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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dear Liberals…

…please knock this kind of dumbshit off: Wonkette: Joe Miller Runs Screeching From Simple Question.

Unless you really want Miller to be Alaska’s next Senator

The Wonkette piece, for those of you who didn’t click on the link, is precisely the kind of gleeful piling on that directly lends credibility to conservative assertions of being hounded and pilloried in the “Lamestream” press. And it’s very, very likely to blow right up in liberal faces leaving them all looking like a cartoon Wiley Coyote covered in soot holding a blackened match to a charred fuse and stick of dynamite.

Miller has already dug himself a deep enough hole that even hard core Republicans are practicing their spelling of “Murkowski” like kids brushing up on their vocab before quiz day in language arts.

As I’ve repeatedly mentioned, I intend to vote for the Democrat. I’ve got his signs in my front yard. I’m certainly no fan of Lisa Murkowski, but I’d take her over Joe Miller. I disagree vehemently with Miller’s position on just about everything and I’d rather have Cannibal Hitler’s Head in a Pickle Jar than Miller’s Tea Party Bigotry and Paranoia for my senator. I’ve certainly gone out of my way to ridicule his obnoxious ass here on Stonekettle Station.

A lot of people seem to feel the same way – and the wind is blowing chill and away from Joe Miller at the moment, so much so that it appears both Scott McAdams, the democrat, and Lisa Murkowski, the write in sad sack, have a real shot at beating Miller.

But, and listen up Liberals, the one thing, the one thing, that could turn that around and damned quick is going after Miller The Veteran. Keep attacking Miller’s Army service and you’re going to turn him into a conservative martyr. Keep it up, and you’ll outrage enough folks who will then feel it is their patriotic duty to go vote for Miller just to spite you. The Wonkette article is precisely the kind of thing that Miller can point to and say, “See? Told you so.”  It’s provably nothing but hyperbole and hysteria and it hands Miller and other Tea Party candidates the ammo they need to rally those undecided progressives.

The Wonkette article, linked to above, questioned Miller’s VA disability.

Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to question a veteran, just because he’s a veteran, but in this case the article is the same kind of poorly researched character assassinating hysteria that the low brow Tea Party itself tends to engage in. It’s nothing but rabble rousing at the gutter level – the exact kind of crap both Miller and Sarah Palin routinely engage in.

As I may have mentioned, I detest Joe Miller – but as a veteran myself, I find the Wonkette article’s obvious insinuation offensive:

A West Point graduate who served in the first Gulf War, Miller boasts of his military record in his radio and teevee ads, yet refuses to discuss the nature or the degree of his service-connected disabilities; he receives monthly tax-free payments for life as compensation. If Miller is classified as 30% or more disabled, he receives additional payments for each of his nine dependents. This Veterans Administration benefits chart shows that Miller could conceivably be bringing in over $4,000 a month, tax free, depending on his disability rating.

Um, no. Not exactly.

1) There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to question Miller’s Army service. Records indicate that he was an adequate officer. Better than adequate. And he served in Iraq during the first Gulf War. He was awarded the Bronze Star – and, you know, they don’t hand those out for nothing. He received an honorable discharge. It pissed me off when Conservatives attacked John Kerry’s service record and discredited his service and decorations. The same applies here. It’s dishonorable and disgusting, Liberals, knock it off. It’s beneath you.

2) Miller is under no obligation to discuss private medical information or his degree of disability. Period. It’s none of your business and it has no bearing whatsoever on his candidacy.  As I mentioned, I’m a disabled vet myself (one of those “30% or over” mentioned in the Wonkette article).  Exactly what my disabilities are is none of your damned business. My medical history is private. So is Miller’s. So is yours – even if you decide to run for office. Maintaining the privacy of our medical records is one of the rights we veterans fought for.

