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The Case for Criminal Procedings
Author: BobR    Date: 02/06/2008 13:26:20

With all of the hoopla over the Super Tuesday primaries, this story has slipped through the cracks. Perhaps the timing of the release of the story was intentional for that very reason.

The CIA used a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspects captured after the September 11 attacks, CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress on Tuesday.

"Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees," Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the first time a U.S. official publicly specified the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them.

Critics call waterboarding a form of illegal torture. Congress is considering banning the technique.

Congress is considering banning the technique? It's already against the law (which we'll see in a minute). But first, let's take a look at this report from the State Dept about Tunisia:
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172 comments (Latest Comment: 02/07/2008 04:22:23 by BobR)

Ask a Vet - Super Tuesday
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/05/2008 11:23:32

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,784th day in Iraq.

We'll start today as we always do, with the latest casualty figures in the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3945
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3806
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3484
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3087
Since Election (1/31/05): 2507

Other Coalition Troops: 307
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 482

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through: $491, 762, 500, 000.00

And now on to Super Tuesday.

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332 comments (Latest Comment: 02/06/2008 05:48:25 by livingonli)

Super Monday!
Author: Raine    Date: 02/04/2008 13:37:01

Good Morning!

I have no voice. No, it isn't a political thing, I really have no voice today!

Tomorrow is the OTHER big day of the week, SuperMegaHuge Tuesday. And truthfully, it seems as though no on really knows what is going to happen.
CNN is reporting that Obama and Hillary are in a dead heat nationally, and that McCain is in a real lead. However, Reuters is reporting that Mitt is widening his lead in California, and down here in the deep Red South, no one really knows who is in first or second for the GOP. Depending on the Poll, it is either Mitt or McCain.

It is a real toss up, if you ask me. No matter what, it is key that tomorrow everyone who CAN vote do so. This is the most important election of our time. If you need a reminder, let's let John Tell us:
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151 comments (Latest Comment: 02/05/2008 04:45:33 by shelaghc)

The Mega GIANT Extra PATRIOT-ic Super blog!
Author: Raine    Date: 02/03/2008 21:11:29



It's time... Superbowl XLII, Giants vs. The Patriots...

Undefeated Vs. Unbelievable...

Stats don't matter anymore, Records don't matter anymore, it comes down to final game. Both teams can play hard, but one is going home as SuperBowl champs.

Who will win? No one knows, I am a rabid giants fan, transplanted New Yorker... our Loyal TriSec is our resident New Englander... but this blog is the place to come and talk about all things superbowl, wardrobe malfucntions included! (altho seeing Tom Petty's breaticles isn't something that I think I REALLY wanna see... :P

We have the Boston Lager on one side and Brooklyn Lager on the other... Our dessert Tray has New York Cheesecake and Boston Creme Pie... SO...

Let the games begin!

:peace: and

67 comments (Latest Comment: 02/04/2008 13:15:37 by velveeta jones)

Keep your eye on the ball, dammit!
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 02/03/2008 13:54:30

Our team will prevail and after much conflict, we will win, win, WIN! Because we are geared up and we are tough and strong, and above all WE ARE #1.

Oh, I’ve just been informed that today is Super bowl Sunday for that silly football diversion, but that is not what I was referring to. What I meant was that very long game that never seems to end: Christianity vs. all others. Currently we are crusading against Islam - though part of our brilliant plan is to not really let them know we’re crusading against them. We tell them we must weed out only the “fanatical” ones, the ones that make Islam look bad. Clever, huh?

Following the last war the U.S. engaged in for the cause of humanitarian good, it was Christianity vs. Communism. These times are known by Conservatives as the Good Ol’ Days; back when women, blacks, browns and colors in between knew their place in the world, where gay people only existed in closets, and when men worked respectable jobs without over-bearing Unions interfering or the Government telling them to stop dumping chemicals and such into the water supplies. “Ah the Good Ol’ Days……..”, they lament.

Back then it was Communism that kept these men on their toes and to be suspicious of their neighbor. Why, he could be one of those Godless communists, especially if he worked in Hollywood, belonged to a Union or, even worse, was a Catholic. Every home had a bomb shelter and every child could duck and cover under their school desk at a moments notice.
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19 comments (Latest Comment: 02/03/2008 22:00:46 by Raine)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/02/2008 13:51:43

Good Morning!

It's some days back now, but much like the Democrats, the Libertarian Party also issued a response to the State of the Union address. Unfortunately, this was distributed only on the internets, as third parties 'don't count' for the vast majority of Americans...

