us and only a few million of them. And yet, they have all the power.
It is hard for us, those who are of the One Heart, who know that we are ALL of the One Heart, to exclude anyone. It makes us sad to even think that way.
But wait, there are actually THREE of us. Those of Us of the One Heart that wish to live in Peace, those of Them that wish to divide us……and the people that they have been successful at dividing from the One Heart. Those of Us who do not understand that they have been divided, those who are confused about which group of Us they belong to.
But wait! There are actually FOUR of Us!
Those of Us of the One Heart that wish to live in Peace, those of Them that wish to divide us, those of Us that they have been successful in dividing from the One Heart…..and those of Us They have divided…..who are now waking up to the stone cold fact that They who would divide Us would as soon kill them and their children as give them the time of day.
It is indeed painful for those of the One Heart to contemplate and realize that there is not just One. Of Us. It is hard for us to have to fight against Them. When all we want is Peace and Justice and prosperity for ALL of Us.
But the only way we can have peace and justice and prosperity IS for all of Us to fight, non-violently and with as little hate as we can, against those with the power to divide us, those with the power to starve children, to create economic inequality, to wage war, to torture. it is only through pointing out what They are doing and how They do it that we can decrease the size of Group Number Three and increase the size of Group Number Four.
Increase it until there are so few of Us who are still confused about where the true interests, the true Greater Good lies….that They are left all alone. With none of Us to do Their bidding.
This is a unique time for Us. A time when They, empowered by the Selection of one of Them…
…FAR overplayed Their hand.
Jul 20 2009
Can you imagine this crook in the White House? No way this is in the cards for America’s future! No way this white supremacist will be allowed in the White House!
Barbour Ignores Budget-balancing Stimulus in Fox News Criticisms
By Bill Minor, 7-19-09
Jackson, Miss – Call it chutzpah, biting the hand that feeds you, or whatever else you might call it when the beneficiary of largesse disdains the one who made the goodies possible.
Gov. Haley Barbour goes on Fox News Channel’s (where else?) Sean Hannity show four days after Mississippi’s Legislature has handed him a balanced state budget without draconian agency cuts or big tax increases, thanks largely to money from President Obama’s $785 billion stimulus package, officially known as American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Does Haley tell Sean anything about how the Obama stimulus money plugged gaping holes in the Mississippi budget? He does not.
No, he tears into the stimulus package with all the pat phrases from the Republican Party playbook.
“Too much spending on social policy and not enough on infrastructure,” Barbour repeats, followed by the old GOP standby: “not enough tax cuts.”
Adding, of course, “It would make a lot more sense if they’d given states more discretion over how to spend the money.”
Translation: Give me say-so on where to put the money (we all remember how Barbour shifted $600 million in Katrina money intended to rebuild housing on the devastated Gulf Coast to the Port of Gulfport’s 10-year old expansion plan that includes creating casino-hotel sites.)
What were the “social policy” programs Barbour told Fox viewers were wrongly included in Obama’s recovery package?
Did that apply to the $160 million stimulus money that made it possible to fully fund Mississippi’s K-12 education program, saving 4,500 teachers’ jobs?
Or $133 million ARRA money for Title 1 to aid poverty students or another $122.3 million for school children with disabilities?
Or the $164 million ARRA money that saved the fiscally troubled Medicaid program and its 600,000 vulnerable clients?
Or the $177 million to the Department of Transportation for shovel-ready projects that will put hundreds of Mississippians to work?
At home, a different tune
Strangely, back home in Mississippi, Barbour whistled a different tune about the Obama recovery package in his Web site. It was saying “spending on all three levels of education will be the highest ever” and acknowledged that federal stimulus money made it possible.
On the Hannity show, Barbour sounded more like a hopeful to be on the GOP’s 2012 ticket, veering off into water over his head on foreign policy and military preparedness.
He roundly criticized President Obama’s recent meetings with Russia’s two top leaders, and his agreement that both U.S. and Russia would reduce to 1,600 their nuclear warheads.
The Mississippi governor charged “it is no time to dismantle our nuclear arsenal to have a charm offensive with the Russians.”
Barbour said that his hero, Ronald Reagan, would never have done such a thing, insisting that Ronnie “showed the world the Russians couldn’t compete with us” in nuclear weaponry.
Barbour forgets Reagan
Obviously Barbour didn’t know or conveniently forgot that Reagan, meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1986, stunned NATO allies and his aides by proposing both the U. S. and the Soviet Union scrap all of their nuclear weapons.
Reagan aides quickly went into damage control, attributing Reagan’s off-handed nuclear giveaway to a brief lapse of memory, and told the Russian team just to forget what he said.
Makes Obama’s nuclear agreement with the Russian leaders small potatoes by comparison.
Barbour’s Fox News sortie into the foreign policy minefield brings to mind his unmemorable 1982 Senate race against aging Sen. John Stennis when he tried to portray Stennis, then one of the hawkish of war hawks in Congress, as soft on standing up to the Soviets in the Cold War.
Mississippians then saw that Barbour was talking pure hogwash and soundly defeated him.
Bill Minor is a syndicated columnist who has covered Mississippi politics since 1947.
Jul 20 2009
It’s been clear for a long time to many of us, and as time passes more and more catch on to the fact that, the Democrats, especially Barack Obama are frauds and, once again, America has been Punked. Bush was the Compassionate Conservative and Obama was the Crusader for Change – fundamental and necessary change to a system which only works for the few.
Jul 20 2009
Simulposted at Daily Kos
Perhaps the worst incident at Abu Ghraib involved a girl aged 12 or 13 who screamed for help to her brother in an upper cell while stripped naked and beaten. Iraqi journalist Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, who heard the girl’s screams, also witnessed an ill 15-year-old who was forced to run up and down with two heavy cans of water and beaten whenever he stopped. When he finally collapsed, guards stripped and poured cold water on him. Finally, a hooded man was brought in. When unhooded, the boy realized that the man was his father, who doubtless was being intimidated into confessing something upon sight of his brutalized son.
Empathy is what keeps men from becoming MONSTERS.