You have all seen this truth

The DesMoines Register tackles a truth that most of the media will never admit:
Kathleen Ferguson of Des Moines says nothing has changed four years later. She found one of those surveys on the Web site of WQAD-TV in the Quad Cities. She answered the 11 multiple-choice questions and decided how important each issue was to her.

The topics were Iraq, immigration, tax cuts, stem cell research, health care, abortion, Social Security, a line-item veto, ethanol, same-sex marriage and the death penalty.

Ferguson clicked "select a candidate," and up popped Kucinich.

She had family members take the test. Kucinich came in first or second.

She wondered what was going on. A lot of Democrats like what he has to say on the issues. Yet only a small percentage like him as their candidate.

"We're not all that liberal," Ferguson said. "Several of us are former Republicans. It's astonishing to see what we want was labeled too far-out liberal."

A lawyer she knows took the test, and another friend. Kucinich, Kucinich.

The last time I took one of those tests Connecticut Rep. Rosa Delauro popped up as the closest candidate to me on the issues. Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader were tied in a close second... And I am not all that liberal in my politics, considering I hold a strong belief in fiscal responsibility when it comes to spending. None of those matches surprised me at all. I am familiar with where most of the candidates stand on the issues that are important to myself.


PTSD Reform in the Military May be Too Late

The Hartford Courant reports on reforms to how the military will attempt to screen and treat soldiers that may be suffering from PTSD:
Military Backs Reforms
Most Of Task Force's Recommendations Adopted By Defense Department

The military will expand psychological screening for both new recruits and active-duty service members, and will make safeguarding mental health part of the core training for leaders, Defense Secretary Robert Gates' office told Congress in a report released Tuesday.

The report adopts nearly all of the recommendations sent to Gates in June by a Pentagon task force of mental health professionals, who called on the Defense Department to correct "fundamental weaknesses" in its approach to mental health or risk tragic social consequences. Those recommendations include improving access to care by hiring more mental health clinicians, "embedding" counselors in military units and primary-care clinics, and improving coordination between the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

But Gates' office cautioned that many of the reforms would take until May 2008 - or longer - to put into place, fueling concerns among some soldiers' and veterans' advocates that mental health problems and suicides among troops in Iraq will continue to climb.

But the Military is too late for many of the soldiers that are already suffering from PTSD:
Iraq Veteran Faces Charges

MANCHESTER - Fresh off two, back-to-back tours in Iraq, a troubled Marine reservist faced a judge Wednesday on charges of pointing a loaded shotgun at his girlfriend and throwing a knife at her.

With "USMC" tattooed on his neck, Riaan Roberts, 25, of Chestnut Street, stood expressionless before the judge during his arraignment in Superior Court in Manchester.

The charges against him, which include first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree unlawful restraint and third-degree assault, stem from a bizarre incident with his girlfriend early Tuesday. According to police, Roberts insulted the woman, threw a knife at her and pointed a loaded shotgun at her in their Manchester apartment where officers found three guns - two shotguns and a rifle - four knives and boxes of ammunition.


During the arraignment, prosecutor Anthony Spinella said he has sympathy for Roberts, but that Roberts was too unstable to be released from custody as a bail commissioner had recommended.


McKinney later told police that Roberts has issues with civilian society and experiences flashbacks from Iraq. He recently told her he doesn't trust himself. She said he needs professional help for mental health issues but refuses to see anyone.


For more information on PTSD:

Blaming the Veteran
The Politics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) became part of the American vocabulary after the Vietnam War as its affects on veterans became widely publicized. Now, a new generation of American veterans are again victims of PTSD. This series explores the impact of politics on the funding, diagnosis and treatment of veterans suffering from PTSD. It examines the propaganda used to justify a reduction in benefits to veterans with PTSD and the effort to redirect blame for the ravages of war to the soldiers themselves.

Part I: Stacking the Deck - With trillion dollar estimates for the Iraq war, the Administration looks to cut costs, eyeing treatment for the returning PTSD wounded veterans.

Part II: Ration & Redefine - Redefining PTSD and substance abuse as moral/spiritual failings opens the door to cheaper unregulated, unlicensed faith-based "treatments."

Part III: Malign & Slime - Propaganda is used to stigmatize veterans seeking help, reduce benefits to veterans with PTSD and to blame the soldiers for their own illness.

PTSD Resources
Also: See tessa's diary on "Veterans Committing Suicide"

And in comment from snorwich at the MLN x-post of this diary:  "I just read a story in the Denver Post about a severely wounded vet who just killed somebody over a bag of dope. I will try to retieve the story; it was perfect for this diary." Tragically, snorwich may be correct.

