Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Speech, A Beer, A Puke, And The Future


I have had a very difficult time trying to write a post for the last week or so.  The reason for this is that I am grappling with how to wrap my arms around this place in time and space and history that we find ourselves.

Let me then just share these thoughts.  This nation has never had an easy time of it.  From the blood and pain of our founding to the pictures of a young woman reporter weeping into a terrorists camera only a day ago it has been a struggle for this nation.  But, what I believe will be the most defining moment and perhaps greatest struggle for this nation in this decade if not this century will be the day the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the presidential election of 2000.

That moment in time, when that court made that judgment, placed an individual in the Whitehouse and at the head of this nations government who was and is neither intellectually nor morally capable of governing and guiding this nation much less the nations of the world in its endeavor for universal peace and prosperity.

From that, yet new day of infamy our great country has wandered in an abysmal desert, void of leadership, moral and judicial equilibrium and direction and yet filled with faux moral and religious righteousness and simple swaggering bravado with little real vision.

If we look back on these last five years this administration has governed by fear, lies, indignant innuendo and shear bullying.  

Bearing these things in mind tonight I expect nothing new.  We will see a president without real vision who will, with great bravado, prance out the same old worn neocon ideas but in new feathers.  We will hear once again how tax cuts for the wealthy are the panacea for all our ills and how the placing of all our social programs such as social security and Medicare, in the hands of benevolent private companies will save us from the evil “big government” and we will hear once again how our great and brave president is at the helm of the ship of state and will protect the meek citizens of this great country from the axis of evil and evil doers of the world waiting to invade the homeland.

When this rhetoric hits the airways tonight I for one plan to drink a beer, go to the bathroom and become violently ill, and then go about the business of helping to get that lunatic and his neocon cohorts and minions out of office.

Short tonight but filled with heart.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Leadership Vacuum Filled By Incompetence

I have always believed that a president should be not only a skilled leader but also be able to multi-task but now I think the absence of these traits has been elevated to a new art form by George W. Bush. Mr. Bush is not only a walking leadership vacuum but has proven that where there is an absolute and complete leadership vacuum the space is immediately filled by absolute and complete incompetence.

Here are some links to evidence of this theory as proven by George W. Bush.

First deny there is global warming until scientist find that it has probably reached the point of being irreversible. It also helps in the denying if you gag the scientist most responsible for informing the public when he tries to tell the truth.

Global Warming
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11079935/from/RSS/

Scientist Gagged
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/science/earth/
29climate.html?ex=1296190800&en=28e236da0977ee
7f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Next go off on some irresponsible foreign policy adventures in countries, whose names and leaders you don’t know and can’t pronounce, and create militant and potential terrorist governments in places like Iran, Iraq, and Palestine. Now while on your irresponsible adventures ignore places like Darfur, Sudan and Haiti and every other poor and impoverished nation until their governments are broken to the point of being irreparable.

Iran
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/
countriesandterritories/iran/index.html?inline=nyt-
geo&excamp=GGGNiran

Iraq
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/world/worldspecial/
index.html?excamp=GGGNiraq

Saddam Trial
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11082046/from/RSS/

Haiti
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/international/americas/
29haiti.html?ei=5088&en=803d683187505b6f&ex=
1296190800&adxnnl=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&adxnnlx=
1138560423-w4YgzV/FS/JYaolaVk9qgw

Darfur, Sudan
http://www.savedarfur.org/go.php?q=neverAgain...Again.html


No absolute and completely incompetent presidency would be complete without the four P’s (Piss Poor Prior Planning) of soldier abuse. This is done by not planning your invasion so that you are not prepared for all contingencies and so that once your soldiers have won your irresponsible and unnecessary war in a matter of days you end up in a never ending quagmire so that you can abuse your army. I think Napoleon, and Hitler set the model for you for this but your administration has taken this to a new art form also. You send in brave troops without proper armored vehicles, weapons and body armor and after they win the war for you anyway because of your poor planning you extend all of them for some more abuse. Oh yes and while you’re at all of this make sure you get some torture and a few other abuses in because real leadership would prevent this but you don’t know what real leadership is and besides the little torturing you did in college wasn’t satisfying enough so you make sure you get the real stuff.


Stop Loss
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=
2006-01-29T155514Z_01_N196487_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-USA-STOPLOSS.xml

Wives held
http://start.earthlink.net/article/int?guid=20060127/43dafa50_3ca6_
1552620060128-50708055



George W. Bush is not just the most incompetent president that has ever sat in the oval office but also the most uncaring. He is uncaring in every respect possible if you are discussing the tax burden on the middle class and poor or the lack of medical care for Americans or foreign affairs where he is getting American soldiers killed in a misguided war and ignoring real foreign policy crisis’s such as capturing the terrorist, building meaningful diplomatic relationships with the Muslim world so that you can attack terrorist in a meaningful way instead of a farcical war. He is failing America!

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Why Does George W. Bush Hate Soldiers or Justice For All.....hmm Some

When I woke up this morning and read the news I thought I started feeling much like Gulliver but then I realized instead of being in Lilliput I was really in Bizarro Land because instead of Lilliputians I found only neocon pontificators.

This administration gets weirder every time I pick up a paper or see a news program. Have you not noticed that same phenomenon? They are incredible spin artist. I, in fact, have never witnessed such talent in my entire life.

At any rate I want to talk about the subject I know best and that is my beloved army. Several studies came out this week on how the military is stretched thin. I am putting one of the links here and it is to the Village Voice and I want to be clear that I picked this link because the Voice references a 2002 War College article and I think that is important. So here is that link.

U.S. Army Stretched Thin in Iraq: http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0605,vest,71928,2.html

And there is this “stretched thin” article quoting General Casey. Here: http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/01/
26/us_general_says_forces_are_stretched/

Let me be clear by saying that what I think, is that what makes this administration so bizarre is that they, as a group and the president in particular, can lie with an incredibly blatant lack of skill and or caring as to whether the American people see and know it or not.

  • This administration lied because they planned the invasion of Iraq from the first day in office.
  • This administration lied and told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
  • This administration lied and told us that Iraq was linked to al Qaeda.
  • This administration lied and told us that an Iraqi agent met an al Qaeda agent in Prague.
  • This administration lied and told us that the invasion of Iraq would only take place after all diplomatic avenues were exhausted.
  • This administration lied and told us “Mission Accomplished”.
  • This administration lied and told us that the Iraqi oil reserves would pay for the war.
  • This administration lied and told us our troops had the equipment they needed to accomplish the mission in Iraq.
  • This administration lied and told us that the factories were producing armored humvees at maximum capacity.
  • This administration lied by not telling us that better body armor was available for our soldiers and not providing it to them.
  • This administration lied and told us that they did not direct torture of American prisoners of war.
  • This administration lied and told us they didn’t engage in rendition for the purposes of torturing prisoners in foreign countries.
  • This administration lied and told us that no one in the Whitehouse leaked a CIA agent to the press.
  • This administration lied and committed perjury when asked by a grand jury about the CIA agent leak case.

I believe that this sufficiently establishes the fact that this administration lies and lies repeatedly and consistently. Now here is insult to injury. This is the administration that condones torture and has sunk to even newer lows here: Documents Show Army Seized Wives As Tactic
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060127/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_leveraging_wives

Why Does George W. Bush Hate Soldiers or Justice For All.....hmm Some

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure." - Mark Twain.Now that I've set the tone I'll get on with my post. I have been out of the loop for about a week but I've kept up with what's going on and I am, not surprisingly, more than a little concerned. Actually I'm bloody furious as usual!
I would like for you to consider a couple of things and to facilitate that process I'm going to start out by making a simple statement that isn't as off the wall as it may sound. It really isn't off the wall, trust me....... not off the wall. Here goes; George W. Bush is a raving megalomaniac and is leading, no not possible, is shoving, no pushing, no coercing, no bamboozling, no lying, no........ all of the afore mentioned, this nation into an abysmal pit from which I doubt it will ever return. Please understand that this is just the world according to the Sergeant Major and is strictly from my perspective. Now I'm going to keep this simple. Very simple and based on information that is common knowledge straight out of main stream media. That is the "so called liberal" main stream media. And please feel free to Google any one of my statements below to find a reasonable source to corroborate my statements. Believe me you'll get a hit or two for each one. Here it is.

