Friday, June 29, 2007

New Bush record achieved, shamefully.

A new high record has been set. Unfortunately, it has to do with U.S. Fatalities in Iraq. Today marks the first time since the war began, where we have had 3 consecutive months with 100 or more fatalities in this senseless war of choice. I hope Bush is proud of this "Mission Accomplished!" It is now a part of his eternal legacy.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

American Public 1, Amnesty Bill 0: Final score.

I am thrilled the "Amnesty" Bill got rejected. I had sent an email to my Senator, Dianne Feinstein, knowing full well that she was one of those leading the charge to pass the Bill. But I felt that she was on the wrong side of this issue while most of the time she was on the right side of issues. So thank all of you who raised your voice in opposition to this Bill. Maybe Senator Feinstein learned something in this battle. It's the first time that the American people have stood up and were counted, since the last election in November. Just maybe, it’s the beginning of something good. Now if we can get those voices louder to bring home the troops from Iraq.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'll trust the American people any day. Would you?

The Presidential candidates are all giving us their "line", hoping we'll nibble at least, and possibly, get hooked on them. But what I noticed is that they all sound the same. Each chooses which particular special interest issue is the bait for us and then they give us their "line". Of course we disagree with each of them on many other issues, where we haven't fallen for the bait. But they keep putting that same bait out there hoping to drag us along to the primaries and then the General election next November. The Republicans use these as bait; reduced taxes, pro-life, against gay marriage and a strong military. The Democrats use: tax the rich, pro-choice, anti-discriminatory practices regarding gay marriages, and more recently, a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.

On the other side, you have all the elected officials, Republican and Democrats alike, and the American public, that totally disagree with this President/ Vice President and Administration on a number of issues. We all can't wait for their departure from office, back into their non-reality world. Where the only help for them is therapy or AA, and where they learn to embrace the 1st step of the 12 step process; Denial.

President Bush says, "I'm the Decider! I don't follow the polls". Cheney says, We can't make decisions based upon some poll, we have to do what's best for America!" I say, why not? If we are a true democracy, shouldn't government be representative government of "all" the people not just "business leaders"? If polls were done with a large sample of Americans and truly representative with statistical accuracy, why should major questions and issues be put before the American people to decide?

Seems to me that if you take ALL the pools on the war, the American people have spoken loud and clear. They say get out NOW! It isn't even close now with 70% of the poll results showing the vast majority of people want out of Iraq sooner rather than later. And yet neither party is willing to follow the input and wishes of their constituency. We do not have representative government that works any longer. Maybe we should it more along the lines of American Idol and have people vote by phone and elected officials must comply with the result? It can't be much worse than what we have now. Even adding a third party will not work as the leader will need to get support from the other 2 parties which won't be so inclined to support them.

It's not the only issue Americans agree. More than 75% of Americans want our Borders secure first before deciding anything about the 12-20 undocumented (illegal) immigrants here. Same is true about keeping the government out of our bedrooms and out of our life or death decisions we are faced with our elderly parents. Also true, we agree that if this were a war we had to win, we would be willing to have shared sacrifice. We also agree that the rich should pay more share of the taxes. We agree we want to preserve Social Security and Medicare Prescription Drug benefits but that the government should be able to negotiate for better prices to get a large discount, especially for seniors. And we agree everyone should be covered by Universal Healthcare coverage and not be denied care. My friends we could decided some things and move along the process of stalemate in Washington.

Seriously though, we need to consider this problem as informed citizens and be willing to make proposals that could get the lobbyists and special interest groups out of the process. I'm really open for some good creative thinking here. Have you got any good ideas to share? Leave a comment if you do.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

"Enemy combatants" -Who says so?

In a report filed by this AP writer, evidence surfaces that the tribunals are a sham . It took another brave Military Officer to expose the real truth. Here's the story:

By BEN FOX, Associated Press Writer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - An Army officer with a key role in the U.S. military hearings at Guantanamo Bay says they relied on vague and incomplete intelligence and were pressured to declare detainees "enemy combatants," often without any specific evidence.