Kick the Nancy Can

skippy the bush kangaroo takes a kick at the Nancy can and so can you:
i am nancy pelosi's earful and so can you! my letter

you are an embarassment to americans, nancy. representative stark spoke the truth. you can't get an impeachment investigation of crimes you helped hide for bush but you will attack a democratic representative who speaks for over 60% of the american people.

when the full history of american politics is known, you will be seen as one sad, easily maniupulated puppet of the bush regime.

There are many of us in the left that are tired of her gavel gazing when IMPEACHMENT, for the sake of everything this nation once stood for, has become an imperative...

Duck and Cover!

This is by no means a "Heads up!" I really mean "Duck and cover!" Like your life depends on it.

A word of warning to everyone in the area:

The Poughkeepsie Journal in New York reports that “Vice President Dick Cheney is coming to Dutchess County again to go hunting.” On Monday, Cheney is “expected to leave Poughkeepsie and head to the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club.” No word on whether the Vice President will be drinking beforehand this time.

Dutchess County, NY, is next door to a good part of Litchfield County in Connecticut. And with the weapons that warmongering neoconservative idiot has in his arsenal we can never be too careful! There is nothing more dangerous than a hunter with a beer hat on his head and a deadly can opener in his hands...

Crimes Against Who?

Via TPM:

The metaphorical statue of L. Paul Bremer III has come crashing down. Today the Iraqi government formally revoked one of the Coalition Provisional Authority’s enduring vestiges — a decree of immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts for U.S. security contractors.

The cabinet held a meeting yesterday and decided to scrap the article pertaining to security companies operating in Iraq that was issued by the CPA (Coalition Provision Authority) in 2004,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.

“It has decided to present a new law regarding this issue which will be taken in the next cabinet meeting.” Read more…

Has anyone contacted Blackwater to find out when they, err I mean, the insurgents will blow up the Iraqi cabinet responsible for these outrageous crimes against corporate entities?

The Liberal Journal said that "Yesterday, the USA Today reported that the terrorist watch list has grown to over 755,000 names. It has grown at about 200,000 a year since 2004. Now, the TSA is proposing that we get Big Brother's permission 3 days before we are to fly."

No word yet from the TSA about whether or not Blackwater mercenaries that have committed minor errors, like murder and massacre, will be on that list...


Epluribus Radio Tonight

If you are around TONIGHT (Wednesday, October 24), please join us again for another edition of Don't Hijack My Thread! at 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific. Dante Atkins (hekebolos) will be our guest co-host tonight.

This week's topics are as follows:
  • CA wildfires and "hating America"
  • Dodd's filibuster of the FISA bill
  • Talking turkey about Turkey
  • Could criminal prosecution for Gonzo be a reality?
The link to tonight's show is: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/epradio/2007/10/25/dont-hijack-my-thread

The link to past shows for podcast or streaming is here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/epradio and you can check out Blog Talk Radio's progressive radio lineup at Heading Left (www.headingleft.com).

Info about calling in can be found here: http://political-nexus.blogspot.com/2007/04/want-to-call-into-dont-hijack-my-thread.html

The call in number is 718-508-9410


3rd Republican Flushed From Bathroom


In what is becoming an all-too-embarrassing pattern, yet another conservative, Republican politician has been detained by police officers for "lewd behavior" in public restrooms. The Times Picayune reports 53-year-old Joey DiFatta—a councilman in St. Bernard Parish near New Orleans and recent candidate for the state senate—"has been stopped twice since 1996 for suspicion of engaging in lewd behavior in public restrooms."

DiFatta is the THIRD closeted, anti-gay Republican politician in as many months implicated in lewd behavior in public toilets. The other two are Idaho's Larry Craig and Florida's Bob Allen.

The newest revelations come one day after the father of two and grandfather of three withdrew from the 1st Senate District campaign due to "chest pains." The conservative Republican maintains there is no linkage between his decision to withdraw and the the Times-Picayune's revelations.

From the The Times Picayune report, as summarized from police files:
Kenner police issued a misdemeanor summons to DiFatta in September 1996 in connection with a peeping Tom incident in a men's bathroom at the former Mervyn's department store at The Esplanade mall, according to a Kenner Police Department incident report obtained by The Times-Picayune.

The report states that DiFatta watched a man use the bathroom while peering through a hole in a bathroom stall. The man held DiFatta until police arrived, at which time he was issued the misdemeanor summons and ordered to appear in court.

DiFatta said the man eventually withdrew his complaint, and the case was dismissed. A spokeswoman for the Kenner Police Department said the record was expunged.

