After President Obama unveiled his plans for gun control...

Including signing more than 20 executive orders – Republicans are reacting with calls for impeachment. Despite Presidents routinely signing executive orders – Republicans are accusing the President of high crimes. Republican Congressman Steve Stockman compared the President to Saddam Hussein, and previously threatened to impeach him. Also, Republicans Louie Gohmert and Trey Radel piled on – saying impeachment is one of a number of options that should be on the table to respond to the President’s gun reforms.

Of course, to the rational person, the President's executive orders are common sense reforms: including better record sharing between federal agencies – new studies on gun violence – and even providing incentives for schools to hire resource officers. But to the insane, these are tyranny, which is odd because these same Republicans didn’t seem to mind when Bush signed a number of far more radical executive orders during his term, including: a ban on stem cell research – authorization of torture – creating more powers for the Vice President’s office – and making it harder to get a hold of presidential records.

All of these actions were taken without any consideration of Congress. But none of them were taken against the deep-pocketed gun industry – so Republicans were just fine with them. Enough with the rhetoric, it’s time for Congress to do what the American people overwhelmingly support, which is take action to get weapons of war off our streets, and out of the hands of the mentally ill. And that also includes addressing the wealth inequality issue in America that is underlying all this violence in our society.

Pass an Assault Weapons Ban – and repeal the Reagan tax cuts, too.


tfs6755's picture
tfs6755 10 years 19 weeks ago

Dear Thom and Louise;

I appreciate your views on the need for insurance, registration and licencing of firearms.

I believe that insurance is the real key, and if you think about it a bit, having to have insurance on a bushmaster military rifle would be prohibitively expensive, compared to owning a 30.06 hunting rifle.

We would likely not even need a law to ban, because the insurance companies (perhaps aside LLOyds of London) would never even write a policy for that model, or any others with high capacity to kill lots of people!

Keep up the great work!


Timothy F Sharp

Missoula MT

ckrob's picture
ckrob 10 years 19 weeks ago

The debate should be how many murders per minute is acceptable for a weapons system?

tim-mccoy's picture
tim-mccoy 10 years 19 weeks ago

Hi Thom,

Ronald Reagan was surrounded by armed men and still got shot. Were there not enough guns surrounding him to protect him from one lone attacker?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

tfs6755: Expensive insurance would then allow only the very wealthy and the criminals (often one in the same) to own these weapons. Expensive insurance would be just like expensive pot...driving most of the weapons trade underground (and harder to track) and driving up the prices...something a lot of rich people and criminals don't mind at all. You're only hurting those of us who won't be able to afford high priced insurance and high priced weapons. You would also be ensuring that the rich will be even more oppressive...they would have no worries about the masses conducting an armed rebellion.

There may very well come a time when we all will regret giving up our 2nd Amendment rights. It was put there for a protect us against tyranny by the few. And the more you give up your ability to defend yourselves against tyranny, the more easily it is for any tyrant to run roughshod over us all.

I consider myself a progressive liberal but I also know that the ruling elite won't care about the whining masses screeching "unfair, unfair" if they manage to take away all of our weapons. And I believe that many of the Democrat leaders are doing just what their wealthy taskmasters require of them....pretend to be looking out for the people, but covertly working to undermine our ability to stave off tyranny. They are part of the deception.

The Republicans are also being very deceptive...they are pretending that they are all for the NRA, and everyone in America, to have weapons...but they are really not for that...they are lying so as to not loose the NRA backing. Yes, they are playing groups like the NRA and their members because they pretty much have exclusive support from these groups and people. There is big money in the gun lobby. And the Republicans are latched on to that hunk of money. But the ruling elite doesn't want the majority of Americans to own guns because that could someday represent a challenge to their exploitation and oppression. As long as those Americans, with all the guns and all supportive of the NRA, are siding with the Republicans. The Republicans are just fine going along with the ruse. But if many more Americans, say liberal progressives, had all the guns....the Republicans would be against guns...because then they would be like the Democrats are now..not getting any backing ($) from the gun lobby and still having to worry about their taskmasters, the ruling elite, being very afraid that they couldn't exploit and oppress us.

Look what happened after the French Revolution..many wealthy elite heads rolled in the streets.The end result...after the dampened oscillations of various powers since...the wealthy in France and their politicians were always very respectful of the possibility that it could happen again. Mostly, till the present day, the ruling elite in France had to weigh carefully their actions so they wouldn't upset the people again.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

The President is grand standing again on an issue he has very little control over. The real power for changing the gun laws lies with Congress. The NRA owns the Republicans in the House of Representatives. There is little to no hope of getting these people to ban weapons they believe are covered under the 2nd. Amendment. Even if they believed they would be doing the right thing by endorsing the Presidents requests, they would not go up against their own party and the Corporations that make billions on gun sales. They know that the RNA, Tea Party and others on the right would run a new Republican against them in their next primary to teach all the other Republicans who actually runs the Republican Party. Banning clips that hold more than 10 rounds is ineffective when trying to curb the amount of ammo that a gun can disburse at one time. Anyone who has had military training can fire off the whole clip and reload within seconds. And those without military training can learn and practice to reload their weapon within seconds. Mental health checks for buyers and insurance that would cover people who were assaulted with these weapons is a good idea, but that will not stop anyone from purchasing insurance at the time of purchase from simply not paying future payments. As we have seen in California, not having insurance while driving after the initial coverage runs out has not stopped those who would drive without coverage. Having police at the schools is a good idea, but there are always ways around this, for example; by entering the school as a person delivering goods, than pulling out his AR-15 and spraying anyone he sees. My daughter is a school teacher who hates guns and will not allow her husband to have a weapon in their house, ( which I think is a silly choice) thinks it is a good idea to have some people who are authorized to carry a weapon bring them on campus, such as teachers and administration personnel. She works in a high crime district and they have lock downs when someone is being pursued by the police near the school. Problem with that solution is what if the police are not notified about a threat in the area which means no lock-down, they are a reactionary stop gap that only arrives after the crime is committed. I think every school should have armed personal on campus and fences and monitored access points to get into the school. We have 3,000,000 weapons in the control of civilians all across the U.S. At this point only the most radical laws to take away weapons from citizens across the nation might have an impact on these horrific crimes. Turning in the people who make threats against others indicating they will use a weapon to get even or whatever, sounds good, but where is the money coming from for the extra personnel needed to check out these claims or reports. I am well versed in firearms and it takes only seconds to reload any weapon whether it is a revolver, semi-automatic hand gun or semi-automatic assault weapon. A high powered rifle with a scope and a magazine with limited capacity can be used by someone who is familiar with hunting, can do as much damage as a Ar-15 if you have the advantage of being on the high ground. Stopping the wide spread sale of graphic and violent computer games might be helpful, but there is not enough evidence that there is any correlation between these games and going out and killing people. We can pass all the laws we think will prevent mass murders from happening, but you cannot stop a person from committing these crimes if they are intent on killing as many people as possible, As far as protecting ourselves from a tyranical government by owning assault weaponsis a red herring. No well-armed country can stand up against our military power, how would a band of civilians across the U.S. stop the U.S. Military? If a person is willing to give up his or her life for what he or she perceives is the right thing to do, you cannot stop them. If they cannot find firearms to carry out their crime, they will just make car bombs as the American terrorist Timothy Mcvaey(spelling is wrong!) did in Oklahoma against a Federal building years ago! We need to realize this is something we will have to live with and be more cautious and aware of the people around us at all times. A sad scenario for any country in this time in history...If we can pass the laws to outlaw these weapons that wouid be a great thing to due and a step in the right direction. But it will not stop those who are determined to wreak havoc in America. The days of being free of fear from someone committing this type of crime is sadly long gone.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

