A different Christmas poem

December 21, 2009

Don’t forget the brave men and women who serve this nation so valiantly and with such courage.

Democrat Dave

The Limbaugh culture & the true cost of Iraq war

March 21, 2009

I was out of town for a consulting conference this past week and got into a direct and terse conversation with a McCain-Palin voter.  She seemed only able to spit out Limbaugh/Fox News/GOP talking points about the contributions Bush and Cheney made during their time in office.  This story would be laughable if it weren’t true.

This woman lives in Virginia, not too far from Washington D.C., is in her 60’s, and continues to be fearful about the events surrounding 9/11.   She believes that:

  • Whatever Bush/Cheney did, it was warranted because we’ve not suffered an attack on U.S. soil since 9/11
  • She doesn’t think that Bush/Cheney should be charged with war crimes
  • She stated “the only reason Barack Obama was elected was because he was black”
  • That Barack Obama has to be corrupt because he comes from Chicago
  • That we were fully justified going into Iraq
  • That Presidents no longer need a Declaration of War from Congress–that has become passe’
  • She blamed Bush’s  and the McCain-Palin ticket’s problems on the “main stream media”

I’d had enough.  As my wife says, you don’t want to get in my cross-hairs on issues I feel strongly about.  While it is uncommon to have such a  discussion in the midst of 10 colleagues, I had to confront her on what I feel is complete B.S.  And, I’m not sorry I did.

You see, one of the women in our group was a Captain in the Army who supported the medical mission in Iraq.  She and her husband both served in Iraq concurrently.  It just so happened this woman’s mother was in our group as well.

I oppose putting any American soldiers in harms way:

  • Under false pretenses (WMD)
  • To support nation building
  • To support a police action
  • For anything less than full-on military battle to win a stated objective

To commit as much money, resources, dead and wounded Americans as a result of an undeclared war is not only unconstitutional but wrong.

This woman seemed disinterested in hearing that (while we focus on the over 4,000 service men and women who have lost their lives in this conflict) about 30,000 have suffered injuries, some so catastrophic that their lives are changed forever.  My sense is that she felt entitled to this benefit because it made her feel safer.

The Captain’s mother told us she had been to San Antonio to visit the troops in a rehabilitation center treating some of the most traumatic injuries.  She said she went up to one person who was disfigured beyond belief including missing limbs, looked at him and said, “Thank you for your service.”  His reply:  “Thank you for looking me in the eyes.”   We knew what she meant–his injuries were so horrific that most could not even look at him.  Oh, my God.  What have we done and for what?

I pointed out that America’s standing in the world increased immensely the day Barack Obama was elected.  My colleague asked how our standing in the world had changed merely because of the election?  She did not seem to understand that Bush/Cheney had diminished our standing in the world. How can anyone be so disconnected from reality?

She didn’t know that back when Bush was re-elected, 80% of the world’s population had wanted Bush to not be re-elected.  She didn’t seem to understand that, even with an outstanding individual such as Colin Powell as Secretary of State, the U.S. forgot how to use diplomacy to explore solutions.

This woman believes that torture is okay as long as it keeps us safe.  How naive!

This woman is in that 30% minority of Americans whose thoughts bewilder me beyond belief.

The key insight I got from this is that it is her personal fear that drives these beliefs.  How sad for us all.

What do you think?

Democrat Dave

It’s Veteran’s Day–a day to give thanks

November 11, 2008

Today is the day we honor our veterans and active-duty soldiers for their service to our country.  I encourage you to take a moment and reach out to those who have served or are serving this great nation and tell them how much you appreciate their service to our country. 

American Heroes

American Heroes

One of my close friends, a gentleman named Hank up in Reno, NV, served on PT boats in the South Pacific during World War II.  I feel lucky to know him–a lot of people like Hank didn’t make it back home.

Hank claims the “heroes” are those who have died in service.  We don’t agree on this point.  The heroes are those who serve, not simply those who die.

Democrat Dave

John McCain and the GI Bill

October 9, 2008

Here’s more evidence of John McCain’s “commitment” to our veterans:

John McCain can’t be trusted to be our next Commander in Chief.

Enough!  Obama-Biden in 2008!!   Democrat Dave

Active duty soldiers favor Obama over McCain

October 9, 2008

John McCain has lost favor with active duty soldiers stationed overseas.  From an article in the San Diego Union back in August 2008, you’ll find the following: http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080816/news_1n16mildonor.html

 U.S. soldiers have donated more presidential campaign money to Democrat Barack Obama than to Republican John McCain, a reversal of previous campaigns in which military donations tended to favor GOP White House hopefuls, according to a nonpartisan group.

Troops serving abroad have given more than five times as much money to Obama’s presidential campaign as they have to McCain’s, the Center for Responsive Politics said.

