Monday, April 30, 2007


As of Monday, April 30, 2007, at least 3,351 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,723 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.


Iraq worse than Vietnam?

How about these assessments of the Iraq war from some individuals more qualified than the Pilgrim to pass judgment?
President Bush recently said that "there's a lot of differences" between the current war in Iraq and the Vietnam War.

As fighting in Iraq enters its fifth year, an increasing number of experts in foreign policy and national strategy are arguing that the biggest difference may be that the Iraq war will inflict greater damage to U.S. interests than Vietnam did.

"In terms of the consequences of failure, the stakes are much bigger than Vietnam," said former defense secretary William S. Cohen. "The geopolitical consequences are . . . potentially global in scope."

"It makes Vietnam look like a cakewalk," said retired Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald, a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Iraq is worse than Vietnam "in so many ways," agreed Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., a retired Army officer and author of one of the most respected studies of the U.S. military's failure in Vietnam. "We knew what we were getting into in Vietnam. We didn't here."

Gary Solis, who fought as a Marine in Vietnam and more recently taught the law of war at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, said he is hearing more such discussions. "Most of my military acquaintances agree that the issues in our departure from Vietnam will pale beside those that will be presented by an Iraq withdrawal," Solis said.

In addition, some experts say that the ethical burden of the Iraq war is heavier for Americans. "Vietnam had an ongoing civil war when the U.S. intervened, while Iraq's civil war did not begin until after the U.S. intervention," said a State Department official who served in Iraq and is not authorized to speak to the media. "This makes it much harder -- morally -- for us to extricate ourselves, at least from where I sit."
It has long been my contention that the Iraq war has hurt US interests and made us less- not more- safe.  President Bush has placed the US in a situation that has no good solution.  Someday I expect my history classes will learn about him in the same way they look at Johnson and McNamara in regards to the Vietnam war- as leaders who failed spectacularly and left their nation with problems from which it would take years to recover. 

Deadly Month

Five U.S. military personnel were killed over the weekend in Iraq, including three by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the military said Monday, pushing the American death toll past 100 in the deadliest month so far this year.
The U.S. weekend deaths raised to at least 104 the number of American troops killed in Iraq so far in April, making it the deadliest month since December, when 112 died. At least 3,351 personnel have died since the war started, according to the AP count.
More evidence of a failing surge.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

One Year

One year ago- and 686 posts- I began this blog. I said it was an experiment.

Success or failure? I don't know.

It has given me an outlet. A couple of thousand visits to the site have been recorded.

I've enjoyed the opportunity to hear from people around the world.

I think the experiment will go on.

As always, your comments are encouraged.

Thanks to all who have already given feedback and made this an interesting year.

If you have a thought- send me a comment.


Saturday, April 28, 2007


It is not enough to say we must not wage war. We must love peace, and sacrifice for it.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
at Oberline College, 1965

'War' on Terror

While the Bush Administration has been wasting time and resources in Iraq, the threats to America and the world from terrorism have grown. Instead of being the keystone of the 'war' on terror, Iraq has become a dangerous distraction.

The threat of terrorism is growing.

Who says? The Pilgrim? No. The US State Department (who apparently aren't getting their talking points from Karl Rove).

Terror attacks up 29%, report says

A State Department report on terrorism due out next week will show a nearly 30 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide in 2006 to more than 14,000, almost all of the boost due to growing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Friday.

Based on data compiled by the U.S. intelligence community's National Counterterrorism Center, the report says there were 14,338 terrorist attacks last year, up 29 percent from 11,111 attacks in 2005.

Forty-five percent of the attacks were in Iraq.

Worldwide, there were about 5,800 terrorist attacks that resulted in at least one fatality, also up from 2005.

Biden on Iraq

Joe Biden probably speaks more clearly about the facts in Iraq than any of the candidates for President- from either party.

I don't think he will end up the Democratic nominee (there are some who say he's really running for Secretary of State). But I hope he continues to influence the process.

Some of the Democrats speak on Iraq

At the debate in South Carolina, some of the Democrats speak on the situation in Iraq. They generally dodge the question (which was whether they agree with Sen. Majority Leader Reid's statement that the war in Iraq is 'lost'.), but they address the issue of Iraq in at least general terms. Worth a look.

Despite the "Surge"

This is still the reality in Iraq:

Car bomb attack near Shiite shrines kills dozens

At least 58 people were killed in a car bomb attack Saturday between two Shiite shrines in the Iraqi city of Karbala, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said. The Interior Ministry called the attack, which also injured more than 100 people, a suicide bombing.

No one is safe in Iraq. Not anywhere.

And we can't even tell exactly how much damage is being done in that nation in terms of loss of life. The Iraqi government is covering up the numbers.

The United Nations is unable to determine how many Iraqi civilians have been killed so far this year because the Iraqi government won't share the information, a U.N. agency said in a Wednesday report. The report also contains a laundry list of human rights concerns. (Full report -- PDF)

This is why a timetable for withdrawl is necessary. I understand that we made them mess in Iraq- but we seem completely incapable of fixing it. We need to offer assistance to the Iraqi people and government to let them do the best job they can in restoring order.

We also need to move into a new way of thinking about Iraq. The Bush Administration has created the new Afghanistan. Iraq was not a threat before the invasion. It is a threat now. The containment regime imposed on Saddam was nothing compared to the vigilance that will be required to be certain that elements from within Iraq cannot threaten US interests in the Middle East, or the US itself.

Here's the irony, when Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Wolfiwitz were telling us that al-Qaeda was in Iraq and we needed to go to war, they were wrong (or lying).

The contention by Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that al-Qaida terrorists were in Iraq and allied with the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein before the invasion has been disproved on numerous fronts.

In September, a Senate Intelligence Committee report found that Saddam rejected pleas for assistance from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and tried to capture another terrorist whose presence in Iraq is often cited by Cheney, the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaida to provide material or operational support," the Senate report said.