  • First George W. Bush came into office with the intention of invading Iraq.
  • Then using the tragedy of 9/11 and made up weapons of mass destruction, and fake documents alleging attempts to buy "yellow cake" from Niger, and bad intelligence about an "alleged" meeting of an al Qaeda agent with an Iraqi agent inPrague he took the country to war.
  • He allowed members of his staff to divulge classified information causing irreparable damage to national security.
He declared, with the support of Congress "war" in perpetuity on an ideology thereby insuring war powers for his entire presidency.
  • He then used that declaration, through purposeful misinterpretation, as an excuse to spy on Americans in violation of the fourth amendment to the constitution.
  • Prior to invading Iraq he fired his senior military staff for not agreeing with him on the invasion of Iraq. Specifically they said he needed more troops and more money and more equipment.
  • He then ordered the invasion of Iraq without, or at least with extremely poor, prior planning and without sufficient troops to accomplish the mission and subsequent obvious required occupation.
  • He ordered and executed a war and occupation without properly equipping the soldiers with the required armored vehicles, body armor, and weapons.
Here: http://www.signonsandiego.com/...20041209/news_1n9rumsfeld.htmlHere: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...
Here: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/...
  • He ordered the incarceration of American citizens ("enemy combatants") without due process.
  • He ordered the rendition of prisoners of war for the purposes of torture.
  • He created a situation as Commander in Chief that allowed and condoned the torture of prisoners.

  • He outsourced the "reconstruction" of Iraq in a no bid contract with the corporation which his vice president had headed and with whom he still had financial dealings. Here: http://www.truthout.org/...

  • He allowed that contractor to misappropriate (steal) billions of taxpayer dollars.

  • He allowed the same contractor to provide contaminated water to his soldiers due to lack of oversight and failed to take corrective action after the act was revealed.
Here: http://www.boston.com/...01/26/troops_said_to_get_tainted_water
  • He has allowed the military to deteriorate to the point of being ineffective and incapable of accomplishing the defense of the nation. Here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

  • He has failed to properly care for the wounded soldiers and veterans.

  • And while he was at it he managed to anger the Muslim world to the point that the radical or potentially hostile elements of Iraq, Iran, Palestine and a few other Middle Eastern countries are now gaining more control.
Now here is what I would like you to consider. If the average soldier, sailor, marine, or airman who committed any one of, or set of, the above offenses would he or she not be brought before a military court and tried and if convicted would he or she not be imprisoned if not executed for high crimes and or treason?George W. Bush is still president and Congress has not begun the process of impeachment. Are the laws different for a president than they are for a soldier or any other American citizen? Are the legal standards different for a president than they are for a soldier or any other American citizen? Are presidents above the law? Is dereliction of duty as Commander in Chief and violation of the fourth amendment to the constitution as president not a criminal act for the president but are for soldiers and citizens? Why has the Congress not done its job? There is ample evidence. It's really that simple. There is ample evidence and Congress is not acting. I ask again, why has Congress not begun the process of impeachment? Are these crimes so much less heinous and vile as perjury or fornication in the oval office? I for one am sickened by this president and his disdain and out right dislike for the American solider, the American people, and the Constitution of the United States. George W. Bush does not care what happens to American soldiers. That is the only conclusion a rational thinking person can come to. I am one soldier that thinks it's time for impeachment.

Let me close with another quote that most appropriately fits our Commander in Chief."A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nuff said.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That

Thursday, January 26, 2006

George Learns A New Word – Necessary

Today I saw that our president learned a new word.  That word is “necessary”.  It is the president’s position that spying on Americans by the government is “necessary”.  First let’s clear up the semantics.  Eavesdropping on “international” communications where the communications begins and ends in a foreign country is eavesdropping on international communications and is legal under United States law.  Eavesdropping on “international” communications where one end of the conversation or communications originates or ends in the United States is eavesdropping on domestic communications and is illegal without a warrant.  Second point is the president says we are at war and therefore he is authorized and it is “necessary” for him to direct these wiretaps.  Well, two points here, Congress authorized the use of force against those who were responsible for 9/11.  Congress has not authorized nor passed a war act.  And no where in the declaration by Congress does it say “the president is authorized to conduct domestic eavesdropping on Americans.

Now back to George’s new word.  Necessary was the word if I remember correctly.   Let me ‘splane this other word Mr. President.  Unnecessary!  That is the correct term Mr. President.  As in it’s not necessary to do something.  For instance it is unnecessary to violate the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution.  It is unnecessary to violate the Federal Intelligence Security Act.  It is unnecessary for a speedy response to order wiretaps without a FISA warrant.  It is especially unnecessary when you can get a warrant “after”, and let me repeat that “after” the fact.  In other words Mr. President, if it is urgent you can do it legally and get the warrant after, as in later.  Get it?  That’s means fast.  That’s like you can do it now and get the warrant later.

Now perhaps you can ‘splane to the American people how it is faster to wiretap without a warrant than it is to wiretap and get a warrant after.  I’m having, actually we’re having, a little trouble getting the difference unless it’s the legal part.  As in when you get the warrant before or after you wiretap it’s legal and if you don’t get a warrant at all and you just do a wiretap then it’s illegal.  This is actually making my brain hurt.  Trying to explain simple things to an idiot is really tiring.  So let me sum this up for you.

It is “UNNECESSARY” to break the law.  It is unnecessary to violate the law when the law allows you to do what you need to do with a warrant that can be obtained before or after the fact.  So my question Mr. President is this, are you having the NSA perform illegal wiretaps and that’s why you’re not getting warrants from the FISA court?  That’s an easy question so you should be able to handle it.

Now just a little more on unnecessary.  It is unnecessary to have 2,239 dead American soldiers.  It is unnecessary to have 16,420 wounded and maimed soldiers.  It is unnecessary to have over 30,000 dead Iraqi’s.  It is unnecessary to be creating terrorist states all over the Middle East as in Iraq, and Iran, and most recently Palestine.  Are you seeing the unnecessary trend here Mr. President?  Do you get it that, by your actions, you are bringing more radical regimes into power.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Why Does George W. Bush Dislike Soldiers or Justice For All.....hmm Some

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure." - Mark Twain.
Now that I've set the tone I'll get on with my post.   I have been out of the loop for about a week but I've kept up with what's going on and I am, not surprisingly, more than a little concerned.   Actually I'm bloody furious as usual!  
I would like for you to consider a couple of things and to facilitate that process I'm going to start out by making a simple statement that isn't as off the wall as it may sound.   It really isn't off the wall, trust me....... not off the wall.  Here goes; George W. Bush is a raving megalomaniac and is leading, no not possible, is shoving, no pushing, no coercing, no bamboozling, no lying, no........ all of the afore mentioned, this nation into an abysmal pit from which I doubt it will ever return.   Please understand that this is just the world according to the Sergeant Major and is strictly from my perspective.  Now I'm going to keep this simple.   Very simple and based on information that is common knowledge straight out of main stream media.  That is the "so called liberal" main stream media.   And please feel free to Google any one of my statements below to find a reasonable source to corroborate my statements.  Believe me you'll get a hit or two for each one.
Here it is.
  1.  First George W. Bush came into office with the intention of invading Iraq.

  2.  Then using the tragedy of 9/11 and made up weapons of mass destruction, and fake documents alleging attempts to buy "yellow cake" from Niger, and bad intelligence about an "alleged" meeting of an al Qaeda agent with an Iraqi agent in Prague he took the country to war.

  3.  He allowed members of his staff to divulge classified information causing irreparable damage to national security.

  4.  He declared, with the support of Congress "war" in perpetuity on an ideology thereby insuring war powers for his entire presidency.

  5.  He then used that declaration, through purposeful misinterpretation, as an excuse to spy on Americans in violation of the fourth amendment to the constitution.

  6.  Prior to invading Iraq he fired his senior military staff for not agreeing with him on the invasion of Iraq.  Specifically they said he needed more troops and more money and more equipment.

  7.  He then ordered the invasion of Iraq without, or at least with extremely poor, prior planning and without sufficient troops to accomplish the mission and subsequent obvious required occupation.

