Wednesday, November 21, 2007

FIRED Part II!!!

It's been two weeks since I've been fired ... I haven't been this relaxed in years ... that job was killing me ... all work and no days off starts to make you crazy (I was putting in 60+ hour weeks there for awhile) ... they were working me to death and they thought nothing of it ... after a couple days unemployed I felt lighter and taller ... my health has improved without that job ... my first unemployment check will be arriving in a few days and I have a job prospect that I'm working on so there is no reason to stress ... my brother is in town for a visit so I have plenty of time to spend with him ... the Wife is happy that I'm no longer in a job that would possibly kill me (a pretty close call with raising some truss and they had me driving a truck with very bad tires ... I practically had to beg them to replace the tires ... they did a week before they fired me) ... I'm so glad I don't work for Swank Audio Visuals anymore!!!


From today's Progress Report:


21 Reasons To Give Thanks

We're thankful for our country's troops.

We're thankful the minimum wage has been increased for the first time in a decade.

We're thankful MC Rove has more free time to work on his dance moves.

We're thankful Congress has "wasted time" trying to end the war in Iraq.

We're thankful radio stations don't play "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."

We're thankful for journalists like Molly Ivins, who was never afraid to "raise hell."

We're (not) thankful for wide stances.

We're thankful to Michael Moore, whose documentary SiCKO started a national discussion on health care reform.

We're thankful people don't call us Buzzy, Cookie, Brownie, or Scooter.

We're thankful we can now call Al Gore the "Oscar-winning, Emmy-winning, Nobel Prize laureate" former vice president of the United States.

We're thankful Andy Card and Alberto Gonzales won't visit our bedside if we're sick in the hospital.

We're thankful not all Dick Cheney's cousins think like he does.

We're thankful to be considered one of the "ten most dangerous organizations in America."

We're thankful that visiting the Mall of America isn't really like visiting Iraq.

We're thankful President Bush isn't giving out any more back rubs.

We're thankful for 12-year olds who can take down Rush Limbaugh in a fight.

We're thankful our Halloween costumes aren't very "original."

We're thankful no one (except the birds) gets hurt when Dick Cheney goes hunting now.

We're thankful for "phony soldiers" who have the courage to speak out about the war in Iraq.

We're thankful the "Commander Guy" has only 425 days left in office.

And last but not least: We're thankful to The Progress Report readers for their tips, energy, and support.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Military Suicide Epidemic!!!

From the Information Clearing House today ... you just know that Bush doesn't even give a shit about this:

Pentagon Cover Up:

15,000 or more US casualties in Iraq War

By Mike Whitney

11/17/07 "ICH" -- -- The Pentagon has been concealing the true number of American casualties in the Iraq War. The real number exceeds 15,000 and CBS News can prove it.

CBS’s Investigative Unit wanted to do a report on the number of suicides in the military and “submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense”. After 4 months they received a document which showed--that between 1995 and 2007--there were 2,200 suicides among “active duty” soldiers.


The Pentagon was covering up the real magnitude of the “suicide epidemic”. Following an exhaustive investigation of veterans’ suicide data collected from 45 states; CBS discovered that in 2005 alone “THERE WERE AT LEAST 6,256 AMONG THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES. THAT’S 120 EACH AND EVERY WEEK IN JUST ONE YEAR.”

That is not a typo. Active and retired military personnel, mostly young veterans between the ages of 20 to 24, are returning from combat and killing themselves in record numbers. We can assume that "multiple-tours of duty" in a war-zone have precipitated a mental health crisis of which the public is entirely unaware and which the Pentagon is in total denial.

If we add the 6,256 suicide victims from 2005 to the “official” 3,865 reported combat casualties; we get a sum of 10,121. Even a low-ball estimate of similar 2004 and 2006 suicide figures, would mean that the total number of US casualties from the Iraq war now exceed 15,000.

That’s right; 15,000 dead US servicemen and women in a war that--as yet--has no legal or moral justification.

CBS interviewed Dr. Ira Katz, the head of mental health at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Katz attempted to minimize the surge in veteran suicides saying, “There is no epidemic of suicide in the VA, but suicide is a major problem.”

Maybe Katz right. Maybe there is no epidemic. Maybe it’s perfectly normal for young men and women to return from combat, sink into inconsolable depression, and kill themselves at greater rates than they were dying on the battlefield. Maybe it’s normal for the Pentagon to abandon them as soon as soon they return from their mission so they can blow their brains out or hang themselves with a garden hose in their basement. Maybe it's normal for politicians to keep funding wholesale slaughter while they brush aside the casualties they have produced by their callousness and lack of courage. Maybe it is normal for the president to persist with the same, bland lies that perpetuate the occupation and continue to kill scores of young soldiers who put themselves in harm’s-way for their country.

It’s not normal; it’s is a pandemic---an outbreak of despair which is the natural corollary of living in constant fear; of seeing one’s friends being dismembered by roadside bombs or children being blasted to bits at military checkpoints or finding battered bodies dumped on the side of a riverbed like a bag of garbage.

The rash of suicides is the logical upshot of Bush’s war. Returning soldiers are traumatized by their experience and now they are killing themselves in droves. Maybe we should have thought about that before we invaded.

