Triumphant And Tragic

The Iraq war is over.  In truth it has been for a while, the last of the combat troops came home a fairly long time ago, over a year ago as I recall, as of last June there were no longer combat troops there, but now we no longer have a presence there.

A beautiful day, but a somber one.  Nearly 4,500 dead, over 32,000 wounded on our side of the war, estimates of up to 150,000 Iraqi civilians dead.   2 nations damaged by political intrigue and ugly partisanship and the financial costs of the war.  America scarred, as now we are a security state, rather than a democratic one. More interested in security than freedom, more interested in the concept homeland than home and hearth, and if you think there is no difference between the two, you need to learn english.


We should salute these fine brave American warriors as they come home.  We should hold those who sent these fine young Americans into combat accountable for the deaths, wounds, and other damage inflicted.

There was no WMD, and we knew that even back then.  Congress ignored it, though they knew about Hans Blix and his Unmovic reports.

This war was improper in all ways, the only good thing we get out of it is getting these Americans out.  We never should have been there.  We should always support the troops though, they didn’t ask to go, they went, fought, and thousands died. Their courage and strength cannot be questioned.  They went through hell for politics, and because Presidents have the power to order men into combat to die.

The constitution says only congress has that power.  But this war was orchestrated by the Bush White House, and as a consequence, should we not do something about that?  Make it harder for any administration to create an atmosphere where they can push for a war they want? There must be some way.


The term “We will pay the price but we will not count the cost.” was seemingly created for the fighters in Iraq.  They are evidence that America still has much greatness in it.  We leave Iraq with heads held high.

That we were there at all is a tragedy, that we are leaving a triumph of sense.  We are Americans, we aren’t supposed to start wars, yet we started this one.  Twas foolishness, and frankly I’m glad to see the back of it.

Let us welcome home our warriors with open arms, and the deepest of gratitude for the sacrifices they made.  The reason they were there don’t matter as much now as the simple fact that they are now coming home.

God Bless America.


Pic of the day: Abraham Lincoln


But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg address


Viddy of the day:  Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

O’er The Ramparts We Watch

When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow
We turned our gaze
From the castles in the distance
Eyes cast down
On the path of least resistance

Rush, A Farewell to Kings


The quoted words above speak as from my heart.  The Iraq war is now concluded, this over far too late Iraq war, this most expensive and unnecessary Iraq war, this war we were lied to about.  Happily concluded.

Soon enough there will be an end to the corpses of Americans coming home from that hellhole, that place where we did not belong, that place where the sun burns too hot on the sons and daughters of America because they were ordered, wrongly, to stand and fight in it.

Soon enough there will be no Americans in Iraq, unless they actually wanted to go, for reasons other than militaristic ones.

If you are a fan of freedom and liberty around the world, Americans leaving Iraq is a reason to celebrate.  For now, without the influence of Americans, the Iraqi people will be able to find their own path to freedom, in whatever form it should take, of their own free will.  Even if it be what some in the west would consider the slavery of Sharia law, that is their choice.  And it is a grand thing to let them make that choice themselves.


Viddy of the day:   The President, speaking to the American people, about Afghanistan.  Note the gaff at the 37 second mark.  The pullout in Afghanistan will begin next July, not next August.


I watched the Presidents speech today, about the end of hostilities in Iraq.  It was also about finances, about the fiscal toll as well as the psychological toll that the Iraq war has wrought upon our great people.  He also spoke of the war in Afghanistan, and the need to finish this war properly.  He spoke of reviving the economy being our most urgent task.

This was the speech that we needed the President to give, the speech America needed to hear.  His critics will disagree of course, but that is what critics do, disagree.  He needed to reassure the people that everything is being done to make sure that everything that has to be done is in fact being done.  From financial issues to the conclusion of the Iraq war, and the proper prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.  He touched all the bases here, and did it well.

Thank you, mister President.  I said it when the last stryker battalion left Iraq, and I will say it again tonight.  Well done, Mr. President, well done.


We are in a strange period of history in which a revolutionary has to be a patriot and a patriot has to be a revolutionary.

George Orwell


There is so much news about how the Democrats are doomed.  About how things are so bad for us.  I want those who are loving that to remember one thing.  It was not too long ago that the exact same thing was said about you.  Think on it.  The conservative brand was almost fatally wounded in 2008, or so it was said.

