The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

– William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

Blue Bronc

Slowing the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is the current mission.  Many more back to Iraq.  “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”.

The bad guys and girls are using the Internet and social media to advance their attacks on civilization.  The visuals are horrific; they know how to use social media to get the best results.  For some reason burning people alive is a recruiting tool too.

Today we have Americans and many others around the world aghast at what is now for them at the level of the Naziis in World War II (it is not).  Although other regimes were as murderous after WWII (and before), the only news about them came from total counts of the dead.  Now we get to see how the dead are killed.

Horrific and disturbing – yes.  But, it is also turning Americans from opposing a return to war in the Middle East to “we need to do something besides talking and bombing.”  Although you would be hard pressed to know if anything is actually happening on a daily basis to the bad guys, make an informed decision, due to censorship of real news from the combat zone

What all this has done is make me wonder what my fate, and that of many others, would have been in 1975.  Vietnam was a mess, ground troops were out, but we had a presence in the air and support.  The Viet Cong were taking over a lot of South Vietnam and executing those who had supported the Americans and the troops of other countries.  There was a lot of bloodshed and it was not kind.  The Viet Cong had a habit of stringing people up and then slicing them up for all to see.  They also held executions in plain view.

If the VC had the Internet would we have returned to Vietnam? I say a definitive “YES.”

As one who was in the plans to return, I can say the U.S. was ready to go.  President Ford and his military advisors, the Pentagon, and many Republicans were ready to authorize the return.  It was only the lack of political support that stopped the return.

If there had been a lot of public viewing of what was going on by the VC, Ford would have gone for the return.  Considering he wanted to, but only stopped because of political advisers, tells us a lot.  But, if the American public had seen the atrocities they would have supported a return, just as they are supporting a return to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The actions of Bush II continue to affect America and the rest of the world.  It is worth watching and listening to the Republicans talk about what is happening in the Middle East or West Asia to understand what they would do if they were emperor.  There is the possibility that the Republicans could hold the Congress, White House and Supreme Court.  That should scare the pants off most people.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix contributor.

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

PatD

“Finally, somebody is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War.”  — Jon Stewart.

So, a news anchor is sentenced to six months suspension without pay for combat conflation, gets flak for lying about getting flak. See The Washington Post’s NBC suspends Brian Williams as its lead anchor for six months.

Trail Mixers, with that as the benchmark for penalizing Iraqi War prevarications, what punishments do you propose for Bush, Cheney, Tenet, Congress, Fox News and the various other provocateurs of the press?

Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.

– Hippocrates

By Blue Bronc
This issue of not vaccinating children is good to have now, but unfortunately several children will be seriously affected, even dying.

I ran into this issue ten years ago in Colorado.  I was in a Colorado House hearing waiting to sit in the hot chair to support a bill I was helping run.  Next up, after me, for the next bill was a woman with pictures of her dead child.  Tears and sobs all the time.  I gave her tissues which I always carry because emotions can rise by those for or against certain bills and as a person, not a lobbyist, I knew it was good to be nice to all. The bill she was waiting for was an expanded vaccination bill, which she testified for, in full tears, against.

Her testimony was about her who child died after the vaccine he recieved because it had a form of mercury in it.  Oh the pain and tears.  Everything she said was junk or rather, crap science.  It was full of stuff she pulled off the Internet from that idiot in the UK who has been discredited.  It sort of sounded logical, but for anyone who has a science background, you knew it had as much to do with his death as sitting in a wet bathtub.

PoliticalScience_4CBut, her belief, her deep held honest to goodness belief, that the vaccine killed her son spread to neighbors and online and she had her followers in that hearing. That is the problem. Most of the anti-vaccine followers are believers because they have a friend who has had a bad thing happen after the child had the immunizations.

I do not have an answer, except to require all children be immunized, regardless of religion, or opt out.  The only exception is for children proved by science to not be a candidate for immunization.

What is interesting is watching the Republicans elected and those running for president twist and turn and blow themselves up trying to be as anti-science as possible, yet knowing how stupid anti-science is.  Not even the base is ready to go back to pre-immunizations days.  Their families know what happened.  Just like polio is “gone” from our country, measles was too.  Now it is back, primarily by idiots and fools refusing to immunize their children.  Probably next year or the following, polio will return.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor (Our Authors)

Slate Wiping Time

By PatD

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders — one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started — may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.” — Mitt Romney

Has the time come to pass the torch? Not just juice up the grand old party with geritol tweets and flash mobs of tech-savvy geezers but revamp and revitalize it with fresh untired, untried blood? Same goes for others in the game.

But who are these next generation Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Indies? From under what rock, upon what mountain top do we find them or are they already among us yet to be anointed and taken seriously as leaders?

Should Mitt’s admonition be ignored by our experienced pols and as Pete Seeger sings:

As sleep dims my vision, I say to myself
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
But nations are warring and business is vexed
So I’ll stick around to see what happens next


– PatD is a Trail Mix Contributor

Happiness is a dry martini and a good woman … or a bad woman

– George Burns

By Blue Bronc

Anyone notice that politicians are heading to the hoosegow right now?  With the Speaker of the New York legislature in FBI custody, another day comes to an end.  The sad thing is it gives a little more confirmation to my brother and sister-in-law about politicians (except me – a little) that they are all crooks.  At least the crooks are following a long line of tradition.

