Saturday, August 28

First time since '24 Paavo Nurmi

Hicham El G, became the first runner to double in the 1500 meters and 5000 meter races in the Olympics since Paavo Nurmi in 1924. This time I had the pleasure of watching, what must be old news by now. He ran the final mile in 4:01 and the final 400 meters just north of 52 seconds. Wow.

The picture on the left is his 5000 meter victory, the one on the right is the aforementioned display of respect shown by his competitors after finally winning the 1500 meter title which had eluded him in Atlanta and again in Sydney. And this scene was apparently repeated a couple more times as emotion forced another collapse on the track. The men helping him are not countrymen, but likely guys that lost to him but grew up with the man as an idol, as I did with Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. As I said previously, this made me proud to be a member of the Human Race.

Damn went looking for a photo and may have spilled the beans for myself on baton passing fuckup-related program activities in one of the relays I was looking forward to watching. we'll see if it is the 4x100. Yep though not a repeat of the disaster of the magnitude that lead the womens team to a dnf. These malfunctions resulted in a silver for the american team losing by .01 second, what we in the old days would call a photo-finish. The brits won 38.07 the US followed in 38.08. It is times like these when I would like to see the times broken down to thousanths, cause it may have been closer to 38.078 to 38.081. Thats just the stat geek speaking, the Brits ran a great race. Now back to the El Guerrouj picture search.

There is another athlete (distance of course) that I hoped would win the gold in his specialty, and like El Guerrouj the longtime world record holder in his event the 800 meters. Wilson Kipketer has numerous World championship titles, the world record and no gold. Citizenship issues kept him out of Atlanta, and what happened in Sydney escapes memory. Tonight he was passed by two guys less than 10 meters from the line. I

Olympic Softball final

No not that one. Apparently, just before I changed the channel, because they were done with the afternoon olympic coverage, I heard that Dubya was gonna be interviewed by Matt "can't you get just a little bit more puppy in my eyes" Lauer. Before I left, they had the teaser: Dubya "he chose to serve and I didn't" or somesuch. While I have come to view George's press conferences as entertaining theatre, I cannot bring myself to watch a puppy dog roll over on his back while giving George a campaign spot.

Matt spies another puppy,
whose essence can enhance his
already puppydog bursting eyes

Get Mr. Herbert a beer

Herbert writes about Cleland's recent visit to the ranch this week and reminds us of the Hypocracy of Hawkitude, assembles a partial chickenhawk pantheon, and causes me to wonder why a party controlling all branches of government (fourth estate included) is so successfull playing the victim game.
Later, at a press conference under the hot Crawford sun, Mr. Cleland told reporters: "The question is, where is George Bush's honor? Where is his shame?"
Max I feel your pain, but lets be serious. Honor? Sorry, its one of those things that can't be purchased, it has to be earned, and quite franky the only thing our presnident has earned is contempt. Shame? Forgetaboutit. Never installed, instilled, or desired, as it would get in the way of the craven exercise of power.
Mr. Cleland reminded reporters of the scurrilous attacks by Bush forces against Senator John McCain in the Republican presidential primary in 2000 and said: "Keep in mind, this president has gone after three Vietnam veterans in four years. That's got to stop."
Not as long as an alarming number of Americans are willing to savage a man who had a consentual affair, and support a man happy to fondle women without their consent.
In what is surely the most important election of the last half-century, we seem trapped in the politics of the madhouse. What is incredible is that these attacks on men who served not just honorably, but heroically, are coming from a hawkish party that is controlled by an astonishing number of men who sprinted as far from the front lines as they could when they were of fighting age and their country was at war.
Sprinting? If it were possible to clock some of these guys, I would imagine that we would have enjoyed a resurgence in the white 100 meter world record holder. And who knows we might have been treated to this image.

Image Hosted by

And some 35 years later we could enjoy the political stylings of "Chickenhawk sprinters for War" as they jockey to get attention for stories like, "I made it 100 yards away from the draft board in 9.2 seconds, but I supported the war" "thats nothing Dick, I had to leap over the patriotic furvor of minorities on my way to a time of 9.1 seconds, while supporting the war" said Delay. "thats nothing", said George "I made the hundred yards from the draft board to the National guard in 8.9 seconds and I only had to whip the old man twice along the way"

Cats, Gifts, The Boomers, and Big Pharma

Nothing like the gift of a headless bunny carcass to clean up, first thing in the morning (i'm looking at you Bean). Thanks sweetie, I know you meant well. Bean is the smallest of our six feline overlords and the most accomplished killer of the bunch, maybe its the thumbs (she's got six 'fingers' on each of her forepaws), maybe an impossible to quench bloodlust, or maybe she is just being sweet.

I am happy that as a kid, I wasn't assaulted by the variety of drug company commercials that we get to enjoy today. Between "four hour erection" pills, acid reflux medication, and any number of commercials hawking products for unstated medical conditions usualy imploring viewers to "ask your doctor about", and my new favorite, featuring various middle aged people pulling their shirts off in celebration of a successful treatment of psoriasis. Back in my day when you got old you got geritol. I never had the opportunity to ask my mother what a side effect was, what anal leakage, was, or any of the other curious possibilities that the super speed talker mentions at the end of some of these ads.

I can only imagine what my curious young mind would have thought about the litany of age associated ill's waiting to jump me down the road. Is it just me or is the world a much scarier place to live in now. Mean while take a trip over to World o' Crap and enjoy a mothers love. Thanks to mr Black.

Friday, August 27

Magic Spiders, Phantom Knights

On the Tbogg page from the previous post there was also mention of another World Nut Daily article. I think I might have to start diggin' around that mine for nuggets like the following:
Sheik: Allah sent giant spiders to combat U.S.
Cleric says arachnids as big as a chair killed soldiers in battle

Posted: August 27, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2004

An Iraqi sheik claims Allah sent giant spiders to the town of Fallujah to help its residents fend off attacks by U.S. military forces.

Sheik Mahdi Saleh Al-Sumide'i spoke to Syrian TV on Monday, claiming several Arab television stations videotaped the helpful arachnids.
"They [the Americans] attacked Fallujah and tried to cause great damage to its residents," he explained. "They destroyed mosques and homes, killed women, children and youths, and spread corruption in Fallujah. Nevertheless, we believe that Allah protects the believers, and indeed, Allah stood beside Fallujah, and I'd like to mention some miracles Allah performed in Fallujah. It is possible that the media does not know about them."

Continued Al-Sumide'i: "The first miracle that occurred in Fallujah took the form of spiders that appeared in the city – each spider larger than this chair, or about the size of this chair. The American soldiers left, holding the legs of this spider, and I too, in one of the Friday sermons, held up a spider, with all its magnitude, in front of the satellite channels and in front of the world. This spider also had thin black hair. If this hair touches the human body, within a short period of time the body becomes black or blue, and then there is an explosion in the blood cells in the human body - and the person dies."

The sheik's interviewer then asked about the alleged TV coverage: "The people saw it, but the TV stations did not air it?"

Responded Al-Sumide'i: "The people saw it and the TV stations indeed aired it. I held the spider, and there were between 13 to 15 TV stations, including Al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera, Al-Majd, Dubai, Abu-Dhabi and other stations, and they saw it with their own eyes."

