Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Big T Pic of the Day

Finally a campaign I can get behind...
Now that Brett Farve has retired from the NFL , he will have to find something to do... Well he couldn't do any worse than the candidates we currently have.

Iraq: Five Years After the Invasion

Normally I would save this for the suggested reading and viewing from around the web section, but I feel it is important enough to lead with this.

This month marks the 5th Anniversary to the Iraq war and Newsweek has an excellent cover story about the fight in Iraq. Gen. Petraeus says he tells his young officers to watch the HBO series “The Sopranos” to understand the power dynamics in Iraq .

This one is a must read for anyone who wants to understand what the military is facing, and why the situation is so complex in Iraq .

Gun Control vs. Right to Carry: The reality is in the facts.

A couple weeks ago I gave my support to a bill in the Oklahoma legislature that would give students who had a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on campuses in the state.

Then I get the emails and the messages, "Big T – you're wrong! How can you believe that more guns equal more protection?" “No one but law enforcement should be allowed to carry guns on campus.” And here is one: “You gun nut jobs need a date with reality.”

Well the reality of this matter are in the facts, researchers can find no instance in history where banning handguns has led to less violence involving handguns. It just isn't the case. In most cases crime has increased.

The most comprehensive book ever written on the subject is titled More Guns, Less Crime by John R. Lott Jr. I suggest everyone read it.

If you don’t want to read it; there are plenty of nations we can use as case sample studies of what happens when a society is disarmed by government. Crime rates skyrocketed in England and Canada when they enforced their ban on firearms.

We can also look at Iraq and Afghanistan. The law abiding citizens of these countries have been disarmed and now rely on U.S. military and allies to protect them from insurgents, al Qaeda and the Taliban. It is one of the biggest strategic mistakes we have made in the war.

Now let’s look at a place we actually have some data on. Some of you may have seen this information before, but here's what happened in Australia just one year after gun owners were forced to surrender their means of protection. By the way, "disarming" Australia cost the taxpayers $500 million.

A dramatic increase in criminal activity has been experienced.


· Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2%

· Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6%

· Australia-wide, armed-robberies are up 44% (yes, FORTY-FOUR PERCENT)

· In the state of Victoria , homicides-with-firearms are up 300%

· Figures over the previous 25 years show a steady decrease in homicides-with-firearms (changed dramatically in the past 12 months)

· Figures over the previous 25 years show a steady decrease in armed-robbery-with-firearms (changed dramatically in the past 12 months)

· There has been a dramatic increase in breakins-and-assaults-of- the-elderly

· At the time of the ban, the Prime Minister said "self-defense is not a reason for owning a firearm"

Is he kidding, I can’t think of a better reason to own a firearm.

Then there is the old argument small disputes on campus will turn into gunfights instead of fistfights. Once again it just doesn’t seem to be the case.

College students in Utah have been allowed to carry concealed weapons since 2006. They have some of the safest campuses in the country.

The truth is an armed society is a respected and well-mannered society.

Berkley anti-war moonbat: Why I Don't Support the Troops

I bring you this commentary to take you inside the mind of an anti-military moonbat peace-at-any-price liberal. The author is Kenneth Thiesen and it appeared in the Berkley Daily Planet.

Why I Don't Support the Troops

In the recent political battle around the Marine recruiting station in Berkeley there has been much confusion around the concept or slogan of "supporting the troops," but opposing the unjust wars of the Bush regime. Many who oppose the Bush regime wars also say they "support the troops." Let me say it straight out—I do not support the troops and neither should you. It is objectively impossible to support the troops of the imperialist military forces of the U.S. and at the same time oppose the wars in which they fight.

The United States has over 700 military bases or sites located in over 130 foreign countries. The hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in these countries are not there to preserve or foster freedom and democracy as the Bush regime would like to claim, but to maintain U.S. imperialist domination of the world. The United States now spends more on its military than all the other nations of the world combined.

If you "support the troops" in Iraq , Afghanistan , and the other more than 100 countries in which they are located, you also objectively support U.S. hegemony in the world. I believe that the vast majority of people who say they support the troops do not wish to support U.S. imperialism, but that is what they are really doing by putting forth the slogan of "support the troops."

We need to oppose the recruitment of men and women into the military. We need to support resisters within the military who have realized what they are doing and now choose to resist the role of the U.S. military. This includes people such as Lt. Ehren Watada who refused to deploy to Iraq . Watada stated, "Never did I imagine my president would lie to go to war, condone torture, spy on Americans..." He was the first officer to refuse to go to Iraq and he was court-martialed. Another resister is Camilo Mejia. In 2004 Sergeant Mejia was sentenced to one year in prison when he was court-martialed for refusing to assist the military in Iraq . Mejia said, "I am only a regular person that got tired of being afraid to follow his own conscience. For far too long I allowed others to direct my actions even when I knew that they were wrong...."

