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Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 08/05/2008 10:33:10

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,966th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4131
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3992
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3670
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3272
Since Election (1/31/05): 2694

Other Coalition Troops: 314
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 566
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 343
Contractor Casualties: 444

We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $ 542, 740, 975, 000.00

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398 comments (Latest Comment: 08/06/2008 04:49:38 by capt)

Then and Now... a dishonor to self and country.
Author: Raine    Date: 08/04/2008 12:28:03

Let's Start with some happy thoughts for Barack Obama. Today is his 47th Birthday! To contrast, at the end of the month, it will be John McCain's 72nd.

The Olympics start Friday. I contend that this week Barack Obama will pick his running mate. The Olympics end a day before the DNC, and I think that he will want this choice put out there before Bejing, as the already cancelled news will be even more cancelled for this debacle called sports. I have decided to stop speculating about this, as the other pundits and the bloggers have been crazy about it. Well, anyway -- on to the Monday Blog...
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327 comments (Latest Comment: 08/05/2008 05:50:08 by livingonli)

China Syndrome
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 08/03/2008 12:34:32

Well I must say it was awfully nice of Bobber, Raine and the 4F staff, to send this blogger to China to report on the Olympics. Its dreadfully exciting, though I'm unsure as to why I was the chosen one, since Velveeta's "sports" interests tend to include only flower arranging and needlepoint. And despite my ex-husband, Root, desperate attempts to attract me to NASCAR and some vulgar conflagration called Ultimate Fighting Championship - all were a dismal failure.

But China! Beijing! City of ............ um............ er.............. ah.......... Lights? No, no, that's Paris. Well, anyway. Its a large city, filled with many busy people and tons of smog! Though I've heard that the smog situation is well under control, at least its not as bad since the strict government has cracked down on people driving.

Millions of residents have been driven off the roads because of a partial ban on cars, while tens of thousands of workers have been forced to move away because their factories were relocated.

I landed at Beijing Capital International Airport just after midnight and was taken to my hotel accommodations by a taxi driver who, curiously, did not say much. (Sadly, it seems that the owners of said blog must be strapped for money, because I am staying way outside the city limits in what can only be described as a rather run-down Youth Hostel. When I informed my driver that I was reporting on the Olympic Games he asked why I was staying so far away! Well, I am quickly trying to befriend the Germans and Danes that I'm sharing a room with. Though its odd, they seem unaware that the Olympics are even taking place this year).

I don’t suppose I’ll be able to see our pResident, George W Bush, or, as I like to call him, Wush - it seems simple, like the man - when he arrives in a few days to attend the opening ceremonies. In fact, I don't seem to have a ticket to the festivities. I'm sure a minor oversight by the 4F staff, and I’m confident a ticket will be at the "will call" window.

Anyway, Wush will be arriving next week, and as this AP article states:

The heart of the trip is in Beijing, where Bush is to spend four nights and days.
His challenge, like the way he describes the U.S.-China relationship, is complex.

Complex? Well that's an understatement!! I'd say its more like the relationship a whore has with her pimp - and if you consider that a "complex" relationship, then so be it.
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108 comments (Latest Comment: 08/04/2008 11:25:06 by liam1965)

It's all about the Resume
Author: TriSec    Date: 08/02/2008 12:59:34

Good Morning.

By now, you've probably seen Senator McCain's latest TV Ad. But if you haven't I'm sorry you won't get this 1:14 of your life back.

This ad actually struck me as generally favorable towards Obama...but then there's Moses. (Hey, I thought Barack was Muslim, but I digress). Others have called the ad offensive and stupid.

But does it ask a legitimate question? "Is he ready to lead?"
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118 comments (Latest Comment: 08/03/2008 05:44:57 by capt)

Very Superstitious...
Author: BobR    Date: 08/01/2008 12:13:25

Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you dont understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way
- "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder

Today is going to be a special day in certain parts of the world. The people in Greenland, Siberia, China, and a few other places will be able to witness a total eclipse of the sun. The path can be seen here. This rare event used to cause all sorts of superstitious reactions:

Before there was a scientific explanation for eclipses, myth and mystery was pervasive. Many cultures thought a demon or dragon was devouring the sun.

In ancient China, "any unusual phenomenon involving celestial bodies was noted for potential omens, either good or bad, that might befall the current Emperor," according to Sten Odenwald of the department of physics at Catholic University. An eclipse occurred in 2134 B.C., but was not predicted by Hsi and Ho, who were believed to have been two astrologers who served the Emperor Chung K'ang.

"By some accounts, the two astrologers were negligent in their duties and did not foretell the event for the Emperor," Odenwald writes in a historical article published by NASA. "They were summarily beheaded for their negligence of duty."

The ancient Chinese banged pots and drums to shoo the frightful sun-eating character away, according to the Exploratorium Science Center in San Francisco. In India, people would immerse themselves in water to help the sun fight the dragon.

Even nowadays many myths persist. In Egypt, as one example, children are often kept indoors with windows covered or shades drawn during an eclipse.