From Jan. 16th. comment; The labels you do not like are a method of identifying those with political beliefs that are completely different from each other. Perhaps you ladies should ask Hartmann to stop using these labels. As far as hostility, I watched a program yesterday on PBS/Frontline, where the first four years of Obama's Presidency where shown. Believe me he was seen as a man that was angry and name calling when it came to the constant blocking tactics the Republicans were using to cripple his attempt to pass healthcare and the Banksters were even more disrespectful when they refused to come to his speech on Wall St. after Obama had given them what they asked for. He was pissed beyond words and he had no trouble being forceful in his expressions and words. The comments made here are not for finding solutions to our problems, we are here to make our separate points! The remarks made here have less affect than blowing into the wind when it comes to policy changes in Washington. If you want to change Washington, go march, nobody but the few people that comment here ever reads this blog! Or you could go on the international web blogs that discuss world problems. I doubt that Hartmann reads the comments made here. As far as not being lady like while making comments, that is one thing I will not apologize for. If you think I am overly offensive contact the webmaster for this blog. As NoFraud stated in his last comment before signing off permanently, this blog and the comments made here by nitwits are irrelevant and actually accomplishes nothing. This comment section is a group of people saying what they feel, Women in general are less confrontational due to the hormonal difference between the female and male human. That is just a fact of life that you see as sexist, on the contrary I am just pointing out the difference between different people and how they express themselves. No one person or persons has the right to tell another how to express themselves. What one person calls hostile another sees it as just being straight and forceful. And calling Obama, Ms. Obama is not a sexist comment, it is meant to imply he is not aggressive as he should be when dealing with the Republicans and the fact they have no problem being aggressive when it comes to dealing with the President

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

I agree, to an extent, that a bunch of civilians with weapons could not stand up to the might of the government forces..but they have done so successfully in other countries...Vietnam (eventually kicked our butts out where it didn't belong in the first place). Iran and Afghanistan (are outlasting us as they have every other time a foreign invader and occupier thought they'd bully their way into these countries). I do hope that we will never have to resort to violence here in America. I most whole-brainedly prefer peace over violence. But the very potential would be enough to prevent it in the first place.

Yes, those foreign populations took a big hit...tragic...for sure. But he who leaves first is really the loser. The American taxpayer and those who lost loved ones and those in the other country who lost loved ones were all the losers. The ones who aspire to impose tyranny on the world got rich off of the backs of the taxpayers...I guess you could say..."they" won. What did the MIC really accomplish except a lot of death and mayhem...even to their own.

As in Vietnam..and now in the Middle East...soldiers are not as gung-ho. The propaganda and lies they get drilled into their heads in training eventually subsides, when they actually experience the horrors, making way for the cruel and mental anguish of the reality of war. More veterans are committing suicide to stop the pain. 346 last year. More of our soldiers died by suicide than on the battlefield against the enemy.

So, how would an armed forces last if they were turned against their own people? Killing the so-called "subhumans" that they were propagandized and trained to kill abroad would have been much easier than killing your own people...perhaps relatives. Even that tank in Tiananmen Square in China, a country known for it's human right abuses, wouldn't run over that protestor standing in the way. Of course, Israel doesn't seem to have that "problem".

I believe that just "having" all of these weapons that "could" be used in our defense is enough of a deterrent to a potential tyrannical government that they would not risk sending their troops out against the people. Sure, they will send them out against small, isolated, groups. But, if there were a lot of well armed groups all over the place...our military would be overwhelmed. The troops would be disheartened and, as in Vietnam, "fragging" would commence at a rapid pace.

If all of those protesters at that Chicago National Convention were all armed...I think those National Guard that shot those unarmed protesters would have been searching for their balls in the street that day and crying for their mommies.

There is the concept of mutually ensured destruction that kept us from turning the world into an incinerator. When one power gets to be too strong...they can't help but push the limits of their exploitation and oppression. With a well armed citizenry we would have that mutually ensured destruction. The ruling elite, and their toady government officials, sure wouldn't want to confront a massively armed defense. And just like our forefathers, and the rag tag bands in countries we've invaded and occupied, fighting guerrilla wars in the streets are the worst the military has to fight.

I've heard people use examples of David Koresh and others who were small groups of well armed people going up against the government...but those were just small groups. If all American citizens were well armed...that's a very large mass of people that a potentially tyrannical government would have to worry about. And the tactic of being holed up in any one isolated place is like just asking to be wiped out.

And just where would our government come up with all the money it would take to squash millions of people with guns? And all our military does is waste $Trillions on murdering people but never really wins hearts and minds or the conflict. Today's police forces can't even handle the crime that is taking place in American streets...if all American citizens were well armed we really wouldn't need all those crooked and dirty cops that like to shoot 20-30 rounds into some crazy man or woman's body. They never get there in time to save people from getting shot or raped anyway...mostly always after the person is dead. And the criminals know it...they know that they are more likely to succeed in getting away without being killed because they know that most people don't carry their own guns. But they sure have them. We need to have the means to protect ourselves...not rely on the police.

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 10 years 19 weeks ago


REPUBLICANS believe the government should help the rich live long and prosper.

REPUBLICANS believe the government should let the rich exploit the working classes until they die from hard work and exhaustion.

REPUBLICANS believe the government should let the poor die off from disease and starvation because they never will amount to anything anyway , and are just a drain on the rich.

FACE WALL STREET and say this prayer at the opening and closing of the NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thank you for calling them (R) insane.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 19 weeks ago

Seriously, can the President by way of executive order put a law into order without getting aproval from the congress and the senate? If so isn't that a little to much like being a King. Didn't you throw the tea in the ocean and fight to get away from that? Or am I misunderstanding what Thom said.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

What? President Obama dares to exercise his constitutionally-mandated powers as president? That's outrageous. (Of course, it's only outrageous when a black democrat does it; when a white republican does it, it's just fine.)

Here's a review I posted about John Mackey's book, "Conscious Capitalism":

John Mackey is a hypocrite.

On the back cover of his book you will see that it is recommended by 5 people, all of whom are billionaires or multi-millionaires. All dedicated members of the 1%. Mackey's brand of "conscious capitalism" is conscious, alright, so in that sense he's telling the truth. But look at his actual business practices and you'll see what kind of consciousness he promotes.

His book says, "You tell the truth to the people you love." Ok, if he's telling the truth about that, he doesn't love his customers and he doesn't want his employees to love customers, either. Let's look at how Mackey's conscious capitalism works out in his actual business practices:

1. A whole Foods butcher told me, "Grass fed beef means that the cattle are fed soy, corn, and other grasses."

I said, "Soy and corn are not grasses, they are grains,"

He said, "Oh no, soy and corn are grasses, all of our meat is grass fed. We don't sell any grain-fed meats."

2. The Whole Foods store in Seattle's University district had a hockey puck-shaped odor control product in the men's room urinals. Specifically, paradichlorobenzene- a cancer-causing brain and nervous system poison. Being chemically sensitive, I got a one-week headache every time I used the bathroom. And toxicologically speaking, the people who are most vulnerable to toxins like paradichlorobenzene are infants, young children, pregnant women, sick people and people with compromised immune systems, and old people. I emailed John Mackey the Conscious Capitalist, and it's been about five years, and he hasn't consciously replied to me. A week after I emailed Mackey, I talked with to the manager of the store, proving everything I said. He said, "Ok, I'll have to look into that." A month later he had not done anything and hadn't contacted me. So I called him again. He didn't call back. I talked with a department manager, who said she would look into it and get back to me. She didn't. I talked with another department manager who said he would get back to me. He didn't. After a year and a half, I told a Whole Foods employee about the situation and told him I was thinking about suing Whole Foods. He said, "I think you should, because if you don't sue them, they won't do anything."

I put a sign on the bathroom door that said, "Danger: Paradichlorobenzene in use. Cancer-causing brain toxin." A Whole Foods security guy came up to me a few minutes later and said, "Did you put that sign on the bathroom door?"

I said, "That depends. Do you use paradichlorobenzene in that bathroom?"