We need to expose that those in the U.S. military are trained to be part of a "killing machine." While not every member of the military is an individual murderer, they are all part of a system that commits war crimes, including aggressive wars, massacres, rape, and other crimes against humanity, all in the service of U.S. imperialism. The bottom line is that even if these people are relatives or friends, you can not support the troops without also supporting the objective role that these troops play in the imperialist system.

United States troops are acting as destructive and murderous forces of invasion and occupation. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan see this on a daily basis. Hundreds of thousands have died as a direct result of the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan . Millions are either internal or external refugees. Tens of thousands have been detained in prisons, with thousands of these tortured and scores murdered. Haditha , Iraq where 24 Iraqis were massacred is just the best known of the massacres. Women and children are routinely described as "collateral damage" by military spokespersons when they are murdered in military operations.

"Support for the troops" has become political cover to support the wars. In Congress, many of those who claim they oppose the wars, use "support of the troops" to vote for hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the wars. These politicians are political opportunists, but there are also people who genuinely oppose the war, but who also say "I support the troops."

But to decide whether U.S. troops deserve support you must analyze what they actually do in countries occupied by the U.S. The wars these troops are engaged in have the goal of maintaining and extending U.S. hegemony throughout the world. They are unjust, illegal, and immoral wars. Can you support the troops in these wars? Why is this any different from a German in World War II saying, "I oppose the wars launched by Hitler, but I support the troops of the German army which are making these wars possible." When the Marines in Haditha massacred Iraqis, including women and children, would it have been correct to say I supported the Marines who killed those people, but not the massacre? This would be ridiculous, but no more so than supporting the troops engaged in the war that made the Haditha massacre possible in the first place.

In 1933 Marine Major General Smedley Butler clarified the role of the U.S. military. He stated, "War is just a racket...It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses...I spent 33 years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps...In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism..."

Like Butler, Watada, and Mejia, those in the military today must take responsibility for what the military does. Just like the German soldiers of World War 2 could not hide behind the "I was just following orders" excuse, military personnel today also can not hide behind it. Those of us who oppose the unjust wars of the Bush regime must struggle with those in the military and those that support them to expose what role the troops objectively play. Supporting the troops engaged in making war against other nations and people on behalf of U.S. imperialism is not acceptable.

You see Kenneth has a major problem with the United States being the supreme super power in the world. He would rather the U.S. remove all troops from around the world and play the role of victim to every other country that would love to be the Supreme Power over the United States.

There will always be a super power in the world. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer that it is the U.S.

While Kenneth may not support the troops or their missions, the troops will continue to support Kenneth and fight to protect his right to say such things from those who would take his right or his life away for saying things if given the opportunity.

Freedom of speech is a great thing, but it takes an American Soldier to retain it.

Those Damn Candy Dealers, Government Schools keeping kids safe from Skittles?

A government school in New Haven , Conn. has suspended an eighth grader for buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate. The candy dealer was also suspended…

Michael Sheridan, who bought the candy, was stripped of his title as class vice president, barred from attending an honors student dinner and suspended for a day.

According to the article the school system has had a banned on candy sales since 2003 as part of a district wide school wellness policy.

School officials said, they are just trying to keep students safe…and “had concerns about the safety of students carrying large amounts of cash in school.”

Large amounts of cash, keeping kids safe? What kind of Skittles are these kids buying?
Damn those candy dealers and pushers…this logic only makes sense in a government school.

Suggested Reading and Viewing from around the web

Ever wonder what would happen if no one showed up to vote in an election? It happened in a Florida county. Cost of keeping a poll open 12 hours with no voters: $2,500.
The people in Colorado are realizing they are responsible for their own security, not law enforcement. Concealed Weapon Permits are skyrocketing in the state.
Here are some interesting facts that will have feminists burning their bras in the street. It turns out there are real differences between male and female brains when it comes to gender differences in language. Well, duh…they needed a study for this?
Get elected to Congress and get rich. The median net worth of Senators is now 1.7 million and growing. Hmmm…maybe I will run for congress one day. Yeah…like my insensitive, blunt, politically incorrect ways are elect-able…
Most Americans don’t read political blogs. No surprise, most Americans don’t vote either. A new poll says only 22% of Americans read political blogs. If you compare that to the little over 30% who vote in midterm elections, that 22% becomes a lot more significant doesn’t it.
The economy is so bad right now people are cutting back from Starbucks and eating out…We are so damned spoiled in America ! We really have no concept of what a poor economy is…but stay tuned because we are about to find out.
It takes a lot of work to get an 800 pound man off the sofa and attempt to get him to a picnic.