When some among us seriously harm the rest of the world in our name.

... or pretend that it's not important or necessary? As I write this, extremely legitimate and quite serious people are looking for ways to set right America's recent global and social criminal history

I seriously doubt that even half the readers here could spontaneously declare who Robert Jackson was.

Two months ago on this very blog Lietta Ruger brought up the same theme. To no one's surprise, the response was essentially "ho hum" and "yea so?" Yet we bloggers really are among the most civically active members of society and I wonder how it is that we got so sophisticatedly wise about political campaign strategy and remain so inept, ignorant and apathetic about genuine civic responsibility? There are duties required by that  responsibility when things go wrong or when some among us seriously harm the rest of the world in our name.

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It's time more veterans accepted the truth about McCain

SGM Larry A. Myers U.S. Army (Retired) has a blog, The Sergeant Major's Thoughts on That

A veteran of 27 years in the United States Army including combat tours in Vietnam, Myers has written one of the definitive veteran's  perspectives on the current legitimacy of John McCain's assertion that he is qualified to lead this country.

His diary of 9/10/08, Honor - To Have And Have Not was cross-posted to KOS and has comments nearing 300 as of this morning.

Myers says what many veterans are thinking but have not publicly acknowledged.  Honor and conscience are some of the strongest traits any soldier desires of his commanders. For years most in this country have assumed that these traits were part and parcel of what makes a military officer and a United States Senator.

There was a time in 2000 when I was seriously supportive of McCain and somewhat distrustful of Clinton and Gore. I did not know all I needed to know about McCain back then because he was BUSHwhacked out of the Republican nominating activity and became the McCain we never knew.

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He's a pro-life guy with a pro-life Presidency in mind ...

well ... at least until the babies he saves grow  old enough to join up. Then all pro-life bets are off. John McCain has also declared that he will be a pro-death guy with a pro-death presidency in mind. His presiding premise is that war is the only foreign policy useful for spreading America's corporate-driven globalization. It's a premise of economic and imperial design masquerading as the perfect form of democracy and democratic freedoms.

Senator John McCain told the conservative evangelical audience Saturday night that if elected, he would be a "pro-life President and have pro-life policies"


That wasn't religious fervor in his eyes last night. That was religious hypocrisy.

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"They seem to think electing better Democrats is the answer."

I endorse this opinion. It's implication is one reason why a spontaneous moral rejection of Republican policies and Bushco outright lies and criminality never happened.

Our civic duty is not to stand around and wait to clean house once every four years.
Huffpo: Savage Mules: Bill Maher Joke-Writer On War-Mongering Democrats

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because Hanoi on his resume somehow instilled in him commander-in-chief ability.

Speaking as a veteran, I cannot see how or why Candidate McCain considers himself commander-in-chief material purely because he is a veteran

... or because Hanoi on his resume somehow instilled in him commander-in-chief ability.

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Less than 4 months to go

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How come we cherish talk like this in our history and ignore it or put it down today?

Do we consider ourselves now too politically sophisticated or somehow "no longer politically or idealistically naive" so as to believe that stuff?

Friday night Bill Moyers interviewed Mickey Edwards, a "Goldwater" conservative who invoked in me memories of my very limited but what - as a young American veteran - I considered conservative political thinking in the 70's and 80's.

What's the difference between a Goldwater conservative and a contemporary Republican conservative?

That's like asking the difference between Chuck Hagel ... who served
Dick Cheney ... who did not
and George Bush ... who ran away.

I'm impressed with contemporary soldiers who did not run away ... who got involved after serving ... and have earned the right to speak the way they do.

Read this rhetoric from a contemporary veteran. A member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Adam Charles Kokesh writes very much like a Goldwater conservative ... and like Thomas Paine.

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Torture IS A Moral Issue: Reverend Rich Lang

Rich gave us permission to post this article which will appear in the July 9th edition of Real Change, Seattle's Community Street paper.  

Why don't all those pulpit preachers speak out about this rather than herniate themselves about gay marriage?

Rich speaks to the very religious fabric of this nation. This is at a time when God-talk by right wing politicians and their religious base is now commonplace.

So when Obama talks Christian common cense and compassion, when Dobson & Co. react by raging flight from reality, and the other candidate needs gay marriage as the more useful issue, lets ask Reverend Rich Lang.

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Obama's Support for FISA: Defensible?

