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The Army provides a 12 minute explanation of "Boots on the Ground." I just left a meeting of several hundred Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers a few hours ago. When this film clip was shown, there was stone silence when it ended. A profound message for those of us who have been given the honor, the privilege, and the responsibility to leader Soldiers.
"I scream, you scream, we all scream about how much we hate George Bush."
The Center for International Policy(A Fenton Client), works towards a more "sensible policy towards Cuba". It is run by William Goodfellow.
William Goodfellow is married to Dana Priest.
Dana Priest is national security and intelligience correspondent for the Washington Post (reg required).
I'm making up for some lost blogging time as you may see, one of the best military deals on the west coast. This is from their website. Check out the Silver Bullet, no, not the one I give silly, the ride at Knotts! (if you don't know what a silver bullet is, ask any Sailor or Marine)
Veteran's Tribute - Nov. 1 - 23 Knott's annual tribute to our Military, past and present. FREE admission for Veterans or current serving military personnel and one guest with proper I.D. presented at turnstile. Plus purchase up to six additional tickets for just $10.95 each! Ends November 23, 2006
And thank them for the support while you're there.
The contrasts abound. A while back the commander of a U.S. battalion (a relatively small unit) in Iraq suggested his troops all send letters to their home town papers to counter negative press and tell what they were really doing over there. Most of the troops who bothered to participate at all sent the sample letter the commander had prepared. Because this wasn't a professionally organised, media insider effort, they probably didn't realize that most "small town" papers are actualy parts of chains run by large media outlets, so they were actually sending multiple letters to a relatively few organizations.
The similarities in the letters from this unit were identified almost as soon as they appeared. The media ran with the story of the commander who had forced his troops to participate in what the media (and others) declared was an obviously coerced astroturf campaign.
Contrast that story with the "Redress" story - small unit in Iraq coordinates (in a bumbling, misguided, but true "grass roots" effort) to get the word out about the real story and makes unexpected negative headlines. But when the left wing machine engineers a major "astroturf" campaign designed to appear to be a "grass roots" movement of the troops it garners world-wide publicity with complete buy-in by that same media.
Want more? Military hires PR firm to get accurate stories favorable to the coalition into the Iraqi media - scandal erupts. But whenever possible the American media willingly participates in manipulative political ploys intended to dupe the American public.
Sheehan's Crawford encampment has swollen in the past week, as other antiwar protesters have flocked to Texas. Members of CodePink, a women's antiwar organization, have pitched their tent near Sheehan's.By the way, the depths of this are pretty amazing. You might recall country-rock has been Steve Earle attempting to resurrect his career by appearing "on tour" with Cindy Sheehan last year. Guess what firm handles his PR? All done!
TrueMajority -- an antiwar group founded by Ben Cohen, one of the creators of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream -- hired Fenton Communications, a Washington public relations firm that has worked intermittently with Sheehan over the past year to coordinate media coverage.
With this help, Sheehan has courted coverage from the traveling White House press corps with a news conference. A schedule of when relatives of other military casualties in Iraq are expected to join Sheehan here was distributed to reporters. Her team is coordinating an antiwar rally planned for Saturday.
Joe Trippi, the political consultant behind former Vermont governor Howard Dean's early success in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary race, hosted a conference with Sheehan for liberal Internet bloggers, hoping their online dispatches will draw even wider attention.
On Saturday, Sheehan launched a TV ad campaign hoping to achieve what her roadside vigil so far has not: a second chance to directly tell Bush about the devastation she has experienced since her son's death.
Declared "obsolete" shortly after it was introduced. It went on and on.
Helped to sink the Bismarck, destroy 37 U-boats, defeat the Japanese at Midway and derail the "Tokyo Express."
Rescuer to some, night terror to others.
In various forms it served for over 40 years.
Maybe it had nine lives.
What was it?
Find out here.
I would suggest that people should take a look at their Sunday Newspaper, and take a look at the Fenton Communications client list.
Then just mark each story as to whether it is a story that is favorable/unfavorable to a Fenton Communications client.
Draw your own conclusions as to whether a single public relations firm, elected by no one, who most Americans have never heard of, has too much influence on American public discourse.
Here's a project I can support whole heartedly:
Imagine telling the members of an entire generation they could receive a free college education at any school that accepted them — Cal State, Harvard, the Sorbonne — courtesy of Uncle Sam. Throw in a monthly stipend and textbooks. After graduation, there are government-backed home loans, no money down — buy a house cheaper than renting. Throw in subsidized business loans, farm loans, job training, medical care and up to a year's worth of unemployment checks.All done!
What insane politician would ever propose such a costly boondoggle, such outright social engineering? It would be the most enormous, far-reaching, life-changing government program in the history of the world.
And so it was. We know it today as the original GI Bill.
