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Support The Troops
Author: BobR    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.
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147 comments (Latest Comment: 04/19/2008 03:13:13 by Mondobubba)

Helping Sam Seder
Author: shelaghc    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 protected] (and/or [email protected] - 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.

Sign Robert Greenwald's petition. This is an extremely generous thing for Robert Greenwald to do, and the more signatures, the better.

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 (Latest Comment: 04/18/2008 02:45:26 by Raine)

Author: starling310    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 (Latest Comment: 01/02/2009 18:18:37 by starling310)

About Last Night.
Author: Raine    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.
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192 comments (Latest Comment: 04/18/2008 03:08:37 by Mondobubba)

Debate Live Blog
Author: BobR    Date: 04/17/2008 00:07:17

Come blog live during the debate!!

222 comments (Latest Comment: 04/17/2008 03:18:45 by livingonli)

Bitter Battle Book
Author: BobR    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.
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168 comments (Latest Comment: 04/17/2008 00:36:04 by IzzyBitz)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 04/15/2008 10:24:57

Good Morning.

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:

American Deaths
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.

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190 comments (Latest Comment: 04/16/2008 03:48:48 by livingonli)

Ten Things about Him
Author: Raine    Date: 04/14/2008 12:21:25

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):
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312 comments (Latest Comment: 04/15/2008 04:42:31 by livingonli)

Are You Feeling Bitter, Well Are Ya?
Author: m-hadley    Date: 04/13/2008 15:18:28

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 (Latest Comment: 04/14/2008 02:18:20 by Mondobubba)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 04/12/2008 12:15:23

Good Morning!

Blecccch. It's a typical spring weekend here in New England...cold, gray, and rainy. So naturally, us crazy Boy Scouts are headed out into the field! Fortunately, we rented a couple of cabins at Camp Massasoit way down by the Sagamore Bridge (almost on the Cape). We'll see how we do...

So...as the endless primary season drags on without a clear winner on the Democratic side, and a clear loser on the Republican side, there's been some rumblings about a spoiler. It's not Ralph Nader...if anyone in America is more insignificant to this process, I have yet to see him. No....it could be the Libertarians. As more and more people become disillusioned with the process and start to look for other outlets, more people are finding their way to the LP's doorstep. (Go figure, I wandered away from the parties for just this reason in the early part of this century, but as you saw last week, I'm headed back for the 2008 election cycle...) Party membership is up by 28% this year, and it might just be significant this year.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Libertarian Party says that the surge of criticism regarding its potential as a spoiler in the 2008 presidential election is understandable, but that the time for political expediency in American politics is finished.

"Far too long have Americans felt it necessary to waste their vote for the 'lesser of two evils' just for the sake of not crossing partisan lines," says Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory. "That's not how our elections should be. Americans are tired of status quo politics and want a candidate in who they can believe -- not just a candidate who will do the least amount of harm."

Libertarians state that the failure of McCain to capture the conservative base of the Republican Party, and the heated split in the Democratic Party between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, will help advance their agenda of smaller government, lower taxes and maximized liberty.

"True conservatives within the Republican Party are not convinced that John McCain is one of them," says Libertarian Party National Media Coordinator Andrew Davis. "Many people who are both socially tolerant and fiscally responsible are looking to the Libertarian Party, which is much more in line with their core beliefs, as a possible alternative to John McCain in 2008. Additionally, some voters who may typically cast a vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama may choose to support the Libertarian Party due to the current economic crisis and the lack of solutions offered by those candidates."

At the end of 2007, the Libertarian Party announced it had seen a surge in membership of 28 percent. The Party believed the success of Ron Paul's campaign, coupled with growing dissatisfaction with the current political establishment, was driving people away from the major two parties into Libertarian ranks.

"The Libertarian Party has the very real potential to capture principled voters in 2008," says Cory. "It's going to be a good year for America."

It's exciting times for the party...but I don't actually agree with the last sentence. If the LP splits the vote and we end up with President McCain....it will be a catastrophic year for America.

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32 comments (Latest Comment: 04/13/2008 04:27:44 by livingonli)

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