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Front Page » Table of Contents » War & Peace

By Jean Binder on July 18, 2011

This idea of Mitch McConnell's that the President alone should make the call as regards the debt ceiling is very interesting and more than a little manipulative. He is a step ahead of his GOP detractors. He knows that the debt ceiling must be raised, but doesn't want the GOP imprimatur on it. His plan is they can go for bragging rights later - "WE didn't elevate the debt ceiling," as if it were a credit line or something.

The debt limit is not permission, some sort of credit line for the future. It simply says you will pay your bills up to such and such a limit. Given the Fourteenth amendment, we shouldn't have to vote on this at all. "Our national debt shall not be questioned." This is not to say the budget should not be balanced right along.

But if the President has to act because congress as a whole falls for this, the story will be that the President should be the most hated man by all because he alone is driving our country into debt. Nothing could be further from the truth. The borrowed money has already been spent.

The President didn't get us into this mess. The debt is largely due to money borrowed for unpaid war expenses.

Read more of this post here ...

By Randy Leer on May 3, 2011

Wow! So the deed is finally done. I really have a great deal to write in this article because this has been a complex situation for me. So I think the best way to do it is to just take you through it in the order that I experienced it.

So Sunday night I flip from my DVR and see that Osama Bin Laden is dead. I was so excited that I had to go to my office and get online and have the internet and the TV news going. The rush of endorphins and thrill of seeing it in writing that we had done what I questioned would ever be accomplished. I often thought that we would never be certain of his death. I thought that either we had already killed him without knowing it, or that he would die of old age and we would never know it. It was great to see it done. Then I thought, “What now? This certainly isn’t the end of terrorism. I know we aren’t going to bring our troops home. I know that Afghanistan is going to fall apart immediately after we leave… whenever that is.”

I thought about who I was when this first happened. I was just a 19-year-old green Sailor right out of Hospital Corps School and home on leave.

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By Weeden Nichols on April 21, 2011

The Civil War is the topic of the month, this 150th anniversary month of the shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, which initiated that armed conflict. Leonard Pitts, whom I consider a good man, and whom I respect greatly, has written that the real motive of the influential Southerners who were the Secession decision-makers was the perpetuation of human slavery. He cited documents and private correspondence to that effect. It may be true that the motives of the decision-makers were as Leonard Pitts proposes. In human history the pattern has occurred often, that people who did not create an evil, but profited from it nevertheless, perpetuated that evil. But it does not follow that those ordinary persons who volunteered to defend their homelands, or were conscripted according to the laws then in effect in their states, were traitors, or that their memories as veterans-of-war should not be honored.

My wife and I, between us, have eleven ancestors, of whom we know, on the Daughters of the American Revolution Patriot Index. These ancestors, for the most part, had humble and short-lived roles in that conflict, yet they are honored greatly. (We both, also, had ancestors who fought as Loyalists. They participated in good faith, but are not honored.) My wife and I both had ancestors who fought as Confederate soldiers throughout the whole four years of the Civil War, enduring wounds, illness, pain, and deprivation.

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By James Bordonaro on March 28, 2011

In case you missed the President's speech tonight ....

The United States is part of a broad ______________ (any noun describing forced unity) engaged in a ___________ (ridiculous noun) to defeat the regime of _________ (any obnoxious Middle East dictator) who is brutalizing his people and presents a clear danger to the vital interests of ______________ (any multi-national oil company).

Therefore, I have called on our military to enforce a __________________ (focus group tested buzzword) while our coalition partners contribute on the ground. Let me stress, in this action the United States has the backing of many Arab partners such as _____________. (other obnoxiously wealthy Middle Eastern dictatorship)...

Read more of this post here ...

By Ken Poland on February 4, 2011

What is happening in Egypt? What are we seeing in society around the world? Is it civilized and peaceful organization to right the wrongs of oppressive government? Is our massive industrial complex of war machine manufacturers quelling the physical violence around the world? Is our mighty unmatched military complex creating peace?

What do we have in our constitution that guarantees a better way? The first amendment to our constitution is the secret to a better way. Religion with its emotional and spiritual blackmail power, guaranteed by support of sovereign power of government is a powerful force when corrupt and conscienceless men are in control. Freedom of/from Religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of peaceful assembly are not available to most of the people held bondage by despotic rulers.

Here in Everyday Citizen and Kansas Free Press, we have a forum that allows exchange of opinion through the power of word and reason rather than rocks and bullets. We happen to be identified as being leftist or liberal. The right leaning and conservative folks have their outlets that give opportunity to exercise power and reason in the same way.

Read more of this post here ...

