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Author: Scoopster    Date: 05/27/2009 13:13:54

Never fear - I is here!
18 comments (Latest Comment: 05/27/2009 13:59:53 by Raine)

Supreme Idiocy
Author: BobR    Date: 05/27/2009 03:45:04

Once again, the knee-jerks on the right have reflexively swung their feet at President Obama's Supreme Court Justice nominee - and kicked themselves in the butt. Even those on the left that are always ready to find the dark cloud surrounding the silver lining are shaking their heads glumly, certain that Obama has "done it again". What he has done in selecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor is picked the right justice at the right time.
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71 comments (Latest Comment: 05/28/2009 00:59:47 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/26/2009 10:34:57

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,260th 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): 4300
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4161
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3839
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3441
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 72

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 686
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 467
Journalists - Iraq: 138
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,306

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:
$ 861, 103, 575, 000 .00

Yesterday, Raine focused the blog on our honoured dead. Today, I'd like to look at the living. In all wars, the greatest day is the day it's all over and the troops get to go home. When we win, there are great parades, victory speeches, and cheering throngs that greet our troops when they return.

Our history when our soldiers are not victorious is unfortunately less than stellar. Many a veteran from Southeast Asia got off a flight back to his hometown with nothing more than silence and dirty looks.

Perhaps you know where the Bangor International Airport is. It's in Maine, situated on a hill in the tidy little state capitol. It's the closest US airport of any size to Europe, and by extension, the Middle East.

For years, soldiers returning from their overseas deployment have transited this airport, usually on their way to other places. For years now too, a dedicated group of volunteers has made sure that every flight, no matter what time of the day or night it arrives, is met by a crowd of supporters.

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108 comments (Latest Comment: 05/27/2009 13:12:42 by Scoopster)

Take a Moment ...
Author: Raine    Date: 05/25/2009 13:27:59

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)




Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Fading light, Dims the sight,
And a star, Gems the sky,
Gleaming bright,
From afar, Drawing nigh,
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
Neath the sky, As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

13 comments (Latest Comment: 05/25/2009 23:01:30 by Raine)

This Torture is Torture
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 05/24/2009 13:28:09

War is hell, so I’ve heard uttered from everyone from John Wayne to “Rambo” to Dick Cheney, none of who served in any branch of the military.

I’ve never been to war and I pray that I never see the horrors of such a thing. I also know that I have the military branch and all the brave people that serve to thank for that. So despite my differences with our American military and many of their policies, and with a few soldiers that turn out to be “bad apples”, I will still celebrate the memory of those that have passed on this Memorial Day.

I do believe that our military strength has, on many occasions, kept us, and our allies safe. I do not, however, believe even for a moment that torture has kept us any safer or that we have uncovered any nefarious plots because of it. And I stand by that belief no matter how many times Cheney and his followers try to scare me with "9/11".
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13 comments (Latest Comment: 05/25/2009 01:54:47 by livingonli)

Old School Blog
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/23/2009 11:57:02

Good Morning!

I don't really have anything coherent this morning, but in skimming the news I've found a handful of disconnected stories that I find interesting. Reminds me of the early days....3 headlines, something pithy at the end, and presto! A blog full of empty calories!

Bah. Everyone needs a Twinkie every now and again, don't you think?

How many folks here have easy access to a rail trail? Over the past two decades or so, there's been a move on to convert old railroad lines, many in urban areas, into bicycle paths. Especially where the routes parallel dense urban roadways and head straight into the heart of downtown, it makes a lot of sense. But did you know there's a huge number of people out there that hate them? Here in Massachusetts, we had an opportunity to build a massive trail that would have connected the Minuteman Bikeway in Cambridge, MA all the way out west to the Berkshires, well over 150 miles.

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9 comments (Latest Comment: 05/23/2009 23:50:24 by velveeta jones)

A Tale of Two Speeches
Author: BobR    Date: 05/22/2009 12:43:40

The yin and yang of presidential politics over the last year could not have been more evident than the dueling speeches yesterday of President Obama and former Vice-President Cheney. Like a good lawyer, the President built a compelling case for his actions, based on a series of simple logical points, sometimes acknowledging and then rebutting alternative points of view. Cheney, on the other hand, snarled his way through a repetitive amalgam of vague threats, hoping to - once again - induce fear.
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61 comments (Latest Comment: 05/22/2009 23:00:14 by livingonli)

Author: Raine    Date: 05/21/2009 12:48:09

President Obama is expected to give a speech today, renewing his pledge to close Gitmo. Interestingly (and not coincidentally) the former VP - Dick Cheney - will be giving a speech today arguing that torture works. According to sources, Dick will tell people that not only does torture work, but that Americans deserve to see all the proof that it works. See? Dick wants all the documents released too!
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109 comments (Latest Comment: 05/22/2009 02:45:36 by livingonli)

The Other Branch
Author: BobR    Date: 05/20/2009 12:28:26

For most of the Bush Administration, it seemed like there was only one branch of government: the Executive. Especially post 9/11, the Legislative branch seemed to be just an extension of the Executive, always giving Bush what he wanted, and Bush never vetoing any legislation. Even when the Democrats took over after the 2006 election, Congress seemed reluctant to challenge Bush in any way. There's a new sheriff in town, however, and they finally seem to have found their oats.
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97 comments (Latest Comment: 05/20/2009 23:11:48 by trojanrabbit)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/19/2009 11:34:56

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,253rd 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): 4296
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4157
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3835
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3437
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 68

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 683
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 467
Journalists - Iraq: 138
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,306

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

$858, 558, 500, 000 .00

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64 comments (Latest Comment: 05/20/2009 03:52:15 by BobR)

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