Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vets for Freedom--Neocon Fraud

Lots of buzzz about a piece in the Washington Post called Reality Check for the Antiwar Crowd By Army National Guard 1st Lt. Pete Hegseth, fronting for his group Vets for Freedom, who writes to support the administration's actions in the War in Iraq.

Pete even had a great appearance on the nationally syndicated NPR Diane Rehm Show yesterday, but something didn't seem right. I mean he had a good story, spent a year in Iraq with Army National Guard, saw the good that would come from our involvement, wanted to do something to support the war effort and his buddies in the field so he and a group of vets started his group Vets for Freedom. Unfortunately, the usually competent WAMU staff and the even more competent WaPo got reverse Swift Boated by Pete Hegseth.

According to Source Watch the organization Vets for Freedom is a GOP front organization run a well known GOP PR firm The Herald Group and involves former White House spokesman Taylor Gross.

Pete Hegseth is not all he seems to be either. Again, according to Source Watch, 1st Lt Hegsweth's day job is as a policy consultant at the Center for the American University as well as the conservative think tank Manhattan Institution. While I honor Pete's service to the country, both WAMU and the WaPo should have been upfront with their listeners and readers about Mr. Hegseth's political associations and neocon roots, since that's how he earns his crust of bread.

Diane Rehm got reverse Swift Boated.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Toddler's Row

Well, I guess there is one downside to having a graveyard behind the house: Toddler's Row is right behind our fence. We seldom see the burial, but live with the aftermath for months, even years. Some families come every week, a few every day, a couple of women come several times a day for months on end. Often late at night ghostly wailing sets the dogs afire with agitation when the windows are open.

Men come too, but almost always with their wives', seldom alone. After awhile, though, the men all begin to wear their "shopping husband" faces as they mill about. I've gone so far as thinking about putting in a husband bench, like at the malls, for the men to sit upon and to wait. You can see it in the men's eyes; they're wondering the same thing on their side of the fence that we're wondering on our side of the fence; when will she get over it? Will she ever get over it?

Actually, it's not true that men don't come alone, but it's not like when they come with their wives. One guy came by himself last weekend. We were pruning the back the new growth on the Azaleas along our side of the fence when he popped out of his red truck, leaving the door open and the engine idling. He was on his cell phone the entire time he inspected the tiny grave, popped back into his truck and left. Guess he can tell his wife he came, maybe he was inspecting to be sure everything was right for the Sunday morning pilgrimage.

There are positives to having Toddler's Row near the house. Parents often leave cupcakes on the graves, which our dogs enjoy.

Life on the Edge of Other People's Graves

Nope, Mouseherder's feelin' fine. But the Rat's Nest is nestled in on the edge of a cemetery, which creeps a lot of people out. Not us, though, they're good neighbors and nobody's gonna build a condo behind our house.

We think it's pretty kewl, in fact. And so do the dogs. The graveyard has been alive on our morning walks this spring. The dog's jump rabbits and squirrels to chase nearly every day (all too fast for them, though. What they need is a squirrel on crutches). The dead people don't seem to mind the pups thundering over their graves, but their relatives do--the reason we're out of there by 7 am.

Life, as they say, is for the living.

I wonder if dog pee stains white marble?

Natural Round-Up

natural round-up from Mother Earth News

1 qt vinegar
2 TBLS canola oil
1 TBLS dish soap

Put in sprayer

Organic Insecticidal Soap

Natural Insecticide Soap from Mother Earth News

1" Fels-Naptha Soap
1 qt water
Boil to dissolve; put in lidded jar

1 tbl mixture : 1 qt water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

Put in sprayer

pour up a geriatric screwdriver

1 oz. vodka
6 oz. water
1 Tablespoon orange flavored Metamucil

Two or three of those in the morning should get things movin’.

Texas Caviar

  • 3 cans black-eyed peas (rinse & wash away the juice)
  • 1 large can black olives
  • 1 jar green olives (the broken “salad olives” are fine)
  • 1 med white or red onion
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 6 med carrots
  • 4 med jalapenos
  • 1 large green bell pepper (or red or yellow)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar

Wash & rinse canned peas and place in large bowl. Chop all remaining ingredients to about the size of the peas. Salt & pepper to taste. Add vinegar and oil. Refrigerate overnight.

We eat it bowls of it, but can be used as a relish or served on crackers.

They Knew What They Were Getting Into

The stupidest comment I hear in defense of the Iraqi war is that soldiers “knew what they were signing up for” when they joined the military. While true on its face, it is also disingenuously false because it only looks at the personal responsibility side of the equation, a favorite hobby horse of the far right.

What these commentators overlook, I think intentionally, is the bargain our volunteer citizen soldiers have made with the leaders of our nation, not to mention the citizens of our great nation. In the decades after the Vietnam war the understood but unspoken bargain was this:

I will serve you. I will protect you and our nation. I will sacrifice for you. While you sleep, I will stand lonely vigil. I will willingly walk my post on foreign soils so your children are not forced to.

In return I ask only this: that you do not waste my sacrifice in foolish endeavors; that you stand behind me as you lead me; that, when all is said & done, I can be as proud of your conduct, restraint & judgment as you will be of mine.

We, as a country, have failed every man & woman in uniform.