Now al-Qaeda is in fact in Iraq. This Administration has created the very threat they said they were going to protect us from. That is failure in the largest sense of the word.

The basic approach now must be- withdraw ground troops in short order; train and advise Iraqi military and police forces; leave military assets in the region in order to bring air power into play should any major group (Iran, organized Iraqi militias, etc.) seek to create a power base in Iraq or overthrow the Iraqi government; apply intelligence assets (human and technological) to the nation to keep tabs on the al-Qaeda presence.

It won't be pretty. But it is the only way. And the ugliness can be laid squarely at the feet of George W. Bush, for he is the one who took a situation that was a matter of concern but managable and turned it into a situation that is a grave concern to the US and will prove very difficult to manage in the years ahead.


When a person has lived properly and acted generously, he grasps the way things are. He is not dependent on attachments; he is free from anger and aversions; what he does becomes perfect action.The pureness of perfectly balanced action based on seeing the way things are--this is freedom and the ending of ignorance.

-Sutta Nipata

Friday, April 27, 2007

VIDEO: War Hawk Kristol Confronted By Military Wife

During a C-SPAN appearance, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was confronted by a military wife living in Ft. Hood, TX, who called in to criticize him for "pushing the war."

View video

Pardon my skepticism...

Get ready for the George Tenent media blitz. He has a book to sell (who doesn't), and he's going to try and re-write history. Wanna bet he makes himself look like the good guy in his story?

For example, he says,

The CIA warned the Bush White House seven months before the 2003 Iraq invasion that the U.S. could face a thicket of bad consequences, starting with “anarchy and the territorial breakup” of the country...

The agency analysis painted what Tenet calls additional “worst-case” scenarios: “a surge of global terrorism against U.S. interests fueled by deepening Islamic antipathy toward the United States”; “regime-threatening instability in key Arab states”; and “major oil supply disruptions and severe strains in the Atlantic alliance.”

Why would I be quick to believe that the agency that was so wrong on WMD and on the Al-Qaeda connection to Iraq was dead on about the consequences of war? In the MSNBC story they use the word "prescient." I would accept that if he had spoken publicly about the chaos in Iraq before it occurred. Isn't that what prescient means? Saying this now, after all that we've seen in the last 4 years? I remain a skeptic of his prescience.

Some of what Tenent says about the Administration rings true with what we see/hear in other areas- particularly their 'lack of curiosity.' So, maybe there's something to be gained from this book. I'll wait at least until I can buy it off the remainder rack at a book store.

Until then, I hear he will be on '60 Minutes' on CBS this Sunday. You can watch and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kucinich Continues to pursue impeachment

I've said before that I think the impeachment talk regarding Bush/Cheney is a waste of time.  Kucinich obviously feels that this tactic will somehow gain him traction in his pursuit of the White House.  I don't see that as a reality either.
If you, however, think the issue has some level of merit, you can read the text of Kuchich's impeacment charges against Cheney here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A view on foreign policy

Obama makes a nice speech on foreign policy issues.  Read it here
We must do so not in the spirit of a patron, but the spirit of a partner – a partner that is mindful of its own imperfections. Extending an outstretched hand to these states must ultimately be more than just a matter of expedience or even charity. It must be about recognizing the inherent equality and worth of all people. And it's about showing the world that America stands for something – that we can still lead.
It's time we had a President who can do this again – who can speak directly to the world, and send a message to all those men and women beyond our shores who long for lives of dignity and security that says "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now."

It's time, as well, for a President who can build a consensus at home for this ambitious but necessary course. For in the end, no foreign policy can succeed unless the American people understand it and feel a stake in its success – and unless they trust that their government hears their more immediate concerns as well. After all, we will not be able to increase foreign aid if we fail to invest in security and opportunity for our own people. We cannot negotiate trade agreements to help spur development in poor countries so long as we provide no meaningful help to working Americans burdened by the dislocations of a global economy. We cannot expect Americans to support placing our men and women in harm's way if we cannot prove that we will use force wisely and judiciously.

But if the next President can restore the American people's trust – if they know that he or she is acting with their best interests at heart, with prudence and wisdom and some measure of humility – then I believe the American people will be ready to see America lead again.

They will be ready to show the world that we are not a country that ships prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far off countries. That we are not a country that runs prisons which lock people away without ever telling them why they are there or what they are charged with. That we are not a country which preaches compassion and justice to others while we allow bodies to float down the streets of a major American city.

That is not who we are.

America is the country that helped liberate a continent from the march of a madman. We are the country that told the brave people of a divided city that we were Berliners too. We sent generations of young people to serve as ambassadors for peace in countries all over the world. And we're the country that rushed aid throughout Asia for the victims of a devastating tsunami.

Now it's our moment to lead – our generation's time to tell another great American story. So someday we can tell our children that this was the time when we helped forge peace in the Middle East. That this was the time when we confronted climate change and secured the weapons that could destroy the human race. This was the time when we brought opportunity to those forgotten corners of the world. And this was the time when we renewed the America that has led generations of weary travelers from all over the world to find opportunity, and liberty, and hope on our doorstep.


9 Soldiers Killed

An al-Qaida-linked group posted a Web statement Tuesday claiming responsibility for a suicide car bombing that killed nine U.S. paratroopers and wounded 20 in the worst attack on American ground forces in Iraq in more than a year.
Evidence on the success of the surge is mixed.  In part it is due to the fact that the surge is felt mostly in Baghdad, and the insurgents have merely focused more effort elsewhere, such as in this case, outside Baghdad in the Diyala Province.
Mixed results, at this point, is evidence of failure.  We need to be bringing our involvement in Iraq to a close.  The surge is not doing that.
President Bush should sign the spending package from the Congress with timelines enclosed.  This would perhaps bring enough pressure on the Iraqis to decide what kind of government and nation they wish to have- one with security forces who are willing to take on the challenges, or who will participate in the self-destructive violence that has been pandemic in the nation for the last couple of years.

