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Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/20/2007 11:26:26

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,707th day in Iraq. Some of of our troops are facing their 5th Thanksgiving away from home this week.

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): 3873
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3734
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3412
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3014
Since Election (1/31/05): 2436

Other Coalition Troops: 304
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 468

We find this morning's cost of war standing at:

$470, 192, 450, 000. 00

And do go direct to the website and stare at the counter a moment today. It seems to be moving faster than ever to these eyes.

Continue reading...

226 comments (Latest Comment: 11/21/2007 07:25:36 by Raine)

Quit While We're Ahead
Author: starling310    Date: 11/19/2007 13:18:17

That’s correct, I said quit. I also said we’re ahead. Furthermore, I qualified my declaration that we are ahead with “ever so slightly.” While even 1 life being lost, to the Bush Crime Family’s successful divide, conquer and steal foreign policy, makes my stomach turn, the numbers seem to show signs of improvement; ever so slightly. There appears to be a decline in the number of brave men and woman that will never return home. There also seems to be an increase in the number of Iraqi civilians that will live to see another day in their homes; what is left of them. According to icasualties, American casualties in September and October were 65 and 38, respectively; down dramatically from the same time period in 2006. While this remains unacceptable, it does seem to present a more favorable environment for the United States to “quit while we’re ahead.” Why stick around and flip the bird to Lady Fate? Any reformed gambler would tell us that now is the time to cash in any winnings, if any, and quickly run to the nearest exit.

Where is the nearest exit and how do we get there? I could not begin to tell you. : larry craig : Let me be clear. I am not a military expert. I have never been a military expert. But I have a gut feeling that the current bill proposed by Congress, that will assuredly be vetoed by the Boy Wonder, won’t cut it! The bill :

Requires a transition in the mission of US forces in Iraq from primarily combat to: force protection and diplomatic protection; limited support to Iraqi security forces; and targeted counter-terrorism operations...

Prohibits deployment of any troops not fully equipped and trained; waivable with a presidential national security certification...

That's a handy loophole -- one big enough to drive a decades-long occupation through, even if it is "only" an occupation confined to those "enduring bases" we're spending so much money on. In this manner, Iraq will remain our staging platform for our neverending efforts to control the future of the Middle East, just as we have attempted to do ever since World War I. Continued. . .

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223 comments (Latest Comment: 11/20/2007 04:57:14 by Raine)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/17/2007 11:32:16

Good morning!

Well, if it's an early Saturday blog, that can only mean one thing. Your Loyal TriSec is off to donate platelets....and you should, too!
What is Platelet Apheresis?
Until recently, the only way to collect enough platelets for a single transfusion was to take blood donations from 5 to 10 donors, separate the platelets from the other blood cells, and combine the platelets to obtain a large enough quantity for transfusion.

Today, sophisticated medical equipment — blood cell separators — can collect enough platelets for transfusion from a single donor. Using a technique called apheresis, blood is drawn from the donor's vein into an apheresis instrument, which separates the blood into separate portions by centrifugation. By appropriately adjusting the instrument, a selected portion of the blood, such as the platelets, can be recovered, while the rest of the blood is returned to the donor either into the same vein or into a vein in the other arm.

This process takes more time than whole blood donation, but the percentage of platelets is much greater. It is a simple, safe process — very much like regular blood donation. In fact, your body starts replenishing platelets immediately after your donation. Within 48 hours, your body's platelets should be completely replenished.

Why Are Platelets Needed?
Blood is made of four components: platelets, plasma, red blood cells and white blood cells. The platelet component is necessary to control bleeding. Patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, for example, are unable to produce enough platelets. Without platelet transfusion, life-threatening hemorrhages could result.

So...on to the news of the day. Much has been made this week of Libertarian candidate Ron Paul's endorsements from some anti-semitic and white supremacist groups. After searching the internets for confirmation this morning (and finding none, I might add...another unsubstantiated MSM attack?), I did find this story from the Huffington Post...
Through no fault of his own, Rep. Ron Paul's anti-globalist, anti-government campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has become a magnet in neo-Nazi networks, pulling in activists and supporters from the fringe white nationalist community where anti-Semitism, anti-black and anti-immigrant views are commonplace.

In some cases, these internet-based activists acknowledge that even though the Paul campaign does not have a racist or anti-Semitic agenda, it can serve as a vehicle to find sympathizers and to recruit new loyalists drawn to the Republican congressman's opposition to international trade agreements, federal police authority and to the income tax.

Such web-based organizations as Stormfront (motto: "White Pride, World Wide"), Vanguard News Network ("No Jews. Just Right.") and the Nationalist Coalition ("working to create the relationships that will lay the foundation for the White community that is necessary to our survival") have become sources of support for Paul's bid for the Republican nomination, and in some cases have set up separate Ron Paul discussion groups.

