Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wow! A year has past!

Well, I can't believe it's been a year since I posted here. Not that I've been posting anywhere else, hehe. I wasn't really able to find out much about anti-war protesting around here, but I know a spot near a ferry landing nearby where there are people holding signs every Sunday and I am resolved to go out one Sunday very soon and be with them.

I'm back in college and it's going very well. I'll be moving soon to be near to the four year University where I am transferring to. I hate to move again, because I love my home here, but I have to because my goal is to get my BA in Management at this University and that is that.

Last weekend I went to the Seattle Art Museum and saw this exhibit of Roman artifacts from the Louvre. It was really great. It's funny though, because I have actually been to the Louvre, but I was only about 10 years old at that time and the only thing I can remember seeing there was the painting of the Mona Lisa. I guess that's a good thing to remember though. Anyway, the Roman artifacts exhibit was really good and I especially like the mosaics, and now I want to make my own mosaic. Another thing that was good about the exhibit was that there were some marble busts of Marcus Aurelius and his wife. I had written a paper recently on him, and I had seen those busts in pictures, and OMG....there they were in real life......1900 years old!

We had the election primaries here in Washington not too long ago, and I had so much homework that I could not find the time to go, but my 18 year old son did go and caucused for Obama.

So I'm trying to start up this blog again because I'm reading a lot of political blogs all the time these days.

That's it for now from Plimpie.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Protesting the war

It's been so long since I have posted and many things in my life have changed since then. What has not changed are my basic tenets for what our nation should stand for and how it should be governed. Obviously our government, the federal government specifically and the Executive Branch in particular, is doing a horrible job.

The reason I am posting tonight, and the reason that I have updated my site a bit is because of the war protests that went on yesterday and today in Seattle. I was watching the news with my girlfriend and we thought that we would like to take part in these protests, since we both believe that the war in Iraq should be

So I told her that since I was a military veteran, that maybe I could check out "Veterans for Peace"(VFP) and then we could learn about when the next protest might occur. I thought it would be easy to get info on when an anti-war protest would next occur in Seattle by checking the internet. I guess I'm not very good at searching the internet or something, because I couldn't find anything much about the "4 year" protests on the Iraqi war in Seattle at all. VFP seems to want money and dues and stuff, and to be a member, they want a copy of my DD-214, which they probably will never get. They might have got it if their site was more up to date.

Now, I'm not a bastion of organization myself, but I think I can give the anti-war movement a little criticism here just because they don't seem to be able to get the word out. Over 60 percent of the American people oppose the war in Iraq, but if those people want to join an organized, mass protest against the war.....well......good luck finding one ahead of time I guess.

KING 5 news reports that there were thousands of protesters at today's march in downtown Seattle. I think there could have been a lot more if we could do a better job of putting the word out. And we need to do a lot more if we are going to put pressure on some of the cowards in Congress and the Bush Administration to do end this disastrous foreign policy blunder that is Iraq NOW!

Why can't we get the word out to the many thousands of in the nation that want to demonstrate and protest against this war? I don't have the answer yet. But I'm going to find out what can be done. And I want to be one of those people.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tears for freedom

First, I must apologize for neglecting my diary. It's not that I've been busy. I guess I haven't been angry enough to overcome my literary malaise.

Well, I would be angry today, but my despair over what happened today has simply absorded my anger. It did not absord my ability to write something about it.

I guess it's called the Detainee Treatment Act. It was signed into law today. There are a lot of things I am upset about in this law. For example, torturing people in accordance with the president (our public servant). Yeah, he can decide what kind of torture you can get, never mind common article III of the Geneva Convention. He can have you tortured indefinately, if he feels that way.

What happened today was that the president and his GOP congress suspended our right of Habeas Corpus. So now, if I get on the president's bad side, he can have me arrested. He doesn't have to tell me why I've been arrested. My request for legal counsel or to have my case heard in court have can be denied - forever.

I can be imprisioned forever, without trial, without charge.

So I wept today, for our country and it's constitution, because this act violates both.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Who won? Who lost? I'm so confused again...

Today seemed like it was going to be a really cool day, because I took a look at the news early, and there was Tony Snow, telling me that that "diplomacy had won" in the conflict in Lebanon. That was really neat. Let me tell you, I had a dickens of a time controlling my excitement.

"Well Plimpie," I thought to myself, "This could be a solution for all of the middle east. Here it is! A seemingly new found tool in our 'arsenal of democracy'!" Did I mention I was excited?

You see, I figured that if this new American tactical weapon of diplomacy was victorious between Israelis and Arabs who have been fighting each other for 2000 years, then it could very easily be brought to bear in the struggle between Americans and Iraqi's, who've been fighting for......well...just a bit less than that (it just seems like 2000 years to me and you).

