« The Truth About Yoko | Main | The Times They Sure Have A-Changed »

August 17, 2005

It's My Party

Whenever the Bushites utter the phrase “9-11,” the BS detector switch inside my head gets switched to overload. Today, it went off like a massive power surge at the Bally pinball plant.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, “The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of September 11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing. The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died September 11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.”

Sounds like a hell of a party. In a time-honored tradition employed by magicians, dictators, and spin-masters of all sorts, when you’ve got a bad hand, give ‘em the old razzle dazzle. As Jerry Orbach once sang:

Give 'em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger 'em
When you're in trouble, go into your dance

Though you are stiffer than a girder
They'll let you get away with murder
Razzle dazzle 'em
And you've got a romance

Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em
Show 'em the first rate sorceror you are
Long as you keep 'em way off balance
How can they spot you've got no talent
Razzle Dazzle 'em

(copyright sometime by somebody, I’m sure)

54% of those surveyed by the Gallop/CNN/USA Today people say the war in Iraq was a mistake – “not worth going to war.” Bush’s job performance rating is lower than a UPN sitcom. Cindy Sheehan is making Bush look like a dick – although, to be fair, she’s received a great deal of help from George’s neighbors. So it’s time to whip out the old sawhorse and once again link 9-11, the mother of all apples, to the war in Iraq, the father of all oranges. Why do the Bushites think Americans are a bunch of dumb shitkickers? Well, it sure worked last year.

The Washington Post was going to sponsor this event but dropped their support once the details came to light. The Pentagon said in response "Everyone in America will pay tribute and commemorate this important day in different ways."

That may be true. I, for one, will pay tribute by cursing the day the Supreme Court – the highest court in the land – put this incompetent lying bastard and his evil masters in office.

Yep. They must have been high.

Posted by Mike Gold at August 17, 2005 03:32 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Anybody know how much the Pentagon is paying for this shindig? And are they paying with donations from generous right-minded citizens or with our tax dollars? Are all those kick-ass cowboy bands donating their time?

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 17, 2005 05:11 PM

Remember Mike... When you're right on the merits, argue the merits. When you're right on the law, argue the law. If you're not right on either... POUND THE TABLE.

Posted by: Londo at August 18, 2005 08:55 AM

One appalling aspect about this (of many) is that they have the money for this stunt, but the soldiers have no armor for their vehicles. Yeah, that's "supporting the troops."

Posted by: Martha Thomases at August 18, 2005 09:18 AM

You know, Mike, I'm not going to comment on this Bush tirade. I mean, if you're not raving anti-Bush stuff then it's Peter David, Glenn or whomever. Frankly, you bore me.

Now what I'd LIKE to hear is not what Bush is doing wrong cause, you know, for some people it's just because he's breathing, but what will the democrats do to get us back on track? In other words, let's take a point Martha just made, is Hillary going to have all the vehicles in Iraq armored immediately? Is Kerry going to pull us out of Iraq right away? Will McCain suddenly put enough border guards on the borders? Will inspectors suddenly check all cargo holds and containers? WILL WE BE SAFE? If Democrats want my vote, this inquiring mind would like some answers.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 18, 2005 10:50 AM

I think the McCain one is possible :) The others would require the politicians changing their public stances.

Posted by: Londo at August 18, 2005 10:55 AM

Hey, I've never don't an anti-Peter David rave, and I keep my anti-Glenn Hauman stuff private. As for my anti-Bush stuff, jeez, that must come as quite a shock, huh?

The democrats, Crom bless their childish souls, can't do squat about anything. Outside of the fact that they couldn't organize a box of animal crackers if the cookies were numbered, they simply do not have the votes.

Why do you people (and I just LOVE the "you people" phrase, don't you?) think that: a) Hillary's running for president, and b) Hillary would win the nomination. There's only speculation on the former, and the latter is -- right now -- downright silly. We'll see if and how that shapes up after November 7th, next.

But if Hillary equips the soldiers immediately, that would be on January 21st 2009 (make it January 22, allowing for the post-party hangover). Do you think this war is going to last that long? If so, do you think that's a good idea?

Will we be safer? After another three years of Bushite cronyism, how can we NOT be safer?

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 18, 2005 11:01 AM

I'd be content with a candidate who promises to make us just as UNSAFE as we are today, at a fraction of the cost. My plan for armoring the troops is to put an ocean between them and countries our cowboy president would like to invade with little or no provocation.

And if this blog bores you, you don't have to read it.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 18, 2005 11:11 AM

What's that about Cindy Sheehan? She seems like all she's doing is dishonoring her own son, and making herself look like a crackpot to me.

