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

Don’t let them know what is going on….

From CNN:

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) — A cargo worker whose photograph of flag-draped coffins bearing the remains of U.S. soldiers was published on a newspaper’s front page was fired by the military contractor that employed her.

Tami Silicio, 50, was fired Wednesday by Maytag Aircraft Corp. after military officials raised “very specific concerns” related to the photograph, said William L. Silva, Maytag president. The photo was taken in Kuwait.

Does this surprise anyone? The news media has been the bush-leaguers’ lapdog all along. The pentagon is carefully controlling casualty figure releases (only every few days, not day by day) and the gory details are banned from the news.

I dream of a campaign ad: In one corner are the pictures of all these coffins, in another are the names of the dead scrolling by, in a third is a picture of Bush looking under the Whitehouse furniture for the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” And in the fourth is the text of “Why reelect the man responsible for this insanity”.

Of course, the records of the Bush’s relationship with the house of Saud should be there somewhere, but there are only four corners.

Gall

What unmitigated gall. The latest from the republican hitmen is to complain that maybe Kerry wasn’t really injured by enemy fire when he got his first purple heart. Real shrapnel was removed from his wound. More importantly, they are attacking someone who volunteered for, and actually served, two tours of duty in Viet Nam. Who came under fire, was wounded twice more, and received a silver star and a bronze star.

The same people support someone who got into the National Guard through political pull, and couldn’t even serve out his full term in that, and couldn’t take his medical examination to keep his eligibility to fly. His major wounds were being called the “Texas Souffle” by other who served on the same political campaign in Alabama. I’m sure his feelings were severely hurt.

Kerry should have expected this. I’m sure Max Cleland could have told him how much the republicans respect real military service.

And as of yesterday, 110 american soldiers had lost their life in the Iraq war this month alone (20 days), because that same “Texas Souffle” decided to invade a country that was not threatening the United States in the least. It does not feel good that after 226 years, the US has now, for the first time, fought a war that was not forced upon us.

in case you hadn’t realized

Just in case it’s not mentioned in the press, the latest casualty figures indicate that now, officially, more than 4 times as many US military have been killed in Iraq since the “End of Major Combat Operations” as before. This includes 103 through just 18 days of April, alone.

One goal of the invasion was, I think, to create a unified Iraq, and in that we have succeeded. They all object to being occupied. Funny that.

news conference

According to CNN:
“President Bush holds a prime-time news conference Tuesday night, his first this year and his third since moving into the White House.”
Wow! they’re letting him speak in public, and for the 3rd time in slightly more than three years!!!
Go Mr. President! You’re on!! Break a string!!!

Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy testify before the 9/11 commission

Bush is a puppet

vacation

I almost feel like I’ve been on a mini-vacation the last week. Since last monday, I haven’t had anything I’ve had to do other than go to my main (albeit boring and depressing) job. The twins were sick on Tuesday so we didn’t do scouts, the normal thursday meeting was postponed due to the holiday, the homebrew store was closed on Sunday, and nothing else cropped up to require evening hours. It’s amazing how extended I am with other things. Given how relaxed the past week has been, perhaps too much so. I should probably scale back, but don’t know how to disentangle myself from various commitments.

Other than more worries and disturbing news from the family in florida, which continues to have to deal with my brother’s immature and neurotic estranged wife, it has been a pretty nice week. I just wish they could get to some situation where I don’t have to worry about her again abusing my 75 year old mother.

And, oh yeah, so far 57 American soldiers have died this month alone in Iraq. If we extrapolate this through the month of April, we would end up with more american dead (142 vs. 140) than died in the entire first part of the war, before Bush declared major combat operations over. Of course, it’s just a small faction in Iraq that is opposed to being indefinately occupied. I’d hate to think what would happen if they all objected. Good thing we eliminated all those weapons of mass destruction, which were the justification for the invasion.

[Note: I wrote the above too early in the day. CNN is now reporting that 76 American soldiers have died so far this month, with two more missing. Apparently the counter in the sidebar cannot update quickly enough to keep up. Extrapolated through the entire month of April, this would be 190 dead.]

Nice smirk

Condi RiceWould you trust this face?

Necessary Skills

From CNN:

The president traveled to El Dorado, Arkansas, visiting a community college for a second day of talks about the economy and job training.

“We want every citizen in this country to get the skills necessary to fill the jobs in the 21st century,” Bush said.

I suppose that means he’ll promote funding for classes in Chinese or Hindi, but the article didn’t mention that.

How are the american troops treated?

“George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld care about the troops in the same way that Tyson Foods cares about chickens.”
– Stan Goff, Retired Army Master Sergeant and father of soldier in Iraq

638 american military dead, 39 in the last week, and more than 3 and a half times as many killed since May 1st as before that date, when President Bush declared an end to major combat operations.

Perhaps we should have sent the troops to look for the WMD under the Whitehouse furniture.

to hell with them

You know, to hell with them….

Somehow while giving up my weekend to to train adults in scouting, I managed to piss off the council training chair, by noticing that she was cracking jokes with a friend, to the point of being distracting, while I was trying to teach knots to a very noisy group. Never mind that I was the only one all weekend to show any energy, or do anything to keep this particular group of adult students awake.

People are falling asleep in a lot of these presentations. I’m stuck with the last presentation of a long day, the preceding session was a boring video tape, and before that was dinner. I get to try to cram an hour of knot-tying into a half hour, and notice our ever so important council training chair is cracking jokes, not once, but at least three times, while I try to teach a group of exhausted people about knot-tying. Somehow noticing that, and joking about it, is a big insult to her. She wouldn’t put up with this if she were in front of the room, but apparently the Golden Rule doesn’t apply to her.

Damn it, there are lots of things I could dedicate my time to. I like training and working with adult scout leaders, but I certainly don’t need to deal with prima-donnas’ fragile freaking egos. To hell with them, I’ll find another way to spend my volunteer time.