Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Austin cries: Molly Ivins passes away

One of Austin's most famous torch bearers passed away. I remember reading her column for the first time in the Arizona Republic thinking, wow! Finally someone who's got a handle on what is going on in this country! Well, I am not going to try to speak in lofty terms, there will be plenty of eloquent speakers and writers who will do so in the next little while. I just hope that if she will have a burial service, that it will be a public one, so I can pay my respect.

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Der Spiegel interviews CIA's former Europe Director

In the light of the recent German arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents who took part in the kidnapping of a German-Lebanese citizen, this interview with Tyler Drumheller is pretty interesting:

SPIEGEL: One of the cases is the now famous kidnapping of Khalid el-Masri,
a German-Lebanese who was taken into custody at the end of 2003 in Macedonia and
later flown to Afghanistan. How could the CIA allow an innocent person to be

Drumheller: I'm not allowed by the agency to comment on any of
those cases or the so-called "secret prisons." I would love to, but I can't. We
have a life-long secrecy agreement and they are very, very strict about what you
can say.

SPIEGEL: The renditions program saw the kidnapping of suspected Islamist
extremists to third countries. Were you involved in the program?

Drumheller: I would be lying if I said no. I have very complicated feelings
about the whole issue. I do see the purpose of renditions, if they are carried
out properly. Guys sitting around talking about carrying out attacks as they
smoke their pipes in the comfort of a European capital tend to get put off the
idea if they learn that a like-minded individual has been plucked out of safety
and sent elsewhere to pay for his crimes.

SPIEGEL: We disagree. At the very least, you need to be certain that the
targets of those renditions aren't innocent people.
Drumheller: It was Vice
President Dick Cheney who talked about the "dark side" we have to turn on. When
he spoke those words, he was articulating a policy that amounted to "go out and
get them." His remarks were evidence of the underlying approach of the
administration, which was basically to turn the military and the agency loose
and let them pay for the consequences of any unfortunate -- or illegal --

Which takes us to those arrest warrants:

The German television station NDR released a list of the names of the supects
which it claimed its reporters had obtained. The names, which were of 11 men and
two women, included the suspected pseudonyms Kirk James Bird and Hector Lorenzo.
The station claimed it had contacted three of the suspects but they had refused
to comment. They managed to trace one of the men, who has the pseudonym Eric
Fain, because he had made a phone call home from Mallorca.

Lebanese-born German citizen Khaled al-Masri claims he was abducted in
Macedonia at the end of 2003. After being handed over to the CIA and flown to
Afghanistan, he claims to have been tortured and accused of collusion with the
Sept. 11 hijackers. He says he was held for four months before being released
without any charges on a roadside in Albania.
The case has strained
US-German relations. However it is believed to be unlikely that the US would
hand over suspects to be tried in Germany, as German arrest warrants are not
valid in the US. Without the real names of the suspects, the warrants are in any
case largely symbolic, commentators pointed out.

Since the German government cooperated with the American government, this could be considered a way to take distance from this whole Iraq and rendition mess on the part of the German government. In Italy, a similar arrest warrant has been issued:

Milan prosecutor is making the CIA nervous. Despite the opposition of his own
government he wants to indict 26 US agents and five Italian secret agents for
the kidnapping of a terror suspect. Rome and Washington would prefer that the
embarrassing trial would just go away.

Good. The tide is turning and hopefully this will continue enough to prevent another Republican government continuance, post-Bush. No matter if he (let's face it, it'll never be a 'she') is decidedly different than Bush, we need a new direction all together. Whether I'm pro-Hillary or Obama, it's too early for me to decide. What am I saying? As if it matters since I won't be able to vote anyway. But I tell you this much; I will be less reluctant to go for my American citizenship if we do get a better captain at the helm of this ship.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Making changes

First off, public apology to 'my' Robster; I have not written you back but I have not been in the right 'space' to give you a proper response my friend. I have been too scattered and too restless but I hope to give you a proper reply this week!

Speaking of having been too restless. After having gone to this psychologist for about 2 months, I decided to stop my sessions. For those of you who remember my posts about my sudden panic attacks etc this past October, you know that that was the reason for going to see someone. Well, I do not feel that I am getting too much out of it other than the occasional interesting points that make me think, but on the whole, I feel that his approach is not really getting to the point of whatever it is that was causing my anxiety and after doing a lot of thinking, I believe that I know myself what 'it' is and what I need to do. For the time being, I will continue my Lexapro as I have noticed a better outlook and mood in myself. Heck, I feel more lovey dovey with my kids and enjoy them a whole lot more than I have in many a moon!

