Friday, June 30, 2006
Julia in a political debate:
I do not think everyone in America is ignorant! Far from it!! But we are today, probably, the most uneducated, under read, and illiterate nation in the western hemisphere. Which makes it all the more puzzling to me why the biggest question on your small mind is whether or not little Johnny is gonna recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning! I'll tell you something else, Mr. Brickett. I have had it up to here with you and your phony issues and your Yanky Doodle yakking! If you like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance everyday then I think you should do it! In the car! In the shower! Wherever the mood strikes you! But don't try to tell me when or where I have to say or do or salute anything, because I am an American too, and that is what being an American is all about! And another thing.........I am sick and tired of being made to feel that if I am not a member of a little family with 2.4 children who goes just to Jerry Fallwell's church and puts their hands over their hearts every morning that I am unreligious, unpatriotic, and un-American!! Because I've got news for you, Mr. Brickett...........all liberals are not kooks, anymore than all conservatives are fascists!! and the last time I checked, God was neither a Democratic nor a Republican! And just for your information, yes I am a liberal, but I am also a Christian. And I get down on my knees and pray everyday ---- on my own turf --- on my own time. One of the things that I pray for, Mr. Brickett, is that people with power will get good sense, and that people with good sense will get power.........and that the rest of us will be blessed with the patience and the strength to survive the people like you in the meantime!!
Julia on men:
In general it has been the men who have done the raping and the robbing and the killing and the war-mongering for the last two thousand years.... and it's been the men who have done the pillaging and the beheading and the subjecating of whole races into slavery. It has been the men who have done the law making and the money making and the most of the mischief making! So if the world isn't quite what you had in mind you have only yourselves to thank!!
Julia on her sister Suzanne:
I'm Julia Sugarbaker, Suzanne Sugarbaker's sister. I couldn't help over hearing part of your conversation. I gather from your comments there are a couple of other things you don't know, Marjorie. For example, you probably didn't know that Suzanne was the only contestant in Georgia pageant history to sweep every category except congeniality, and that is not something the women in my family aspire to anyway. Or that when she walked down the runway in her swimsuit, five contestants quit on the spot. Or that when she emerged from the isolation booth to answer the question, "What would you do to prevent war?" she spoke so eloquently of patriotism, battlefields and diamond tiaras, grown men wept. And you probably didn't know, Marjorie, that Suzanne was not just any Miss Georgia, she was the Miss Georgia. She didn't twirl just a baton, that baton was on fire. And when she threw that baton into the air, it flew higher, further, faster than any baton has ever flown before, hitting a transformer and showering the darkened arena with sparks! And when it finally did come down, Marjorie, my sister caught that baton, and 12,000 people jumped to their feet for sixteen and one-half minutes of uninterrupted thunderous ovation, as flames illuminated her tear-stained face! And that, Marjorie --- just so you will know --- and your children will someday know --- is the night the lights went out in Georgia!
And THAT my friends is how you tell someone to fuck off without actually saying it. And now I do feel a whole lot better :)
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I should have known from the horror stories I'd heard, that nothing would go right. While still at the old house, I called DN to get the setup scheduled at the new place. I was on the phone for an hour with the first guy because he couldnt' seem to get their computers to run right to accept my order. He kept asking me for my info over and over again and didn't like it when I asked him "where are you located?" as he replied "I'm not allowed to disclose that". Yeah like I'm going to come over there and do you bodily harm? I knew that he was in a foreign country, I could tell not only by his accent (everyone I'd talked to there had a foreign accent), but our connection wasn't great either. All in all it took me THREE Phone calls to dish network supervisors to try and get our initial service setup. All that was in one day, I spent a total of nearly three hours on the phone. Finally, I got so disgusted and infuriated I hung up. Then I spent the next few precious hours trying to track down Dish Network's corporate information. Trying to find a number to their HQ was challenging. I checked out public records and found CEO Charlie Ergen's information but couldn't locate a phone number.
Finally I was checking out Forbes magazine online and found the profile for Dish Network with Charlie Ergen's info and a corporate number. I called the number and eventually got someone named John (whose ID number I kept) to help me. Thanks to him we got our service setup and received a one-month credit on service and three months of FREE HBO.
I wish that were the end of it. Remember, we just signed up for this effective April 1, 2006.
First let me say that we started with the Top 60 package for $34.99 and then moved to the Top 120 for $44.99 per month plus taxes.
Our first bill was screwed up. We didn't have the credits applied and so the bill was near $80.00. I had to call and explain to someone that we were owed a credit of one month plus the 14.99 for HBO. Finally they adjusted the total and it came to $32.54 and that's what we paid.