Posted by: Londo at August 18, 2005 12:24 PM

How is she dishonoring her son? By being opposed to the stupid, useless war that took his life? Opposition to the war is a majority position in this country.

And if she's a crackpot, then you need to see a shrink (unless you're Scientologist, of course). This forum is littered with such crackpots -- and you're talking to us!

If thinking this war is an insane and vicious waste of human life is being a crackpot, then I'm proud to be a crackpot.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 18, 2005 12:46 PM

Her son, a grown man in his 20s, re-enlisted in the army in August 2003. By that time, he knew that he was going to Iraq to be shot at, and quite possibly, to be killed. By then, we also knew that the original rationale for being there, WMD, was bogus, and that our leaders had either misled us on the threat, or so misunderstood the data that it's amazing they can find their way to the office in the morning. Ms. Sheenan believes that he was what, duped into doing so? That he was too stupid to know what was going on in the world? That he didn't have a mind of his own?

This was a grown man, who made his own decision. Protesting being there? I'm with you. I think we should have exited 5 minutes after the "Iraq election." But blaming the president for her son's death is like, in 2005, blaming Phillip Morris for your teenager's lung cancer.

Posted by: Londo at August 18, 2005 02:33 PM

That's not her point. She's not expressing her son's beliefs, she's expressing her own. She's opposed to the war and she doesn't want to see other people get killed.

As for lung cancer, I blame Lucy Riccardo and Fred Flintstone, but I'm probably older than you. To quote Bo Diddley, I'm four days older than water.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 18, 2005 02:43 PM

Fair enough, then she should stop portraying her son as a victim of all this, since he was a willing (and knowledgeable) participant. Being opposed to the continuation of the war is fine, I've been opposed to it for 7-8 months. But I don't think the men and women who are fighting over there are victims.

Excepting maybe those people who really were duped into going over there, and then were trapped and could never leave. But Ms. Sheehan's son wasn't one of those.

And, yeah, you're definately older than me. But, my point is that if you start smoking NOW, you've got no one but yourself to blame. I blame Wolverine.

Posted by: Londo at August 18, 2005 02:59 PM

Far be it from me to defend Hillary Clinton on this issue (I haven't forgiven her for voting for the way), but she is not the President, nor does she control the funding. Neither does John Kerry (who did campaignon the issue of getting the troops the equipment they needed), because he's a single Senator in the minority party. I'm afraid the responsibility for this one lies with Bush and his supporters.

My idea of supporting the troops is to bring them home, but I'm just a crazy mom.

Posted by: Martha Thomases at August 18, 2005 03:00 PM

eclark, when did McCain become a Democrat??

Incidentally, everybody, my wife's name is Hillary, and I have it on good authority that she has absolutely no plans to run for President in 2008, or any other year.

Posted by: Jonathan (the other one) at August 18, 2005 05:08 PM

I don't think it's too much of stretch to assume that some people join the military out of a sense of obligation, and will fight in wars in which they may not believe because they see that as part of their patriotic duty, regardless of their personal beliefs. And if they get killed in a war that was based on lies and was subsequently waged in an ill-conceived and disastrous fashion, I have no problem seeing them as victims.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 18, 2005 05:08 PM

And since Mike started this thread off with a song, here's my contribution:

She's a rebel.
She's a saint.
She's the salt of the Earth.
And she's dangerous.

--Billy Joel Armstrong

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 18, 2005 08:11 PM

Excellent point, Rick. If he'd already been in the service, then he could very well have known what our soldiers were going through and how every able-bodied addition to the force would be appreciated.

Posted by: Andy Holman at August 19, 2005 11:47 AM


Sorry about that . I haven't been back here since I posted that so I didn't catch it. What I meant was that if you were Bush- Bashing, then Peter or Glenn was.


You mean he's not? What the--

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 19, 2005 07:01 PM

I meant "weren't Bush -bashing". Geez, I need some sleep.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 20, 2005 03:31 PM

Well, of course McCain isn't really a Republican. *He's* actually a conservative, something that's disqualified you from being a Republican for years now...

Posted by: Patrick Calloway at August 20, 2005 04:23 PM

With all due respect to John McCain's past record, including his military service, I don't know what he is now, other than a shadow of his former self. He occasionally strays from the party line, but not very far and never for very long. The 2004 presidential campaign photo ops with McCain standing off to the side like Bush's forgotten puppy were pathetic.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 20, 2005 05:17 PM

Sorry, that dog don't hunt. If McCain feels like an outsider, he has no one but himself to blame. The man seems to go out of his way to disagree with Bush, then wants to portray himself as a loyal Republican. What crap.

