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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,170

Journal Archives

One last thought on JeffR, Xchrom and JackpineRadical

Anyone who has spent any time at all here knows I am not the best Ambassador of Proper Behavior on DU. In the online realm of the 21st century, where we communicate by typing without ever seeing each other, your keyboard is the content of your character. Mine has been shown to be lacking on a number of occasions, so I am not soap-boxing here in any way whatsoever.

...but the loss of JeffR, Xchrom and JackpineRadical cut deep. Never met them, couldn't pick them out of a line-up, but I feel as if I lost friends. We may not have always agreed, and may have even traded the occasional barb, but they were long-time companions in this place, excellent contributors, and always good company.


Primary season is upon us, which in the past has translated to gouts of blood on the DU walls.

I'm not preaching, because I have no place to at all. But my final takeaway from the loss of these three friends, and all the others, is this:

The person you're roaring at, insulting, belittling, might not be here tomorrow. We've all learned that to our sorrow over the last several weeks.

I'm going to do my best to try and remember that, and act accordingly. Just a thought, but I hope you do, too. The primary wars on DU are what they are, as immutable as gravity...but I don't want to wake up one day and feel my guts twisted with regret over something I said to a fellow DUer who we suddenly lost.

One man's opinion.

RIP, old friends. You will be sorely missed.

To the loved and lost.

Xchrom and JackpineRadical, in the same week.

Break the "Defense" Industry Across the Knee of Democracy

Members of the American military disembark from a Black Hawk helicopter at Camp Taji in Iraq,
Dec. 27, 2014. On Wednesday it was reported that President Obama would be sending more troops
to Iraq while also building a new base. (Ayman Oghanna/The New York Times)

Break the "Defense" Industry Across the Knee of Democracy
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Sunday 14 June 2015

Nine months ago, I penned an article about our ongoing and seemingly endless tangle in Iraq, titled "The Pleasant Fiction of 'No Boots on the Ground.'" Specifically addressing those who claimed, "We have to do something" regarding ISIS and the situation over there, I replied, "What you are in favor of is the equivalent of doing nothing. We will blow some stuff up and kill some people, and every bomb dropped and missile fired will transfer more of your tax dollars into the bank accounts of 'defense' companies. That's it, period, end of file."

In that article, I stated with emphasis that the US would be at war there again, and soon, because Iraq has been a bottomless cash register for the "Defense" industry lo these last 25 years. "This next war, like the last war," I wrote, "stands to make them a great deal of money by selling US-made bombs for use against the US-made weapons we sold to them already, which are now in the hands of ISIS, because war profit is a wheel, and it always comes around."

... and hey, whadaya know, here we go again. More troops - "advisers" - are on their way in to Iraq, this time to "advise" and "train" the Iraqi army we've been advising and training for going on 13 years, so they can fight the menace we created after we created the previous menace, which was created by the menace we created by the menace we created before that.

It's a wheel, and it always comes around.

I have said it before, and am saying it again: People in the US have been hypnotized into thinking war is some magical nowhere-land where soldiers win glory for the Stars and Bars ... and it all just kinda happens, or something. No. Emphatically, no.

They collect your taxes, and then every bullet fired, every bomb dropped, every missile launched, every boot laced, every rifle greased, every field meal eaten, every uniform donned, every chopper shot down, every ounce of fuel burned, and every body bag filled is someone you will never meet getting paid, handsomely, with your money.

Cash register. Comes with sand, and sorrow. Please omit flowers.


We're digging in to Iraq again, with "operations centers" and "advisers" ... but it's all the same payday, and has been for a pile of denuded generations now. We have been waging war on Iraq for going on 25 years. We are bombing our own weapons with our own weapons, for money. Always for money.

Freedom, and peace, begin with a "No."

It is enough.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31361-break-the-defense-industry-across-the-knee-of-democracy

Is there video available of the Clinton speech?

I wasn't able to watch it.

Thanks in advance if you have a link.

Ornette Coleman has passed.

This week sucks.

Springtime, here.

Sir Christopher goddam Lee

RIP, sir.

Please take me to the hospital.