Update: NChrissieB, identifying herself as a former criminal defense appellate attorney who focused on constitutional issues writes this at DailyKos: A Pragmatist's View on FISA. I found it instructive.
MoveOn's  campaign to hold Obama accountable. Obama campaign phone: (866) 675-2008

Glenn Greenwald's piece on Salon this Saturday provides I think a good overview of how we might interpret Obama's support for the FISA "compromise".  

This is a seriously bad decision Obama has made, no matter how we look at it. We can imagine that, perhaps, there is something we don't know about that Obama knows about that makes this appropriate. I've been reading such wishful thoughts on DailyKos, etc.  I agree with Greenwald that such "trust" of leaders is bad for democracy.  

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Give an Hour - Free mental health counseling to US Military personnel and families

Give an Hour is a non-profit organization asking mental health professionals nationwide to literally give an hour of their time each week to provide free mental health services to military personnel and their families.

View video, 'Helping Warriors Find Peace of Mind' which gives a bit of explanation about the concept of the organization, Give an Hour. Video features U.S. Army Col. James Bradley, Chief of Pyschiatry, at Walter Reed Medical Center making the statement that 'really what we are dealing with is normal reactions to abnormal circumstances'.

At local level in WA state, see The Soldiers Project Northwest, which is a group of mental health care providers in Washington is offering free help to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families who either can't or don't want to go through traditional channels for care. (read more at Tacoma News Tribune article, 'A New Source of Mental Health Care'
  (more below the fold)

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This Ain't the Horse that McCain and his Party Rode in On

John Dean writes in Conservatives Without Conscience how the co-founder of the National Review, James Burnham, in a 1959 attempt to blend real-world politics with intellectual conservatism, distilled a 13-statement list of point-by-point comparatives to liberal positions that differentiate between the two.

Of his list, Burnham declared,  

"Whether the cause of this linkage - which is not absolute, of course - is metaphysical, social or psychological, we do not need to decide in order to observe that it exists." (Dean, page 9)

Metaphysical, social or psychological?
How about 50 years later we use the words supernatural, socio-pathic, psycho-pathic or just plain Left Behind?

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Senate Committe Findings: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true

How could Congress have been so wrong as to buy into giving this President the authorization to invade Iraq.  What many of us, who are not wizened Congress persons could see through, many of elected officials whom we trusted with our votes to represent us in Congress   --- how could so many exercise such a devastating failure to lead.....

 news today from McClatchey Washington Bureau---

 Senate committee: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true

Comments >>

Obama's Luck Is America's Opportunity

We often take our good fortune for granted.  Especially the luck we are born into, can easily be forgotten even as we take advantage of our heritage, our citizenship, and our freedoms.  I have always felt extraordinarily fortunate to be an American.  Today America is lucky!

Barack Obama freely acknowledges the role that fortune has played in his rise to political prominence.  Of his campaign for the U.S. Senate in The Audacity of Hope Obama wrote:

My campaign had gone so well that it looked like a fluke. ... Not one of [my Democratic opponents] ran a negative TV ad. ... My Republican opponent was felled by a divorce scandal. ...  Later, some reporters would declare me the luckiest politician in the entire fifty states.  Privately, some of my staff bristled at this assessment, feeling that it discounted our hard work and the appeal of our message.  Still, there was no point in denying my almost spooky good fortune.

But luck neither confers entitlement, nor should it imply that success is undeserved.  Certainly Obama would not be our presumptive nominee without a great deal of hard work, planning, organization, and a message that rings true for millions.

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So Happy and Proud: Obama Clinches It

AP tally: Obama clinches Democratic nomination

I preferred Kucinich; I preferred Edwards.  But during this campaign I believe Obama has shown himself to be the leader we keenly need to get past the politics of fear and division, to heal and begin again to sustain this democracy.  It strikes me as the most rare and felicitous stroke of luck that a "real leader" has stepped forward just when we most need leadership.  Can Obama really help awaken that can-do American magic, help us pull together through the interlocking crises of climate change, economic vulnerability, eroded civil rights, and weakened physical security? Maybe.  And that's enough to make me cry with happiness and pride.  

We made the right choice.  Democrats, Republicans, independents - everyone. We did good.

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A Day's Memorial

Atop one of the bookshelves in another room in my home sits the triangularly-folded American Flag given me at the gravesite of my father back in 1993.

Dad's death came upon us quite suddenly. We had long anticipated his passing as the years wore on - our unspoken suspicion that it would be liver failure that would get him.

We were right.

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