Some Arab Internet sites have repeated claims of Iraqis about the spiders, and there also are stories circulating of phantom white-robed knights on white horses sent by Allah that killed U.S. Marines in battle.

I have always wondered who would come out alive in a cagematch to the death between Allah and the Lord.

Six degrees of preparation H

Check out the happenings at the Eschaton, pointed to Tbogg who was pleased to bring us World net Daily takedown of my favorite little pony, Michelle Malkin, which is fun by the way. And then on the same page I discover that the Nut has the most recent "What He said is related to something she may have said at some time swift goat 'ropin' progam to say what ever unka Karls wants us to say distraction activities, so that we can be steered away from any substantive discussion like the anemic economy, the Iraqi shitstorm "what, that ole thing" while the vindictive pussified bitch bush, for whom it is a miraculous day when he can make it from subject to verb without having another bike wreck, plays around with his toy soldiers.

As an aside to other bloggerians out there, save your posts early and often-that is all

Thursday, August 26

An honor to be Fleeced

Dick "the charming one" Cheney stopped at a roadside farm stand during a trip through Pennsylvania and got some fruit and vegetables.

"In a lighter moment, the Cheney tour stopped at a farm stand owned by Ray Levan, 65, in the small town of Catawissa. Cheney and his wife went to buy fruit and vegetables, while daughters Mary and Elizabeth went with the Cheney grandchildren to watch cows being fed.

"The Cheneys purchased nine apples, five large tomatoes, three green peppers and a dozen ears of corn. Cheney pulled a $10 bill from his pocket and gave it to Levan. Asked by a reporter whether the $10 covered the cost of the produce, Levan indicated that it did not. But he said it was an 'honor' to sell the fruits and vegetables to the vice president, even if at a discount."

I need to keep abreast of any stops by the Bush/Cheney campaign in my state and keep an eye on my wallet. Why does everybody want to comp the wealthy and powerfull?

Jesus H Christ.

Over at the Eschaton, in a running thread, this was brought to my attention:
"....I am still trying to come to grips with the Dad in Florida who set the Marines van on fire and jumped in, after being informed his son was killed in Iraq. I can't believe how deep that one cut me. It is getting unbearable now!"

This started flashbacks regarding the pictures of the burning monk I had seen as a kid during the Vietnam war. I like to consider myself a resonably well informed person, but had not yet caught wind of this story. That's because it happened yesterday afternoon.
Associated Press

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Melida Arredondo said her husband knew what was coming as three uniformed Marines approached their front door.

And when they told him Wednesday afternoon that his Marine son, Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, had been killed in combat in Iraq, police say Carlos Arredondo simply snapped.

Arredondo climbed into the Marine Corps van parked outside his home and set it ablaze, suffering severe burns.

"This is his scream that his child is dead. The war needs to stop," Melida Arredondo, who had rushed home from work when she heard the news, said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

The military had informed her husband that his 20-year-old son, who is Melida Arredondo's stepson, died Tuesday in Najaf, family members said.

The father then walked into the garage, picking up a propane tank, a can of gasoline and a lighting device, police Capt. Tony Rode said. He smashed the van's window, got inside and set it ablaze, despite attempts by the Marines to stop him, Rode said.

The Marines, reservists who are members of a military Casualty Assistance Calls Officer team, pulled Arredondo, 44, from the burning vehicle and extinguished the flames on him, police said. None of the Marines was injured but the van was gutted, Marines spokesman Maj. Scott Mack said.

"The father was in disbelief, same as any of us would be after hearing this kind of news," Rode said. "But then the father basically loses it. You can only imagine what this father was going through. He snapped, to say the least."

Unbelievable, no actually, quite believable. It is one thing to lose the fruit of your loins, a cherished son, for a Just, Noble, and Honorable cause. It is another thing entirely to lose someone in a war that has turned out to be optional, and shamelessly run on the cheap, and whose case was built on a pack of lies. I sincerely hope that Carlos Arredondo recovers his will to live. I cannot imagine the suffering, emotionally and physically, that he faces, but hope that his flesh will heal and his spirit mend.

Uncle Juan Williams

Why does this guy carry water for the
most craven administration of all time,

could it be that he is looking
for a slice of Condi's pie?

Swift Boat Schrapnel for the truth

The Schrapnel still stuck in Kerry, held a press conference. From GWBush04 via corrente.
Shrapnel inside Kerry's body responds to veterans flap

Artillery fragments address comments made by Bob Dole regarding Purple Heart awards

Washington — Fragments from an exploded artillery shell which have resided inside John Kerry's buttocks for over thirty years held a rare press-conference today to respond to allegations that Kerry did not deserve Purple Heart awards during his service in Vietnam.

"I may be nothing more than small pieces of metal embedded in a man's ass, but I was there, man," said the shrapnel. "I remember like it was yesterday: It was dark, there was a loud bang, and then I'm in this guy's butt. I've been with him ever since."

That should seal the deal folks. Meanwhile Bush spokes-tool or lying sack of Sockpuppet, or steaming pile of mendacity, Mr John O'Niell, "yes mr Nixon I was in cambodia" "No I was not nor was John Kerry in Cambodia"

Atrios has an interesting question:
Look, if I just start making a bunch of shit up and someone publishes it can I get on every TV station in the country multiple times?
Only if you are willing to shuck and jive like a man on fire, providing cover to a record of abject failure, so some tiny little shell of a man, and the creeps he rolls with can spend another 4 years looting everything that is good and holy remaining in this country.

Just watched an Iranian man lift 551 lbs

In the clean and Jerk, with ease, as well as the Latvian Silver Medalist. Holy Shiite. Hazeen, nails (263.5kg) 580 lbs a new World and Olympic record in the C&G and made it look easy

Wednesday, August 25

Hicham El Guerrouj wins Gold

Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj crosses
the line ahead of Kenya's Bernard
Lagat (L) and Portugal's Rui Silva.
Picture / Reuters

I have always been a true-blue track and field fan and lover of the Olympics. 20 years ago I could recite from memory every single track and field world record and in some events roll off the last 5 and where they took place. Watching Johnson eclipse Pietro Manea's 18 year 200 meter worldrecord in the at the US Olympic trials, was something to behold. But the 19.32 second Olympic final was the destruction of a lifetime, you don't break sprint records by .34 seconds. Historically the record had never been advanced that far, Beamon's jump in Mexico City is probably the only performance in the neighborhood (and that was the definition of astonishment).

As an active child I harbored Olympic dreams and the two events I most wanted to compete, (Discus, High Jump) happened to be events so divorced from my talents that I have to chuckle at my childhood hubris. I turns out that I was most suited to run distance, but at my very best I may have been a 4:25-4:30 mile, needless to mention about 40 seconds too slow to entertain a dream of 1500 meter Olympic glory. My best sport was Bicycle Racing an I did qualify and compete at the National Championships, and was invited to a National team selection camp at the Olympic Training Center. While I never made the National Team, I am proud to have been asked to try.

I remember when David moorcroft, almost took the 5000 meter world record under 13 minutes to 13:00.41 in 1982 taking the record from Henry Rono and knocking nealy 6 seconds off the record. This brings us to Hicham El Guerrouj a man who took the 1500 meter record in 1998 to 3.26.00 from the great Algerian Moureddine Morceli who had run 3:27.37. He is also the present Mile world record holder at 3:43.13 also taking the record from Morceli. El Guerrouj has lost the 1500 meter race only 4 times since 1996, twice in the Olympics and probably twice at the worlds. Now if there is anyone that I am inclined to root for hard in any event, it is probably going to be a world record holder without an Olympic Gold. So after circumstance denies El Guerrouj his place in the pantheon of 1500/mile runners, I am so happy to see that he has finally earned a gold.

