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Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:09 PM PST

A Fitting End to a Movie?

by artmartin

On some days I wish I were this brave....

More after the squiggle.

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Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM PST

Bring it on

by artmartin

Ok, here's my notice to you.  If you believe that post-election you can start in on here making unfounded and speculative attacks on our President's character and be protected by your long DKos history or low subscriber number, you're sadly mistaken.  You will not go away into your safe little world of bloggery unscarred and unchallenged.  More below.

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Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM PDT

Sophie's Choice

by artmartin

Today there were a number of diaries, even a political cartoon, springing up critical of the military drone attacks that are ongoing.  I won't argue with anyone that the right does not exist for someone to bring this up in political debate.  On it's own as a single issue it's clear that ethically it's wrong for any nation to use such horrific devices if they are not absolutely accurate and only kill enemy combatants that are an immediate threat to kill and murder others.  Obviously, this kind of firepower destroys innocent people as well and, looking long term, probably does as much harm as good.  

I will however try to point out why I believe President Obama has made the choices he has on this issue.  I, and nobody else posting comments on Daily Kos have the full story as to the justifications for their continued use.  We cannot sit in his office, read his daily briefings, be in the room with his military commanders and advisers, hear the thoughts in his head, know what conversations he's had with the men and women in our military.  What we can do though is imagine scenarios of what our world will look like with and without those drone strikes based on our knowledge of history, human nature, politics and the certainty that every human has to face those Sophie's Choice moments when there is no right answer, when someone will be hurt regardless of what we decide.  For those of you unfamiliar with that movie, Meryl Streep's character was forced to decide which of her children must die, something that haunted her for life.  

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Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:44 AM PDT

My Trip to the Supermarket

by artmartin

My trip to Fry's Food Market in Phoenix, Arizona turned political this morning. First of all there was a table outside with two older Navy men dressed in their dress white uniforms. There was a donation jar on their table and a sign asking for help for military veterans. Something felt very wrong about the scene and I walked by and went on to my shopping. As I pondered the situation I vowed I'd stop by and talk to the men.  More below the fold:

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This will probably call for many eye rolls because the majority of us on here are informed voters and immediately see huge character defects, an alleged sordid history, and beady eyes when viewing this man but bear with me in this hypothesis below.

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Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 11:19 AM PDT

In Defense of Arizona

by artmartin

I was born and raised in Arizona.  I grew up in Tucson which is, probably to the surprise of many that are suddenly putting our state under a microscope with such a critical eye, quite the liberal bastion, a spot where Hispanic families were fully integrated into the culture.  

The recent legislation was as much an abomination to many of us that call Arizona home as it is to the outside observers from all over the world but let's all take some responsibility for this travesty.

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Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:49 AM PST

An Ethical Dillema

by artmartin

First, let me say that this is primarily a letter to President Obama and that ultimately, until let down completely in the march towards health care reform, I still have his back.  I tend to think there's still a master plan to toughen the current legislation and nail the insurance lobby.  I just finished Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" and the man that penned those words simply could not have made such an ideological leap in such a short period of time that he would now be bought and paid for by big business.  Maybe he's more cautious and crafty but there's a heart and mind behind his decisions.  I have to believe that or America is done.

But, that leaves me with an ethical dilemma that is extremely pertinent to the current debate and my situation in many ways is a valuable talking point in this discussion.  

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I wanted to address one theme I keep seeing in the diaries and debates regarding what the effect will be on employment should we eventually get a true public option or single payer health care.  I feel I have at least a partial qualification to discuss this since I worked for a year as a computer programmer in that industry, a staff member of United Health Group that worked in a division that contracted with states to help with processing of Medicare and Medicaid claims.

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I'm actually hesitant to write this diary because, if I'm right, I may be tipping the opposition to the hand that the President and Democrat Congressional leaders are actually playing.  However, since I have zero credibility and my diary will probably sink rapidly to the bottom of the list, what the hell.  

I have this nagging suspicion that this absurdity we're seeing in the fight to get real health insurance reform might actually be an intentional thing.

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The national health care fight is truly becoming messy and, with each passing day, the opposition to a public plan or ideally a complete single-payer system are putting huge resources in to advance their cause.  

We know from human nature that they will be effective.  Everyone has their price where their ethics takes a backseat to their greed.  

Perhaps it's time to explore a different strategy.

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I get tons of emails each day from various liberal and progressive groups all trying to tell me what I should do to help promote the cause of health care reform.  Some are adamant about a single payer system (which I support).  Others are more conciliatory and could agree to a government plan to compete against private industry.

With all these sources hard at work on this issue, who I'm not hearing from are the leaders of our nation's businesses and industries.  Something's ominous about this silence.  

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Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:45 AM PDT

Is Obama smarter than JFK?

by artmartin

This is going to be a tough diary to write because it will border on breaking the rules of introducing conspiracy theories into the assassination of JFK but that is clearly not my intention.  

I am a huge scholar of everything that has to do with the Kennedy killing not because I want to come out on one side or other of the issue but because of the passion and intrigue it brings out in the debate.  There are compelling arguments on both sides of the issue.  What I love about the research though is it gives us this extremely chilling look into the characters that inhabit the dark corridors of power and the huge potential they exhibit to resort to lethal methods to push their ideology.  

I am certain that people on all sides of the theories of that horrible day in Dallas can agree on one thing.  There were numerous groups and individuals that had not only the motivation but the means to carry out an assassination of the most powerful man in the world and Kennedy clearly had to know the risks.  My contention is that Obama's eyes are being opened daily to those risks as well and what we're seeing in policy decisions may be a result of the calculations of how best to deal with that terrible weight.  

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