His affidavit, released Friday, is the first criticism by a member of the military panels that determine whether detainees will continue to be held.

Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a 26-year veteran of military intelligence who is an Army reserve officer and a California lawyer, said military prosecutors were provided with only "generic" material that didn't hold up to the most basic legal challenges.

Despite repeated requests, intelligence agencies arbitrarily refused to provide specific information that could have helped either side in the tribunals, according to Abraham, who said he served as a main liaison between the Combat Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) and those intelligence agencies.

"What were purported to be specific statements of fact lacked even the most fundamental earmarks of objectively credible evidence," Abraham said in the affidavit, filed in a Washington appeals court on behalf of a Kuwaiti detainee, Fawzi al-Odah, who is challenging his classification as an "enemy combatant."

The Pentagon had no immediate comment, but a spokesman said Defense Department officials were preparing a response to the affidavit.

An attorney for al-Odah, David Cynamon, said Abraham "bravely" agreed to provide the affidavit when defense lawyers contacted him.

"It proves what we all suspected, which is that the CSRTs were a complete sham," Cynamon said.

To read the complete story click here.

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U.S. Fatalities in Iraq for the first 3 weeks of June

UPDATE Saturday June 23, 2007 To the story below.

What a sad day today is. There were more GI's killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq, bringing the total U.S. fatalities for June to 79. I just can't comprehend the sacrifice these families are making. A sad day indeed.

June 22, 2007
U.S. Fatalities for the first 3 weeks in June totals 70. This compares to 61 for the entire month of June in 2006. You will see claims that things are getting better in Iraq from the "surge" strategy. You will hear them using this month’s figures as significantly lower than last month and they hope the trend is turning down in fatalities. While that fact is true, because of the heat in Iraq this time of year, the only true comparisons should be year to year for the same month. Using this basis here's the data for June for the past 4 years:

June 2003 30
June 2004 42
June 2005 78
June 2006 61
June 2007 70 (with still 9 days remaining in this month, unfortunately, I expect the number to be greater than the 78 in 2005)

The chart above shows the 4 year totals for the same period July-June of each year. Below is the actual data from the chart:

Jul 2003-Jun. 2004 656
Jul. 2004-Jun. 2005 883
Jul. 2005-Jun. 2006 790
Jul. 2006-Jun. 2007 1013

Let there be no doubt as to the trend up in U.S Fatalities. If we continue using the current ineffective, fatal, strategy, the numbers will escalate as they did in Vietnam. Don't believe things are getting better in Iraq. It's about the Oil there!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bloomberg speculation mania and what it means

The latest buzz about the possible Presidential bid by Bloomberg as a third party candidate makes one thing very clear; no one candidate has enough support for President yet to ward off newcomers. The American public hasn't digested Giuliani's entrance into the race and his quick gain over McCain. Then add the recent announcement of Fred Thompson throwing his hat into the ring, and the fact that he hasn't got enough appeal to garner enough support to ward off newcomers. Now Bloomberg, with his $Billions can easily invest $500 Million for his bid for President and never be specifically beholding to special interest groups that he isn't already a beholden. As the polls have indicated each candidate will have about 20-25% of the maximum voters supporting them, with many in the single digits like Ron Paul. Therefore, the key to winning the Party's nomination is in how well they can put together a unique Strategic Plan given the following scenario.