Obama on the rise

For the fourth straight week, Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) has gained ground and he has finally caught New York Senator Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. It's now Obama 32% Clinton 32% and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards holding steady at 17%.  New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is a distant fourth at 3%. Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Biden each attract 1% support. So does General Wesley Clark.
A separate survey showed that Obama has the highest level of core support among all Presidential candidates —33% of voters say they'd definitely vote for him if he's on the ballot in November 2008.
Among all voters, Clinton is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 49%. Obama's numbers are a bit stronger—59% favorable and 34% unfavorable.

Democratic Primary: National Poll

This is consistent with other information out there on the race right now.  A long way to go, but Hillary's weaknesses are already beginning to show.  And that 49% unfavorable rating for Clinton is a severe- perhaps insurmountable- handicap.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Time Warp

Is it 2007, or 1957?

Students attend school's first integrated prom

ASHBURN, Georgia (CNN) -- Students of Turner County High School started what they hope will become a new tradition: Black and white students attended the prom together for the first time on Saturday.

In previous years, parents had organized private, segregated dances for students of the school in rural Ashburn, Georgia, 160 miles south of Atlanta.

But this year's upperclassmen -- 213 students total --voted to have just one official prom.

But not everyone in the town of 4,400, famous for its peanuts and Fire Ant Festival, was breaking with the past.

The "white prom" still went on last week.

Christians and Gun Control.

Interesting post on Christianity and guns. Too long to copy here, so you'll have to read it for yourself. Interesting contrast to the 'all good Christians arm yourselves' commentary that has been around the past few days (see here).

Hillary's numbers on the decline

I've said before that I do not believe Sen. Clinton can win a general election campaign for President (also here). She's too divisive, and, over time, that divisiveness will cause her support to weaken to the point where she will come up short of the majority needed for election.

The decline in support for the New York Senator has already begun. Watch this video from Gallup to see what the trend has been.

Out of the woodwork

More nutty commentary on the  VA Tech tragedy (via Right Wing Watch)

Within 24 hours of a shooting spree that left 33 dead at Virginia Tech, countless right-wing commentators took the opportunity to call for increased access to guns on campus. Some on the Right have also used the tragedy to launch less-expected tirades.

American Family Radio, a part of the American Family Association, read over the air an anonymous e-mail, updated to include this latest tragedy, that blames school shootings on the lack of school prayer and Bible-reading in public schools, on abortion and access to condoms, and on the Lewinsky affair. "We reap what we sow." published an article featuring letters from readers outraged that a Muslim spoke alongside President Bush, Gov. Kaine, and others at Virginia Tech's convocation after the events: "How are we to know this wasn't a signal to a sleeper cell?"

And AFA's news website offered the warnings of "a full-time creation evangelist" and apparent kitten-hater, Grady McMurtry of Creation Worldview Ministries, who pinned the blame on evolution:

For years, he says, public schools and universities have taught the theory of evolution as fact, with no opposing viewpoints -- and the result, he contends, is a lack of respect for human life.

Therefore, he asserts, people should not be surprised when mass shootings occur, such as the one on the Blacksburg university campus on Monday. "And at Virginia Tech, what do we have?" he asks rhetorically. "We have a person who, unfortunately, thought that humans had no more value than cats and dogs -- and unfortunately, I think, probably felt the same way about themselves."

The creationist continues explaining his premise. "And so what happens? If we are nothing but thinking animals, [and] if you have excess people, then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies."


Worth remembering...
Luke 6  27 "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.  31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.  32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.  36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Not by harming life
Does one become noble.
One is termed noble
For being gentle
To all living things.
-Dhammapada, 19
Isn't it interesting that a Buddhist text can sound more Christian than the preachings of a "church" like that in the post immediately below?

Hate Church Doesn't Miss An Opportunity

The "God Hates America" cult is back, but this time making plans to picket memorial services of the Virginia Tech shooting victims.

[Westboro Baptist Church] says in its press release: "God hates Virginia Tech, Virginia, and America.

"The 33 killed at Virginia Tech died for America's sins in persecuting WBC for 16 years," the release added.

Westboro Baptist alleges that America has persecuted the Kansas "church" with search warrants, vandalizing, assault, arrest and mocking of their message that they say is from God.

Friday, April 20, 2007

One Person's Reaction to Virginia Tech

Here's selection from a nutty reaction to the tragedy that's floating around on the internet, originally posted here.
[W]e must acknowledge that the rise of community violence is a judgment of the Lord. Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers. We have forsaken the law of God and have worshipped before false idols. We have sacrificed our children, not only spiritually and intellectually to the high priests of a new secular religion in our government schools, but have quite literally sacrificed baby boys and girls to the gods of convenience in the abortuaries of America. One out of four Americans is not here because they were aborted by their mothers.
A strong case can be made that in a violent society like our own, it is the duty of every Christian man to be armed such that he is ready, willing, and able to come to the immediate aid of his neighbor in the face of the ruthless behavior of lawless men. We have one of two futures — a police state full of regulation and controls, where only the state and criminals have access to guns, thus leaving most women and children defenseless to evildoers, or an informed, well-armed citizen population, which is, to my mind, the surest safeguard against lawless men.
What sort of God does this person believe in?  I guess one who sees justice as killing 32 innocent students for the sins of those who have had abortions.  This is like Pat Robertson saying that Katrina was God's punishment for New Orlean's decadence, and Jerry Falwell's claim that 9-11 was God's response to homosexuality and feminism.  It is mind-boggling to me when members of the (far) religious right make these kinds of leaps.  Do they believe that God is a fundamentally unjust God?  Such a claim about a tragedy like that at Virginia Tech says exactly that. 
I think that efforts to see God's hand in a tragedy like that which happened this week are misguided.  Efforts to tie God's hand to such an event to forward one's political-religious agenda is mean-spirited.
As to the issue of all "good" Christians arming themselves to the teeth... exactly where is this the sort of behavior that Jesus calls for?  How are we going to bring ourselves closer to a sense of Christian covenant by acting in a manner that is in opposition to Jesus' message?  Jesus preached peace, and love of one's neighbor, and love of one's enemies.  A 9mm pistol was not an instrument of love by the VA Tech shooter, and it would not be a instrument of love in the hands of 'good' Christians either.
If we want to move away from being the type of society that has these mass shooting events, we would do well to try to bring ourselves closer to, not further from, the message of Jesus.  If we extend more love- even to those like Cho who people found hard to love (remember that 100% of school shooters have been found to have been the victims of persistent bullying and mistreatment in their school settings- the most recent shooter included)- we may be able to change the hearts of those who would do harm.  It won't be easy.  It will take time.  But Jesus was a cultural revolutionary, and we need to bring his revolution of love to practice in our nation, not become 2nd amendment warriors.