I decided what I experienced was a matter of a long built up of stresses that have been caused by the many changes I experienced over the past 12 or so years. I moved to different countries, had to adjust to different cultures and find a way to built up a new social life and 'roots'. Finding your roots is a hard thing to begin with, but even more diffecult if the environment for those roots keep changing. I moved several times over the past 10yrs in the US to different states, had two children, not much of a support system, sleep deprivation (especially the last 3 plus years) although the last couple of months have been better but I cannot say that I sleep 6 hrs uninterrupted on a regular basis. As in, never! My psychologist did mention something about coping techniques and how they change or can stop being effective. Well, mine were all about surviving the current stresses, and when my daughter went to school every morning this Fall, I thought, great! Finally I can relax. Well, it's the kind of 'relaxing' that comes when you've been driving warp speed (so to speak) and have to come to a screeching halt: your head spins for quite a while afterwards.

Anyhow, I decided that instead of worrying about getting behind on having a career or 'needing' to do this or that, I am just going to enjoy my 43rd year in taking care of myself. That will include forcing myself to go out by myself a la the Artist's Way (the Artist's date is about taking yourself to an artistic event or what have you so to awaken the artist within), go for walks (clears the head and is healhty too), and seriously trying relaxation techniques. Perhaps yoga, perhaps meditation. Either way, it will be difficult because I am a restless person.

And, as I have mentioned to Zee, my artist inspiration, I want to take an artistic class (therapy!! ha! )so I will look around for that.

Finally, nurture myself and continue to enjoy my family like I have been doing recently. I get a real kick out of my kids (great sense of humour, makes this mommy proud). The self nurturing will come in which ever shape I'll get inspired by. I will continue to write my thoughts on paper (I'm a writer so that helps me think and 'see' things) and release the genie in my head who needs to get out more often.

Plus, I will continue this blog and continue to visit 'you all'. All of my blogger friends give me something to chew on and I enjoy this interaction as well.
Gotta go back to my vacuuming (on a sunday??) before husband and brood return..

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hu's on first?

This is specially for Jeremiah, thought he could appreciate these silly misunderstandings which must be a daily occurrance for him what with people not being able to speak proper American!(and no doubt appreciating 'true' American humor like Abbot and Costello and well, these fellars!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

State of the Union, what's good for the goose..

Grandfather Economics Report Series

Here is an interesting article that sums up why government of any kind (local, state or federal) ought to be held accountable the way Joe Blow/Schmo is when he/she proceeds to do the following:

If you or I managed our money the way that U.S. government manages our money, we'd be headed for bankruptcy.

Imagine if someone you knew:

Took on a mountain of debt -- to buy a house, say -- at a floating interest rate and never bothered to ask if the future payments would be affordable. That's exactly what the U.S. government does.
Used his annual bonus to make the down payment on a Porsche Cayenne and never worried that his current spending had created a huge future obligation for years of high payouts. That's exactly what the U.S. government does.
Ran up big credit card debt because the money he was saving for his kids' college education easily balanced out that debt. That's exactly what the U.S. government does.
Just kept on spending not only every bit of the monthly paycheck but every dollar that credit card companies and banks would lend, despite knowing that he would have to pay for college and retirement one day. That's exactly what the U.S. government does.
Oh and get this:
By the way, Iraq expenses are 'off budget'
If you want to correct for the $185 billion collected by Social Security as surplus cash flow in 2006 -- that is, the taxes came in today to pay for benefits promised in future years -- then you have to look at the on-budget deficit, which Walker calls the "operating deficit." The on-budget deficit came to $434 billion in 2006. The on-budget deficit shrank from 2005 to 2006, just as the unified budget deficit did, but the drop was much smaller: to $434 billion in fiscal 2006 from $494 in fiscal 2005.

Both of these still understate the size of the deficit. The Bush administration has been adamant about keeping certain costs out of the budget figures. Spending on the war in Iraq, for example, has been included not in budget resolutions but in special emergency spending bills. They are "off budget" in the language of Washington. That spending, estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at $360 billion overall and $95 billion in the fiscal year that ended in October 2006, aren't in either of these two budget figures. And Iraq funding for fiscal 2007 won't be included in the budget the president will introduce next month, either.