There will not be any clear winners in either party during the Primary process and this means that the candidates for President for each Party will most likely be decided by the "delegates" to the respective Party Conventions, and not directly by the American people. Unless someone emerges to have at least 40% of the vote, it will be an inconclusive Primary with a majority of big States holding their primaries in February. Some of the bigger names like Hillary and Rudy could possibly win some large States, while lesser candidates gain delegates from smaller States. What's key to a winning strategy? It is at the Conventions of each Party, working the floor at the Convention and wooing delegates to turn their loyalties. To do that you need a strong political machine. Currently that puts Hillary in one of the seats and no one candidate in the Republican Party has the machine at this time other than surprisingly, Mitt Romney, even though his numbers are not leading in Polls. Bloomberg will be on the ticket no matter which candidate is put up by each Party. So right now it looks like Hillary for the Democrats, Bloomberg and either Romney or Thompson fro Republicans. Conservatives will not embrace Rudy. So 2 of the three Presidential candidates will be from NY no matter what happens. There will be very interesting Conventions, more along the lines of in the old days where there was uncertainty as to who the candidates for each Party would be. But again, the problem is that it's more like horse trading than consensus building. The winners in those events are the candidates. The losers are the American people. And this is what we call democracy that we want to export to the rest of the world. I am strating to like other systems that seem to work better than ours. Several examples of working Democracies are India, Israel and another is Great Britain., each having its own uniqueness and different from ours, but worth looking into at least to educate oneself. But that is for a different time and I have no idea, as to what would be better system now, but the whole world needs us to put up our best person for President, not our worst, like we did in the last election.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Feeling safe in the Navy? Think again!

With acting Army Secretary Pete Geren testifying before Congress today that the Army is considering extending once again the combat tours of its soldiers. They are considering relying more heavily on Army reservists or Navy and Air Force personnel.

I can see Navy or Air Force enlisted personnel thinking they were safer and thankful for joining the those services, instead of the Army, as it allowed them to stay out of the battle within Iraq. Now however, that game may be changing. If there is any hint that other Armed Forces may be called into the conflict on the ground, you will see the recruiting figures to take a big hit in those areas as well. It wasn't enough to break the Army and the Marines, now they want to break the Navy and the Air Force to "complete that mission".

Click here for the entire article.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Is a 2 State Solution now possible for the Palestinian territory? UPDATE

UPDATE to the story below: This morning on ABC's This Week, George Will stated the exact same thing and blamed the Bush Administration for dropping the diplomacy in the Middle East. He also stated he didn't think Bush planned on the 2 State solution being Gaza and the West Bank as 2 separate countries.

June 14, 2006

The 2 State solution much touted by the Bush and Clinton Administration did not have that solution to be 2 States. Gaza and the West Bank, but it looks like that is what is developing. When there is no diplomacy on the ground, the parties will create a new dynamic that eventually will draw us in, dragging our feet and whinning the entire time.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

June's 2 week total of Fatalities in Iraq

U.S. Military fatalities for the Iraq war in the first 2 weeks of June totaled 42. For the entire month of June 2006 there was a total of 61 fatalities.

U.S. Military fatalities for the Iraq war in the first 2 weeks of May totaled 50. For the entire month of May 2006 there was a total of 69 fatalities. For the first 2 weeks of April, 2007 there were 51 fatalities so we are on our way for another record month for fatalities.

The hot summer months of June, July and August in Iraq hopefully will keep the death rate down as it did last year. U.S. Fatalities in July of 2006 were 43 and in August of 2006 were 65, for comparison. This comes of a record May 2007 where we lost 127 compared to 69 in May of 2006.

Things can't get better without a diplomatic solution and our President and his Secretary of State seem to have gone AWOL in that area. This while the Palestinian territory is in flames. It is only a matter of time before the terrible suicide bombings begin again to inflict terror on the innocent in Israel. Madness is everywhere now in the Middle East being unleashed by a war of choice in Iraq. September will not bring those in charge to change direction as their “surge” has increased the violence to a point where both the President and his supporters of the war like McCain and Giuliani will see a “worse catastrophe ensuing” should we leave. Our continued presence there has created a “worse catastrophe ensuing”, so stop making this a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bring the troops home.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Is a 2 State Solution now possible for the Palestinian territory?

The 2 State solution much touted by the Bush and Clinton Administration did not have that solution to be 2 States. Gaza and the West Bank, but it looks like that is what is developing. When there is no diplomacy on the ground, the parties will create a new dynamic that eventually will draw us in, dragging our feet and whinning the entire time.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Middle East: End of, what will be called, a relatively peaceful era.

