Saturday, December 30, 2006

Death

The disgusting display of jubilation in response to the barbaric execution of Saddam is just that: disgusting. I am not in the mood to go into it, so I will take Fred's lead and reroute you to the Yellow Dog Democrat.

Human Rights Watch:

The momentary elation over Saddam's demise among those who suffered under his regime will not outweigh or outlast the loss of a unique opportunity to establish a clear record of his regime's criminality. The flawed trial and a fast-track execution send a clear signal that political interference is still very much a feature of the judicial process in the new Iraq.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Other 'Surge'

Everyone is talking about Bush's plan to surge ground troops in Iraq, but what has escaped the media radar for the most part is the Naval surge that is also being considered.

From a recent Navy Times article, here is a rundown of all the ships that could be 'surged'.

The aircraft carrier John C. Stennis and its strike group are preparing to leave for the Persian Gulf as soon as the first week of January if ordered to do so, Pentagon sources say.

If the group deploys early, it could be in the gulf within several weeks, allowing it to overlap there for as many as two months with the Norfolk, Va.-based Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG, which deployed Oct. 3 on a seven-month cruise. It entered the gulf Dec. 11, according to the 5th Fleet.

In addition to Stennis, other available carriers include the Japan-based Kitty Hawk, which operates on a more flexible schedule than U.S.-based carriers and just returned to its home port of Yokosuka on Dec. 10 with Carrier Air Wing 5 after a two-month Western Pacific cruise, and the Norfolk-based Enterprise, which along with Carrier Air Wing 1 remains in a “surge” duty status after its Nov. 18 return from a six-month deployment that included duty in the gulf.

Also, the San Diego-based Ronald Reagan and its strike group, which in July returned from a deployment that included gulf duty, recently completed sustainment training and are ready for a short-notice deployment if called upon, officials say.

The Navy could also launch the San Diego-based Nimitz, which in November completed the first phase of the normal three-phase pre-deployment training cycle. Nimitz has yet to regain its flight deck certification, but Navy officials say that could be accomplished en route to the Middle East.

The Royal Navy also announced that same month that it would station two of its top-of-the-line mine-hunting ships in the gulf in January for a two-year posting (the crews will rotate every six months).


The emphasis is mine to point out the number of ships that could possibly be sent to the Middle East at short notice. Why would we need 6 ships in the Gulf? A show of force or a preemptive act of aggression? Why is this not bigger news? I have a source that is getting ready for an early tour departure. He said, "keep watching the news." That's the entirety of the cryptic message I was given. So, I am not sure what to make of it. What are your thoughts on this?

InDeciderin'




I thought Bush was 'The Decider'. What's with all this indecision?
*Blogenfreude over at Agitprop obviously had this same thought.

Cat Blogging with Spotty

Here he is posing

I believe he is 21 in cat years


I nearly forgot my baby's birthday. Spotty turned 3 in November. He is my youngest baby, his mommy will be turning 5 in the spring. He currently weighs 16 lbs. He's my big boy. He is super sweet. I hope I have many, many more years with him.

*Don't worry, I don't let my cat drink beer. He just likes the smell.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Spiraling into Insanity


The world and our country keep moving right, right, right, right. Right into oblivion. It seems pointless to keep trying to stop the insanity. I feel like I am almost ready to resign to spectator and watch the crazies destroy themselves. Goodbye Republic, hello Empire. We weren't using that Constitution anyway. Who needs human compassion and rational thinking when we have jeebus and corporate profit anyway?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

SAD

I think I am suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or maybe just the Holiday blues. Who knows. Everything just seems to suck recently. I don't know if it is because I am alone for the holidays, or because a new year is about to start, or if the fact that I just turned 25 is just setting in. It's not that I am old. It is just that I haven't done what I wanted to do with my life. Every year is a reminder that I still haven't finished college, I don't have a career like I wanted, I don't have children, etc.

I feel like my life has come to a complete standstill since my husband joined the military. At first, I was fine with the idea of sacrificing any semblance of a real life while he was in. But, originally, I figured it would be a four year sacrifice. Then, because of his job, it turned into a 6 year commitment. But, bing bang boom, fast forward a few years, and it turned into nearly a 10 year commitment. So, by the time I will be free from this, I will be 32. I don't want to put off my life until my thirties. I just want a life and a house (that I don't have to move away from after a few years) and things that other people take for granted.