When will the crisis begin to start showing?
The upcoming crisis is absolutely predictable
This ban on including costs that are probable but not legislatively certain and the prohibition on looking further than five years out -- even though politicians routinely push the costs of their most expensive programs "off budget" by delaying the worst for more than five years -- has led to a veritable industry of alternative budgeting in Washington. Many of these have been created by groups with agendas to push -- higher social spending, lower taxes, more tax cuts, fewer tax cuts for the "rich." But what's most interesting to me about them is that any that look out more than five years see an absolutely predictable budget deficit crisis looming somewhere between 2015 and 2040.

It's caused, surprise, surprise, by the aging of the baby boomers.

The first official baby boomer will become eligible for early retirement under Social Security on Jan. 1, 2008, and for Medicare benefits in 2011. Social Security surpluses -- the surplus of tax receipts versus benefit payouts -- will begin its decline in 2009 and by 2017, unless benefits are cut or taxes increased, Social Security cash flow will have moved into deficit and begun to add to the unified budget deficit rather than diminishing it, as at present.

Don't forget Medicare and Medicaid
But the budgetary problems caused by the growth in Social Security outlays are dwarfed by the increase in spending on Medicare and Medicaid. By itself, the extra demands of Social Security are manageable: According to the Congressional Budget Office, spending for Social Security will reach 4.7% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), up from 4.2% in fiscal 2007. But pile the growth in Medicare and Medicaid spending on that relatively modest increase and you've got a backbreaker for the federal budget. According to the Congressional Budget Office, combined Medicare and Medicaid spending will add up to 6.3% of GDP in 2016, up from 4.6% in 2007. By 2030, federal spending for these three entitlement programs will add up to 15.5% of GDP, up from 8.8% in 2007.
This same demographic trend makes growing our way out of this problem very unlikely. Economies of countries with aging populations grow more slowly. It's likely that the real (i.e. after subtracting inflation) rate of economic growth will drop to 2.6% for 2012 through 2016 from a projected 3.1% in 2008, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Well, perhaps we can do some celebrity watching to make this speech halfway interesting

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hunkering down..Big Chill in Texas

picture by Carla & Thomas Cooper-Hicks's a balmy -1C (-5 with the windchill) or 30F (23 with the windchill factor). The kids were very excited to see the itty bit of snow coming down, mixed with freezing rain. Sorry guys, there's no making a snowman out of this! It's kinda nice and cozy though. My husband and I have been playing scrabble for the last two days and today, since schools and work got canceled, we're playing again. When it's cold and gray, it feels like 'Harry Potter' weather to me (translation, daydreams of Hogwarts and wanting to show of my talents of the dark arts come to mind) and perhaps we'll see an HP film later. Right now, daughter dearest is watching Finding Nemo.
I talked with a very old friend (as in, the one I've had the longest) from Canada last night and I related to her how they're using sand to make the roads more driveable.. of course, she, like me, said, they should use salt, sand doesn't help! But anyway, most people are off the roads and like I said, it's kinda cozy inside.
It's been a looong time since I had to bear the frigid weather up in Ottawa, CA and I don't think that after all these years living in the South, that my body could handle the very below freezing temperatures..and the windchills! Brrrrr...
I'm going back to finish lunch and play another game of scrabble.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me (cha cha chaa)

My mom and I eating Italian icecream.. nyum!

43, dare I say it 'out loud'. Everyone says, wow, you look so much younger, to which I say, thank you thank you. That sounds a whole lot better than my 9 yr old son saying during a mother-son hugging session, "mom, you sure were pretty when you were younger".. (say what?) lol. After a bit more probing (I mean, did he look at pictures of when I was his age, a teenager? what?), he said he saw a picture of my Canadian drivers licence that my husband apparently had in his drawer. Two things. Why does he have my Canadian drivers licence and a 'pretty picture' from a drivers licence?? Doesn't make sense now does it.

At any rate, we're hunkering down for today and tomorrow as we're expected to get freezing rain tonight and we already had so much rain that many creeks and some streets flooded here in Austin. So no going out for dinner with the family (to which I told my husband to remember to do it later, he doesn't exactly come from a celebratory family where they make a fuss for birthday people).
This morning I got three presents which I will share with you. They were on my Christmas list but were difficult to a)track down/find at the local bookstore, and b) could not be ordered in time. That's why a January birthday works out well for those things that do not end up underneath the tree in December.