When historians look back at the last 40 years, they will write that it was the peaceful times before chaos ensued. This chaos was prompted by the ineptness of the United States to forge diplomatic efforts in the search for peace. It will be said, that while there was turmoil in the intervening years, it was nothing compared to the chaos that took place afterwards. And historians will heap much of the blame on President Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. It will be written that they abandoned the search for a 2 State solution for the Palestinians and Israel, following a Laissez-fare approach to foreign policy. The current inept government of Israel is also to blame. Neither searching for peace on their own as a priority, they showed their weakness with Hezbollah in Lebanon and they stayed in Lebanon too long. this has emboldened the warriors around them to pursue conflict. Israel and the United States wanted elections in the Palestinian territory and so they went forth and Hamas, the strong militant faction aligned with Hezbollah, gained ground. Hamas now flexes its muscle on Fattah and everyone loses, especially the innocent.

President Bush's legacy will be a continuum from his personal life. He is known for driving his Oil business into bankruptcy. Now as leader of the free world, he has bankrupt the country, bankrupt our good will around the world, bankrupt the Middle East peace process, started a war in Iraq which is bankrupting the people of Iraq who he said he wanted to give democracy to, bankrupt the support we had after 9/11, bankrupt our military to the point where it is beyond broken, bankrupt our border security so that we have 12-20 million illegal immigrants that we didn't have before he came into office and he has bankrupt any support for the Republican party for a long time.

I can't wait for what the future will bring - NOT!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sen. Kyl: For Immigration Bill but re-enforces the opposition's arguments against the Bill

Senator Kyl, Republican of Arizona, in support of the Immigration Bill said this morning on CNN, "Thousands (of illegal immigrants) are coming across our Borders every day and we don't know who they are. So we need this (Immigration) Bill that will help identify them."

No Senator, you miss the whole point of the opposition. SECURE THE BORDERS AND YOU WON'T NEED TO IDENTIFY THEM!!!!!!! You make their point of disagreement with the Bill very clearly in your statement above.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Court rules again against Bush's detention of U.S. resident

First a summary of the story: AP Writer Zinie Sampson writes, "The Bush administration cannot legally detain a U.S. resident it believes is an al-Qaeda sleeper agent without charging him, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday. The court said sanctioning the indefinite detention of civilians would have 'disastrous consequences for the constitution — and the country.'

In the 2-1 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel found that the federal Military Commissions Act doesn't strip Ali al-Marri, a legal U.S. resident, of his constitutional rights to challenge his accusers in court.

It ruled the government must allow al-Marri to be released from military detention.

Al-Marri has been held in solitary confinement in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., since June 2003. The Qatar native has been detained since his December 2001 arrest at his home in Peoria, Ill., where he moved with his wife and five children a day before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to study for a master's degree.

'To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President calls them 'enemy combatants,' would have disastrous consequences for the constitution — and the country,' the court panel said."

For the rest of the story click here.

Once again the Court has ruled based upon the Constitution as this President and his minions, defy the Constitution and the Rule of Law. This is from the same President who put his hand on their Bible and swore to God and us. In a sense he has profaned his God and us all by using his name in vain. Go back and read your Bible. What you have done is hypocritical. My guess is you will try to appeal this decision too to the Supreme Court and delay the inevitable, the verdict that you were wrong again. Shame, shame, shame on you, sir.

Now let's make this a fine day by having the Senate pass a vote of no-confidence of former General Counsel and current Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. Any Senator that doesn't vote in favor of this vote of no-confidence should be replaced, as they are endorsing un-Constitutional actions by this Administration.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sen. Joe Leiberman - Promoting America's agenda or Israel's?

This morning it is reported that Sen. Lieberman says, the United States should consider a military strike against Iran because of Tehran's involvement in Iraq. "We've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq," Lieberman said. "And to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers."