The GOP and John McCain are in trouble with this constituency.   But, they are in trouble with most all constituencies.  No big surprise here.  Democrat Dave

Little support for McCain with active duty soldiers and veterans

October 8, 2008

I had the privilege of speaking with an Army soldier last evening who was just back from Iraq as we rode the SkyLink between terminals at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

  • He told me the vast majority of our troops are disappointed that there hasn’t been stronger diplomatic engagement before engaging in war. 
  • His view is the same as mine:  Putting Americans in harms way should be done as a last resort, not a first step.
  • He indicated that our troops get to vote and the vast majority are supporting Barack Obama. He said that, while they have to support the Commander in Chief, the good news is they get to vote for their next Commander in Chief and they are looking forward to getting a new one.

I told him that my sense is that all Americans support the troops; few Americans support the war and that there’s a huge difference between the 2 positions.  He understood and agreed with my assessment.

He’s not sure whether he’s going back to Iraq or off to Afghanistan.  He knows his visit home will be short.

I thanked him for his service to our country.  We shook hands and went our separate ways.

Pray for the safety of our troops.  And, pray that Barack Obama is our next President.  Democrat Dave

McCain voting record at odds with his “support” for veterans

September 27, 2008

Last evening, I saw an interview with a gentleman from VoteVets.org who clarified John McCain’s record on supporting veterans.  I’ve got to tell you, on this issue, John McCain really pisses me off!  

John McCain would have you believe that, being a veteran and former POW, he appreciates the sacrifice that our men and women have made and he’d go out of his way to take care of them.  This is absolute B.S.  

John McCain:  Your rhetoric doesn’t square with your voting record on veterans matters!  What a frickin’ surprise!   What a disgrace you are to our men and women in the military!!  I don’t know how you sleep at night given your voting record.  You aren’t a “maverick” when it comes to veterans issues–you are a pussy in the Bush Administration’s back pocket.

Over 4000 U.S. veterans have been killed in the line of duty in Iraq and another 30,000+ have been seriously injured, many with injuries that will impair them for the remainder of their lives.   And, this is just the Iraq war.  It doesn’t include figures from Afghanistan or other foreign conflicts.

Here’s a blog post in it’s entirety from VoteVets.org.  I hope they won’t mind me sharing it with you in its entirety here. 

Enough!!  Vote Obama-Biden in November.  Democrat Dave

McCain Overstretches his Support of Veterans and Troops  by Brian McGough Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 5:21 AM EDT

In tonight’s debate John McCain said “I know the veterans, I know them well, and I know that they know that I’ll take care of them, and I have been proud of their support and their recognition of my service to the veterans, and I love them, and I’ll take care of them, and they know that I’ll take care of them.”

Truth be told, this is not the case.  McCain has a lackluster voting record when it comes to veterans’ issues, and America’s veterans know it.  The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have given McCain a grade of “D” when it comes to voting in their interest.  The Disabled American Veterans have given McCain a 20 percent rating when it comes to voting in the interest of disabled veterans.

McCain has voted 29 times against veterans’ medical benefits.  In April 2006, McCain joined only 13 other senators in voting against an amendment that would increase funding for the VA to provide outpatient care and treatment.  Earlier that year, McCain voted against increasing funding for military and veterans’ hospitals.  This was money that could have been used to fix the problems at Walter Reed before it became a national disgrace.McCain was a staunch opponent of the bipartisan Webb/Hagel GI Bill.  This bill would have provided better educational opportunities to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  McCain called this bill “too generous” and tried to introduce his own watered down bill.  McCain didn’t even bother to show up to vote for the bill. After it passed the two staunchest opponents of the GI Bill, President Bush and John McCain, tried to take credit for its passage. McCain has an equally bad record when it comes to supporting our active duty soldiers.  McCain opposed the Webb/Hagel Dwell time amendment.  This amendment would have ensured that for every day troops were deployed, they would spend one day at home.  This time would have allowed troops to decompress from combat stress and to focus on maintaining the equipment necessary to fight a war.  Our troops and equipment are now dangerously overstretched.McCain opposed the Bayh amendment that would have provided $360 million for the procurement of up-armored humvees at a time when roadside bombs were killing American troops.McCain voted to kill the Reed Amendment. This amendment would have begun to increase the size of the active army in 2003 and focused on stability operations.

McCain voted against the Dodd amendment that would provide an additional $320 million in protective gear for our troops in harms way.

McCain also voted against a Landrieu amendment that would have given our National Guard and Reserve troops the equipment they needed to survive on the battlefield.

There is a distinct pattern in these votes, and that pattern shows that John McCain is no friend to veterans on Capitol Hill.  He may say all he wants that he is, but that doesn’t change the fact that he votes time and time again against the needs of veterans and active duty soldiers.