Today's unthinkable was yesterday's matter of course. FDR and Congress adopted the humbly named Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 with bipartisan fervor. The stated goal was simple: to help 16 million veterans and their families resume their lives after the scourge of World War II.
But this investment in the nation's future powered far more than a return to the status quo. It transformed the nation and the very nature of the American dream, opening up the colleges, raising suburbs out of bean fields, creating a new middle class and providing the medical, engineering and scientific prowess that conquered long-feared diseases, ushered in the Information Age and helped win the Cold War.
There was never anything like the GI Bill. There's nothing like it on the horizon. And that's a problem.
Today's veterans are getting shortchanged. Instead of a full ride to any college, the modern GI Bill's education support tops out at $36,000 for a four-year degree — barely enough to cover the average state university and well short of UCLA's $19,500 annual tuition, room and board. Forget about the private colleges once covered by the GI Bill — $36,000 would pay for only a year at many of them.
Reservists and National Guard troops in Iraq receive even less — only 27% of the education benefits that regular troops receive. President Bush has opposed closing this gap, considering it a budget buster. Indeed, in a quest to minimize projected war costs, the administration used prewar statistics to craft its budget for another pillar of the GI Bill — healthcare. Now veterans hospitals caring for the wounded of Iraq and Afghanistan are $3 billion short.
But this is not simply a story of slighted veterans, scandalous as that may be. This is a story of a United States no longer investing it its future. The GI Bill was an engine of opportunity for all of us. It powered U.S. prosperity after World War II, turning a nation of renters into a nation of homeowners, transforming college from an elite bastion into almost an entitlement and making a tiny middle class into America's leading demographic.
The "greatest generation" endured depression and war, but its members also ended up our most privileged generation, gifted with more government largesse than any group in history. More than 7 million veterans took advantage of the education benefits alone for college or trade schools. This proved a costly but sound investment: For every dollar paid out under the original GI Bill, there was a $7 return to the economy in terms of increased earnings, consumer spending and tax revenue, according to a 1988 congressional study.
Three presidents — George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter — dozens of congressmen, 14 Nobel Prize winners, giants of literature, Broadway and Hollywood and hundreds of thousands of teachers, doctors, nurses and businessmen got their starts with the help of the GI Bill. "Biggest piece of legislation the country ever passed," says former Sen. Bob Dole, a war hero and GI Bill beneficiary. "Maybe we need something like it again."
Which begs the question: What happened to the Washington that created something so magnificent? Why do we no longer expect — or demand — greatness from Americans' joint enterprise, our government? In the 1960s, before Watergate and Vietnam, most Americans believed that their government usually did the right thing. Now we've accepted Ronald Reagan's old formulation about the nine most dangerous words in the English language: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." How ironic that a member of the GI Bill generation would sell his countrymen on that idea. But it's not a truism; it's self-fulfilling prophecy. We expect our government to fail, and it meets our expectations.
The original GI Bill was powerful because it touched a whole generation, and the ripple effects washed over the entire nation, not just veterans. Today's GI Bill reaches less than 1% of the population. It is no longer an engine for greatness, and Americans desperately need such an engine. We have always been the nation where the children can expect a better life than the parents; we no longer believe this is likely.
Before he died, FDR offered a solution that did not require a world war and a military draft. He proposed a program of national service, in which young people earned education, medical, housing and pension benefits. Not just veterans but all young people. It was, in essence, a peacetime civilian GI Bill — an investment in the future and in civic service. Polls suggested a receptive public, but the idea died with Roosevelt. President Clinton tried a modest resurrection with his AmeriCorps project. Much more is needed.
Would such a program be expensive? Absolutely — about what we've spent so far on the war in Iraq. But spending hundreds of billions at home to generate opportunities for future doctors, scientists, teachers, leaders and productive, healthy citizens would be a far sounder investment, with a proven rate of return. Where would you rather spend your tax dollars?
In an era in which college is a skyrocketing financial burden for many families, when homeownership is less affordable than ever, when the nation is losing its competitive edge in advanced degrees and when the American dream so generously nurtured after World War II is under siege, it is time to expect greatness from our government once again. Our children deserve it.
Edward Humes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, most recently, of "Over Here: How the GI Bill Transformed the American Dream" (Harcourt, 2006).
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain NewsThe night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."
Go read the rest of Final Salute.All done!
Antimedia's post is a good Hutto bio.
And it turns out we've met a guy before in the same division of the same ship who also got all antiwar all of a sudden in May of 2004.
The other day I picked up John Mayer's latest studio release, “Continuum”. The first song on the CD is entitled, “Waiting on the World to Change” and it irked me a little, so I decided to pop in and comment over at Some Soldier's Mom
Part of my mini-rant includes, "If you’re just going to sit around “waiting on the world to change” then you have no one to blame but yourselves when it doesn't (change)."
Go on... I haven't given anyone a rant in a while... and as my rants go, it's a mild one...