By Rob Gloster
The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece — Hicham El Guerrouj knelt and kissed the track that had finally yielded a gold medal.

After heartbreaking losses in the previous two Olympics, El Guerrouj won gold in the 1,500 meters Tuesday by holding off Kenya's Bernard Lagat in a dramatic test of wills on the homestretch. Four years ago El Guerrouj was edged by another Kenyan, and in 1996 he fell on the last lap.

El Guerrouj defeated Lagat by .12 seconds, then fell to his knees as his fellow runners came over to hug and caress the sobbing Moroccan. On his victory lap, the flag-draped El Guerrouj kissed his infant daughter, Hiba, and did an impromptu dance to Greek music playing over the loudspeakers.

"It is finally complete," the four-time world champion said. "Four years ago in Sydney, I cried with sadness. Today I cry tears of joy. I'm living a moment of glory."

El Guerrouj quickly was surrounded by his opponents — who gently lifted him from the track each time he knelt.

"I'm very happy for him. He was stronger mentally," Lagat said. "He has now achieved it all. This gold medal was the only thing missing."

El Guerrouj said he still plans to run in the Olympic 5,000. The first round is tonight. Among his opponents in that race will be world record holder Kenenisa Bekele, who won the 10,000-meter gold medal.

Such is the admiration of the talent and character of the man that his competitors help him along the victory lap. I honestly wished I had watched the race, but was not paying attention enought, dammit I am proud of humanity, and I'll have to repeat this:

El Guerrouj quickly was surrounded by his opponents — who gently lifted him from the track each time he knelt.

Pickles Nicholson

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by



The young John Kerry spoke of leaders who sent others to their deaths because they wanted to seem tough, then "left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude." Fifteen months after George Bush strutted around in his flight suit, more and more Americans are echoing Gen. Anthony Zinni, who received a standing ovation from an audience of Marine and Navy officers when he talked about the debacle in Iraq and said of those who served in Vietnam: "We heard the garbage and the lies, and we saw the sacrifice. I ask you, is it happening again?"

Mr. Kerry also spoke of the moral cost of an ill-conceived war - of the atrocities soldiers find themselves committing when they can't tell friend from foe. Two words: Abu Ghraib.

Let's hope that this latest campaign of garbage and lies - initially financed by a Texas Republican close to Karl Rove, and running an ad featuring an "independent" veteran who turns out to have served on a Bush campaign committee - leads to a backlash against Mr. Bush. If it doesn't, here's the message we'll be sending to Americans who serve their country: If you tell the truth, your courage and sacrifice count for nothing.


Now for an update on the White House's ongoing effort to kill the press corps. The White House travel office signed a contract last week with an airline called Primaris to fly the press corps to Bush events. The two-month-old company has only one airplane. True, media representatives gave their blessing to the deal. But that was before they learned that the company's president twice had his pilot's license revoked related to his flying of an "unairworthy" aircraft, that the chief executive flopped in his last attempt to start an airline and that the 15-year-old plane itself was damaged in a hailstorm a decade ago and spent most of the past two years mothballed in France.

He's kidding right? Well here's the company website press release page. I can't find any other news. So we'll file this one under the Pretty freakin funny department.

Pierce savages tweety and little lulu

Thanks to Mrs Atrios for heads up.

Things have gotten a bit tangled on the old electric television set these days. All sorts of strange critters seem to be wandering around inside the cathode's glass. Chris Matthews' political libido, for example. Last time I saw it, it was sitting in the Prospect Buffet, staring down at a spot between its hands, the second beer of the morning going flat in front of it, and mumbling, "All politics is ... " over and over again.

It lost its way badly during the decade in which Bill Clinton's actual libido had driven it crazy, forcing to look deep inside at the old Irish aunt residing therein. It fled Washington, finding a career stitching ladies’ gloves like the spinster sisters in Brian Friel's play. It turned to drink and there it was in the buff-ette, as the Red Line buskers call it. But, lo and behold, it found new life and purpose this month -- muscular and potent, clear of eye and steady of hand, working out on some of the poolroom liars among the veterans, and on Michelle Malkin, who is a poor banished victim of history in that history keeps rising up and batting one of her four and a half ideas back onto her head.

This last bit is the funniest thing I have seen today.

I love the smell of tack in the Morning

Time to saddle up my favorite pony. Dave Neiwert alerts us to the fact that Malkin is a dualie, citizen that is. Now this would be of little interest or concern if she had not decided to write a screed, celebrating the internment of Japanese Americans during world war two. I'll let Dave take it from here
Of course, she's quite right that the presumption that because she's Asian American she "ought to be" opposed to the Japanese American internment is nonsense. However, the fact that she is of Filipino descent in fact has a great deal to do with her book's thesis.

Malkin, you see, makes great hay of the fact of "dual citizenship" among the Nisei as a clear indicator of "torn loyalties" and a cause to suspect them of potential sabotage or espionage.

But Malkin, as it happens, is a dual citizen herself.

Under Filipino law, any child born to Filipino parents, whether living abroad or not, is reckoned a Filipino citizen. Malkin was born in Philadelphia in 1970 to Filipino-immigrant parents.

This Filipino government site explains the details of this:
Dual citizenship is the status of a person who is a citizen of two or more states. For example, a child born in the United States of parents who are Filipino citizens is both a Filipino (since his parents are Filipinos at the time of birth) and an American (since he was born in the United States).

The only means by which Malkin could have shed her dual-citizen status would have been by filing for the "express renunciation of citizenship." Perhaps Malkin has done so, but considering the lengths at which she has discussed the significance of the failure of the Nisei to renounce their Japanese citizenship -- and the fact that she has not been shy about dicussing her personal background in the context of the book's theses -- it seems she'd have told us about it by now if she had.

A few words about the Issei: There is little question that indeed many Issei remained loyal to Japan and never had any intention, let alone hope, of ever becoming American. While a certain amount of native loyalty certainly was at play in this syndrome, almost just as certainly the major factor in the persistence of this attitude lay in the very fact that the American government discriminated against all Asian races in refusing them the right to naturalize.

It's a classic one-two setup: Refuse citizenship to an entire nation's immigrants, then suspect them of disloyalty for not becoming citizens. Its use was a commonplace, especially in the letters to the editor, in the spring of 1942; what's surprising is that Malkin manages to dust off this tactic's mouldering corpse and prop it up long enough to make an argument out of it.

It's also worth noting that Malkin utterly ignores the role of racism in creating this situation. The reality is that, for the 40 years preceding Pearl Harbor, white supremacist beliefs about the "undesirability" of allowing "Asian blood to mix" with that of whites dominated American immigration policy regarding Asians. A typical expression of the supposed unassimilability of Asians in America was the phrase, "Oil and water don't mix."
the republicans have been rolling in the racist hay since long before the civil rights movement, and Malkin is yet another to climb the ladder to that loft.


The kids over at the Eschaton are discussing this and I wanted to share a couple of comments with you.

that means she can speak out of BOTH sides of her ass.