I excitedly glanced over the details of the diplomatic victory in Lebanon and checked off the key points and conditions:

- a national army will take over
- an international peacekeeping force will assist

This was wizardry! And to think it was crafted by such experienced diplomatic artisans as Condi Rice and John Bolton. But what really grabbed me was that those two elements were in essence what the majority of Americans wanted to see happen in Iraq also. Yes, a full 60 percent of our country opposes the war in Iraq.

Well you 60 percent people, we've got a new weapon now! Diplomacy! We've got razor sharp statesmen (sorry Condi - oh, by the way Condi, you weren't razor sharp as NSA either) ready to put a full court press on the Iraq war and win another diplomatic victory. I said, I was excited. Then some other news caught my eye a few minutes later. AP reported that Sheik Hassan Nasrallah (how do you become a sheik these days anyway?), the leader of hezobollah (hisbollah? Herbollabah?) announced that his fighters achieved a strategic, historic victory over Israel. The announcement induced his fighters to promptly fire off their guns, thereby technically cancelling the cease fire and tempering my excitement. But look, they were just celebrating by firing their guns in the air, not thinking that, just like their unguided rockets, these projectiles would actually land somewhere at a velocity near the speed of sound.

Alright...alright....look here. For a moment, I was a little confused. First I heard that Diplomacy had won, then I hear that Shick Nasrallah of Herbollabah had won. Now, Plimpie wasn't born yesterday. Gnomes are pretty keen on silliniess you see. After studying history, and watching Arab demagogues over the years, I knew that the minute hostilities ceased, the shick would hit the fan with an instant declaration of victory. Arab pride knoweth no humility. It also knoweth no depth of cowardly school yard mentality. THE BELL RANG, WE WON!! (never mind we were getting hammered and thank Allah the bell rang when it did).

Okay, as I said I was excited then confused for a moment. But Tony Snow told me the scoop so I had a place to rebound. You see, I knew that my government didn't play those silly school boy games. My president was mature and learned and....eloquent...and....well all that. A country like mine could recognize a tie and call it a diplomatic solution just like a principal coming out at recess and taking away the ball. My president was above childish arguements and jibes, and would rise above it, taking the moral high ground. His spokesman had already ...spoken, anyway. I was good to go, hehe.


Okay. I guess there is this kind of thing with the present White House where if they inadvertently put out a message of temperance and diplomacy that you only have to wait a day and that will get overwritten by (Dick Cheney - ) a person of interest. Anyway, I was going to go out and enjoy the afternoon thinking that I wouldn't have to get the overwrite until tomorrow morning, but, Holy Gnome Crap, this story came out from the AP before I could leave the house:

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, just hours after a cease-fire took hold Monday, said Hezbollah guerillas had suffered a sound defeat at the hands of Israel in their monthlong Mideast war.
The president also said the war was part of a broader struggle between freedom and terror, and he blamed Iran and Syria for fomenting the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.
"We can only imagine how much more dangerous this conflict would be if Iran had the nuclear weapon it seeks," the president said.
Bush said Iran and Syria were the primary sponsors of Hezbollah guerrillas who captured two Israeli soldiers, igniting the battle with Israel. More than 900 people were killed in the fighting, and there was massive destruction in southern Lebanon.
Bush said the "responsibility for this suffering lies with Hezbollah."
"Hezbollah attacked Israel, Hezbollah started the crisis, and Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis," the president said. "The reason why is, this is because there's going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon, and that's going to be a Lebanese force with a robust international force to help them seize control of the country."

Well, dang it, the Texas schoolboy speaketh, thereby bringing the United States of America down to the level of cheesy-ness in which most Arab extremists exists. I mean, can't they just go at it on some metaphysical schoolyard somewhere like this:

George W. - Hey you Hezbollah terrorist punk! Good thing the bell rung because we were just about ready to kick your butt!

Sheik Nasarallah - are the terrorists!! Anyway we won! A great strategic victory!!! the way....rung is poor english.....I went to Oxford you stupid man!

George W. - No. We won, and shut up about my english or I'll go nucular on you!!

Sheik Nasarallah - Aiiee!!! You infidel, we won a great victory. Only the principal has stopped us today.

George W. - No. The principal is a harbinger of freedom. Freedom will prevail and you lost.

Sheik Nasarallah - I will kill you now, great Satan!!!

George W. - Oh yeah? You gonna take me on with all of my worldly friends here with me? I've got a coalition of the willing here, so watch out buster!!!

Sheik Nasarallah - Hey George, it's only you and me and the Israeli guy left out here and I already beat him up pretty good.

So the argument goes on and on while Tony Snow sheperds rest of the 1st graders back into the classroom, assuring them that it's all good.

Well, I wonder why Tony Snow, who speaks for the president, and George W. Bush, who I think speaks for the president can't decide who won in the span of 3 hours. Is it Israel? Or is it diplomacy? Well, I'll tell you what I think. It's all nice for the administration to put out the spin that diplomacy won, and then they can throw a bone to Condi while they do it, but they can't admit to a stalemate on this one, no matter how many civilians will be spared death. They could have just been mature and prudent and left it at "diplomacy has won," but no, not these guys. They tied it to the war on terror, just like they do in Iraq. They raise the spectre of Iran's nucular(isn't Geoge W. a darling?) ambitions in the Lebanese conflict as well.