By Tatiana McKinney on January 24, 2011

At a military training camp in Seoul, many of the reserve office training corps cadets prepare for another day. With their K-2 assault rifles, they prepare for battle by attacking their imaginary enemy with passion and weapons. If you take a closer look, you will realize that many of these cadets are not men, but women taking a large step for women's rights by putting pressure on a glass ceiling that obviously exits. While reading this article, I was upset by the comments section below. Many male military/civilians believed that this was not a stepping stone, but an upset and a stupid move on the military. Their complains, this is too much work for women, allow them to do the soft things, and let the man handle the "hard" "excruciating pain" of fighting for their country.

According to the Korean Herald, one of the women had a lot to say about her new entry into the Reserve Office training corps, citing "changing people's perception" as a goal in her military career, ""I applied to the ROTC to show that not only men but women also have the same opportunities because we are the same people. Through joining, my goal is to change people's perception and open the door for women a little wider," said Park Gi-eun, a student at Sookmyung Women's University."

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By Ken Poland on January 16, 2011

Is it a little presumptuous for us to attempt to state exactly how the framers of our constitution would speak to our present environment and culture? Historical evidence, both prior to and after the ratification of the Constitution, indicates that all the members of the committee of men who wrote that document didn't get what they wanted. They had very strong differences concerning many of the issues. The only thing we can hope to do is pontificate on outside communications and opinions by each of the framers. We cannot determine with absolute certainty how each one would think today. We have had two hundred years worth of history since their time. We have problems facing society today that they had never had to deal with. We have remedies available today that were unheard of then. We live in a world without transportation or communication boundaries. We can, literally, talk face to face with someone on the other side of the world, just as if they were sitting in a chair facing us. And that is available to the masses, not just government officials.

Some of us grew up in the same overall environment as Rev. Martin Luther KIng, Jr. did. We didn't all experience exactly the same environment, but communication allowed us to witness both word and picture of what Rev. King was speaking of. We don't all agree with his priority of the worst wrongs or the best rights.

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By James Bordonaro on November 3, 2010

The former president is out with his memoir (Decision Points) of his years in office and notes that his lowest personal point was when rap singer, Kanye West, said he didn't care about black people during a live fund-raising telethon because of the manner in which he responded to Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans. (See this for a full description of the story.)

He says it was even worse than all the criticism he received over the Iraq War and putting forward the false rationale that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

So, coupled with the lack of introspection he exhibited in a 2004 press conference when asked to identify any mistakes he might have made during his time in office, I guess that's all we really need to know.

Kanye was wrong. The President does care about black people - just self-absorbed Hollywood, elitist, rap stars with gold chains around their necks. A bigger question still exists as to whether he cares about his own legacy.

By Angelo Lopez on October 6, 2010

Last Winter, I went to a rally to support a strong health care reform bill that was going through Congress. While I was there, I encountered three oddly dressed older women who were holding signs and singing songs for single-payer health care reform and against the power of insurance companies. This was my first encounter with the Raging Grannies, an activist group that fights for progressive causes like the ecology, economic justice, and civil rights. They use humor and music to protest for just causes.

The Raging Grannies began in 1987 in Victoria, British Columbia when a group of white middle-class Canadian women between the age of 52 and 67 began to protest the visit of US Navy warships and submarines in the harbors of Victoria. Many of these women had experience in activism, but were getting tired of being relegated to making coffee in the peace groups that were then in existence. Due to their marginalization in these other groups, these women decided to form the Raging Grannies to implement their own ideas of social protest, and on February 14, 1987 they staged their first protest. The Raging Grannies sent to Pat Crofton, then Chairman of the Defense Committee, a broken heart to signify his lack of commitment and action on nuclear issues. They sang a few satiric songs under an umbrella full of holes, symbolizing the absurdity of sheltering under a nuclear umbrella. Canadians loved the Raging Grannies, and a movement was started.

Read more of this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on September 26, 2010

It is a great life. I am more oblivious than the less,
dear mother, of the ghastly glimmering of the guns outside
and the hollow crashing of the shells.
Wilfred Owen, from his last letter home.

How sweet, how fitting it is to die for one’s country.

Poets are different, the poet talking on the radio says.
The pacifist poet who reads poems against the war.
The poet who rises at dawn to face the empty page,
to breath life into the circuitous connections
that once seen, seem obvious?

Is it that the poet knows there is no peace,
that the running forward into battle is the only salve
for a soul gone sour? This radio poet will
never see a front, never squint across the chasm
of enemy lines, never taste the sands
of foreign lands or slog through swamps
of verdant humid countries far from
the familiar. And yet, he writes against
the war, against sending the sweet-faced boys,
the too-wise girls into smoke-laden chaos,
into the gut-destroying bombs.

Crawling on their bellies through sand or mud
made sweet by blood left behind by their buddies.

“Dulce et decorum est
pro patria mori.”

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