On top of it being the holidays, I am getting ready to move...again. We will be hopefully be moving in a new place (across town) at the end of January. I have been at this place for a year and a half. We will be at the new place for a year and a half. (All in all, this will be the longest time I have lived in one city probably since I first left home for college.) Then, we will up and move again. Of course, the next time will be in a new state, possibly on the other side of the country where we will be for a few years and then up and move again.

I really hope that I get out of this funk for all of your sakes. I know that most people couldn't care less about any of this.
But, I am SAD.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas from John Lennon

End the war now!!

Happy Holidays or whatever

That time already?

Tomorrow I will awake to the horrible silence once again. If I am lucky, there will be pattering of feet from the kitties to break the eary quiet of an empty house. I may get a few phone calls from family spanning at least three states. Between the static and the dropped calls, there may be some Merry Christmas's or Happy Holiday's thrown in. (I do not have a landline b/c my hubby refuses to pay for it) Of course all of these calls will end short because, over the laughter and chaos in the background, the person on the other end will explain that they have to go and rejoin the festivities.

But, whatever, I will try to sleep in most of the day so I don't have to think about it.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Good Riddance

The neo-conservative dream faded in 2006.

The ambitions proclaimed when the neo-cons' mission statement "The Project for the New American Century" was declared in 1997 have turned into disappointment and recriminations as the crisis in Iraq has grown.

"The Project for the New American Century" has been reduced to a voice-mail box and a ghostly website. A single employee has been left to wrap
things up.

[...]

Among the signatories were many of the senior officials who would later determine policy under President George W Bush - Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams and Lewis Libby - as well as thinkers including Francis Fukuyama, Norman Podheretz and Frank Gaffney. The neo-conservatives were called that because they sought to re-establish what they felt were true conservative values in the Republican Party and the United States.

[...]

They saw the war in Iraq as their big chance of showing how the "New American Century" might work.

I will not miss you PNAC. I remember the good ole days when talking about PNAC was seen as spouting conspiracies. It was amazing that a website with documents that laid out the plan for attacking Iraq, signed by some of the same people running our country, open for anyone to see could have been seen as such a controversial topic of discussion once upon a time. Well, now they seem to be disbursing and heading underground. I am sure that the neocons are not gone. They will surely pop up in the future with a new website and new plans under a different name. They will keep it low until the Iraq fiasco dies down. They will rely on the short American attention span and memory. Ah, yes, they will be back. And hopefully we will remember and not let them repeat this mess.

Gore Vidal speaks

Interview in Cuba (excerpt)

RM: What would be necessary to re-establish the Republic?

GV: Listen to the great words of our greatest president, Mr. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at his first inauguration. The country was collapsing, economically the banks were coming down, money was short, and he struck a great political note which other presidents have generally imitated until we get down to this junta he said [imitating Roosevelt] "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." That is the basis of the Republic. Don't be taken in by fear. There are people who make money out of fear. That's their job, just to frighten.

I'm not for real revolutions, because they always bring you the opposite of what you want. The French Revolution brought the world Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XVI after all, was not as bad as that. So you very seldom get what you want if you have a violent revolution. I think we're going to have one due to economic collapse.

There was a headline in one of the big American papers the other day that the army was begging the administration for money. They don't have the money to make fools of themselves in Baghdad. They've got to raise it somewhere; we have no tax revenues because all the rich people have been exempted from tax as well as corporations. It used to be that 50% of the revenues of the Federal government came from the taxes on corporate profits. Its about 8% now, they've just eliminated it. Corporations don't pay tax and rich people don't either. So they've not only helped all their rich friends who now have enough money to finance the Republican Party with billions of dollars so they can tell lies about anybody in the country and pretend that the patriots of the country are traitors. It's a very good trick both economically for them and it's a bad trick on us real Americans, we don't like it. We've lost the Bill of Rights; we lost the Magna Carta, on which all of our liberties are based for 700 years. No, it's not been an amusing time.

I love reading the intelligent words of men like Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky. They are truly wise men. I think it is indicative of our culture that we marginalize and ignore the opinions of people who have such an immense historical perspective. They have so much to teach, we just have to be willing to learn.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The awkward goodbye

I just saw my husband off. He's on his way to the airport and won't be back until next Friday. My lonely holiday week begins. This christmas, I will be here with my cats. No presents, no family, no tree, nothing. Not one family member within hundreds of miles. I will probably write here more often to pass the time.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Don't Forget


Everyone remember to participate in the Global Orgasm for Peace today.