And no, I'm not against bi-partisanship, although I have noticed that the media doesn't fall all over itself to try and get the latest soundbite from someone like John Breaux when he goes against the Democratic talking points.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 20, 2005 06:40 PM


Yes, I think we basically agree about McCain. (That makes one in a row.) He occasionally says thing that make it seem like he wants to be something other than a straight party man, but ultimately he says and does what the party wants because he doesn't want to lose the support of the party. IMHO, he's shot any credibility he might have had as an an "alternative" Republican.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 20, 2005 07:01 PM

Here's some statements I recently sent to an acquaintance about the issue:

"I have mixed feelings about the whole Cindy Sheehan thing.

On one hand, she has a right to voice her views about whatever issues she wants. It's a free country.

On the other hand, my personal opinion is that she has absolutely no right to speak on behalf of her dead son. He was an adult and he made his own decision about joining the service. There are lots of parents who are against a son or daughter's career choice -- particularly when the career carries a degree of risk. But the fact is, it is the son or daughter's decision.

I love my mother, but she had absolutely no say in my decision to join the Air Force. I did not consult her, and after careful research and thoughtful reflection, I made the decision on my own. That being said, if I had died while in the service, the absolute last thing I would want from my mother, father, wife or other close relative, legacy-wise, is to have them use my death to further their own personal political agendas. They have no right to do so, in my opinion."

One addendum: To a professional U.S. soldier, it does not matter whether you personally agree with the politics of an operation ordered by the president. When you agree to serve, you go where you are sent and perform your mission to the best of your ability. If military members unilaterally followed their own politics when ordered by the president to do something they disagreed with, they would be ignoring the Constitution.

Posted by: R. Maheras at August 21, 2005 12:17 PM


Once again, I state for the record: she is not speaking for her son, she is speaking for herself and her own experiences. Really, honest, mothers have a right to express their own opinions, even if they disagree with what the right wingers think should have been her dead son's opinions.

Hate to break it to you folks, but there ARE lots of Iraqi vets and soldiers out there who are opposed to the war; the latter are, of course, obligated not to act on that opinion. But their parents, siblings, friends, and total strangers can express their own opinions.

It never ceases to amaze me how many right wingers out there believe that this woman should keep her mouth shut and, I dunno, craw into the crave with the poor bastard. Is THAT the right's definition of freedom? Sure seems so.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 21, 2005 12:26 PM

Let's taken it as a given that Cindy Sheehan's son was an adult who knew what he was doing when he joined the military. Let's further taken it as a given that he was aware of the risks, including the distinct possibility that he would die in combat.

So what? Does that excuse a policy based on what the adminstration either knew or strongly suspected was mostly lies and a strategy based on wishful thinking rather than military expertise? Heck let's even forget the perpetually changing "reasons" for the war. Let's just focus on the conduct of the war itself. By virtually all accounts outside the White House, it's a disaster -- and that disaster and the mounting death toll are the direct results of the irresponsible and incompetent actions of the Bush administration.

So let's say ALL the dead soldiers joined up and went to war with open eyes and willingly gave their lives for their country. IMHO, they're still victims, and Cindy Sheehan has every right to ask why they died. What was the noble cause?

No doubt the president would say the noble cause is a "free" Iraq. But those of us without defective memories recall that this was not the reason provided at the outset (or certainly not the primary reason), and Iraq today isn't really particularly free.

Or maybe the president would say we're fighting terrorism in Iraq. But that's somewhat disingenous, because there were no terrorists in significant numbers in Iraq or even credible ties to the specific terrorists we were supposedly fighting prior to our invasion. The "threat" of terrorism in Iraq today is one of our own direct making.

So, once again, what was the noble cause our soldiers died for?

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 21, 2005 02:37 PM

Geez Mike, just how BIG is the brush you're painting with? Oh and you missed a few spots on the left.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 21, 2005 05:16 PM

"So, once again, what was the noble cause our soldiers died for?"

He served his country when it called. I think that's pretty damn noble considering how many people are willing to take advantage of the rights and privileges this country has to offer but offer nothing but criticism in return.

I'm reminded of what the 9-11 terrorists did the night before they died. These warriors who can't stand the western culture and way of life, went out and painted the town red.

I look at it this way, if a guy throws himself on a grenade to save my worthless life, the least I can do is to make my life meaningful and to not call the guy a jerk who died for nothing.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 21, 2005 08:22 PM

Except for the inconvienent fact that no one has called him a jerk. He served his country, and many beleive he was ill-used by those in power, and that, yes, the reason he died was meaningless.