He said, "No, we do not."

I said, "Then I did not put the sign on the door."

He said, "Someone saw you put the sign on the door. I am going to ask you again: did you put that sign on the door?"

I said, "And I am going to ask you again: do you use paradichlorobenzene in that bathroom?"

He said, "No, we do not."

I said, "Then I did not put that sign on the door."

He said, "We do not want you putting signs in our store."

I said, "We do not want you exposing us to that highly toxic chemical."

He said, "You could be arrested for putting that sign on the door."

I said, "That would be an interesting court case: man arrested for informing customers that they are being poisoned."

He said, "We're going to let you go this time, but don't put any more sign on that door."

I said, "I'm going to let you go this time, but quit using that chemical."

A month later, they were still using the chemical.

So I notified Whole Foods of my intention to sue them, and said I would also take the case to the court of public opinion. Within a week they stopped using paradichlorobenzene in their bathrooms.

3. About five months ago I was getting a plastic bag off the roll in the produce department at a Whole Foods store, and realized that all of their plastic bags had a toxic solvent in them. The smell was unmistakeable. I asked an employee, who looked uncomfortable and said, "I don't know anything about that." I asked the store manager, who also looked uncomfortable and said, "Oh yes, we've known about that for over a month."

I said, "Then why are you still letting your customers use those toxic bags?"

He said, "Well, we have to use our remaining stock of bags, and then we'll see if we can get bags from another supplier."

I said, "Why don't you remove those bags right now, and let your customers use paper bags?"

He said, "I don't have the authority to do that."

I said, "So you're telling me that the Whole Foods corporation won't let you stop exposing your customers to that toxic chemical?"

He said, "Yes, that's what I am saying."

4. I have asked three Whole Foods employees if Whole Foods sells grass fed butter. All three of them handed me a butter whose label says, "Summer Butter." The label does not say "Grass Fed," it just says, "Summer Butter." When I pointed out this obvious fact, they all insisted that the butter was grass fed. I said, "If it's grass fed, why doesn't the label say grass fed?" One of them kept insisting that the butter is grass fed.

5. I pointed out to a Whole Foods employee that the grape juice under the "Organic Grape Juice" sign, was not organic. He said, "Sure it is, see the sign?"

I handed him a bottle of the juice and said, "This bottle that was under that sign, does not say organic."

He said, "But it is organic, the sign says it's organic."

I asked him to get a manager. The manager took me around the corner from the "Organic Grape Juice" sign, and showed me the organic grape juice. I said, "Why do you have the 'Organic' sign over the non-organic grape juice?"

She said, "The sign is right by the organic grape juice."

I said, "The organic sign is around the corner from the organic grape juice. The sign is right above the non-organic grape juice. That is deceptive advertising."

She said she would move the sign. An hour later, she had still not moved the sign. I borrowed a magic marker from an employee, and wrote on the sign, "This grape juice is NOT organic. Look at the bottles."

Within two minutes, the sign was taken down.

6. I asked a Whole Foods employee if the food in their salad bar and hot bar was organic. He said, "Yes, it is."

I said, "Why isn't there a sign saying organic?"

He said, "The thing is, if you even touch organic food with a spoon that touched non-organic food, you can't call it organic."

I said, "So, you're telling me that all of the food in these food bars is organic food that has been maybe touched with a spoon that touched non-organic food?"

He said, "Yes, mostly. I mean, there's some food that isn't organic, but almost all of it is."

I said, "Would you tell me which of these foods are organic?"

He said, "Most of it is organic."

I said, "Please be specific. I want to eat organic food. Which of these foods are organic?"

He said, "Almost all of them,"

Looking him very carefully right in the eyes, I very loudly said, "Read my lips! I want you to tell me which of these foods ARE organic."

He said, "Well, most of it's organic. No one knows exactly which ones, but you can eat any of this food, it's mostly organic."

7. I know an organic farmer. Well, he used to be an organic farmer before Whole Foods corporation drove him out of business. Here's what happened: Whole Foods and this farmer signed a contract that the farmer would plant almost his entire farm in pumpkins, and promised to buy all of the pumpkins. Then, a few weeks before harvest time, Whole Foods told him, "We found some cheaper pumpkins, we're not going to buy yours."

The farmer told them, "You signed a legally-binding contract to buy my pumpkins."

Whole Foods said, "Well, you can sue us if you want to, but we will drag the case out for years. It will be very expensive."

Because he could not afford to sue Whole Foods, the farmer's pumpkins rotted in the fields, he could not make his mortgage payments, and he lost his farm.

These are the instances of Mackey's conscious capitalism that I can personally verify. Many other people around the country have other, equally-damning evidence that John Mackey has consciously told his employees to harm customers and lie to customers so that John Mackey can make more hundreds of millions of dollars.

All of the feel-good words in Mackey's book are sound bytes from a guy who is just another lying, destructive republican hypocrite. Oh, excuse me, I should have said that John Mackey is a VEGETARIAN lying, destructive republican hypocrite. Which makes it strange, because usually vegetarians are MORE ethical, not less.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks Ken, a great explanation of reality. We need to make changes in our culture and that takes years. Raise our children to respect their family, friends, country and it's citizens. The golden rule, which is unfortnately missing in our government for the most part. Thanks again for a well written response to over the top reactive ideology.

Namaimo's picture
Namaimo 10 years 19 weeks ago

Great message, Thom. I will use it as I go around the halls of Congress tomorrow to lobby for the issues you care about. I especially like the "repeal the Reagan tax cuts", the root of all our evils today. (I'd even go back to Eisenhower tax rates, but I'll cool it for now -- we don't want "Les Miz" in the streets of Washington, D.C.)

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 10 years 19 weeks ago

You can bet the Republicans would be screaming for gun controls if THEY became the primary targets of the gun nuts out there.

ScottFromOz 10 years 19 weeks ago

Hmmm, So now the whack job Republicans want to impeach Obama for passing laws that he is legally entitled, and morally compelled to do? Yeah that sounds about right for the current crop of Right-Wing extremists that passes itself off as a political party. So let me get this straight:When we ELECT a Democrat as prez, we can expect the Republicans to attempt to impeach him on whatever flimsy pretexts they can dream up. So if he has a littl dalliance, thay'll impeach him. If he tries to pass laws, they'll impeach him. If he blows his nose or farts they'll impeach him.

The Republicans spend so much time trying to BLOCK the government from governing, they should be deemed a terrorist organisation and outlawed.

dc2257's picture
dc2257 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thank you, tfs6755 !

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Palindromedary - You may or may not have served in Vietnam or the Nam' as we called it. Your statement that they kicked our butt shows you have not studied or are aware of how that war was ended. We bombed Hanoi into the stone ages with our B'52's or Big Buffs as that was what most Air Force personell called them. Along with our F-4 Phantoms and F-5's Thunder Chiefs and various other aircraft literally had the Hanoi begging for peace at the at the Paris peace negotiations with Kissinger. The North was completely supplied by the Red Chinese and the Red Russians. At first we did not bomb the harbors where these two countries unloaded the weapons the North used against our Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines. Everything from fuel, tanks and SAM’s (Soviet Land to Air Missiles) were unloaded in Haiphong harbor. As the War progressed we bombed anything that moved on the ground or in the harbors in the North, starving the North Vietnamese of crucial war goods. After the Christmas bombings of 1973 they asked us to restart the piece negotiations. By 1973 the American Army and Marines owned South Vietnam and the Air Force and Naval pilots owned the skies, even with the cowardly South Vietnamese soldiers deserting their posts on a daily basis. We destroyed the insurgents known as the V.C, and literally dismantled the North Vietnamese troops that entered from the North. The people from the United States that marched on Washington and those cowards that refused to serve and ran off to Canada to hide were the second front of enemies we had to deal with during the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese violated the truce that was signed in Paris and attacked the South after the U.S. Military had left South Vietnam. In 1975 you civilians watched as the North Vietnamese over ran the South after we had removed all our combat troops in the Nam. You probably only remember the U.S. Embassy being overrun with Russian tanks. Sir, to say the North whipped our Butts is a statement of your ignorance when it comes to a War that took 58,000+ American lives who served their country with bravery and honor and 2,000,000 North Vietnamese lives were lost. I would love to continue in depth of how the South Vietnamese lost their civil war because of cowardly politicians in Washington cut off all funding for the South in early 1975, while the North continued to receive war goods from Red China and Russia. The Russians and Red Chinese had thousands of advisors on the ground and Russian and Chinese pilots manned manner of the aircraft that battled U.S. Airmen over the North. Only a civilian who did not serve in our War would make a disrespectful statement like you have made. It was not the rebellious people in the North that fought in the South; it was highly trained North Vietnamese soldiers that fought against us in the South. And with all due respect for those soldiers, they were one hell of a well-trained and disciplined army, not a bunch of civilians from the North with AK-47's as you have wrongly noted. Get your facts straight, especially when you are making statements with someone who has served and studied the War in Vietnam. This war was fought in the air,rivers and on the ground by our brave troops of the United States Military.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

