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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/10/2009 10:50:00

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,183rd day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4256
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4117
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3795
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3398
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 27

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 661
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 434
Journalists - Iraq: 136
Contractor Deaths - Iraq: 1264

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 603, 540, 900, 000.00

Here at "Ask a Vet", we tend to focus almost exclusively on the War in Iraq. Often, even we overlook what's happening in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, as the magnitude of what we have done in the Middle East tends to dwarf everything else.

Today, I want to take a brief look at a group of persons that has been under-reported by everyone...the Iraqi civilian.

In every war since the beginning of time, there's two casualty lists; the soldiers that fight, and the civilians that suffer. Often, the non-military person simply 'gets in the way' and pays the ultimate price. Modern militaries are quite adept at something called "battlefield recovery", and the United States Marine Corps and the Israeli Army famously have a policy of leaving no one behind in times of war.

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50 comments (Latest Comment: 03/11/2009 06:34:27 by livingonli)

Promises promises.
Author: Raine    Date: 03/09/2009 12:51:27

It is a bit hard to comprehend what has been happening, but things are actually getting done-- or being undone -- just as we were promised during those two long campaign years.

In less than 2 months we have seen SCHIP funding passed, the Gag Rule lifted, Stem Cell research Returned, Gitmo was ordered closed, the Iraq War was given a withdrawal date, President Obama stopped torture, the DOJ is on it's way to functioning the way it is supposed to, The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay act was passed, there will be no more medical marijuana raids, he is reversing many environmental rules, money has been put back into higher education --- oh the list can go on. He has even said that the era of no bid contracts is ending. (It's something I admit I did not hear about in the campaign, but was thrilled to hear last week) You can track them here. The Budget, Health care and credit cards are next and if recent history is any indicator, we may be pleasantly surprised.
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73 comments (Latest Comment: 03/10/2009 22:41:17 by MMB)

It’s the Stupid, economy!
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/08/2009 13:18:57

Having just barely made it safely out of High School, and only attending a college specializing in arts and crafts, Velveeta has no real wisdom about these matters regarding economics. The only economics I studied in school was for the home. After all, we were taught in my proper Southern conservative school that a clean, pleasant and well-managed home was the best path towards finding a respectable Christian husband. Regrettably, I remain, to this day, unmarried. But, my home continuously smells of primroses and freshly baked cookies, and my sheets are always freshly ironed.

So, I was shocked to recently learn that our government is paying money to banks, financial investors and other big corporations with names like AIG, GM, Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Chrysler. While others, like Bear Stearns and Wachovia are being taken over by competitors rather than fail completely.

These companies are supposed to know how to make money!
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12 comments (Latest Comment: 03/09/2009 06:31:26 by livingonli)

Stem Cells are Back!
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/07/2009 13:18:31

Imagine the nerve of a politician that has the audacity to actually keep a campaign promise. President Obama is set to reverse a Bush-era policy that severely limited stem-cell research.

WASHINGTON – Eight years of frustration are close to an end for scientists seeking ways to use embryonic stem cells to combat illness and injury.

On Monday, President Barack Obama plans to reverse limits imposed by President George W. Bush on using federal money for research with embryonic stem cells.

The long-promised move will allow a rush of research aimed at one day better treating, if not curing, ailments from diabetes to paralysis — research that is has drawn broad support, including from notables like Nancy Reagan, widow of the late Republican President Ronald Reagan, and the late Christopher Reeve.

But it stirs intense controversy over whether government crosses a moral line with such research, and opponents promptly denounced the move.

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15 comments (Latest Comment: 03/08/2009 06:47:14 by livingonli)

A Continent in Flames
Author: BobR    Date: 03/06/2009 13:39:53

When an airplane crashes in the U.S., the news coverage is nonstop with constant angst and human pathos stories of those lost so suddenly. When a bomb explodes in Israel, we are horrified. When a planeload of Americans was crashed into the WTC on 9/11 killing less than 4000 people, it was the event that "changed everything" (regarding the Constitution and presidential powers - it certainly did).