  8.  He ordered and executed a war and occupation without properly equipping the soldiers with the required armored vehicles, body armor, and weapons.
Here: http://www.signonsandiego.com/...20041209/news_1n9rumsfeld.htmlHere: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/... Here: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/...
  1.  He ordered the incarceration of American citizens ("enemy combatants") without due process.

  2.  He ordered the rendition of prisoners of war for the purposes of torture.

  3.  He created a situation as Commander in Chief that allowed and condoned the torture of prisoners.

  4.  He outsourced the "reconstruction" of Iraq in a no bid contract with the corporation which his vice president had headed and with whom he still had financial dealings.   Here: http://www.truthout.org/...

  5.  He allowed that contractor to misappropriate (steal) billions of taxpayer dollars.

  6.  He allowed the same contractor to provide contaminated water to his soldiers due to lack of oversight and failed to take corrective action after the act was revealed.
Here: http://www.boston.com/...01/26/troops_said_to_get_tainted_water
  1.  He has allowed the military to deteriorate to the point of being ineffective and incapable of accomplishing the defense of the nation.  Here:   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

  2.  He has failed to properly care for the wounded soldiers and veterans.

  3.  And while he was at it he managed to anger the Muslim world to the point that the radical or potentially hostile elements of Iraq, Iran, Palestine and a few other Middle Eastern countries are now gaining more control.
Now here is what I would like you to consider.  If the average soldier, sailor, marine, or airman who committed any one of, or set of, the above offenses would he or she not be brought before a military court and tried and if convicted would he or she not be imprisoned if not executed for high crimes and or treason?
George W. Bush is still president and Congress has not begun the process of impeachment.  Are the laws different for a president than they are for a soldier or any other American citizen?  Are the legal standards different for a president than they are for a soldier or any other American citizen?  Are presidents above the law?  Is dereliction of duty as Commander in Chief and violation of the fourth amendment to the constitution as president not a criminal act for the president but are for soldiers and citizens?  Why has the Congress not done its job?  There is ample evidence.  It's really that simple.  There is ample evidence and Congress is not acting.  I ask again, why has Congress not begun the process of impeachment?  Are these crimes so much less heinous and vile as perjury or fornication in the oval office?
I for one am sickened by this president and his disdain and out right dislike for the American solider, the American people, and the Constitution of the United States.  George W. Bush does not care what happens to American soldiers.  That is the only conclusion a rational thinking person can come to.  I am one soldier that thinks it's time for impeachment.
Let me close with another quote that most appropriately fits our Commander in Chief.
"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Nuff said.
Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That

Friday, January 20, 2006

What part of failure don't you understand?

On September 11, 2001 a group of primarily Saudi Arabian citizens who were also members of the terrorist group known as al Qaeda, at the direction of Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi citizen also, flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania killing thousands of American citizens.   Since that event al Qaeda has exploded bombs all over the world killing thousands more innocent people in places like London and Madrid while carrying out kidnappings and assassinations.
 
As of December, 2005 and January 20, 2006, Osama Bin Laden is still an at large terrorist, apparently still directing his terrorist organization and now, thanks to our president, terrorists are playing in the big sand box in Iraq and killing and wounding thousands of Americans, Iraqis, and various other nationalities respectively.
 
Yesterday Osama released another audio taped message.  It is obvious that he is still alive and controlling his organization and is still making threats against the United States and   immediately after the tape was released the president's mouth piece stepped up to the podium in the Whitehouse to announce we are winning the war on terror.
 
Well Scotty I don't know how to break this to you but first you can't fight a war with terrorism, that's the first thing, and second, if you could and you were you ain't winin'.   Now sooner or later, Scotty and Mr. President you are going to probably get lucky and someone will capture or find Osama Bin Laden dead.  This will most likely be by pure accident and when that happens we can say we got lucky but we can also say it isn't because you've done anything right.
 
Now yesterday evening I was watching Chris Matthews as he interviewed Senator Joseph Biden.  I don't know why I was watching the show because I think Matthews has become just another shill for the Whitehouse but never the less I was watching the program and you know what?  They don't get it.  Matthews was too busy defending this bumbling president and calling Michael Moore names and Biden was once again pontificating on a subject he apparently doesn't understand because if he did he would have been pointing out that we are not winning the war on terror instead of trying to do psychoanalysis on Bin Laden for the entertainment of Matthews and the cable news junkies.
 
Now let me tie all of this together for you.
On September 11, 2001 a foreign terrorist group called al Qaeda based out of Afghanistan attacked the United States.
The United States responded initially by identifying the terrorists and invading Afghanistan in order to find and destroy the terrorist and the government supporting them.
For personal, ideological, and monetary reasons the President of the United States ordered the American military to invade a country that had absolutely nothing to do with either the attacks on the United States or al Qaeda.
Iraq and the war there now serve as a training ground for al Qaeda and have cost the lives of thousands of Americans and Iraqis with the numbers mounting daily.
The monetary cost of the war in Iraq is nearing $2 trillion dollars for the American taxpayers.
The head of al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, is still alive and at large and making threats against the United States.
The Taliban are a reemerging force in Afghanistan with violence in that country escalating.
Drug production and exporting in Afghanistan is at an all time high and much of the country is still controlled by war lords.
Iraq is in chaos with a collapsing and virtually totally destroyed infrastructure, with unemployment hovering around 70%, hospitals operating under primitive conditions, electricity on for only a few hours a day, and oil production near zero.
Al Qaeda is using Iraq as a training ground for terrorist.
The President of the United States is using the war on terror to justify eavesdropping on the communications American citizens.
The President of the United States is using the war on terror to justify torturing enemy combatants.
 
In my humble professional military opinion this is not victory.  Or simply put Mr. President, What part of failure don't you understand.
 
Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Chronology Of Lying Presidents – Or Dude! That’s DeJa’Vue

Once in a while I read a blog or article that just nails it and that's just what Eric Alterman did here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3449870/. I say this not only because Eric frequently nails it but because in this particular piece he laments about having to beat dead horses until the hair comes off , as I too so often do, and which is just what I'm about to do again. So here goes and please read on.

On September 11, 2001, when al Qaeda terrorists attacked the United States, I had been retired from the military for just over five years and six months. I, like virtually every other American, was devastated by the images of those airplanes flying into buildings. I was numb and my heart cried out and I thought to myself this is just how my parents felt on that Sunday morning of December the 7th 1941. But, then as the cameras switched over and I watched George W. Bush sit in that school room reading children's stories as this event unfolded I grew nauseous. I thought to myself, is that what Franklin Delano Roosevelt would be doing?

On October 7, 2001, when George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan I had been retired from the military for just over five years and seven months. I like virtually every other American, was serious and determined and fully supportive of the president's actions in striking with surgical accuracy and overwhelming deadly force the government that supported, and the terrorists that perpetrated the attack on our nation. I thought to myself this is how our parents felt on June the 6th 1944 when the allies landed at Normandy. In fact I wanted to be back in uniform and to be there and personally pull the trigger one time for each American life that had been taken on 9/11.

On March 20, 2003, when George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq I had been retired from the military for just over seven years and one month. I like virtually every other American, had watched the events leading up to this invasion but now America had become two groups who observed the invasion in two very different ways. There were now those Americans who had grown to believe the president and what he said about the threat of Iraq and its connections to al Qaeda and there were those Americans who were "not so sure" about what the president said about the threat of Iraq and its connections to al Qaeda. I thought to myself, this is just how I felt in 1968 stepping down off of that airplane at Cam Rahn Bay.

In the ensuing years, piece by piece, it has come to light that the justification and reasoning for invading Iraq was based on not just fabrications but out right lies. The fact that there was never a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden and this was known all along to the president has become obvious. The fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction and this was known all along to the president has become obvious. The fact that Saddam Hussein did not have the technology or means to construct a nuclear bomb and had never tried to acquire yellow cake from Niger and this was known all along to the president has become obvious. As I dwelt on these events as they unfolded and the truth came home hard I thought to myself, This is just how I felt in 1970 as I stepped down off of that airplane in California as I returned from Vietnam and just how I felt in the ensuing years as the truth of that war unfolded.