It is not sufficient for religious people to be involved with prayer. Rather, they are morally obliged to contribute all they can to solving the world's problems.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

From Andrew Sullivan

Imagine that this kind of massacre happened every day. Imagine a police force that was far too small to even respond to most of them. Imagine this occurring repeatedly for years until the perpetrators and their accomplices became the de facto power-brokers throughout the land. Imagine the shootings also being accompanied by the brutal torture of victims. Imagine families never having finality on whether their own siblings or parents or children have been murdered or not.

This is Iraq today. Now think of the justified rage many feel at the VT campus police chief and university president for misjudgments. Now imagine them presiding over several more massacres in the same place. Ask yourself: why do we not feel as enraged by those responsible for security in Iraq? Are those victims not human beings too? Are they not children and mothers and fathers and sons? Are we not ultimately responsible for them, having destroyed the institutions of order in their country?

The need to change

Given this story about US CO2 contributions to the atmosphere, this testimony seems rather a no-brainer.

More expeditious and clear, concise standards are needed to quickly implement carbon capture and storage, experts at a hearing in Washington said Monday.The United States leads the world in the technology of CO2 injection to recover oil from depleted oil reservoirs -- a process known as enhanced oil recovery, said George Guthrie, program director for fossil energy and environment at Los Alamos National Laboratory at the second panel of a full hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"I'm very worried about why it is taking us so long to get where we are, and I think I understand, now having heard the testimony of the three of you, how difficult it is to move along very fast," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ranking member of the committee.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Makes no sense

The police response to the shooting at Virginia Tech makes no sense. (See an article on that response here.)

Why would they assume that the shooting in a dorm at about 7:15 was a completely isolated incident that did not require warning the rest of the campus? How could they have any confidence, as they seemed to, that the shooter had left campus? Why, without a suspect and only mere minutes of investigation, did they decide the shooting was 'domestic' and tell no one on campus- except those who lived in the dorm itself?

These decisions especially make no sense since some tentative warning went out- a mass email- two hours later. Ironically, this warning went out just minutes before the far deadlier shooting episode.

"I'll say on the record I'm outraged that someone died in a shooting in a dorm at 7 in the morning. The first e-mail about it, no mention of locking down campus, no mention of canceled classes, they just mention they're investigating a shooting a few hours later at 9:26," said student Jason Piatt. (Warning e-mails to students)

"Meanwhile, while they sent out that e-mail, [more] people got killed."

What if they had sent out warnings and shut down campus immediately after the 7:15 shootings? Would more than 30 lives have been saved? We can't know for sure, but certainly a campus 'lock-down' would have been the prudent move.

I know it's easy to 'Monday Morning Quarterback' on an issue like this. But the assumptions of the first responders make no sense in light of the fact that we have had so many mass/random shooting episodes in our country.

As a high school teacher, I've seen first hand the changes in policy that K-12 institutions have made to deal with a 'school shooter' threat.

Colleges- and the police that deal with them- need to re-examine their policies and catch up.

Just unbelievable

22 dead in Va. Tech shooting rampage
Gunman shot people in a dorm, second building; suspect among dead

I have never come to understand the madness that leads to these type of shootings. I've read reports on school shootings- as a teacher it is in my self-interest to do so. But how a person comes to feel that killing people at random in this way serves their interests in any way... I just don't get it.

So very sad.


Sunday, April 15, 2007


As of Sunday, April 15, 2007, at least 3,300 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,674 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

The results of inaction

Carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. have risen by 18 per cent during the 1990-2004 period, a recent study by an advocacy group has indicated. The state-wise study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group showed that CO2 emissions came down in only two states -- Delaware and Massachusetts -- and the District of Columbia, while Texas and Nevada headed the list where the emissions grew at the highest rate. The group used data from the U.S. department of energy for the study.

And the problem continues to grow, as we make no serious national effort to deal with the looming crisis.

Just War Debate

From Melissa Rogers:

Peter Steinfels says that Commonweal and First Things will offer online two different views on the just-war doctrine and Iraq next week.

For over four years, George Weigel, staunch supporter of President Bush and biographer of Pope John Paul II, has never ceased to insist that the war in Iraq meets all the traditional moral criteria for a just war. And most leaders and thinkers among Mr. Weigel’s fellow Roman Catholics, along with many non-Catholic proponents of just-war thinking, have never ceased to disagree.

Still another view is offered by Msgr. Robert W. McElroy, a pastor in San Mateo, Calif., who is the author of “Morality and American Foreign Policy: The Role of Ethics in International Affairs,” published by Princeton University Press in 1992. His article is scheduled for publication in the April 30 issue of the Jesuit-edited weekly America.

(The Commonweal editorial and America article, both obtained in advance, will be posted on the magazines’ Web sites next Monday and Friday, respectively.)

I think we should tune in next week to see what they have to say.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Lie about Obama

Back in January I posted on a smear about Obama in regards to a school he attended as a youth. The allegation was that it was some sort of Islamic fundamentalist school where he would have been... I don't know what, but the idea that FOX News and Insight magazine were spreading is that we shouldn't trust him.