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218 comments (Latest Comment: 08/02/2008 07:25:56 by livingonli)

Georgia was stolen. AKA: you can't be a hero if your party is not heroic.
Author: Raine    Date: 07/31/2008 09:30:22

I am not kidding here. If you are on a team that does great things, then yes! celebrate! Be a cheerleader! But you can't be the hero of a party that does unheroic things. That is not how sports are played... And politics - they are one and the same, as some in the media have said. The problem is: the results of politics are FAR more critical. So - let's begin....

Let's talk about Heroes; let's talk about politics.
Let's talk about how the GOP treats our heroes for a moment. For just a brief moment, let's talk about Max Cleland. In case you did not know, he is a Vietnam vet...He is the honorable and former Senator from the state of Georgia. He did not win re-election and Saxby Chambiss assumed his seat. Basically, he was *swifboated*. The following ad is largely attributed to his *failure* to win his election campaign:
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325 comments (Latest Comment: 08/01/2008 04:13:47 by livingonli)

Republican Psychoanalysis 101
Author: BobR    Date: 07/30/2008 12:21:56

I had an experience lately that got me thinking about right-wingers and why they think they way they do. As some of you may know, I have a second job at a pizza place. One of my coworkers is a right-winger, and we get along despite this obvious character flaw. I had shown her the letter to the editor I had gotten published regarding drilling for oil, and she tried to correct my "misperceptions". Next to it was a letter regarding Michael Weiner Savage, and she said "I love him". I said he was an asshole and she said "that's why I love him". I mentioned his comments on autistic children and she said "he's right - I have a friend that runs a day care center and she said...". There was some crosstalk (and I had to leave to make a delivery), but then she said "I don't believe in ADD either".
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437 comments (Latest Comment: 07/31/2008 04:44:52 by Raine)

Bout Time
Author: Mondobubba    Date: 07/29/2008 23:33:01

We are back up! Start the highjinx.
102 comments (Latest Comment: 07/30/2008 12:19:12 by velveeta jones)

McCain wants Obama to Visit Columbia. Ok, Let's talk about Columbia (and John McCain)
Author: Raine    Date: 07/28/2008 07:34:36

In the Beginning of July , John McCain traveled to Columbia (the country). His purpose, according to reports, was to talk about illegal drugs and the promotion of CAFTA. While he was there, he met with cabinet members and business leaders... Most importantly, he met with President Uribe, (who came to power in 2002) allegedly to talk about the country's Human Rights record. Source

I mention this because yesterday, capt, a member of our blog, brought to light an interesting snippet from HuffPo. It was a CNN segment where a McCain representative suggested that Obama should visit other places that McCain has been, in particular, Columbia, South America. I quote "In fact, [Obama's] never met with President Uribe in Colombia, as John McCain has." This caught my eye. Many people focused a lot on Columbia that week early in July because John McCain's visit coincided with the release of 5 hostages (3 of which were Americans) after five years of FARC captivity. I will preface the rest of this with an opinion: FARC is not a nice group. This is not about FARC. FARC has been been trying to overthrow Columbia for quite some time. However... President Uribe is not someone we should be associating with, in my opinion. I hope you follow me here, because this gets interesting. Let's focus on the President of Columbia, the man that John McCain traveled to see, the man he wants to do business with, the man he NOW thinks Barack Obama should go visit. From Justice For Columbia, A human rights group based in London:
Uribe has worked for the Medellin Cartel and is a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar. He has participated in Escobar's political campaign…."

Perhaps unsurprisingly due to the links between the drugs traffickers and the paramilitaries Uribe also grew closer to those involved in the AUC paramilitary alliance. During his period as Governor of Antioquia, Uribe openly supported and financed local vigilante groups known as CONVIVIR. According to Human Rights Watch many CONVIVIR groups "were directed by known paramilitaries" whilst others "threatened to assassinate Colombians that were considered as guerrilla sympathizers of which rejected joining the [CONVIVIR]".
There is far more at the link, and I know Pablo is dead... however it's the paramiliatary aspect, more so than the drugs, that are disturbing me.
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221 comments (Latest Comment: 07/29/2008 00:26:41 by Raine)

Sly, like a............
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 07/27/2008 03:39:03

Velveeta was all set to write another installment of "A Southern Ladies Guide to Gentleman Callers" but was then stymied by the scandalous information about FOX news. Apparently, FOX News™ may not be "Fair And Balanced" after all! It seems they might be a tool of the right-wing branch of neo-cons. I for one, am shocked!

So, with fainting couch close at hand, I read the accusations. Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan admitted that the White House used FOX commentators as their spokespeople, feeding them information that they wanted the American audience to hear, regardless of any "facts". Mr. McClellan, aka Puffy McMoonFace, recently told Chris Matthews on Hardball, "There were (FOX) commentators and pundits who were useful to the White House...... we were getting them Talking Points."

Well, Mr. Puffy McMoonFace (so called because of his overly round face, and his penchant for blowing up like a Puffer fish when he is caught in a lie) should know. He would have been the one issuing the memos.
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91 comments (Latest Comment: 07/28/2008 07:01:56 by livingonli)

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