Eisenhower’s Words of Warning

In the last speech President Dwight D. Eisenhower ever made as President of the United States, he offered up words of wisdom and of warning. This speech was likely the most controversial of his career, much of it quite prophetic. Here was a man who had experienced war, understood the cost, and knew the importance of avoiding it at all costs. His words still hold meaning and impact for the nation today.

It’s disturbing to me that those in Washington DC who would take this country to war(s), and KEEP this country in a constant state of war, have never SEEN or experienced war first hand or made any personal sacrifice of their own. They’ve only seen the benefits to their portfolios and gratitude from their corporate cronies. The men (the generals) who have experienced war up close and personal, and who have advised this president against his chosen path, have been disregarded, discredited, or replaced.

We have a President who spent a year AWOL from his Air Guard duty, a Vice-President with five deferments, a Secretary of State who has never served, and they are getting their plans for a “New Way Forward” from neo-conservative think tanks run by people who have never served in the military or experienced war in any capacity. These people should not be making decisions on behalf of our entire nation, with the cost being so dear, and so immense: the blood of our young men and women, our treasure, and the goodwill of the entire planet.

With the cost of nearly one million lives lost in Iraq, we now occupy their country, which is in shambles and civil war. We still don’t know the reasons why we are really there, as they change from month to month, speech to speech. Now we are told we will be in Iraq for a years to come. It is time for America to wake up and put a stop to this.

I thought it might be a nice thing to revisit the speech President Eisenhower offered the nation on that day in January of 1961. I was reminded of his words of warning this morning.
(Thanks Thom Hartmann..)
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VA Studies: PTSD Care Inconsisent

From McClatchy:

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs, which touts its special programs to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in returning soldiers, spends little on those programs in some parts of the country, and some of its efforts fail to meet some of the VA’s own goals, according to internal reports obtained by McClatchy Newspapers.

In fiscal year 2006, the reports show, some of the VA’s specialized PTSD units spent a fraction of what the average unit did. Five medical centers — in California, Iowa, Louisiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin — spent about $100,000 on their PTSD clinical teams, less than one-fifth the national average.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

The VA’s treatment of PTSD is effective, but many VA hospitals failed to meet the agency’s goals regarding treatment.  Why is this an option?  The VA needs to heed the warning signs, and get their hospitals on the same page.

Fed Cuts Interest Rates to 4.75%

via: BBC News

US interest rate-setters have decided to cut rates for the first time since mid-2006, from 5.25% to 4.75%, more than had been expected. Analysts had expected the Federal Reserve to cut rates to prevent a housing market downturn and the”credit crunch” from denting the economy.

By making money cheaper to borrow, people can spend and invest more, revitalising the economy, they say.

I read this article this morning from GlobalResearch that seemed really strange. Does anyone else feel like something weird is happening?

(Photo used by permission – by Dan Smith)

Foreclosures soaring

U.S. home foreclosures soared in August

New data suggest homeowners can’t make mortgage payments

From AP via MSNBC
The story notes that “The number of foreclosure filings reported in the U.S. last month more than doubled versus August 2006 and jumped 36 percent from July…”
The rate of increase in foreclosures is going to have a ripple effect that is signalling recession.

ElBaradei’s Words of Warning..

On my drive into the city this morning I was listening to Thom Hartmann’s program on the radio. He was discussing all the warnings in the recent press concerning the looming threat of a military strike Iran and the increase in drum-beating going on.

This morning I found a number of articles from a variety of sources (US, Great Britain, Iran, and Pakistan) concerning the comments made by Mohamed ElBaradei, who runs the International Atomic Energy Agency , when he spoke in Vienna on Monday outside a 144-nation meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which he heads.
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ACLU Comes to Sen Craig’s Defense

From McClatchy, by Erika Bolstad

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, saying Minneapolis airport police violated his Constitutional right of free speech in charging him with disorderly conduct after arresting him in an airport men’s room.

The ACLU filed its brief in the same Minnesota court where Craig is hoping to withdraw a guilty plea in connection with soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in the men’s room of the Minneapolis airport. The Idaho conservative, who rarely counts the civil liberties group as an ally, is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 26. (emphasis added)

Ohhhh, the irony….

Click here to read the rest of the story.