3) VA Disability does not mean what you think it means, or what Bill Scannell implied it does in the Wonkette post.  Disability is awarded for service connected medical issues. Service connected. Not necessarily combat connected. Let me repeat that, service connected.  Because what we do is very, very physical, military folks often end up with permanent medical problems as a result of their jobs.  Take me, I will share a bit with you (even though it’s none of your business), I’m hard of hearing, significantly so on the right side. It has to do with my specialty. I spent a lot of time next to things that blow up, or in headphones listening to things I can’t talk about. As a result, my hearing is damaged. Significantly damaged. A percentage of my VA disability was awarded because of that.  I have permanent and significant damage to my left shoulder, a result of boarding operation gone bad. I walk with a limp most of the time. I’m in pretty much constant pain. The American public got their pound of flesh from me, and they can damned well pay for it. Miller was a Tanker, which puts significant stress on the body. Any permanent damage incurred on active duty entitles him to VA disability. That’s the deal. That’s the deal we made with our country when we signed up. Don’t like it? Don’t think it’s fair? Think we’re getting something for nothing? You go do it for a while and see if you still feel that way. No? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

4) He’s not getting a $4000 dollar check each month. That’s complete bullshit. And Scannell damned well knows it. Look how the line is phrased, “…could conceivably be….” Nice strawman there, Bill. Here’s how it works, a portion of your income is deducted from your pre-tax pay, and returned to you tax free.  The rest of your income is taxed the same as always.  Except under very special circumstance, such as 100% disability for combat related injuries, you’re not getting any supplemental pay from the VA or anybody else. All you get, for being over 30%, is a portion of your income left untaxed.  That “$4000 a month, tax free” is a big fat red herring. Miller is not getting an extra check from the government. Reality is, if Miller’s has a very high disability rating, say like 70% or greater (unlikely, just looking at him), up to $4000 of his reportable income per month could be untaxed by the federal government.  That is very unlikely – hell, even John McCain isn’t considered that disabled. That kind of disability rating is normally awarded to those guys who, you know, are missing a couple of limbs or eyes or a chunk of their brain or worse.

5) They don’t just hand out disability.  When you leave active duty and transfer to the tender mercies of the Veteran’s Administration, you undergo a thorough screening process. First your medical records are scanned in detail. Then you get a very, very thorough physical exam from a doctor that specializes in VA disability exams – i.e. his job is to keep you from getting any VA disability whatsoever. He is not your friend. Think you can fake him out? Maybe, but he sees a dozen Vets just like you every week. Good luck.  You’re scanned, x-rayed, probed, prodded, quizzed, and palpitated. Your blood is tested nine ways from Sunday for things the average civilian can’t even spell (most civilians aren’t exposed to asbestos and explosives and toxic chemicals and experimental medicines and whatever the fuck it was soaked into the sand of Iraq that gave us all Gulf War syndrome). Every injury you ever had on active duty is examined.  Every broken bone. Every sprain. Every X-ray. Every inoculation – like those goddamn NAPP tablets they gave us in the first Gulf War, the experimental drugs, the non-FDA approved drugs, that were supposed to protect us from nerve gas, except it turns out that they caused permanent nerve damage, so sorry. Every drop zone or deployment theater is checked against known problem areas – places that are infested with malaria for example. Whether or not you were in combat.  All of that information is evaluated and then goes before a board of doctors for final disposition and determination of your disability. It takes about six months for somebody like me (whose medical record came in two volumes both thicker than the average phone book).  Again, think you can fake them out? Go ahead, give it a try – all you have to do is go serve in the military for a couple of years first. I’ll wait. Let me know how it works out for you.

6) Finally, all veterans have some kind of disability rating – unless they elect for some reason not to go through the VA process. Most are 10% or so. Maybe 20%. That rating entitles them to certain benefits, such as vocational rehabilitation. Employment search assistance. Educational benefits. A bit of medical care (but no dental). A cookie and a cup of crappy coffee in the VA lobby. These are all things that were part of our contract for signing up in the first place, this is what the American people promised us for defending their goddamned ungrateful asses. This is most likely the level of disability that Joe Miller ended up at.

Again, you’re more than welcome to spend a couple years on active duty, go to war, earn a Bronze Star, and see how it works out for you. Let me know if you think you’re getting over compensated.

When conservatives blast the “liberal” media for creating falsehoods and for having an anti-conservative bias, this kind of bullshit is precisely the thing that lends their paranoia credence.

Miller’s own words and position and documented performance as a state employee speak loudly about his unfitness to lead either Alaska or America.

Making stuff up is unnecessary, counter productive, and clouds the real issues.

Seriously, knock it off already.

24 comments:

  1. I'm not going to click through, because I have really been trying to avoid political screed, but really, what the fuck people?

    As you said, it was abhorrent when John Kerry's military service was questioned, it's just as bad when "the other side" does it.

