The Lady Speaks

Poking the Bear

Oh my freakin’ Jeebus, people! I’m so pissed and annoyed and… plain freaked out, it’s not funny.

You know how we on the left always wonder just how crazy the Republicans and Bush-Cheney Corporate Headquarters are? Well, wonder no more!

The stupid is so awesome, so intense, so effin’ ridiculous, so burningly awful that it is almost beyond my ability to respond with more than “Oh my god… but… oh holy shit… sweet baby jeebus in the cow trough!!”

From the New York Times:

Poland and the United States struck a deal Thursday that will strengthen military ties and put an American missile interceptor base in Poland, a plan that has infuriated Moscow and sparked fears in Europe of a new arms race.

”We have crossed the Rubicon,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, referring to U.S. consent to Poland’s demands after more than 18 months of negotiations.

Washington says the planned system, which is not yet operational, is needed to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible attacks by missile-armed ”rogue states” like Iran. The Kremlin, however, feels it is aimed at Russia’s missile force and warns it will worsen tensions.

Um, except Iran is two-three times as far away from Iran as it is from Russia…

Red - Poland; Blue - Russia; Fuschia - Iran.

Red - Poland; Blue - Russia; Fuschia - Iran.

but… um… just ignore that.

U.S. officials also said the timing of the deal was not meant to antagonize Russian leaders at a time when relations already are strained over the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia over the South Ossetia region.

“O hai! Sry, dudez. Srsly!

We didn’t mean to piss you off even more, right as you’re cease-firing from a little war spurred on by our idiot government telling the Georgian president we had his back… and then, um, not. But hey! Good news! Condi’s coming to make things all better… um, or maybe to buy shoes.”

[Tusk] said the deal also includes a ”mutual commitment” between the two nations to come to each other’s assistance ”in case of trouble.”

That clause appeared to be a direct reference to Russia, which has threatened to aim its nuclear-armed missiles at Poland — a former Soviet satellite — if it hosts the U.S. site.

Ummm… is anyone else having flashbacks to the 1980s and The Day After ?

Dr. Landowska: There is a rumor that they are evacuating Moscow. There are people even leaving Kansas City because of the missile base. Now I ask you: To where does one go from Kansas City? The Yukon? Tahiti? We are not talking about Hiroshima anymore. Hiroshima was… was peanuts!
Dr. Russell Oakes: What’s going on? Do you have any idea what’s going on in this world?
Dr. Landowska: Yeah. Stupidity… has a habit of getting its way.

Yep, and this misAdministration isn’t going to be happy until the whole freakin’ world is in flames.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Election '08, Government, Iran, Nuclear Weapons, Pentagon, Planet Earth, War, Whacko Nut Cases, White House, WMDs, World Peace | 3 Comments

Wandering Words

The past couple of months, my posting has been infrequent at best. The simple fact is that blog fatigue, political fatigue, and plain ol’ “life” fatigue have left me with little time and/or little interest.

I’ve been writing about the same topics, the same outrages for two and a half years. Almost nothing has changed in that time except a few generals and the leadership of Congress. (And wow, did we get suckered on that last one! Forgive me if I can’t get worked up about “change!” and “hope!” when our Democratic Party-controlled Congress has failed to provide any of the changes we worked for, hoped for, and expected after the 2006 election.) The war – and war profiteering – continues, the illegal spying on the communications of Americans continues, Big Business continues to prosper while the poor and (diminishing) middle-class struggle to put food on the table and keep roofs over their heads. All with the complicity of the Democrats.

Also, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for our candidate. Heck, even tepid enthusiasm would be an improvement on my feelings of “Oh yay. Another idiot, only this one thinks Republicans are the “party of ideas” and made political hay during the primary by lumping the only two-term Democratic president since FDR into the same category as Bushes I & II. And the DNC wants me to vote for him?!”