Sometimes I think of all the fun retiring is, and more importantly, is not.  I was medically retired for about twenty years, then went back to work at the age of sixty.  I am not at all sorry I did.  I am having a ball and enjoying the challenges along with working with kids the age of my children (30s).  This is not “feeling young.”  Oh no. This body has been through a lot over the years. This brain has had a lot of workout over the years too. Significantly it is I am not worn out like my grandparents were when they were sixty-five.

There are many women and men in their mid-sixties who do not need new knees. There are a lot of us who do. There are many veterans who need back repair, some earlier than others; some later than others.  There are many people in this country who worked hard for a living and look forward to retiring at age 65 66. There are many in this country who did not do heavy labor, but are burned out from working in a corporate world that did not let them live.

over65Politicians live long lives; the reasons are still under debate.  This is even true of our Founding Fathers from an age without antibiotics or most vaccines. Look at Ben Franklin, wonderful life, and long lived. Warren and Clinton are in their late sixties. I do believe they will live long and continue to provide much to our lives. Webb? He too is in his late 60’s. The 70’s are the new 40’s?

Is chronological age old, old? It depends. I do not consider, or even think, I am old; even though I am in my mid-sixties. My body will have surgery for new joints and with the newest medications, I will not notice the pain or lack of strength. What meds will Hillary, Warren, Webb and others my age need to have the ability to walk through the Oval Office without assistance or limping?  What meds will they take to avoid old age? Which medications will affect their lives?

It is very nice to have Democratic people willing to run for United States president, especially when they are in the penalty phase time period of Social Security. For you youngsters education, you have to start withdrawing from IRA’s when you are 70 ½. You face penalty by the Social Security Administration when you are after 70 years old.  The good news for our Democratic candidates is they are likely to live to be 80 if they are elected.  But, they still face the same penalties by the SSA.

I am as much for celebrating the lives of our elders as anyone, I get my senior discounts legitimately.  But I would rather find some hot politician in her 50’s than someone who was born when the computer was the size of a large truck and used electron tubes.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

The Silenced of the Pens

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

By PatD

Will what happened in Paris be swept into history’s  closet and silenced as what happened in Denmark or will good men do something this time?

Like speak up as does Fareed Zakaria in The Washington Post:

“Like so many of the most fanatical and violent aspects of Islamic terrorism today, the idea that Islam requires that insults against the prophet Muhammad be met with violence is a creation of politicians and clerics to serve a political agenda. “

As he points out, the cult of blasphemy is not limited to only one religion nor is violence in its name.  So-called Christians murdering doctors in the name of Christ,  so-called Buddhists killing in the name of Buddha and Hindu “holy” wars are just the current examples.”

Zakaria profoundly notes: “When governments try to curry favor with fanatics, eventually the fanatics take the law into their own hands.”

— Charlie Hebdo Puts Muhammad on Cover of Post-Attack Issue (Wall Street Journal)
— Why some news organizations are publishing covers from Charlie Hebdo (Poynter.org)
— ‘Hacktivist’ group Anonymous says it will avenge Charlie Hebdo attacks by shutting down jihadist websites (The Telegraph)

– PatD is a Trail Mix Contributor

“Goodbyes, they often come in waves.”

– Jarod Kintz, “$3.33 (The Title is the Price)”

Blue Bronc
Sen. Barbara Boxer leaving is sad, but also a good thing.  The California Democrat is probably leading her party’s rush out of Congress, the Reps and Senators who have represent the Vietnam Era.  Born in the 40’s and 50’s many of these good representatives of their districts are tiring of the fight, ready to let others battle the crazies.

Will the open seats bring in more Democrats?  Generally I think yes.  Many of those running have never known what a Progressive Congress and Supreme Court looks like.  They have only known the Reagan, Clinton, Bush (I and II) and Obama eras.  That is not good.  They do not have a personal history to look back at as a model for what should be.

Relatives and friends who are older are good to learn from.  Personal experience is much better.  Those from the 40’s and 50’s are Roosevelt experienced, either from his presidency or those who came afterwards.  Progressives, for the most part, desire to make America and the world a better place for all.

The new politicians are needed.  The old wood is getting moldy and soft.  New brass gonads have to take up the fight.  They will make mistakes, but hopefully, they will also not be carrying twenty, thirty or forty plus years of deals and baggage with them.

Here’s who’s poised to fight for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat — SFGate

A Weather Break: The worst thing about the current cold wave: it lets those of weak brains think the climate change to hot is over (again).  Sure my boats have ice on them, but that is temporary, it melts away very soon.  So to those climate deniers, eat my snowy . . .++-

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Is it time to embrace the 2d Amendment?

Flatus

We, as a group and a People have agonized over what role the 2d Amendment to our Constitution should play in our very post 18th century lives. It is right that we go through this explorative agony as our propensity to brutality, or lack thereof, is what earns us the right to call ourselves civilized.

Now, I have a question. When will it be time to allow those members of our society who, because of their past or present employment in the public service, to arm themselves in defense of terrorists who have threatened them, as a group, for their service? The threats, of course, when carried out include all those around them.

I don’t have a specific answer. I know because of my mode of transport that I’m somewhat conspicuous. That has concerned me to the extent that I have purchased a serious handgun.

This I know; wherever I am, no matter what the circumstances: if I am caught up in terrorist violence, I will not depart peacefully. I would like to have the comfort of the 2d Amendment at my side.

– Flatus is a Trail Mix Contributor