If you cannot come for the cause, maybe you can just meditate for the cause. The point is positive energy.
Have fun! Enjoy the solstice.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tag, I'm it!

Fred has graced me with blogosphere chain mail.

Well, here are the rules...

1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book and the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
5. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
6. Tag three more folks.


My contribution to the clogging of the tubes...


From An Introduction to Radio Astronomy by Burke and Graham-Smith:

The plasmas of the ionosphere, of interplanetary space and of the interstellar medium, all contain random irregularities. Propagation through a medium with random fluctuations in refractive index initially corrugates the wavefront, and then leads to amplitude fluctuations which are familiar in the optical domain as the twinkling of stars. In the radio domain the most important example is due to the propagation through interstellar space of radio pulses from stars.


Next contestants: Fade, Dale, and Bacchus.


Enjoy, gentlemen.

On Being Free

Let us live gladly! Quite certainly we are free to do it. Perhaps it
is our only freedom, but ours it is, and it is only phenomenally a
freedom. 'Living free' is being 'as one is'. Can we not do it now? Indeed can we not-do-it? It is not even a 'doing': it is beyond doing and not-doing. It is being as-we-are. This is the only 'practice'.
- Wei Wu Wei
'All Else is Bondage; Non-Volitional Living'


What is freedom? Can anyone define it for me? Is there a definition that holds true for everyone, or could two people from different cultures or regions have a genuine disagreement over what it means to be free? We fight for it. We kill to protect it. And yet, when asked, I think it highly likely that most could not clearly classify what quantity or object or concept they intend to kill for.

If our most basic, or indeed our only, freedom is to live gladly, why then would we need to fight for that? If being free is the same as being as-we-are, why fight? Is there a war or a bomb or a gun that will allow me to live as I am now, but more effectively? If being free is not something that can be 'done', but is simply 'being', how then can we do it better or more completely? For that matter, how can we do it any less? Is there anyone outside of the self that can force less 'being' on me? HA! Even Jefferson recognized the inalienable right of the pursuit of happiness, inseparable from the other fundamentals of existing. Who can take such a thing from you, and how would they do it?

So why can't we just live free now? I say to you that by living, and living gladly, we are already free. To strive for something, to fight for something, or to kill for something, I would hope that the thing for which you strive is attainable. Moreover, I hope that a thing for which you kill is, in fact, a thing that can be had. Otherwise, you throw life away in vain. What is worth fighting over? Does revenge increase your happiness? Does carnage? When you kill, is your mind not consumed with hatred? How much death before you will be satisfied? How much death will it take to make you happy? How much death to make you more free?

End war. Live happy. Live free. Be.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another round of immigrant raids

I don't know if many people have been paying attention, but the frequency and size of the immigrant round-ups has been increasing over the past several months. Firedoglake has a disheartening story about the children of the illegal immigrants. Many have just been left to fend for themselves. When I think about these government assholes leaving children stranded and alone, it makes me want to puke.

What ever happens to these people? What happens to their families? Are there cases where the families have been permantly seperated? Are there children who have been permantly seperated from their parents and put in the foster care system because their parents committed the grave crime of crossing an imaginary border? It all sickens me. What sickens me more is that I am in a very small minority that thinks that the hysteria over illegal immigrants is rediculous. I rarely see much difference in views on this issue between the left and the right. All I see is American-centric xenophobia all around.

I really didn't have an opinion at all on this subject until last year when I went home for Christmas. I was discussing this with my dad and he said very pointedly, "We should just make them all citizens." That was the first time I had heard that opinion. I respect my dad's opinions very much and after thinking about it for a while, I agreed. If they are citizens, they will pay taxes and have rights. The big corporations will lose their slave labor. Then instead of spending all this money on trying to track millions of people down, we can focus solely on the corporations and businesses that bring illegal immigrants here and put them to work at very low wages. How about we actually punish the businesses that import and hire illegal immigrants for low wages? Why is it that we punish the immigrants but never punish the companies that facilitate the problem? The fact that we would have about 12 million more tax payers would boost tax revenue. Win-win as far as I can see.

