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A snarky fly in
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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

On Special Assignment
I just picked up a job in San Diego. I have to leave RIGHT NOW. I will be gone for 3 weeks. (note to burglars: house will still be occupied)

So posts here will be very sporadic (though I will have net access), until I get back.

Until then, I leave you with this picture of me and Ann Richards from 2000. That "No W" sticker I'm wearing was purchased from Zak Exley's gwbush.com site. This is the same Zak Exley who is now the chief web monkey for Kerry's campaign.

I'm proud to say that Ann loved the stickers and asked me for some (which I gave to her, having brought some with me just in case!)


Monday, August 02, 2004

Do We EVER Learn From History???
Today is the 40th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident(actually, the first of two attacks which collectively are described as such), which was the pretext Lyndon Johnson used to escalate the Vietnam war:

The official story was that North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched an "unprovoked attack" against a U.S. destroyer on "routine patrol" in the Tonkin Gulf on Aug. 2 -- and that North Vietnamese PT boats followed up with a "deliberate attack" on a pair of U.S. ships two days later.

The truth was very different.

Rather than being on a routine patrol Aug. 2, the U.S. destroyer Maddox was actually engaged in aggressive intelligence-gathering maneuvers -- in sync with coordinated attacks on North Vietnam by the South Vietnamese navy and the Laotian air force.

"The day before, two attacks on North Vietnam...had taken place," writes scholar Daniel C. Hallin. Those assaults were "part of a campaign of increasing military pressure on the North that the United States had been pursuing since early 1964."

On the night of Aug. 4, the Pentagon proclaimed that a second attack by North Vietnamese PT boats had occurred earlier that day in the Tonkin Gulf -- a report cited by President Johnson as he went on national TV that evening to announce a momentous escalation in the war: air strikes against North Vietnam.

But Johnson ordered U.S. bombers to "retaliate" for a North Vietnamese torpedo attack that never happened.

Prior to the U.S. air strikes, top officials in Washington had reason to doubt that any Aug. 4 attack by North Vietnam had occurred. Cables from the U.S. task force commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, referred to "freak weather effects," "almost total darkness" and an "overeager sonarman" who "was hearing ship's own propeller beat."

One of the Navy pilots flying overhead that night was squadron commander James Stockdale, who gained fame later as a POW and then Ross Perot's vice presidential candidate. "I had the best seat in the house to watch that event," recalled Stockdale a few years ago, "and our destroyers were just shooting at phantom targets -- there were no PT boats there.... There was nothing there but black water and American fire power."

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson commented: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there."

But Johnson's deceitful speech of Aug. 4, 1964, won accolades from editorial writers. The president, proclaimed the New York Times, "went to the American people last night with the somber facts." The Los Angeles Times urged Americans to "face the fact that the Communists, by their attack on American vessels in international waters, have themselves escalated the hostilities."

Sound familiar?


Sunday, August 01, 2004

Paul Babbitt Plug
I've been lax about plugging Paul Babbitt lately.

This guy can win! and you should be helping him!

I started a "Bloggers for Babbitt" blogroll and the first member (besides me) is Rain Storm. Go over and check him out. Good blog.

Anyway, the Babbitt campaign has re-vamped their site. I don't know if the issues section is new, but here's the highlights:

  • He is a strong supporter of choice and Planned Parenthood, helping bring their first clinic to northern Arizona in the 60s.

  • He is a former Army artillery officer and will help support the troops when they come home, not just when they are fighting in the field. It's really shameful how Bush treats our troops like used chewing gum.

    I liked this quote: " I would also join my Democratic colleagues in the effort to end the Disabled Veterans? Tax ? an issue also known as ?concurrent receipt? ? which forces disabled veterans to give up a dollar of retirement pay for every dollar of disability pay they receive. In Arizona alone, this tax costs disabled veterans $79.6 million annually ? an average of over $5000 per disabled retired veteran. For all that they have done for America, veterans ought to receive both the retirement and disability pay they have earned and deserve. "

  • Northern Arizona is acutely aware of forest issues. Babbitt recognizes Bush's "Healthy Forests" initiative for the fraud that it is and would work to create a comprehensive forest management policy that would not involve indiscriminate logging, which is the essence of Bush's policy. Yeah, if you cut down all the trees, you sure don't have to worry about forest fires.

  • Babbitt recognizes also that Leave No Child Behind is a fraud and is a strong supporter of Head Start.

Give to Paul Babbitt and add $0.01 (for the 1st district) so that folks know who sent you to 'em.