Hawkish Lieberman isn't pushing things we would see as in America's vital interest, but he always does seem to promote Israel's agenda. I have wondered for many years whether Joe was a secret Agent of Israel acting as if he had the interest of our country as his top priority. He has not been hawkish when it relates to areas not on Israel's agenda except when did break with President Clinton and sponsored a resolution with Bob Dole to break the United Nations embargo on sending arms to Bosnia.

Al Gore in the 2004 election shocked everyone when he decided to support Howard Dean for President in 2004, snubbing Senator Lieberman. I always wondered why he snubbed his running mate. But apparently Gore saw something he didn't like in Lieberman. Gore has been right in most things including Global Warming. I think he was right about Joe too. Joe, start to put America first and stop trying to get the U.S. involved in hostilities that would support Israel. We will come to Israel's defense should that day be necessary, but let's not use war as the first option we choose as a country. Where's your push for talks with Iran?

If you want to read the entire article on Lieberman on Iran click here.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Gen. Pace to leave Joint Chiefs. Coincidence?

Good timing for General Peter Pace to be leaving the Joint Chiefs of Staff, effective September. Coincidence? I think not. He leaves the prognosis as to whether the "Surge" is working or not exclusively with General David Petraeus. Quite honestly, I'm glad he's gone as he was a part of the problem with the Pentagon and the decisions and cover-up on this war. My esteem for Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has risen once again. Boy are we lucky we have this guy instead of Rumsfeld.

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U.S. Fatalities for first week in June

As I mentioned before, I believe the numbers for May were increased after May was over to try to make this month show a more positive trend. Having said that, June's numbers are bad enough, as reported. There were 28 deaths in the first week in June (which does not include the 5 additional deaths that were added to May's figures between June 1-3rd.)

In the first week of March we had 24 fatalities.
In the first week of April we had 28 fatalities.
In the first week of May we had 27 fatalities.
In the first week of June we had 28 fatalities.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cheney Urged Wiretaps over objections of Justice Dept

This from the Washington Post today, June 7th, 2007

"Stand-In for Ashcroft Alleges Interference
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Vice President Cheney told Justice Department officials that he disagreed with their objections to a secret surveillance program during a high-level White House meeting in March 2004, a former senior Justice official told senators yesterday.

The meeting came one day before White House officials tried to get approval for the same program from then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who lay recovering from surgery in a hospital, according to former deputy attorney general James B. Comey.

Comey's disclosures, made in response to written questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicate that Cheney and his aides were more closely involved than previously known in a fierce internal battle over the legality of the warrantless surveillance program. The program allowed the National Security Agency to monitor phone calls and e-mails between the United States and overseas.

Comey said that Cheney's office later blocked the promotion of a senior Justice Department lawyer, Patrick Philbin, because of his role in raising concerns about the surveillance.

The disclosures also provide further details about the role played by then-White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales. He visited Ashcroft in his hospital room and wrote an internal memorandum on the surveillance program shortly afterward, according to Comey's responses. Gonzales is now the attorney general. He faces possible congressional votes of no-confidence because of his handling of the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year.

"How are you, General?" Gonzales asked Ashcroft at the hospital, according to Comey.

"Not well," replied Ashcroft, who had just undergone gallbladder surgery and was battling pancreatitis.

The new details follow Comey's gripping testimony last month about the visit by Gonzales and Andrew H. Card Jr., then President Bush's chief of staff, to Ashcroft's hospital bed on the night of March 10, 2004. The two Bush aides tried to persuade Ashcroft to renew the authorization of the NSA surveillance program, after Comey and other Justice Department officials had said they would not certify the legality of the effort, according to the testimony and other officials.

Ashcroft refused, noting that Comey had been designated as acting attorney general during his illness.

The episode prompted sharp criticism from Democrats and some Republicans, who questioned whether Gonzales and Card were attempting to take advantage of a sick man to get around legal objections from government lawyers. It is unclear who directed the two Bush aides to make the visit.

Democrats said yesterday that the new details from Comey raise further questions about the role of Cheney and other White House officials in the episode.