A common reason that people use when explaining why they are against illegal immigrants is that illegal immigrants are leeches on our system. They don't pay taxes, etc. But, if they are made full citrizens and start paying taxes and were contributing to society, wouldn't that actually fix a large part of the problem? Of course not, because the real problem people have is that they are not white. Most people won't say it, but that is a major reason that illegal immigrants are hated so much.

Of course, this is not a fix to the long term problem, but neither is deporting millions of people, building a fence, or having a guest worker program that makes it legal for compainies to exploit poor people. The long term solution is to fix the economic problems that are endemic in Mexico and South America. Problems that our big corporations have caused in a lot of cases. We have had big corporations running huge plantations ran by cheap labor in South America for a century and we continue to look the other way as more corporations take advantage of the poor in these countries. For example, CAFTA doesn't require American corporations in Central America to follow basic worker's rights and safety laws. American corporations in Central America aren't required to pay their workers fair wages or ensure safe working environments. Could this be contributing to the stream of people coming to America? I think so. The root of the problem is in South and Central America and with the companies who profit off of a permanent lower class. No wall or mass deportation is going to fix that problem.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. --Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New UN Leader

I flipped to CSPAN today and there was a Q&A with the new UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. I wanted to know what to expect from the new leadership, so I decided to watch it. I have to say that I am a little wary of this guy. Ban Ki-Moon was asked by a CNN reporter from New York what his thoughts were on the Kofi Annan parting comments rebuking the US for it's human rights violations. Ban responded that he doesn't necessarily agree with Annan and he thinks the US has done a lot to spread peace in the world. I just want to know what world Ban has been living in. To say that in the past few years that the US has spread peace is dilusional at best. The world is less peaceful on a whole than it has been in decades. Where do they find these people? I am guessing he was handpicked by the US. If the new UN Secretary General is beholden to the US, will there be any opposition voice the next time we decide to preempively wage war on a country? (think Iran)

And, about all the peace we have been spreading...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The ISG: the abridged version

The ISG has been pored over by many blogs and media sources. Some have applauded it as a document that is rightly harsh on the president and gives hope to a "solution" in Iraq. Others have attacked it as just another version of cut and run (they are delusional). There are some "centrists" on both sides who see the document as a great comprehensive plan. However, there is another group of people that sees that although the ISG gets the assessment of the situation in Iraq correct, the actual plan is "stay the course" with diplomacy added. I am going to discuss this last viewpoint.

First, how far off from the original course does this new plan stray. They state that they are against "stay the course", adding more troops, and immediate withdrawal. But, what they promote is really a "stay the course" with a possible partial withdrawal sometime in the future, hopefully by 2008. But, they are against datelines and timetables which means that the plan does not say that we will be out by 2008. So, the plan is still basically what we have already. The difference is that they suggest the president practice diplomacy. Something we should have been doing the entire time.

"It's a great plan, but don't blame us if it doesn't work."
Another thing interesting about the ISG is that the contributers give themselves so many outs. Every section starts out with the disclaimer that the plan may not work. So, when the plan fails, they can tell us that they warned us that failure was a possibility. Here are some examples:


"There is no magic formula to solve the problems of Iraq."..."No one can guarantee that any course of action in Iraq at this point will stop sectarian warfare, growing violence, or a slide toward chaos." (p.9 Letter from the Co-Chairs)

"There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved." (p.12 Executive Summary)

"There is no guarantee for success in Iraq." (p.19 Assessment)


The Aim of the Report
The contributers of the ISG made some very odd statements in the report. Most people have been led to believe that the ISG is the Bush antithesis and that the report was written with the aim to fix the mess Bush made and lead us to a workable solution in Iraq (preferably one that would be good for both the Iraqis and the Americans). But, when one reads the whole ISG report, it becomes clear that the real purpose is to begin to clean up the mess of Bush's and America's reputation and image (with or without actually helping the Iraqi people or the American troops).