The Paul campaign dismissed the pro-Paul activities among these groups. "We don't know who these people are," said Jesse Benton, Paul's communications director. Their support has "nothing to do with Ron Paul, and what he stands for....His message of freedom, peace and prosperity - that's why people support him."

Paul has not made racist or anti-Semitic appeals to the controversial organizations and their members. Instead, their support is based on Paul's libertarian opposition to government generally, including the IRS and the powers granted to the federal government under the Patriot Act - views that are shared by many on the conservative fringe of the spectrum.

In the 2000 campaign, Patrick J. ("Pat") Buchanan appealed to many similar individuals and organizations. Buchanan had a history of expressing views that were often interpreted as anti-Semitic.

Writing on the Vanguard News Network, "White Will" argued that "folks, get involved in the Ron Paul 'revolution' and work with political activists in your communities who are attracted to his anti-globalist message.... Most of you would be surprised at how many good people can be exposed to a, let's say, 'pro-majority' message among the remarkable groundswell of fed up, mostly White Ron Paul supporters -- many, early on, from the 9/11 truth movement. They are finding their backbones as they are exposed to more and more hidden truths, especially about the hidden hand of Jewry behind every foul venture."

Among those backing Paul this year is John J. Ubele, the National Coalition's Operations Manager. In an emailed reply to an inquiry, Ubele said, "I know that Ron Paul is not a white separatist or a white nationalist. However, he is the most honest and responsible of all the presidential candidates and that is why I support his candidacy."

The National Coalition is one of a number of splinter groups that formed after the death of William Luther Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, and founder of the now fractured National Alliance. The Turner Diaries were considered crucial to the thinking of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Continue reading...

21 comments (Latest Comment: 11/19/2007 05:52:12 by Raine)

The School Of Assassins
Author: BobR    Date: 11/16/2007 12:58:23

With the WarOnTerra™ (cleverly disguised as the Occupation of Iraq) dominating the news cycles for the last several years, it's always discussed in an olde western movie framework. The United States is always the one wearing the white hats, trying to save the damsel of freedom tied to the railroad tracks of terrorism. It seems we always paint ourselves as the good guys, and deride "them" as the ones who torture, who kill innocents and - worst of all - train their people to engage in these despicable acts.

Flying under the radar, though is a little known reality. We train terrorists. We train assassins. We do the same thing. It's commonly known as the School of the Americas, although the name was changed in 2001 to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in a failed attempt to convince detractors that the SOA had been closed. We are not so easily fooled.

Started in Panama in 1946, and moved to the U.S. at some point after 1984, the school "has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics..." (per SOAW). The graduates then go on to use their newly developed skills and knowledge to terrorize the occupants of their own countries.
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96 comments (Latest Comment: 11/17/2007 00:47:32 by velveeta jones)

Author: Raine    Date: 11/15/2007 13:27:00

OK, now that we got that primal scream out this Thursday morning...and before anything else... we need to get this important information out there...
Beaujolais Nouveau is here!

From CNN, We learn that Mukasey, (TczarV.2™ ), wants more legal illegal wiretapping!
In his second day on the job, Attorney General Michael Mukasey leaped into the political fray, telling a key Democratic senator he opposes his electronic surveillance plan and would recommend the president veto it if it is passed.

Leahy last week introduced his substitute to a FISA modernization bill already approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee. That effort, led by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., won wide bipartisan support and is backed by the administration. It includes retroactive immunity to legally protect the telecommunications companies which cooperated with the administration's classified warrantless surveillance program.

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335 comments (Latest Comment: 11/16/2007 06:32:05 by livingonli)

Let Them Eat Cake
Author: BobR    Date: 11/14/2007 06:58:46

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and Christmas is right around the corner. It's that time of year when we celebrate with excessive consumption and consumerism and all of the self-loathing that goes with it. It's with that in mind that I came across this set of headlines and stories, almost all juxtaposed one upon the other:

Ex-Citigroup boss 'to get $95m'
Buyout Firms, Hedge Funds Look to Senate, Bush to Beat Tax Rise
'Hidden Costs' Double Price Of Two Wars, Democrats Say
Middle-Class Dream Eludes African American Families
World’s poorest people being left behind, says report

from that last story:
NEW DELHI: A new global study says that despite much progress in poverty reduction worldwide, a substantial number of the world's poorest people are being left behind.

"Business as usual won't do," says the report entitled, 'The World's Most Deprived: Characteristics and Causes of Extreme Poverty and Hunger' by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It finds that 162 million of the world's poorest people - the "ultra poor" - survive on less than 50 cents a day. If concentrated in a single nation, they would comprise the world's seventh most populous country.

