Tag: Focus On War

Toys R Not U, U B Hippies

I know you’re tired, me too and I’m just about to take a break here soon.  Step away from the Redwood though and try to keep your hands to yourself for just a minute. Now get into your Prius and drive your ass on over here for a chat.  Pull up a latte and let’s get your Friedmans straight first before we start this adventure into the intellectualization (a defense mechanism where reasoning is used to block confrontation with an unconscious conflict and its associated emotional stress. It involves removing one’s self, emotionally, from a stressful event) of serious people.

This is Kinky Friedman


Not a serious person, just a kinky Friedman and we don’t need to worry too much about his not serious intellectualizations.  At least not this election cycle.

This is Milton Friedman


American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual who passed away in November of 2006 and who was much loved by the Reagan administration.  He personally loved him some deregulation, privatization, and smaller government so we could all get more money.  I don’t know about you but I got some money and my kids got to eat a little lead paint while my husband got to dodge some of that small government privatized Blackwater Security lead in shoot em up Iraq.

This guy is…………..Bawahahahahahahahahaha …. cough … ha ha …… ummm….errrr…. Thomas I wish I was Milton and he had been right Friedman


One look at this picture and you know you are dealing with a very serious person here!

And there is another serious Friedman out there right now that I want you all to focus on. You need to know about him because he is sort of a Republican Obama master of words and thoughts and his Iraq study is already making its rounds and landing on the desks of serious people all over this great land. This is the photo of him that I was able to copy off of a principles of war website.


This is Dr. George Friedman.  George Friedman, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in security and intelligence issues relating to national security, information warfare and computer security. He is founder, chairman and Chief Intelligence Officer of STRATFOR, (Strategic Forecasting Inc.) a private intelligence company that provides customized intelligence services for its clients and provides an internationally acclaimed Web site, www.stratfor.com, that analyzes and forecasts trends in world affairs. Friedman’s column, Intelligence Brief, is syndicated by Tribune Media Services. And just try to swipe an image off of this website you hippies!  If you follow the link though he’ll let you look at his serious face there…..but not here.  

Meet some of Wisconsin’s civilian ‘winter soldiers’

This is the story of the vigil that refused to die — or at least refused to be snowed under. Friday was a horrendous day in Milwaukee as Spring arrived with a huge snowfall that may end up being more than a foot (it’s still falling as I write this.)  This was the noon report:

Nearly five inches of snow has fallen this morning at General Mitchell International as a winter storm warning remains in effect, keeping police and firefighters busy with multiple accidents reported on local streets and highways.

“Boy it’s bad outside,” said Milwaukee Battalion 1 Fire Chief Steven Gleisner, who was making rounds to the firehouses in his battalion this morning. “I almost spun out in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, a 6,000 pound Chevy Suburban, and I’m having a tough time getting around. I’ve never done that in a four-wheel drive vehicle. I’m like, ‘No. I’m heading home. Plus, the visibility is lousy.”

He suggested others do the same.”If folks don’t have to go out today, I wouldn’t go out,” he said.

It just got worse as the day went on. Side streets were nearly impassible, buses were running late if at all, the airport eventually closed.  Many churches even canceled Good Friday services. So organizers of a 5 p.m. Iraq Moratorium vigil, a monthly action held on downtown’s busiest corner, conferred during the afternoon.  Should the show go on? Your humble scribe, having ventured out once in his lightweight car, really didn’t want to do it again.  However, having written a rather macho online essay earlier in the day, about how weather doesn’t stop Wisconsinites from stopping the war, staying home didn’t seem like an option.

In mid-afternoon, Peace Action’s George Martin said he planned to show up with signs, flags and paraphernalia, since some people were bound to show up no matter what.  But he called about 4 p.m. to say the event was off.  Let’s be honest; I breathed a sigh of relief. I could stay home with a clear conscience, although I might have to eat a little crow about that blog.

But, I looked out at 4:30 p.m. and, although the snow was still falling heavily, our street had miraculously been plowed.  So, staying only on a few main arterial streets, I managed to make it to the site of the alleged vigil. There, at Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue, four young people huddled on the corner.  One had a rolled-up sign, so it seemed plausible they were there to protest the war, not catch a bus. That turned out to be the case. I told them the vigil was canceled, and asked if they’d at least stay long enough for me to haul a brand new Iraq Moratorium banner out of my car and take a photo.  Once there was a banner and a few more people showed up with their own signs, everyone decided to stay for the scheduled hour-long vigil. We ended up with 10 people.

So Milwaukee’s record is intact. Seven vigils in the seven months since the Iraq Moratorium began in September.  Although this was the smallest turnout ever, it may have been the most satisfying one to be a part of. The people in these photos are winter soldiers, indeed.

Reports from other actions are beginning to trickle in from around the country.  Read them, or post your own accounts of what you did, at IraqMoratorium.org

Before and after an hour in the snow in 30-degree temperatures:

Body Of War

Last night, 3-21-08, on the PBS Bill Moyers Journal, Bill talked

with Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro on the true cost of war and their documentary, BODY OF WAR

Photobucket The filmmakers talk about Iraq war veteran Tomas Young who was shot and paralyzed less than a week into his tour of duty. Three years in the making, BODY OF WAR tells the poignant tale of the young man’s journey from joining the service after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan, to living with devastating wounds after being deployed to Iraq instead.

The Real Face of War

From The Real News Network

Reality of war and Winter Soldier testimonials not covered by US television news

The Church of War

Iraq Moratorium #7: Be a winter soldier

It’s Iraq Moratorium day, so of course it’s snowing heavily here in Wisconsin, where more than a dozen outside vigils are planned.

