Categories
Government Iran Iraq Politics Poll

What does the majority think?

Looks like the majority of Americans think that talking with our enemies is a good idea. Duh…

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

The Gallup Poll has the details here

(ht C & L)

Categories
Iraq military Patriots Only Veterans War

A Dollar Fifty Patriot

A Dollar Fifty Patriot

 

(

 

or why I don’t celebrate memorial day)

 

Monday is officially Memorial Day. This weekend, however, our nation’s beaches will be full of laughing half-naked tourists looking to shake that pale, white tone of skin they earned through a winter full of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Superbowl dinners. The stores will be full of shoppers eager to make a penny on a buck savings on cheap, dime-store plastic items they really don’t need. Backyards will be spent grilling and barbecuing cholesterol laden foods which will inevitably cause a night’s worth of painful indigestion. Alcohol will be consumed by the gallons to be rewarded by a Monday or Tuesday morning hangover. All to remember our fallen dead.

Memorial Day is to be celebrated as a day of remembrance; to honor those who have fallen in the service of our country. Originally started to remember the dead of the Civil War, the holiday has grown to encompass all of the wars of the 19th, 20th ,and now 21st century. Overall, including the Revolutionary War, some 1.2 to 1.3 million men and women have answered the call and have paid the ultimate price for their country.

On Memorial Day, everyone feels patriotic. Flags, not ordinarily seen during the year, will come out in droves. Kids will paint their faces in red,white and blue colors and people will pat a veteran, one whom they probably never would have talked to otherwise, on the back to say, ‘good job’. Everyone can be a patriot and for a ‘buck fifty’ you can buy those cheap yellow decals to put on your car that says, “I support the troops”. For one day, everyone can feel as if they’ve done their part.

But have they?

It’s nice that you take a day to honor our serviceman who’ve died for our nation, even when our nation was in the wrong, but what about the other 363 days?

Ask anyone on the street if they know what happened in Iraq today and you’ll get a “I don’t know” answer. Ask about Afghanistan and you’ll get a response of ‘where’s that’?

Ask a person on the street how many have died in the Iraq War and you’ll get a range of answers from about a hundred to ten thousand (4,069 as of last week). But while they cannot remember how many fell in battle this month they sure as hell can tell you who is still standing on American Idol or how many rebounds a NBA player made or homeruns their first baseman hit.

You see, I don’t think that America is feeling the sting of this war enough. Other than having to pay over $4 bucks for gas, they just aren’t feeling this war as our parents and grandparents did in Viet Nam or the Second World War. I don’t see rationing of any kind. I don’t see posters asking you to buy war bonds. I don’t see recruiters on the streets or a lottery being held to determine the draft. I do, however, see a lot of people at Starbucks and with heavy shopping bags at local malls.

Where’s the love?

“I support the troops” this funny, little decal, made in China, says but do you really? When is the last time you even visited a military base? When is the last time you ever visited a hospital to comfort the wounded? Do you even know that many returning veterans are still not receiving the care they deserve? How about our troops in the field? How are they?

While we come home to the safety of our homes, our soldiers live in the field, sleeping on the ground, in the cold, dusty, hard sands of Iraq and Afghanistan. Showering is a luxury and hot meals ever more while people back home are stopping off at McDonald’s on their way home or stuffing themselves at Red Lobster.

Patriotism is much more than waving a red, white and blue flag or having a yellow decal on your car. It’s much more than voting Republican or joining the American Legion. It’s much more than talking big at a bar, fueled by alcoholic liquid courage, about how many Iraqis you’d kill if you were there. If you belief in it that much, you should do something about it.

Talk, my friends, is cheap.

Patriotism, my dear, unforgiving countrymen, is about sacrifice which very few are willing to perform.

Sacrifice means giving up something freely for another. In America, I just don’t see much of that. You may call me bias, but as I walk through the Center City portion of Philadelphia, that famed City of Brotherly Love, I am still ashamed of the growing number of homeless people which many of us here pass on by without a second glance. By the way, the number of homeless veterans (Iraq and Afghanistan) is growing at an alarming rate. It stands currently at 1 in 4 but looks to go even higher.

So, I ask, where is your support?

Employers continue to look the other way at a returning vet. Why? Because they are afraid of having to pay the bill if our returning soldier should suffer effects of PTSD or incur a recurring health problem. It’s better just not to hire them than to have to get involved. So, our vet, our returning hero, comes home to no job, finding himself collecting unemployment and welfare. In an instant, he went from hero to bum.

Where is your support?

Why are there no cries when our President refuses to grant a GI Bill to repay those who’ve served their country with benefits to go to college? Why are people not ringing the phones off the hooks of our Senators and Representatives? Why aren’t people holding our politicians responsible for how our vets and soldiers are being treated?

I just don’t think you are getting it people.

But, I guess people need to feel their comforts; to be a part of something even when they are not. They need to drown themselves in a 12 pack of Bud or a face full of hamburger. They need to walk around with blinders on. To continue living their lives as if nothing is wrong. To wrap themselves around their flag and bang their drums and talk their talk of devotion and duty from the safety of their home.