"Mr. Comey has confirmed what we suspected for a while -- that White House hands guided Justice Department business," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). "The vice president's fingerprints are all over the effort to strong-arm Justice on the NSA program, and the obvious next question is: Exactly what role did the president play?"
To read the rest of the article click on the words, "Washington Post", at the top of this article.

VP Dick Cheney, or Darth Vada as he is usually called by his friends, has been the power behind the throne in so many ways for this Administration, which now becomes more clear with every day. He was the one pushing the claim of a Nuclear threat by Saddam Hussein, the leaking of Valerie Plame's name for which Scooter Libbey, the fall guy and Cheney's close friend and aid, received a 2 1/2 year sentence this week for a crime of perjury in the Patrick Fitzgerald, Special Prosecuter, investigation. And now the revelation that he was behind this story and pushing the illegal Wiretaps against Justice Dept. objections.

Cheney should have been fired in 2004 by President Bush, who has not been served well by this VP. But it's not too late Mr. President to save your legacy and get rid of Cheney. Think about all the positive effect this would have with the Republican party. We could blame Cheney for almost everything wrong in the past 6 plus years and give you a fresh start with the Country.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pro-Life and War: Republican's moral dilemma

Listening to the debate late last night, I couldn't help but see the nonsense of the comments by most Republicans that they are Pro-Life and want to consider preemptive strikes with countries like Iran that "may be a threat" to the U.S. How can you be pro-life and be so for war. It is illogical and an inconsistent position. The amazing thing is how many people swallow the Kool-Aid and can’t see the hypocrisy in that stand. Looks like a re-reading of the Bible is in order, especially the part that says, "Thou shalt not kill!"

I also noted how there was definitely Critical Parent candidates heavily represented by the Republican field of candidates. (For a definition of Critical Parenting candidates read this previous post.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Republican and Democratic Presidents: We need both!

The world changes daily, some say for the best, but many say for the worst. It takes many years to reap the benefits and consequences of America's foreign policy acts of commission and omission. One thing is for sure, the President we have has a lot to do with what we reap. Just as a child, at times we need a Critical Parent, who watches over us, protects us, tells us of dangers and says “Be Careful”, warns us of danger and fights many battles for us with the bully's of the world. Other times we need the Nurturing Parent who inspires us to greatness, kisses our minor wounds and tells us we'll be OK, helps us develop the value of helping others of less means, comforts us when we are distressed, making peace with others for us when we've gotten into trouble.

Some of us had 2 parents and that each could provide either type of parenting when necessary. Some have only 1 parent that tries to provide each for us. Only whole parents can provide each types. Some have a dominant side they use most of the time. Well, as a country what we need today is not a Critical Parent President, but that is what we have and have had for the past 6 plus years. The Republican President of late, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the Critical Parents of our time. George Bush's father was too, but was able to be a Nurturing Parent. Bill Clinton was more a Nurturing Parent type (I feel your pain) but was able to use force when necessary in Bosnia etc., so he had both, although many of the George Bush Critical Parent types said he didn’t do enough to go after Al Qaeda and Bin Laden.

The problem is that, as a society, we often bounce off the bumper guards of each extreme. As we watch the debates, what we need to do is to look for qualities of both in our Presidential candidates. We certainly don't need more fear mongering but do we need someone who can go out there and rebuild international relationships. The world needs this of us now. That means ending wars as our first reaction to international problems but not abandoning other means when all else fails. When you watch both Republican and Democratic debates going forward watch for the nurturing type and the bully and choose wisely. Something in between seems what would best serve America and the World.

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The Republican Debate: Comments

I won't be able to watch the debate tonight but would like to start a thread of comments here by anyone wishing to post one about their reaction. I look forward to any comments received. I am taping the debate and will watch it tomorrow but it surely would be nice to hear some points in advance.


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Monday, June 04, 2007

Reporting of U.S. Fatalities for May keeps rising even though it's June! What's up?

Are games being played reporting of U.S. Fatalities in Iraq by DOD? I seriously think something is amiss here. Back on Friday, June 1st, it was reported that there were 122 Fatalities. The next day, it crept up and then on Sunday it crept up again. Today the numbers for May have been revised again and we are now looking at 127 U.S. Fatalities for the Month of May.

