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This Can't Be What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, March 2-4, 2007



No Confidence

Take a look at these quote from the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Robert Gates:

"lost trust and confidence,"
-The US Defense Department

"The care and welfare of our wounded men and women in uniform demand the highest standard of excellence and commitment that we can muster as a government,"

"When this standard is not met, I will insist on swift and direct corrective action and, where appropriate, accountability up the chain of command,"
-Gates, again

Now, I realize that the Bush administration's Modus Operandi when it comes to blame is that excrement flows downhill. And in this case, Major General George W. Weightman, who was standing at the bottom of BM hill with his arms wide open, deserved to lose his job as the head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. But what about the Bushies losing our trust and confidence? After six-plus years of lying to us and sending troops into Iraq and Afghanistan under-armed and under-trained, shouldn't we, the American people, ask for some vote of confidence ourselves? And how about the soldiers and their families who are directly affected by the actions of the Bushies? Does anyone really think that they still show "confidence" and still "trust" the Bushies to do what's best for them? I sincerely doubt it.

That high standard mentioned by Gates is nothing but a joke to these people. How many times have our leaders gone to see our troops? Is someone seriously trying to tell us that the conditions at the Rat-Trap Motel went unnoticed? I believe they were simply ignored.

After the Washington Post article broke out, he noted that anyone who ever went to Walter Reed is at fault. Maybe he goes a little too far, but these conditions were not new. Imus stated that he received a phone call from actress Susan Sarandon. who called for the sole reason to tell Imus about those conditions. Imus did nothing with the info and he blames himself. maybe Imus, by blaming all who turned a blind eye to the conditions, has a point in blaming everyone.

Someone should note to Secretary Gates that Rumsfeld's Pentagon never cared for the troops. The Walter Reed scandal is simply the proof. By the way, Secretary Gates, it's YOUR pentagon now. Stop being just another Bush Yes-Man and start doing what's best for the American people, as a whole and your charges, the troops, in particular

-Noah Greenberg

It Takes a <Your Thoughts Here>

Hillary Clinton titled her book "It Takes a Village". Former Senator (I like the way that sounds) Rick Santorum (REPUBLICAN-PA) made fun of the former First Lady and now US Senator from New York's book by writing his own knock-off titles "It Takes a Family". Ms. Clinton's idea was to show how it takes family, friends, teachers, community leaders, coaches, etc. to raise a child into a well adjusted contributor to our society, and the world as a whole. Former Senator (I still like he way it sounds) Santorum's book focused on family values and how a family's will should be the deciding factor in how a child is raise. That is, of course, unless you disagree with how the former Pennsylvania Senator.

But I do believe that raising a child takes the influence of his or her family first. And I do believe that it also requires the community in which they live to contribute. We all know that a good environment makes it easier to raise the sponges we call our children into the adults we all wish they would become. My question is, "What then?"

What happens after a boy becomes a man or a girl becomes a woman? More specifically, what happens when they join the US military? By now, even the most supportive constituents of President Bush can have no doubt that he and his "base" f "haves and have mores" see our children as nothing more than cannon fodder in their wars for profit. And even with both houses of Congress changing hands, we see that little has been done due to GOP filibusters in the Senate and a smattering of quotes form the Right which state "If you don't support the President's plan to send more troops, you don't support the troops." So what should this 110th US Congress do? Well,, believe it or not, I have some suggestions.

These are Bills which should make it to the floor of the House immediately:

In response to the recent Walter Reed Army Hospital housing mess, where our wounded soldiers were living in squalor, I believe that we should take what Former Senator (smile everyone) Santorum said to heart. Get the family involved. The Democrats ought to propose a Bill on the floor which provided a monthly housing allowance for each individual soldier to get their own apartment, as long as they have a care-giver living with them. To go along with this monthly stipend should be meal vouchers and transportation to and from Walter Reed, as needed, for therapy. I'm sure that many of our wounded heroes have fathers, mothers, wives and/ or husbands who would be more than willing to live with their loved ones rather than be apart from them as they attempt to recover, or learn to live with, their changes lives. Alternatively, if the care given at Walter Reed could be given at a hospital or other treatment center near their home, the same stipends should be provided for them and their families in their own neighborhood. There can be no doubt that having one's family and friends around during the healing process can only help speed it up. Likewise for those whose lives have been changed forever by disfigurement, the loss of a limb or paralysis.

To cover those soldiers without the aid of loved ones, I would propose to force (using the good old Eminent Domain" laws) hotels and motels within a twenty mile radius of Walter Reed to provide rooms (paid for by the US taxpayer, at a reasonable discount and a maximum per-diem rate) for our wounded soldiers. We could require all of these hotels to keep available five percent of total rooms open for our troops.