The second bill came in and was still screwed up. They were billing us for the past due amount from the previous month, which was actually the exact amount of credit we were supposed to be receiving PLUS they still hadn't adjusted our HBO credit for the current bill. I called in the evening and spoke to someone and together we laid out the bill and they gave me my new total which was something like $40.55. And the next evening, I paid that bill.
Yesterday, the third bill arrived and this one was $117.06 they were still charging us for HBO (which the last person said be sure to cancel before 7/7 and you won't be charged another month) and they were showing we owed a past due amount from the previous bill (#2). My husband was so angry he called them and when the girl on the phone (again, in a foreign nation) refused to do anything about it, he told her we were cancelling.
The first thing she said to him was that they would have to charge a cancellation fee because we had a contract. That's when he lost it. We never signed a contract. I was specific with DN from the very beginning, even reiterated it through the guy who installed the service, we would not sign a contract. Remember now they charged our credit card $49.99 at the very beginning and so we did not have to have a contract. DH finally hung up on them he was so angry. The phone rang again and I picked up and it was Vanessa at DN again. And now she tried to pull this crap on me too. She told me "you have a contract" and I started on her. I told her I don't know what crap they were trying to pull (and I was being as nice as I could) but we signed NO contract. I said "and I have proof, I have paperwork and I have the $49.99 charge on our credit card for the activation fee that was charged at that time for those who opted out of a contract".
You know what she says? Instead of "one moment let me check that out for you" she just blurts out that everyone gets charged an activation fee. And then she continued to go on and on about how much we owed. She did finally admit we didn't have a contract but I found it very unprofessional of her that she blurted out they would charge us a cancellation fee rather than looking at our record to see we had no contract.
I was so disgusted with her I said "get me to the person who can cancel us" and I spoke to Sabrina who was so nice and in ten minutes she had not only reviewed our bill and admitted their errors, she credited the bill, added another free month of HBO and now our bill is $57.10, that includes the $44.99 in service, $3.99 for one pay per view movie, and taxes. I asked her "can you assure me that when we get our next bill all the credits will be issued" and she said that the only thing I'd have to call about was HBO and have them credit that. Our HBO is free till August 6th, I am going to cancel it long before that. She told me how to get a hold of her if we have any problems and I plan to do just that.
And by the way, Sabrina did agree that our record shows we did not sign a contract.
In the meantime, I have Charlie Ergen's HQ address and phone number and I am going to write a letter to them expressing my disappointment at the customer no-service. And then DH and I are sitting down this weekend to decide the fate of Dish Network. Honestly we don't watch it enough to justify the cost, it's a shame we can't pick and pay for the half dozen channels we actually watch, and the customer service sucks.
I am upset about a couple of things--the outsourcing of customer service (and our private information) to foreign countries, the lack of customer service (promises never kept, credits never issued, and reps who lie about contracts that were never signed.)
I don't know if Charlie Ergen, CEO of EchoStar (which owns DN) cares about these kinds of problems but I think that if you're going to SELL a product, you have a responsibility to SERVICE that product. Right now that is not happening and even though some may think it futile for me to write him, I am going to do it. I'm tired of it. I am sick and tired of the SHITTY CUSTOMER SERVICE.
For the record here's Dish Network/EchoStar's information. If you have been through a similar nightmare with DN, I highly recommend you let somebody know about it. I have an alternate number 720-514-7267 that I was given when I called and complained to John at HQ, but many times it's busy. You can however reach the HQ offices at the below address and phone number:
Charles W Ergen, Chairman & CEO
9601 South Meridian Boulevard
Englewood, CO 80112
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Hell, Rush could have said it was a friend's and he was taking it to him, is there a law against that? I used to pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy for my parents all the time, would I have been in trouble for being caught in possession of them? Since when is Viagra in the same category as narcotics?
Anyway looks like Rush did the honorable thing and told the truth. He had a reason to worry about his privacy. You know what would happen if someone found out he was taking Viagra.
What I'm wondering is who tipped off Customs that Rush had a bottle of Viagra? Frankly I think someone who doesn't like him did it to send the media into another anti-Rush feeding frenzy.
Must be nothing else going on in the world eh?
Monday, June 26, 2006
The flag is merely a symbol, burning that symbol does not burn what it stands for--freedom. Freedom does not die if the flag is burned, in fact, it prospers. I wouldn't burn a flag myself because I don't have the disdain for America that would make me hate a symbol of freedom so much that I would want to destroy it. But if another American feels he or she has no other recourse to protest but to burn the flag, let them have at it.
I figure my right to speak out against my government exists as long as those other folks have their right to burn the flag. But if our government begins putting restrictions on harmless flag burning, what's to say they can't put restrictions on harmless political blogging?
I say leave the Constitution alone. This proposed amendment to ban flag burning would be the first amendment to the Constitution (other than Prohibition which was as we all know, repealed), which would seek to put a limit on the rights of Americans. Any Constitutional Amendment which would restrict the rights of the people must be struck down at all costs.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
You go girl, that post rocks. You just joined the ranks of the fair tax movement! Doesn't it feel great?