Following President Bush’s annual State of the Union Address, the Libertarian Party issued their response from National Chairman William Redpath:

Tonight’s State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government’s intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy. It is unfortunate to see that after seven years of increasing the size of government and increasing the government’s presence in the day to day lives of all Americans, the President refuses to limit the scope of the federal government, a once championed virtue of the President’s party. The President’s last State of the Union address encapsulated his legacy of an abandonment of the principles of limited government and individual freedom.

While the Libertarian Party applauds the President on taking a stand against wasteful government spending–though his administration has been a large contributor to this problem–and opening up more foreign markets to trade, we offer the following solutions to issues the President brought up in his address:

Economics: The President’s economic stimulus plan is based on a flawed and outdated economic premise. The best solution to an economic slowdown is increasing the ability for businesses to grow and reinvest in the economy. Instead of increasing the federal deficit by $150 billion dollars, the federal government should focus its energy on eliminating taxes that restrain economic growth. Eliminating taxes such as the death tax and capital gains taxes, and lowering income tax rates on private citizens, will free up vital capital that can be reinvested into the economy. Additionally, the federal government should remove all trade barriers that prevent free trade with other nations. This is a more sound economic policy that presents real solutions instead of the window-dressing that is the President’s stimulus package.

Education: The President’s ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ has failed from the very beginning, and its reauthorization would be a travesty to the American education system. Instead of unfunded, federal mandates with the intent of fixing our failing public schools, alternatives involving the private sector should be explored. Increased local control over public schools and the increased use of private alternatives will increase the quality of education for all American children. We call for abolishing the Department of Education and removing the federal government from educating our children.

Health care: Far too long have our politicians tried to find a government fix for the health care problem we have in America. Government interference in the health care system is the root of the problems we face. Only in eliminating government subsidies of health care will we find relief from increasing costs. The Libertarian Party calls for the elimination of all government entitlement programs related to health care.

Foreign Policy: America will spend more than $1 trillion dollars in foreign wars started during the Bush administration. Because of such, the economy is in jeopardy and America’s reputation abroad has suffered traumatic blows. On top of this, Americans have seen their civil liberties violated time after time. The Libertarian Party calls for a withdrawal from Iraq following the proper lines of withdrawal, executed by our commanders on the ground. We also call for an abandonment of the reckless policy of pre-emptive war, and a restoration of civil liberties lost under such laws as the Patriot Act and the amendments to FISA. The Libertarian Party reminds our leaders in power of the great words of Samuel Adams:

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

In this perilous time, when our freedom is attacked from both inside our borders by corrupt politicians and from outside by foreign aggressors, we call for prudence, wisdom and above all, an adherence to the United States Constitution, which reigns sovereign over all individuals of American society.

Redpath is a resident of Leesburg, Virginia, where he lives with his wife Melinda. Redpath has served as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party since 2006. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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16 comments (Latest Comment: 02/03/2008 06:08:23 by Mondobubba)

We Are the Change
Author: BobR    Date: 02/01/2008 13:08:21

Everybody deals with bad situations in different ways. Some people lash out, some people withdraw. When I heard about Edwards suspending his campaign on Wed., I didn't know what to do with my feelings. I suggested to my love that she channel her feelings into her art. I decided to take my own advice, and channel it into music.

Understand that I studiously avoid trying to write political music. There are very few that can do that and make it work. There are SO many bad political songs out there...

But - I fell asleep Wednesday night with the beginnings of a song in my head, and woke up yesterday with it nearly finished. I haven't had a chance to really work out the music parts or record it, but I am sharing the lyrics (subject to change) with the blog today...
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172 comments (Latest Comment: 02/02/2008 05:13:37 by Mondobubba)

Breaking up is hard to do
Author: Raine    Date: 01/31/2008 13:23:40

I am single again. I won't tell you the sad story of how it happened because I myself am still not sure. I have my suspicions, but now is not the time or the place.

As John Edwards suspended his campaign yesterday, I immediately felt a real shift in the political landscape. (ok, it actually felt like someone punched me in the gut. The last time I remember feeling like that was the very last broadcast of *UnFiltered*) I suspect all of us who felt passionately about a candidate have felt this so far, unless you felt that way about our 2 remaining candidates that is.

That means you still have a date to the prom.
I don't. :(

And the MSM pundits felt the shift too. The question of the night was who will Edwards endorse? Where will his supporters go?