And, intriguingly, speaking out of one's ass is a cross-cultural phenomenon.
chica toxica
Does this mean that there are now twice as many countries who are ashamed every time she opens her cake hole?

What? Little Lulu, who goes to great evidence-corrupting lengths to attack Japanese-Americans as traitors, using dual citizenship as Exhibit A in her house of lies, is herself a dual citizen?

Why am I not surprised at her utter hypocrisy?
Phoenix Woman

Tuesday, August 24

Rude Pundit Goes to Vietnam

I always enjoy the way the Rude one throws it down.

And the type of slimeball politics, that the administration is playing by proxy, are knawing on a lot of old wounds. In the best of worlds this might be an opportunity ripe in healing power, an opportunity for us as a nation to come to terms with the damages inflicted upon our psyche by that war and it's aftermath. In the world we occupy, however, a world led by Smug Snarl and Smirk, they choose to poke a shitcovered stick into that wound, spread the infection, and tar their opponent with lies.

That they attempt to smear Kerry's war record in contrast to "I didn't want to blow my ear out with a shotgun", hardly bother to show up for training, while riding out the war in a champaign unit dilletante, demonstrates a hubris not to be trifled with. Let the Rude one have his day, and check out the rest of his work.
But let's get back to the issue at hand: why Vietnam? Well, the unspoken anxiety beneath all of this is the gut-wrenching, bowel-clenching fear and knowledge that, once more, we're into the breach with Iraq. That same horror is rising, a lot faster this time because of the "lessons" of Vietnam, that we are fighting for no good reason, and it's the nature of Americans to cling to their leaders like the starved children Ignorance and Want at the feet of the Ghost of Christmas Present. The violence against protesters during 'Nam was, in large measure, out of fear that they were right, that the government had lied and that thousands of soldiers died for that lie. In order to believe that, one had to overturn everything one had been taught about the innate goodness of America. Fuck, it's just easier to ignore it and spit on the protesters and say they deserve Kent State. Just like it's easier to beat up a homosexual than admit that you yourself are a fag.

We have to keep fighting over Vietnam because it's a way of projecting our fears about Iraq away from our current selves. Vietnam was a fucked-up, shitty goddamned war, a useless, murderous, maniacal policy pursuit that accomplished nothing but death, destruction, and dissent. People who volunteered to fight were suckered by the lies of the Johnson and Nixon administrations, that we were fighting some ultimate evil there before it made its way to our shores. The soldiers there committed atrocities, slaughtered innocents, and, yeah, all you John Fuckin' Waynes, shot people in the back. It was that kind of war, like every other kind of war, a degradation to humanity. The Swift Boat Vets have to condemn John Kerry because, in the end, he resisted that existential nausea of doing nothing when there is so much you can do. The Swift Boat Vets and the cowards in the Bush administration, many of whom supported the Vietnam war without firing a goddamn shot, have to cling to the myth that there was some good in fighting Vietnam because they have to cling to the myth that there's some good in fighting in Iraq. They have to believe it's good because America says it's good. Kerry embodies our national ambivalence about Vietnam and, indeed, about Iraq.

We are damned, yes we are, we are the condemned, because we forget the past, because we demand that the past be re-written, because if we don't fight the past, we have to justify our existence in the here and now. What horror that would be.

Chickehawk Pundit CircleJerk

Some of us may have thought that Chris Matthews might have turned a corner during his recent evisceration of the ridiculous Michelle Malkin last week. Chris must have basked in the warm glow of love from blogistan, where he drew considerable praise for actually doing his job for once. While I added to the chorus of praise, I did not share the expectations that Tweety had seen the light. I found the following comment form tweety himself a likely case of premature ejaculatude (scroll down).

One of my jobs on 'Hardball' is to cut through to the truth. Tonight on 'Hardball,' one of our guests pushed the idea that John Kerry had won his Purple Heart by deliberately shooting himself. The charge was without merit and baseless, as our guest under close questioning herself admitted.

We'll keep covering the political issues and will stand up against any attempt to broadcast misinformation.

Here's to hoping that you can keep your word Chris, one question though, Why are excerpts from the third chapter of Unfit For Command, on this page of your website.
Swiftees have remarked that, if Kerry faked even one of these awards, he owes the Navy 243 additional days in Vietnam before he runs for anything. In a unit where terribly wounded personnel like Shelton White (now an undersea film producer who records specials for National Geographic) chose to return to duty after three wounds on the same day, Kerry’s actions were disgraceful. Indeed, many share the feelings of Admiral Roy Hoffmann, to whom all Swiftees reported: Kerry simply “bugged out” when the heat was on
This fine paragraph is a wonderful example of writing that is meant to convey an impression, through inuendo, that Kerry was a coward, without actually presenting any evidence. "If Kerry faked..............he owes..." that would be like me saying that "if Laura Bush intentionally ran her old boyfriend over, she should be doing 20 to life, before allowed to be the firat lady. And what does the National Geographic have to do with anything, Sheldon White notwithstanding. While Whites bravery may be laudible, what it has to do with Kerry's actions in combat passes understanding. So what is this crap doing on your page.

Last night Chris, who chose action in the peace corps, instead of Vietnam, Pat Buchanin, former Nixon speechwriter, who also avoided service in that war discussed Kerry's testimony before congress.

MATTHEWS: And we want to take you back to John Kerry‘s actual testimony before Congress. Here are his words without the music.


KERRY: Several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation in which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.

It‘s impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. But they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They told the stories of times that they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam, in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.


Why any of this is still under dispute, astonishes me, though the attempt to whitewash the history of the war does not. This is just so much chaff released to divert attention from the curiously inconclusive record of bush's national guard service.

MATTHEWS: Pat Buchanan, is this the genesis of the storm, not whether he deserved this or that Purple Heart, but the anger a lot of Vietnam veterans feel right now about those very words?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It‘s the rage and anger and bitterness they feel that John Kerry came home and slimed their service as reminiscent of Genghis Khan and their belief that this man dishonored them and does not belong as president of the United States. That is what motivated them, I believe, to come out and go back and find all the data and charge that that man also was not a war hero but that he was a fraud and a phony.

It is certainly a displaced rage and anger. Their anger should be directed towards the chain of command, one that eventually required the use of the "Body Count" to demonstrate success. Is it really that difficult to appreciate that the calculus of body count warfare, in a country where the determination of friend or foe became increasingly difficult, would not lead to atrocity? That body count warfare would not result in the development of a means to prove the number, ears anyone. Warfare under the best of circumstances is horror, under the worst, unconcievable horror.

Later Matthews has a veteran on, Stanley Karnow author of "Vietnam A History", but hardly allows an edgewise word.

MATTHEWS: ... Bruce Capuno (ph) in New York who tried to do it both ways, and he was blown out of politics.

Let me ask you, Mr. Karnow, you‘re an expert on Vietnam, was the testimony of John Kerry accurate?

STANLEY KARNOW, AUTHOR, “VIETNAM: A HISTORY”: Listen, I have the advantage of being the only person who was in Vietnam at the time.


KARNOW: OK. Didn‘t spend a long time there. I think Kerry had a lot of courage to enlist. The overwhelming majority of students in the United States at that time were taking advantage of deferments.


KARNOW: They were staying on campus...

MATTHEWS: I‘m one of them.