Well Thom,

Dishing out Executive Orders to help keep assault weapons out of the hands of dangerous people as fast as McDonald's dishes out French Fries is fine and dandy with me. President Obama has my full blessing and support.

However, If he fails to do the exact same thing to raise the debt limit and demand no cuts to social programs, I'll definitely jump the fence and hop onto the radical Conservative Bandwagon faster than you can say, "Would you like fries with that order, Sir!"

I might even take over the reigns of that Bandwagon myself! "Yipikiyaahh!!"

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 19 weeks ago

No one is proposing that your guns will be taken away. That will not happen. Even if you own one of those huge killing machines. They want you to register, to know how to use a gun, and to keep you from passing it on to someone else, without registration--that sort of thing.

I get so tired of hearing -- -they're taking away our guns! Maybe you should read the proposals.

And you might listen to that guy, Thom Hartmann is his name, who has been explaining how the wording of the second amendment got into the constitution and its specific intent. You aren't going to take over the government or stop the government from taking you over. Government weapons outgun you at every step.

Don't let fear of whatever it is you're afraid you lead you around by the nose. Nobody thinks straight when they are afraid. There are other options if you don't like things as they are. We still have a democracy. Use it--but think first and know what you want changed.

What kind of world do you want?



akunard's picture
akunard 10 years 19 weeks ago

Reading all the posts and now know Republicans belong to the NRA and Dems don't.

Wonder how Harry got a B+ from the NRA? Harry will never bring a gun grab to the floor! This is not a Republican only issue. High taxes and over spending is!

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 19 weeks ago

Many learn with age and maturity a special discernment reveals the overt journalism propagating from Fox News. To me it is shown openly plainly or readily apparent their talking points are not conservative at all. Rather a secret or hidden agenda, very Wahhabi, that is loaded with prejudice teaming in opinions, flash innuendos that constantly refer to President Obama as not being a leader.

That’s funny, with one war over in Iraq, and another winding down in Afghanistan America’s automatic weapons industry is blunted. Or, those who really know, and I say this just in speculation, how much of America’s military weapons have been lost or unaccounted for. No report but the media knows. As a Vietnam vet I know there where a lot of lost stuff.

Another can be said, from particular authors that investigated stories of the Carlyle Group, One of those Canary Island deals, a private investment firm of “Bush One” as a prominent member of the board of directors did sell weapons on the open market. Yikes, with partnerships with the Bin Laden Family. This was written in Gerald Posners Book “Secrets of the Kingdom” 2005 what a gig; the Son makes war the old man sell weapons. Profiteering and treason are the mix that the media is trying to hold the lid on a political pressure crook pot that is busting at the seams.

It is my opinion it is crazy for the average American to run around with a basic training military weapon such as an M16, or even the M14 which I think is tougher. Somebody is selling this stuff in the market place. The concept of a military weapon is just that you can be part of that weapon only if you join the military. That’s the idea to defend the country in the regular army with any advance weapons. This thing about dealerships is not looked at deep enough. Sort of like who let the dogs out. Or this is a WTF moment the military is way too loose to just stand by a watch military grade weapons used in basic training flaunted in the media, and over the counter sales is a total breach of American military security.

Lastly insurance for fire arms is central to the solution. Actually one the NRA will certainly back away from fast.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

David Abbot: Wow! That's quite a story! Way to go...if more people did the things you did we wouldn't have the problems we have now. Most people won't take the time or effort like that....they just shrug their shoulders and continue to make these criminals wealthier and us sicker and poorer. I'll remember all you said the next time I go into a Whole Foods store...which is not very often...but occasionally. Next time I use their bathrooms...I'll try not to breathe! Back in Bush's day, I went to a public bathroom and was surprised and most amused that in the back side of a urinal was a picture of Bush and the caption said..."Go ahead...He's pissing on you!"

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

Oh Palindromedary, that's hilarious! I hope you just chugged a couple for Fourtie's when you saw that urinal. LOL

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

ken ware: Like I said...we lost! We lost 58,000 people that should not have been fighting over there to begin with. We taxpayers lost. The MIC won. Massive drug use by those US troops, suicides, mass disillusionment of those troops. Vietnam War was a shameful episode in US history just as our shame is being multiplied over in the Middle East. The US needs to keep it's nose and butt out of other countries business. It's all about control and money. Our country is, and always has been, run by greedy, selfish old men (and some young ones) that go to Ivy League schools and think they can push their weight around to satisfy their sense of entitlement, xenophobic arrogance, and warped jingoistic creeds.

Yes, we murdered over 2 million Vietnamese most of them civilians. But as we now celebrate the Tet offensive and with images of frightened US diplomats and supporters from the South trying to escape onto helicopters from roof tops (and we now know that the whole trigger that suckered us into that mess was a lie...the Gulf of Tonkin incident)...we can look forward to the day when those Middle Eastern countries can have their own celebrations commemorating the "good-riddance" to criminal scoundrels who illegally invaded and murdered their families.

There's really never going to be an end to this farce...the US is now moving into wreak havoc and mayhem there as well. Always an excuse to bleed all of us dry.

Just remember, it was largely the overwhelming anti-Vietnam-War attitude among civilians in this country and many of the troops in Vietnam, along with not "winning the hearts and minds" of those we were occupying in Vietnam that led to our defeat. Despite the fact that we murdered more of them than they did of us, we lost the war in Vietnam just as we are losing the war in the Middle East. We are getting out...thank goodness...and it is about time we can't fight a population where you have failed to "win hearts and minds". And you can't do that by murdering their families...which is what the US was quite good at. "Kill them all...let God sort 'em out!" Isn't that right?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Don't drink alcohol, or smoke, or take drugs but I thought about, at the time, loading up on lots of tea. "Y'all take a listen, you'll hear the deep sound comin' down from Bobby Peru." --Wild At Heart.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: I thought nearly the same thing...if he can use his Presidential powers to ban guns then why can't he raise the debt limit using his Presidential powers. Why couldn't he have made universal healthcare the law of the land rather than the givaway to health care bandits that is the current Obama Care fiasco. So, it just tells me that it is not the well being of the American people he is trying to help in banning is much deeper...more sinister. But going on over to the Republican side is just nuts. Although, it's really not much different than the Democrat side...they're both working against our best interests.