I think this reporting is suspicious in light of the fact that the news was already bleak looking at May's numbers. But here we are 4 days into June and the official numbers for June are off the chart at 17 U.S Fatalities and a week hasn't even lapsed. If you add in the numbers added from last month we should be at 21 minimum for this month, another month of a record pace.

In the first week of March we had 24 fatalities
In the first week of April we had 28 fatalities
In the first week of May w had 27 fatalities
In the first week of June so far we have 22 fatalities with 3 plus days remaining in the week.

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The second Democratic Debate: Winners and Losers

I don't think there was much doubt last night about who won the debate. It was Hillary. She seemed in command of the night, was eloquent, down to earth and the best I have seen her at being natural. So that's out of the way.

Who surprised me the most, it was Senator Joe Biden. He seemed to command the facts on many issues and was well spoken although his frustration over both the President's stubbornness and the fact the Democrats only have a 50 vote majority and can't muster the votes to override a veto. was all too evident as Joe was angry and it marked a difference between him and all the other candidates.

Some other observations:

Gov. Bill Richardson seemed to stumble a bit over some questions and he seemed to not have formed his thoughts before speaking.

Senator Gravel seemed like a crazy man and not a serious candidate for President. He challenged the other contenders but seemed a joke at times.

Senator Obama had a few quick and bright moments, didn't make any big mistakes but appeared at times as a consensus builder between himself and the other candidates.

Senator John Edwards seem to want to engage in battle in a semi polite way. His skills at pointing out differences between himself and both Hillary and Obama, were tiring at times.

Senator Chris Dodd was too wordy and never seemed to answer a question until he had no time left. Reminds me of a typical politician.

And Kucinich was the usual Far Left candidate a peace promoter and anti war to the core.

These debates are useful and gave me a chance to see some good interaction and get closer to deciding do they deserve my support. Last night I came one step closer. I can't wait for the next Republican Debate.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

U.S. Fatalities for May sets record high

UPDATE to this post: June 3rd
The numbers reported for May have changed by the Dept. of Defense. The new May total is 127, which brings the 1 year total now to 1002, not 999 as is reported below.

June 1, 2007
U.S. fatalities for May hit a new high for the year as 124 brave young men and women were killed in Iraq. This is the highest fatality month since November 2004 and is the third highest month of the entire war. As you can see from the yearly chart above, the trend continues to alarm me as memories of Vietnam keep surfacing in my mind. From June of last year to the end of May this year we have had 999 total fatalities. The calls for ending the war, a timetable, benchmarks or anything that would slow, stop reverse, troop deployment falls on deaf ears. The public is furious, the Democrats seem frustrated trying to respond to their base and have calculated this is best for them politically rather than taking a stand. Oh how wrong they are. Republicans aren't in any better position as they have supported the Bush/Cheney war since its inception. The only question some of them face is when do they jump ship of their unconditional support of this President for their political future, instead of worrying about the troops future, as they should.

As frustrations build, as the army continues to be broken, as we run out of soldiers to deploy, as relieving the troops there becomes more difficult and extensions are added, the pressure is building and any smart leader will calculate their chances for a run as a third party candidate. It could be Hagel and Bloomberg or it might be someone new. No elected official wants to discuss the possibility of solving the problem by instituting a DRAFT. But the most respected General Batiste has and does continue to say we need to do this. In my humble opinion, this is the catalyst needed to get protesters out in the street to stop this war. All of us who want this war over should be proactively asking and pushing for a DRAFT as part of a proposal which defines 3 years minimum of National Service either in a Peace Corps or in the service of the military.

Yes my friends, to galvanize opinions and get hundreds of thousands of student protesters to take to the streets, we should be pushing the strategic thought forward with all elected officials. The Military needs this badly as it is broken and needs to be fixed. Help me push this idea forward.

The source for the data on fatalities comes from

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