Now as the truth of this White House, administration, Congress, and Senate unfolds before the American public and we become more aware each day of the lies, deceptions, and the corruption, pandering and deceit, I think to myself, is this not the way we felt as a nation from 1973 until August the 8th, 1974 as we watched another corrupt and contemptible administration crumble under the weight of their remorseless souls.

During those early years of the George W. Bush administration I remained virtually silent only occasionally stepping out in support of veteran's issues and for Red Cross programs and the occasional Veterans Day ceremony. But, for me, as a citizen, a soldier and as an American, when George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq it got my full attention because it was America's blood that was going to poor out on foreign soil. For me as an American he had gone a mile too far.

Our nation does not stand for wanton power as was exercised by the Axis Powers. Our nation does not stand for unprovoked, preemptive strikes as was done at Pearl Harbor. Our nation does not stand for torture as was put upon our soldiers in the camps of the Axis Powers and in Southeast Asia. Our nation does not stand for unlawful imprisonment as was done in the Soviet Empire or is done in the Peoples Republic of China today and our nation does not tolerate the desecrating and violating of our constitution and the trampling of our civil liberties as is the practice in third world dictatorships.

Our nation is a nation of laws. Our nation is a nation of moral stature. Our nation is a nation of civil rights and liberties and our nations laws apply to the meek and poor, and rich and powerful alike. Our nation's laws apply to the citizens and the politicians alike. It is time for the American people to stand up and be heard. We cannot tolerate an administration that blatantly violates the law of the land. We cannot tolerate a legislative branch that can be bought and paid for by the highest bidder. And, we cannot tolerate a government that cares for the rich and famous at the expense of the poor and middle class.

Every American must stand up and be heard. It is only through our personal power and determination that we can take back our government for we have, through apathy, truly lost it. We must demand the truth. We must demand accountability. We must demand justice. And, we must demand it now!

I for one, have begun what I believe will be one of the greatest struggles of my life and that is that I am dedicating myself to doing all I can to give the American government back to the American people.

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when?" – Rabbi Hillel

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Violated Oaths And Trampled Rights And Bodies By The Way Oh My!

I am today, and I have always been, nothing more than a simple soldier.  I served as a soldier in the United States Army for nearly three decades because I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America.   I took an oath the day I entered the army on February the 5th 1968, and I lived the oath every day I served and I repeated and reaffirmed that oath before an officer every three years up until my retirement in 1996.
 
Here is the text of the oath taken not only by me but every other soldier, sailor, and airman who ever served and is currently serving in our armed forces:   "I, (state your name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
 
Now here is the text of the oath taken by George W. Bush upon entering the Texas Air National Guard:  I, {insert name here}, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
 
And, here is the text of the oath taken by George W. Bush upon entering the Office of the President of the United States:  "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
 
Please note that each of these oaths contains the following text:  " defend the Constitution of the United States".
 
Amendment IV to the Constitution of the United States which I and every other soldier, sailor, airman, marine and George W. Bush swore to defend reads as follows:   "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
 
The Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq reads as follows:  "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq"
 
"(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
 
As Vice President Al Gore pointed out on Monday in a speech to the Media Conference President Bush has violated the law.   At least two of those violations are violations of the constitution that he swore to defend.  In addition to purposely directing the National Security Agency to conduct wiretaps of American citizens in direct violation of article IV of the constitution and in violation of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) he has also directed the indefinite detention of American citizens, currently years in duration, denying them the right to due process and a speedy trial and he has allowed the torture of prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention.
 
I have provided two small examples in the form of extracts from the constitution and the Joint Resolution so that you may see for yourself that both the constitution and the Joint Resolution are quite clear and there is no room for misinterpretation.   Amendment IV to the constitution guarantees a citizens right to privacy and no where in the Joint Resolution does Congress come close to changing that.   Because of that alone it is clear to me that the President is a liar and has violated the laws of this nation.
 
I find George W. Bush's acts to be particularly vile because by virtue of his position as president he is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States and he has taken two separate oaths, on at least three occasions, and sworn that he would "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;" and that he would "bear true faith and allegiance to the same" and he has purposely and knowingly violated those oaths.   I believe that what makes his violations of the law even more horrendous is that as a result of his acts thousands of lives have been lost and thousands of soldiers and civilian men, women, and children have been killed, wounded, and maimed and an innumerable number of American citizen's have had their constitutional rights violated.
 
Every day American soldiers all over the world take the same oath as President Bush and I did.   Some "solemnly swear" and others "affirm" but each and every one takes that oath and then willingly walks into harms way to uphold it.  Each one is willing to sacrifice their lives and limbs to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.   Each one loving their nation so much that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.  As of today 2,221 soldiers have made that ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and have given their lives upholding their oaths and another 16,420 have spilled blood and left pieces of their bodies in the desert of Iraq upholding their oaths.
 
Unfortunately and apparently the President of the United States does not share those same values as our soldiers do.   Apparently George W. Bush either does not possess the moral fortitude and courage to live up to his sworn oath as do these brave men and women or he is a despicable, vile individual who would, without remorse, commit crimes against his countries constitution.   One can only come to one of those two conclusions based simply on the facts as they are publicly known.
 
I for one support Vice President Gores call for a special prosecutor and have already written to my Congressman and Senators urging that they either sponsor and or support such a measure.   I believe it is time for America to stand up and be counted.  We can no longer sit passively by as the Bush administration and neocon leaders of the House and Senate trample our constitution and our individual rights under that constitution.   We can no longer sit passively by as our brave men and women go into combat in a misguided military adventure perpetrated by a dispassionate and morally bankrupt administration.  
PS:  I think he has oath issues.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A President Without Honor – A Party Without Moral Stature

"The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught."  H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956), 'Prejudices: Fourth Series,' 1924
 
It is not enough to sling stones and arrows at this administration or the Republican Party.  This is a group of people who purport to be moral men and women but in the final analysis are not and because of that they are not concerned with being called names or influenced by moral outrage.    These are people who do not regret their discreditable acts and therefore the use of public humiliation and moral indignation are not very effective instruments to use against them.   These are people who know only money and the power that money buys and who are therefore not influenced in the slightest by public opinion or moral indignation.
 
If we look back to the beginnings of George W. Bush's presidency, to his inauguration day, we can see that this is the point in time when it became implicitly obvious that not only the Bush administration but the Republican Party and the neocons that control it were wanton despots with little concern for the American people.   This was the pivotal point in the Republican takeover of our government with the final and absolute point of no return being the now infamous date and events of 9/11.
 
Up until the election of George W. Bush, or perhaps more appropriately the ascension of George W. Bush's to the presidency, in 2000 the Republicans had controlled only the House of Representatives.   But, with Bush's coming into office that left the Democratic Party controlling only the Senate and even that was tenuous and temporary.  At that point the courts were also leaning heavily to the right and more often than not they voted that way as they did in deciding the 2000 election.   (Note:  The Republican takeover was a carefully orchestrated plan that began with Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove, not necessarily working together in the beginning, but culminating in and including a united nationwide effort to create a network of conservative think tanks focused on recruiting and educating an army of conservative politicians to run for office but that is a lengthy subject for a later post.)
 
With the Democrats still controlling the Senate, tenuous though it may have been, the administration and House of Representatives were still being held somewhat in check but only temporarily.   Sadly, not long after Bush took office 9/11 occurred and provided the opportunity and excuse that the neocon controlled Republican Party needed to take the country to the extreme right and bring about the new era of the robber barons.   With the elections of 2004 the Republican Party completed their hijacking of the American government and the age of neo-conservative despotism became a firm reality.
 
The truly sad part of this Shakespearian drama is that the Bush administration and the Republican Party accomplished this as the American people stood, eyes wide open and even helped by being gullible, passive coconspirators.
 