Now look at it.  Look at how strong it feels and seems now.  How tables have turned in the past is how they will turn again in the future.  These things happen in cycles, in waves.  When America sees what it has wrought in a year or so, they will begin to openly wonder what they have done.

And the pendulum will swing back again.   Like it always does, no party, no ideology, stays on top, or bottom, for too long, or falls nearly so far that it cannot return to prominence.

While the Democrats, the centrists, hold power, their star is ebbing, and the radical agenda of the right is rising.  That cannot last, cannot hold.  The dems will lose power, and in turn re-energize the base, in time for 2012.

The Republicans will in time return to power, fail in some manner, and hand it again to the Democrats.  That’s just how the game works.

All victory is fleeting.


That’s it from here, America.  I’ll write to you again tomorrow, another 12 notes piece methinks.  G’night.

Life Is Good

It is a tribute to the humanity of ordinary people that horrible acts must be camouflaged in a thicket of deceptive words like “security,” “peace,” “freedom,” “democracy,” the “national interest” in order to justify them.

Howard Zinn, On War


Life is Good. 

I was watching television, changing channels, trying to figure out what I wanted to watch.  It was about 10 minutes to 7. 

I turn on the Yankees Pre-game show for a minute.  


I turn that off, and hit C-Span.  Joe Biden is eulogizing The Late Sen. Stevens of Alaska, watched that for a minute.  He was finishing his portion of the eulogy, getting ready to introduce Sen. Inouye. 

I flipped the channel, turn on MSNBC. 

I hear and see Keith Olbermann, surprising, he isn’t due on for an hour.  My interest is piqued.    I see the picture on the left side of the screen, a truck moving in the night, shot from behind the truck.  I see the “Breaking News” lower third on screen. It brings a big smile to my face, one which I knew was coming , but wasn’t expecting quite like this. It reads like this.

“Breaking News;  NBC News: Last Combat Troops leaving Iraq”

Live.  I was expecting…. I… to be honest I am not sure what I was expecting, but I can tell you I was not expecting it to be aired live on Nationwide television.  Start flipping channels.  CNN is talking about it, but no live coverage.  Fox News mentions it, but they start news coverage with news about Arizona, a picture of a person holding a sign  “We are all Arizonans Now”.

I’m not an “Arizonan”, I am not a Mexican hating white man living in a desert, trying to scare the locals with images of evil Mexicans, giving birth at us.  They don’t speak for me. 

I flip back on MSNBC. And smile.  Before Katrina, before the economy took center stage back in 2008, this was the first issue that brought Democrats, Independents, and most rational people together against the Bush administration.  The words resonated from one end of the land to the other.

End The War. 

I stand astonished as I watch the last combat brigade leave Iraq, live, in Prime Time. The day has come, thanks the lord it is finally here.


Viddy of the Day:  Watch a  few minutes of the Iraq war.


I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Well, today we finally get what we asked for, what we wanted.  What America needed.   The Last combat brigade is out of Iraq. This is one of the main reasons many people voted Democratic in 2008, voted for Obama. 

Well done, Mr. President.  Well done.  Thank you.

The end is near.  There are 50,000 troops still in Iraq. And we will have some remnant there until December 2011, advisers and the like.  But the Last combat brigade is out of Iraq.  There are still people who will have to leave Iraq. But let me say it again. 

But, the Last combat brigade is out of Iraq.

This feels good.  The End is Near.  Life is good.

God Bless America.  Have a good night, America.

A Very Haiku Kind Of Night

You must rise above
The gloomy clouds
Covering the mountaintop
Otherwise, how will you
Ever see the brightness?


Life is beautiful, precious, fleeting.  Any action taken in it’s own defense is worth the effort.  The gloom created by those who would defend those who stand in the way of helping to save life are of no consequence.  The tea party fails tonight.

Health care will pass this night.  It’s enemies call it flawed.  They call it unconstitutional.  They call it dangerous. 

They lie.  But they cannot help it, they have no other defense but lies. They have no truth to stand by. 

We the people are not moved by those lies, and tomorrow a better day will dawn.

Health care will pass this night.


I am one
Who eats his breakfast,
Gazing at morning glories.

Matsuo Basho

On Friday, an important anniversary passed.  I missed it.  My apologies, I should not have.  Seven years ago, on march 19th 2003 the Iraq war began.  Over 4,000 dead, over 31,000 wounded.  That level of sacrifice should be honored. 