Now as we follow this line let's see if Matthews is interested in the answer to his original question.

MATTHEWS: But is his testimony accurate? That‘s what‘s the issue here.

KARNOW: Let me get to the point. OK. So one thing is, he comes back with the credibility of having gone through the war. He‘s not like the kids running around waving Viet Cong flags and burning American flags and burning draft cards. He comes back with that credibility. He‘s—in my estimation, the war was unwinnable, and he realized it when he got there. The reason the war was unwinnable is you‘re up against an enemy that‘s prepared to take unlimited losses.


KARNOW: We called it a body count. We went out to the battlefields, and we see 5,000 dead Viet Cong or North Vietnamese. It wasn‘t a war for territory because you go back to the same area six months later...

MATTHEWS: But that‘s not what John Kerry said.

KARNOW: So when he comes back...

MATTHEWS: Everything you say is manifestly true...

KARNOW: Wait a second.

MATTHEWS: He came back and said, We were the bad guys.

KARNOW: I have personally seen guys wired up...


KARNOW: ... people wired up...

While Karnow is trying to answer his question, and even admits that he has personally seen at least one of the atrocities mentioned in Kerr'ys testimony, tweety seems interested in his pet of the evening that Kerry said "we were the bad guys." Well Chris that really is another issue, which you might want to deal with in a direct fashion, and maybe even have a show devoted to it. Could we stick to the question of whether the testimony from the clip was accurate.

MATTHEWS: OK. So we know.

KARNOW: ... with field telephones. Don‘t—the whole war was an atrocity. Atrocities were committed on both sides. The communist atrocities were awful. Look at the battle of Hue during the Tet offensive in ‘68. They committed atrocities. We committed atrocities. Individuals committed atrocities. Whether it was condoned or—guys in the field—the fog of war, the tensions...


KARNOW: ... the dangers were so...

BUCHANAN: But you know...

Allright, it looks like Karnow was able to spit out enough evidence to answer your question Chris. Kerry's testimony (comprised mainly of statements made by other veterans) was accurate. But you show remakable acumen as you tack your boat into a republican wind, and wind up GOP talking point doll Pat Buchanin.

MATTHEWS: Does that explain, Stanley, why the Vietnam veterans are embittered by this, because it really happened, or because it didn‘t happen?

KARNOW: Only a few. And I want to make this one point, and then I defer to my senior citizen here. These guys and a lot of other people have trouble reconciling themselves to the fact that we lost the war. The Vietnam war was the longest war in American history. It was the first defeat in American history...


KARNOW: ... and awoke Americans to the fact that we‘re not all John Waynes...

MATTHEWS: I hear you.

KARNOW: ... that we can‘t—and there‘s a certain bitterness that remains.

MATTHEWS: But are we all Lieutenant Calleys, is the different question...

BUCHANAN: No, we‘re not. And the Swift...

MATTHEWS: That‘s what he seemed to be saying there, didn‘t he?

KARNOW: That‘s—to say we‘re all—that‘s a kind of a rhetorical point, all Lieutenant Calleys. There were a lot of Lieutenant Calleys. We have scenes—Morley Safer did on CBS the famous scenes of the Camp Nay (ph)...

BUCHANAN: One year cut-off...

KARNOW: ... of the Marines lighting up the hutches.

BUCHANAN: Yes, what he—that was a hoked-up damn thing, if I‘ve ever seen it. I recall it very well. Listen...

Hoked up or not what can a man who was approximately 12,000 nautical miles from the scene of the crime, have to say about it that is not based on hearsay. Notice Pat champing at the bit to introduce some compelling swift boat testimony. Notice in the following, Karnow calling a spade, well, a spade.

KARNOW: Well, I mean, you‘re a partisan.

BUCHANAN: ... let me tell what you the problem is.

KARNOW: You‘re a partisan in this thing.

BUCHANAN: The guy comes home, and he‘s walking around with his swift boat—I mean, with his band of brothers. But when he came home, he said these guys and him and all of them were engaged in a dirty, immoral war, committing atrocities on a day-to-day basis, and their commanders knew about it. That‘s what he said then.

MATTHEWS: OK. OK. What he didn‘t say...

BUCHANAN: How now does he say we were over fighting for our country?

MATTHEWS: I hear you. I hear you. And what he didn‘t say is an unwinnable war. He said it was a bad war.

Man this is slowly degenerating into a quibble bee, and pat is ready to employ his phase distortion field. After a brief accounting of Dole's attacks of Kerry, and a brief lovefest for the old man, Chris, "..will stand up against any attempt to broadcast misinformation" Mathews, lets Pat do just that.

BUCHANAN: Well, i‘s—what you saw there is the Bob Dole that Richard Nixon wanted to be chairman of the Republican National Committee.

MATTHEWS: He‘s a great guy.

BUCHANAN: Well, he‘s wonderful. He was as tough as nails.

MATTHEWS: But he got a Purple Heart for the same...

BUCHANAN: Yesterday was the old Bob Dole.

MATTHEWS: ... kind of thing Kerry got one or two of them for.

BUCHANAN: Exactly. Kerry‘s first Purple Heart probably came from firing that rocket-propelled or that grenade, hit rocks in front of him, and he got a sliver from it. And as Hackworth, Colonel Hackworth, said...

MATTHEWS: Doesn‘t that happen all the time?

Excuse me Chris, is this not the shit that Malkin was trying to peddle last Thursday? At least Buchanin finishes his point backing Hackworths assertion that Kerry did deserve his medal. His column on the recent swift boat nonsense is here. Excerpt:

The stalwart Brown Water Navy warriors who fought at Kerry’s side say he was A-OK, which is good enough for me. The muckrakers such as John O’Neill and his Swiftboat snipers – who didn’t sail on his boat but served anywhere from 100 meters to 300 miles away – are now coming off like eyewitnesses when in fact not one of their testimonies would hold up in a court of law. A judge would call these men liars and disallow their biased statements.
Too bad that these are not the last words spoken in response to this smear campaign, as Matthews, continues his show attempting to suggest that Kerry's testemony was not brave because Massachusetts had voted for McGovern, and other stupidity that makes it clear that the recent threat to cut off his access from republicans worked, and he is back to being a GOP song and Dance man. Too bad he could not keep his promise for even a week.

The Icemen Cometh

Some pretty fascinating things have been found in glaciers over the years. The 5,300 year old alpine iceman is one example, and if global warming continues who knows what other things will be uncovered in time. This is pretty cool.

Monday, August 23, 2004 · Last updated 10:13 a.m. PT

Man finds 3 WWI troops' bodies in glacier


PEIO, Italy -- An amateur Italian historian has found the preserved bodies of three Austro-Hungarian soldiers in an Alpine glacier, 86 years after they were killed in World War One.

Maurizio Vincenzi, president of a local war museum and an amateur historian, said Monday that the three were shot dead in a battle to retake the peak of San Matteo on Sept. 3, 1918, when Austro-Hungarian troops were repelled by Italian fire as they left their mountaintop trenches.

War relics are frequently found in the area, but no bodies had been discovered since 1927, Vincenzi said. On Friday, he came across the corpses protruding from a glacier near Peio, 15 miles from the Swiss border.

"To find them in that state was almost impossible," he said. "The hands and faces were well defined, the fingernails, teeth, and skin on the face were all still there."