    Someone out and out lying about their service is one thing, but calling into question what benefits a veteran--any veteran--deserves? How can anyone think that is acceptable on any grounds?

    Sadly Jim, this just makes me want to crawl back into the hole I've been hiding in and go "LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! whenever the news comes on.

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  2. Because, really, liberals don't have enough ammunition against that egregious, lying asshole without having to behave in a dishonorable way? Really?

    Wake me up when the election's over...

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  3. Exactly.

    Read the comments under the Wonkette article. Conservatives don't have the corner market on bigotry, hatred, and hysteria.

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  4. I posted a link to this article on Wonkette but it said 'your comment is being held for review by the editors.' Bet it doesn't get published. Get post, like all of your stuff.

    ARDitDit.Connie

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  5. Oye! That should have been 'great post' not 'get post.' Is there any way to edit these comments?

    connie

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  6. Connie. No, comments can't be edited, not even by me. You can delete them and repost however.

    Thanks for posting a link. I think. Not sure I want that crowd following me back home. Some of the commenters seem as hysterically nuts as any TEA party hack I've ever met.

    arditdit? You're a old fashion Navy R brancher then, are you?

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  7. Nope. Marine. You were my instructor I think. At Corry. you were a instructor in the simulator. CDF. You left for OWL in the middle of my class if youre who I think you are.

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  8. Yep, that would be me - though I generally don't make a habit of mentioning Owl here. Jesus, that would be 20 years ago now, more actually. Forgive me if I don't remember you. Drop me an email, jog my memory.

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  9. Sigh.

    One of the problems that some liberals face is that since they fancy themselves peace loving anti-war types, they feel they don't need to know anything about the military or how it operates.

    Such failures in education usually backfire with egg-on-face recoil.

    Dr. Phil

    ovencer -- an offense minded baker

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  10. There are several moving parts here:

    1. The cause and degree of Miller's disability/ies is absolutely within the area of the voter's right to know. If he'd been rated for PTSD or some other psych issue, then that is something voters should know.

    2. The hypocrisy angle of a man who is against government health care yet uses it himself makes this fair game.

    3. That this is yet another example of Miller taking government entitlements while (you guessed it) attacking government entitlements makes this fair game.

    My guess is that he either has a crazy high service-connected percentage that will make civilians say, 'he's not 50% disabled', or he has one for something embarrassing, e.g., hemorrhoids.

    As a service-connected vet myself, I know full well that there are truly disabled vets, and then there are the 'disabled' vets like me. I may be appalled at how the VA is very much a welfare machine for right wingers, yet I like my free, high quality medical care, I like the fact that 'voc rehab' paid six figures to send me to grad school Outside, and that the check I get every month pays for my kid's private school tuition.

    Not a bad deal for three years of peace time active duty in the Army over 20 years ago.

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  11. I'll confess to being liberal and in holding many liberal beliefs, in many ways, but not in every way that has ever been ascribed to liberals in general.

    None of which means I appreciate being stereotyped.

    I'll confess to being less than adequately informed about all aspects, or each and every aspect military service may entail. Before, during or after.

    During the Vietnam war, when it might be considered that I was of age for military service, I had a very high draft number, I was not called, and I did not volunteer.

    I'm intimately informed about quite a lot that military service does and does not entail. I have several family members who have served spanning a time frame that includes 4 different generations, in several varying actions spanning several of the continuously evolving administrations of US military policy.

    I'll also confess to being curious about the veracity or lack thereof concerning Joe Miller's own assertions he is on record stating, including inconclusive and sketchy information he has offered up about his time in the service and his self-described service related disability.

    I haven't asked him about what isn't any of my business, he has opened that door himself.

    Point of fact, I haven't asked him anything. I'd like to. I'd like to hear what I can learn from him, if anything at all. (even if the seeming general concensus is that learning anything from Joe may be unlikely)

    I always operate on the idea that I won't know until I try. What I'm unable to try, I have to rely on the information of others who have.

    Alas, I haven't read the piece at Wonkette.

    Having read Wonkette in the past, I know it's likely that whatever substance there may be in the post, it's also highly likely it's been 'augmented' with hyperbole, some presumptuous, some preposterous.

    That's a feature at Wonkette.

    Now, I'd like to address the broad brush generalizations about those dreaded 'libs' I see in the comments.