America is a strong nation because of the people who populate it.  The strongest, perhaps, provide service beyond that of citizen, and join the military.  Those who join of their own free will to fight and potentially die for their country have bravery unmatched. That is worth honoring.

God bless America.


In the current of spring tide
A tuft of algae passes
Like an arrow.

Hisajo Sugita

Towards the summer hill
He walks
In the garden.

Suju Takano


Anagram: Semantic Threshing/Screams In The Night

     Today ladies and Gentlemen we are going to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Let’s beat the chaff out of Sarah Palin:

She has her talking points down, doesn’t she?  It was a beautiful obfuscation on her part here.  She said absolutely nothing and she said it brilliantly.   Gonna start near the end of the video first.  I’m just like that. 

      Gibson’s Question: 

“Was that a yes, that we have the right to go across the border, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists in the waziristan area?”

  Palin’s Answer 

“I believe America has to exercise all her options in order to stop the terrorists”

Well First off…DUH!!!! Was that ever a question? No!  And the best part about this one is, He asked her a simple one word yes or no question.  Now in her defense, I have to say that it is a veiled yes. But he wanted the veil off and she was unwilling to state a simple policy position for all the world to see, and rather than stick her neck out and show that she had real strength, she chose instead to follow talking points and not deviate from what she was coached to say. You could almost see strings moving the Palin puppet when she spoke.

    Oh, and if you watch the entire thing, you get one thing.  She doesn’t know what the Bush Doctrine is.  Maybe she would have been better off using “The Google” and finding out what it was before she went on air.   Dummy.

     Let’s now go to the beginning of this particular Video.   NUCLEAR: IT’S PRONOUNCED “NEW CLEAR’, NOT “NEW CYUH LER”.  If you are going to speak English, speak it correctly, kthxbye. 

   Second.  She’s not concerned that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will use Nukes, but is concerned he’ll give them to terrorists?  WTF??? Now I can understand extreme concern about Terrorists getting nukes, understandable and it MUST be avoided at all costs, obviously. DUH.  BUT, This man has spoken about wanting to wipe Israel off of the face of the Earth, and you’re more concerned with Him giving the Bomb to terrorist organizations than with NUCLEAR war with Israel????  But Wait! There’s More!

    And the “Can’t Second guess Israel” thing is bullshit.  Bush Senior, During the first Iraq war, begged Israel not to enter the fight, and they complied, though I am sure they were sorely aggrieved by the Missile strikes in Tel Aviv (I vaguely remember Tel Aviv getting hit by at least 2 scuds, I could be wrong about the city, but more than that fell On Israel) and other cities.  That was more than second guessing them.  They WANTED to Strike Iraq.  We did more than second guess them. We STOPPED them, in order to save the coalition. 

      The Iraqis Bombed them, and they didn’t respond because we asked them not to.  In case of a MAJOR Threat to Israel, we have to have some kind of say, and have in the past over what happens there, Using this one event as an example.  There are examples of Israel going over the border and dropping bombs on other countries.  But dealing with Hezbollah a few years ago, and Iraq, which was busy with a war of their own with Iran in 1981, and a potential Strike by Israel in Iran now, are worlds apart.

    And the Answer Palin gives is more Obfuscation here.  YES WE CAN second guess what our allies are doing if they threaten the peace and stability of a region that has precious little of it and it’s important to our Government.  I personally wish our government wasn’t so damned hell-bent on “protecting” our interests, OIL interests most likely….Back to the Subject at hand, yer damn right we need to talk to the Israelis if they’re gonna do that. We might not convince them to stop, but try we must.  Just like it would be in our Interests to talk to the Iranians, and get them to step away from the Nuclear option, and prevent a nuclear war in the region.   The only Place “PREVENT” doesn’t work is on a football field. 

    If you can listen to the CRAP the Republicans put out and still buy the Rhetoric, you are hopelessly Un-American.  STOP HATING AMERICA! JOIN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!

    That’s it for me.  Catch ya Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via QuotelandModern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces. The men become every year more and more creatures of force, massed about central powerhouses. The conflict is no longer between the men, but between the motors that drive the men, and the men tend to succumb to their own motive forces.  Henry Adams

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.  P.J. O’Rourke

Some people see the cup as half empty. Some people see the cup as half full. I see the cup as too large.   George Carlin