Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Final Inspection.

Found this at Technobabe's this morning. Imagine that this was your home. That it is your sister writing this.

Those of us who serve or have served, have always been aware that we could be called upon to die for our Country. That doesn't make it any easier when the one who dies is someone you love.

"My Easter did not turn out as planned. In fact today will be a day my family will never forget. At about four in the afternoon, my mom called my house wanting my sister to return home asap. My mom just lives down the road from me and that is where my sister and her daughter have been staying while her husband has been in Iraq. My husband went with her because my mom sounded very upset and I stayed home with her daughter and my kids. Two men were waiting in their military vehicle and I am sure you know where I am going with this."

The rest can be found at Technobabe's. From there you can link through to Shelly's website, and see what this has done to her family.

I am going to refrain from any politicizing of this. I don't know if the young Warrior was a Soldier or a Marine, but I will offer this for him, in honor of his sacrifice.

The Final Inspection

The Marine stood and faced his God
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.

Step forward now, O' Devil-Dog,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?

The Marine squared his shoulders,
said, No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here,
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence 'round the throne
Where saints had often trod
As the Marine awaited quietly,
The judgment of his God,

Step forward now, My Fine Marine,
You've borne your burdens well,
Walk your post on Heaven's streets,
You've served your time in hell.

Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas


Friday, April 13, 2007

And Today's "Stupid Fuck Of The Day" is....

It's too damn easy, heh, heh...

Billo Riley! The Big Giant Head himself!

Many thanks to thatguitarman


War Czar? Or Fallguy?

In an effort to turn the tide of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush is seeking to create a new position which can be loosely described as a "War Czar".

The new position would require someone with the Stature to interact with Top Ranking Administration Officials such as Uncle Tom's Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State, and Iraqi Officials, as well as the military know how to manage two wars successfully. So far the three retired Generals who have been courted for the position, retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, retired Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, and retired Marine Corps General John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander, have all declined. Some less respectfully than others. Sheehan was quoted as saying, "The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," Sheehan went on to say he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,' " he said.

Pretty smart guy, huh?

Do you think maybe General Sheehan and the others view this exalted new position as what it really is, a Fall Guy or Stooge to take the blame when the current Surge to end all Surges fails? Could be.

(I can remember when the same logic was applied to creating the position of Drug Czar, a lofty position sought feverishly by deuddersun until I learned that the position involved stopping the flow of "illegal" drugs, not sampling and distributing them!)

As a patriotic American, I hereby submit Private Gomer Pile, U.S.M.C. as the perfect candidate. He's solid, loyal and used to abuse. Lord knows Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter has done all he could do to condition Pvt. Pile to abuse!

Pvt Pile makes sense in other ways too. In addition to being a perfect Bush Administration Stooge, he might just be able to run our wars better than the man currently doing the job, the Commander In Chief, George W. Bush, who's own military career closely parallels Piles! As an added bonus, Pile already comes with his own Theme Music which can be heard through the link below.

Gomer Pile, USMC

Semper Fidelis!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fundamental Failures Led To Iraq Crisis...

I have received several comments on both the futility and insanity of the Troop Extension and the Winner of The Stupid Fuck Of The Day Award, (See Below), and they caused me to consider something. The Republicans could have won their fucking War if they hadn't been so stupid!

All of the guys could have been home by now and Iraq stablilized if the Republicans' own greed, arrogance and stupidity hadn't crippled the Militarys' extraordinary efforts!

I'm not saying I agree with the War, the lies which formed the premise for the War or the current "surge" which is supposed to, finally, win the War. Everyone who comes here knows I don't. (Although I did support the invasion of Afghanistan and pursuit of the perpetrators of 9/11.)

The point I'm trying to make is this.

If the Republicans' had been able to wrap up Iraq within 18 months we wouldn't even be having these discussions. It would be over, a fait accompli, and they would have been shining heroes.

In my opinion, all they had to do was four things.

Win the Invasion.

Depose Saddam.

Secure the nation.


They won the invasion. They deposed Saddam. It is in Step 3 that the failure began. And without Step 3, they won't ever get to Step 4, (unless we force them to!).

How could they have done that?

I'll let a Career Army Officer who holds three Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars and the Congressional Medal Of Honor, explain.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Colonel Jack Jacobs, United States Army, Ret.