Not exactly a new story, but I do hear people mention it from time to time, and some people still seem to believe it somehow.

Here's a CNN report dismantaling the lie.

Hillary's Roadmap out of Iraq

What do you think?

Is this the best he can do?

Kucinich is not a serious candidate for President. Even he has to know that. But he could, if he chose, work to keep important issues on the political table.

He seems about to do it by discussing Iran- and the need to keep the US out of a possible war w/ Iran. He could, by focusing on this issue, tease out of other politicians their stand on Iran, perhaps getting them to make clear that a war with Iran would not be in the national interests.

Instead, he chooses to muddy the water by raising the issue of impeachment.

Watch the videos.

There is no way that impeachment is going to happen- even if it were warranted, which I don't believe it is. Even if it were a possibility, why would we spend the last years of the Bush presidency going through an impeachment battle? Why not focus our attention forward? Why not focus on what the current field of candidates would do if president, rather than try to make a legal case about what an outgoing president did do?

Kucinich is wasting time.

Note to Kucinich: You can't win. So, if you're going to run, make your candidacy mean something by focusing on a substantive issue that could keep an important topic in the speeches of the other candidates and on the minds of voters. If you won't do that, just walk away.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I'm not sure how accurate this is, but this website claims to provide you with your ecological footprint. Pretty rough estimate, I think, but may be a place to start a self-evaluation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hitting Home

U.N. report spells out U.S. warming impacts

Chicago and Los Angeles will likely face increasing heat waves. Severe storm surges could hit New York and Boston. And cities that rely on melting snow for water may run into serious shortages.

"Canada and the United States are, despite being strong economies with the financial power to cope, facing many of the same impacts that are projected for the rest of the world," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, which co-founded the panel.

"Heavily-utilized water systems of the western U.S. and Canada, such as the Columbia River, that rely on capturing snowmelt runoff, will be especially vulnerable," the report said.
A temperature warming of a few degrees by the 2040s is likely to sharply reduce summer flows, at a time of rising demand, it said.

By then, the panel estimated that Portland, Ore., will require over 26 million additional cubic meters of water as a result of climate change and population growth, but the Columbia River's summer supply will have dropped by an estimated 5 million cubic meters.
Meanwhile, it said, just over 40 percent of the water supply to Southern California is likely to be vulnerable by the 2020s due to losses of the Sierra Nevada and Colorado River basin snow packs.

More potential impacts are reported.

The poorest in the world will be hurt most, but we will all suffer.

Unless we ACT.

The Governator goes Green?

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger boasted Wednesday that California's leadership is making environmentalism both sexy and mainstream, not a guilt-driven movement for "tree-huggers" and "fanatics."

Did he drive his Hummer to the arena to make the speech?

I hear his Hummer is somehow modified to make it environmentally friendly. Don't know the details.

A 'War Czar'??

President Bush is completely unwilling to allow the Congress to limit his ability to make war. He's the 'Decider.' The Commander-in-Chief.

Unless he's not.

Now he seeks a 'War Czar.'

The White House is considering creating a "war czar" post in the National Security Council and has put out feelers to some retired generals to see if they would be interested.
But no takers so far. The Washington Post said at least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks had turned down the position.

First, what is our facination with having Czars? Seems kind of contrary to democratic ideals. A Intelligence Czar after 9/11. A Drug Czar before that.

More importantly, isn't this what the President is supposed to be? The commander-in-chief? How is this supposed to improve anything? The President surely does not lack for advisers. He has a Sec. of Defense (at least now he does that Rumsfeld is gone), as well as the Joint Chiefs, a CIA director, and the list goes on. How could adding one more layer of bureaucracy, one more choke point for information, going to improve the situation on the ground?

It won't. Which is part of the reason no one seems willing to do the job.

So why the position? Probably for Bush to try to find a relatively high profile military man to provide him with some political cover for his botched job in Iraq. Which is probably the other reason that no one seems willing to take the job. What retired general wants to be the whipping boy for this mess?

Certainly not retired Marine Gen. John "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who rejected the White House overture. He says, "The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going."

Rep. Rahm Emanuel hit it on the head with his criticism of the White House for wanting to create a war czar, "Someone needs to tell Steve Hadley that position is filled, it's the commander-in-chief, unless the decider's become the delegator."

Out of the running

When McCain first ran against George W. Bush in 2000, I took him seriously as a candidate. He was the kind of candidate a moderate from either party could find appealing. He was a fiscal conservative, but not from the harsh religious right/social conservative crowd. He had a solid national security background. He seemed like a straight shooter- someone that you could trust.

He's lost much of that in his most recent bid for the White House.

His recent trip to Baghdad (see here and here) and his comments about it clearly show he's no longer a 'straight talk' candidate.

Today, his judgment seems seriously in question.

About the Iraq War, today he says, "It is necessary and just."

On what grounds? The WMD that were not there? The Al-Qaeda connection that was not there? The nuclear material from Niger that was not there? The civil war that we unleashed? The thousands of Iraqis killed? The thousands more now refugees from their homeland? Abu Grahib, Gitmo and the evasion of the Geneva Conventions?

There is simply no logical, reasonable argument- none at all- that can be made supporting the statement that the war was necessary. This war was a war of choice- chosen to 'show the world' that the US intended a broad 'war on terror' beyond just Afghanistan.

Just? Only by adopting the lowest of all possible standards. The government of Iraq today, and the US involvement with it, is not brutal as Saddam was. No question. Even with the reports of torture- still better than Saddam. But, that's hardly a great claim.

But what about by the standards of justice we expect for ourselves? Safety. Security. A government that can provide us w/ these, while also being democratic. Equality under the law regardless of ethnic/religous background. A system of justice that routinely catches and impartially tries those who commit crimes, especially murder. Do Iraqis have these?