Tapping foot in stall

In the second incident, Jefferson Parish deputies working an undercover detail in a men's bathroom at Dillard's at Lakeside Shopping Center in March 2000 stopped DiFatta after he indicated a desire to engage in sex with an undercover deputy in an adjoining bathroom stall, according to an interoffice memorandum written by Sgt. Keith Conley, one of the deputies involved in the investigation.

The report said DiFatta slid his foot into the deputy's stall and tapped the deputy's foot. In the report, Conley noted that such activity is common among men to indicate a willingness to participate in sex.

The deputy inside the stall, Detective Wayne Couvillion, responded by tapping his foot, and DiFatta reached under the partition and began to rub the deputy's leg, the report states.

The detective asked DiFatta, "What do you want?" according to the report, and he replied, "I want to play with you."

Difatta denies doing anything wrong. Likely, he will deny being a closeted-self-loathing-anti-gay Republican, as well.

I am thinking that I may have to add a "Republican Bathroom Sex" tag to my posts to keep track of all of their odd Republican Family Values behaviour.

Have you seen this girl?

Just a public service announcement in the hopes of helping this New Milford family reunite:

Megan Roberts: Last seen Friday night, October 12, 2007 in New Milford, CT with Kenton Dow, purportedly of San Diego, California. Megan may be in New Haven, Connecticut or headed toward Enosburg Falls, Vermont. She may be on hiking trails or walking along back roads. She was last seen wearing a long army green trenchcoat and black baseball cap. Megan has long, black wavy hair with lighter brown roots that may be tied up or frizzy. She weighs about 100 pounds, is 5 feet 1 inch tall and has no tattoos or piercings. She has grey/blue eyes and is light skinned.

Any information is helpful. Please contact:
the Connecticut State Police at (860) 626-7900 if you have heard anything about her disappearance.

[update]They have a different contact number for the police in the NewsTimes story:

Anyone who may have seen Megan is asked to contact the state police at
1 (800) 953-9949.

Jay Lewin's premature ejaculations

Jay Lewin, the juice box republican, always one to miss the mark when he spews:
Kostes, Kane Fail to Vote In Ambulance Barn Referendum

I guess it just wasn't important enough for them. Kostes, the wannabe Mayor, was probably too busy looking at himself in the mirror, looking for his socks or looking at his money. As for Council wannabe Kane, well, I don't want to go there.

It's always interesting to see who has the biggest mouth and then's a no-show. At the Rotary, Kostes went on and on about how the press has failed to help get out the vote. How the Town should use the internet to get out the vote. How there's too much voter apathy. And then what does he do?

The problem with these charges? According to the NewsTimes Kostes did vote:

"If I didn't vote, that would be an issue, but it clearly wasn't," said Kostes, who is challenging Republican incumbent Mayor Patricia Murphy and Democrat Larry Stillman.

Murphy and Stillman both voted in the referendum, according to the town's voting record.

When Kostes was alerted to the Web site report, he soon learned that when he voted, his brother John's name was marked off rather than his, Helen Cherney, registrar of voters, confirmed Monday.

Lewin did not mention that 17 other people among 57 currently running for office are listed as not participating in the referendum. They include two New Milford First candidates, six Republicans and nine Democrats.

Needless to say, Kostes ain't too happy about Jay running off at the mouth with typically GOP talking points... Being a GOP talking pointy head, Jay feels no shame in his premature ejaculatory claims:
As for how he selected the other non-voters he criticized, Lewin said his Web page "doesn't have to be fair and balanced."

Jay... You need to learn a basic fundamental of Blogging, and journalism in general, if you want people to take what you write seriously. Try contacting the people first for a comment on your assertions. Two minutes of phone calls could have easily kept you from looking silly AGAIN.


Blackwater Rebrands Itself

According to Think Progress:
Blackwater’s infamous logo — “a bear’s paw print in a red crosshairs, under lettering that looks to have been ripped from a fifth of Jim Beam” has “undergone a publicity-conscious, corporate scrubbing.” Branding experts say that the new look is “far less ‘kick your butt’ and much more ‘quarterly report.’”

Blackwater insists that it had been working on the redesign before the Sept. 16 shooting in Iraq that killed 17 civilians, but the new logo didn’t appear on the company’s website until afterward.

With recent allegations of Tax Fraud and Blackwaters futile attempts to deflect from the facts (Check the comments threads there), this re-branding effort will not help Blackwater much considering the other problems they have created by killing innocent Iraqis and stealing airplanes.
BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 — Iraq brought fresh criticisms of the private security company Blackwater USA on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki saying that his government had registered a total of seven cases in which the company’s guards had killed Iraqis.