But, since the facts aren't really inflammitory enough, please, by all means, pretend they slandered him personally...

Posted by: Patrick Calloway at August 21, 2005 09:27 PM

Posted by: george at August 21, 2005 09:39 PM

Okay, first I didn't say anyone had "called" him a jerk, but yeah telling someone they gave their life for a meaningless reason to me is the same as calling someone a jerk. He died because he believed he was doing the right thing. Second, the war isn't meaningless unless we pull out before there's a conclusive victory for us. Dying because a drunk driver forced you off a road is meaningless, and you didn't give your life, someone took it from you. Dying freeing a country of a tyrannical jackass, even if he's not as big a threat as you originally thought is not meaningless.

Second, let's not pretend that some on the left haven't called some a jerk before, or do I have to bring up Ted Rall and Pat Tillman? Or Bill Maher's comment about "low lying fruit"?

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 21, 2005 10:19 PM

Yes, because we all know the right has NEVER maligned the motives of those they disagreed with...

You start painting with a wide brush, my friend, don't be surprised if you feel some bristles brushing against your own neck...

Posted by: Patrick Calloway at August 21, 2005 10:37 PM

Mike wrote: "Once again, I state for the record: she is not speaking for her son, she is speaking for herself and her own experiences."

I hate to disagree with you, but we wouldn't even be having this exchange if that were really the case.

Posted by: R. Maheras at August 22, 2005 12:02 AM

Funny, my dictionary doesn't list "jerk" as a synonym for "victim" -- and I'm reasonably sure Cindy Sheehan never referred to her son as a jerk. If you look back, you'll see that when this thread veered off onto to Cindy Sheehan topic, the discussion was about, well, Cindy Sheehan, not what Ted Rall had to say on the subject.

And while it's certainly noble to throw yourself on a grenade to save someone else's life, that doesn't absolve those in authority who put you in that position in the first place. They still have to answer for their actions.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 22, 2005 07:57 AM

> According to the most recent news reports out of Iraq, the new constitution will give the Islamic courts authority over women's rights, which means there won't be any. Doesn't sound like freedom to me.

Posted by: Martha Thomases at August 22, 2005 10:17 AM

Of course women will have rights. They will have the right to remain silent.

Both the Kurds and the Shi'ites also want the constitution to divide Iraq into three somewhat loosely connected states, which will in all likelihood eventually lead to three separate countries: Kurdistan in the north, controlling the northern oil reserves; a Shi'ite state in the south, controlling the southern oil reserves; and, if they're lucky, the Arab Sunnis will get the vast wasteland in the middle.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 22, 2005 11:14 AM

Nice one Rick. but yeah she does probably think he was a jerk. After all he VOLUNTEERED for the mission that got him killed. So HE was the authority that put him in that position. Oh, she'll probably not say that out loud, but I imagine she's thinking it pretty loudly.

Strains of "Billy Don't Be a Hero" must dance through her head.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 23, 2005 10:00 AM

I think common decency would suggest that before you make a public statement like that, Earl, you should at least offer a shred of information that supports that statement.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 23, 2005 10:07 AM

Which statement Mike? That her son volunteered? I got that info from news reports. If you're talking about what's going on in Cindy Sheehan's mind, I would concede that that's pure fiction on my part as I have no way of knowing what she's thinking, which I might point out that neither do you.

But my language left no doubt that I don't know for certain what she's thinking.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 23, 2005 10:12 AM

M. Scott Peck said, "It is characteristic of those who are evil to judge others as evil. Unable to acknowledge their own imperfections, they must explain away their flaws by blaming others. And, if necessary, they will even destory others in the name of righteousness." Which seems to be what Mr. Clark is doing.

Posted by: Martha Thomases at August 23, 2005 10:17 AM

Simple logic dictates one cannot prove what WASN'T in somebody's mind. You, however, made a definitive statement as to what you firmly believe WAS in her mind -- that she believes her son was a fool -- and I'm asking you to support that belief. Which of her statements or actions led you to an informed opinion?

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 23, 2005 10:18 AM

What supports that belief is her statement that she believes that he was fighting in a "meaningless" war. He VOLUNTEERED for a mission in that "meaningless" war. He got himself killed. Inkeeping with an earlier statement I made, I think she believes her son was a jerk. I'm sorry if my opinion offends you, but that's what I believe.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 23, 2005 10:25 AM

Martha, You have the right to believe what you like.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 23, 2005 10:26 AM

Oh, your opinion doesn't offend me, Earl. Opinions rarely do. They're opinions. Uninformed opinions annoy me, but that's a different matter. I asked you to explain your position, and you did.