Being better than an evil dictator like Saddam... being better than the terrorists... that's just not good enough. That's not what the Pilgrim calls justice.

If what we see in Iraq today is what McCain believes is "necessary and just", well, he's out of the running for the Pilgrim's support.


As of Wednesday, April 11, 2007, at least 3,292 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,674 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

Quote II

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

- Franklin Roosevelt


Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another. We do not discover the secret of our lives merely by study and calculation in our own isolated meditations. The meaning of our life is a secret that has to be revealed to us in love, by the one we love. And if this love is unreal, the secret will not be found, the meaning will never reveal itself, the message will never be decoded. At best, we will receive a scrambled and partial message, one that will deceive and confuse us. We will never be fully real until we let ourselves fall in love - either with another human person or with God.

- Thomas Merton

Made me laugh

This video came from a friend today. A funny take on our world situation.

Surge failure

Contrary to Sen. McCain's campaign rhetoric, the 'surge' is not working.
Humanitarian situation in Iraq worsening: Red Cross
The suffering of Iraqi civilians is worsening and there is no sign yet that a security crackdown in Baghdad is bringing relief, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday.

Hospitals were stretched to the limit by daily mass casualties, malnutrition was on the rise and power shortages were becoming more frequent around the country, the relief agency said.

"The humanitarian situation is steadily worsening and it is affecting, directly or indirectly, all Iraqis," the ICRC said.

Thousands of Iraqis continued to be forced out of their homes owing to military operations, generally poor security and the destruction of houses, it said.


Monday, April 09, 2007

4 Years Later, In Baghdad

I'm going to print the whole list, just for perspective

A log of developments from across the country on fourth anniversary of Baghdad's fall. A total of 25 people were killed or found dead in Iraq on Monday, according to police and morgues.

_4 a.m. Police in Baqouba said U.S. forces shot at an ambulance, believing someone in the vehicle had opened fire on them. The driver and the patient were not hurt.
_4:30 a.m. Clashes erupted again in Buhriz, about 35 miles north of Baghdad, between gunmen and al-Qaida in Iraq fighters. Thirty civilians and gunmen were wounded, Diyala provincial police said. Al-Qaida casualties were not known.
_9 a.m. A roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. patrol in the Al-Nile district, 12 miles north of Hilla. There were no known casualties, police said.
_9:30 a.m. Police in Hilla south of Baghdad found the bullet-riddled, handcuffed and blindfolded body of an unidentified man, a spokesman for the Babil provincial police said.
_10 a.m. A roadside bomb targeting an American patrol exploded in Jebala, 40 miles south of Baghdad. A Babil province police spokesman said it was not known if there were any U.S. casualties because American forces sealed the areas.
_10 a.m. Gunman in a car shot and killed a civilian in Musayyib, 40 miles south of Baghdad, according to Babil provincial police.
_10 a.m. Diwaniyah police south of Baghdad said U.S troops raided the Badr Brigade militia office and detained four guards. The militia is the military wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the most powerful Shiite political party in the country, with deep links to Iran U.S. and Iraqi forces continued patrols of two Diwaniyah neighborhoods in the fourth day of an operation there to clear it of Mahdi Army militia forces loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
_10 a.m. Gunmen ambushed the car of Dr. Abdul Hamza Hameed as he was on his way to work at the al-Hashimaya hospital in Hilla. The physician was pulled out of the car and spirited away, Babil province police said.
_10:15 a.m. Tens of thousands of demonstrators started their march from Kufa toward the old city of Najaf. They were carrying Iraqi flags and handing out leaflets reading: "Yes to Iraq. Yes to Islam. Yes to Muqtada. Occupiers should leave Iraq." Police were massed in concentric cordons around the demonstration.
_10:30 a.m. A mortar round hit Baghdad's southern Dora district near the al-Sadreen Shiite mosque, killing one person and wounding two others, a Dora police officer said.
_10:30 a.m. Baqouba police reported finding the body of Sheik Ahmed Ibrahim, the imam at the al-Twubaa Sunni mosque. Police said the sheik was shot in the head and chest and had been tortured.
_10:45 a.m. A sniper shot and killed a civilian and a policeman in the Baghdad's southern Dora neighborhood, Iraqi police said.
_11 a.m. Police in Diwaniyah said U.S. and Iraqi forces detained 24 militants.
_11:30 a.m. A U.S. patrol was targeted by a roadside bomb in central Diwaniyah. It missed the soldiers but killed one civilian and wounded four, police said.
_1 p.m. The demonstration in Kufa and Najaf ends without incident after three hours.
_2 p.m. The U.S. military reported capturing "14 suspected terrorists during operations Monday targeting al-Qaida in Iraq foreign fighter facilitators and members of vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cells." The operations were north and west of Baghdad in Beiji, Tarmiyah and Karmah.
_3:20 p.m. Diwaniyah police said the toll from the U.S.-Iraqi operation there against the Mahdi Army was 14 dead and 47 wounded since Friday. The figure includes both militants and civilians but gives no breakdown.
_4 p.m, Iraqi soldiers set fire in 2 civilian cars in central Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad. The solders apparently feared the cars contained bombs, police said. The blazes were extinguished by the owners of the cars.
_4:08 p.m. U.S. Army Col. Michael Garrett, with the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division, told reporters in Diwaniyah one American soldier was killed and U.S. forces continued operations there.
_5 p.m. Drive-by shooters killed Sheik Gelan Abdullah, member of Khalis city council and the preacher at the Sunni mosque. He was killed near his home in Hibhib, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, police said.
_9:10 p.m. The Interior Ministry says police found seven bodies in Baghdad that were shot after being tortured. All were handcuffed and blindfolded.
_10:03 p.m. Col. Tariq Yousif Theeyab, head of security forces in Anbar province, said 12 trucks loaded with chlorine gas have been seized at the border with Syria Nine trucks carrying ammonium oxide also were held. The truck manifests said the chemicals were for the Ministry of Water Resources, but because of a series of suicide truck bombings using chlorine, the shipments were impounded while further checks were made.
_10:06 p.m. Hadi al-A'tabi of Kut morgue said the facility had received three bullet-riddled, tortured bodies that were pulled from the Tigris River near Suwayrah, 25 miles south of Baghdad.