Fundamental failures led to current Iraq crisis

Basic tenets were ignored by our military leaders; the results are painful

By Jack Jacobs
Military analyst
Updated: 9:51 a.m. ET March 26, 2007

Jack Jacobs
Military analyst

Most Americans didn’t need much encouragement to support an invasion of Iraq. Even if they weren't persuaded by assertions that Saddam Hussein was trying to secure nuclear weapons, nearly all agreed that he was a thoroughly disagreeable tyrant with a documented history of slaughtering innocents.

That — and the invasion — were the easy parts. However, four years after Saddam and his odious henchmen were shown the door, we seem to be no closer to stopping the deaths of innocent people. What went wrong? Hindsight, of course, is 20-20, but there are some painful lessons that should have been clear from the start:

Full Story


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gates Announces Troop Extensions from 12 to 15 Months!

I am too angry to write on this right now. I need some time to simmer and let my anger coalesce into rational, logical dialogue.

So please read the article linked to below. It is brief. I watched the Press Conference on C-Span and this is the tip of the iceberg. More as it becomes available.

Oh, and when you're finished you want to check out the Vid. It's Olbermann taking Bush to task for blaming the Democrats for "prolonging" the War.



Gates: Army tours extended by three months

Click here for video on the Tour Extensions. You may have to search for it. Use Pentagon Extends Army Troop Tours In Iraq.

Stupid Fuck Of The Day Award

I just invented my "Stupid Fuck Of The Day Award" because after viewing this I knew there had to be some kind of reward for Right-wanker Assholes who overdose on the Kool-Aid.

Today's Winner is.................................(drumroll please)..................

Phil Gingrey!!! TaaaaaaaDaaaaa!

Secret Plan? Yeah, right!

(Note: This award will most likely not appear daily as I am either too lazy or too busy to seek the candidates out. On the other hand, it's not like the Republi-cons make it that I think of it, feel free to carry the idea forth on your own blogs, there's plenty of material to go around!)


Olbermann: Lies From The Top...

I know this is a few days old, but it supports an earlier post, "Insider: Missteps Soured Iraqis".


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Can't? Or Won't?

Check out this hot new guitarist.

The Boy is Smokin'!

Now, he does Cathedral.

Watch his Right Hand!

Meet John Denner. I heard him play on Howard Stern this morning. While not a veteran himself, (he was born with a "baby" arm and no right hand), he will be going to Walter Reed to teach and encourage Disabled Veteran's on the guitar, and more importantly, on life.

Next time you think you can't do something, ask yourself, is it can't? Or won't?


For EoR, spongybones and all of us...

(Note: Tim McGraw is the son of legendary Phillies Pitcher Tug "Scroogie" McGraw. I knew his Dad and I knew him when he was a tadpole. Part of this song is dedicated to his Dad. The rest, I guess, is for all of us. It's good advice. Listen and be comforted and live like you were dying. - .d)

Blogger Code Of Conduct?

Fuck The New York Times

Found this over at Fixer Gordon's other home The Alternate Brain. It links through to Hey Must Be The Money, by digby at Hullabaloo.

Seems the good folks over at The New Yawk Times have their knickers in a twist about the unrestricted flow of information in the blogosphere and want "someone" to "police" it. They claim we can do it ourselves with a little code of Conduct!

With that in mind, I offer this as my contribution toward self-censorship.

Oh, if bad words and nekkid women offend you, pass on this one and head for The Alternate Brain or Hullabaloo, or even the New Yawk Times .

If not, enjoy!

Sums it all up for me...


Monday, April 09, 2007

Insider: Missteps Soured Iraqis...

Well No Screamin' Eagleshit! It's what a lot of us in the Reality Based Community have been saying for some time now!

Unfortunately, those on the Right have chosen to have their opinions spoon fed to them by shills like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity. Instead of listening to the facts or doing their own research to determine the truth, they have instead, sat on their collective asses and opened their minds to the sewage being poured out by hate groups like the Swiftboat Veterans For Truth and The Patriot Warriors. It is so much easier to hate brown people and Muslims then it is to apply rational thought to a situation and come to a logical conclusion. It requires no thought on their part whatsoever to answer any argument with overused cliches, (like "flip-flop" or "cut & run"), fed to them from "Talking Points", supplied by the likes of Cheney and Rove.

