Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maher:: please do not reject John McCain just because he's white.

Social Justice is the category here.

Bill Maher puts the shoe on the other foot.

You can find the video here, but the excerpt after the fold is the New Rule I recommend.

And finally, new rule:

a candidate for President should not be judged by the color of his skin.

And to...and to anyone who thinks differently, I say please do not reject John McCain just because he's white.

I think the recent news from Wall Street has made us all less tolerant and only reinforce the  stereotype that white people are shiftless, thieving welfare queens.

Now, take a look at these pictures. Here are the CEOs of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and the Lehman Brothers.

I know the first thing that jumps out about these faces is that they all happen to be white, and they all happen to be responsible for stealing.

But what you have to understand is that these whites are a product of a society that made them that way. It was the neighborhoods and the schools they went to: Harvard, Yale, the Wharton School of Business.

They never learned the value of doing real, actual work and the first step to fixing that is better role models, so kids growing up white today don't think the only way out of Westchester is corporate crime.

Or a government handout or sailing.

So I get it, the temptation is to look at McCain and vote against him because you don't see an individual, you just see another typical welfare whitey.

And it's true, he's spent his entire life  shuffling from one low-paying government job to another.

Well, except those years he spent in prison.


And between you and me, he's not very articulate. Oh, he may have some street smarts, but he's not what you call an educated man. He freely admits he's ignorant about the economy.

And apparently the only thing his white running mate knows how to do is crank out one baby after another.

And now of course, her teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. Because she learns it at home!

But that doesn't mean we should assume all white people are like that, just because so many of them are.

I believe there is hope. I believe even the stoopiest...stupidest, greediest, laziest whites can break the cycle of dependence like this November when we finally move George Bush out of public housing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brigade begins Homeland deployments Oct 1; Army has Ray Gun for riot/crowd control

U.S. Army battalion troops deploy to - well U.S.A.! And U.S. Army has a Ray Gun.  Reading these two items together and one could wonder why U.S. active Army battalion needs to deploy to non-combat zones on America homeland soil, while state level National Guard troops need to deploy to combat zones in Iraq.  And one could wonder about this scenario as well.  U.S. Army being aware of and urgently requesting the non-lethal Ray Gun for use in Iraq and Afghanistan was denied permission.  Weapon shown to be effective in riot and crowd control via practice demonstrations using people acting as 'peace protesters'.

 at Army Times; Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1, 2008.

  at CBS 60 Minutes Will Army's Ray Gun See Action?

  A non-lethan military weapon effective in riot and crowd control, huh?  Where?  Here or 'over there'?  Both actually. And why hasn't it been used 'over there' (Iraq, Afghanistan) and when will it be used here?  Already peaceful protesters are set apart in cages and monitored by police in full riot gear, is it just a matter of when the Ray Gun will be brought to bear on protest demonstrations?  

  Could have been less killing in Iraq and Afghanistan?!  See the August 2007 MSNBC story 'Energy Beam Could Be Used in Iraq' - officials refuse.

  Meanwhile the plan to deploy U.S. Army battalion here at home;

excerpts from the Army Times article

3rd Infantry's 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping `people at home' may become a permanent part of the active Army. After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

 Don't look for any extra time off, though. The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment.

  More than 20,000 Army National Guard Soldiers were notified by the Army to prepare for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these are second deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

  Washington. The "Ravens" of Washington's 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team are based in Seattle, Washington, and includes units from Washington and California. It mobilized in August 2008 and will to Iraq in autumn 2008. 2nd deployment - the brigade last deployed to Iraq from March 2004 through March 2005.

  New Jersey. The "Jersey Blues" - the 50th Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the New Jersey Army National Guard, based at Fort Dix - includes units from across the state. The brigade mobilized in May 2008 and will deploy to Iraq in autumn 2008. This will be the brigade's first deployment.

 Hawaii and Arizona. The 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquartered at Fort Ruger, Hawaii, includes units from across Hawaii and Arizona. The brigade  mobilized in June 2008 and will deploy to Iraq in autumn 2008. 2nd deployment for the "Lava Brigade" which served in Iraq from January through December of 2005.

  Texas .The 56th Brigade Combat Team of the 36th Infantry Division includes units from across Texas. The "Thunderbolt Brigade" mobilized in July 2008 and will deploy to Iraq in autumn 2008. 2nd deployment - the brigade last deployed to Iraq from December 2004 through December 2005.

 Pennsylvania. "The Associators" of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, are headquartered in Philadelphia. They are expected to mobilize in November 2008 and deploy to Iraq in early 2009. The brigade, which includes units from across Pennsylvania, is the only Stryker Brigade Combat Team in the Army National Guard, and one of just seven in the Army. This will be the brigade's first deployment as a unit, although small units from the brigade have previously deployed (2nd deployments) in support of operation Iraqi Freedom.

 North Carolina and West Virginia. The 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the North Carolina Army National Guard, based in Clinton, includes units from North Carolina and West Virginia. "Old Hickory" will mobilize in January 2009 and deploy to Iraq in spring 2009. 2nd deployment - the brigade last deployed to Iraq from February 2004 through February 2005.