The bodies have not been identified, Vincenzi said, adding they would be buried along with other war victims near the village. A funeral was planned for Tuesday.
I wonder if they will eventually be able to identify these remains, they might have living relatives after all.

Monday, August 23

look who's smirkin now

Govermentin' American Style

Cole carves up Bush

Using phrases like "damaged goods", "drinking like a fish every night," and "addicted to cocaine," Cole attacks the latest Bush approved, Swift boat liar smeer campaign, and the man himself. It is always enjoyable when Juan takes a break from the Iraqi shitstorm, and draws a bead on domestic issues. And this case the dissolute Duaphin takes one on the chin.
The debate that a handful of Texas multi-millionnaires close to the Bush family have cleverly manufactured over John Kerry's war record is absurd in every way. The charges that they have put some vets up to making against Kerry are false and can be demonstrated by the historical record to be false. Most of those making the charges have even flip-flopped, contradicting themselves. Or they weren't eyewitnesses and are just lying.


What was Bush doing with his youth? He was drinking. He was drinking like a fish, every night, into the wee hours. For decades. He gave no service to anyone, risked nothing, and did not even slack off efficiently. At what point he became addicted to cocaine, in addition to demon rum, is unclear.
And the gloves are off. Cole takes aim at Bush's murderous tendancies.

The history of alcoholism and cocaine use is a key issue because it not only speaks to Bush's character as an addictive personality, but tells us something about his erratic and alarming actions as president. His explosive temper probably provoked the disastrous siege of Fallujah last spring, killing 600 Iraqis, most of them women and children, in revenge for the deaths of 4 civilian mercenaries, one of them a South African. (Newsweek reported that Bush commanded his cabinet, "Let heads roll!") That temper is only one problem. Bush has a sadistic streak. He clearly enjoyed, as governor, watching executions. His delight in killing people became a campaign issue in 2000 when he seemed, in one debate, to enjoy the prospect of executing wrong-doers a little too much. He has clearly gone on enjoying killing people on a large scale in Iraq. Cocaine use permanently affects the ability of the person to feel deep emotions like empathy. Two decades of pickling his nervous system in various highly toxic substances have left Bush damaged goods. That he managed to get on the wagon (though with that pretzel incident, you wonder how firmly) is laudable. But he suffers the severe effects of the aftermath, and we are all suffering along with him now, since he is the most powerful man in the world.
He follows this up with "We all know by now that Bush did not even do his full service with the Texas Air National Guard,.............." and then points to an interview on All things concidered with Roy Blount's nephew Murch Archibald about what it was like to work with the young Dubya. I am reminded of the nickname "Texas Souffle" George got from people who he worked with when on the campaign in Alabama. Let's take a look, shall we.

For weeks, reporters scoured Alabama in search of pilots or anyone who might have remembered seeing Mr. Bush at the time he was serving in the National Guard there. There is one place in Alabama where Mr. Bush was present nearly every day: the headquarters in Montgomery of US Senate candidate Winton "Red" Blount.

What follows is a discription of Bush hard at work on the campaign trail.

. . . Murph Archibald is Red Blount's nephew by marriage, and in 1972, he was coming off a 15-month tour in Vietnam in the infantry. Archibald says that in a campaign full of dedicated workers, Mr. Bush was not one of them.

Mr. MURPH ARCHIBALD (Nephew of Red Blount): Well, I was coming in early in the morning and leaving in mid-evenings. Ordinarily, George would come in around noon; he would ordinarily leave around 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening.

GOODWYN: Archibald says that two months before the election, in September of '72, Red Blount's campaign manager came to him and asked that he quietly take over Mr. Bush's job because the campaign materials were not getting out to the counties.

Mr. ARCHIBALD: George certainly didn't seem to have any concerns about my taking over this work with the campaign workers there. My overall impression was that he didn't seem as interested in the campaign as the other people who were working at the state headquarters.
Thats a man that likes to work and work hard.
GOODWYN: Far from Texas and Washington, DC, Mr. Bush enjoyed his freedom. He dated a beautiful young woman working on the campaign. He went out in the evenings and had a good time. In fact, he left the house he rented in such disrepair--with damage to the walls and a chandelier destroyed--that the Montgomery family who owned it still grumble about the unpaid repair bill. Archibald says Mr. Bush would come into the office and, in a friendly way, offer up stories about the drinking he'd done the night before, kind of as a conversation starter.

Mr. ARCHIBALD: People have different ways of starting the days in any office. They're going to talk about their kids, they're going to talk about football, they're going to talk about the weather. And this was simply his opening gambit; he would start talking about that he had been out late the night before drinking.

GOODWYN: Archibald says the frequency with which Mr. Bush discussed the subject was off-putting to him.
"Dude, just rolled in, lunch anybody, man did I really tie one on last night. Wooohooo, so did you go out last night, I had soo much rum and secretaries, nearly though I would not make it ot work today." After three hours of bragging about drinking, george has a couple hours left to kill, before starting all over again.
Mr. ARCHIBALD: I mean, at that time, I was 28; George would have been 25 or 26. And I thought it was really unusual that someone in their mid-20s would initiate conversations, particularly in the context of something as serious as a US senatorial campaign, by talking about their drinking the night before. I thought it unusual and, frankly, inappropriate.

GOODWYN: According to Archibald, Mr. Bush would also sometimes tell stories about his days at Yale in New Haven, and how whenever he got pulled over for erratic driving, he was let go after the officers discovered he was the grandson of a Connecticut US senator. Archibald, a middle-class Alabama boy--who, by the way, is now a registered Democrat--didn't like that story.

Mr. ARCHIBALD: He told us whenever he was stopped, as soon as the law enforcement found out that he was the grandson of Prescott Bush, they would let him go. And he would always laugh about that. "
Bush grew up a pampered, pathetic, priviledged, jackass, who never worked an honest day in his life, bragged about pushing his weight around. What a fucking tool. Maybe I'll dig around a bit and see if I can find some other accounts of the "Texas Souffle"
And there is more from CNN.

George W. Bush has long had a habit of giving people nicknames—and perhaps that's because he picked up a few along the way himself.

Like the one he earned in 1972, when he left his home in Houston to work on the long-shot Senate campaign of Winton M. (Red) Blount in Alabama.

Bush, then 26, would often turn up at campaign headquarters in Montgomery around lunchtime, recount his late-night exploits and brag about his political connections, according to a Blount campaign worker.

All that made him slow to win over the Alabama crowd, who began to complain that Bush was letting things slide.

C. Murphy Archibald, a nephew of Blount's who worked on the campaign that fall, told TIME that Bush "was good at schmoozing the county chairs, but there wasn't a lot of follow-up."

Archibald, now a trial attorney in North Carolina, remembers that a group of older Alabama socialites, who were volunteering their time, gave Bush a nickname because they thought he "looked good on the outside but was full of hot air." They called him the Texas Soufflé.

Skimming the surface and skipping over details may be business as usual for a happy-go-lucky 26-year-old, but it's a problem for a President during a winter of discontent.

Nice. Theres more, and in a first for this blog at least, we will conclude with a recipe for the tasty Texas Soufflé. First though form the Birmingham News.

Saturday, February 28, 2004
News staff writer

George W. Bush didn't make much of an impression as a Guardsman in Alabama, but plenty of people recall him socially from 1972, with memories fond and foul.

