By now you know...if it's a Saturday blog before 7am, your loyal TriSec is off to donate platelets. But I'll come back to that in a moment.
233 years ago at this very hour, not quite 5 miles from where I sit, a small band of rebels led by Captain Parker
faced down the world's largest and most powerful superpower.
Of course, we all know this action as "The Shot Heard 'Round the World", and the story is always worth retelling. I'll let the eyewitness Sylvanus Wood
tell us about it today.
"I, Sylvanus Wood, of Woburn, in the county of Middlesex, and commonwealth of Massachusetts, aged seventy-four years, do testify and say that on the morning of the 19th of April, 1775, I was an inhabitant of Woburn, living with Deacon Obadiah Kendall; that about an hour before the break of day on said morning, I heard the Lexington bell ring, and fearing there was difficulty there, I immediately arose, took my gun and, with Robert Douglass, went in haste to Lexington, which was about three miles distant.
When I arrived there, I inquired of Captain Parker, the commander of the Lexington company, what was the news. Parker told me he did not know what to believe, for a man had come up about half an hour before and informed him that the British troops were not on the road. But while we were talking, a messenger came up and told the captain that the British troops were within half a mile. Parker immediately turned to his drummer, William Diman, and ordered him to beat to arms, which was done. Captain Parker then asked me if I would parade with his company. I told him I would. Parker then asked me if the young man with me would parade. I spoke to Douglass, and he said he would follow the captain and me.
By this time many of the company had gathered around the captain at the hearing of the drum, where we stood, which was about half way between the meetinghouse and Buckman's tavern. Parker says to his men, 'Every man of you, who is equipped, follow me; and those of you who are not equipped, go into the meeting-house and furnish yourselves from the magazine, and immediately join the company.' Parker led those of us who were equipped to the north end of Lexington Common, near the Bedford Road, and formed us in single file. I was stationed about in the centre of the company. While we were standing, I left my place and went from one end of the company to the other and counted every man who was paraded, and the whole number was thirty-eight, and no more.
Confrontation at Lexington Green
Just as I had finished and got back to my place, I perceived the British troops had arrived on the spot between the meeting-house and Bucknian's, near where Captain Parker stood when he first led off his men. The British troops immediately wheeled so as to cut off those who had gone into the meeting-house. The British troops approached us rapidly in platoons, with a general officer on horseback at their head. The officer came up to within about two rods of the centre of the company, where I stood, the first platoon being about three rods distant. They there halted. The officer then swung his sword, and said, 'Lay down your arms, you damned rebels, or you are all dead men. Fire!' Some guns were fired by the British at us from the first platoon, but no person was killed or hurt, being probably charged only with powder.
Just at this time, Captain Parker ordered every man to take care of himself. The company immediately dispersed; and while the company was dispersing and leaping over the wall, the second platoon of the British fired and killed some of our men. There was not a gun fired by anv of Captain Parker's company, within my knowledge. I was so situated that I must have known it, had any thing of the kind taken place before a total dispersion of our company. I have been intimately acquainted with the inhabitants of Lexington, and particularly with those of Captain Parker's company, and, with one exception, I have never heard any of them say or pretend that there was any firing at the British from Parker's company, or any individual in it until within a year or two. One member of the company told me, many years since, that, after Parker's company had dispersed, and he was at some distance, he gave them 'the guts of his gun.'"
Support The Troops
Date: 04/18/2008 12:47:44
Over the last 5 years we've been inundated with "Support the Troops" propaganda, yellow ribbon magnets, Freedoms Fries, and all other sorts of nonsense designed to test the patriotism of the average American. It almost seemed like if you couldn't reflexively say "I Support the Troops", you were branded a traitor. But how many people could look beyond the jingoism of that phrase to explain what it meant?
A news item yesterday got me thinking about our priorities within the military and the Pentagon, and who REALLY
"Supports the Troops". The news reported
the story of how a soldier was being denied benefits and asked to return a signing bonus because THEY had discharged him due to his two brothers being killed in action. It seemed so petty when you think of the billions of dollars being flushed down the commode that is the war in Iraq. I decided to dig around a little and see how the U.S. government supports the troops, and how they support the Military-Industrial complex.
Helping Sam Seder
Date: 04/17/2008 20:32:45
Sorry if this is a misuse of the blog entries. I thought it would be helpful for the Sam effort if all of the places to weigh in were in one locale.
Of course, email email@example.com
- there's some debate as to which spelling is correct) and politely let him know we support and will listen to a five-day-a-week gig for Sam.
Second:Sign Robert Greenwald's petition.
This is an extremely generous thing for Robert Greenwald to do, and the more signatures, the better.
Third:Post a comment on the blog at AAR.
It's the one with the announcement about the "celebrity guest hosts" for the next month. They've already got a talented radio show host ready, willing and able to step into that time slot. Use him!
Here's a quote from Sam's blog on April 12th
I don't know what aar plans for the week after Belzer, I hope it turns out to be me. I don't like the idea of competing with Randi, but we wouldn't really be competing... Randi's affiliates know her, most will pick her up. Those that don't want to keep running her won't... I'd like those few to be ones that end up running my daily show.
Sam's contract will run out in just a few weeks (mentioned in the summary of this blog post
from earlier today) - which may be why AAR hasn't committed to a show for him yet.
AAR management continually makes boneheaded decisions about their on-air personalities. Let's make sure they know just how boneheaded a move like dropping Sam, after the disastrous decision about Randi, would be.4 comments
Date: 04/17/2008 17:32:01
So much of what I have learned in the past 4 years, has been learned through reading. With that in mind, I am taking the liberty ( hope no one minds ) to start a virtual bookshelf for DAS BLOG!