On the domestic front the first steps in this travesty began in earnest with huge tax cuts for the wealthy.  This was an obvious first step and of course necessary in order to repay the political debts owed.  They then simultaneously started filling critical positions with political appointments and more often than not the positions were being filled by and with unqualified cronies, the most obvious example being that of Mr. Brown to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency.   Additionally, and with the cooperation of a Congress controlled by Tom Delay, they initiated the K street project to infuse the entire political network with Republican shills.   The ultimate purpose of this project was to buy off the politicians that would or could potentially oppose them and to insure their ability to even control events down to the State level.   The best example of this manipulation at the State level was the redistricting plan that was done in Texas.  Delay was especially brassy in the case of the Texas redistricting when he used the Federal Aviation Agency to locate the Texas Democrats who had left the State in an attempt to stop the "unorthodox" if not outright illegal manner in which the redistricting was being done.   This was an especially brazen act in light of the fact that this redistricting was being done by a legislature that had come into power as a result of Delays money laundering that pumped illegal corporate funds into the State Republican political machine in order to guarantee a Republican majority.   This project also had the effect of totally isolating the Democratic minority in Washington and rendering them fundamentally powerless.  It was doubly effective in that in addition to isolating the Democrats it effectively controlled the more honorable Republican mavericks who might have opposed their agenda.   Once again all of this was done while the American public looked on.
 
To take this power grab even further the Bush administration, using the specter of 9/11 began a systematic erosion of American citizens constitutional rights by not just authorizing but in fact directing the NSA to begin spying on domestic communications and not just circumventing the FISA courts but just ignoring them all together.   Additionally, the president began a systematic process of producing "signing statements", in the hundreds, which in effect declared that because he, the president, disagrees with a specific portion or aspect of the law he intends to not adhere to that law or a portion thereof.    This entire process became even easier once the Congress authorized "all necessary action" to protect the United States from those responsible for 9/11.   The Bush administration conveniently took a broad interpretation, ignoring the "those responsible for 9/11" portion, of this act and has used it to justify every thing from illegal wiretaps to holding American citizens without due process, torturing, and transporting suspected terrorist to autocratically controlled countries where they may be interrogated more freely.
 
I believe that if any thinking, rational person were to carefully look at the actions of the Bush administration and the neocon controlled House, Senate, and now Judiciary they will find that the Bush administration and Republican Party are creating a one party political structure that they envision being forever controlled by the Republican Party and a very small group of elite, wealthy corporate interest.    
 
Every action that this administration takes, whether going to war in Iraq or attacking the Social Security system or Medicare, it is always about big business and big money.   They attack another country using lies and deceit to justify it and issue multi billion dollar no bid contracts to companies to which they have undeniable personal financial ties.   (Note: This wasn't the only reason for invading Iraq of course but it was a side benefit.  The real reason was to establish a permanent American presence in the heart of the oil rich Middle East in an attempt to more closely control the price of crude oil and project American military power into the region.)   They offer Social Security reform that would privatize the system pumping billions of dollars of public funds into private firms to which they have undeniable personal financial ties.   They push through a Medicare drug program without allowing the federal government to implement competitive biding and buy from the lowest bidder which in essence subsidizes private industry to which they have undeniable personal financial ties and the program causes undue hardship on the elderly and poor because it is so complicated that even lawyers can't understand it.   And, to top all of this off they continue to cut taxes for the very wealthy while borrowing trillions of dollars to pay for government operations to include unjust wars leaving the debt burden not only on the middle class and poor taxpayers but on the backs of middle class and poor taxpayer's children and grand children for decades to come.
 
And I must add one last comment to this post.  All the time that this administration is robbing the American people of their present and future they are pouring American blood into the Iraqi desert and the barren soil of Afghanistan.  They do this without shame as evidenced here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/16/AR2006011601394.html?nav=rss_email/components
 
All of this by a Commander in Chief that isn't fit to be the Commander in Chief as evidenced Here:  http://www.motherjones.com/news/outfront/2003/01/ma_217_01.html and here:   http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/opinion/lechliter.pdf
 
Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Just America For All Americans – Or Take Me To A Leader


“The first duty of a leader is to make himself be loved without courting love. To be loved without 'playing up' to anyone - even to himself.” – Andre Malraux (1901 - 1976)

On this the occasion of the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I cannot think of a more germane and relevant topic to write about than leadership.  And, I cannot think of a hero, living or dead, who has personified more, those words of Andre Malraux than did Doctor King.  Today, these many years later, our nation still feels the hole in our moral fiber that was left with his passing.

I think that speaking or writing about leadership comes naturally to me because I lived and breathed it for so many years.  I had the good fortune to witness real leadership and all of the peace and glory it brings and to experience the lack of it and so much more to appreciate such a gift when our Lord bestows it upon some deserving person.  Today I lament for this glorious trait and associated feelings simply because there is such a public void of it.  Our nation’s history is riddled with heroic leaders that held the capacity to call the nation to arms on foreign and domestic fronts.  (A favorite example of mine is Theodore Roosevelt who charged San Juan Hill and then charged robber baron hill at home.)  Today our nation is being threatened on both of those fronts once again and, to our bad fortune we are adrift in a leadership desert.

The persons who haunt our nation’s capitol today do not possess a flickering of honest leadership nor do they possess a flickering of honest statesmanship and even more disturbing they do not possess a flickering of honor.  In fact the current administration in Washington continues to line the pockets of the modern day robber barons, while denying American citizens of their constitutional rights and simultaneously creating a military fiasco on the international front.

Before his death Dr. King had continued his struggle but it had a slightly different direction because this time he was including the struggle of trying to end and unjust war that was decimating predominately poor and minority youth of America and bombs were falling on innocent men, women, and children.  I believe that if today Dr. King were standing on the steps of the Lincoln memorial in Washington D.C. and looking out across Washington he would say, ‘and what has changed Mr. President?’  I believe he would say, ‘bring our soldiers home Mr. President’ and I believe he would say, ‘where is the justice and honor in your presidency Mr. President’?

I believe that those would be the words of Dr. King because I believe those would be the words of a truly competent leader.  Today a mere flicker of hope crossed the horizon.  Today the man who should be president, Vice President Al Gore delivered a speech worthy of Teddy Roosevelt and challenging a president gone amok and a nation gone asleep.  But we sorely need more.  We need to wake America up with the voices of a thousand, no ten thousand leaders pointing out the injustice and the corruption and the immorality.

I would call on the Democratic Party to call a conference of the Democratic Leadership and to create a “Pledge to America” and to lay out in that pledge a vision and a path to a “Just America for All Americans”.  We need leadership, and the opportunity for America and the Democratic Party is now!

I do not like to close any post on a negative note but this just seems too appropriate and villain that he was he was a leader.

“What luck for rulers that men do not think.” – Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Presidents Lie And Soldiers Die – Or Why I'm Furious

I am furious! I am beyond furious. I am livid! It is my professional military opinion that this president, who purports to be Commander in Chief, is the most incompetent buffoon that has ever walked the halls of government. Just one of the reasons I say this is here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20060113/cm_usatoday/
forlackofbodyarmortroopsdiewhythedelay
PS: I pointed this out long ago and it just moved from the sub-lines to the headlines, sort of.

Here are some more reasons:

Here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/
06/11/AR2005061100723.html

Here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4731185/

Here: http://bowman.typepad.com/cubowman/2004/10/more_on
_postinv.html

Here's one more: http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2004/
03/08/iraq_death_spurs_push_for_humvee_armor/


Exactly what does this arrogant, inept, bumbler have to do for the American people to wake up to his idiocy? Does he need to stand in Times Square with a 9mm handgun and blow out a soldiers brains to prove that he is a completely incompetent and malicious autocrat? Why is the Democratic leadership, not demanding, no shouting from the rooftops a call for a Congressional investigation into this negligent dereliction of duty? I understand that I am ranting and Alito is suppose to fill the front pages but this is so very painfully disgusting that I can hardly contain myself.

I simply do not understand! I do not understand what it will take to raise the level of awareness and concern to a point where the citizens of this country, the Democratic Party, and our elected representatives in the Congress and the Senate will demand and take action. If there are any courageous and sane members of Congress left it is time for them to, if nothing else, bring all legislation to a stand still until such time as the Republican leadership does it's constitutionally mandated duty of conducting oversight of the executive branch. But of course this is the Congress that also does not have the courage to demand and act on its constitutional responsibility to declare war and instead lets it just muddle into existence by way of some ambiguous authority for the president to act with all necessary force.