The Trajectory of Change , activist strategies for social transformation by Michael Albert.
Buy at South End Press

Based on an original article from Z magazine, Michael Albert was asked to publish a series of strategies by South End Press and don't worry, it's not as if you will start seeing me on tv, chained to a fence, or other people. I'm a writer and as South End Press' motta states; Read, Write, Revolt. And the latter you can do any which way that suits you. To me that means writing, and not being chained. But who knows what might happen when menopause hits me. Women going or having gone through the change tend to really change. As the bumper sticker goes: well behaved women do not make history!

Where was I? Oh yes, present number guessed it: another book!
The New Media Monopoly (revised edition with seven new chapters) by Ben H. Bagdikian.
Buy at an Independent Bookstore

This is why I wanted to read this book:
The New Media Monopoly describes the cartel of five giant media conglomerates who now control the media on which a majority of Americans say they most rely. These five are not just large — though they are all among the 325 largest corporations in the world — they are unique among all huge corporations: they are a major factor in changing the politics of the United States and they condition the social values of children and adults alike.

These five huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — own most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, and movie studios of the United States.

These Big Five (with General Electric's NBC a close sixth) do not manufacture automobiles, or clothing, or nuts and bolts. They manufacture politics and social values. The media conglomerates have been a major force in creating conservative and far right politics in the country. They have almost single-handedly as a group, in their radio and television dominance, produced a coarse and vulgar culture that celebrates the most demeaning characteristics in the human psyche — greed, deceit, and cheating as a legitimate way to win (as in the various "reality" shows).

Thank God for bloggers to present some kind of counter culture to all of this. However, we do not have the critical mass to counter the current prevailing culture, because those who seek real and honest or alternative discourse, will go looking for it. It is the millions of minions who's lives evolve around eating, working, watching tv and living through other people's lives, who need to be woken up.

Robert Jensen

Lastly, a local activist professor/celebrity of sorts; Robert Jensen. Involved with , his Writing Dissent(taking radical ideas from the margins to the mainstream) tweaked my interest because it goes to the heart of what I was saying earlier; it's nice to have opinions that you think are important, but it means diddly squat if it isn't 'packaged' if you will (yes, I don't like the sound of it either) in order to appeal or open the minds of those who are thoroughly submerged in today's non-thinking, all accepting culture in this country.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hey ain't heavy, he's my brother..

Alex Jones

This past wednesday, I caught two (big) bits of Alex Jones' tv cable show here in Austin. He seemed weary and tired that evening, mentioning the fact that he almost did not feel like coming in because what was the point. At this time, so much information is so much out there, and it is "so OBvious" as he put it. He seemed like Atlas carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. The information is really out there, just waiting to be picked up and reach the kind of critical mass and outrage that is needed to bring about serious change. Not the kind of change that put the Democrats back in a position of power, but the kind of change that goes to the absolute root of how the world economy is being forged and manipulated.
Go and do some of your own research this time so you can not only see for yourself, but so you cannot say, oh well, consider the sources (links) she put in this post.
Seriously, suspend your disbelief for a moment (as they say in the movies) and google or what have you the following:
* Bilderberg
* Illuminata
* World economy euro/petro dollar
* real US agenda in Somalia

For a start.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Be/Take Part in the Impeachment Process..Impeachment Monday January 15th

From Impeach Bush for Peace:
It only takes a moment to help convince Nancy Pelosi to Impeach Bush/Cheney..

Pelosi most likely said impeachment was "off the table" to remove any appearance of conflict-of-interest that would arise if she were thrust into the presidency as a result of the coming impeachment.

What we need to do is to pressure Pelosi not to interfere with impeachment maneuverings within her party. Sending her Do-It-Yourself impeachments legitimizes her when she is forced to join the impeachment movement in the future.

Sacks and sacks of mail are about to arrive in Nancy Pelosi's office initiating impeachment via the House of Representative's own rules this Monday January 15th. This legal document is as binding as if a State or if the House itself passed the impeachment resolution (H.R. 635).