Even now, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Cheney insists that Bin Laden and the 9/11 attackers were connected to Saddam and Iraq. Can someone tell me how many of the hijackers were Iraqi? Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Cheney, but weren't most of the hijackers Saudis? Isn't Bin Laden a Saudi? Didn't your administration fly the Bin Laden family out of the United States the day after 9/11? Do you wonder why some Americans believe your Administration was complicit in the attacks? You have done nothing to allay these fears. You opposed any real investigation, declared lower Manhatten environmentaly safe when it wasn't, ignored the advice of your Generals and the will of the American Public and ignored the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. You attempt to discourage or dismember any attempts at any oversight of your Administration's activities. In, short, you have proven yourselves to be untrustworthy liars as well as incompetent buffoons who thought the Iraqi War would be just like the John Wayne movies you love to watch as you fantasize about being a "Great Hero". Fantasize because few of you had the balls to actually suit up when it was your turn to answer your Nation's call.

Well, I have railed enough. Who am I to convince? Those on the Left are well aware of everything I just said and those still drinking the Right-wing Kool-Aid will dismiss me as just another Lib'rul Moonbat. But what can you say when your faults and failures are eloquently described by one who really knows?


(I have reprinted the entire article below because this is just too important to miss)

Insider: Missteps Soured Iraqis on U.S.

By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent

NEW YORK - In a rueful reflection on what might have been, an Iraqi government insider details in 500 pages the U.S. occupation's "shocking" mismanagement of his country _ a performance so bad, he writes, that by 2007 Iraqis had "turned their backs on their would-be liberators."

"The corroded and corrupt state of Saddam was replaced by the corroded, inefficient, incompetent and corrupt state of the new order," Ali A. Allawi concludes in "The Occupation of Iraq," newly published by Yale University Press.

Allawi writes with authority as a member of that "new order," having served as Iraq's trade, defense and finance minister at various times since 2003. As a former academic, at Oxford University before the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq, he also writes with unusual detachment.

The U.S.- and British-educated engineer and financier is the first senior Iraqi official to look back at book length on his country's four-year ordeal. It's an unsparing look at failures both American and Iraqi, an account in which the word "ignorance" crops up repeatedly.

First came the "monumental ignorance" of those in Washington pushing for war in 2002 without "the faintest idea" of Iraq's realities. "More perceptive people knew instinctively that the invasion of Iraq would open up the great fissures in Iraqi society," he writes.

What followed was the "rank amateurism and swaggering arrogance" of the occupation, under L. Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which took big steps with little consultation with Iraqis, steps Allawi and many others see as blunders:

_ The Americans disbanded Iraq's army, which Allawi said could have helped quell a rising insurgency in 2003. Instead, hundreds of thousands of demobilized, angry men became a recruiting pool for the resistance.

_ Purging tens of thousands of members of toppled President Saddam Hussein's Baath party _ from government, school faculties and elsewhere _ left Iraq short on experienced hands at a crucial time.

_ An order consolidating decentralized bank accounts at the Finance Ministry bogged down operations of Iraq's many state-owned enterprises.

_ The CPA's focus on private enterprise allowed the "commercial gangs" of Saddam's day to monopolize business.

_ Its free-trade policy allowed looted Iraqi capital equipment to be spirited away across borders.

_ The CPA perpetuated Saddam's fuel subsidies, selling gasoline at giveaway prices and draining the budget.

In his 2006 memoir of the occupation, Bremer wrote that senior U.S. generals wanted to recall elements of the old Iraqi army in 2003, but were rebuffed by the Bush administration. Bremer complained generally that his authority was undermined by Washington's "micromanagement."

Although Allawi, a cousin of Ayad Allawi, Iraq's prime minister in 2004, is a member of a secularist Shiite Muslim political grouping, his well-researched book betrays little partisanship.

On U.S. reconstruction failures _ in electricity, health care and other areas documented by Washington's own auditors _ Allawi writes that the Americans' "insipid retelling of `success' stories" merely hid "the huge black hole that lay underneath."

For their part, U.S. officials have often largely blamed Iraq's explosive violence for the failures of reconstruction and poor governance.

The author has been instrumental since 2005 in publicizing extensive corruption within Iraq's "new order," including an $800-million Defense Ministry scandal. Under Saddam, he writes, the secret police kept would-be plunderers in check better than the U.S. occupiers have done.

As 2007 began, Allawi concludes, "America's only allies in Iraq were those who sought to manipulate the great power to their narrow advantage. It might have been otherwise."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Good Sportsmanship?