  Illinois. The 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered in Decatur, Illinois,  mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in August 2008.  The "Prairie" Brigade is expected to deploy in autumn 2008 to Afghanistan, where it will train the Afghan National Army. In January 2002, one of the brigade's battalions mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and deployed to Germany to provide force protection at U.S. facilities across Europe.

  Oklahoma and Utah Oklahoma's 45th Fires Brigade, based in Enid, is also scheduled to deploy to Iraq.  It includes units from Oklahoma and Utah. "Red Thunder" is expected to mobilize in June 2008 and deploy to Iraq in autumn 2008 where it will augment the 29th IBCT in its assigned mission.  2nd deployments the 45th Fires Brigade deployed two battalions to Iraq in 2003.

  (per info at Texas Army National Guard website)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Guest Article: Lietta Ruger (my wife and best friend) writing on Washblog: Palin situation glamorizes teen (unwed) pregnancy?

Palin situation glamorizes teen (unwed) pregnancy?

So says my daughter, who has a sixteen year old daughter she desires does not get pregnant at this tender age.  My daughter is military spouse -her husband is deployed now in Iraq in his second deployment. A deployment, btw, that Sarah Palin thinks emanates from God's plan.  Not so much what that plan is or even that God by her definitions is the same God of my son-in-law's or daughter's or her children's definitions.  But I digress. 

My daughter calls herself a proud democrat - but most of her military spouse women friends tend towards the authoritarian, follow orders republican bent.  Military itself, being authoritarian, follow orders, patriarchal culture, it follows there would be a more dominance towards the 'supposed' republican tenets. 
Oddly, though, my daughters friends have acknowledged they are weary of Bush Adminstration, disappointed with the Republicans in office and sick of the Iraq war (where their spouses have been deployed once, twice or more).  Despite what they have told her, my daughter finds it astounding that after the history of this last six years with Republican Administration failures, her military spouse friends have suddenly converged into joining into a 'lockstep' mentality in support of Palin simply because she is the republican VP pick.
In her discussions with her friends, she has said she really doesn't like how the republican handling of the unfolding Sarah Palin situation is seeming to 'glamorize' teen pregnancy.  I'd say that word fits even more so, in light of Palin's support of abstinence taught in schools in lieu of birth control; Palin position against abortion even in cases of rape and incest!  Incest for God's sake - how can anyone force a young woman to carry a child to term given the conditions of that kind of conception.  Hideously cruel!  Both pychologically and physiologically dangerous. 
In her acceptance speech, Sarah Palin made reference to Hillary Clinton's 18 million cracks in the ceiling - the inference being Sarah Palin could springboard off Hillary Clinton's imprint.  NOT!! They are entirely different kinds of women. 
In as much as population cultures have similarities, they still remain individually unique even among their own populations.  Women are not universal in their qualities any more than men are universal in their qualities.
Women may have a sisterhood, born of intuitive understanding of womanhood.  Women also are still working to overcome too many generations of oppression, molding their personalities to fit into a male-dominated patriarchal order.  There is still work to do for women in learning how to fully and successfully embrace our own sisterhood without those 'sisterhood' rivalries that often can erupt.
Sarah Palin may have desireable qualities that work for her in  a religious Evangelist culture (a patriarchally ordered culture) that brand her a woman  as defined by Evangelical definitions.  That does not imbue in her universal qualities acceptable to other women who are working hard not to follow a patriarchally ordered culture of women.  Women are still trying to find the female to male balance and tipping the scales backwards is not progress for women anywhere.
I love my daughter's choice of description choosing the word 'glamorizing' of teen pregnancy.  It is at this point known that Palin's daughter has an unwed teen pregnancy, not known if it is an unwanted teen pregnancy, but surely it points to why abstinence education only doesn't work any better or worse than birth control education.  Rather than glamorize the fact of Sarah Palin's teen daughter's pregnancy by downplaying all the realities that attach to the facts of teen pregnancies, perhaps a  more authentic discussion - debate about the realities of teen pregnancies, conception, and women's choice or lack thereof regarding pregnancy outcomes.
A woman is confined to limited choices once she is pregnant; aborting the pregnancy, keeping the pregnancy and delivering the child; keeping and raising the child herself or offering the child up to a family who can care for it.  No matter the decision, the child (whether embryo or infant) and mother will be directly impacted for the rest of their lives.  For that matter, so will the man who fathered the child. 
One could say the Sarah Palin situation opens a dialogue that is not unique to her family but one every family raising children, boys and girls, must face.  I agree with the 'hands off' Sarah's daughter, but that doesn't mean at all hands off the discussion.  It has been ongoing through all generations and continues to be an ongoing and necessary discussion. 
Thank you to Carla Axtman for her thoughts in her blog, and thank you to Arthur for opening the discussion at Washblog.   
On the Surge in Iraq "--we have set the bar so low it's buried in the sand at this point." - Barack Obama
by Lietta Ruger on Sat Sep 06, 2008

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