    Continued below.

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  12. continued from above;



    Because I've not acquired all the knowledge that could possibly serve my best interests about the entirety of military service, that doesn't automatically or magically lead to the conclusion that I also must feel I don't have any need to know that information, it only means I, (and many others of any persuasion), haven't yet been exposed to those particular insights.

    My desire to learn, whether it be information about what Joe Miller has offered up concerning his military service, or any other type of information I may seek, is motivated by a wish to know and possess a reality based view.

    I resent anyone who would attempt to link my desire to learn with the machinations of the Swift Boaters, Fox News, or any of the right wing chicken hawks and blowhards.

    I've got nothing but respect for those who serve honorably.

    I don't feel I owe that respect to anyone who attempts to over-inflate that service, or leverage their service in any type of a dishonest manner.

    An honest and open dialog is key to enabling a functioning society of many different peoples with many different life experiences.

    Broad brush generalizations don't help, and they are fundamentally flawed to boot.

    So while you're thinking you might be in a mind to lecture some others, you might want to check your own behavior to see that you don't contradict yourself.

    That's just as foolish and stick stupid as any other foolish and asinine behavior.

    Thanks for your indulgence. And for those who gave their pound of flesh, I can't begin to think I can appreciably relate to what you've given, I do know it means so much more than a boatload of Chinese magnetic stick-on yellow ribbons.

    I'll do my best as a conscientious citizen who values his duty to try to see that the contract you made is forever honored, and never withdrawn or minimized.

    I recognize my indebtedness to you and I recognize my responsibility toward you.

    That doesn't mean I'll sit moot while I'm disparaged through baseless stereotyping or disingenuous generalization.

    ..

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  13. Jim,

    You're right and thanks for trying to teach others about something they neither have the time nor the inclination to care about.

    But, I have to agree with ex-Army on this one. Too bad exposing Joe as the hypocrite he is does no good. And might even do him good. Nevertheless, it needs to be done. And his electoral opponents should be hammering him on it.

    That having the full discussion of Joe's (dis)merits would lead to even more votes illustrates the depth of idiocy to which our so-called informed public has fallen.

    Retired (once-Serving) Patriot.

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  14. Anonymous, I mostly stopped paying attention to your comments when I got to, "I haven't read the piece at Wonkette..."

    ____________________________

    Ex-Army, SP, I understand what you're saying. I do. But I'm just not buying it. Let's take your points one at a time, Army:

    1. The cause and degree of Miller's disability/ies is absolutely within the area of the voter's right to know. If he'd been rated for PTSD or some other psych issue, then that is something voters should know.

    Seriously? Where does that end? You want to dump all of Miller's service and military medical records into the public domain? And if he doesn't get elected? Then what? Private medical information is exactly that, private. Show me where in the law or the Constitution that somebody running for office needs to make their medical record public. I grant you that Miller, or any other politician, is a public figure - however, that doesn't mean that he or she doesn't have rights and protections under the constitution and the law, and common decency for that matter. There have to be some limits on the public's right to access private information.

    As to PTSD. Dude. Seriously? That's exactly the kind of hysteria I was talking about in the article. PTSD? Especially to a degree that would preclude him from holding a job or public office? Come on. Miller has been out of the army for nearly twenty years. He went to a top, high pressure, law school without incident. He's been gainfully employed ever since in a high pressure job. Give me a break here, Army. Sure, Miller is an asshole, but PTSD to a degree that we the public should access to his fucking psych evals? Just. Not. Buying. It.

    2. The hypocrisy angle of a man who is against government health care yet uses it himself makes this fair game.

    No. Miller earned his VA benefits by virtue of his service. The only thing that would cause him to lose those VA benefits would be a court martial and dishonorable discharge. I think we can safely say that Miller was neither court martialed nor dishonorably discharged, therefor he is entitled to his VA benefits. Just like you, just like me. He earned them. Again, he's an asshole and a hypocrite, sure, but he's still entitled to his VA benefits. You can point that out without knowing the degree of his disability award. BUT I strongly recommend that you don't, for the reasons I outlined in the text above.

    3. That this is yet another example of Miller taking government entitlements while (you guessed it) attacking government entitlements makes this fair game.

    You're mixing apples and oranges. VA benefits are not an entitlement, they are an earned benefit of military service.