And yet - some of the most horrific things going on in the world, comparable in scale and scope to the Nazi's most inhumane excesses in WWII, are occurring in Africa, and most people in the U.S don't know or don't care (or both). Pick nearly any country on that poor continent, and you'll find despotic rule, rape, torture, militias, and terrorism. I'll pick two: Sudan and the Congo.
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87 comments (Latest Comment: 03/07/2009 05:55:45 by livingonli)

Who frames the debate now?
Author: Raine    Date: 03/05/2009 13:36:15

You know what? It is hard to write a blog these days. I am afraid I am going to have to start railing against the new administration just to be able to write something! Pff -- I am just kidding, that is what the Mainstream Media is for. You know, that mean liberal media. The one who just said mean things about the previous pResident just because they could. We all know that was actually not true until about the last year of his term, and even then it was filled with half-assed reporting.

Suddenly, for that very same M$M, it is fun to be the voice of the opposition for the current administration. Suddenly they are doing the job they were meant to. Oh scrap that - they are not. They are just a mouth piece for the opposition now. Why? When the previous administration was in office, it was easier to sell advertisements when the talking heads told us how great the war was, how great the economy was how great everything was. The Media and the reporting was driven by those who bought advertising -- free market and all.

We have known this all along - I am speaking to the choir here. What strikes me about this ongoing phenomena is how many people outside of our so-called 'progressive way of thinking' (also know as "Commie Homo-Loving sons of Guns") feel the same way too. The exception is, as it always has been, those that live and die by the Church of Rush Limbaugh.

We had the chance to go back to NY last month. It was a wonderful trip. It really was, but as many of you know, I have some members of my family that have always felt I was just a little too left for them. Like many others here on this blog and in my political circle of friends, it has caused some angst in the past. Not this time. This time, if the topic of the economy was broached, people actually wanted to hear what we had to say, and if they didn't have all the answers, we were not dismissed as America haters. It was sadly, quite refreshing.

I say sadly, because so many people don't really know what is going on. Many people still watch FAUX News and I realized they are not getting the information they need to understand what is happening. They do not like to see the our president bashed left and right, and they know who exactly got us to this point. People know, they just won't come out and say it. Maybe they think Rush will come knocking on the door and yell at them personally. They know the media is not telling them the truth and they cannot admit that because that would mean they have been lied to for years. That is a terrible pill to swallow.

Now is indeed the time to come together. We will never get the far right ditto-heads, I concede that, but now is a time to talk to those who are moderate or on the fence. We have an advantage: it's called the truth. We no longer have to beat the facts into other peoples heads, all we have to do is explain, talk and engage. The years of fact finding, researching and reading are the tools we as regular Americans have and it is those things that we must use to help bring this nation back together.

The MSM isn't going to do that. We have known this all along. Now regular Americans are understanding that they have been lied to as well, and because they are hurting just like everyone else, they want truth. To expect TV to do that is unrealistic, there is no money in a United Nation.

We have an administration that has called upon this country to unite, it's time to strike while the iron is hot. Get out and talk to people, let them know we are all together in this. Believe me, it makes a difference; I came to realize this when talking to my family and friends.

Don't let the ditto-heads frame the debate. This moment in history is what we have been waiting for. Despite all the crises that our nation is going thru, we can still make a huge difference in the way the conversation continues.

:peace: and

70 comments (Latest Comment: 03/06/2009 02:13:56 by TriSec)

Much too Close to Home
Author: BobR    Date: 03/04/2009 13:14:23

Over the last several months, I've written several blogs on the economic crisis. I've railed against the Republicans for being obstructionists of the stimulus bill. I've used the statistics to show how bad things really are. It got personal when a fellow blogger got the ax at his job. It got scary last week when I became one of the statistics.
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66 comments (Latest Comment: 03/05/2009 03:10:58 by trojanrabbit)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/03/2009 11:58:22

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,176th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4254
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4115
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3793
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3396
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 25

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 660
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 431
Contractor Deaths - Iraq: 446

We find this morning's cost of war has reached yet another milestone, as we're already quickly past 600 billion.