There's a little known and rarely used clause of the "Jefferson Manual" in the rules for the House of Representatives which sets forth the various ways in which a president can be impeached. Only the House Judiciary Committee puts together the Articles of Impeachment, but before that happens, someone has to initiate the process.That's where we come in. In addition to a House Resolution (635), or the State-by-State method, one of the ways to get impeachment going is for individual citizens like you and me to submit a memorial. has created a new memorial based on one which was successful in impeaching a federal official in the past. You can find it on their website as a PDF.

You can initiate the impeachment process and simultaneously help to convince Pelosi to follow through with the process. Do-It-Yourself by downloading the memorial, filling in the relevant information (your name, state, etc.), and sending it in. Be a part of history.

Impeach For Peace:
Impeach for Peace, a Minnesota-based impeachment group, has researched a method for impeaching the president using a little known and rarely used part of the Rules of the House of Representatives ("Jefferson’s Manual").
After learning this information, Minnesotan and Impeach for Peace member (Jodin Morey) found precedent in an 1826 memorial by Luke Edward Lawless which had been successful in initiating the impeachment of Federal Judge James H. Peck. Impeach for Peace then used this as a template for their "Do-It-Yourself Impeachment." Now any citizen can download the DIY Impeachment Memorial and submit it, making it possible for Americans to do what our representatives have been unwilling to do. The idea is for so many people to submit the Memorial that it cannot be ignored.

Feel free to download it, print out TWO copies, fill in your relevant information in the blanks (name, State, notary is optional), and send in a letter today. There's also extra credit for sending a DIY Impeachment to your own representative.

Spread the news, feel free to copy and paste and get everyone to join in. Go to the Impeach For website to download.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What Nancy Pelosi found during her beach stroll...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blood after Saddams' Hanging

One of my blogger buddies is a political analyst extraordinaire and his astute observations and questioning always leaves me impressed and wanting him to be recognized outside the blogosphere. He has had brushes with outside claim, being quoted on Channel four, (along Kel's Osterly Times, another favourite of mine) writing a weekend post for Taylor Marsh. Mash from Drstrangelove found this tidbit of information that might explain something about the appearance of blood after Saddams' death (to me anyway):
Nir Rosen at IraqSlogger is reporting on rumors that Moqtada al-Sadr was present at Saddam Hussein’s hanging. In fact, he might have been one of the hangmen. Apparently, that is the reason they were chanting "Moqtada! Moqtada! Moqtada!".

The pro-Baathist website printed the following pictures showing similarities between the hanging pictures and Moqtada al-Sadr. These rumors have been flying around for a number of days now. However, given the circumstances of the hanging, it is not terribly far-fetched. So, here are the pictures for what they are worth

Hmmmmm...check it out. And another post of his speaking about Bush's flawed sense of justice:
"Bringing people to justice" is not only about capturing and killing your perceived enemy. It is also about the fairness of the process. It is this process that America has in the past championed. At the Nuremburg Trials over a half a century ago, Justice Robert Jackson spoke words that today the Bush Administration would be well advised to heed:
It was the process that exposed to the whole world the atrocities of the Nazis and the justness of our cause. That process has stood the "critical judgment of posterity".

So, yes, Mr. Snow and Mr. Bush, justice is about the last two minutes. The first 69 years of Saddam’s life defined who he was. The last 2 minutes of Saddam’s life defined for all the world who Mr. Bush is.
Read the rest of the post.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy 9th buddy..

Mom? he said. What time was I born? Right away, I remembered the room, the doctor and nurses. My feeling 'weird' at the thought of having a baby, his screaming when he was born, him being put on the weighting scale and the moment when he finally was put in my arms (10 minutes after he was born) and I naturally held him and shushed him and kissed and sniffed him..he immediately quieted down. How different his birth was from my daughter's five years later.
No matter. I cannot imagine ever forgetting the day (night) he was born. Happy 9th birthday buddy. You're a great kid and I am really proud of you.
Dirk at nine, doing what he loves best; building

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Out for early birthday dinner

James and I. (aka, my mom struggling with the digital camera)

