Support the Troops

Barbara Ehrenreich has a great column in The Progressive about just how sincere the Bush gang’s “support” for the troops is. Their latest gesture of support is a provision in the 2005 budget that a soldier’s combat pay will no longer count against his family’s food stamp eligibility. This is certainly a nice gesture. As Ehrenreich points out, “they can dodge bullets in Iraq with the happy assurance that their loved ones will not starve as a result of their bravery.” But the fact that large numbers of our troops are facing such financial hardships while Bush bestows more tax cuts on his buddies should be appalling to all of us. Ehrenreich sheds light on other hardships facing the troops that Bush “supports”. There’s not much point in my repeating it here, go read it for yourself.

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Spring is here

Spring has arrived in the Bluegrass. I know the calendar says it started almost a week ago, but that’s wrong. Sunday was one of the coldest days I’ve spent in the saddle in a long time. Spring, my ass! Actual temperature wasn’t bad (40ish), but that 20-mph wind made me (and others) glad I’d switched my flask contents to Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. But, just a few short days later, spring is unquestionably here; a flat-out screaming coyote run in 65-degree weather on Wednesday was getting uncomfortably close to overheating an unclipped horse.

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IBM and Linux

A Computerworld article reports that IBM hopes to move 40,000 of their desktop users to Linux by years’ end. Although that’s just a fraction of their 300,000 employees, it’s an encouraging trend. I’m not a big Linux fan; there are better alternatives. But it’s good to see the Windows stranglehold loosened a little. As an IBM customer, I’ve long been frustrated by their assumption that everybody uses Windows; many of the tools they provide for customer interaction don’t work on other platforms (including Linux). Maybe now they’ll have to be a little more flexible.

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Quote of the Week

“It–my view of–of the situation was that he–he had–we–we
believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that–that we believed
and we still do not know–we will know.” — Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, on CBS News’ Face the Nation, March 14, 2004

Confused? Even in context, it doesn’t get much better. That was Sec. Rumsfeld’s response in an interview when confronted with evidence that he was making statements that were blatantly untrue.

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End of Hot Meals for Troops in Iraq?

Once again, Dick Cheney’s Halliburton is screwing US taxpayers, US corporations, and US soldiers. A Utah company that Halliburton has subcontracted to provide meals to troops in Iraq (including Bush’s Thanksgiving Turkey photo-op) reports that Halliburton hasn’t paid it the $87 million that it owes, and that if it doesn’t get paid soon, it may have to start feeding the troops sandwiches instead of hot meals. This story is breaking at the same time that we’re seeing reports of Halliburton overcharging the Pentagon hundreds of millions of dollars for those same meals that they’re not paying for. So they’re overcharging the taxpayers, and keeping all the money for themselves? Once again, those of us who complain are told “Support our troops!”, while those telling us that are starving the troops and pocketing the money.

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Scentless, but not senseless

A beautiful winter Wednesday, beginning to feel more like spring. A glorious day to be on a horse instead of in front of a computer. Poor scenting conditions made today’s outing more of a trail ride than a hunt, but that didn’t really bother me much. My only complaint about the whole day is that there’s no West Wing tonight. Well .. maybe one other complaint. I miss my brother in the hunt field; I’m starting to feel outnumbered by all those wimmin. Today, I heard my name being called by a couple of beauties far behind me. I turned around to see them waving for me to come to them. Thinking this was the stuff dreams were made of, I nudged Arthur into a trot and approached them only to find that they had dropped a flask cap and needed a chivalrous gentleman to dismount and retrieve it, as they were dubious about their ability to remount. Somehow, all my dreams seem to have endings like that. Late note … just got word that our huntsman’s GPS unit reported that we covered 12.85 miles today .. not too shabby.

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I Love my Horse

I didn’t write anything about Wednesday’s hunt because it took me two days to dry out. (I’m referring to rainfall, not alcohol consumption). It’s always a tough decision whether to hunt on days with marginal weather forecasts. Frequently, if I decide not to go, I end up looking out my office window regretting my decision. If I’d been inside Wednesday afternoon, looking out at that rainfall, I wouldn’t have regretted it one bit. Today, on the other hand, was awesome.

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Quote of the Day

Maybe it’s just me, but I had to chuckle at this one. As Senator Kerry rolls on towards the Democratic nomination, there are predictable waves of dissension in progressive political circles. It’s the Gore/Bush/Nader/2000 story all over again. Some idealists are even calling Kerry “Bush Lite”. He’s a long way from being my favorite, but there is a major difference between him and Bush. If he’s the Democratic nominee, which seems almost certain at this point, he’s our only chance of taking back our country. Tom Herrick summed up this realistic viewpoint very nicely:

The only way for someone like Nader to occupy the White House anytime soon would be through armed conflict. Not only is that a real bad idea in general, I don’t think many Nader supporters own the level of firepower it would take to win such a battle.

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Swami’s State of the Universe

This gem from WakeUpLaughing.com came across one of the warped subversive lists I’ve somehow managed to get on. I couldn’t find this particular item on their website, so I can’t provide a direct link to it. But it says “Feel free to circulate this if you include copyright and contact information.” So here it is with copyright and contact information left intact at the end.
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