Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.

~Dwight D. Eisenhower(R)


micki said...

The Honor Code of the United States Military Academy at West Point:

A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.

Does this honor code apply solely to cadets? Or does it also apply to a cadet's activities among non-cadets?

The reason I wonder about its application, is that dick cheney gave the commencement speech the other day to the Class of 2007 at West Point and the cadets seem to be tolerating cheney's lies by allowing him to address them without challenge.

If the purpose of the honor code is to foster a commitment to moral-ethical development among men and women in uniform, especially officers, and live honorable lives, then it seems to me that they should not have allowed the current vice president of the United States on their campus to perpetuate the lies tying 9/11 to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

If the cadets are expected to adhere to this baseline commitment to honor, how can they stand at attention and "honor" the lying, cheating, stealing (think no-bid Halliburton contracts, for example) vice president?

Are they true leaders of character? The cadets are (supposedly) expected to uphold the requirements of our nation's laws, treaties and moral values. The bush administration, with dick cheney as one of its most vociferous cheerleaders for invasion, took our nation to war illegally.

Didn't these cadets learn, in four years at a military academy, that the current administration has broken laws and ignored treaties? Our military needs some serious re-vamping, too, IMO.

DEN said...

As a military member you do not question your superiors, you obey commands, the government basically puts you in servitude.

To serve the military means you must relinquish your thoughts for the militarys' thoughts, you are but one piece of military industrial complex.

You will comply.

Alan said...

Yabba-dabba science

Note to would-be Creation Museum visitors: the Earth is round.

THE CREATION MUSEUM, a $27-million tourist attraction promoting earth science theories that were popular when Columbus set sail, opens near Cincinnati on Memorial Day. So before the first visitor risks succumbing to the museum's animatronic balderdash — dinosaurs and humans actually coexisted! the Grand Canyon was carved by the great flood described in Genesis! — we'd like to clear up a few things: "The Flintstones" is a cartoon, not a documentary. Fred and Wilma? Those woolly mammoth vacuum cleaners? All make-believe.

Science is under assault, and that calls for bold truths. Here's another: The Earth is round.

The museum, a 60,000-square-foot menace to 21st century scientific advancement, is the handiwork of Answers in Genesis, a leader in the "young Earth" movement. Young Earthers believe the world is about 6,000 years old, as opposed to the 4.5 billion years estimated by the world's credible scientific community. This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not. Witness the recent revelation that three of the Republican candidates for president do not believe in evolution. Three men seeking to lead the last superpower on Earth reject the scientific consensus on cosmology, thermonuclear dynamics, geology and biology, believing instead that Bamm-Bamm and Dino played together.

Religion and science can coexist. That the Earth is billions of years old is a fact. How the universe came into being and whether it operates by design are matters of faith. The problem is that people who deny science in one realm are unlikely to embrace it in another. Those who cannot accept that climate change may have caused the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago probably don't put much stock in the fact that today it poses grave peril to the Earth as we know it.

Last year, the White House attempted to muzzle NASA's top climatologist after he called for urgent action on global warming, and a presidential appointee in the agency's press office chastised a contractor for mentioning the Big Bang without including the word "theory." The press liaison reportedly wrote in an e-mail: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA."

With the opening of the Creation Museum, young people will be getting another side of the story. Too bad it starts with "Yabba-dabba-doo!"

Gerald said...

A great quote from Ike! We have had through the years many great quotes from military men and women and from politicians. Why do we still have wars? Words are just words unless they connect with deeds, such as the pursuit of justice and peace through our behaviors as a people. Words must connect with forgiveness and mercy. Here are some words that would create a new world order for justice and peace. LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. - Jesus of Nazareth

DEN said...

Right on!

David B. Benson said...

I saw a squirrel again this morning.

Maybe the same one. Not far from yesterday's sighting.

Not good at telling one squirrel from another.

Exterminate them all! (Note: only locally. Squirrels are not native around here.)

micki said...

Food for thought. I read this @ -- a reader's letter in response to an article about Memorial Day:

One way to resist U.S. imperialism

American soldiers - those at home, those in Afghanistan and Iraq, those staffing the stolen, scattered, strategic outposts of projected American might around the world - are instruments of empire. They embrace and sacralise the myths of American exceptionalism and are prepared to kill on behalf of U.S. hegemony.

I for one do not celebrate these men and women or honour their decision to be gun bearers and missile launchers in the service of American power. I pity them and hold them culpable. U.S. military culture inhabits a position near the apex of the cult of American patriotism. It enables empire. It slaughters your disadvantaged. It consumes over 70% of your taxes and has done so for more than 60 years. It is in unholy conspiracy with the military-industrial-political complex. It is stained in the blood of jingoism and expansion and Machiavellian self interest from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.

One way for progressives to resist American imperialism is to speak the truth of what your soldiers do. Remember and mourn their victims. Condemn the public indoctrination and cultic reasoning that suck youth in and make virtue of their crimes, white of their grey, black, brown and red. Do this on Memorial Day in the face of popular wrath at your breaking the social taboos that help undergird militarism. Delegitimate a career path steeped in authoritarianism and gore. Bring your military home from its global adventurism and restrict it to a tightly controlled defensive role. Expose U.S. imperialism and make it politically unacceptable to the next Bush, the next Reagan, the next Johnson.

-- Tim Behrend, Auckland NZ

micki said...