Ok lovelies, I've been asked recently, and not so recently for sharing personal pics and now is the time. Of course, after tonight's almost mishap of our old digital camera not quite working, we're probably going to buy a new one soon so there will be more under way. My mother has been visiting from the Netherlands for the last 2 months helping me out, and next wednesday she's scheduled to return. She wanted to take my husband James and I out for an early birthday dinner (mine is january 14th)so we tried this restaurent Ararak. It ended up being one of those places near the University (UT) that had a BYOB policy. Of course, I associated that with only alcoholic beverages, turns out, that includes softdrinks/pop (whatever you'd call it depending on where you live) so hey, next time, bring your own cooler! lol
The food was ok, but I am spoiled having had arabic food in really authentic restaurants run and cooked by people from the native countries plus my saudi experience as well. looked good, presentation was nice, it was a chilled out place (had to be being in studentville), and the service was good and the food was plenty as well.
shish kebab (I know, not original)
my mom, determined NOT to have her picture taken ("my hair looks awful!" "mom, no one knows you")

James, being a pill and not very sociable so we gave him a hard time and took a picture to make a point and while I'm at it...

my son Dirk (who'll be 9 this saturday) loves building with zooms and he made this big construction using a few hundred pieces (correction, he just informed me it's made out of 123 pieces)
..I think he's really a 'builder'

and last but not least, my little 'whench', Rebecca, 3 1/2 yrs. She's a little girl with such fun and fun-ny personality, her and my son both have a great sense of humour which of course, you guys know, they get from me.

After our dinner, we went to an italian icecream place for dessert which was really good and then home to pick up the kids from our neighbours'. Hmm..I'm getting hungry again..sigh..well, at least I don't have to worry about fasting (had to have my blood drawn this morning and wasn't allowed to eat my midnight last night). I'll probably get up in the night when I have the munchies..I really ought to go to bed.
I'll let you know later what I've been up to so far Zee!

Keith Olberman; The Beginning of the Death of America

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Appeal for Redress-Organizing Call for Withdrawal

Three dead American soldiers in Iraq

Sometimes, you find something interesting when you read someone's comment on another blog. This story I found by way of Baghdad Chronicles, my dear blogger friend Miraj who inspired many emotional responses, and in this case, a very interesting tidbit of information:
Just a few weeks ago Dearden took the dramatic step of signing a petition to Congress--what's being called by its organizers an Appeal for Redress--opposing the war in Iraq and calling for the withdrawal of US troops. When the Appeal is delivered to Capitol Hill in mid-January, all the names of its almost 1,000 uniformed endorsers will be seen by members of Congress, if they care to look. But with his Nation interview, Dearden is now going public. And while the military cannot take reprisals against those who have supported the Appeal, many of the signers agree that there are an infinite number of ways they can be punished, including internal evaluations, denial of promotions and harsh assignments or postings.
The Appeal for Redress, surfacing only in late October, has taken anti-Iraq War sentiment that's been simmering within the ranks and surfaced it as a mainstream plea backed by the enormous moral authority of active-duty personnel. It's an undeniable barometer of rising military dissent and provides a strong argument that the best way to support the troops is to recognize their demand to be withdrawn from Iraq. While clearly inspired by the GI movement of the Vietnam era, it takes a much different tack. Instead of attacking or confronting the military, as the resistance movement of the 1960s often did, the Appeal works within the military's legal framework.
...the power of the Appeal for Redress. Its signers don't marginalize themselves as lawbreakers, resisters or deserters. Potential signers have been assured they are sending a communication to Congress protected under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act and will not be subject to reprisal. The result has been electrifying. In the two months since it surfaced, almost three times as many people have signed it as are members of the two-year-old Iraq Veterans Against the War. Almost three-quarters of the signers are active duty (the rest are reserves), and include several dozen officers, of whom a handful are colonels.
Read the full article.
And another soldier makes his point;
I don't believe it's right for any American to go along with it anymore. Yes I know that we in the military are bound by the UCMJ and somehow don't fall under the Constitution (the very thing we're suppose to be defending) but sooner or later there is a decision that every American soldier, marine, airmen and seamen makes to allow themselves to be sent to a war that is against every fiber this country was founded on. I know that when April rolls around I will be thinking long and hard on that decision. Even though we in the military are just doing as we're told we still have the moral and ethical obligation to choose to do as we're told, or to say, "No, that isn't right." I believe that if more troopers like me and the professional military, the officers and commanders, start standing up and saying that they won't let themselves or their troops go to this illegal war people will start standing up and realizing what the heck is going on over there.
The sad fact of the matter is that we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq. We are fighting the Iraqi people who feel like a conquered and occupied people. Personally I have a hard time believing that if I was an Iraqi that I wouldn't be doing everything in my power to kill and maim as many Americans as possible. I know that the vast majority of Americans would not be happy with the Canadian government, or any other foreign government, liberating us from the clutches of George W. Bush, even though a large number of us would like that, and forcing us to accept their system of government. Would not millions of Americans rise up and fight back? Would you not rise up to protect and defend your house and your neighborhood if someone invaded your country? But we send thousands of troops to a foreign country to do just that. How is it moral to fight a people who are just trying to defend their homes and families?
I heard a lot during the memorial service about how the dead Marine did so much good for others and how his helping others was like a little microcosm of America helping because we have the power to do so. Well if we have the power to help people why aren't we helping in Darfur where hundreds of thousands of people have died in the last 10 years. Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death for killing 143 Shiites who conspired to assassinate him. (I know all you "patriotic" Americans would be calling for the heads of anyone who conspired to assassinate supreme leader Bush). And yet we spend upwards of 1 trillion dollars and nearing 3,000 lives to help these Iraqis when they don't even want us there. Not to mention we don't have the legal justification to be there. I guess we should wait around for the omnipotent W Bush to decide who we should use our superpowerdom to help next.