    By attacking Miller's (presumed) use of VA benefits, you directly support Miller and his supporters' argument, i.e. We Conservatives EARNED these benefits through service, you Liberals want to give a bunch of lazy undeserving, welfare dependent, illegal immigrants free Obamacare that is better than my pitiful VA benefits and etc etc etc.

    Miller and the rest of the teabaggers have made a rather large deal out of liberal piling on, attacking Miller's military service plays right into his hands and does absolutely nothing but outrage the right, the pseudo patriots, and the undecideds. It's childish and counterproductive.

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  15. It's childish and counterproductive.

    Sadly, true. But only because of the type of people we are talking about. Those that are too lazy and morally bankrupt to understand that they are being manipulated, used and abused. If anything, the hypocrisy of Joe's simultaneous acceptance of Ceasar's coin but public cry to abnegate such payments should (and I suspect does) outrage the liberal, selfless and conscientious voters (sounds like you Jim) and drive them to the polls in greater (great enough) numbers to defeat this narcissistic simpleton.

    It is hard to know which is sadder. The fact that the ignoramuses gain strength from this line of public questioning (as you are right to point out)? Or that they have such electoral power because decent, thinking voters out there are so far beyond outrage that they're even afraid to challenge such nonsense anymore?

    WASF.

    RP

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  16. mmmm, ....uh huh, JIm

    Nice rhetorical ruse, saying you 'stopped paying attention when'.

    That tactic is often wielded, saves you from addressing any of what you don't care to be confronted with...

    Who else is fond of such tactics?

    You got it, the same folks you chide for doing the same.


    By the way. How do you know Joe Miller has done anything 'without incident'?

    Seems from all the evident reality we've seen so far, he's been incapable of doing anything that hasn't included some sort of bizarre incident.

    Chief among those incidents is a tendency to over-inflate and lie about things in order to blow himself up to mythical proportions.

    That or just go off the deep end with reactionary idiocy.

    The manner in which some have attempted to dig into Joe's background might not be always the most tasteful manner that could be employed, and some clearly haven't got your 'approval', but that doesn't and won't discount the publics right to know just what lies might be lurking behind Joe's own declarations.

    And that includes his service, and there, it's clear he has been attempting to leverage that service and there's every reason to believe his story there isn't anywhere close to reality, just as we've found out about any of his self-conceived and self-generated image he's projected concerning what he thinks in his own mind are his oh so valuable and vaunted exploits.

    He's a fraud, and there's no reason to imagine or summarily dismiss the notion that his fraud hasn't extended throughout his every incarnation of himself.

    There is every chance that your righteous indignation may be misspent on a character not quite as deserving of the courtesy you're extending to him.

    One thing I've always found true, you can find an ass, (or several of them), in any and all organizations or groups.

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  17. I'm seeing consensus for the position that questions regarding Miller's military record and disability status should be asked as part of any election in a civil society, but doing so risks entrenching the ignorant even deeper within their own ignorance.

    I'm with Serving Patriot on this one. We can't let our ability to think critically be dulled or responsibility to be good citizens be curtailed for fear of annoying the ignorant into unwanted action.

    The permanent underclass, created under Reagan and expanded under each of his successors, is sicker and more entrenched than ever. Fed on a diet of pseudo-patriotism, talk radio, christian fundamentalism, and home-schooling, this underclass is now entering its third generation. The structures of civil society are being undermined by their ignorance, their dumbassedness being aided and abetted by those who profit at the polls and the register from their suffering.

    It's good to ask questions.

    This discussion is getting far too thoughtful: can't we just shout talking points instead?

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  18. This discussion is getting far too thoughtful: can't we just shout talking points instead?

    Hahaha. That would certainly be easier.

    The permanent underclass, created under Reagan and expanded under each of his successors, is sicker and more entrenched than ever. Fed on a diet of pseudo-patriotism, talk radio, christian fundamentalism, and home-schooling, this underclass is now entering its third generation. The structures of civil society are being undermined by their ignorance, their dumbassedness being aided and abetted by those who profit at the polls and the register from their suffering.

    Couldn't agree more.

    I think you Ex-Army, Serving Patriot, and I all basically agree - it's mostly a matter of degree at this point.


    _______________

    Anonymous.

