That American Soldier

He is in full dessert camouflage and boots standing on a sidewalk not far from the Sears and Roebuck Merchandise Pick-up Entrance. He is an American soldier. At the moment he is talking with someone on his cell phone. His posture is straight, strong. He is powerfully built. I put him somewhere in his twenties.

My window is down as I slow my car in front of him. I start to tap my horn to draw his attention but as soon as my car slows I have his attention. His eyes are locked on mine. Still on the phone, watching. I think slowing cars must carry a different meaning for him.

Looking at each other I say, “Thank you – and stay safe.”

He relaxes into a genuine smile. “Thank you, sir,” he says, and he means it.

“God bless you, bro.”

We nod to each other. I slowly drive away. He returns to his phone conversation. I am suddenly near tears, so much so I can barely see to drive.

Why the tears?

Was it his youth? Was it the distinct feeling I had that he was saluting me when he said, Thank you, sir, when I should be saluting him? Or, was it simply heartbreak at the ineffable violence he has witnessed and endured? Was this compounded, perhaps, with my firsthand knowledge that nothing, not even dessert camouflage and boots, protects any of us from the split-second blood-drenched carnage of bombs and bullets, of violence?

That young man, that American soldier. That mother’s son, wife’s husband. That brother’s brother, sister’s brother, that grandson, that flesh and blood human being who deserves his life, as do so many others. And while all of us should be willing to go, none of us should be called to go based on lies, born of the maniacal minds of the Bush-Cheney disgrace. Those two should be in jail.

That American soldier should be free.

Letting Loose on the Bush-Cheney Slime Cartel

There are times I want to set aside any sense of decorum and have at it with some of the slugs I see. For example, the likes of former CIA director, General Michael Hayden, who actually defended torture recently on Fox News (a network renowned for having anything but news) and actually criticized President Obama for making the specific forms of torture public (they already were public, asshole) because now enemy combatants can train for it if we decided to use it again.

Use it again? Somebody slap that man. Better yet, kick his ass and be done with it. And while you’re at it, do the same to the Bush-Cheney Slime Cartel for two reasons: they deserve it and they’ve done more to damage what my country was founded and designed to stand for than any American administration in history. In fact, if there was one thing the Bush-Cheney Slime Cartel made sure to exclude in their efforts, it was anything truly American.

The Bush-Cheney Slime Cartel claim torture and secret prisons were and are needed to fight the horror of terrorism. Did they forget WWII and the Nazis? Were there any group of people more vicious than the Nazis? The world united against them (which, by the way, had begun to happen right after 9/11e before the Bush-Cheney Slime Cartel tried to develop a dictatorship (something I believe, historians will confirm if allowed to research and report honestly and unimpeded) and defeated them and the Nuremberg Trials to this day stand as an extraordinary example of justice right-sizing injustice.

Okay, enough for now. Peace out.


If Senator Barack Obama selects Senator Hillary Clinton for vice-president, his credibility as an agent of change dies on the spot. I believe most Americans are beginning to realize our democracy is at risk.

The bow of America’s ship must turn towards the democracy fought for by the founding fathers. America’s bow must turn towards a democracy that my grandfather fought for in World War I and my father fought for in World War II. With Clinton or McCain anywhere near the helm, this will not happen.

At this moment in our history, Senator Barack Obama is our country’s best and only hope in the presidential race. More than once I have listened to him and found myself daring to believe I may be witnessing greatness. The kind of greatness rooted in what America is supposed to be. The kind of greatness that is not rooted in any political party. If should not select Senator Clinton as his vice-presidential running mate. She has waged a campaign riddled with incidents of dishonesty and dishonor. Raise your hands if you’ve ever mistaken an eight-year-old girl reading poetry for sniper fire. She has twice raised the specter of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassinaton in June 1968 as a reason for her to stay in the race.

I believe Senator Obama may possess the depth of vision and capacity for change along with the ability to bring people together that this country, a country I love, so desperately needs and deserves. But, if he selects Senator Clinton for the VP post, I will stand corrected, heartbroken and nearly convinced that our days as a democracy are numbered. After all, George Bush and Dick Cheney are dictators in mind and, increasingly, in action.

Bush and Cheney have approved torture, tossed aside the legal system that served humanity perfectly well in prosecuting the Nazis. Have we all forgotten the 1945 Nuremberg trials?