After 4 years...

It's been 4 years since the fall of Baghdad and the images appeared on our televisions of the toppling of Saddam's bronze statue.

Today, a protest against US occupation marked the occassion.

"In four years of occupation, our sons have been killed and women made widows," cried Ahmed al-Mayahie, 39, a Shiite from the southern city of Basra.

"The occupier raised slogans saying Iraq is free, Iraq is liberated. What freedom? What liberation? There is nothing but destruction. We do not want their liberation and their presence. We tell them to get out of our land."

Again I ask... Just who has benefitted from this war?

Iraqi Refugees

Read this article for information about the refugees the war and civil war in Iraq have created.  It is sad to think of the people driven from their homes.
Just who has benefitted from this war?

Quote II

Mr. Bush says his favorite philosopher is Jesus. One way to show it would be to spend less time repeating the mistake of the Romans and more time heeding the wisdom of Christ.

Robert Wright


Don't cling to your own understanding. Even if you do understand something, you should ask yourself if there might be something you have not fully resolved, or if there may be some higher meaning yet.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Wishing you a Blessed Easter

"...Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardner, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him, "Rabboni!"

John 20: 15-16

Saturday, April 07, 2007

O'Reilly Loses It Part II

I thought he lost control in this earlier post. Here he goes completely nuts.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Interesting Idea

Presidential candidate Tommy Thompson said Wednesday that he wants the Iraqi government to vote on whether the U.S. should keep its troops there. "I'm confident they will, but ... if they do vote no — they don't want us there — we should get out," Thompson said, drawing applause.

We did say we were taking democracy to Iraq, right?


As of Wednesday, April 3, 2007, at least 3,260 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This is Funny

Fox News in Phoenix reports on a poll for April Fool's Day. They ask 'who's the most foolish American?'

Watch the video to see them announce the results- but look closely at the graphic on screen at the end.

Did you miss the 'Fair and Balanced' method of coverage that we can count on from Fox?

They said Britney Spears was most foolish, but here's the graphic which clearly reads (with the Pilgrim's circle added):

Even when trying to have a little fun, FOX News has to follow it's own version of political correctness.

Couldn't possibly admit those numbers. That President Bush beat Britney Spears by 7 percentage points.

Probably the only poll he's leading these days.

Watch O'Reilly Lose It

O'Reilly attacks a 29 year veteran of the armed services, and someone who taught the Geneva Conventions.

He's completely unable to recognize, and admit, that by failing to follow the Geneva Conventions, we encourage others to do the same- and put Americans and our allies in danger.

When he talks over her, she says, "I served my country 29 years, how many did you serve?"

His reply, "Cut her mic."

Class act.

Andrew Sullivan has his say on this here.

People like O'Reilly would be quick, under different circumstances, to say that the US is a leader in the world. And we are. Are we going to be a leader for good, or for ill? That is the key question.

Another Global Warming Concern

'Global Warming Will Decimate Biodiversity'

This should be of great concern, as diversity can relate directly to health- for humans. If plants that we use for food, for example, do not adapt well to increasing temperatures, then the diversity within that plant species grows more limited. In such a case, that plant species is more likely to be severly damaged, even wiped out, but a 'blight' of some sort, thus causing problems in terms of feeding populations.

Add this to the issues of potential drought due to global warming, and concerns about taking care of the human species grows.

Too often people reject concerns about biodiversity as the worries of tree-huggers who want to save owls (I'll never forget the first President Bush criticizing Gore saying that if Gore were elected (w/ Clinton) 'We'll be out of work and up to our neck in owls").

The fact is, biodiversity is important to us.

American Values: RIP

Evidence from alleged al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla can be used against him at trial despite defense claims the American's arrest was based on information obtained through torture, a U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke refused to reconsider a magistrate's ruling in September to admit Padilla's statements to the FBI as evidence in his trial starting on April 16 on charges of conspiring to aid Islamist extremists overseas.

Padilla [was arrested and charged] based in part on information provided by two prisoners held at the U.S. military jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Abu Zubaydah and Binyam Muhammad...

Muhammad has claimed in court documents that he gave false confessions implicating Padilla while held in a Moroccan prison, where he was beaten and slashed on the chest and penis with scalpels before being sent to Guantanamo.

Zubaydah was transferred to Guantanamo in September, along with 13 other "high-value" captives who had been held in secret CIA prisons. The New York Times has said his interrogators stripped him naked, held him in an ice-cold room and subjected him to deafeningly loud music.

All three of the key individuals in this case claim to have been tortured. Given what we have learned about US treatment of prisoners over the past three years, those claims deserve serious examination. Any information based on torture should not be allowed in any court- civilian or military.

Vice-president Cheney has declared that waterboarding (a 'dunk in the water') is a "no-brainer" and not torture. See the clip below. With this sort of support, why wouldn't interrogators continue to cross the line?

In this more extended piece from MSNBC there is some commetary on Cheney's remarks, and a demonstration of what 'waterboarding' is- and it's not a dunk in the water.

Must we become terrorists to combat terrorists? Must we sell our soul to win against those who have sold theirs to hatred?

Another piece on the McCain visit

This one offers greater context than the previous post.

Note how widespread the violence is across Iraq as McCain visits.

Also note the violence in the market he toured before and after his visit (discussed near the end of the piece).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A point worth repeating

Here it is again- the Japanese automakers are beating the US doing exactly what the US companies say they cannot do to stay competitive. (See this earlier post or this one.)

Japanese automakers are driving Americans toward a cleaner environment, while their U.S. counterparts are producing cars and trucks ranked among the worst when it comes to smog emissions and global warming, according to a report released Tuesday by an environmental group.

