Archive for afghanistan

Calling Robin Hood -- Nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham Has Just Returned

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Robin Hood

As a boy growing up outside Boston, I had a wild imagination and a lot of heroes. There was cowboy favorite Roy Rogers, future space adventurer, Buck Rogers, but most fun was the legendary outlaw, archer Robin Hood. He and his men (plus Maid Marion) were a band of outlaws who found ways to disrupt the mad rantings and oppressive actions of the evil and despotic Sheriff of Notttingham. Let's face it. Without a really awful foe, there's just not a great hero or heroes. And the meanest of the mean was the Sheriff raiding Sherwood Forest.

Paul RyanPAUL RYAN AKA SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM

With the good king Richard away fighting religious wars on behalf of  his people, the royal brother and evil, calculating Prince John took the reins of England and trampled justice wherever he found it. His pleasure was in sticking it to the masses and stripping them of all of their earthly possessions. And his did it with his man, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The results were catastrophic for all but the rich. That select few thrived while the Sheriff demonstrated villainy at the highest level. This guy stopped at nothing as he represented the top 1% of the richest royals out there.

So much for folklore. Whether there really was a Robin Hood or a Sheriff of Nottingham is debatable. The same could be said for Superman, Mighty Mouse, even Underdog.

Mighty Mouse vs Underdog

To get a taste of what's going on in real life, we have to look at the real Sheriff of Nottingham who comes to us straight out of the the Sherwood forest of Wisconsin . The kings of the rich, the Koch Brothers, have deigned him with the powers of the purse-strings. The Sheriff is merely a puppet and he's doing their bidding. With the new Ryan budget, the GOP kings have unleashed the Sheriff on the US masses.

To provide more riches and power for the super rich, they want to destroy every and all of the people's programs of survival. They wish to cut Medicare, education funding and loans, Social Security, women's rights, Food assistance, and Health Care. In return the rich get tax relief and the poor get worse living conditions. It must sound fair if you're a royal, but most of us aren't.

There is a Robin Hood who is trying to once again split an arrow down the middle to show up the mad and unconscionable Sheriff Paul Ryan. He's Bernie Sanders. And if you want to see his proclamation of war against the evil doers and their merry band of morons, check this out:

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Afghanistan's first spaceman returns home (BBC)

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space

I am often struck by how US-centric we are here in 'America' - i.e., the United States of America. Why do I put 'America' in quotes? Since the USA is not 'America' but just fifty states which are part of two continents other parts of the world see as one.

If we were really the United States of 'America' we would be a union of far, far more than just fifty states.

As US citizens, our being centered on just what happens within the borders of the USA is a major mistake since it leads to misunderstandings, tensions, and wars.

Years ago we could be excused for not knowing much about the rest of the world since there was much less information available to us. In the age of the Internet we have amazing information sources available to us n a few seconds from our computers.

We no longer have any excuse to remain ignorant. If you're ignorant in the US, you have made a conscious decision to remain ignorant.

So what's the connection with this story? That the peoples of the world don't have to remain strangers to each other, don't have to remain enemies because they fear 'otherness'.

I love to listen to and watch the BBC. A few days ago it ran a story about an Afghani astronaut returning home. His name is Abdulahad Momand. His spaceship? The Soyuz, part of the Soviet Union's space program. Home? Kabul. His story is here.

Thanks for the excellent journalism, BBC!

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96% Of Senate Republicans Vote To Damn And Punish U.S. Military Veterans

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up yours

We'll pay for you to go to war, but we won't take care of you when or if you come back. It's a one way ticket.

A whopping 96% of the Republicans in the Senate voted against legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget. 96 percent! I'd say that's almost unanimous as a party stance on the bill.

So you have to ask yourself, why? Is it really going to "bust the budget?"

Interestingly the same question was put before Senator Bernie Sanders (I - VT) by Chris Hayes last night on All In. Sanders response is heated, passionate and shows the real fallacies of the Republican thinking on this matter and just how much these GOP-ers are hypocrites when it comes to veterans. As a party they're always willing to start wars, just never prepared to fund them. Then afterwards, these same warmongers have a tendency to turn their backs on the lucky ones -- those that live through these atrocities. Our fighting men with real injuries and losses become just chess pieces, not real -- not flesh and blood. But to their families and friends they sure are real. Denying them dignity and aid is a total affront.