    This post directly addressed the Wonkettle article. You can tell because the Wonkette article is linked to in the very first line of the post. The subject is clearly stated in the third paragraph of my post. And then the center of the post is a direct quote from, you guessed it, the Wonkette article. That Wonkette quote was the particular issue addressed in my post. Wonkette. It's there if you look for it. Perhaps in the future I'll try to be more clear when I'm addressing the subject of Wonkette.

    You spent a lot of time and effort moaning about my supposed stereotyping of liberals, specifically my insinuation that liberals are engaged in a lazy hysteria and hyperbole and aren't actually reading the material - then you tell me that you didn't read the material in question. At which point, I lose interest.

    That tactic is often wielded, saves you from addressing any of what you don't care to be confronted with...

    And that particular tactic is the common stock in trade of the pseudo intellectual internet troll who engages in the fallacies of shifting goal posts and ad hominem attacks.

    There is every chance that your righteous indignation may be misspent on a character not quite as deserving of the courtesy you're extending to him.

    All the more reason to extend the courtesy in the first place.

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  19. I clicked through. Repulsive. Normally I avoid such sites because they lack depth and are too youthfully breezy, which means lazy and not well researched.

    I don't like Ann Coulter types on either side of the political spectrum. Pithy does not equate with quality. (When Al Franken is pithy, he provides the sources to back up his bite.) Furthermore,in my book, propaganda and unsubstantiated rhetoric is unethical regardless of one's political position. Two sides of the same coin, and both mislead the public, which is disrespectful and so Sean Hannity. The ends do not justify the means.

    I agree a candidate's medical records are none of our business, unless it is the president or vice president and they have a condition that means there is a high likelihood they may not survive their term (which is why it was irresponsible to make Dick Cheney, with his severe heart problems, vice president and we should have known Reagan was in the early stages of Alzheimer's before his first term was over). Although, if a candidate is being a glaring hypocrite in some way (like Clarence Thomas being against affirmative action after he used affirmative action programs to get where he was), well then, he or she opened the door for scrutiny. If not, then I say leave them alone.

    I don't care about PTSD in the past, or even in the present if it isn't severe. There are variable levels of PTSD and I detest how our society paints complex conditions and situations with one broad brush. In the name of efficiency, our medical, criminal justice, and numerable bureaucracies do so and it has only added to our population's inability to see the shades of gray all around us. We crush each other with those broad brushes.

    I don't care about depression either if it isn't so severe the individual cannot function and/or is delusional. Most people who suffer from depression do not fall into that category, and people do accomplish great things even under the cloud of depression. That's especially true of Type A personalities, and most people who run for federal level office are Type A.

    I take exception to the term "entitlement" used for social/safety-net programs. Americans didn't call such programs by that name until the Reagan administration started using it when it launched its wars on the federal government, social programs, and labor unions. Until then, Americans thought they'd earned such programs when they needed them because they, their parents, and their grandparents had paid into the system their entire working lives.

    If a family member needed welfare for awhile, for instance, she deserved it because her family and sometimes she had paid into the system for it. (I say "she" because welfare notoriously discriminates against men.) Government records proved at the time of Reagan's witch hunt for the fictional welfare queen that the average welfare recipient was on welfare only 3.5 years as a stopgap emergency measure. The attack on the poor was just a smokescreen to distract us with false enemies, our fellow citizens, just like the attack on immigrants, and the poor again what with the rumblings of drug testing all welfare and food stamp recipients, is now.

    Certainly they'd earned disability if they needed it, as well as Social Security and Medicare. However, the intentional use of language carrying negative connotation worked. Now even Social Security is under attack, and for widows with children and disabled children its already been weakened over the last 12 years more than people realize. They find out when they suddenly need it.

    Ex-Army is dead right on about the underclass, and it is so damned depressing.

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  20. well, jim, that misrepresents what I actually did say.

    When I said this:

    "Because I've not acquired all the knowledge that could possibly serve my best interests about the entirety of military service, that doesn't automatically or magically lead to the conclusion that I also must feel I don't have any need to know that information, it only means I, (and many others of any persuasion), haven't yet been exposed to those particular insights." .....that was in direct response to the presumptuousness of Dr. Phil's conjecture.

    When I said this:

    "I resent anyone who would attempt to link my desire to learn with the machinations of the Swift Boaters, Fox News, or any of the right wing chicken hawks and blowhards."