The emphasis in the report seems to be to gain a concensus among the American people and get them back on board to support the Iraq war. The other emphasis is to protect "America's interests", I guess they are talking about oil here since a large portion of the ISG focuses on the oil sector. After all, it was commissioned by Bush 1 and friends. Here are some examples from the ISG that back this up:


"The global standing of the United States could suffer if Iraq descends further into chaos. Iraq is a major test of, and strain on, U.S. military, diplomatic, and financial capacities. Perceived failure there could diminish America’s credibility and influence in a region that is the center of the Islamic world and vital to the world’s energy supply." (pp.52-53)

"And [the Iraq War's] success depends on the unity of the American people in a time of political polarization. Americans can and must enjoy the right of robust debate within a democracy. Yet U.S. foreign policy is doomed to failure—as is any course of action in Iraq—if it is not supported by a broad, sustained consensus. The aim of our report is to move our country toward such a consensus." (p.10)

"If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe...The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized." (p.14)

"If [the recommendations] are effectively implemented...America’s credibility, interests, and values will be protected." (p.13)

Old Rhetoric Rehashed
The ISG is unfortunately filled with old talking points rephrased and renewed. I guess they thought they could reword the rhetoric, put it in a pretty package with a nice bow, and slip it right past the American people. I have collected a few of these talking points from the report and put them side by side with their old counter-parts. See if you can see the difference:


"While this process is under way, and to facilitate it, theUnited States should significantly increase the number of U.S. military personnel, including combat troops, imbedded in and supporting Iraqi Army units. As these actions proceed, we could begin to move combat forces out of Iraq." (p.88)
As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.

"And [the Iraq War's] success depends on the unity of the American people in a time of political polarization. Americans can and must enjoy the right of robust debate within a democracy. Yet U.S. foreign policy is doomed to failure—as is any course of action in Iraq—if it is not supported by a broad, sustained consensus. The aim of our report is to move our country toward such a consensus." (p.10)
The opposition to the war will cause us to lose. Free speech is good but using that free speech in a time of war is dangerous and could cause us to lose.

"The United States has made a massive commitment to the future of Iraq in both blood and treasure." (p.50 Conclusions)
If we leave now, the troops that have died would have died in vain.

"The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is a key topic of interest in a national reconciliation dialogue. The point is not for theUnited States to set timetables or deadlines for withdrawal, an approach that we oppose. The point is for the United States and Iraq to make clear their shared interest in the orderly departure of U.S. forces as Iraqi forces take on the security mission." (pp. 84-85)
No cut and run. As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.


There is more, but you get the point. Finally, another disturbing point made in the ISG report is who the ISG puts the ultimate blame on and who they say is ultimately the only one to fix the mess the American government started. They say that the reason that Iraq is a mess is because the Iraqis haven't decided to take responsibility for their own future and that until they do, Iraq will not be fixed. That is a lovely fairytale but they have to be delusional to believe that if only the Iraqis wished harder for peace and democracy that would make it so. So, in the words of the ISG, who is to blame and who has the ultimate responsibility to fix it:


"Iraqis have not been convinced that they must take responsibility for their own future." (p.50)

"The United States must adjust its role in Iraq to encourage the Iraqi people to take control of their own destiny." (p.16)

"And [the Iraq War's] success depends on the unity of the American people in a time of political polarization. Americans can and must enjoy the right of robust debate within a democracy. Yet U.S. foreign policy is doomed to failure—as is any course of action in Iraq—if it is not supported by a broad, sustained consensus. The aim of our report is to move our country toward such a consensus." (p.10)


So, the American government and the Iraqi government are off the hook. In the ISG, it comes down to the fact that the civilians on both sides are to blame because neither country's citizens have wanted success enough. Uh huh. Sure. The guys with the power and the guns haven't been able to do anything because we, the powerless citizens, aren't hoping hard enough. Now, that is a plan.

But to finish this thing up, I will leave you with a few quotes that I found the most disturbing. Enjoy:


"The Army is now considering breaking its compact with the National Guard and Reserves that limits the number of years that these citizen-soldiers can be deployed." (p.92)

"While it is clear that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is moderating the violence..." (p.92)

"First, and most importantly, the United States faces other security dangers in the world, and a continuing Iraqi commitment of American ground forces at present levels will leave no reserve available to meet other contingencies... TheUnited States should...be prepared for other security contingencies, including those in Iran and North Korea." (pp.91-92)

"Even after the United States has moved all combat brigades out of Iraq, we would maintain a considerable military presence in the region,with our still significant force in Iraq and with our powerful air,ground, and naval deployments in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar,as well as an increased presence in Afghanistan." (p.90)

