Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

It comes home

I have just returned from a week at scout camp. In many ways, it was a typical such week (I’ve done 12 of them), with an occasional fight to break up, some homesickness to work through, and a hydrophobic scout that we finally got in the pool. In some ways it was atypical: horribly hot weather, (when it wasn’t raining cats and dogs), and some exceptionally good first year scouts, who came through the week much more smoothly than I’ve ever seen.

One event however made this a unique, and sad, camp experience.

On Thursday word came that three PA National Guardsmen had been killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. One of those was a 19 year old. An eagle scout, he had been active in Bucks County scouting activities, and had served on the staff of the camp we attended for three years. I will never forget the grief I saw on the faces of the young adults who work at that camp. Nor will I forget the bravery with which they hid their grief from the campers, and continued to make that program the best it could be.

One of my sons realized on Friday night that he knew the guardsman in question. The name didn’t ring a bell, but my son had been to a week long junior leader training program with him, and had maintained some contacts playing computer games, as teenagers do. On that Friday night I found myself holding my 16 year-old son as he sobbed in my shoulder, realizing his friend – who two years ago was just another teenager – was gone.

The grief surrounding this one death was overwhelming. I am sure though that what I was exposed to was no more than a tenth of the people who knew this person and mourned his loss. The thought of how much this one loss hurt multiplied by the 1850 or so american dead in this war is staggering. How many hundreds of thousands must be mourning their fallen beloved. That in itself pales before the grief which must surround the tens of thousands of Iraqi dead. No matter how different we may be, I am sure Iraqi’s love their sons, fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers as much as we do.

I am a pacifist. I oppose the use of force not because it is an easy solution, but because it is a hard one. It is what Godand Christ have commanded however. Given that, I have nothing but love and can do nothing but honor those who see the world differently, and are willing to risk their lives for principles they hold dear. Our volunteer soldiers are the best our country has to offer, potentially laying down their lives for the love of their country. This scout was one of these. The country, and the world, is the worse for his loss.

At the same time I can do nothing but despise and hold despicable those who lie to lead this country into an unnecessary war making the world worse, not better, simply for political reasons. There are no greater traitors than those who will sacrifice this country’s finest people unnessarily or for mere political gain.

Among these traitors I count George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Condoleeza Rice, and a host of others. When the children of these people are fighting, and dying, in Iraq I will believe their motives are true. None of these people were willing to serve themselves though, let alone risk their sons and daughters. Their machinations to stay out of Viet Nam are well documented.

I also hold as traitors those young republicans who support the president and this war. It is easy to be a chicken-hawk on campus. If you truly feel this cause is just, then enlist. Our services are desperate to meet their recruitment goals. You can help. If you don’t have the courage of your convictions, and feel that the fighting and dying for this war you support is for the little people, not you, then simply shut up. You are as despicable as the government you support.

Death Toll continues

American deaths in Iraq continue to rise. I expect we will have a major flurry of news about this, when the official toll climbs to 2000.

It is a common assumption that the British with 93 casualties, our most loyal allies, are the second-hardest hit group in the Iraq coalition. That’s not true, however. What the government doesn’t like to acknowledge is that there have been over 250 deaths of “contractors” employed by the US government, which are not figured into the official casualty total. Some of these are truck drivers, many are mercenary “security contractors.”

Adding those 252 to the official count of 1765, gives 2017, so we are already long past the 2000 casualty milestone, which we will no doubt hear so much about in a few months.

As horrible as this is, it pales in comparison to the estimated $25,000 Iraqi’s dead from combat, and the possible 100,000 Iraqi dead due to all the war’s effects.

WMD Found? 0
Ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq (prior to our invasion) 0
Ties to 9/11 in Iraq 0
Ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq (Subsequent to invasion) many

If you’re not Outraged, You’re not paying attention

New blog software, new question

OK, let me inaugurate the new blog software with a simple question:

How do you pronounce IOKIYAR?

Is it “Yawk-e-yar”?

The abbreviation stands for, of course, “It’s OK If You’re a Republican” and refers to the numerous things that are “OK” in the minds of those currently controlling congress and the whitehouse, as long as you’re one of their own.

Don’t like what the courts are ruling? Separation of Powers means nothing if you’re a republican, go ahead and interfere in the decades long battle in the courts about Terry Schiavo. After all, the freshman congressman know so much more about the law (and medicine) than the judges and doctors that have been involved in the case for 12 years.

Let’s see, If I’m a republican congressman and I sell my house for $1,600,000 to an aspiring defense contractor, and that contracter then turns around and sells it 6 months later for $900,000 (in the Calfornia housing market, which never seems to go down), and somehow that contractor then gets lots of new contracts, that’s not really an illegal $700,000 bribe, because I’m a republican.

If I’m a high-ranking Whitehouse advisor, and I somehow admit or confirm that a certain person is a CIA Operative, (thereby embarrassing her husband who truthfully reported that we had lied about justification for the Iaq war [not to mention exposing her clandestine informational contacts subjecting them to death or worse, and destroying the intelligence gathering capability]), it’s OK because I’m a republican, trying to protect the president.

If I’m a certain senator from a north-eastern state, who’s main claim to fame is bringing home the corpse of his four month premature still-born child for his other children to cuddle, and I blame the abuse of children by the Catholic Clergy on the liberalism of Boston, it’s OK because it can’t be the Catholic hierachy protecting the abusers, it must be the liberal attitude of all the non-catholics in Boston. Why? because I’m a republican, and I say so.

If I’m a republican governor, and I get $1,000,000/year from advertisements in fitness magazines, and I veto laws that would regulate unjustified claims about benefits of dietary supplements advertised in those magazines, it’s a simple misunderstanding rather than a major conlict-of-interest, because I’m a republican.

If I’m a republican governor and my state (Ohio) loses lots of money because state funds are invested in a rare coin fund run by one of my golfing buddies, it’s OK, because ob viously, I didn’t do anything wrong… I’m a republican!

Given this, those of us who care not only about the honest workers of this country, but our moral backbone in general, really need to understand:

How do you pronounce “IOKIYAR”?

My latest missive to my beloved Senator, Rick Santorum

Dear Senator Santorum:

For Catholic Online, regarding the sexual abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic Church, you wrote:

“When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.”

Thank you for pointing out the obvious tie between the abuse of innocents by the catholic clergy, and the liberalism rampant in the United States. The connection is clear.

There is another connection, however, which I believe you should investigate. A little known subversive group is even more closely tied to this scandal than the liberals. After months of investigation, I have discovered the little-recognized fact that 100% of the people involved in this abuse are…. Catholic!!!!

Clearly the entire Catholic community has been brainwashed by the liberal cabal to advance their nefarious plots. Please, I beg you, bring to light the details about this little-known cult, intent on the perversion of our youth, and the destruction of american values.

I remind you, fully 100% of the people involved in this attack on traditional american values are either avowed, or secretly, catholics! This fact should alarm every true American!! Please, before it is too late, act now to bring the lurid details about this subversive cult to light, and protect us from their plans to destroy our way of life.

It makes as much sense as the rest of what you say.

Al Folsom