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Last Visit 2011-12-12 11:52:11 |Start Date 2005-07-17 16:46:45 |Comments 466 |Entries 205 |Images 428 |Videos 20 |

Category: politics

06/11/08 11:15 - 69ºF - ID#44616

58 bases in Iraq

What is the goal in Iraq? I thought we wanted to turn over management of Iraq to the Iraqis, so we can come home and stop spending 720 million dollars per day in Iraq and start using it here where it is desperately needed. You know we could fix crumbling bridges and levees and stuff.

Right now the US is negotiating a 'status of forces' agreement with Iraq that would allow the US to maintain 58 military bases in Iraq. I'm not sure if that includes the US embassy next to Baghdad that is the size of a college campus.

Top Iraqi officials are calling for a radical reduction of the U.S. military's role here after the U.N. mandate authorizing its presence expires at the end of this year. Encouraged by recent Iraqi military successes, government officials have said that the United States should agree to confine American troops to military bases unless the Iraqis ask for their assistance, with some saying Iraq might be better off without them.

"The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq," said Sami al-Askari, a senior Shiite politician ... "If we can't reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say, 'Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don't need you here anymore.' "

Read Iraqi reactions and some more details about the negotiations.

Another interesting article Bush Has a few regrets,

In the UK times online "President Bush regrets his legacy as man who wanted war"

Update, One more thing

War is an opportunity to make money, for some companies. And politicians sometimes like excuses to give handfuls of taxpayer money to rich corporations, they hope the corporations will finance their campaign, or maybe give them a high paid job when they get caught screwing the taxpayer and get thrown out of Washington. AKA the Military Industrial Complex.

the $300 Billion Betrayal - Video
Weapons programs at the defense department are one of the biggest sources of wasteful spending in the federal budget. Just to give you an idea of how much $300 billion is, you could run the entire state of Tennessee for 11 years on just $295 billion. That $300 billion number comes from the Government Accountability Office's new report on Defense Acquisitions. Watch the video and see examples.

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Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: politics

06/06/08 04:42 - 85ºF - ID#44568

Generational Perspective

Just a thought.

I'm one of those 20 something people who grew up in the 90s and I was taught that I live in the future. We learned about World Wars, slavery, unequal rights, lynching, Hitler, fascism, communism, bombing London, and all the other horrible stuff.

But that was history, America had made it to the future. Americans are living in a fair and just democracy now, the rest of the world was coming along too, because we were setting a noble example, and sticking to our high minded ideals. We knew there were problems in the world, but international cooperation, community, and a fair justice system could solve these problems.

The pride and confidence of our generation has been eroded after September 11. Partly because we were attacked, and we realized that not everyone had made it to the future with us. But mostly for me, it was the barbaric response of our government. We said we would eliminate Saddam Hussein whether the rest of the world liked it or not. It didn't matter that we had no real evidence against him, and that he had no connection to 911 whatsoever. The America I expected, was supposed to rally the world behind a common goal. I expected the criminals to be exposed an humiliated, because what they did was clearly wrong. I expected justice, I expected our nation to have faith in a system of laws without self interest. A legal system that seeks to expose the truth, and expects rational people to see a path to justice.

We got none of it. We went backward, instead of forward. We got infinite detention and kangaroo trials, we abandoned international law and cooperation, we decided might makes right, shoot first ask questions later, the public was misinformed and deceived on purpose, color coded alert systems, we couldn't keep citizens in New Orleans from drowning, or bridges in Minnesota from collapsing, we even got rid of one of those ancient Latin laws that was the foundation of our country, called Habeas Corpus. And the people of my generation, once they woke up, said holly shit, it CAN happen here.

Maybe it's just me but it seems like this election fits into that history. The younger generation voted less than the older generation, partly because we took our country for granted, we thought peace and prosperity was a given. In 2004 we were demoralized and fearful, we still didn't vote enough. But in 2008, seems like there is potential, possibilities. We can take our country back. And one of the things I like most about Obama, he keeps saying WE can change Washington. Saying that the American people must be involved if we want to fix this country. Nobody is going to do it for us, we are looking for leadership, but we can't do it without a committed public, it's up to the American people to take their country back. Maybe politics can become a national pastime again.

I don't recognize the America of the last 7 years, the is not the America I was supposed to inherit. I think my generation is ready to reclaim America.

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Category: politics

05/28/08 12:04 - 52ºF - ID#44472

truths, twisting of the truth, and spin

This perked my interest. Now "outside the bubble" Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan coming to terms with the failure of Washington politics. The way he describes it really pinpoints some of the fundamental failures that have manifested in government.