Wendalore's picture
Wendalore 10 years 19 weeks ago

When I read that impeachment is being discussed because of the President's actions promting gun law reforms, first I shook my head, then I laughed out loud, and then I began to feel scared. Now I'm feeling sort of dissociated in my mind (not my feelings) trying to figure out how it is possible for funtional, rational people to see things so totally differently. Now I'm remembering about the power of money, and I'm going back to feeling cynical. That leads me to feeling scared again. Well, this could go on all nite, so I'll sign off.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Palindromedary - I am truly surprised you were not one of those who fled the country to avoid serving our country. Perhaps you’re just older than those who served and sat back and watched us fight while sitting on your couch watching brave men die in your really have a warped left wing attitude about a war you were able to obviously avoid. The only word that comes to mind when commenting on your response is coward. And the troops in Vietnam, especially the officers and non-com's did not sit around and complain as you must have seen in your afternoon movies. Please show me where you have gotten these facts about massive drug use and suicides by our military men in Vietnam. Unlike the Iraq and Afghan War the troops only had to serve 12 months in country. So suicides were not a problem in Vietnam because troops new they were going stateside after a short tour of duty. You see something on the news about how the military personnel are committing suicide and you connect it with events in Vietnam. It seems you got all your facts from movies that exaggerated or lied for a story line. Those innocent victims you comment about were military personnel and civilians that supported the war effort against us and were bombed just like in World War II. It sounds like you saw the movie with Sheen and Brando, Apocalypse Now or Full Metal Jacket and thought it was a realistic portrayal of the war and the men who actually served our country. You can make all the comments that you would like, but you do not offer any real statistics or facts concerning the Vietnam War! I would probably be right if I assumed you are and were an armchair warrior with no actual experience of any kind when it comes to war or the military. And you are probably proud of the fact you never served, but found a way to avoid your service to our country. If we had people like you in WW2, we would be speaking Japanese today. Try actually reading history accounts of the Vietnam War before you start berating America and her Military Men and Women. If your 65 years of age and did not serve in our military, my assumptions of you are probably true. You probably supported Fonda when she visited the city of Hanoi to try to demoralize our fighting men and praise a country that had mass executions of anyone from the South or those who tried to flee the Communist Government in North Vietnam. You sound like someone who thinks the Taliban should still be running Afghanistan with Al Qaeda, so our military had no casualties. Fighting is what the military does and there is no draft, these troops all volunteered for duty by joining the military. It is difficult to even rebut your comments because you and your kind remind me of the cowards that fled to Canada, while their brothers fulfilled their obligation to America. I would respect your comments if they had even a shred of truth to them. Go watch your TV and maybe you can absorb more propaganda about America and her Military Men and Women, because up certainly know very little about the U.S. and the Vietnam War!

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks, Palindromedary. And your Bush-in-the-urinal story is hilarious; if I were in such a bathroom I can assure you that I would take careful aim. Why, I might even put it on YouTube...

I do the environmental stuff partly because I have to. I am chemically sensitive but I still have to shop, and I love going to bookstores, and so when no one else does anything about the chemicals in those places, I have to, or the price I pay is a splitting headache that lasts for between one and three weeks. And in all fairness, not all Whole Foods stores use paradichlorobenzene, though all of them are infected by Mackey's concupissant capitalism. (Spelling error/pun intended.)

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

Ken, I can understand why many people who served in Nam would feel as you do. It's partly thing where people who shared the same difficulty feel a bond with each other, and they may feel that people who did not share that difficulty could not possibly understand. Our military- and all militaries- goes out of its way to cultivate this attitude. And you obviously know more about what actually happened in Nam than most people.

But I would ask that you consider the possibility that at least some of the people who didn't go to Nam might not be cowards. In fact, some of them might be very brave people. I'm not speaking of draft dodgers like Dick Cheney, Mitt Romney, and other republicans who supported the idea of YOU going to Nam, but who weaseled out of going there themselves. I am speaking about highly principled people who will not kill people, who felt that the war was started and maintained on the basis of a consistent pattern of lies that caused untold human misery on both sides. There are people whose nature is to be warriors and that is what they must do if they are to be true to themselves. And for warriors, the trick is not to find the courage to fight, but rather finding a cause worth fighting for and an effective way to fight for it. For instance, Thom fights for America. It was very moving to see the relief on his face when it was announced that Obama had won; I could see that Thom had been fighting so hard for so long, investing so much of himself in trying to help save America, and unlike Glen Beck, Thom really was worried and frightened for his country.

What I am saying does not impugn your courage or that of the people you served with. And I do not make light of what you went through there; of all the people I know who went to Nam, most came back with serious damage in one way or another, and when you have been through repeated situations where your life could end at any moment and other people's lives depend on you and you have to depend on other people to save your life too, it makes an impression on you.

Personally, I think the greatest threat to America, is not overseas but right here at home: our own government, which is pretty much controlled by liars and thieves- by people who have lots of money and power, but no courage and no character.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 10 years 19 weeks ago

Republican Congress members detest President Obama because he is doing his job. We are blessed to have such a wise and wonderful man as President of the United States. I image that president Mitt Romney would have ordered all school teachers to join the NRA and take target practice for the guns he would send to their classrooms. We are lucky to have a sensable and ethical leader in the White House, not some nut case such as Romney would believes that 47% of us are moochers. We dodged a terrible outcome when Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans (I know a few) voted for Barack Obama to serve a second term. If Romney had been elected the Affordable Care Act would be at the least defunded. If Romney had been elected who knows how the Supreme Court would look in four years. Yes, we have a grand leader, lets support him better than we did the first term . . . let's protect his back from these crazed REpublicans in Congress. I believe the anger and outrageous language is caused by a deep seated racism. I think these Republicans cannot stand to see a black man do good work.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

ken ware: It would obviously be futile to argue the points with someone who has been so thoroughly propagandized by the war mongers who profited on war. The war mongers trained men to think and believe in a certain way... and many, it seems to me, have not yet healed from it. I've got to say that anyone who sounds an awful lot like those people on Fox news, who also tend to defend America's atrocities and war crimes, tend to call everyone else who disagrees with them... cowards. Doesn't phase me a bit. I consider the source.

There are lots of veterans who are so greatly upset about what they had been propagandized into doing, and what they experienced, and now, perhaps, realizing that it really had nothing to do with 'defending the country' or any other lie they had been made to believe in...that they are now committing suicide. Of course, there are those who go the other way...they bury themselves deeper into the lie...defending what they have that they now call everyone else who challenges the wars...cowards.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Palindromedary - Just remember it was not the demonstrators in the street. It was the cost of the war in dollars that ended the War! The demonstrators were no different than the Wall St. marchers, they were laughed at by Wall St. and Washington laughed at the peace marchers, especially Nixon. They simply used the police to derail both movements. The troops in Vietnam had nothing to do with the political decision to slowly withdraw our troops and turn the war over to the South, it was the cost. Military personnel follow orders from the Commander in Chief in the White House they do not give orders to Washington. We did not try to win the hearts and minds of the people after 68 and the Tet offensive, which resulted in the destruction of the V.C. and the North military presence in the South. Where did you get your information, from old movies of left wingers who wanted to sell movies or Oliver Stone movies! Kill them all and let god sort them out, came from a movie about Vietnam and was used to excite the movie audience. Everything you have quoted came from a movie or a left wing documentary; try something with some actual history and evidence to back up your words. The idea that we lost the war is incorrect, when we actually removed 99.9% of our troops (before the Russian tanks rolled up to the gates of our embassy) and turned the war over to the South Vietnamese military. Just like we did in Iraq and no one has said we lost the war in Iraq. The commanders in charge actually waited until all Americans were airlifted from the Embassy, then their tanks rolled in. They did not want the U.S. to use air power from the aircraft carriers just outside of the boundaries of Vietnam’s sovereignty. The only time the Americans left Vietnam in a hurry was when the South Vietnamese soldiers gave up in masses. The war would have been over in 6 months if we would have bombed the ports that were full of Russian and Chinese weapons. Johnson was afraid to bomb the ports in case we were to hit Russians and Chinese personnel, but that ended in 72-73 and we saw the drop off of missiles, tanks and other tools of war. Also the use of drugs by the soldiers was a reflection of the times when the majority of young men and women were experimenting with drugs, not because they could not cope with the war. I know firsthand about why the troops used pot during their tour. And when 73 came around the last thing America was concerned about was winning the hearts of the people because we had already destroyed the V.C. which were civilians fighting for the North while being from the South of Vietnam. It is always the bleeding heart liberals that incorrectly claim we lost the war. What the politicians refer to not wanting another Vietnam, they mean we do not want to leave as victors only to have the country defeated after we leave.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

David Abbot - please do not compare all those who fought in our wars as coming home with something wrong with them. The vast majority of Vietnam vets came home and continued their lives where they had left off and did not suffer from the rigors of war. Like I said earlier the tour of duty was only 12 months than you’re in the U.S. or a base in the many bases around the World. Unlike the vets of the Iraq and Afghan war who served many tours because of the low number of people that joined rather than lose who were drafted to serve in Nam. We follow the orders of our Commander in Chief and our generals.