Check it out the video at: CBS News “Suicide Epidemic among Veterans”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vet's Day Parade!!!

I almost forgot to let you all know how the Palm Springs Veteran's Day Parade went on Sunday ... I marched with the local Veterans for Peace chapter ... I showed up an hour early and reported to where we were going meet ... there were only two guys there and I talked with them while we waited for other VFP people to show up ... I was getting worried around 15 minutes prior to the parade starting when one of the guys went off to see where everybody else was ... he found them in/or near a convertable that was going to carry the folks that couldn't walk the parade route ... there were so many people to meet that I've forgotten most of their names ... they had premade signs made up ... but I (along with some great help from The Kids!) had made my own sign:

I was the only VFP person with a homemade sign so I positioned myself in the center and near the front ... I held it high so that people on both sides of Palm Canyon Drive could see it ... I expected negative comments but got the opposite ... around 98% of the people lining the parade route were standing, clapping and shouting, "Bring 'em home!!!" ... I only saw 5 people who were shouting negative stuff at us (3 of them old white women ... sad) ... all in all a great experiance!!!

Friday, November 09, 2007


Thank a Vet on Sunday ... I'll be marching in the Palm Springs Veteran's Day Parade with "Veterans for Peace" ... this is from today's Progress Report:


Caring For Heroes

Thousands of Vietnam veterans will likely head to Washington, DC, this weekend to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Many of these soldiers unfortunately received a "chilly public reception" when they returned home from that highly unpopular war. But now they are now helping the nation embrace troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite low public support for the Iraq war, a Pew Research poll in March found that 77 percent of the American public has a favorable view of the military and "72 percent say the government doesn't give enough support" to returning soldiers. Indeed, despite the lessons learned from Vietnam, the Bush administration still isn't providing the services necessary to help the nation's veterans return to civilian life.

HEALTH CARE FOR 'WOUNDED WARRIORS': Seven months after the Washington Post uncovered the deplorable conditions of "neglect" at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a September Government Accountability Office report found that "wounded warriors are still getting the runaround" from the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Wars take a heavy toll on the health of the nation's soldiers. At least "283 combat veterans who left the military between the start of the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, and the end of 2005 took their own lives," a figure "reminiscent of the increased suicide risk among returning soldiers in the Vietnam era." Additionally, more than 100,000 combat veterans have "sought help for mental illness since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001"; half of those cases were for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet the nation's health care system still isn't up to the task of caring for these veterans. A recent National Academies study found that PTSD treatments generally "lack rigorous scientific evidence that they are effective," with evidence often "assembled by pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs or by researchers with conflicts of interest in the outcome of the studies." This week, President Bush signed into law the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, which directs the VA to "develop a comprehensive program to reduce the rate of suicide among veterans."

EDUCATING THE 'NEW GREATEST GENERATION': "Members of Congress and other political leaders often say that the men and women who have served in our military since 9/11 are the 'new greatest generation'" writes Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in today's New York Times. "Well, here's a thought from two infantry combat veterans of the Vietnam era's 'wounded generation': if you truly believe that our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are like those who fought in World War II, let us provide them with the same G.I. Bill that was given to the veterans of that war." Instead of receiving full college tuition and fees, veterans today receive approximately $800 a month for college, which is about "13 percent of the cost of attending Columbia." Yet the administration continues to resist efforts to strengthen the G.I. Bill. In August, a VA official said the idea would be too "cumbersome."

A 'TSUNAMI' OF HOMELESS VETERANS: In addition to receiving medical care, veterans struggle to return to jobs, school, and even their homes. A new report released this week finds that veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, with 1,500 homeless veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We're beginning to see, across the country, the first trickle of this generation of warriors in homeless shelters," said Phil Landis, chairman of Veterans Village of San Diego, a residence and counseling center. "But we anticipate that it's going to be a tsunami." On Wednesday, the Bush administration announced "remarkable progress" in caring for the chronic homeless. But the VA has developed just 1,780 supported housing units for veterans; the National Alliance to End Homelessness says that number needs to grow to 25,000. This week, the House "passed a bill to increase funding for a low-interest loan program that helps veterans in Oregon and four other states, including Texas, buy homes."

LEADING VETERANS AFFAIRS: When VA Secretary Jim Nicholson stepped down in July, he left behind an agency that left veterans at risk. In May 2006, Nicholson waited two weeks to notify the Justice Department and FBI of the "largest loss of personal data in U.S. government history," and then another full week before notifying the 26.5 million affected veterans. He also awarded "$3.8 million in bonuses to top executives in fiscal 2006" -- many totaling as much as $33,000 -- despite a $1.3 billion department shortfall. Bush waited four months after Nicholson's announcement before nominating Dr. James Peake as a replacement. Jon Soltz, an Iraq war veteran and chairman of, notes the challenges for Peake if he becomes secretary: "The most pressing question here is, will Dr. Peake be a leader, or will be he be a follower? This administration has been nothing but hostile to veterans care and funding for key veterans programs. Will Dr. Peake stand up for Veterans and challenge this President, or will he just go along to get along?"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I got fired today ... shit ...