"The global standing of the United States could suffer if Iraq descends further into chaos. Iraq is a major test of, and strain on, U.S. military, diplomatic, and financial capacities. Perceived failure there could diminish America’s credibility and influence in a region that is the center of the Islamic world and vital to the world’s energy supply." (pp.52-53)


And my favorite, which begs the question of why the hell are we staying in Iraq:


"There is no action the American military can take that, by itself, can bring about success in Iraq." (p.88)

CVS is a terrorist supply chain

I want everyone who owns or sells hydrogen peroxide rounded up and thrown in prison. Owning hydrogen peroxide now warrants a charge of "carrying explosives," according to the BBC. That's why I haven't felt safe these last few years! I've had explosives in my bathroom this whole time. Now that I've thrown it out, maybe that nervous tic will finally go away. I don't know what I'm going to do if I get a cut, but I sure feel safer. Do you think Neosporin is safe? Or iodine? I'd better get rid of those too. I'll just call Homeland Security and tell them I'm not a terrorist anymore, now that I've thrown out all of my medicine cabinet explosive devices. I'm sure they'll be glad to know that they can mark me off the list. One more catastrophe averted.

Go back to sleep, sheeple.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Chemical Brothers

The Test

Welcome to our Theocracy

From NPR: Religious Group's Ties to Pentagon Questioned

A military watchdog group is asking the Pentagon whether senior uniformed officers had permission to appear in a video endorsing an evangelical Christian group. The Christian Embassy is an evangelical missionary group focused on government workers in Washington, DC. The group's recent promotional video features endorsements from several prominent military officers.

The Video can be found here.

The Christian Embassy says on their website that, "We believe that by caring for people in positions of influence we help make a positive, eternal difference in the lives of those they serve." Notice that they do not mention the poor, the sick, or the least among us. They are there to empower the leaders of the country and the world to spread the word of god. The group also claims to be a non-denominational group serving the perpose of general spirituality. But all one has to do is watch the video to see that all the members use the phrase, "my savior Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sins." That phrase is repeated over and over again in the 10 minute video. It is repeated by high ranking officers in the US military while in FULL UNIFORM.

More from the NPR story:

In response, another group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is preparing a possible class-action lawsuit against the Pentagon for what lawyer Michael Weinstein calls "the creation of a theocracy, of a particular fundamentalist perspective within our own military branches."

The foundation says a core of evangelicals are gaining influence at the Pentagon, and violating military policies. It cites Wednesday-morning prayer sessions in the Pentagon's executive dining room, which features speakers from the Christian Embassy.

The Pentagon released a statement Monday insisting it does not endorse any religious viewpoint or organization. But the Defense Department also promised to review the promotional video. In it, Brig. Gen. Vince Brooks and seven other uniformed officers endorse the Christian Embassy.


At first glance, the story may not seem like that big of a deal. Until you watch the video that is. The video has elements that are downright scary. I found myself thinking that we aren't in danger of being a theocracy, we are a theocracy. There is an Army Chaplain towards the end of the video who preaches that we need more good Christian people to fight the 'war on terror'. I find the dirty marriage of government and religion that's being flaunted in this video downright disturbing. It is not that these people are Christians, but that they are infusing their religion with government and military affairs. There is no law against going to Church and believing the way you want, but there is a law against being in uniform and endorsing a certain religion's or group's worldview.

Everyone needs to watch the video, especially if you are wary of the increasing influence of the evangelical right on our government and military. Also, Tom Delay makes an appearance about 8 minutes in.

Update: Washington Post and C&L have more.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Birthday and Christmas

Tomorrow I turn 25. I always have a bittersweet birthday because it is always overshadowed by the grand spectacle of a marketing holiday called Christmas. Not so much this year though. No, this year I spend Christmas alone. My husband is flying out to see relatives that he has not seen in years and we cannot afford to both go. So, in a way, my birthday should be the larger event. However, my husband is in the middle of finals and will not really have the time to do much more than say happy birthday. But, those special days are only so in name. This year I will be celebrating the week between my birthday and Christmas. I will be celebrating one of those few times that he and I can be together without any hullabaloo. A relaxing week of just the two of us enjoying one anothers company. That is better than any holiday.

Note: This is intended to be more of a political commentary blog and I do not plan on posting many personal stories like this one with any frequency.