Surely, somewhere, in Washington D.C. there is an elected representative with the moral courage to stand up and say enough is enough and force, through some procedural process, a halt to or at least a slow down of legislative processes in order to force action from Congress. If the Texas State Democratic Representatives can leave their State and bring the Texas State government to a standstill over redistricting then our federal representatives can force action when thousands of American soldiers are being killed and maimed as a result of the Commander in Chiefs incompetent actions. Isn't that what we elected them to do and they took an oath of office to do? I believe their oath says something about defending and upholding the Constitution of the United States.

Okay the steam is pretty much out now.

For nearly four years now this president has repeatedly lied to and misled the American people. There have been and are enough leaks, reports, investigations and inquiries going on to at least demonstrate that he is guilty of dereliction of duty. I believe I could put enough links here keep you reading for a month or two about the gross abuses of power put upon this nation by this president. So I must ask why is something not being done.

Let me answer my own question. The simple answer is that the people, the citizens, the denizens of this nation apparently don't care and they certainly are not demanding it. That's why. I knew the answer but I was hoping I was wrong but logical thought says unfortunately I'm not. I have to assume that it is okay with the American people that 2,214 American soldiers, sailors, and marines have died and another 16,420 have been wounded and maimed because the president lied and led us into an unjust and probably illegal but certainly immoral war. Let me repeat that in case anyone didn't get it.

2,214 American soldiers, sailors, and marines DEAD.
16,420 WOUNDED AND MAIMED.
Unjust/Probably Illegal/Certainly Immoral War

2,214 American soldiers, sailors, and marines DEAD.
16,420 WOUNDED AND MAIMED.
Unjust/Probably Illegal/Certainly Immoral War

2,214 American soldiers, sailors, and marines DEAD.
16,420 WOUNDED AND MAIMED.
Unjust/Probably Illegal/Certainly Immoral War

2,214 American soldiers, sailors, and marines DEAD.
16,420 WOUNDED AND MAIMED.
Unjust/Probably Illegal/Certainly Immoral War

2,214 American soldiers, sailors, and marines DEAD.
16,420 WOUNDED AND MAIMED.
Unjust/Probably Illegal/Certainly Immoral War

I am probably sounding bitter today but sometimes that happens. I have one more question before I end this rant. Thirty six years ago, when I returned from my last tour in Vietnam, Americans were marching in the streets. They were demanding an end to a war that the country should never have entered. I endured much as a result of being a soldier back then but I didn't let the abuses demoralize me and instead I just became more determined, as did many other soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and senior commissioned officers, to stick with it and help rebuild our demoralized and mostly dysfunctional military. We succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. We helped to build the most respected and powerful military force this nation and world has every seen or imagined. It was and is a proud, morally upright, and just army.

Many of those officers who stayed after the Vietnam conflict were still serving when George W. Bush became president and when he decided to invade Iraq. Many of those officers advised him, first against such an action, and then when he decided to invade anyway, on the correct course of action and how to successfully deal with the conflict. He, the president, as a result of their recommendations decided to ask those officers to leave and chose instead a group of yes men and women who have assisted him in creating what I believe will one day be known as one of our nation's greatest military fiascos.

My question is this. Actually I have more than one question. Here they are. Where are those who protested and insulted me and the other soldiers returning from Vietnam? Where are they today? Why have they now decided to be silent? Is it because they have become the "establishment"? Is it because they have lost their moral compass and sense of right and wrong? Or is it because they have become fat and lazy and can't be bothered? Is it so that another generation of soldiers can die and be wounded and maimed for another lie? Where are their voices?

Let me close with this. Our soldiers are brave upright men and women who serve with distinction. They are in Iraq fighting for their country. They have won the conflict of armies. They do not deserve to continue to be slaughtered in an insurgency that is not and should not be theirs to fight. It is this president's mistake and not theirs. It's time to bring them home.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel (30 BC - 9 AD)


Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Post For Me – Or The Myers Liberal/Conservative Scale

This post is for me. I have recently found myself reflexively writing my post for other people and apparently trying to influence them in some way. I have known for a long time that that is a futile effort and I think I just lost my way a little. My blog was never meant for that and was only ever meant for my own musings. So I'm getting back on point and track.

The following thoughts are the results of some of my recent conversations with my conservative friends.

It seems to me that it's pretty obvious that the two major political parties are a reflection of the general social leanings of the population of this country. It also seems to me that those who claim to be independents or members of other parties or non-parties still "lean" toward the ideological views of one of the two major parties, some being more extreme and some more moderating. At any rate it seems to me that that is the way of it.

I have, for some time, struggled to discern and just kind of wrap my mind around the general characteristics of these two broad general groups. I'm sure there are probably shelves full of books on the subject, but I have just wanted to get a general common sense perspective on the whole thing. So here is what I'm thinking.

I believe that it's pretty well accepted that the two extremes of the liberal/conservative spectrum are either communism or anarchy. Now for ease of understanding I have tried to numerically quantify this thought and here is how that works. On the Myers Liberal/Conservative (Myers L/C) numeric scale a radical liberal or communist would be a -10 (left) and a radical conservative or anarchist would be a +10 (right). Using this scale I believe that the citizens of our great nation are for the most part in the middle of those two extremes or somewhere around 0 plus or minus one or two points (Myers L/C -2 to +2). Now, using the Myers L/C scale I think that recently most conservatives that I have been interacting with are somewhere around a +7 or +8 and most liberals I have been interacting with are around a -5 to -6. Now here's why I think they are falling into these general rankings on the Myers L/C scale.

As I have mentioned in many earlier post I believe that the once reasonably moderate Republican Party (Myers L/C +1 to +3) has been hijacked by a neocon radical right wing group (Myers L/C +9 to +10). Now the way they have hijacked the party is through the use of what is contemporarily referred to as "wedge issues". Some but not all of these issues are abortion, homosexuality, the ever popular gun control along with many others such as the death penalty and religion. This neocon radical group then uses these issues in conjunction with smear political campaign tactics along with money funneled through shill groups and various PAC's to manipulate the public at large. Now what one must understand is that this is an extremely complex and sophisticated operation that is succinctly planned and orchestrated on a national level. It covers every aspect of the national political life from adjusting voting districts on the State level to garnering and co-opting K Street lobbying and money resources. Additionally what these radicals have come to realize is that you can, through use of these wedge issues, implement and use scare tactics to manipulate the voting population and specifically your political base which is the critical group required to maintain control. They have also discovered that manipulating the population in this way and keeping them in the Myers L/C +8 to +9 frame of mind is the easiest way to stay in power but let's don't go down that road at this point.

Now, let's examine why the normally moderate liberal population is registering in the -5 to -6 range on the Myers L/C scale? It is my belief that American liberals, progressives, and moderates are not by nature radical as a general rule and I believe they fundamentally abhor communism so it is my thought that they are only registering at this somewhat elevated liberal level as a defensive response to the radical right. Liberals do not tend to be aggressive as a rule and therefore tend to be more thoughtfully reactive and deliberate. I believe if one were to go back to the "Republican revolution" of 1994 and analyze the liberal and conservative movements one would see the Myers L/C scale swing not necessarily proportionately but in opposite directions. Meaning simply that as the conservative movement shifted more to the right the liberal or progressive movement shifted to the left but not as rapidly or radically as the conservative movement.

Now I have to ask myself what all of this means in a practical sense and I think this is it.
I believe that simply put the basic difference between the conservative and liberal movements is their perception of the degree of government responsibility to the citizenry. This is the reason that historically people have heard that the conservative movement believes in less government, less taxes, and more individual "responsibility" and the liberal movement believes in more government, more taxes or less individual responsibility. It is my belief that these stereotypical views are not reality and that the truth lies somewhere in between, hence most Americans lay somewhere in the -2 to +2 range on the Myers L/C scale.

Let's discuss an example of what I mean. Let's use social services as an example. A radical conservative (Myers L/C +9 to +10) would probably say there should not be any social services for anyone and if you can't earn a living, tough then just die. And, a radical liberal (Myers L/C -9 to -10) might have a communist state view where every single individual gets everything from the state. Now in our great nation once again I believe the reality is in the middle. Most Americans conservative and liberal believe that everyone deserves a chance. That everyone who works hard deserves a good job and if they are "down on their luck" they deserve a "hand up" and not a "hand out"(Myers L/C -2 to +2). And, I believe that most Americans are willing to pay reasonable taxes for good roads, good schools, good defense, and good law enforcement and yes even good social services programs if they are a hand up and not a hand out. The inherent problem is the radicals of both movements tend to hijack the rest much like today when the neocon radicals of the right have hijacked their party and garnered complete control of the government.