If Iraq and Afghanistan weren't bad enough in body count, those scarred, wounded, maimed, and mentally suffering from these battles deserve every bit as much attention upon their return as the unfunded battles that sent them overseas. But that's not the thinking of the GOP senators. They will only budge on the funding IF we tack on an unrelated sanctions bill that's sure to push us into war with Iran and raise the death count all even higher.

Sanders points out that Republicans have an 'open checkbook' policy when it comes to the costs of war.  Other costs always have to be offset by cuts. Not the case for wars: the sky's the limit for the neo-cons. But somehow it's nothing or next to nothing for our returning vets who fought their wars.

If you want to see the harm the Republicans are inflicting on our veterans, just catch this piece with Chris Hayes and Bernie Sanders. Then ask yourself how anyone who cares about this country can vote for a Republican incumbent senator the next time around?

If Democrats want to keep the Senate and retake the House, all they need to do is show this piece.

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Cheney's Big Bang Theory - 'The Military Hypocrisy Protocol'

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Cheney

Above is the cover for the upcoming book called, The Hypocrites Handbook. The author is the man who unintentionally makes me laugh more than anyone else, former Vice President, Dick Cheney.  Nixon may have been known as Tricky Dick, but Cheney, as Jon Stewart reveals, is just plain Dick. And if you've got a few minutes and missed this clip from last night, you'll kick yourself for not watching it now.

When's a Dick really a "dick?" When his name is Dick Cheney.

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Sunday Links

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Photo: sciencegymnasium.com

Photo: sciencegymnasium.com

Scientists have found that memories may be passed down through generations in our DNA

Ummm.....forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't preventing things like this the reason we've spent billions in Afghanistan?
New Afghan Law Disastrous for Women, Says National Geographic Photographer

Diary of a Dying Country (Bill Moyers)

This Crow is the Smartest Bird You've Ever Seen

Deep Beneath this Russian City, Miles of Technicolor Caves Share Their Hidden Beauty

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Friday Links

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This wonderful photo is from this page: http://www.acfonline.org.au/about-us/our-success-stories/conserving-great-barrier

This wonderful photo is from this page: http://www.acfonline.org.au/about-us/our-success-stories/conserving-great-barrier - i.e., the Reef before the Abbott Point coal terminal dumps its dredge spoil into it

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approves plan to dump Abbot Point spoil

Montana Ranks 3rd Nationally in Tea Party Members per Capita
(from the Montana Cowgirl Blog)

A Few Things to Know About Angry Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm

Here's How to Know if Your GMail has Been Hacked (Note: this is very easy to check.

Cat angrily defends home against the mailman through the mail slot.

US-Built Afghan Roads Turn into Death Traps

Indiana Police Believed Woman's Tale of Supernatural Haunting That Ended in Exorcism

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Former Defense Secretary Gates Admits To CNN On His Drinking And Psychotic Issues

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RobertGatesNeckBracew394h224

Robert Gates admits to being greatly incapacitated during his later tenure as Defense Secretary under Obama. In his interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN about the former CIA chief's recently released tell all book, Gates admits to an alcohol problem - drinking heavily every night in order to get through his job. He also confesses to being afflicted with and struggling with a severe form of post traumatic stress disorder.

It's sad that this dedicated civil servent even now plays it down and refuses to seek professional help. This turns out to be all too common with returning veterans who have these afflictions, but live in denial. Gates claims he doesn't need professional help with either his drinking or his stress situation, but then you look at him with the neck brace and can't help wonder if his recent "fall" which caused him vertebrae damage wasn't the result of a drinking incident or blackout. I wish him all the best but  hope he'll seek the professional help he so obviously is crying out for in his book and his CNN interview.

Here's the confession. It begins at 07:28 of this piece and runs through 08:56. Blizter asks him point blank about his mental capacity during his final months in his secretary-ship. It's quite frank and honest, yet scary.

This hard drinking, confused and psychotic man was going through such inner turmoil while entrusted with advising our president on defense issues, it's a wonder he didn't start another war.

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