For those of you who aren't aware of the Fair Tax plan and think it's not worth it or think it's a joke, ask yourself if it's really and truly "fair" to tax hardworking Americans for their success or is it "fair" to tax people for consumption, whereby everyone in this country pays their fair share?
And by the way, when I mention the word success, I am not just referring to billionaires and millionaires. Success is defined in many ways. I am talking about every person in this country who works hard to get ahead, provide a life for themselves and their families. It's about damn time we stop being penalized for working hard and making more money.
It's time for a change. There's a link on this blog for "Americans for Fair Taxation" and I recommend every person who reads this blog check it out. Nobody's trying to tell you that you have to support it, but do yourself a favor and just read what it's all about. If you have a job and you are paying taxes, I can't imagine you could think it's ok for the government to take a hefty portion of your earnings by force and give it to someone else.
That sounds awful doesn't it? Well yeah. That's what our government has been doing to us for years. Do you really think the government is the better judge of how to spend your money than you are?
I could tell you her life story about how she was born in NJ to two wonderful parents, raised in Brooklyn, moved with her family to Miami in the 1950's, participated in the "glee club", got into mischief with her best friend June, eventually graduated from Palmetto Senior High, met and married dad and had three great kids, endured all of the many family triumphs and troubles that come with being a wife, mother, and daughter. But I won't tell you all about that. There's no need to.
I can sum it up best by saying mom is awesome. She is a wonderful, kind, caring, and loving woman, truly an inspiration to us all. I know Dad, Kim, Dave, grams, Auntie J and everyone who knows and loves her feels the same way when I say that she is truly a gift to us all.
WE LOVE YOU MOM!
Friday, June 23, 2006
Yeah that's the story. Yeah, the poor little "victim" who lied about her age and violated the service agreement just to get an account on myspace, the poor little "victim" whose parents apparently don't give a shit what she does on the computer so long as she's not a bother to them, the poor little "victim" who was smart enough to set up a date with a guy she didn't even know and then claims he assaulted her.
If that doesn't beat all, this does...
The nineteen year old alleged rapist has hired a lawyer and HE is suing myspace too. Apparently the perp Pete Solis stated that myspace is liable because that's where he met the young girl and that she had lied about her age on the website, saying she was 15 years old (as if that makes it ok to assault her?) He also said that he had no idea that having sex with a girl that age was illegal.
The perp's lawyer Adam Reposa claims that the rapist is also a victim. He says:
"He's been, in effect, just as much a victim — if not more," says Adam Reposa, the attorney for Solis, who is facing up to 20 years in prison on charges of second degree felony sexual assault. Since the lawsuit against MySpace also names Solis as a defendant, Reposa said he will "cross-file" and also sue MySpace and its owner, News Corporation.
"MySpace wasn't there when they went to Whataburger. MySpace wasn't there when they went to the movie and MySpace wasn't there when they climbed in the backseat," Reposa said. "Meeting on MySpace — if that alone is enough, then we can make the same claim for damages."
It isn't bad enough that this dumbass girl and her parents are suing MySpace because she chose to join MySpace, lie about her age and do something as stupid as meet up with a total stranger, but now the stranger--the guy who assaulted her claims HE is a victim too?
This victim mentality is getting old here. I thought it was bad enough this young girl manipulated this situation to her advantage and now is crying assault and nobody's making her stand up and address her actions, but now we have the man who assaulted her suing too, blaming myspace for his out of control sexual urges and need to control women.
I don't get it.
It is time for a little responsibility here, and on both sides.
If there's a jury of dumbass moronic American citizens out there who are just stupid enough to award a settlement I hope the Judge has something resembling basic common sense and overturns every penny of it.
Time to teach a little something about consequences of one's actions.
I'm just wondering though if this isn't some elaborate hoax designed by both parties for the purpose of extorting big bucks from myspace.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Seems that it wasn't a terrorist ambush that killed two soldiers (McCaffrey and Tyson) back in 2004, it was actually the Iraqi Civil Defense workers patrolling with them. And what's worse is that it was the media who broke it to the families yesterday, not the Pentagon. The families received a call from a government official telling them they would be visiting with them today to discuss something with them. That's all that was said.
It was the media who informed the families of PFCs Tucker and Menchaca that they had been tortured and beheaded and that the bodies were found. How did those families find out? By watching the news broadcast like the rest of us. Yes, they found out about the gruesome death of their soldiers by watching the news. When the media reported it, the Pentagon hadn't even confirmed it yet. The only confirmation had come from the Iraqi Ministry.
Words cannot describe how despicable this is, that the media would be reporting these details without the family having been notified FIRST by military officials. And I think that someone needs to do something about this immediately.