Check out more from the Soldier Voices Forum.

Let's see what effect this appeal will have. During the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, members of the appeal will
appear on Capitol Hill to formally present the petition to Congress to press their case. For an all-volunteer force, says Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, "it's simply unprecedented."
Again, read the story in FULL. Also, check out the Appeal for Redress site, click on the posts' title. Thank you Madame Arcati for including this story in your comment.


UFO's?? Aren't I supposed to write some 'well what a year I've had' blablabla..and 'here's my seriously New Year's resolution? I suppose I could but as you might have noticed, I have many interests and I'm pretty curious about a lot of things. I always have. Yesterday, I heard about an apparent UFO sighting at O'Hare airport;
The National UFO Reporting Center has received the following information from a single source (see below), who, for the time being, wishes to remain anonymous, and who prefers not to reveal for what entity he works. We have received documentation about the alleged sighting, which satisfies us as to the veracity of the report, and as to the credentials of the party reporting the incident.

We have delayed release of this case, principally because an investigation was begun almost immediately after our receipt of the initial report, and because we were hoping to obtain addition documentation about the sighting, before it could be concealed, or destroyed.

At approximately 16:30 p.m. (Central) on Tuesday, November 07, 2006, Federal authorities at O'Hare Airport received a report that approximately a dozen witnesses were observing a small, round disc-shaped object, metallic in appearance, which hovered over Gate C17 at that airport.

The object was first spotted by an employee, working on the ramp, who was engaged in "pushing back" Flight 446, departing Chicago for Charlotte, NC.

The employee reported to his supervisors that the object appeared to be almost directly above his location at Gate C17, it appeared to be perfectly round, and that its size was approximately equal to a U. S. quarter, held at arm's length. The object had a metallic appearance, according to the first witness, and it appeared to him to be spinning.

The first witness apprised the flight crew of Flight 446 of the existence of the object above their aircraft, and we believe both the pilot and copilot were witness to the bizarre object, as well. The witness also contacted his supervisors, who also witnessed the object, which was visible for approximately 2 minutes.

At the end of that time, the object was seen to suddenly accelerate straight up at a very rapid pace, and it "shot" through the solid overcast, which was at 1,900 feet at the time. The witness added that the object appeared to leave a "hole" in the clouds, where it had streaked upwards through the overcast.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration were apprised of the event at the time it was occurring, and FAA personnel in one of the towers at O'Hare may have witnessed the object, probably with binoculars. The FAA apparently reported that the object was not visible on radar, although that fact has not been confirmed at the time of this writing.

We hope to be able to release more information about the incident at some time in the near future. In the meantime, we would like to invite anyone who may have been personal witness to the event to submit a report of their sighting, using our Online Report Form. We would be most grateful if you would indicate in your report where you were located, at the time of the sighting, and what the object looked like, from your vantage point.

Here is another, similar, report for a sighting at Gatwick Airport, near London, on April 12, 2006.

Have you had any experiences seeing any UFO's or knowing of someone who has? Just curious...


I am part of the Kommandos Project and our great Kommander Kvatch assigned us this: check out the link.