There is already several inches on the ground in Milwaukee, and it is still coming down heavily.  By our 5 p.m. downtown vigil tonight there could be a foot of the stuff.

But those who can get there will be there, just as they have been during the winter when temperatures and wind chills were sub-zero.  (Pictured are folks in Whitewater, WI at their February Moratorium vigil.)


I have to wonder myself sometimes.  Why do we persist, when other public events are being canceled left and right?

The easiest answer is that people are committed to ending this senseless, bloody war — and they want to demonstrate their commitment.

Last week, Iraq Veterans Against the War held Winter Soldier hearings, to testify about what life is like on the ground, and what our troops are being asked to do in the name of “freedom.”  

Winter Soldier, modeled after the 1971 Vietnam Winter Soldier hearings, takes its name from these words of Thomas Paine, written during the terrible winter of Valley Forge:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

So, maybe the weather today is just testing whether we are “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots” or are really committed.

I’ve talked myself into it:  I’ll be there tonight, whatever the weather.

Whether you’re battling the snow or basking on the beach, please join us in doing something today to show your opposition to the war and occupation of Iraq.

Wear a button or an armband.  Write a letter.  Send an email.  Donate to a peace group.  Whatever.  But do something.  You’ll find ideas for individual action and a list of group events at IraqMoratorium.org

Be a winter soldier.

“Shell Shock”; PTSD, and Executions of Those With!!

The following Video was left as a reply in my Daily KOS posting, yesterday, on Nadia and ‘Veterans Village’.

How far have we come as to what Wars do to those we send to fight them?

We don’t Execute?, but we Still don’t Understand, some Denie, and we Don’t Give The Care Needed!

Societies ‘Love War’, at first, especially Wars of Choice, but Societies only send a small fraction of to engage, than they make them Fight for what it does to them!

Masters of War

I’ve been singing the song “Masters of War” a lot lately. Every time I practice, I play it. I’d guess I’ve worked through it, either listening or playing, at least 500 times since September. The verses are burned into my consciousness. Every word is still relevant; the military industrial complex is every bit as powerful now as it was when Dylan wrote about it in 1963 at the ripe old age of 22. 22! And he created what’s gone down as one of the most succinct, eloquent protest songs of all time, certainly one of the landmark antiwar pieces.

But for all its brilliance, what futility he must have felt. A guitar and a voice vs. the military-industrial complex. These people didn’t hear a word he said. They were tucked away, safe and sheltered. That their trade was a curse on the whole world was not their problem, and mere criticism could not and did not move them. If Bob Dylan was president, maybe they’d mind, but he wasn’t even a speck. But he did have two things: the moral high ground, and the First Amendment. That’s all anybody has, really. If right is on your side, you can be vocal about it and hopefully others will hear and join. Accusation, for all its pitfalls, is a necessary step toward justice.

Couldn’t protest? Join me here anti war video

Cross posted at KOS

This was meant to be posted yesterday but unfortunataly Youtube was down for maintenance, so here it is a day late.

I couldn’t be in D.C. today, I imagine that was true for most of you. My solution was to put together a quickie anti-war video. Follow me below the fold for part what this war has meant. Feel free to add you own comments, this is a protest after all.

What are you and me gonna do about Iraq?*

They’ll discuss it in Detroit.

They’ll write letters in Cornwall, Ct.

They’ll march in Duluth, rally in White Plains, and vigil in Cincinnati.

And they’ve been getting arrested in San Francisco.

Friday is Iraq Moratorium #7, and people across the country are marking it in dozens of different ways, from rallies, marches, protests, vigils to individual actions to call for an end to the war and occupation.

There’s even been a bit of civil disobedience by people willing to make arrest to make their point.

It all fits (as long as it’s non-violent) under the umbrella of the Iraq Moratorium, a loosely-knit national grassroots movement to end the war and bring the troops home.

My Fifth Anniversary Present To You, DD!

Not that this occasion really calls for a present….

However, I would like to take this time to share a video I made this evening from photos I collected from around the tubes…

If you have any you would like to add, put the photo/s in comments.

This is my contribution to the FOW project.


(You may use this video anytime, anywhere, any blog-if you’d like)

The Next Excuse for Staying

“The war could last 6 days, 6 weeks… I doubt 6 months.”

— Donald Rumsfeld, Speaking on 2-7-2003, in Italy


The same person who spoke those words also told us about building realities. I’m confused, Mr. Rumsfeld; did we set out to fail and succeed?

Rumsfeld was trying to be clever when he talked about zigzagging through false realities. He implied the deception was intended for “the enemy”, even while Cheney was saying 9/11 and Iraq to Tim Russert over and over on Press the Meat. If it were just a matter of evil people lying to us, then there would be nothing new here. What is new is that the evil liars were at the helm of a (supposedly) benevolent superpower, and the evil liars were hopelessly inept to a degree that is almost supernatural.

Some statistics are frightening, but that doesn’t make them wrong – only unbelievable to some. For instance, 50% of all doctors graduated at the bottom half of their class, but 80% of the people think theirs is an above average doctor. In order to take a realistic measure of this administrations ineptness in prosecuting this war, we have to strip it down to the basics and try to separate fact from fallacy.

Was the premise of the war correct? No: there were no WMD’s.

Did we forget anything before we went all the way there? Yes: divisions of soldiers.

Were candy and hugs the only arms and projectiles we faced? No.

How many dead-enders is a few dead-enders?

Edited to move content below the fold – OTB

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