Moreover, there are stains on the hands of many from both sides of the aisle for enabling the Bush and Cheney agenda.

If you think saying Bush and Cheney behave like dictators is a stretch, consider the following. They have approved torture, ignored the country’s constitution, knowingly sent young men and women to die based on falsehoods they helped design, rigged the system so their oil company buddies receive record profits, andirect their staff and the Department of Justice to ignore congressional supeonas. How are these actions any different from actions taken by past and present dictators?

The American people are sick to death of both the Republicans and the Democrats. Why? Because by and large the American people are Americans first, which is something they rightfully expect from there leaders. The American people are angry over the deep wounds Bush and Cheney have inflicted on all that is great about America. Bush and Cheney should ponder the words some have attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

I hope and pray the ever increasing support for Senator Obama that comes from Americans of all political persuasions reflects a giant that is, thankfully, wide-awake.


In her column today New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, one of my favorite columnists, points out that some are “flummoxed about why the president is in such a fine mood” despite the carnage of war, a plummeting economy, and a more-hated-than-ever United States around the world.

The answer as to why Bush is in such a jovial mood is, I believe, wonderfully explained by comedian Lewis Black, one of my favorite comedians.

Mr. Black talks about Bush visiting wounded American veterans in Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. Bush tells these vets, most of whom were amputees during the visit Mr. Black is referring to, that he too has been injured, sustaining a scratch in a fight with a Cedar Tree that, the president points out, is a fight he won. Mr. Black points out that if you are the president you should know where you are in the space-time continuum.

In another bit, Mr. Black talks about being home alone and watching Bush talk on television. Mr. Black says that in a way it was just the two of them, and, he realized, one of them was crazy, and, Mr. Black says, he was not the crazy one. This brings me back to Ms. Dowd’s noticing that many are baffled about why the president is in such a good mood given the mess our country is in.

Here, I think, is the answer. He is crazy, mentally ill, messianic, nuts, out of his mind, bonkers, wacko, both oars not in the water, not firing all eight, not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

But worst of all – he is dangerous.


One of the reasons Senator Barack Obama’s campaign has become one of the healthiest movements in recent American history is this: the American people are sick and tired of politicians trying win their votes by traumatizing them with fear.

With all our dysfunctions, we Americans are family, and as one member of the family, I am dead tired of watching family members being traumatized with fear because someone wants their votes. Bush and Cheney, our co-American dictators, have used fear tactics that would impress some of the nastiest dictatorships throughout history. Now we have Senator Hillary Clinton inflicting an ad on the American people that blatantly tries to convince viewers that without her in the White House, their children are in mortal danger. The ad blatantly plays into the nearly universal desire to keep children safe. Radio talk show host Don Imus recently wondered just how low the Clinton’s will go to win the nomination. Answer? As low as it takes to win.

Americans are sick of it.

We are all members of the American family. We are all in this together. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family lives in Texas or Ohio or Pennsylvania or Rhode Island or my home state of New York. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is gay, straight or bi-sexual. It does not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is Black, White, Asian, or Hispanic. It doe not make a difference to me if a member of my American family is Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist or agnostic. I do not like it when members of my family are being put through the blood chilling experience of fear because someone wants their votes.

The American people must pull together and send a powerful message to Washington D.C. that political fear tactics must stop. And it seems to me that the groundswell of support for Senator Obama shows we are doing just that. Yes, there are fear tactics being used to derail him too. Falsely linking him to Farrakhan or accusing his minister of being anti-Semitic when the Anti-Defamation League has said this charge has no basis in fact. It will not work this time. We Americans may be a wily bunch, but we are not stupid and when we have had enough, we have had enough.

News reports and polls from around the country show that Republicans, Independents, Democrats and others are aligning themselves with Senator Obama, not because Obama is a Democrat, but because he appears to be the one candidate for the presidency who is not using fear to manipulate. He is the one candidate for the presidency who is truly seeking to unite.

Please consider something for a moment. When Americans think of Lincoln, they think of a great president. His political party is an afterthought. When most Americans think of Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, they think of great presidents. Rarely do we think of the political parties they belonged to. Why? Because they were presidents who put the American people first. This is what my American family deserves now. An American president who will put the American people, all the American people, first.

Obama has my vote.