Here we can share reviews and/or reccomendations on books we've read!
And, yes Raine, I still plan on letting you borrow "Screwed." I've got a note on it to bring it with me to DC!
So, kick back, have a cup of tea, and relax with a good book. 17 comments
About Last Night.
Date: 04/17/2008 12:40:58
I must say I am rather disgusted. As was mentioned last night, on our live blog, they were discussing the spin instead of the issues. I feel like ABC let everyone down, Both Clinton and Obama supporters alike.
This was not a debate, it was a hit job, by a corporate controlled news outlet. We have precious little time before the Pennsylvania Primary, and instead of the moderators asking questions about issues, we got a 20 minute discussion on a flag pin. (52 minutes altogether on the alleged Obama controversies
) These are non issues, and it is an insult to the American intelligence for these 2 men to be asking such questions.Continue reading...
Debate Live Blog
Date: 04/17/2008 00:07:17
Come blog live during the debate!!222 comments
Bitter Battle Book
Date: 04/16/2008 12:39:41
Bitter side up!
Bitter side down!(apologies to the late Dr. Seuss...)
On April 6th, Barack Obama said these words during a fundraiser in San Francisco:
...But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations...
It should seem obvious to anyone reading this in context
that when he referred to guns or religion, he was referring to the voters' fear that government would interfere
with them as a fake source-point for frustration. To me, it does not read as if Obama is saying people find refuge
in guns or religion. Yet that seems to be how everyone that is criticizing him is interpreting it.
Ask a Vet
Date: 04/15/2008 10:24:57
Today is our 1,854th day in Iraq.
We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures courtesy of antiwar.com:
Since war began (3/19/03): 4035
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3896
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3574
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3176
Since Election (1/31/05): 2598
Other Coalition Troops: 309
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 491
We find this morning's cost of war
passing through $ 511, 374, 550, 000.00 I heard yesterday on the Thom Hartmann program that it's costing us $5,000 a second to fight this war....and that's not too far off the mark. Go ahead; check the link and time it yourself.
First things First.... *** We now have a dedicated page for Shane-O's sound bits ***
*** from the Stephanie Miller Show!!! ***
Shane-O has uploaded his sounds, and will be maintaining that page, uploading the bits a week after they first appear on the show.
Temporarily, there is a link on the menu bar. Within the next day or so, we should have a real button there instead.
The Following is from MoveOn.
And with all the sniping and bitterness of this past weekend, I think it is more and more important that we keep the focus on who we MUST beat in the General Election... 10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):Continue reading...
I apologize if I am out-of-line by adding this post to Four Freedoms Blog, but I am sick and tired of hearing the rampant criticism of Barack Obama's honest comments about the mindset of many frustrated folks who are living in the middle of America, where their good jobs have deserted them, along with secure pensions and health insurance, and along with the fleeing jobs it seems that our government has deserted us too. Deciding it is more important to spend our money and troops' lives in a country that never attacked us rather then spend our money providing health insurance to children in this country. Damn right I'm bitter, if you aren't bitter too, then you haven't been paying attention. [This entry is cross-posted from my blog
]The Audacity of Truth
As I sat last night watching Keith "Truth-teller" Olbermann report on the most recent campaign flap - this one focusing on remarks Senator Barack Obama made in San Francisco last week about his assessment of the mindset of many voters in the middle of the country, my first thought was ho hum, here we go again, creating another mountain out of a molehill. But reflecting on not only Obama's comments, but also the outrageous response to what seems like simple statements of truth, I became angry. My anger grew out of realizing a distinct difference between Mr. Obama's remarks and Ms. Clinton's outright lies. Obama simply offered an opinion about what is going on in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and other mid-western states that have lost industrial jobs and are dealing with the ramifications of a souring economy along with the loss of those good paying jobs, and with them the loss of pensions, and health care. Obama's comments ring true to me. Along with his words about race, Obama speaks the truth as he sees it, as he experiences it, as an intelligent, well-spoken young politician, he is giving us not what we want to hear but rather what the reality is "on the ground."
Are you feeling bitter, well are ya?
Hell yes, I'm feeling bitter. I am bitter that my country is spending not only our current resources but also is bankrupting our children's and our grandchildren's future by continuing to fight in a country that posed no threat to us, that had no weapons of mass destruction, and that had no ties to Al-Qaeda (the terrorist group that actually attacked the twin towers and the pentagon on September 11, 2001). I am bitter that the current administration has catered to the wealthy at the expense of the middle and working class people in this country, granting tax cuts to the ultra-rich and corporations while average Americans are facing foreclosure and are having a hard time filling their gas tanks with the very commodity that is sold by corporations who are profiting by feeding at the government trough and gouging the nation's working people at the same time.
I am sorry to tell the media, but I do know the difference between an outright lie told for effect "I landed in Bosnia under sniper fire," and an assessment offered as insight into what is going on in America right now "It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." The only change I would suggest that Mr. Obama make when he offers future assessments of the American psyche, is that he use the pronoun "we" rather than "they." It is more accurate and inclusive.
Here's a link to the full audio of Obama's speech
, listen to it and decide for yourself whether you feel optimistic or bitter about the state of America right now. I know how I feel, and that is why I so desperately want a change in direction and leadership in this country. Viva Obama!
Read Catherine Crier's piece in HuffPo, Punished for the Truth
, (April 12, 2008).17 comments
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