Palindromdary - As usual you play your pious attitude when you cannot say anything to validate your comments in defense of yourself. Did everyone who fought in WWII come home with a psychological disorder, no they did not. And with you, the only thing you can come up with is those who fought in any war were damaged. Some soldiers should not be in the military or in combat. They are not mentally capable to deal with war. They are not cowards because they did join knowing they might be sent into a war situation. Not everyone is capable of being a warrior; unfortunately they fall apart over witnessing death and what comes with being a warrior. You say there are lots of veterans who cannot deal with killing, how may are lots? Another time in which you have no facts just words like lots! Ha! I feel the same way about people who have never served and endured combat and their inability to understand the complete girth of the situation, why bother. Americans who say they are anti-war are hypocrites, because they would be the first people crying for help if attacked by an outside force. How does it feel knowing the only thing you have given to your country are your taxes? I would imagine a hollow feeling. I am just glad I did not have to count on someone like you to cover my 6 in combat. It appears that anyone who does not agree with you are brainwashed through propoganda. Any one who feels that the military is not a necessity to keep our nation safe is obviously out of touch with the reality of war. If you would not go to war over the fact we were attacked you are a coward. War is unavoidable if we are attacked by another nation or the people who commited these acts of war are being allowed to hide and train in their country, it is essential we go to war against the nation and people who commited these acts of war against us. Just kick back and let someone else do the fighing for you because you do not believe in war. Typical....

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

Nixon may have started out 'laughing at the demonstrators' but he didn't laugh very long...especially after Kent State shooting and after the Pentagon Papers came out telling us how all the Presidents from Hoover...especially Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon....all lied...lying to us about the Domino Theory (under Johnson), lying to us about Soviet capabilities, Cuba....getting us involved in Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos.

The "Domino Theory" was just a way of scaring people out of their freedoms..and most of all...out of their money and understanding of what truth really is. And their modus operandi is to create a false flag operation to scare people even trigger the commitment to military actions...such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

The current wars in the Middle East are no different than the ones that preceded them...they used a false flag operation on 9/11 to trigger fear and confusion, and jingoist patriotism, xenophobic hatreds.. that led to the ever strengthening police state that we currently live under.

Now, they are working on Africa. Look out!! Al Qaida are everywhere! And be especially fearful of one-eyed jihadi leaders! What event, or events, will they engineer, or take advantage of, this time to scare people into supporting them in invading African nations? The US has deserved all of the blowback that they have ever gotten from people they have wronged.

And before 9/11, you have to look back at all the things that piss other people trying to steal or control their oil...or try to force a country to put in an oil pipeline. It was US officials that threatened the Taliban in Afghanistan that if they didn't "accept the carpet of gold being offered them" that "they could expect a carpet of bombs". The US declared war on them not the other way around. Just another example of how the US has tried to push it's weight around to force other people to knuckle under and be unfairly exploited.

And right now, we may be seeing some more of that blow back in Africa...the Embassy attack in Libya and now in Algeria...after all...the US did murder many of their families. Of course this all plays into the hands of those MIC who are just loving it because they can use it as an excuse to steal more of our money.

The US won't invade countries who have atomic about cowards...they only invade countries too weak to defend themselves. But the wars we conduct now are against the people in those countries..the few people who actually do the fighting are called insurgents or Al Qaida or whatever scary name works in the American press to depict sinister forces. And those wars last a long time...over 10 years...costing taxpayers $trillions. We never really win those wars but we sure do lose a lot of money to the MIC over them. It also gives criminals an ability to outright defraud the American people out of more $trillions by claiming the money has just gone missing...they don't know what happened to it. Yeah, right!

We only invade countries we can bomb.. killing lots of civilians that the world won't pay much attention to...because they are poor, Muslim, or Black. Hell, our Ivy-League educated, silver-spooned Frat boys turned politician or corporate exec have to get their feelings of manhood and entitlements somehow? All that excess testosterone has to show everyone back home how brave and manly their men are. How would they do that without lots of civilians to murder?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

Palindromedary said: "There may very well come a time when we all will regret giving up our 2nd Amendment rights. It was put there for a protect us against tyranny by the few. And the more you give up your ability to defend yourselves against tyranny, the more easily it is for any tyrant to run roughshod over us all."

Hey PD, I totally get - and share - your distrust of the government. But I still think the notion of "the masses" staging an armed rebellion against the government is insane. Sorry, but some of us happen to agree with Thom Hartmann on this issue. The military industrial complex is way more heavily armed than you small fry will ever be and that is one fight you're bound to lose. I think this mess we're in calls for more creative, innovative solutions . Remember: water shapes rock, not vice versa... I know, I'm being a little abstract but, philosophically speaking... - Aliceinwonderland

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

Ken, it may be a semantics thing. I didn't mean that the vets had something wrong with them. I meant they had something right with them, because for most people it is a perfectly healthy response to be harmed by war. There are not many people who can serve on the front lines in a place like Nam and not pay a price for it to one extent or another. I'm not saying they can't function when they get back stateside, because many of them can. But there are effects.

I know a woman who is a 4th degree black belt in Oom Yung Doe Korean karate, a high-ranking tai chi and qigong master, a former world-class weightlifter, and one of the two or three most mentally tough people I have met in my 62 years. When she was sparring with her teacher, who is a full foot taller than her, he broke her knee. She said, "He didn't mean to do it; these things happen." And as soon as her knee was more or less healed, she was back sparring with him, no problem. So, not a coward. But she told me that when she saw a dead man at her apartment complex it scared the hell out of her and she had nightmares. It had an effect on her.

I was in a car with that woman's martial arts teacher when a guy tried to pick a fight with him. The teacher kept saying, "Sorry, sir," until the guy went away. This is teacher who can pick up a struggling 195-pound man by the neck with one hand and hold him at arm's length for five seconds. And he fa-jinged me without touching me. Another time, he roundhouse kicked, front kicked, and side kicked me with the same leg in less than half a second, without moving his hips. In China he engaged in full-contact fights with full-grown men when he was 15 years old. So, the guy can fight and he's not a coward. But he wouldn't fight with someone who just wanted to pick a fight.

A rooming house I lived in had a Vietnam vet resident who would wake everyone in the building at night with his blood-curdling screams as he relived his front-line experiences. It's difficult for me to remember that man's screams and know that that war was based on a bald-faced lie, and then try to excuse our being over there by saying, "Well, we were ordered to go there." If no one obeyed illegal orders, we would have no wars. I agree with you that if another country attacked us, we would have to fight. I would fight. But to fight for a lie? To fight just to further enrich traitors who already had more money than they could ever spend? I do not obey orders from such men or their lackeys.

It takes courage to fight. But it can also take courage to refuse to fight when the fight is not justified, particularly for war protesters whose protestations alienated them from their families, and for conscientious objectors who went to prison rather than going to vietnam- it seems to me they showed a lot of courage.

I have been in situations where it would have been so easy to fight and I really wanted to. When I think back on the few fights I have been in, the only one I am proud of is the one where suddenly I realized that I was not willing to hurt the guy, so I let him hit me and then I walked away. The guy who was watching the fight probably thought I was a coward, but I wish I had always shown that kind of courage.