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241 comments (Latest Comment: 11/15/2007 04:30:32 by MMB)

Author: BobR    Date: 11/13/2007 21:14:26

Due to the various requests for emoticons, sounds and other blog enhancements that seem to get scattered around the various blog posts, please use this blog to make all future requests. I am adding a link to the links box at the lower left of your screen...
37 comments (Latest Comment: 02/03/2008 17:15:20 by BobR)

Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/13/2007 11:53:41

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,700th 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): 3860
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3061
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3399
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3001
Since Election (1/31/05): 2423

Other Coalition Troops: 304
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 465

We find this morning's Cost of War standing at :

$ 468, 232, 000, 000.00

Continue reading...

225 comments (Latest Comment: 11/14/2007 05:11:43 by Raine)

Sounds like Blog Spirit
Author: Raine    Date: 11/12/2007 13:17:57

Good morning everyone! Welcome to Monday.

As some of you know, we added a few features to the blog over the weekend... Audi-Cons! Why? - because sometimes someone really did say it better than you ever could have. Check them out!

Yesterday was Veteran's day. I thanked my dad for his service. My dad was spending the day enjoying the warm Florida sunshine, and planned on going fishing. He earned it; my dad is a Vet - he served.

The president decided to spend the Day in Crawford. He gave a speech. He has spent 4 of the past 6 veteran's days in Washington... I am trying to figure out which one he didn't spend there... Personally, I find it a little shameful that during this time, a time when we learned that 2007 was the deadliest year for our soldiers in Afghanistan, that he did not attend the Services at Arlington. Instead, he marked his Fifth Veterans day since he invaded Iraq in Texas. He attended a small ceremony, and yes, he invoked 911™, saying
"America is blessed to have such brave defenders. They are tomorrow's veterans and they are bringing pride to our country. Their service is noble and it is necessary," he said. "The enemies who attacked us six years ago want to strike our country again, and next time they hope to kill Americans on a scale that will make 9/11 pale by comparison."
Wow, way to fearmonger.

The president did not serve. The president was AWOL, when he could have been serving the same way those vets did that he honored yesterday in Texas. HE did not serve. HE did not put his life on the line.
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266 comments (Latest Comment: 11/13/2007 03:23:29 by livingonli)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/10/2007 13:02:13

Good Morning!

Was there a municipal election in your area this past week? Did you vote?

Well, quite a few Libertarians did. There was only a smattering of candidates nationwide, but in those races that had a Libertarian, 17% of those candidates won! Check out this list of states and see who might have been in the ballot in your area.

And during this week of Mukasey and Musharraf, did you happen to notice that the national debt reached Nine Trillion Dollars ? Tis true, and trust me, it's not a good thing.
Washington, D.C. – The national Libertarian Party issued a scathing criticism of the Republican Party's fiscal performance after the Treasury Department's announcement that the national debt had reached an all-time record of $9 trillion this week. "The fact that the national debt has risen by more than 800 percent in an era dominated by Republican presidents will be the obituary of fiscal conservatism in the Republican Party," says William Redpath, national chairman of the Libertarian Party.

It took from George Washington to Ronald Reagan for the national debt to hit the $1 trillion mark--a period of more than 190 years. Now, 27 years later, the national debt has risen more than 800 percent under three Republican and one Democratic presidents. However, only $1.2 trillion of national debt was accrued during President Bill Clinton's administration, meaning the bulk of national debt comes from Republican administrations.

"It's tragically ironic that Republicans have crucified themselves on their own cross of fiscal irresponsibility," says Redpath. "Even Reagan, who has been deified by Republicans as the stalwart of conservatism, ran deficits and vastly expanded the size of government. When it comes down to brass tacks, Republicans of the last three decades can talk the talk, but have never walked the walk. A nine trillion dollar national debt is what happens when a political party fails to abide by its own standards of fiscal responsibility."

At the end of the fiscal year 1981, the national debt was $997 billion, according to the Treasury Department's Web site. By the time George W. Bush became president, the national debt had soared to more than $5.5 trillion. The national debt is now at $9 trillion.

"The numbers don't lie," says Shane Cory, executive director for the Libertarian Party. "Aside from a general disagreement in social philosophy and foreign policy, there is no real difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. And even those differences are waning. This is especially true when comparing the two parties' presidential frontrunners, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Giuliani and Clinton might as well be the same candidate."

"Americans want a choice for leaders of their country," Redpath concluded. "But they're not going to find it between Republicans and Democrats. The Libertarian Party is the only viable third party that offers a proven dedication to fiscal responsibility."

Nine trillion dollars is an awfully large number to grasp...but I'll try to anyway.

The Big Dig in Boston cost about $15 billion dollars. We could have 600 Big Digs at that price.

The average home price in the United States is currently $299,100 (for all areas, your mileage may vary). So we could buy 30 million single family homes at this price.

How about a college education? Harvard is the best, so at a four-year price of $180,000, we could send 50 million kids to school for free.

But don't take my word for it...go to the National Priorities Project website and see what could have been funded in your state with some of this money.

Continue reading...

101 comments (Latest Comment: 11/12/2007 13:29:30 by Raine)

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