The bottom line in my opinion is this. This nation needs leadership and an administration with a vision and not a message, and a plan and not a sound bite. This nation needs an administration with integrity and moral focus and values and not one with a radical political or religious agenda. This nation needs an administration that respects the law and not one that scorns and ridicules the law. This nation needs an administration with a domestic and foreign policy and not one with a blurred vision and shortsighted ambitions. And to answer the question I started out with, there is very little difference between and American Liberal and an American Conservative. They both want a prosperous free nation with a bright future for every citizen and a government that takes care of the needs of the nation and not the needs of a special few.
Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Ship Without A Rudder – Or George’s Little Fiefdom

Let’s play who’s the captain. I’ve come to the conclusion that this country is like a giant ocean liner adrift in that political and economic ocean called the world and there’s a barroom brawl in the pilothouse.

The citizens of this great country, like the passengers of an ocean liner are paying for and deserve the best trip possible and they deserve to make their journey in the safest manner possible and I don’t think they’re getting their moneys worth. In fact I believe they are being robbed, ripped off, and mugged to boot.

The captain of this ship came to his position under less than perfect circumstances, his authority is questionable, and they’ve been scrapping every since he took the helm. That being said he’s the captain and everyone has pretty much accepted that. Now, having said that, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be fired along with the rest of the crew and a new captain and crew brought on board.

A quick scan of recent news shows that nothing is being accomplished on this ship. The captain is out of touch with reality and his crew and passengers. He’s a radical neocon and he’s pandering to the passengers in first class and ignoring the rest. The crew is rife with corruption and graft and generally ignoring the passengers, except the ones in first class who can afford to pay them for their favors.

Now the real problem is that any possible replacement captain and crew are asleep. Dead sound asleep and don’t seem to show any signs of life and actually that’s the really scary part.

Now let’s talk real world. One thing that really frosts me is that the Democratic Party is not getting it together. They are themselves like a ship without a rudder, asleep at the wheel or whatever other euphemism you choose to use. The bottom line is they’re not moving and the Republican Party is in a shambles.

Let’s think about this for a minute. The president of the United States has lied to the American people and it is and should be obvious to all. His and his staff’s credibility is less than suspect to nonexistent a la Libby, Rove et al. The Republican leadership in the Congress to include the Senate is pretty much a bunch of key stone cop criminals and most are obviously guilty of taking bribes or at the least guilty of being unethical. On top of this the Republican Party has no agenda other than tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts and the Democrats can’t seem to come up with a thing.

Now tell me we aren’t a ship without a rudder. If you look at the American economy, the employment, job growth, budget deficit, trade deficit or whatever measure you may choose the country is at best on autopilot and headed for an iceberg and all we get is more of the same from the Republican Party and dead silence from the Democratic Party. And the press whom you would hope would be playing mine canary is busy picking seeds out of the hands of corporate executives and politicians.

It just seems to me that at every turn and opportunity the Democratic Party fails to come through. The Alito hearings are a current classic example in today’s news. The Democratic Senators, instead of using this opportunity to really probe and get at his judicial philosophy and record so they can torpedo his a** with the American publics support, they are pontificating and blabbering along with the Republican Senators. What’s that all about? Do they want the Supreme Court to swing completely to the right so that we lose all of our civil liberties?

The citizens of this country need leadership with a serious agenda. We have been hearing for months about how the Democratic Party is going to roll out a plan similar to the Republican contract with America. Well I for one don’t want a Democratic version of a Republican contract with America. I want a Democratic plan to ‘secure America for Americans’. That includes economic, political and physical security and not tax cut, tax cut, tax cut. Tax cuts aren’t economic, political or physical security. Tax cuts the Republican way are, put money in rich pockets and borrow money for my buddies so future Americans can pay my bills. I for one am sick of those kind of trickle down economics that make poor Americans poorer, middle class Americans poor, and rich Americans richer.

I for one want a plan and preferably a Democratic plan to keep this country the safest, most prosperous, free country in the world and not George W. Bushes little fiefdom.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Monday, January 09, 2006

For The Love Of Liberty

As I read the news today a quote came to mind that I think is perhaps worth contemplation.   It is by William Hazlitt and it goes like this, "The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves."  I think this is particularly pertinent today because of the administration and Congress that is currently at the head of our government and their current and past actions.
 
I asked myself just what is it that this administration and Congress has given to our nation that would demonstrate their love of liberty and hence their love of others and our nation.   And then I asked myself what is it that this administration has given themselves that would demonstrate their love of power and hence their love of self to the exclusion of others and our nation.
 
The answers are quick to come.  Here is the answer to, what is it that this administration and Congress has given to our nation that would demonstrate their love of liberty and hence their love of others and our nation.
 
Sorry I'm drawing a blank.  Seriously I'm drawing a blank.   I cannot think of a single thing they have done that shows love of liberty.
 
Now here is the answer to the question, what is it that this administration has given themselves that would demonstrate their love of power and hence their love of self to the exclusion of others and our nation.  We could and should begin with a president who takes the laws of the nation so lightly that he would violate them for the simple need for expediency i.e. wiretaps without warrants because the courts are too slow.  We then move to the appointment of cronies, former business associates, and friends to high places who are unqualified to function in the positions but are skilled fund raisers who demonstrated their skills by raising funds for the political campaigns of administration officials.   This particular action was and is unfortunately amplified by the Katrina disaster which highlighted the appointment of Mr. Brown whom apparently was skilled at running show horse associations and raising campaign funds but not much at disaster management.   We could add the repetitive conduct of giving no bid contracts to companies for whom administration officials have worked, are still on retainer, and or who were the biggest contributors to the political campaigns of administration officials.   The highlight here of course would be Halliburton which received not only the Iraq contracts but also most of the Katrina contract.  In the case of Katrina it should be pointed out that it was mostly Halliburton subsidiaries who received the contracts.   We could then move to the legislative agenda where a majority of the administrations and Congress' actions have been to the benefit of major corporate campaign contributors.   We could begin here with drug companies and how Medicare is prevented from taking bids on drugs in order to get the best prices much like the Veterans Administration does.  This act alone I understand will only cost the taxpayers a mere billion or so a year.  We could add tax cuts for the very wealthy of which the administration and Congress are a part of at the expense of the middle class of which the administration and Congress are not a part.   I don't normally address tax issues because I am not particularly adept at it but even I can see that when you cut taxes and then turn around and borrow billions of dollars to fight an unjust war it is just plain bad checkbook management.
 
I would also like to say that I normally stick to military issues of which I know a little more about but form time to time I find I must comment on these types of issues when it becomes so egregious that it slaps me in the face.   That's what happened today.
 
Let me close this post with a quote from a true statesman, humanitarian, and gentle man (Space left intentionally) who understood the awesome power and responsibility of public office.   "The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public."  Robert F. Kennedy (1925 - 1968), 'I Remember, I Believe,' The Pursuit of Justice, 1964
 
Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Political Causes Of Pain

This is the first time I have actually decided on the title of a post before I wrote the post.  I think it happened because as a soldier and leader I am feeling more pain today than usual.  Today 12 more soldiers spilled their blood in the sands of Iraq.

The total number of American soldiers who have died in Iraq as of this writing stands at 2,210.

The total number of American soldiers who have been wounded in Iraq as of this writing stands at 15, 955.

I want to avoid repeating what I have written in previous post if I can but I think it will be difficult.  So here goes anyway.  Each time I read about another soldier dying in Iraq I think that either that soldier or more likely his leader is someone I probably trained.  That thought brings it close.  I then think that that soldier has a family waiting.  Maybe they have children, a husband, a wife, brothers and sisters and a mother and father.  Then I think about what my parents and family went through those many months I was serving in Vietnam or some other conflict in some other god forsaken hole.  I think of the pain that they felt and it brings it all home to me.  I was never the one waiting and I’m beginning to see how being the one waiting can be more painful.  Then……….I think that for the families of the soldiers who died today the waiting is over and it hurts more.  My family got me back and their families didn’t.