Continue reading

June 30, 2008 Posted by | America, Government, Politics, US Military, War, White House | 2 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

Limited free time means I haven’t been able to work on the blog as often as I’d like, plus the “primary fatigue” that set in made me want to start posting recipes rather than digging in to write anything substantive. Unfortunately, this also meant I stopped posting the FAWS and updating “Counting the Cost.” I may not get to posting much else on a regular basis, but I’ll try to remember to keep these going. –Jenn

War Pigs — Black Sabbath
1970

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait till their judgement day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has sturck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now!

May 9, 2008 Posted by | Bush, Congress, Government, Iraq, Music, Politics, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

What I Learned from Petraeus

In Part II of the Dog and Pony show held at the House Armed Services Committee, we learned that freedom and democracy are pretty hard to force down the throats of an occupied people.

September 2007 – Violence is up; we must stay.

April 2008 – Violence was down, but it seems to be going up again; we must stay.

September 2007 – There have been improvements, but we must stay to see the surge through.

April 2008 – The surge brought improvements, and some troops have left, but we must “pause” the draw-downs – which will leave more troops in Iraq than there was before the surge – and stay to see it through.

Hmmm…. Anyone else reminded of the theme song from the Shari Lewis/Lambchop show?

This is the song that never ends
Yes, it goes on and on, my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they’ll continue singing it
Forever just because
This the song that never ends …”

I also learned that “victory” in Iraq will consist of a country “at peace with itself and its neighbors”, able to defend itself, with a “reasonably representative” government that can care for its citizens.

Yeah, mull that over for a bit. Not one country in the Middle East could meet those standards, and neither could the US. Canada, maybe.

So the shorter Petraeus: We’re never leaving.

In other news: El Pollo Loco will announce a reduction in combat tour lengths, to twelve months.

This change will not go into effect until August, and will not apply to troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

April 10, 2008 Posted by | Bush, Congress, Iraq, Middle East, Pentagon, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 1 Comment

Friday Anti-War Song

Free the Dove
— Written by Karie Hillery & Charles Lamont
— Performed by Karie Hillery

See the stars
As they light a path around the moon
They shine above
The light of love
Free the dove

See the sun
Blazin’ a bright trail across the sky
It warms the earth
A new day’s birth
Darkness past
Peace will last
A world of love
Free the dove

We must save what nature made
A peaceful place where living things run free
Dreams, realities… it’s up to you and me

So reach inside
And then reach for another’s hand
You’ll have enough
So share the love
Free the dove

Can you see the hope
Shining in the eyes of every child?
Build for them a world at peace
A place to dream
Air to breathe
Enough to eat
A world of love
Free the dove

We can dream
If we believe then they’ll come true
It’s up to us
So share the love
Free the dove

It’s up to us
So share your love
Free the dove

From New Songs for Peace

January 18, 2008 Posted by | America, Government, Human Rights, Music, Politics, Protest, War | Leave a comment

Requiem for a Blogger

How is it possible to cry for a man you only met through the blog post he asked to be published in the event of his death?

I’m dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends. But all the tears in the world aren’t going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss. (If it turns out a specific number of tears will, in fact, bring me back to life, then by all means, break out the onions.) I had a pretty good life, as I noted above. Sure, all things being equal I would have preferred to have more time, but I have no business complaining with all the good fortune I’ve enjoyed in my life.

I’d never heard of Andy Olmsted or his alter-ego G’Kar until yesterday afternoon when a friend sent a link to his final words on Obsidian Wings, posted by hilzoy.

Since then, in those spare moments between my tasks here in the real world, I’ve been reading that final post over and over as well as the comments, following links to and from others who knew him — or didn’t and simply wanted to honor a good man, a good soldier, a good husband, son, and brother. I’ve cried over my keyboard at almost regular intervals.