I wonder how long it will take for the world to find out it wasn't terrorist who killed these soldiers, but the Iraqis they were helping defend.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
They were neither, they were men!
Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker joined the Army for reasons known only to them, their families and friends. Those who join the military have their reasons for joining. The reasons include getting a good education, learning new skills, traveling and having new experiences, getting into a better life, and even doing something positive in the world and helping one's fellow man. I think each person who joins, especially those men who join the Army and Marines, who face the greatest risk of death due to ground combat, knows in the back of their mind that they might be called upon to fight for America's freedom or for the freedom of those in a foreign country. They know, and yet they continue to sign up in record numbers.
Kristian Menchaca's uncle Ken MacKenzie was quoted as saying that his nephew died because the United States had no plan in Iraq. Of course he is grief stricken, I'd be mad too if I were him. But the truth is that his son died because he was killed by terrorists. Whether or not we should have invaded Iraq will be debated for centuries long after we're all gone from this earth. But whether or not we should be there should not lessen the signifance of the contributions made by soldiers like PFC Menchaca and Tucker. Their presence there was important and no matter what your political views are on Bush, America or Iraq, you have to separate those views from the specific mission of those troops.
It is not fair to the memory of these soldiers to say things like "they died because we were in Iraq". It is not right to degrade their service to their country and to the freedom and liberation of the people of a foreign nation by politicizing their sacrifice. Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker joined the Army voluntarily and when their President, Congress and their country called, they went, without hesitation, without complaint, because they knew it was their duty.
These were honorable men and the best way to honor their memory and the memory of all those who have died in wars before them, is to be a good citizen. Know your Constitution, be willing to defend and protect it whether by joining the military or as a civilian. Vote, march and protest, write letters, make phone calls, get involved, keep your government in check, and most of all, support freedom for all people, not just in America but around the world.
Support freedom for the oppressed, tortured and genocide-stricken tribes in remote, desolate parts of Africa.
Support freedom for young girls and women who are beaten, raped and murdered in the streets of Middle Eastern cities.
Support freedom for the millions of starving people who live in North Korea.
Support freedom for the people of Cuba, where an entire generation has lived under the thumb of a ruthless, murderous dictator for over forty years.
Support freedom for not just the countries which have wealth, but those which are poor.
The best way to honor these servicemen who die for the cause of freedom (and no matter what your view of Iraq, these soldiers are dying for the cause of freedom), is to continue to further that cause.
And one more thing, while you're getting angry over the situation in Iraq and while you debate the legitimacy of the invasion, while you pray for the families of the dead soldiers, while you show American flags in support of those who come home maimed for life, please do not forget Sgt. Keith Maupin, who was captured in Iraq some time ago and has never been found.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
And when they throw my happy ass in jail and charge me can I call Cynthia McKinney to testify on my behalf?
Friday, June 16, 2006
And just when I thought they couldn't possibly commit foot-in-mouth syndrome again, there's this exerpt of an interview with the DC's and the London Telegraph:
The Chicks can't hide their disgust at the lack of support they received from other country performers. "A lot of artists cashed in on being against what we said or what we stood for because that was promoting their career, which was a horrible thing to do," says Robison.
"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
Unbelievable. Do these women live in the same America as the rest of us?
Patriotism is the love for one's country, the willingness to put one's life on the line to defend it and its values. What are America's values? In a nutshell......
“We hold certain Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
There you go, I don't think it could be described any better than that.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
And this thing about a violation of civil rights? What is a civil right anyway? Technically a civil right is defined as "right or rights belonging to a person by reason of citizenship including especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments and subsequent acts of Congress including the right to legal and social and economic equality"
Thirteenth amendment: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Fourteenth amendment: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
First off, Vento isn't the "state" and second he's not denying any life, liberty, or property, or any service to these people because of their ethnicity, race, religion or gender. They can be served in his establishment, but they have to speak English.
I'm proud to say I'm on Joe Vento's side in this. I think that not only does he have the right to post a sign in his restaurant asking people to speak english but as a private businessman he's got the right to run his establishment the way he sees fit. If there are people who truly want a steak at Geno's who can't speak English, it's time they learn. You see, this is America and the language we speak in business is well--English.
You can thank your federal and state government for this, they're the ones that went apeshit over making sure that government offices and services bent over backwards to accomodate people who do not speak English. And the government is slowly but surely trying to force America's private sector into it too.
This is not a race issue, this is an issue of private enterprise and a man deciding how he wants to run his business. If Joe Vento wants to serve his customers in multi-languages, more power to him, but the government should not be in the business of forcing him to do it. And if those suing him don't like it, they should eat elsewhere.