$ 601, 593, 100, 000.00

One could only wonder how things would be if that money had gone back into the American economy over the past 6 years.

Continue reading...

120 comments (Latest Comment: 03/04/2009 04:15:50 by livingonli)

In like a Lion, out like a Lamb?
Author: Raine    Date: 03/02/2009 13:26:45

Hi everyone! Nice to see you again! It's good to be back home, even though Atlanta has about 23 degree weather-- and a wind chill that makes it feel like 10 degrees. After 10 days of seeing snow on the ground back in NY, it doesn't seem so strange to come back to see snow here. Like everything else, it could be worse. Once again, thank you to everyone for filling in while we were away. It's a blessed thing to have a network of friends and people that are there for you when you need it.

Bob and I are fortunate. We don't own a home, and we don't have children. Our life is not one that must be rooted to any one place. It opens the door of opportunity to seek out new things. Many are not as fortunate as we are. Many are far worse off. Imagine struggling to get a good education, knowing what each night has in store for you.
Daniel, his mother and five brothers, ages 1 to 17, live in a garage without heat or running water in a modest, low-lying neighborhood that sits between celebrity-owned mansions in the hills and the Pacific Ocean. Each morning, they arise at 6:30, get dressed and then leave quietly; they return only after dark — a routine born out of the fear that detection could mean the loss of even this humble dwelling.

Daniel and his brothers have been sleeping in the garage for more than a year — members of what school officials and youth advocates say is a rapidly growing legion of homeless youth.
It is a growing issue in America. The housing crisis often does not talk about how it affects the youth of our nation. We talk about families losing their homes, but often the idea of drilling down into the details of what happens is something we, as Americans, don't really look at. Republicans outright deny those details, and quite often actually blame the victims when forced to confront those details.

Our economic crisis, our housing crisis, our banking crisis and our war crisis is not the fault of the America electorate. It won't be solved by bootstraps or by the government getting out of the way, as little Bobby Jindal told us last week. Real people are suffering and real people need help. The have gone for far too long, watching the social safety nets set up by FDR, be slowly stripped away. People like Bobby Jindal think it is GREAT that his dad had to pay for his son in installments. People like me believe that Americans, by way of the constitution are given a right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The powers that be have been slowly taking away those rights, and this is where we are, A country on the verge of depression, with republicans blaming Americans instead of themselves for the mess that we are in. Yes, I can blame the dems as well, but by and large, this country has been following the lead of conservative politics and ideaologies set in place decades aqo. It is time for a serious shift, not just from our leaders, but for ourselves. We must confront the details of the crisis in order to understand how this affects us ALL -- not just our friends and the person around the corner. The devil is really in the details.

I know that I don't need to tell our regular members these things. I just had to get it of my chest this morning. No child deserves to be homeless. It's frustrating to watch so many people suffer at the hands of this crisis, while those that actually have money feel like they are cutting back by maybe taking one vacation to Hawaii this year instead of 2 and then telling their workers they must cut hours due to the economy.

Let's get this month rolling. This is gonna be a great day and a better month!
:peace: and

106 comments (Latest Comment: 03/03/2009 02:11:40 by livingonli)

Confusion sets in....
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/01/2009 14:54:21

A letter to Conservatives:

Dear Michael, Rush, Sarah, Newt, Mtitt, John, "Bobby", et al:

Okay, so Velveeta will be the first to admit that she's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but please.... I beg you, help me understand what the hell is going on here.

Back, way back before January 20, things were so easy to explain. We had a boob in the White House, so when some Republican said or did something totally stupid, we knew who it was and why. Even ya'll can agree with that.

But please explain these things that are happening now? Or, as my 22 year old friend asks, "WTF, dudes, WTF"?

Why? If Government is so damn bad why are you in it? Seriously, "Bobby" Jindal recently said, "The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens", echoing the words of his fellow conservatives all the way back to Reagan. So I ask you, why do you run? Government to big? Get out! Downsize yourselves.
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16 comments (Latest Comment: 03/02/2009 04:36:34 by livingonli)

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