I do think it's quite a leap -- and, jeez, that's my act. Meaningless war + his volunteering + getting himself killed (and I don't know if she actually believes he got himself killed) does not necessarily equate thinking your kid is a jerk. My daughter does a lot of weird things, and I don't think she's a jerk. I've done a LOT of VERY weird things, and I don't believe my parents think I'm a jerk. Hell, I've jumped out of airplanes and I don't think that I'm a jerk. I may be an asshole, but trust me, only for a living.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 23, 2005 10:31 AM

You know, furthermore, the mission he volunteered for was anything BUT meaningless. He volunteered to go out on a rescue mission to help others. I don't think she means to do it, ( of course, I could be wrong about that too. Do I need to start providing proof for the GOOD stuff I believe about her?) but she demeans his actions and every other soldier's everytime she calls the war "meaningless".

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 23, 2005 10:33 AM

Oh, that's just horseshit. I'm sick and tired of right wingers and chickenhawks saying anytime somebody criticizes this idiotic war is somehow against our soldiers.

I support our soldiers 100%. I support them so much I want each and every one home.

Safe and alive.

By noon today.

Eastern Daylight Time.

Posted by: Mike Gold at August 23, 2005 10:39 AM

Since we have an all-volunteer military, every person in uniform VOLUNTEERED to be in harm's way, and we are apparently therefore implying that they are "jerks" if we say the war is meaningless or unjustified. So, using our incredible powers of cognitive dissonance, all wars that our government chooses to wage must therefore be meaningful and justified because we support our troops, who can't possibly all be jerks.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 23, 2005 02:16 PM

A hypothetical. Your wife wants to go back to school to study paleontology. You show your support by:

a. Stating it's meaningless crap and you go down to the school to petition to get it immediately dropped from the curriculum and demand the University president meet with you.

b. You smile lovingly at your wife, say you love her and support her, and you hold your tongue even if you do think it's mindless crap, and you even defend her decision to go back to school if someone criticises her.

c. You mutter under your breath how she's wasting your time and money and how she needs to take a cooking class.

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 23, 2005 03:01 PM

Well, I actually do have a wife -- and she does, says, and believes many thing with which I don't agree. And oddly enough, I still respect her. If I had wanted a friggin' cook, I would have hired one at fraction of the cost.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 23, 2005 04:35 PM

And back to your hypothetical:

My wife goes back to school to study something I deem frivolous. (Boy did you pick the wrong guy for this hypothetical. My wife is an artist.) She is then hypothetically struck and killed by a theoretically drunk driver while on her way to school.

I absolve the drunk driver of all responsibility because my wife was obviously a "jerk" for voluntarily wasting my money to attend what I deemed meaningless classes.

Alternatively, I wage a tireless campaign against drunk drivers that backfires hideously because my stance clearly demeans the entirely voluntary sacrifice of all those killed by drunk drivers.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 23, 2005 08:12 PM

You know people who were voluntarily killed by drunk drivers? Gosh, what heroes. Taking out those godless heathens so no one else would have to die. And you call her a jerk! You disgust me!

Posted by: eclark1849 at August 24, 2005 10:10 AM

What are you ranting about now? Do you think our troops in Iraq volunteered to DIE in an unnecessary war? No. They volunteered to serve their country, knowing there were certain risks, including the risk of death. The fact that they joined the military voluntarily is an entirely specious argument in the context of whether or not the conflict in which they died was justified or has been waged in a responsible fashion.

Should we make a distinction between the Vietnam dead who were volunteers vs. those who were draftees?

I voluntarily get up every morning and go to work in the Sears Tower, knowing there's a risk that it's a terrorist target. If terrorists blow up the Tower, should my wife and children simply dismiss my death as the natural consequence of my voluntary actions?

There are potentially life-threatening risks involved in every decision you make, including your choice of jobs. The fact that military personnel volunteer for a riskier job than most does not give our government carte blanche to waste their lives in ill-conceived, poorly executed ventures.

And if we have any hope of maintaining an all-volunteer military, we better start recognizing that fact, because the last time I checked the army was consistently missing its enlistment goals.

Posted by: Rick Oliver at August 24, 2005 02:19 PM

I live at 80582 Commonwealth in Seattle. Been up here before?

Posted by: Mike Flacklestein at August 2, 2006 05:38 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)