If you want to support Joe Vento, click here and fill out the online email form under "Contact". Show him that you believe he has the right to decide how to run his business is run. Show him you support him in that English is not a foreign language in America.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
"I'm pretty conservative and laid back, but the big thing is to just be careful," Roethlisberger said as the Steelers opened their minicamp. "I'll just continue to be careful. I told him we don't ever ride alone, we always ride in a group of people, and I think it makes it even more safe."
Asked why he doesn't wear a helmet -- something he wouldn't think about doing on a football field -- Roethlisberger pointed out Pennsylvania's 35-year-old state law requiring helmets to be worn was amended two years ago.
"Obviously Pennsylvania doesn't think people need to (wear a helmet)," he said. "There's a law you've got to wear it in football."
Imagine that? Actually justifying his decision not to wear a helmet based on the government repealing the law mandating it? How could he be that stupid? The State of Pennsylvania repealed the law to lessen the government intrusion in the lives of private individuals. But repealing that law doesn't lessen the danger.
Roethlisberger might have an education, talent and a lot of money but in the end he lacks the most important thing a person could have and that's common sense.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Oh joy. Cedar Key's just a hop, skip, and jump from us.
It's not the rain that's bothering me, we're on high ground, it's the wind and the possible power outages which SUCK even if you have a portable generator. Last time we went through direct storms it was in 2004 and we lost power for a week each with Frances and Jeanne. No we did not have a generator, it had been ordered but did not come in until the day our power was turned back on with Jeanne. We lived back at the other place, the small stone cottage in the woods, I mean we lived way back in the woods. We were protected from the winds by the giant trees. Now we don't live in a heavy duty stone house anymore, the rental property we moved into recently is a very large 1999 Fleetwood doublewide mobile home on five acres of woods. It seems very sturdy but hello--it's still a mobile home--more susceptible to tornadoes. Our utilies are underground but that doesn't mean our power won't go out. It's been hot too so I hope it doesn't.
I know mom and dad worry too because they also live in a large mobile home, one that is 25 years old, and they worry what could happen in strong winds and tornadoes. There's no risk of flooding, their 8.5 acres is on high ground, but they don't have that wind protection from trees like we do. I will say though the place held up nicely during Storm of the Century so I think they'd be ok. Personally, I think mobile homes should be outlawed. Yeah when my folks moved us up here from Miami in 1980, we had always lived in a concrete block house, the nice sturdy ones. Then we moved up here and they bought a nice mobile home but only after living in it did they find out just how much could go wrong with it. I am sure they would have done it different, had they known.
One more gripe here is homeowner's insurance.
DH and I have renter's insurance on our personal property, and the man who owns our place has property insurance through Citizen's which was the company of last resort for people who had no other option but to purchase the State insurance (which is EXTREMELY expensive by the way). People who have homeowner's insurance on mobile homes really get the shaft, especially those NOT on Citizen's but using private companies. These people, like my folks, have to be worried because 1) they can't get much insurance on the home and contents as the mobile home gets older and 2) if you have to make a claim, well you can't. You can't because you will be cancelled. So you pay for premiums to a company you can't file a claim with and so you live with the damage to your home until other weather conditions make it worse year after year.
And in the meantime, people who live inland, in mobile homes--people who make their premium payments on time, who have an excellent history---have to worry about whether or not they will get dropped for making one claim while people who live in coastal areas, who are usually the first to get hit, keep making claims year after year and even though their premiums go up, their insurance still kicks in and they're allowed to rebuild.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
So imagine my anger when I hear a hip-hop artist butchering it into a thousand pieces and calling it art. Now, one thing nobody could ever accuse me of is being a fan of hip-hop music, oh hell now I guess I'll be labeled a racist now won't I? I mean middle-class white chick disses hip-hop what more can it be right?
Perhaps our young hipsters need a lesson in what the Star Spangled Banner is all about? Maybe then they wouldn't take artistic liberties in making a mockery of it.
Friday, June 09, 2006
At the press conference held to announce the death of Al-Zarqawi, some dumbass American reporter asked if there were any bullet holes in his body?
Uh--does that matter?
Al-Zarqawi was a terrorist who killed innocent people regardless of their ethnicity. All he cared about was waging his little fanatical war. He was a major threat to not just Iraq but to the world.
So I find it a bit of an embarassment, that with all the murder this guy committed, the f'in press is worried about is whether or not there were bullet holes in him. And if there were? What next? Would the press then have forced the military to conduct a witch hunt to find the soldiers that murdered this poor defenseless innocent guy who was just a nice young man misguided by his principles.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Of course, much like our troops, Representative Jefferson hasn't officially been indicted and he has denied he did anything wrong.
William Jefferson continues to serve in his job, make plans to run for re-election, and has rebuffed requests to step down during the investigation, while our troops are held in shackles in solitary confinement in a military brig.