I have to ask myself this……; does George W. Bush think about these things?  Does George W. Bush know that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11?  Does George W. Bush know that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction?  Does George W. Bush know that Saddam was not a threat to the United States?  Does George W. Bush know that those who attacked on 9/11 were al Qaeda and most were Saudi citizens and none were Iraqi?  Does George W. Bush know that Osama Bin Laden, who planned and directed the execution of the 9/11 attacks is still at large?

George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in spite of knowing all of the above.  George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq knowing that we were going in with at least 50,000 fewer troops than needed to accomplish the mission.  George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq without a plan to maintain stability or for the occupation of that country.  George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq knowing that the soldiers did not have enough body armor to protect all of them.  George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq knowing that the military did not have enough of the right kind of armored vehicles to accomplish the mission and protect the troops.  George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq knowing that the military did not have enough of the right kind of armored vehicles and didn’t bother to ask the manufacturer to produce more, faster and let our soldiers continue to be in harms way without the equipment to protect them and save their lives.  George W. Bush continues to occupy Iraq with American soldiers who have inferior body armor instead of providing the armor that could reduce casualties by 70% to 80%.

Some might say this is Monday morning quarterbacking.  I say it’s simply realizing the facts as they were known at the time.  I also say it is dereliction of duty to commit an act for purely political reasons.  And I say it is treasonous for the Commander in Chief to order soldiers into harms way while knowing it is one the wrong thing to do and they are not prepared to handle the situation on the ground.

I am hurting today because my/our soldiers are dying as a result of at least gross negligence if not treasonous acts.

I ask you to hurt with me and weep with me but do something to bring change to our government and bring our soldiers home.  We have won the war of Armies and it is the Iraqi’s responsibility to win the war of insurgency through democratic means.  It may be idealistic thinking on my part but it’s reality in the desert.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Total Complete Absolute Despicable Incompetence

As a soldier and a leader reading this article makes me sick. Here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/06/politics/06cnd-armor.html?
ex=1294203600&en=b13c10bd70ee9190&ei=
5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
First not every soldier had the body armor they needed when we invaded and that was followed by a chronic shortage of body armor. Second we didn’t have the appropriately armored vehicles when we invaded. Third we didn’t bother to tell the company manufacturing the armored vehicles to increase production when they had the capacity to produce an additional 100 vehicles a month. “If someone had asked us” said the company president, “we could produce an additional 100 vehicles a month”. Now we don’t bother to send them improved equipment that could save their lives, body armor or vehicles.

At what point is George W. Bush going to start being a real Commander in Chief. Oh….let me answer that for you. Never!

How much dereliction of duty must our soldiers tolerate? Let’s see, what can the excuse be….he’s the Commander in Chief and he doesn’t get involved in those details….he has Generals to take care of these minor details….he couldn’t possibly know these things because he’s in Washington and they’re in the desert….well let me say this. He’s incompetent and he can’t control the military he’s in charge of and that’s the facts and reality. Do I sound angry? Yes I am. I’m damn mad. These young soldiers are dying for us and for him and he isn’t competent enough to provide them with the basic equipment to survive in combat. It’s time George W. Bush spent a tour in the sand without the armor protection our soldiers don’t have. Enough of that.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Today


Today more American soldiers gave their lives in Iraq.

Why, Mr. Bush may I ask have you done this?

The number of American soldiers who have died in Iraq is now 2,187.

Why, Mr. Bush may I ask have you done this?

The number of American soldiers who have been wounded in Iraq is now 15,955.

Why, Mr. Bush may I ask have you done this?

American blood continues to poor into the desert sand in Iraq.

Why, Mr. Bush may I ask have you done this?

More Iraqi’s died today (125+) as a result of suicide bombers.

Why, Mr. Bush may I ask have you done this?

The number of Iraqi civilian casualties is now approaching 30,000.

Why, Mr. Bush may I ask have you done this?


Where is the al Qaeda connection Mr. Bush?

Where are the weapons of mass destruction Mr. Bush?

Where is Osama Bin Laden Mr. Bush?

Why, Mr. Bush can you not answer these questions?


Today the National Security Agency continued to spy on American citizens without a warrant.

Why, Mr. Bush may I ask have you done this?


Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

What Price Liberty – The Vice

It was Patrick Henry who said "Give me Liberty of Give me Death."  I remember throughout my twenty seven year military career that that phrase was constantly resonating in my very core.   I may be na├»ve but I still believe in the essence of that phrase and the speech that it was part of.  I have often, in this blog, referred to my patriot ancestors and family and the sacrifices they made for liberty and our country.   Well these are the things that I fought for also.  This is what I served my nation for and this was and is what I was willing to and would die for.
 
Our nation was founded on the protection of those liberties laid out by the founding fathers in our Constitution and its amendments.   And our founding fathers were also wise enough to carefully place a system of checks and balances on all the branches of government so as to insure that no one branch or individual would become so powerful as to misuse or in more colloquial terms hijack our republic.   I do not believe that these great men ever imagined that one ideologically radical group of people would be able to hijack and control one party which would then take control of our entire government.   I don't believe that they thought that one person or group of people could be so ideologically and morally corrupt that they could, through the use of money and power actually take complete control of the whole of our system of government.
 
I believe that this is occurring today within the Republican Party and all the branches of our government.  I believe it is being manifested in two specific ways.  First it is metastasizing in the executive branch with the slow, methodical, and certain erosion of our liberties as the president bypasses the judicial branch in multiple ways.   Specifically he is denying our constitutionally guaranteed liberties by not just allowing but directing the intelligence community to monitor the activities of American citizens without due process and a warrant as is required by the 4 th amendment to the constitution and further delineated by Congress in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act.  I concur that one could possibly argue this point but the simple reality is that the constitution and FISA require it and the president is not adhering to either.
 
Along this same vein our constitutional rights are being further corrupted by the fact that the president continues to implement "signing statements" in order to conduct activities that he believes he should have the ability to authorize but that the constitution prohibits and Congress has in someway further limited through law or prohibited in some other manner.   The most recent example, which I pointed out in an earlier post, was the anti-torture law recently passed and signed by the president himself.  Immediately after praising and signing the law the president executed a "signing statement" which indicated he believes he still has the authority to override the law and international treaty.   It is my opinion that these are flagrant acts that demonstrate this president disdain for law and the congress and which takes us ever closer to authoritarian government.
 
I mentioned earlier that there were two ways in which this hijacking of the government is occurring.  The second dynamic is graft and corruption of our lawmakers.   As soon as the Republican Party came to power in Congress they launched a project known as the K Street project which basically said that if your lobbying business was employing anyone who was not a Republican then you would not gain access to Congress.   This is a direct assault on the constitution because the constitution guarantees citizens the right to petition Congress.  The constitution guarantees this right to all citizens and not to members of specific parties.   It is my contention then that this plan, instigated by Tom Delay, therefore is a traitorous act and should be investigated as a treasonous act against the United States.   The fruits of this project are now being exposed in the case of Jack Abramoff and the web of graft and corruption surrounding him and his associates.  Through this crack in an otherwise united front we see just how deep this prostituting of our government goes.   We are beginning to see just how absolutely corrupt this leadership is.
 
So, we see through all of this that as the executive branch garners more and more power through a twisting of the law in order to give more power to the executive branch the leadership in the Congress and Senate are funneling money and favors to their political partners in order to insure that they remain in power by doing favors for their corporate sponsors which insures future funds to assist them in remaining in power.   So we see a tight little circle that keeps the rich rich and the powerful powerful and the American taxpayer picks up the tab.
 
I believe that if the citizens of this great nation do not voice their concerns through their elected representatives those who now control all of the branches of government will continue to corrupt our government beyond anything we could have ever imagined.   We must insist, no demand, that our elected representatives hold these people accountable for their actions.  The web of money and bought favors of Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay and all of those associated with them must be thoroughly investigated.   Congress must not let the president continue to ignore and flagrantly violate the constitution and laws of the land.
 
 Let me close with this.  It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  It is obvious that Mr. Bush doesn’t get it.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.