I have met people who are not physical warriors by nature, but who in other very important ways might have far more courage than you and I put together. Non-warriors have contributed to America in ways that are vital to her survival- in ways that fighters could not possibly have contributed. If fighters want respect, they should give respect.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

Ken Ware said "The vast majority of Vietnam vets came home and continued their lives where they had left off and did not suffer from the rigors of war."

Really? I've been told that more Vietnam vets have died from suicide than from the war. Ditto veterans from Iraq. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

Mr. Abbot, I salute you as a man of great wisdom. I love reading your blog entries. Keep 'em rolling. - Alice I.W.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

Palindromedary- You too. Hats off to ya. - A.I.W.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

David, please. And thank you.

Carroll is one of my favorite authors because this place sure looks like wonderland to me...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

I hear ya, David! I've always identified with Alice. I love how she stands up to the queen and other bullying authority figures and responds to their demands unruffled and unafraid, as though she presumes herself equal to them. It's a great piece of literature, brilliant in metaphor as well as language. And that hookah-smoking caterpillar sure rings mah bell! Written way before our time on this planet, it highlights a certain continuity to issues of power and control that keep plaguing us humans, from century to century... - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

There certainly is a lot of passion here about Vietnam. I never went to Vietnam. I was 10 years old when the war ended. However, that was a war that was broadcast in detail on television. I do believe I suffered trauma from what I saw. A typical evening would include on location shots of dead soldiers bodies lying on the side of the road, missing limbs, covered in what must have been blood (we had a BW TV back then), and covered with hungry flies. Their were images of civilian's and children's mutilated bodies scattered around as well. I remember seeing interviews of wounded soldiers missing arms and legs but still conscious and lying in stretchers. All the while my father, a WWII veteran, would calmly reassure me that this was the future I could look forward to as a good patriotic American.

I also remember watching the Demonstrations and Protests against the war on TV. The violence dished out by the well armed Police against the unarmed Protesters was reprehensible. There were images of Police repeatedly striking young men over the head with wooden bats until they were covered with their own blood and unconscious. Tear gas and other chemical weapons being used against trapped crowds of Demonstrating students. Despite the opposition the young crowds of determined citizens refused to disband and in spite of the horrific display of violent intimidation only grew in numbers.

I remember vowing to have nothing to do with the struggle in Vietnam; but, longing to take my place besides the crowds on our own street. I would beg my father to take me to the Demonstrations with our own billy clubs and motorcycle helmets and help defend these young brave souls from the wanton tyranny they faced. He laughed and assured me my mother would kill him if he did. In retrospect, he was probably right.

Don't get me wrong, I have the greatest respect for anyone who served--my father for instance! It's just that at the time, the struggle I was most motivated to participate in was on our own streets. I assure you that is the completely unbiased opinion of a very young and precocious child. I also assure you that being forced to helplessly watch the entire tragedy of Vietnam on TV did a great deal of psychological damage to me. The contemplation of suicide was a daily obstacle.

In college, I met a vet who I became very good friends with. I believe he was in the Navy during Vietnam. He enlisted instead of being drafted. He was quite intelligent as was trained and used to install and maintain communication equipment at various ports along Southeast Asia. He never saw combat. He told me stories of shore leave in the various port cities and the lectures his command would give them prior to leave. He said they were instructed in how to avoid venereal disease as well in how to purchase clean heroin and use needles. I assure you he was not a person prone to lying either. I still to this day however, find his story hard to believe. But then, what do I know?

All I know is this, war is hell; and, is a symptom of failed and corrupt leadership. Perpetual war is a sign of the decline of an empire. I will never have anything to do with war.

PS Ken and Palindromedary--your current Avatars look like they are on a collision course. Is that intentional?

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

DAnneMarc, what an interesting observation you make! Watching the war on television, you experienced harm. You give credence to the spiritual/physics theory that we are all connected, and what is happening over there is happening over here, what happens to other people, happens to us. Which is why, even from a purely selfish viewpoint, America should find a hobby other than starting wars with countries that never attacked us. And America should find another hobby other than meddling in the political affairs of other countries.

Two Vietnam vets- who did not know each other- both told me the same story about that war. They said that periodically the brass would take away their bullets for three days, and that during those three days matte black helicopters would fly back and forth across the war zone between north and south, and between Vietnam and Cambodia, and that the North Vietnamese did not fire on those helicopters either. None of the soldiers knew the crews of the black helicopters and the crews never talked with anyone outside of their own group. The word was, the helicopters were carring a cargo more more important than the war; they were carrying tons of heroin.

Another vet told me that he fell into a river that had so much agent orange in it that the water was orange. When he got back to base, he was sick. He filled out the forms saying what had happened. Then his CO came to his bunk and said, "These forms you filled out, they're incorrect. You have to fix them. You did not fall into a river that had agent orange in it."

The soldier said, "Sir, I did fall into that river."

CO said, "Yeah, you fell into the river, but it didn't have any agent orange in it. Now change your statement."

Soldier said, "Sir, I won't change my statement. I told the truth."

CO said, "You have to get my signature before you send these forms in. I won't sign them in until you change them. And if you don't change them, I will change them."

My point is that there were honorable men fighting in Vietnam. But the men who started that war and kept it going, had no honor. The brave men who fought in Vietnam were fighting for pathological liars, drug cartels, mass murderers, and world-class thieves. If America is going to survive these times, the brave men who fight our wars- the men who say, "I was born to fight!" have a challenge that frankly not very many of them have the courage to face. They need the courage to say, "Wait a minute. I am not a rabid attack dog, I am a human being with a brain. So: PROVE to me that this war is just. PROVE to me that those people should die. Or go fight your own _____ing war."

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

Yes, it's fine training for chlldren as they begin learning just how irrational many adults are.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

I am sorry Alice, but please let me know where you got your info about more suicides than those who died in battle. You sound like you have your wars mixed up. The soldiers in Afghanistan have suffered more suicides than combat deaths during a specific time period. I have to assume those of you who made comments that we as soldiers need to decide whether we will fight once we are military men, have no practical experience of being in uniform. I believe Mr. Abbot mentioned he resigned from the army. Resigning once your contract with the army is up is not the same as being in the military and refusing an order. Are there times when a soldier, airman or a naval personnel should refuse to obey a command if it is clear and apparent it is wrong, such as gunning down unarmed civilians, the answer is without a doubt is YES! The people who did not want to fight were consciences objectors and where given non-battle positions in the military. Whether you joined or were drafted into the army you swore an oath to the country and the military chain of command. The idea that a soldier on the battle field can just refuse to fight because he doesn't want to kill or be killed is one way to demoralize and destroy the fighting men around you. Does anyone out really believe we should just turn the other cheek if we are attacked? The Presidents you have mentioned believed at one point that the Domino Theory was a possibility. A perfect example was the Korean War where had we not fought to stop the Communists from taking over S. Korea, there would be no S. Korea and the whole population would still be under the control of a dictator from N. Korea! We were in a Cold War with the Communist forces around the World, or did that just happen to miss your mind. America, China and Russian where in an ideological war and the duck and cover drills were real because we thought there was a good possibility we would be attacked. No war is preferred if it can be avoided through diplomatic talks. But I guess you thought the communist in the North Vietnamese Government were fighting to unite their country as a free state. They were trying to unite the country as a communist run state like China and Russia. And if you disagreed with the communist you were sent to relocation centers to be re-educated to be a good communist. These days have passed, but at the time they were a real threat and for you TV journalists to say you know what it was like or what happened during and after any war and you had the answers is ridiculous at best. It is always the arm chair warriors with no knowledge or experience, that come up with statements they might have heard something somewhere about a specific war, with no evidence that situation was factual. And the fact that you can say what you want, when you want and about anything you want is a gift handed down from those who served and died in our military. The government has no reason to worry or think you people could be a threat to them and that is why they get away with the crimes they do. The people who have made these comments about our military are of the same character of those who spit on our guys when they returned from war. I really wish one of these cowards would have tried to spit on my uniform; it would have been a pleasure to make them aware of the reality in their little minded world. Arm chair warriors have been around in every conflict where real men and women put their lives on the line for this country.