Washington has become the home of the permanent campaign, a game of endless politicking based on the manipulation of shades of truth, partial truths, twisting of the truth, and spin. Governing has become an appendage of politics rather than the other way around, with electoral victory and the control of power as the sole measures of success. That means shaping the narrative before it shapes you. Candor and honesty are pushed to the side in the battle to win the latest news cycle...

That is key, that is the lens through which we can understand, and think critically about what the elected officials want us to believe. The manipulation of truth, to serve the permanent campaign, that is a fundamental problem in our system. We should be aware of this manipulation, and seek ways to overcome it. The press and the public need to be skeptical.

Read more about his new book

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Category: healthcare

05/09/08 12:03 - 48ºF - ID#44279

Rod Watson Kicks Healthcare Ass

In the Buffalo News today, Rod Watson lays the failure of the US healthcare system out there for everyone to see. The commentary is inspired by a local story about a mis-diagnosed 4 year old child on Medicaid who died. The doctor didn't even look at her.

Watson is blunt and to the point, the article is like a 5 minute version of Sicko.

Rod Watson: Don't expect health reform any time soon
By Rod Watson
Updated: 05/08/08

The richest and smartest nation in the world has the dumbest health care system, one that leaves out 47 million people while spending far more than any other nation.

It's a system in which those on Medicaid - like a father who lost his 4-month-old daughter - get shunned or wonder if they're getting substandard treatment.

Yet you won't hear Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain talking about the obvious solution: a national, single-payer system that could preserve private doctors and hospitals, yet stop wasting money on health insurers who give no shots and perform no surgeries.

Full article, check it out, it's a quick read

Rod Watson is my new Buffalo Hero

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Category: politics

05/01/08 11:20 - 51ºF - ID#44207

Political BS

This is in response to (e:jason,44190)

Even I am tired of it. Still reading and up to date, but the showmanship and trivial issues have completely turned me off.

Why does the media spend so much time talking about BS? Does anybody actually give a damn about Rev Wright?! "Is this going to help or hurt the campaign" well seriously, who gives a shit. I want to know "will this help America" you worthless 'pundit' do you have a Twinkie in your head?!?!?

America needs solutions, and the corporate media can't even facilitate the discussion.

My favorite infamous quote from the last ABC debate a few weeks ago, "Does Rev. Wright love America as much as you do?" Oh boy, thank you George, that is definitely the question I was burning to ask Obama. What a great service you are doing for the country.

Somehow I don't think this is what freedom of the press is all about. Let's have 25 people talk about Rev Wright, or Miley Cyrus' bare back, or Clinton visiting a gas pump, wall to wall 2 hour coverage.

They spend more time predicting how the public will react than they do talking about the issue itself. As if any of the TV blowhards mingles with 'the American public' in order to form their 'expert' opinion.

This is a disgrace.

Here's a media rant for you

and for a little more sarcasm and video in your politics go here

New: Kerry tells MSNBC STFU!
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Category: political

04/17/08 08:40 - 60ºF - ID#44041

Confused or Furious, Last nights debate

This video sums it up. Although the clip is a few years old, ok it's from 1976.

Seriously, 50 minutes before we could talk about anything besides gossip? War, Inflation, outsourcing jobs, the environment, corruption, waste, fraud, fear, gas prices, recession, healthcare, people losing their houses, bridges falling down, and cities destroyed by floods, the things that actually matter in people's lives! Not a Priority.

After the debate I was thinking about the news media, not the candidates. Why the hell would they dwell on gossip for so long? do they think the American people really give a shit? They think Pennsylvania voters would rather talk about gossip than inflation?

The media is so interested in gotcha politics, and I don't think the American people really give a crap right now. Maybe if they weren't so worried about affording food, and healthcare, and gas, and mortgage payments next week. Or preoccupied thinking about what kind of world is going to be left for their children because of this war, the environment, and the national debt. Maybe, just maybe, we'd really want to get to the bottom of what he said and she said, but right now, we have better things to talk about.

The debate was another great reason for why people become cynical, and tune out politics. They aren't talking about anything that matters. This kind of politics is an insult to the nation. We really deserve better, especially now.

Similar Opinions

Washington Post

Obama's Response
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Permalink: Confused_or_Furious_Last_nights_debate.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: web

04/10/08 11:05 - 41ºF - ID#43970

Online Payment Suggestions?

Hey, I need help on a web development / geek question.

What service would you recommend for online credit card transactions?

Anybody set up online payment accounts? Were you satisfied with the service, reasonable fees? Also doesn't take hours of coding to implement?

I'm working with a non-profit group that wanted to switch to, but their subscription is expiring this month. I'm just finishing up their new website, and I don't like the looks of The instillation guides and sample codes are mostly from 2004, and they require a bunch of coding and configuring to start up. And all of the sample code says "use at your own risk" which doesn't make me feel good.