“The flame also reminds us that life is precious. As each flame is unique; when it goes out, it’s gone forever. There will never be another quite like it.”
Ambassador Delenn, Babylon 5

I write this in part, admittedly, because I would like to think that there’s at least a little something out there to remember me by. Granted, this site will eventually vanish, being ephemeral in a very real sense of the word, but at least for a time it can serve as a tiny record of my contributions to the world. But on a larger scale, for those who knew me well enough to be saddened by my death, especially for those who haven’t known anyone else lost to this war, perhaps my death can serve as a small reminder of the costs of war. Regardless of the merits of this war, or of any war, I think that many of us in America have forgotten that war means death and suffering in wholesale lots. A decision that for most of us in America was academic, whether or not to go to war in Iraq, had very real consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Yet I was as guilty as anyone of minimizing those very real consequences in lieu of a cold discussion of theoretical merits of war and peace. Now I’m facing some very real consequences of that decision; who says life doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Such a bright light is gone, and the world is certainly a darker place.

There are no words to express the sorrow I feel for his family. May there be some peace and comfort in the thousands of blog posts honoring his memory and from the loving words of those who knew him in this ephemeral space we call the blogosphere.

Ave atque vale, Major Olmsted. May you rest in peace.

Walk Within You

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the woods where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Be still.
Clear your eyes.
Breathe.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.

~ Nicholas Evans
From
“The Smokejumper”

January 5, 2008 Posted by | America, Blogging, US Military, War | Leave a comment

Counting the Cost

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December 31, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Congress, Government, Iraq, Media, Middle East, Pentagon, Rumsfeld, US Military, Veterans, War, White House | 20 Comments

Politics vs. Reality in Middle America

Sorry for the serious lack of posting. I just couldn’t make myself give a damn about politics and other bullshit.

I should care. I should care about the failures of the Democrats, the obstructions, hatred, and nonsensical positions of the Republicans, the complete and utter lack of caring about the poor and the weak and the needy.

I should be posting three and four times a day, ranting and raving.

But the truth is … I’m tired. I’m just tired and overwhelmed with outrage fatigue, and – quite honestly – depressed. Children die because bureaucrats in an insurance company, safely removed from the consequences of their decisions, decide they aren’t worth saving. Aren’t worth attempting to save.

People are going hungry, going without heat, going without necessities like expensive prescription drugs, struggling to hold on to their homes in a still-collapsing housing market and a tightening rental market, working two or three jobs to provide the basics of food and shelter and clothing and heat – in the so-called “richest nation on earth.”

Where’s the hope? Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel?

Continue reading

December 27, 2007 Posted by | America, Economy, Education, Election '08, Family, Global Warming, Government, Health, Iraq, Politics, SCHIP, US Military, Veterans, War | 1 Comment

Friday Anti-War Song

In a World Gone Mad
— Beastie Boys

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It’s not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back ’cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

First the ‘War On Terror’ now war on Iraq
We’re reaching a point where we can’t turn back
Let’s lose the guns and let’s lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that they’re built upon
Well I’ll be sleeping on your speeches til I start to snore
‘Cause I won’t carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now don’t get us wrong ’cause we love America
But that’s no reason to get hysterica
They’re layin’ on the syrup thick
We ain’t waffles we ain’t havin’ it

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so what’s the deal?

It’s time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah what’s the White House doin’?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well I’m not pro Bush and I’m not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush you’re looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? We’ve got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandma’s pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think it’s democracy they’re fighting for?

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

December 14, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Children, Civil War, Government, Human Rights, Iraq, Middle East, Military, Music, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, Republicans, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Democratic Leadership and Other Oxymorons

Oh holy fucking shit.

No wonder.

No wonder neither Reid nor Pelosi has shown enough spine to investigate, why impeachment has been pulled off the table, why they’ve allowed Republicans to continue obstructing and subverting.

They knew we – as in our country – was using torture.

They knew we were torturing suspected terrorists – in 2002.

From the Washington Post:

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said. [my emphasis] Continue reading

December 9, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Congress, Democrats, Government, Human Rights, Politics, Republicans, War, White House | 5 Comments