If they admitted that Hesbollah wasn't defeated in this settlement, and that this conflict is part of the war on terror, then they would be meeting their own criteria for cutting and running.

And now we've come full circle. The iraq war, diplomacy, the war on terror, cutting and running, and we can't leave out - school boy mentality. What is left out of all this is Al Qaeda. That's because that is where the real war begins and the administrations smoke screen ends.

- Plimpie.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

British Terror Bombers Took A Wrong Turn

I'm sure others are just as miffed as I am about how these British Terror bombers that were going to blow up 10 planes inbound from the UK to the US were so misdirected.

I have a message for them. The war on terror is in Iraq!! We are fighting over there in Iraq so that we don't have to fight terrorists at home. Didn't these terrorists see and hear Bush and Cheney's photo ops and sound bites over the past few years? I'll tell you, these boys need to get with the program. Our presidential administration went to a lot of trouble and spent a lot of money to set up this terrorist battle ground. They conveniently located it in the MIDDLE East. Yeah, right in the middle. They left the borders of Iraq open to such benign states as Iran and Syria for easy terrorist access. Think, you islamic terrorists, no airport security to evade here!!! How much easier can it be for you?

This must be some radical islamist plot to confuse the American public, because we know, we've been told, we're fighting them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here.

Gah! I mean, it's like we throw this expensive party, and the guests of honor don't show up. Apparently the word didn't get out. Tony Snow....hmmm. Loser. Can you make sure these guys get the memo next time? Thanks bud.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

DoD Leaders should lead by example

In the military, leadership by example is the fundamental concept with regard to unit cohesion and morale. During my 20 years on active duty, I often wondered why many of the leaders in my division, department, etc seemed to overlook this. In the late '90's, one had to look no further than our commander in chief, who commited adultery while the UCMJ prohibited all of his military subordinates from doing the same.

Of course, our commander in chief today seems to have broken many, more serious laws with total impunity due to many factors - but chiefly, a timid congress controlled by his own party.

But the person I'd like to discuss today is the head of the DoD, Mr. Rumsfeld. As has been widely reported, Mr. Rumsfeld (who is a public servant and works for us, by the way) stated before the Senate Armed Services Committee that he "never painted a rosy picture" of the war in Iraq.

Well, that turned out to be a deceptive statement by our public servant. Here's the history:

July 9, 2004 - "The residents of Baghdad may not have power 24 hours a day, but they no longer wake up each morning in fear wondering whether this will be the day that a death squad would come to cut out their tongues, chop off their ears of take their children away for questioning, never to be seen again" - Mr. Rumsfeld, before this same committee

Feb. 4, 2004 - "The increased demand on the (US military) force we are experiencing today is likely a 'spike,' driven by the deployment of nearly 115,000 troops in Iraq. We hope and anticipate that that spike will be temporary. We do not expect to have 115,00 troops permanently deployed in any one campaign." - Mr. Rumsfeld, before this same commitee. Oh, I believe we now currently have 133,000 military personnel in Iraq.

June 23, 2005 - "The insurgency remains dangerous to be sure, in many parts of Iraq. But terrorists no longer can take advantage of sanctuaries like Fallujah." - Mr. Rumsfeld, before the House Armed Services Committee. Sen John McCain, just last month, complained that Fallujah was "still not under control."

June 23, 2005 - "These final months between now and that constitutional drafting and the election, (the insurgents) may very well be in their last throes by their own view because they recognize how important it will be if they lose and in fact a democracy is established." - Mr. Rumsfeld, before the Senate Armed Services Committee

March 9, 2005 - "At least thus far, the situation has been such that the Iraqi security forces could for the most part deal with the problems that exist." - Mr. Rumsfeld, before the Senate Appropriations Committee. At present, is there more than one battalion or two of Iraqi soldiers that can battle insurgents without the assistance of American troops? No.

What message can Mr. Rumsfeld's subordinates take from these statements? The General, Admiral, Captain, Sergeant and Airman? The message I guess is that deceit is the order of the day.

I know that this has been covered in other blogs, but the Gnome Spin Zone thinks that we shouldn't forget this deceit. It's a corrosive that trickles right down the chain of commands. This Gnome will not forget Mr. Rumsfeld's words.

My inspiration

"The fact is that people in Washington DC don't like "people power". They don't like regular Americans taking charge of their own politics, getting involved. They can't control it. The message is out of control. Who votes is out of control. And...this is not something that they care for. They want to squash it before it gets too big. They can't do it because there are no leaders to squash. It's a broad based movement. There are millions of people involved. And they're either going to have to deal with it, learn to live with it, or they're going to suffer very miserable lives as a result." - Markos Moulitsas

So Plimpie creates his blog, because these words mean a lot to me, and a gnome should be out of control.