The next bill I would propose would be the "Protect Our Children at War Bill". It would begin by forcing our president to not send any troop into battle, whether it be in a support or combat position, without the training and gear required to keep them safe. No soldier would be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan without body armor. Period!

The final bill would be the "Up-Armor Bill. This bill would require that all vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan be supplied with Up-Armor kits that would make them battle ready and able to protect our soldiers from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's) and small arms fire. No soldier should lose his or her life because their transport vehicle wasn't properly protected.

These bills would not only show the American people that the Democrats, and Congress as a whole support the troops, but would force immediate action for the President to take. How could a Senator possibly filibuster any one of these bills? how could a President who wants us all to believe that he supports the troops possibly veto any of these bills?

Who really supports the troops? We'd find out soon enough.

-Noah Greenberg

American Idle is right!
Or how they keep Americans' minds idle
by Robert W. Barker

A hint of idolatry and lack of citizenship acumen, traced to the constant distractions in American pop culture. Violent films, lame news, under reporting facts, slanted reporting, brain dead comedy, awards shows, and pop culture is the opiate of the masses. One thousand channels and nothing to watch.

Here in the land of superficial pop culture violent hip hop and fast food we have many phenomenon to keep us satiated in the trivial and uninvolved.

A Republic like the one we live in here in the USA requires involved citizens critical thinking and a constant vigil over our leadership and their policies.

Further we should become more astute on International policies as this world grows closer together, in communications and cultural exchanges. Instead we are distracted apathetic and unconcerned. We are far too busy watching American idols and the scandals associated with it. We love to hear about Anna Nicole as anti freedom legislation is passed without a reaction from the public. Here we have learned to ignore torture done with our tax dollars, death of Habeas Corpus in many cases, all while we watch American idol, and Idolize singers not peace makers.

Here is the anti Intellectual American idol worshippers playing out their fantasy as star makers. Psychological addictions to this type of events are evident in all our pop culture attributes and addictions.

We cry for Anna Nicole Smith but pay no heed to the dying in the Sudan, and scant attention to the deaths in Iraq. We vote in larger numbers for an Idol than we do {Per Capa } in elections for real leadership. We know more about a winner on American Idol than we do about the people we let run the country.

How many people knew G.W. Bush had a cocaine problem, was an alcoholic, or was accused of raping a black woman in Texas?
Entertainment and corporate needs took over the real news and became a spinning game show, and not information for the public.

Who knew Dick, the five-deferment Cheney, was circumventing social and environmental laws all over the globe for Halliburton long before he became VP? Or that the World Court in the Hague was preparing to indict Cheney for buying and selling Iraqi oil against UN sanctions? They dropped the case when Cheney became second in command in the USA.

Who researches the appointees to our important positions like Mike Brown the horse salesman in the FEMA office? Who really understood that former ambassador Negroponte was accused of running death squads in Guatemala?

We knows about the DNA test being sought in the Smith case but never noticed Bush slipped in drastic cuts in Medicare and Medicaid?

Billions borrowed from the Communist Chinese until we are covered in debt but we are too busy watching Faux News and the everything is fine spin.

I hear people asking who did you vote for on the Idol, yet when I asked them they cannot name the State Reps in their districts.

Education replaced by pseudo intellectual trivial pursuits once looked down on are now accepted as part of the American blindfolded experience. Sheep are created in this environment that follow any cult of personality that fits their fantasy.

Any American kid can name several hundred cartoon characters but only one or two presidents. We have dropped the study of geography for the pleasures of idolatry and no one can find Iran on a map except the bombers waiting to attack.

At the risk of sounding like an evangelic preacher, we are idolaters on a major scale, not the kind the preachers claim we are but a new kind of constant diversion seekers. Preachers want your money; I want your active participation in the political process.

You see, America, this experiment set up by our founders is in jeopardy and may collapse from Idolatry of the popular kind. So turn off that idiot box, pick up a real book and or a periodical, and make a commitment to the USA.

Jenny Hanniver responds to Robert Scardapane's comments:

I was focusing on our post-WWII imperialism, but we can't forget the Monroe Doctrine, Mexican War, even the War of 1812--which Canadian friends are convinced was a distraction from an attack on Canada with the intention of annexing it. However, rather than add to the length of this comment I simply used the qualifier "modern" and briefly referred to our past imperialist history within this nation, against Native Americans and slaves; one could add plenty to that, too, e.g., Nativists against immigrants.

Robert, before criticizing it's better to read carefully than to skim--but I've been plenty guilty of that, too, and I expect we all have! We have a lot of stuff to read in one day.

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-Noah Greenberg