A lethal shooting on Sunday that involved an American diplomatic convoy and left at least eight Iraqis dead infuriated the Iraqi authorities and has prompted them to threaten to evict Blackwater, the company that provides security for the most senior American diplomats here. On Tuesday, the United States Embassy said all trips outside the Green Zone had been suspended.
As for the Blackwater stolen airplanes scandal:
The security contractor Blackwater USA has tried to take military aircraft out of Iraq and refused to give them back to the country.

Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a letter sent to Erik Prince, Blackwater's top executive, said he had learned that the firm tried to take at least two Iraqi military aircraft out of Iraq in 2005 and refused to give the planes back when Iraqi officials sought to reclaim them, according to the Associated Press.

In other Blackwater aviation news they are being sued for crashing a plane and killing some US soldiers, including one soldier from the Nutmeg state:
A three-judge panel says a lawsuit can proceed against the operator of a plane that crashed in Afghanistan in 2004 and killed three Army soldiers, including one from Connecticut.

The contractor operating the plane, Presidential Airways Inc., is the aviation subsidiary of N.C.-based Blackwater USA. It was based in Melbourne before moving to North Carolina.

Three Blackwater USA employees were also killed in the crash.

Presidential had argued in an appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that the lawsuit should be thrown out, saying it was immune from prosecution because it was operating under a government contract.

The company also claimed that the lawsuit should not go forward because it would involve one branch of government reviewing another branch's decisions.


Killed when the plane crashed into a mountain near the Iran border were Lt. Col. Mike McMahon of West Hartford, Conn.; Chief Warrant Officer Travis W. Grogan of Moore, Okla.; and Spc. Harley D. Miller of Spokane, Wash.

So much for their immunity in the US... At least in this case.

Of course, Blackwater is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corruption and contractors run amok in Iraq:
The scandal surrounding the conduct of Blackwater contractors in Iraq is just the most recent example of contractors and criminals run amok in that ill-conceived war. Since the occupation began, the U.S. military and its contractors have relied on shady characters and even criminals to do the outsourced business of supplying the troops, delivering weapons and making sure the mail arrives.

One such wanted criminal, Viktor Bout, was paid tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars while illegally flying transport missions for the United States in Iraq. Bout is the notorious Russian weapons merchant whose fleet of aging Soviet aircraft rivals that of some NATO countries in its size and capacity. By marrying his access to Soviet bloc weapons with his airlift capacity, Bout established himself as the world's premiere purveyor of illicit weapons to the world's tyrants-- a one-stop shopping source for everyone from Charles Taylor and his armies of child soldiers of Sierra Leone and Liberia to the Taliban in Afghanistan, from Jonas Savimbi in Angola to the FARC rebels in Colombia.


Yet the flights in Iraq went on, at the request of Halliburton, KBR and others, on behalf of the U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps, until early 2006. Farah and Braun, based on flight and refueling records from Iraq, estimate Bout's companies may have flown up to 1,000 flights as a secondary contractor for the U.S. government. Each flight cost about $60,000 -- not a bad chunk of taxpayer dollars. Bout managed to up his profit margin considerably by having his pilots apply for and receive special refueling cards that allowed them to gas up for free when they landed in Iraq.

Using an Amnesty International report as a starting point, the authors trace a deeply troubling incident that, based on a July GAO report, was not unique. The GAO report found that tens of thousands of weapons purchased by the U.S. military and destined for delivery in Iraq remain unaccounted for.

Needless to say, with the very real possibility that these goons from Blackwater may be pulled from Iraq, you can just imagine how they might be re-deployed... Just imagine these gun-toting mercenaries kicking in doors in your neighborhood in the "War on Drugs"?
The U.S. Defense Department has invited five contractors to bid on elements of a new multibillion-dollar effort to combat the global flow of illegal drugs allegedly used to finance terrorism.

Awarded by the Pentagon’s Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office (CNTPO), Dahlgren, Va., the contract vehicle has a potential value of $15 billion over five years. One participant is ARINC, a Maryland-based provider of airline communications systems.

“This gives us the opportunity to bid on this work,” said Linda Hartwig, an ARINC spokeswoman. “We don’t have a lot of details yet, but we do know that this is an expansion of what [the United States] is already doing to fight drug trafficking, and that 80 percent of the work will be overseas.”

Hartwig said the other participating vendors are defense giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, and security contractor Blackwater USA. Blackwater confirmed its participation, but the other three vendors did not respond to inquiries.
Private armies, airplanes, missing weapons, drugs, bush family, and always Iran on the horizon... What more do you need to know? Read the fucking writing on the walls people.

These mercenaries are nothing but trouble, and don't be surprised when the next Iran-Contra affair goes viral on the Blogs and, afterwards (as per usual), in the news cycle if we keep going in this circular direction...