It's enough to make you sick.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
While terrorist suspects in GITMO, Cuba are allowed to roam free within their fenced areas, our Navy Corpsman and fellow Marines, who have sacrificed everything to fight the President's war in Iraq are being held in solitary confinement shackled in handcuffs attached to a belt and leg cuffs when they leave their cells at Camp Pendleton.
Sullivan claims the NCIS has issued threats of the death penalty to try and coerce confessions. At this point in time none of the defense attorneys for these men have seen any charge sheets or reports on the investigation's findings. In fact Sullivan said in the interview that the only way he's able to get any information on this case is by listening to the media reports.
Meanwhile, in the cases of Haditha and Hamdaniya, the President, members of Congress, and the media have tried and convicted these men. The President sent thousands of American citizens into a country where the enemy wears no uniform and knows no rules of engagement. The President sent them there, Congress backed him, so they owe it to these men to maintain the presence of "innocent until proven guilty".
When questioned recently about the alleged incident in Haditha, the President said:
"I'm mindful that there's a thorough investigation going on. If, in fact, laws were broken, there will be punishment."
"If there is a wrongdoing, people will be held to account. This is just a reminder--for troops in Iraq or throughout our military--that there are high standards expected of them and that there are strong rules of engagement."
The President has done nothing to defend these men until their guilt has been established with solid evidence.
Rush to justice?
Oh hell yeah.
They neglected to remind people that 156,000 allied troops landed in Normandy.
They neglected to remind people that 11,590 aircraft were used to support the landings.
They neglected to remind people that the allies flew 14,674 sorties, and that 127 were lost.
They neglected to remind people that in the airborne landings on both flanks of the beaches, 2395 aircraft and 867 gliders of the RAF and USAAF were used.
They neglected to remind people that Operation Neptune (which took place the day before to get the men in place) included 1213 naval combat ships, 4126 landing ships and landing craft, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels, as well as 195,700 allied personnel.
They neglected to remind people that by the end of the day on 11 June 1944, five days after the invasion, 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had been landed.
They neglected to remind people that in the two months prior to D-Day, the Allied air forces lost nearly 12,000 men and over 2,000 aircraft in operations leading to the invasion.
They neglected to remind people that casualties estimated at about 10,000 including 2500 who were killed.
They neglected to remind people that in June 1944, the Navy lost 24 warships and 35 merchantmen or auxiliaries, and another 120 vessels were damaged.
They neglected to remind people that during the Battle of Normandy which lasted from June 6 - August 25, 1944, over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing. This includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces.
They neglected to remind people that roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded, and that some 200,000 prisoners of war were captured.
They neglected to remind people that twenty-seven war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 dead from both sides: 77,866 German, 9386 American, 17,769 British, 5002 Canadian and 650 Poles.
They neglected to remind people that between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians were killed, mainly as a result of Allied bombing. Thousands more fled their homes to escape the fighting.
June 6, 1944 was the day that Operations Overlord and Neptune were put into action. It was, in fact, the day that changed the course of the war.
Had it not been for the ingenious planning of military generals and admirals and the service of brave soldiers, sailors and airmen willing to put their lives on the line for FREEDOM, you and I would likely not be here today.
"They came, rank after relentless rank, ten lanes wide, twenty miles across, five thousand ships of every description. There were fast new attack transports, slow rust-scarred freighters, small ocean liners, Channel steamers, hospital ships, weather-beaten tankers, coaster and swarms of fussing tugs. There were endless columns of shallow-draft landing ships-great wallowing vessels, some of them almost 350 feet long. ... Ahead of the convoys were processions of mine sweepers, Coast Guard cutters, buoy-layers and motor launches. Barrage balloons flew above the ships. Squadrons of fighter planes weaved below the clouds. And surrounding this fantastic cavalcade of ships packed with men, guns, tanks, motor vehicles and supplies, ... was a formidable array 702 warships."
...Cornelius Ryan, author of The Longest Day
We cannot forget the sacrifices made for our freedom.
The very people who refuse to admit that sometimes war must be fought to preserve freedom, who jump on their bandwagon about how terrible our country is and that our troops are nothing more than murderers, are able to speak those words without repercussion because the very people they degrade and belittle fought for their right to do so.
I don't care whether or not you think we should be in Iraq. I don't care whether or not you like President Bush. I don't care whether or not you're a Democrat or Republican.
If you're an American or if you live in a democratic and free country in this world, you owe it to the military and civilian veterans of D-Day and all the wars of World War II and to the memory of all those who died in those battles, not to take the freedom you have for granted. If you forget, it could easily happen again and freedom might not win this time.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Now do me one favor, if you reply, don't make it a religious issue. I'm just not up for debating religious beliefs today. I know some of you have a strong faith and were raised to believe being gay is wrong but I've got a couple of people close to me who are gay and really I just don't want to have to read a dozen comments about how it's wrong. They are good, decent, honest, people and I just don't want my day ruined by having to read that they're going to hell, people are praying for them, and all that. Just let it be ok?