My wife has been worried for the last couple of days because our daughter Lola hasn't pooped, and has been a bit of a pill. She was worried Lola was constipated. We put Lola down for a nap today, Cailen left for work...

...and later, I went to get Lola when she woke up, and the smell hit me in the face like a dead fish. I cracked open the diaper and it was civilians fleeing, the seas boiling, a thousand years of darkness, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA.

Constipated? Nope. N to the ope. NOPE.


Good girl.

Please take me to the hospital.

Objects in Mirror Closer Than They Appear: The Sanders Surge (By me)

May be of use.

Objects in Mirror Closer Than They Appear: The Sanders Surge

Objects in Mirror Closer Than They Appear: The Sanders Surge

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a town hall event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on
Friday, February 20, 2015. (Photo: Alex Cooney/StumpSource.org)

Objects in Mirror Closer Than They Appear: The Sanders Surge
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 09 June 2015

How many times do you have to get hit over the head until you figure out who's hitting you?"

-- President Harry S. Truman

A few miles down the road from here, due west on 101, is the town of Brattleboro, Vermont. The architecture is a landscape of long brick, blocks and blocks of old mill buildings, a throwback to the days when the textile industry dominated this little corner of the country before the chance to find cheap labor elsewhere motivated a migration. The passing of that industry devastated many local economies for a very long time, and laid waste to many families, businesses and towns, another verse in the scripture of corporate greed.

In Brattleboro, Sen. Bernie Sanders is a household name. The same goes for Burlington, where Sanders served as mayor for four terms in the 1980s, a tenure that catapulted him into the House of Representatives in 1988. He was re-elected to that office by landslide margins until 2006, when Vermont's Sen. Jim Jeffords announced his retirement. Sanders ran for the seat, and won it handily by about a 2-1 margin. When he ran for re-election in 2012, Senator Sanders won with 71 percent of the vote.

He went back to Burlington to announce his intention to campaign for the Democratic nomination for President at the end of this past May. Five thousand people attended. He pulled in three thousand people in Minnesota, and enjoyed a large crowd when he recently came through Keene, New Hampshire.

When he came through Iowa, he drew the largest crowds of any candidate, regardless of party, so far this year. According to a report on the visit in The New York Times, a Democratic county chairman named Kurt Meyer fired off a text to Hillary Clinton's Iowa political director. "Objects in your mirror," he wrote, "are closer than they appear."


Bernie Sanders is preaching a different gospel. He wants to break up the "too big to fail" institutions that burned the economy down to the stumps. He is against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Keystone XL pipeline. He is a blood enemy of the Patriot Act and the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. He wants Wall Street regulated far more deeply, and believes the wealthy should be taxed to the degree they actually deserve.

Unlike far too many of his congressional colleagues, he actually believes climate change is real, and that it is coming on strong, and is deadly dangerous. He supports breaking up the massive media conglomerates that spend so much time trying to convince people that such bedrock common sense ideas are scandalous, if not treasonous. He is a stout ally of the LGBTQ community, and of veterans, and of the separation of church and state.

Hillary Clinton - former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State - is in every sense the powerhouse candidate in this race. Lincoln Chafee, former Senator and Governor from Rhode Island, has thrown his hat into the ring, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley appears prepared to do the same. More contenders may come.

Yet Senator Sanders remains a fascinating candidate. An Independent social democrat from a small state is drawing huge crowds from diverse parts of the nation because maybe, just maybe, he is speaking his heart at a time when - after decades of looking for a job and finding none, of looking at their bank account or savings and finding them barren, of going to the well of this alleged version of "freedom" and finding it dry - people may finally be taking Harry Truman's advice, and are listening to a guy who has spent a career explaining who, and what, is hitting them.

Time, that funny little bird, may be turning on its wing. Bernie Sanders is the very definition of a long shot. He is campaigning like a cannonball on a shoestring budget against seemingly impossible odds ... but objects in your mirror are closer than they appear. The man bears watching, and whatever happens, this promises to be one of the most interesting Democratic campaign seasons since time out of mind.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31268-objects-in-mirror-closer-than-they-appear-the-sanders-surge
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