Considering "Network for Good", and "Paypal", but my knowledge of this area is slim.

Suggestions are very much appreciated,
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Category: life

04/07/08 10:43 - 53ºF - ID#43946

one of those days

Spring, you know what I'm talking about.


I worked outside with the laptop today. Looking forward to many more days of that.

yea, she's soft and fuzzy... I think I just heard Paul sneeze. Sorry Paul.

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Category: war

03/28/08 09:52 - 31ºF - ID#43812

Iraq Going Badly

This has not turned into huge news yet for some reason. So in case you hadn't heard.

The Green Zone in Baghdad has been under rocket attack for the past 4 days. That's where the government and the US offices and Embassies are. It's a fortified city. US personnel have been advised to avoid traveling outside and sleep in reinforced structures.

The southern port city of Basra is basically occupied by Shi'ite militias. The government ordered them to hand over their weapons by today, I'm guessing that's not going to happen.

Bush thinks everything is swell, Sounds more like 1984 doublethink propaganda to me.

Chuck Hagel (R) Talks about Bush being Alice in Wonderland.

This doesn't sound good,
"Military: Troop Strains Putting US at Risk"

The Point, we can't solve other people's problems. If they can't work it out, we can't fix it for them. The Iraq war is now a completely political problem. We can't fix it, but we don't want embarrass ourselves. The Republicans in particular, have a lot riding on this flaming turd, especially with the election coming up.

The Surge brought a temporary lull in violence, but in the meantime we didn't get any progress in the government. All this time, and we haven't built anything that will last. 4,000 deaths, 40,000 wounded us soldiers and 5 years, and 500,000 billion so far.

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Category: political

03/27/08 12:39 - 42ºF - ID#43806

My Superdelagate Letter

We now know that it is almost imposable for Clinton to win the nomination through democratic means. She would have to get around 70% in all the remaining states. And asside from a "political meteor" hitting Obama, this is not going to happen. But she seems not to notice or care, and it's likely that her candidacy will just go more and more negative as this thing drags on. Her only hope is that the 800 superdelegates at the Convention will appoint her as the winner, and ignore the voters who worked so hard to make their opinions known. This undemocratic attitude really rubs me the wrong way. If votes don't matter there is no hope for this country.

More people are saying that the Clintons don't care how much they damage Obama or the party, Clinton wouldn't mind a McCain presidency cause she could run again in 2012. Not saying it's true, she's just making weird choices and statements.

Read an article yesterday, Clinton Donors write Scathing Letter to Pelosi
Kind of bothered me they were insisting the Superdelegates give Clinton the nomination, like they have the right.

Another good Article by David Brooks in the NY Times "The Long Defeat"

Not obeying the will of the voters really bothers me, so I decided to write a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the DNC. I faxed it to Reid and Pelosi, emailed to the DNC.

My Letter

Speaker Pelosi, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, et all

If the Democratic Party overturns the vote of the public and chooses Hillary Clinton during the convention, at best you will alienate a generation and validate their cynicism about American Politics. But the damage will likely go well beyond that. Hundreds of thousands of Democrats and Independents will stay home, others like myself will vote for a third party, and many more will vote for John McCain.

The truth is, Americans believe in the principles of the Democratic Party, but they don't believe in the politicians or the political system. This is why we have horrible voter turnout, even in presidential elections. If you can inspire people to get off the couch and vote, Democrats will win elections year after year.

If you don't take the opinion of the voters seriously, they will not trust you, and they will not vote for you. To win an election you need votes more than anything else. If you begin the presidential election with the candidate who did not receive the most votes, you will be at an enormous disadvantage, and the mistrust of the voters will carry on for years to come.

The Democratic Party needs somebody who can champion our principles, and get results, someone who is more trustworthy and convincing than the right wing. An eloquent person who can speak in terms that Americans identify with. Someone from a working class background who we can relate to and respect.

A candidate who inspires people will always get results, because once you convince the public that something is the right thing to do, politicians have no choice but to go along or lose their seat. You need a better salesman at the bully pulpit, someone who believes deeply in the values of the party, and clearly puts the good of the country above themselves

My story. I switched my party affiliation to Democrat, just so I could vote in the primaries. This time in history, and this election are so important that I needed to make my opinion known. In New York State voters must switch a year in advance, I took that step and I voted for Barack Obama. I'm also a small business owner, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. I read the news, and have a BA in Political Science. I'm not quiet about my opinions, I vote every single year, even in local elections. There are lots of people like me, potential Democrats who need some reassurance that you will not let us down.

The people have voted, and we will continue to vote for the candidate we prefer. Do not ignore our votes in the primaries, or you will not get our vote in the general election, or in future elections.


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