I hear people talking about how we need the government to pass a law to ban gay marriage in order to teach the younger generation about morals, to help them make the right choices.
Ok first off any person who believes the government should be teaching their kid morals, is an idiot, and second, having a law banning gay marriage isn't going to change anyone's desire to be or not be with someone of the same sex. A law banning the marriage doesn't change the fact there are gays in our society and it doesn't suddenly make them straight.
That said, my opinion on gay marriage isn't important here. What is important is that with all the shit going on in the world, Bush dredged up this long-dead issue from the great beyond to try and breathe life into it again. For what purpose? There's no way in hell it's going to pass, for if it did it would mean certain death for the careers of many politicians. And we all know elections are slowly approaching.
For me it comes down to simple common sense. We have it, they don't. The "they" is the Preisdent and those in Congress backing this insane idea. They can't possibly expect to pass a Constitutional amendment to prevent one group of people from doing something that is legal for everyone else.
I say leave it to the states, let them work it out. I think the President needs to shut the hell up on this one and begin putting his thoughts into more pressing matters.
And if they keep this up, there'll be more of it.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
A sitting President ordering a halt to the investigation of corruption?
He is worried about the constitutional challenge. To quote the President, I say "bring it on". Why not challenge the Constitution? The Constitution is pretty solid, it can withstand an occasional challenge.
Bush hit a new low with me. I mean it isn't enough that he's selling American citizenship out to Mexico, forcing a ban on gay marriage down our throats, but now he's directly interfering with the investigation of corruption and bribery in the federal government.
This is a complete travesty of justice? Why aren't you folks more outraged?
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
When I was in the sixth grade at Miami Heights Elementary School in the fall 1980, I competed with other students in a written spelling competition in which I won first place. (I was actually beat up by a boy in my class after school that day because the kids who lost accused me of cheating. That was actually the final straw that forced my parents to move us out of there). From there I went to the Dade County Spelling Competition at Barry College in Miami. Students representing every school in Dade County were there. I remember after the initial written test I kept thinking back on the word "illegal" and whether or not I had spelled it right. I did in fact get it wrong because I didn't get to move up in the competition.
A few months later, in November 1980, while in the middle of my sixth grade year, my family moved to a very small, rural town in North Florida. And in the spring of 1981, I beat out all other students in the school for the privilege of competing in the county spelling bee. I won that county spelling bee and for a short time the hearts of many in my school because as it turns out, my school hadn't beaten the rival school in a spelling bee in many years. You can tell that in a county with only two schools, there's quite a rivalry even in something trivial like a spelling bee. Not only did I win that year, but I also beat them again the following year. And both times I traveled to Jacksonville to compete in the Florida Times-Union sponsored state competition.
At the first state competition I remember asking the judges for a definition of "flotsam" and use in a sentence, that didn't help. I took a deep breath and spelled out f-l-o-t-s-o-m, oops! And at the second competition a year later, my word was "meemies". I asked the judges to use it in a sentence and I will never forget the phrase "screeming meemies". What the hell does a thirteen year old know about screaming meemies?
As you can guess, I did not win either state competition. But at least I'll always know what those two words mean and how to spell them!
Can you believe all these years later, all that's left to remember of these competitions are the plaques and the words I missed? That's right, I couldn't tell you a single word I got right but I can tell you exactly which words I missed.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
“Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
John Murtha has alleged the US military is attempting to cover-up the incident in Haditha, Iraq yet he can show no proof of a cover-up. Murtha claims to know what happened, he has already come out and said he believes that the Marines retaliated against the innocent civilians when one of their own was killed. In the meantime, the Marines are tight-lipped (as they should be) about the investigation as it is ongoing. All we know is that there can be no autopsies because the families will not allow their loved ones to be exhumed and the death certificates and alleged eyewitness accounts are the only proof that 24 civilians were executed.
Instead of reading the Pentagon's report on the incident, Murtha claims he has been talking with military commanders who know the real story, but which commanders he’s talking to is really anyone’s guess because Murtha refuses to name his sources. Murtha's comments do nothing but taint the investigation as he continues his quest to try the Marines guilt in the court of public opinion. His remarks will have great repercussions on the morale of our troops. I'm sure he knows that.
Aside from Murtha's insanity, I find it disheartening that the President of the United States has yet to issue any statement defending our troops and calling for a halt to accusations before the investigation has been completed. The man who sent them over, who told them "mission accomplished", who continues to tell them and their families they will be there a very long time, who assures them America cares and that their government has not forsaken them, has not spoken a word in their defense. He has not told Murtha to shut up and he has not reminded the American public that we were all raised to believe a person is innocent until proven guilty. Because President Bush would rather appease the Muslim world, he refrains from any defense of our troops, troops who by the way have not been proven guilty and whose investigation is still ongoing.
