War

Blast From the Past- School House Rock: Tyrannosaurus Debt

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Part of our school day today included watching a DVD of the classic School House Rock cartoons that many of us grew up watching on Saturday mornings.  I was delighted when, after watching the one that talked about the wonderful opportunity we all have to pay our fair share of income taxes on April 15th, my daughter exclaimed, “Mom, this is wrong.  They’re saying that taxes are good!”

Music to my ears…

However, I found the next video interesting- Tyrannosaurus Debt- which compared the national debt to the appetite of a rather sizable dinosaur.  What surprised me was the direct correlation made between wartime and the increase of debt.

Ron Paul: What if the American People Learn the Truth?

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What if we wake up one day and learn that the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in affairs of others and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?

Reflections on Veterans Day

One of my duties as Music Associate at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, AL, is to play the organ for the annual Veterans Day service. The first of these for me was one year ago. The one part of the service that really struck me was the reading of the names of all U.S. military personnel who had died in all wars during the past year. A staggering 336 names were printed in the program and read, amidst the background of a snare drum roll, with the ominous boom of a bass drum after each name. With each boom of that drum, a penetrating, sinking feeling came over me as I thought of how the loss of that one life impacted so many loved ones. It was the longest part of the service, and it went on and on, for some 45 or 50 minutes.

Military Industrial Complex Discussion Hits Morning Joe

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Author and Director Eugene Jarecki appears on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, talking about his latest book The American Way of War, his film Why We Fight,  and the reaction of John McCain’s campaign staff to the Senator’s candid interview in that film. We need more mainstream media discussion of the problems that have arisen due to the industrial complex that has formed around our permanent army/navy/airforce.

 

 

 

Ground the drones: Obama’s secret strikes could put the United States on a path to perpetual war

The scriptural adage that there is nothing new under the sun may not actually apply to war, particularly in an age dominated by rapid-fire advancements in technology that make the remote killing of enemies no more morally problematic than pushing a button.

The New York Times offered an analysis on a report released Thursday that clarifies some of the misconceptions about drone use in war — that many are unmanned for example, and are used primarily for surveillance — but also warns of the implications of remote killing:

The Obama administration’s embrace of targeted killings using armed drones risks putting the United States on a “slippery slope” into perpetual war and sets a dangerous precedent for lethal operations that other countries might adopt in the future, according to a report by a bipartisan panel that includes several former senior intelligence and military officials.

The group found that more than a decade into the era of armed drones, the American government has yet to carry out a thorough analysis of whether the costs of routine secret killing operations outweigh the benefits. The report urges the administration to conduct such an analysis and to give a public accounting of both militants and civilians killed in drone strikes.

Today in Liberty: Obama to escalate U.S. intervention against Syria, Labor unions want employers to pick up Obamacare costs

“The role of government is to strengthen our freedom — not deny it.” — Margaret Thatcher

— NSA whistleblower says he was trained as a spy: NBC News is teasing its interview with Edward Snowden with a clip of the NSA whistleblower explaining that he wasn’t simply a low-level hacker and technical analyst. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden told Brian Williams. “So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” Snowden was employed by Booz Allen, a defense and intelligence contractor, when he obtained documents and information about the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs, but he also worked directly for the CIA. The Snowden interview, his first with an American television network, will air tonight on NBC at 10 pm.

Memorial Day: A Personal Story

Lamar Pye

This was written for Memorial Day 2013. Please remember that Memorial Day isn’t about barbecues. It’s about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, including those who, like my father, eventually succumbed to the effects of Agent Orange.

Memorial Day has a surreal meaning any time when our country is involved in conflicts around the globe. While it will be celebrated with cookouts and parades, many families are still grieving for those who have died in service of their country.

My father, Lyman Lamar “Butch” Pye, served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. He fought against the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive, and was wounded three times. While I don’t remember the whole story, I recall that he took shrapnel in his elbow, leg, and under his chin. He made it out of Vietnam, unlike so many, but he had a desire to be a career Marine and was seriously thinking about re-enlisting — until he got word that a close friend was killed in, if I recall, his first few days back in action.

Dad may have left Vietnam, but it didn’t leave him.

I recall that he came to my school in 4th grade to talk about some of his experiences from Vietnam, though nothing graphic. He passed around pictures and medals that he’d received. He didn’t have his Purple Hearts any more, unfortunately, as he’d sold them to keep food on the table.

Dad was distant when telling war stories. It affected him in ways that I can’t even imagine. Everything I know now, I’ve learned from conversations with mom, who recently told me, “I’ve tried to forget much of what your dad told me about Vietnam.”

Ralph Nader rips Obama on civil liberties, abuse of power

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader will soon release a book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, about the realignment in American politics. Specifically, the growing distrust from both the left and the right toward businesses that often collude with the government for bailouts and special favors.

There’s another topic that Nader plans to tackle in the book — President Obama’s alarming abuse of executive power and disregard for civil liberties, which, he writes, surpasses George W. Bush:

In his new book, Ralph Nader calls for the end of “unconstitutional wars and unchecked militarism” — and lays blame on President Barack Obama for going beyond even George W. Bush.

Nader writes in “Unstoppable” that Obama “has extended the Bush doctrine by declaring his unilateral right, as secret prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, to destroy anybody, anywhere in the world, including American citizens, suspected to be engaged in alleged terrorist activities, all this vaguely and loosely defined as anti-U.S. security.”

Korn Takes on Obama, the NSA, and the MSM in New Music Video

Jonathan Davis

Full disclosure: This author is a fan of the metal genre in general and has been a Korn fan since their first self-titled album released in 1994 featuring their hit songs “Blind” and “Shoots and Ladders.”

Its nothing new or surprising that most entertainers, to the extent they weigh in on political issues at all, usually come down in favor of the Left. In the world of rock music (of all varieties including metal, punk, classical, 80’s hair bands, etc.), most acts promote anti-establishment or anarchistic themes.

But even these rebels, with or without a cause, all too often favor the Left or at the very least, save their harshest criticisms for the Right. Its easy to be critical of a politician and political party the MSM already hates (often assuming the public and the MSM have the same values). Being critical of President George W. Bush at the height of the unpopularity of the undeclared wars in  Iraq and Afghanistan, the USA PATRIOT Act, the signing statements, torture, Gitmo, takes very little courage. But being critical of a President Barack Obama, who the MSM loves, even as he continues and expands upon many of the same policies of Bush? To me that takes more courage*.

While these concerns may still be present among these artists, it seems that their criticism of these policies is much more muted since Obama became president. With the raising concerns about how President Obama has abused power, it seems that at least a few bands like Megadeth** and now Korn are telling the music world that it’s okay to attack Obama through their art.

The Long, Phony War on Women

 al.com

If you haven’t heard, there’s a “war on women” going on. It’s being waged by politicians who want control over women. It’s being waged by power-seeking, petty tyrants who believe women are weak and need their help to live their lives.

But if you think it’s being waged by those evil conservative GOP politicians, whose mission is to keep women in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, married before they turn 21, and popping out a quiver full of babies, your myopic vision is a problem.

The Democrats have created an entire industry from victimhood, and they have been successfully using it to win elections.

Their latest battle is the so-called “war on women,” that they have been touting ever since conservatives raised their voices in protest about having to fund Sandra Fluke’s sexual choices.

 


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