That dollar fifty patriot must sure feel good about themselves.

I can’t celebrate Memorial Day anymore. It’s a fake holiday with a fake sense of patriotism. I won’t celebrate it because I feel that we should be remembering our soldiers every day and not just once a year.

America, be proud!

Welcome home boys! Fire up the grill!

phillyblues@paforchange.com

Categories
Iran Iraq McCain Media Opinion Politics

Appease this… Bush and McCain

Categories
Campaign Candidate Economy Iran Iraq McCain Media military Politics Taxes War

McCain’s YouTube Nightmare

Thanks to Brave New Films… Share this with everyone you know.

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Campaign Candidate Congress Government Iran Iraq McCain Media Politics Religion Republicans War

McCain’s “Spiritual Guide” wants America to destroy Islam

Maybe this is what John McCain meant when he said “100 years”.

Link: BraveNewFilms.org

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Government Health Iraq Politics Veterans War

Thank You Uncle Sam But No Thanks

I have to tell you a little about myself. I served twenty years in the Armed Forces in service to my country. I joined the U.S. Navy during the last year of President Reagan’s administration and retired during President George W. Bush’s. During that time, I volunteered for the Gulf War (my orders to the USS Nassau were suspended when my own unit, USS Wasp, received orders to join the war effort. The war ended before my ship was to sail but I did participate in refugee operations), the Kosovo Campaign (where I was decorated with a Navy Marine Corps Achievement medal) and even volunteered for the Iraq War; which I was deployed to in support of twice. For my service in Iraq, I was given a promotion, a Navy Commendation Medal, and both the Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals.

I was a very dedicated sailor during my time. I gave 110% towards everything I was involved in even when I did not agree with the mission I was assigned to. I did this because I felt it was my duty to do so. I believed that this is what was expected of me when I rose my hand and said, “I do solemny swear …”

I have never been a fan of sick call. I thought that sick call was for the walking wounded, those who spent their weekends getting drunk only to face hangovers on Monday morning. If I got a sniffle, I took some Tylenol. A headache; some aspirin. An ache or pain; I sucked it up. Suffer from depression? I saw a counselor at Family Services on my own time. Again, this is what I thought I was supposed to do. As time wore on my service time began to take a toll on my body. My knees ached from walking upon steel decks and climbing ladders. I developed sleep apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) which, at times, can be so painful that walking becomes difficult. During the last two years of my service, I couldn’t postpone it anymore … I took a trip to sick call.

I was placed on Requip for my RLS and after several sleep exams, given a C-Pap to deal with my apnea.

I expected that the U.S. government, who I had supported so loyally, would take care of me when I retired (oh, by the way, thank you for the plaque which has my name misspelled on it.)

I was wrong.

I received a letter in the mail just the other day from the Veterans Administration. In the letter, I was told, in a overly worded 3 page document, that I had been denied my medical benefits upon review of my medical record. I was denied my benefits, not because they (my ailments) do not exist, but because my medical record wasn’t documented enough. In a nutshell, I didn’t complain loudly enough while I was on active duty.

So much for trying to live up to an image.

Since I left the service I have found employment hard to near impossible to come by. With all the talk about PTSD, it seems that no one wants to hire a veteran because they (HROs) fear that if we ‘snap’ while working for them, they might have to pay for our medical bills. I have a meager retirement that is divided between paying my bills and an alimoney check. I’m left with less than 50 bucks in my bank account after all of this. That’s not enough to pay for health insurance.

So, after serving my country for twenty years I have a box full of medals, citations and awards and that is about it.

I don’t even hear from the ‘guys’ I worked with anymore. They don’t want to hear from me.

I have the thanks of a grateful nation who is so ungrateful that they won’t even give me a job and they consider me a liability.

They were happy to send me to war but won’t even look me in the eye during an interview to say “I’m not going to hire you”. They save that for the form letters and messages left on answering machines or no message at all.

I’m now nothing more than a ghost; a mere shadow of what I was which I am not even sure exactly what that was.

I feel a bit betrayed by all of this and, for all my loyalty, I don’t understand this betrayal. I had your back, why didn’t you have mine?

I was a puppet; a marionette, taught to dance the dance my puppeteers made for me.

So, with no further ado, please allow this former Gulf War, Kosovo and Iraq War Veteran to tell the VA and my dear, dear Uncle Sam, Thank you for all that you have, and have not done for me, but also, No thank you.

If I had my dithers, I’d disown my uncle right here and now.

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Categories
Democrats Elections Government Iraq Music Open Thread Pennsylvania Videos Vote Voting

I Lied to You…

This video speaks for itself… and is dedicated to our “fainting Congress”.

This is also an open thread… so speak your mind if you choose.

And for added chuckles…

Was that George W Bush scaring those Congressional goats with an umbrella?

Categories
Barack Obama Iraq War

Iraq:5 years later

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN19314197

I rest my case. How can you argue with Barack Obama’s point?

Allen Hussein Minch