Bush is remembered by those who say they worked with him, socialized with him, even those who say he still owes them money.

Winston Groom, the "Forrest Gump" author, remembers a pleasant dinner with Bush in the summer of 1972. Lobbyist Fred Crawford recalls talking baseball, lots of baseball, with Bush. Birmingham native Murphy Archibald, now a lawyer in Charlotte, recounts how Bush often bragged about his drinking.

And he lived in a two-bedroom, one-bath cottage in Montgomery's historic Cloverdale neighborhood, the furnished home of a 68-year-old widow.

That's what the Smith family remembers most about Bush, how he left their aunt's home damaged, dirty and dumpy.

"He was just a rich kid who had no respect for other people's possessions," said Mary Smith, whose family found damaged walls, broken furnishings and a chandelier destroyed after Bush left the house. A bill sent to collect the damages went unpaid, the family said.


Bush arrived in the third week of May 1972 as an outsider to a campaign that already had been running for five months, since Blount had won the Republican primary on May 2. Bush came in cocky and that turned some people off, McLennan said.

"I think he had some preconceived notions about how the world spun," McLennan said. But after a while, Bush seemed to warm up to his new surroundings and everyone on the campaign, McLennan said. "I think he really grew to respect the people there."

It wasn't always mutual. "There were some people who obviously resented George coming in there. Everything was rocking along and then George was dropped in the middle of it."

That about takes care of that old but fun story from february. And now for the Recipe.

Texas Souffle

Total preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 eggs - lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup light cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 cups shreaded cheese - Mexican variety
  • 4 oz chopped green chili peppers with juice

  • Steps:

    1. Mix all ingredients together.
    2. Divide between 6 greased custard cups.
    3. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
    4. Invert onto serving plate.

    Sunday, August 22

    From the Too Stupid to Be True Department

    That foot in mouth disease plagues the daffy dauphin, should come as no suprise, but this is too funny.

    Recalling a White House meeting last spring with an Iraqi man who had both of his arms amputated by the regime of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), the president said the man, who worked as a jeweller, was accused of illegal currency trading.

    "And he had sold dinars on a particular day to buy another currency, euros or dollars, so he could buy gold to manufacture his product," Bush said.

    "And because the Soviet dinar had devalued, Saddam Hussein plucked this guy out of society to punish him, and six other small merchants, for the devaluation of their currency. He just summarily said, you're it, come here -- and cut his hand off."

    If you actually wrote this stuff and tried to sell it no one would buy it. Soviet Dinar, Ha freakin' Ha Ha.

    Bob Dole jumps on the Pile

    He just couldn't avoid an oportunity to sully his reputation. Bob Dole calls for Kerry to apologize for his his anti-war testimony from 33 years ago - Jackass.

    CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole suggested Sunday that John Kerry apologize for past testimony before Congress about alleged atrocities during the Vietnam War and joined critics of the Democratic presidential candidate who say he received an early exit from combat for "superficial wounds." Dole also called on Kerry to release all the records of his service in Vietnam.

    Separately, President Bush's re-election campaign continued to deny links to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an anti-Kerry group running ads in three states, after the resignation of a campaign volunteer who appeared in the group's new ad.

    With Kerry taking a break from campaigning, running mate John Edwards said Bush needs to tell the group to pull its ads, a step the White House and the Bush campaign refuse to take. The White House and Bush's campaign note that Kerry has benefited from more than $62 million worth of similar advertising against the president.

    "This is the moment of truth for President Bush," Edwards said in North Carolina. "The American people have to hear directly that these ads need to come off the air." Kerry also fought back in another new ad.

    Hey Bob, while you are down in Crawford with the prez, why don't you ask him to apologize for the smear campaign he is running through the front group SBVFT. Oh, and while you are at it see if you can get little boy blue to give us his guard records, or explain why he blew of his physical. And maybe you can ask him to apologize for getting all those soldiers killed for a foolish land grab.

    Swift Boat Veteran For Truth

    Jim Russel was there on the day Kerry was awarded his Bronze Star for saving the life of James Rassmann. He decided to write a letter to the editor, and share his experience.

    Since I happened to be along on one of the "excursions" where the boats that we were on were attacked and after which Lt. Kerry was cited for valor, I thought it appropriate to give my recollection of that event. This happened on March 13, 1969. I was assigned as Psychological Operation Officer for the Swift Boat group out of An Thoi, Vietnam, from January 1969 to October 1969. As such, I was on No. 43 boat, skippered by Don Droz who was later that year killed by enemy fire. We were second in line while exiting the river and going through the opening in a fish trap when a mine blew up under the No. 3 boat directly in front of us and we started taking small arms fire from the beach. Almost immediately, another mine went off somewhere behind us. All boats, except the one hit, immediately wheeled toward the beach that most of the fire came from (a tactic devised by Lt. Kerry, I later learned) and commenced showering the beaches with so much lead, that it could probably be now mined there. The noise was of course, deafening.

    Three things that are forever pictured in my mind since that day over 30 years ago are: (1) The No. 3, 50-foot long, Swift boat getting huge, huge air; John Kerry thought it was about two feet. (He was farther away from it than I). I think it was at least four feet and probably closer to six feet; (2) All the boats turning left and letting loose at the same time like a deadly, choreographed dance and; (3) A few minutes later, John Kerry bending over his boat picking up one of the rangers that we were ferrying from out of the water. All the time we were taking small arms fire from the beach; although because of our fusillade into the jungle, I don't think it was very accurate, thank God. Anyone who doesn't think that we were being fired upon must have been on a different river.

    The picture I have in my mind of Kerry bending over from his boat picking some hapless guy out of the river while all hell was breaking loose around us, is a picture based on fact and it cannot be disputed or changed. It's a piece of history drawn in my mind that cannot be redrawn. Sorry, "Swift Boats Veterans for the Truth"- that is the truth.

    To say that John Kerry or any of us were on that river to intentionally collect Purple Hearts really does every soldier and sailor, past and present, a disservice. We were going up those rivers (with an ongoing casualty rate of 86 percent at the time) on the orders of the same people who approved of Kerry's medals and who are now joining in the attacks against Kerry. Unbelievable
    Reading this account sends chills down my spine. Hats off to commenter Jac at Eschaton. Now this is the second guy outside of the band of brothers to come forward
    with memories in stark contrast to the swill being pushed by the SBVFT. From Chicago Tribune reporter, William B Rood, comes another eyewitness account, this time on the day Kerry won his Silver Star:
    There were three swift boats on the river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago—three officers and 15 crew members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on February 28, 1969.

    One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver Star for what happened on that date. I am the other.

    For years, no one asked about those events. But now they are the focus of skirmishing in a presidential election with a group of swift boat veterans and others contending that Kerry didn't deserve the Silver Star for what he did on that day, or the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts he was awarded for other actions.

    Many of us wanted to put it all behind us—the rivers, the ambushes, the killing. Ever since that time, I have refused all requests for interviews about Kerry's service—even those from reporters at the Chicago Tribune, where I work.

    But Kerry's critics, armed with stories I know to be untrue, have charged that the accounts of what happened were overblown. The critics have taken pains to say they're not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us. It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there.
    I was part of the operation that led to Kerry's Silver Star. I have no firsthand knowledge of the events that resulted in his winning the Purple Hearts or the Bronze Star.