Columbianground squirrel -- Columbia River Basin

Dr. B -- Don't feel bad -- Lewis & Clark had difficulties telling the difference, too:

There are, as we now know, 50 different genera and 268 species in the family of rodents commonly associated with the name squirrel. It is understandable, therefore, that Lewis and Clark had some difficulty keeping their observations of those species separate from one another, and that their designations were often confusing--calling the chipmunk a ground squirrel, for example. It is correspondingly remarkable that they actually made a number of verifiable discoveries of species that were previously unknown to scientific biologists--the western gray squirrel, the chickaree or western red squirrel, the prairie dog, the bushy-tailed woodrat, and the mountain beaver.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- Nope, these varmits are not Columbian ground squirrels. They are unwanted immigrants from the east.

But maybe I can calm down. Some predator seems to have them under control. Cats or coyotes, I think.

Hope its not a cougar...

micki said...

Well, at least not a WSU Cougar!

micki said...

Alan, you may have hit the nail on the head...To serve the military means you must relinquish your thoughts for the militarys' thoughts...

Serve the military? Perhaps that is what they think they are doing, unaware that they are supposed to be serving the country.

micki said...

Den, what is right on?

Alan said...

Micki, I think that was Den who you quoted. But yeah, I agree with the quote.
Damn, I forgot which general that was that said he didn't have an original thought until he got out of the service. Until then, he only thought what they wanted or told him to think.

micki said...

Oops. Thanks Alan for the correction!

You guys sound alike! (just kidding!)

With apologies to Den for my mistake....

David B. Benson said...

Here is a quotation for Memorial Day.

Into every empty corner, into all forgotten things and nooks, Nature struggles to pour life, pouring life into the dead, life into life itself.

--- Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928.

Courtesy of Sierra, the magazine of the Sierra Club...

DEN said...

Memorial Day to me means a time to remember those that have perished defending our country, showing them the respect they deserve for the ultimate patriotic sacrifice.

But then how do we treat those that fought against unjust wars like Viet Nam and today Iraq?


The warrior never causes the war but is always responsible for the outcome.

War is the epitome of injustice between men, and must be the choice of last resort.

º¿carol said...

Busy, busy, busy day for Carol. Added manure/compost to my garden, tilled it in. Went to the greenhouses for some plants then mowed The Ranch. Bob actually bought us pizza! What a treat! Carol didn't have to cook today. Yippee.

Just got out of the shower so now I'll read the thread. Thought I'd announce myself before I did that. Heh, heh, heh.

º¿carol said...

Micki, that thing you posted! Yikes! Blab any of that anywhere in public and one would be stoned. But gosh, it was the truth.

A lot of our holidays are based on war. Like Memorial Day for one.

Alan said...

Amazing pictures of Alaskan glaciers. Seventy years later, this guy replicated the same pictures taken by Brad Washburn.

changed landscape

micki said...

A 'warrior' never causes the war you say, but s/he makes it possible to perpetuate war by agreeing to sign up to kill.

I think if the draft was reinstated, we'd see that war wouldn't be so easy to pass off as the solution.

DEFENDING OUR COUNTRY? Huh? What about this illegal war of choice on Iraq is based on defending our country? Nothing. Yet, they still sign up.

For some, war and all its attendant toys are an aphrodisiac.

micki said...


Bill was watching ABC tonight and he called to me to see these astounding photos of the glaciers.

It makes me weep.

Where is the Memorial Day to commemorate the death of things in nature?

micki said...

Blab any of that anywhere in public and one would be stoned.

No kidding.

micki said...

From Alan's link about the Alaskan glaciers:

While he's "not a scientist," Arnold said the photographs taught him a lesson about global warming. "I have got eyes and that's all you need," he said. "I think the viewer can figure it out for themselves and it depoliticizes the whole issue of global warming."

Oh, if only....

Alan said...

This is unique, to say the least.

Antiwar Art in a New Medium: Paintball-on-Web

Iraqi Dodges Projectiles at Chicago Gallery to Illustrate His People's Plight

CHICAGO -- Wafaa Bilal pokes his head out from behind a plexiglass screen to squeegee off dripping yellow paint and -- splat! -- a paintball hits inches from his face.

"They wait for me to let my guard down, like predators," said Bilal, an Iraqi artist who has holed himself up in a Chicago gallery for a month with a paintball gun that people can shoot at him over the Internet, at, 24 hours a day.

Since May 4, more than 40,000 shots have been fired by people around the world who visit his Web site. The site shows a live image of Bilal from a camera mounted on the gas-powered paintball gun at the edge of his living space. Using arrow icons on the Web site, users can aim the gun and fire a yellow paintball. Often more than one user will fight for control of the gun, with one trying to point it at Bilal while another pulls it away. A scrolling text tells Bilal what city or country each shot comes from.

Bilal, 40, fled Saddam Hussein's regime in 1991 after refusing to do military service. He now teaches at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. His 23-year-old brother was killed by shrapnel to the heart outside the family's Najaf home in 2005; his father was killed several months later. Bilal conceived of the exhibit, called "Domestic Tension," at Chicago's FlatFile Galleries as a nondidactic way to convey the constant stress and destruction that the war wreaks on Iraqis, and the detached, sanitized way the U.S. public and often soldiers themselves experience war.
That's pretty much most of the article, tho the end has a nice touch from a Marine. I was never able to shoot the guy myself (it lists which city the shot 'came' from), but I did holler at the guy from the chat feature.

Alan said...

*gun, I meant gun

Think that was a freudian slip from a warmonger? nahhhh

Alan said...

They're still lying.

GOP rivals embrace unproven Iraq-9/11 tie

WASHINGTON -- In defending the Iraq war, leading Republican presidential contenders are increasingly echoing words and phrases used by President Bush in the run-up to the war that reinforce the misleading impression that Iraq was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.