(Note: Had another post up here earlier which I am editing. Got some bad news and fell off the wagon. Well, one step backwards, two steps forward. Forgive me. Now to the point>)

Sports have, for the most part, always been a man's domain. Football, basketball, soccer, hockey, boxing, lacrosse, whatever. That's not to say that there aren't women who love sports just as much as the guys, so it's wrong to make generalities. Hell, Magster loves football, boxing and hockey just as much as I do. More and more women are becoming involved in sports, both as competitors and fans. Why then, should it surprise anyone that some Gay folks love sports too? Why should anyone be surprised that a coach or player might be Gay? And why should it matter?

There has been much controversy over Gays in the military. I was in the military as many of you were. Did it really matter, when the shit hit the fan, who the guy next to you dated? Hell, no! As long as he had your back and did his best to get everyone out alive. Well, it's kinda the same thing with sports. In my mind anyway.

In short, a person's worth as a human being shouldn't have any more to do with their sexuality than the color of their skin or the way they choose or choose not, to worship.

Unfortunately, to some, it is all they need to know to make a value judgement of a fellow human being.

Recently, a number of prominent Gay athletes have come out of the closet. The reception has been less than enthusiastic by the "straight" community. So you can imagine the furor created when a Gay male College Lacrosse Coach decided to stop living a lie and be himself.

University Coach Comes Out of Closet
By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, Associated Press writer

Sat Apr 7, 3:32 PM

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Frustrated Coach had nowhere else to turn. Alone with his secret, the college lacrosse coach sat down at his computer seeking others like himself: gay men who played and coached competitive, high-level sports but remained trapped in the closet.

"I am totally closeted, not married, totally gay and no one would guess," he wrote in an online chat room for gay athletes, coaches and fans. "My family, my team, my university and my career are not even remotely gay-friendly."

Over the next two years, Frustrated Coach revealed his hopes, fears and secrets with his trusted, but similarly anonymous peers on

The 33-year-old coach shared his regrets about pursuing "serial one-night stands" with strangers as he grappled with his identity.

He disclosed a recent bout with colon cancer. His upbringing in a fundamentalist Baptist church that scorned homosexuality. The emotional void he felt in hiding. How a psychologist urged him to date women to make sure he was truly gay. Alcohol binges he sought to dull the pain. The 24-hour involuntary commitment on suicide watch in a psychiatric hospital.

Gradually, the coach grew more comfortable in his own skin. On Halloween 2004, he told his parents, both devout Baptists and the children of missionaries.

The coach's parents were devastated. So were his older brother and sister. The family's youngest child was a sinner, an abomination in the eyes of God. Communication stopped.


I read the above article and frankly, it angered me. Why should this man, a fine Coach by all accounts, have to live with this? Why all the hate? Does the man perform his job well? Is he a good coach? These are the questions that should be considered, not who he sleeps with.

I can hear the Kristian Conservatives now. "Oh my God! It's Easter Sunday and he's posting about abominations!" Horseshit. It's Easter Sunday, the day Christ supposedly rose from the dead to show all of us that his sacrifice on Good Friday was not in vain. That there was redemption for all - including Gay people. And no, they don't have to deny their sexuality to be redeemed either. They are fine just the way they are. Unless, ofcourse you are willing to admit that the Creator made mistakes. I don't think so. Everything and everyone is here for a purpose, God's purpose, and unless you can see into the mind of God you can't possibly claim to know His plan. George Bush aside, ofcourse.

Here's the deal. Are some Gays perverts? Sure. The same holds true for straight folks too. Can a Gay person still have high moral standards? Absolutely. Coach Hawkins is no more liable to attempt to seduce one of his young Lacrosse players any more than a straight male Coach or teacher would try to seduce one of his young female players or students. Some may say that Coach Hawkins presents a "bad" role model. Wow! If that is the case the guy has a lot more power than any of the rest of us. I have had many gay friends in my time in the movie business and I can't recall one incident where associating with me turned one of them "straight"! Point is, people don't "choose" their sexuality, they are born with it. You can no more "turn" a straight person Gay than you can turn an elephant into a mouse, it just ain't gonna happen!

Thing is, Gay folks are just like us, same dreams, same fears, same goals; to live in peace with the partner of their choice. To prosper, perhaps raise a family. To enjoy what's left of the American Dream. (To that end, restoring the American Dream, they can be powerful, dedicated allies!)

I hope you read the article I linked to above. It will only be up for 30 days. Then I would ask you to e-mail the University of Missouri in support of Coach Hawkins.

It's Easter. Let's share the love.

University of Missouri.