Suddenly last night I felt like a prize to be taken instead of earned. There were reasons why I supported John Edwards, it was not just because his speeches inspired me. It wasn't because he was something perceived as different. It wasn't the work he did for the poor and underserved. I supported John Edwards because he supported the causes that I truly care about in this country, and he made them the centerpieces of his campaign. He talked substance. He gave answers and he did not waiver in his convictions.
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217 comments (Latest Comment: 02/01/2008 03:43:37 by livingonli)

Report from an Edwards Rally
Author: BobR    Date: 01/30/2008 13:15:42

From Guest Blogger (and 4F member) Faye (m-hadley):
This morning I got up, checked my e-mail over my morning coffee, posted an entry to my blog that I had written the night before (see the following critique of Bush's last SOTU address), and headed out the door to a rally being held in North Tulsa at the Transportation Workers Union Local #514 Hall. The rally was being held for John Edwards. I realize that I may be perceived to be somewhat of a flip-flopper on my presidential choice for 2008. As I have explained to anybody who will listen, I know myself too well, and I know that once I choose a candidate, it will be very hard for me to switch my allegiance to another candidate come Convention time in Denver. So although I have posted entries on my blog that suggest that I am supporting Barack Obama (and I am impressed with his eloquent style, his vision of hope and unity, and his ability to inspire us to be our very best selves), and I have been vocal about my misgivings about Hillary Clinton, I am also a realist, and I know that whoever gets the nod in July from the Democratic Party is the candidate I will support in November. I have survived the ravages of a senseless, remorseless, ugly, and fear-based republican administration, and I will not in good conscience support any candidate that even hints at continuing any of Bush/Cheney's horrendous policies.
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204 comments (Latest Comment: 01/31/2008 02:47:04 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 01/29/2008 11:41:44

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,777th day in Iraq.

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

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3940
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3801
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3479
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3081
Since Election (1/31/05): 2503

Other Coalition Troops: 307
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 481

We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $ 489,803,250,000.00

In doing some research for more sources, I've found some more veterans sites...so this morning we'll turn to a new one, Iraq Veterans Against the War. They too have a multitude of veterans to tell their stories...and there are some slightly different points of view. But in the end...a soldier's story is often one of frustration.
A lot of this will be no surprise to those of you still in the service. These are things that everyone complains about, but that largely don't make it to the public for several reasons. One is the 'camouflage wall of silence', similar to the police's 'blue wall', which translates in the vernacular into a lot of 'Only I can beat up my brother'. Military members have years to start disliking the press, and believing that civilians can never understand their issues. And to be honest, a lot of the issues are pretty hard for civilians to understand.

Such as the No Specialist Left Behind program. Yes, the Army was hurting for good NCOs, particularly NCOs that had seen combat. The Army was bleeding good NCOs like nobody's business. They saw the way the wind was blowing, and many didn't want to stay in. Big Army, in its infinite wisdom and under pressure to deliver in Iraq, decided that the answer was clearly a problem promotion system. The problem wasn't that there weren't enough NCOs! The problem was that good, deserving specialists were somehow languishing in obscurity! Well, you don't have to listen to me tell you that was a bad idea. You can listen to the retired CSM tell you at the link above. Or you can listen to me tell you that when you promote people who aren't ready for it, you get bad, inexperienced NCOs, who are going to lead their troops to trouble. I had to teach one of my NCOs once how to fill out a basic 4856. One of my NCOs. Not one of my specs bucking for their stripes, one of my existing NCOs. And the problem doesn't stop there-when you see some units making four-year staff-sergeants that can't find their own ass with both hands, you know that things are broken.

You know things are hurting when the Army is so desperate for new bodies to send to Iraq that new kids coming in, who haven't even made it through Basic yet, can sign up for $40,000 bonuses, while twelve-year combat veterans go begging looking for some chump change to give the next eight years of their life to the military. I'm not saying it's all about money, because it's not. But I'm saying that we're setting the wrong priorities there.

Especially when we're hurting for bodies so badly that we don't let our drill sergeants do their jobs and impart discipline to the soldiers. Got a buddy on the trail? Talk to them next time about how much they're pushed to let dirtbag would-be soldiers squeak through, because the Army can't afford to replace them. Or talk to a recruiter friend about how much they're pushed to make quota, and the consequences if they don't.
There's more at the source; including some embedded links...check it out.

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197 comments (Latest Comment: 01/30/2008 06:48:58 by livingonli)

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