One of these men has dignity in defeat, who represents a loyal opposition. The other guy is kind of a dick.
I was struck by the Norweigian response to the terrorist attacks in Oslo. In an interview, an English-speaking questioner seemed to be pressing Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to admit that perhaps Norway needed more strict anti-terrorism laws, or an expansion of that government's power over its people.
"The Noweigian response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation."The Guardian
Contrast this with our own country's response to political hostage-taking being concluded this week by the Tea Party faction of the Republican party. The proposed solution is, in essence, LESS democracy. The plan, as it has been leaked to the public, involves a "Super-Congress" of 12 persons to speak for the 535 Members of Congress...
I wrote a letter to my Senators and Representative on the health care issue a while back. Today, I got a response. Looks like a generic response... but the thing that really stuck out to me was the phrase "truly bipartisan approach." So I wrote Sen. Inouye again. Letter follows.
I was a contrubutor to Dr. Dean when he ran for the Presidency in 2004. I also caucused for the good Doctor in Washington State. After his campaign sputtered, I volunteered and worked for John Kerry. I gave to Tim Walz in his campaign to take a long-Republican seat in southern Minnesota (I'm in the military; Minnesota is my home of record) in 2006.
I doubt it will make a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I can't stand idly by and watch this happen...
- Horace Mann, founder, Antioch College
A small, very progressive liberal arts college in rural Ohio (to which I have no connection at all) is about to die. Antioch College has been one of the leaders of progressive social change since its founding in 1852.
I think we need more Antiochs, not less, and I have called upon my liberal arts college's alumni association (one of the wealthiest in the nation) to help. I have sent in what little I can afford. Perhaps Kossacks can help too.
The fun starts here:
I got into it with a right-wing troll. What was funny is that he is one of those guys that tries really hard to act like he's a reasonable person, but with a different perspective on the issue. So I started by engaging him honestly, mustering reason and research to bolster my points.
But he kept hammering on one single talking point (sound familiar?) and I realized that he was not engaging me...
I joined the Army b/c I was unemployed and in serious hock from student loans. Shortly after joining, my wife was diagnosed with MS. This has changed my military adventure from "something I gotta do for four years to get the Man off my back" to "holy crap, I might have to do 20 and retire to keep Tricare."
I'm writing today as an active-duty Soldier.
The war in Iraq is on many folks' minds today, what with the spending authorization bill landing on the President's desk and the fourth anniversary of the "mission accomplished," erm, "major combat operations have ceased" moment.
Here's what's happening in the real-live, active-duty, no-shit Army:
People are pissed off. They're angry because they want to retire, but they don't want to go back to Iraq again. They're angry because the quality of incoming recruit is lower and lower, and there's little that anyone can do about it, because its all a "numbers game" being played by TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command, the part of the Army that runs initial recruit training). They're really pissed about the 15-month deployments.
Yes, this is a "positive story" (of sorts) coming out of the current conflict in the Middle East.
It all starts when a Soldier gets hit with an SA-7 RPG round. The round does not explode, but partially impales the Soldier with the round embedded in his chest...
This is a new Army plan for "transformation" (I hate this word) of the Inactive Ready Reserve into a force which resembles a personnel pool for the Active Reserve Component.
The plan is detailed in an Army news release which is on the AKO ("http:us.army.mil" Army Knowledge Online) site, and which is behind a password wall to the rest of you.
More on the other side:
Virtually identical text was written and published by the noted conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke in his chapter "Real Parties" from his book "Modern Manners," at page 176 and onward.
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