.Abbott - You are a perfect example of someone who might have had military training, but are still an arm chair warrior. You heard two soldiers tell you about something that happened in Vietnam. You actually think the Communist Soldiers in any country during this war would not have fired on a Huey or a UH-1 chopper. Anyone who served in active duty in country during the war would have retired in 1993, because we pulled all combat personnel out of Nam in 1973. The only combat troops left in country were Maines tha guarded the Embassy. More arm chair B.S. from someone who was never in combat and the odds you talked to real combat soldiers is stretching it by a mile! Try telling facts and not your arm chair stories. You may not have even been the one who stated he served in the army for ten years than resigned. If so why did it take you ten years to discover you were not military material? The military usually gets rid of personal they consider not to be combat ready after their first tour of duty and replaces them with new officers, unless the qualifications have been lowered.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

I owe an apology to Mr. Hartmann for poor blog etiquette. Got carried away on yesterday's poll and wrote a bunch of entries diverging way too much from the subject at hand. Don't reckon I'll be doing that again.

THERE now... I feel so much better!

Humbly, your loyal fan... - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

Sorry Ken, I don't always recall the source of the information I get. But I've heard that more than once about suicide rates, regarding Vietnam vets as well as from the Iraq war.

You've made a few points I am compelled to respond to. For starters: "The idea that a soldier on the battle field can just refuse to fight because he doesn't want to kill or be killed is one way to demoralize and destroy the fighting men around you. Does anyone out really believe we should just turn the other cheek if we are attacked?"

Yeah, I remember those duck & cover drills, back when I was in first grade. They gave me the willies. As for any chance we might have had of being attacked by the big bad Communist Bogeyman... well, I guess perpetual paranoia is the price we pay in an Empire disguised as a democracy, one that is constantly on the offensive, attacking other countries without provocation and hell-bent on world domination.

"No war is preferred if it can be avoided through diplomatic talks. But I guess you thought the communist in the North Vietnamese Government were fighting to unite their country as a free state."

Talk is cheap. Besides, if it's truly diplomatic, it doesn't sell weapons or benefit the Almighty War Machine, our Military Industrial Complex. As far as the North Vietnamese government is concerned, I couldn't care less, then or now, whether they are communist, socialist, imperialist or WHATEVER because it doesn't affect my life or the life of anyone I care about. Beyond that, it's a different country, a different culture, residing at least six thousand miles from our shores. What they do with their country and how they choose to run it is none of my (or your!) business.

"It is always the arm chair warriors with no knowledge or experience, that come up with statements they might have heard something somewhere about a specific war, with no evidence that situation was factual. And the fact that you can say what you want, when you want and about anything you want is a gift handed down from those who served and died in our military."

What a sanctimonious load of crap. As if Vietnam's civil war had anything remotely to do with OUR freedom! Or South Korea's choice of political leadership... Gimmie a break. After forty-plus years, you're still under the spell of that Cold War propaganda machine. Get over it.

"The government has no reason to worry or think you people could be a threat to them and that is why they get away with the crimes they do. The people who have made these comments about our military are of the same character of those who spit on our guys when they returned from war. I really wish one of these cowards would have tried to spit on my uniform; it would have been a pleasure to make them aware of the reality in their little minded world. Arm chair warriors have been around in every conflict where real men and women put their lives on the line for this country."

The truth may hurt, Mister Warrior Man, but you did this country and democracy no favors fighting in Vietnam. You were just a pawn on someone else's game board and cannon fodder for the war machine. If that makes you more "real" than the rest of us in your realm of reality, then so be it. Have a lovely weekend.

- Aliceinwonderland

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

I hate to sound sexist but your reply is based primarily on you feel good female hormones and bitch response mechanism. The troops that served under the Commander in Chief were sent there not to protect America, but to stop further aggression from the Communist in China. You actually have no understanding of history. Are you so naive to believe the N. Koreans chose to live under a dictator? If you think the threat of nuclear war was all hype, you really have a limited knowledge of HISTORY. We came to the point of nuclear war when Russia moved ballistic missiles into Cuba in Oct. of 1962.With missiles in Cuba they had a strategic advantage concerning the time it took to launch and strike American cities. The reason they felt compelled to try this is that we had nukes in Europe and we could strike them with nukes and the retaliation time was limited with their nukes on Russian soil. The Nation and the Military were on full alert, but you would have to have an interest of what happened during that time. The Russians believed we would launch a full scale attack against the Mother Land in Russia, since we were the only country to use nukes against the Japanese in 1945. I cannot believe someone with you attitude actually survived the 60's, I really consider the source when I hear your rants. My point was the Military over the decades has kept this country free of foreign invasion, not that our involvement in Vietnam was crucial to our national defense. But, at the time as I have stated the President and his advisors felt losing Vietnam to the Communist could start a domino effect where they might invade other South East Asian countries if Vietnam fell and they had a chance to spread their religion of Communism. Only someone with limited knowledge of the history and of the military and our history as a nation would vent the crap you have spewed on this blog. The men and women who served in the Second World War kept this nation free from dictatorship. But the way you talk you think we are under some dictatorship from our own government. The brave men and women who served in Korea and Vietnam did so under the direction of the Commander in Chief, our president, your opinion of the troops who served in these conflicts is valid, but your account of history and the way you present your opinion is laughable. I do not get my gratification from people like you, I know I served my country when it called me to duty and that is all the satisfaction and gratification I or others that served in Vietnam need. (3,000,000 American men and women served in Vietnam over an eleven year period) You sound like an aged "hippy activist" from the 1960's as far as I am concerned. The main reason I even bothered to rebut the opinions of others concerning Vietnam, is that you and Abbot stated incorrect information with a lack of knowledge or purposely lied for attention or what other reason you may have had. If you’re going to make comments about something the least you can do is get the facts straight to validate your opinion.

Abbot: Your statement that black Huey's, UH-1 were the primary helicopter used in Asia, flew over the enemy and were not fired on from the N. Vietnamese. The N. Vietnamese fired on any American style helicopter they saw, even the choppers with red crosses on them indicating they were transporting the wounded. The Vietnamese never signed the Geneva Doctrine of War, prohibiting combat troops from firing on Med. aircraft; neither did the N. Korean's. When the CIA used any type of aircraft in Vietnam they used company’s setup to hide their involvement, like Air America to name one. Black Ops Helicopters that were actually painted black did not come into action until the late 1980's. So the information that these Vets saw black choppers fly over and were not shot at seems more like one of those stories where she said, he said, she said situations where stories change from one person to another, like the kids in grammar school play in their classroom where the teacher is trying to show how stories change from the original info as they are passed from person to another. A little research would prevent you from sounding a little silly!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: Actually, I think you, and perhaps others, are missing the point. I don't advocate an armed rebellion against the government. What I am saying is that just the very idea that so many civilians are so well armed that they could cause quite a havoc with a tyrannical government. That alone would tend to make a potentially tyrannical government not be so tyrannical to begin with. Not only that but I think you all under estimate the power of a well armed citizenry...if one day the tyrannical government tried to do something so horrible that we had no choice but to rebel. What if our tyrannical government did what Hitler did and decided that a certain group of people..perhaps a race of people, were unfit to live and they set up concentration camps and gas houses to murder millions of Americans that didn't fit their liking? Don't say that it cannot happen here because if very well could happen here. Many people around the world during the reign on Nazi Germany, including many Germans, wouldn't believe that something like that could happen in Nazi Germany. They also thought that they were too "modern"...too "civilized".

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