The President of the United States and the Congress sent American troops into an impossible situation. Why do I call it impossible? Well, it’s not to belittle the efforts of our troops, goodness knows they have accomplished much there, but the fact is that they are fighting an enemy who wears no uniform and knows no rules of engagement. They are fighting an enemy that believes it is honorable to blow themselves to bits rather than allow freedom to prosper. Sure, our troops joined voluntarily, they knew the inherent risks of going to war and dying. But I believe our troops also had faith that their country will not send them into an impossible war, one that lacks a clear agenda, one that cannot be won. Someone always has to die to protect freedom and these men and women joined for the purpose of protecting America’s freedom. But was our freedom in imminent danger? And is it honorable to send your own people to die in a foreign country where freedom cannot prosper? I will always ask myself those questions.
I will always support our troops and the work they have done in Afghanistan and Iraq, but when taking into consideration who the enemy is in this fight, I don’t see a way to win. I’m not afraid to say that either. It’s what I feel. It’s reality folks. Forget the political stuff for a moment, Do you think this war can be won? You don’t have to tell anyone, just be honest with yourself. Only you will know.
Day after day, our troops build infrastructure, feed the hungry, protect the helpless, and every day they are worn down by the endless fight against an enemy that never tires, never ceases, never gives. It’s the Muslim radical cause and it’s here to stay. It is said that only 1% of Muslims around the world are radicals. There are estimates of at least one billion Muslims worldwide. One percent of one billion is ten million. And 1% of that is 100,000. That’s all it takes.
We went into Iraq under the guise of WMD’s. I supported it, so did many of you. We believed Iraq was a threat, we were told daily Iraq was a threat. First, we go in, then no WMD’s are found, then there are traces found, then we find out there were no traces at all. In the meantime the troops are in place, Saddam is overthrown, and then the fight against the terrorist insurgents begins and has not stopped since. Now they’re there and they can’t come home. If we leave, we save the lives of thousands more troops but the lives of those who died, the injuries of those who were maimed, were all in vain, and worse, the President is made a fool of, our country is labeled a coward, and we can’t have that can we? We can’t have the world thinking America is a wuss. Of course we know we’re not but these days we are always so worried about what the rest of the world thinks of us. No, the only alternative is to stay but if we do, more troops will die, more will be permanently disabled, and still there will be no peace in the Middle East, not in my lifetime.
Why are we there?
"To bring freedom to the Iraqi people" is the most common answer.
Ok fine, WHY did we just not go in under that guise? Why did we go in under WMD’s? You can't tell me nobody in a position of power in this country didn't think the weapons wer already gone. Hell even my little voice told me those weapons of mass destruction existed but were spirited away to Syria and Iran long before the invasion was even planned. The UN's pussyfooting around gave Saddam plenty of time to move them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
I think that what makes me so angry is that I am confused as to whether or not we are doing the right thing. I try to think about it rationally, I am not phased by the politics of it all. And I ask myself if it was the right thing to do. Of course bringing liberty to the oppressed masses of the world is the right thing to do but at what cost? And why aren’t we consistent? If we are there to bring freedom and liberty to Iraqis and Afghanis why aren’t we in the Sudan? Why didn’t we go to Rwanda or the Congo?
If freedom is such a noble cause (and it most certainly is) then it should be fought for and preserved for all people, not just some.
Yes radical Muslims are a threat to the world, and yes we must confront it, but this specific situation in Iraq must be dealt with. The ultimate responsibility of this mess lies with Congress and the President. You and I saw our Congressional support after 9/11, we saw it in Iraq. These people are privy to the secret information we will never know. We leave our fate in their capable hands. We rely on them to make decisions based on truth, on facts, on evidence. They did not do this. And so here we are today.
I supported the Iraqi invasion and I voted for Bush twice. I am not ashamed of my choices, I did what I thought was the right thing to do. I had done everything in my power to make sure I was doing the right thing. My husband and I read, researched and discussed the issues in great detail. We the people are responsible for electing officials who have less than honorable intentions and we must hold them accountable.
If the evidence proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that our troops murdered innocent people in Haditha, who posed no threat to them, they should be punished accordingly but let us not forget the stress they are under in that country. None of us could ever imagine what their daily lives are like, the things they see, the danger they face. It almost always has nothing to do with a lack of morals and values, it's just that in the midst of war, it is not always possible to refrain from breaking down, from showing weakness, from being infallible. We are only human.
And while we’re seeking accountability with our troops, we must seek it with those who sent them there in the first place. President Bush of course is on his way out in two years but Congress will seek re-election and that’s where they can be punished where it hurts—being voted out of office.