Toyota Motor Corp., on pace to become the largest U.S. automobile manufacturer, was the other, compiling the best global warming scores in six of 10 categories, better-than-average scores in the remaining categories. It came within 3 percentage points of earning the group's top overall ranking.

The notion that environmental protection and good business are necessarily at odds is demonstrably wrong. We simply lack the will to make changes.

Thoughts on Biden's Remarks

I hope you've had a chance to listen to Sen. Joe Biden speak in the post below. He is obviously feeling warm as he makes his comments.

In the second segment, he makes a compelling argument regarding the Congressional authorization. He says that resolution authorized:

  1. Removal of Saddam
  2. Ridding Iraq of WMD
  3. Bringing Iraq into compliance with UN Resolutions.

Those goals have all been accomplished (with the small matter that the WMD did not exist).

Thus, the President's authorization is expired. The Congress is right to act in such a fashion to bring this war to an end.

Both the Senate and House have now passed measures with timetables for a 'phased redeployment.' The President threatens a veto. Now Sen. Majority Leader Reid says he will then move to cut off funding. I doubt that he will follow through, but it is good to see the Congress making an eff0rt to exert its proper constitutional role. While cutting off funding for troops in the field must be an absolute last resort (not the sort of 'last resort' that Bush used to put us in Iraq), applying the threat may keep the pressure on an administration that seems incapable of self-evaluation and persuasion by logic. Pressure may be the only lever available.


As of Monday, April 2, 2007, at least 3,256 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,621 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

For the ever rising cost of the war (and what exactly are we getting for our investment?), see the Iraq War cost ticker in the left margin of this page.

The Environment Scores over the Bush Administration

Score one for the good guys- those who wish to fulfill their religious obligation to be good stewards of God's planet (remember those on the right who claim that the US is a Christian nation, established on Christian principles- well, step up and prove it!) and those who wish to have a clear moral conscience about the Earth we leave to future generations.

Warming ruling squeezes Bush from both sides

The Supreme Court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to explain why it has refused to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from cars, putting the Bush administration under pressure from an unusual coalition of environmental groups and leaders of the auto industry to move quickly on global warming.

In a 5-to-4 decision, the court rejected the administration’s argument that it had no legal authority to limit carbon dioxide released from new cars. In a ruling described as a landmark victory for environmental activists, it decided that the EPA does have such authority and that it must give better reasons for not using it than the “laundry list” of “impermissible considerations” it has offered until now.

Stevens sided in unusually strong language with scientists who say that U.S. car emissions do contribute to greenhouse gases, leading to global warming. In doing so, he rebutted the contention of some energy industry officials and Republicans in the administration and Congress that there is no proof of global warming.

The contribution of American cars to global warming is so significant, Stevens wrote, that strong regulations “would slow the pace of global emissions, no matter what happens elsewhere in the world.”

Earthjustice was a part of the coalition that led the fight against the inaction of the Bush Administration. They issued a statement that said, in part:

"Today is a great day for the environment. In one of the most important environmental cases of its history, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed what we have been saying all along: The Clean Air Act gives EPA authority to fight global warming. The EPA must act immediately and issue regulations that limit greenhouse gases from motor vehicles that contribute to global warming.

"While this case has worked its way through EPA and the courts, scientific evidence of global warming has continued to mount -- so much so that the scientific debate is over. Our climate is warming, and pollution from human activities is a major cause. Harms include rising seas that submerge coastal lands, stronger hurricanes, more drought, melting ice caps and degraded ecosystems.

"To combat this most urgent environmental crisis, strong and comprehensive U.S. action is crucial. EPA must use its existing Clean Air Act authority to require control of greenhouse gas emissions -- by motor vehicles... '

Monday, April 02, 2007

Facts and Figures

AP has produced a list of facts about Iraq since the invasion in March '03. It's too long to reproduce here, but of interest:
  • Confirmed U.S. military deaths as of April 2, 2007: 3,244.
  • Confirmed U.S. military wounded as of April 2, 2007: 24,314.
  • U.S. military deaths after the Baghdad security crackdown beginning Feb. 14, 2007: at least 55 U.S. military deaths occurred from incidents in Baghdad; at least 70 U.S. military deaths occurred from incidents outside Baghdad.
  • Iraqi civilian deaths: Estimated at more than 60,000
  • Cost: More than $413 billion. Combined with the conflict in Afghanistan and operations against terrorism elsewhere, the cost has topped at least $500 billion. (Check the cost 'ticker' on the left side of this page for constant updates of Iraq war costs.)
  • A recent study by Linda Bilmes of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government put the total projected cost of providing medical care and disability benefits to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan at $350 billion to $700 billion.
  • Utilities: With the exception of electricity in Baghdad, most services are markedly better now than under Saddam (water, sewer, phone, etc.).
  • Refugees: Prewar: 500,000 Iraqis lived abroad. April 2, 2007: Approximately 2 million live abroad.

Joe Biden

Biden speaks passionately on Iraq.

Biden has created a website to contrast his approach to Iraq with that of other candidates. Of course you cannot expect his portrayal of the other candidates to be most generous. If nothing else, you certainly cannot expect the loquacious Biden to give his opponents equal time. But you may want to take a look at the site: Head-to-Head '08.

Crier on King George

Check out this monologue Catherine Crier on King George. Ouch!

Why the British should be worried

McCain in Baghdad

The Straight-Talk Express has become the BS Express.

McCain travels around a market in Baghdad dressed in a flak jacket (images here) accompanied by “100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead” and proclaims that the media doesn't understand just how safe Baghdad is.

Watch this video piece. McCain provides the 'Neverland' assessment. Michael Ware from CNN tells it straight.


There is one recognition of God that comes from faith, another from love or charity. That of faith belongs to this life, but that of charity to enternal life...
William of Saint-Thierry
The Mirror of Faith