    But on Feb. 28, 1969, I was officer in charge of PCF-23, one of three swift boats—including Kerry's PCF-94 and Lt. j.g. Donald Droz's PCF-43—that carried Vietnamese regional and Popular Force troops and a Navy demolition team up the Dong Cung, a narrow tributary of the Bay Hap River, to conduct a sweep in the area.

    The approach of the noisy 50-foot aluminum boats, each driven by two huge 12-cylinder diesels and loaded down with six crew members, troops and gear, was no secret.

    Ambushes were a virtual certainty, and that day was no exception.

    Instructions from Kerry

    The difference was that Kerry, who had tactical command of that particular operation, had talked to Droz and me beforehand about not responding the way the boats usually did to an ambush.

    We agreed that if we were not crippled by the initial volley and had a clear fix on the location of the ambush, we would turn directly into it, focusing the boats' twin .50-caliber machine guns on the attackers and beaching the boats. We told our crews about the plan.

    The Viet Cong in the area had come to expect that the heavily loaded boats would lumber on past an ambush, firing at the entrenched attackers, beaching upstream and putting troops ashore to sweep back down on the ambush site. Often, they were long gone by the time the troops got there.

    The first time we took fire—the usual rockets and automatic weapons—Kerry ordered a "turn 90" and the three boats roared in on the ambush. It worked. We routed the ambush, killing three of the attackers. The troops, led by an Army adviser, jumped off the boats and began a sweep, which killed another half dozen VC, wounded or captured others and found weapons, blast masks and other supplies used to stage ambushes.
    Wow. Fuck the Shit Boat vererans for the falsehood, and their George Bush approved slime machine. And if that isn't demonstration enough of Kerry's heroism, Lets see what a former republican senator has to say about the guy whose quick thinking saved his life.

    Former U.S. Sen. Chic Hecht of Nevada is a staunch Republican, but he thanks his lucky stars for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

    On July 12, 1988, Hecht was attending a weekly Republican luncheon when a piece of apple lodged firmly in his throat.

    Hecht stumbled out of the room, thinking he might vomit but not wanting to do it in front of his colleagues. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., thumped his back, but Hecht quickly passed out in the hallway.

    Just then, Kerry stepped off an elevator, rushed to Hecht's side and gave him the Heimlich maneuver -- four times.

    The lifesaving incident made international news, and Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the maneuver in 1974, called Hecht to say that had Kerry intervened just 30 seconds later Hecht might have been in a vegetative state for life.

    "This man gave me my life," the 75-year-old Hecht said Thursday.

    Hecht said he was amazed that Kerry acted so quickly -- some people were assuming that he was having a heart attack.

    "He knew exactly what to do," he said. "But a lot of people know what to do. They just don't size up the situation immediately."

    Believe me, people like this are extremely rare. I don't think I can properly articulate the respect I have for Kerry after reading these accounts. Bush is not only not in Kerry's league, he isn't in Kerry's Universe.

    The Horrors

    Richard Cranium at the All Spin Zone has a heartbreaking story about the suicide of a soldier who had just returned home from the war.

    The four airmen — Tech. Sgts. Dave Guindon of Merrimack and Nancy Young of Auburn, and Staff Sgts. Mike Steer of Kingston and Chris Moisan of Dover — serve with the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing, based at the Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington. All four were thrilled to be back home after a six-month deployment in Iraq.

    “It feels fantastic. It’s hard to explain it, it feels so good,” Guindon said about being home, shortly after he arrived at Manchester Airport. “I’m just going to take today slow, wake up tomorrow, and see what it’s like to be back in a normal place.”

    In addition to his wife and family, Guindon said he missed having a real bed, a real bath and real milk while overseas. He also said that in Iraq, peace and quiet — along with privacy — were in short supply.

    24 hours later, he is no longer with us.

    MERRIMACK — A decorated member of the New Hampshire Air National Guard killed himself at his home Wednesday, just a day after returning from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq.

    Tech. Sgt. Dave Guindon, 48, of Merrimack was a member of the 157th Air Refueling Wing based in Newington. In Iraq, he and four other members of the unit provided security to Army convoys. They returned Tuesday.

    So Tragic. Words escape me.

    Swift Boat Boobie for Kerry

    In honor of a character who goes by the nom de comment of W00T

    coffee tea or PUS, sunday afternoon media beatdown

    Susan has an extremely disturbing tale of intrigue, weaving fascinating characters, including, genetically-engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, investigative repoters, Fox Tampa, and Monsanto. Oh, and it just keeps on, keepin on, Pus in Your MILK.

    She also puts a boot up the collective ass of corporate media whoredom.


    Dear Media,

    Nothing cheers me up quite so much these days as reminding myself I am no longer an official member of The Media. Instead, I am reduced to the lowly ranks of the Non-Journalist Bloggers, where I may languish forever without becoming an invited guest on the Sunday talk shows, and thus prevented from ever gazing upon the face of God.

    For the past few days, I've listened to the press corps congratulating themselves on actually being slightly, perhaps even measurably less obsequious to the Bush campaign. And for that, I congratulate you, too. (Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, as it were.)

    I do understand why you're finally doing this. The polls show an opening: You're mad at how easily the Bushies pushed you around for the past three and a half years, and now you've rewritten the script. Now is the time when the Newly Principled Independent Media (right on cue) rise as if one and bite the very hands that have thrown them a steady diet of leaked largesse.

    Atrios picks up his 32 ounces and 36 inches of Louisville Slugger.......
    Things The Media Needs to Explain

    Why are the Swift Boat Liars and Move On "two sides of the same coin." Move On is an established organization which has been around for years and which has a very large small donor base (and, a few large donors as well). Swift Boat Liars came into being just recently to lie about John Kerry's record.
    And we must praise when praise is due, an Editorial at the Boston Globe gets it just about right. This is also over at the daily KOS.

    Big lies for Bush

    IMAGINE IF supporters of Bill Clinton had tried in 1996 to besmirch the military record of his opponent, Bob Dole. After all, Dole was given a Purple Heart for a leg scratch probably caused, according to one biographer, when a hand grenade thrown by one of his own men bounced off a tree. And while the serious injuries Dole sustained later surely came from German fire, did the episode demonstrate heroism on Dole's part or a reckless move that ended up killing his radioman and endangering the sergeant who dragged Dole off the field?

    The truth, according to many accounts, is that Dole fought with exceptional bravery and deserves the nation's gratitude. No one in 1996 questioned that record. Any such attack on behalf of Clinton, an admitted Vietnam draft dodger, would have been preposterous.

    Yet amazingly, something quite similar is happening today as supporters of President Bush attack the Vietnam record of Senator John Kerry.

    The situations are not completely parallel. Bush was not a draft dodger, but he certainly was a Vietnam avoider, having joined the Texas Air National Guard rather than serving in the regular military.

    Kerry, on the other hand, may have done more than Dole to qualify as a genuine war hero. Although his tour in Vietnam was short, on at least two occasions he acted decisively and with great daring in combat, saving at least one man's life and earning both a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. That's not our account or Kerry's; it is drawn from eyewitnesses and the military citations themselves.

    Concerning the opening sentance, can anyone who is not in fact batshit insane honestly imagine the pile up that would result if Clinton had ever pulled any of the crap that Bush gets away with, on a daily freaking basis.