    That is in direct response to your inference that questioning Joe Miller's own statements is akin to what conservatives tried when they tried to use lies to discredit and dishonor Kerry's service.

    Your attempt to make such false equivalencies and conflate one action as being the same a totally different reality is nothing for you to be crowing about.

    Those are low brow tactics.

    Just as calling a troll anyone who might hold up a mirror to your own behavioral contradictions.

    Just as low brow as ad hankering: - The practice of accusing anyone who disagrees with you of ad hominem attacks, even if what they said had nothing whatsoever to do with an ad hominem.

    and jim, I don't see any of your attempted demonization for Random Michelle K when she said she wasn't going to click through to the Wonketter link.

    Seems you selectively wield that self-constructed role of an authoritative father-figure who deigns to participate in mere finger wagging.

    ..
    Here's a little primer on rhetorical devices which regularly show up in so-called online debate.

    You and your readers will find much that is familiar.

    http://stommel.tamu.edu/~baum/ethel/atrios-dictionary.html

    ..

    Keep up the good work and resist the metaphysical reasoning.

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  21. Oh blow it out your ass, Anonymous. I found you uninteresting to begin with and now I'm sick of your obnoxious patronizing bullshit, you're done here. Don't comment again.

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  22. I think we would all take mr. anonymous more seriously if he (she) would actually sign the post.

    And as a vet myself who has a metal plate in my neck courtesy of the USN.... not everything qualifies a person for getting VA services. Me? Why no, I don't get a whole lot of VA benefits because my problem was 'fully corrected' by surgery - well, they'll help me buy a house if I want to wade through 9x the paperwork to qualify for a load that won't buy me a house that is at the butt end of trailer trash. Thank you for asking.

    And no thank you sir-ex Army, none of you can see my private medical information without a subpeona. Not even if I run for President or get appointed to Grand Poobah of the Caliphate of North America.

    If my physician or psychiatrist thought I was a danger to society, they have a FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY to report me to the police. Check 'Tarasoff' for some fun reading.

    I love these interesting discussions. It brings out the worst in me.

    /rant

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  23. Yes, well as to Anonymous, I've gotten some email questions on that.

    Here's the deal on who gets booted: READ THE FUCKING COMMENTING GUIDELINES. That should explain how I operate.

    Anonymous got booted for a number of things:

    - he/she did not read the comment guidelines before commenting – as demonstrated by his/her whine regarding my supposed unfair treatment of Random Michelle’s comment (and of course, I can see exactly what pages the troll looked at, the commenting rules page wasn’t one of them).

    - he/she wasn't actually participating in the conversation. He was only giving the appearance of doing so. He was really only interested in demonstrating his supposed intellect by "schooling" me in a patronizing fashion while hiding behind anonymity.

    - he/she was guilty of a rather large number of logically fallacies, a) moving the goal posts, b) Ad hominem attack (though he apparently doesn't understand what that means), and c) argumentum verbosium, among about a half dozen others. There’s no point in engaging these people. They are only interested in “winning,” nothing more. They’ll continue to argue and correct you even if you agree with them word for word.

    - He "corrected" my opinion regarding the Wonkette post - but never read the Wonkette post. Notice when that was pointed out to him, true to form he moved the goal posts.

    This is apparently a common habit with Anonymous since:

    - He admitted to never having served in the military, by both luck and design, but then attempted to demonstrate superior knowledge of the military by claiming to be related to a of couple veterans. This is the exact same bullshit Palin engages in when she claims expertise in military matters because her son is a junior enlisted in the AK NG. This is the same bullshit Walter Wagner tried with me, by claiming superior knowledge of the Navy because he once got a tour of an aircraft carrier (including officer country, he proudly announced) – this apparently not only made his experience equal to, but actually trumped, my two plus decades in the Navy. This particular bit is pretty much guaranteed to piss me off in very short order.

    - And then, of course, he pulled the “I guess nobody can disagree with you without being called a troll” bit, conveniently ignoring the fact the Ex-army disagreed with me in this very tread and was treated respectfully. Again, Anon isn’t engaging in conversation, It only appears that way.

    As I have repeatedly explained, you act like an asshole around here you’re going to get shown the door. This is my place, I pay for it, and I’ll decide the tone. I won’t tolerate assholes. Don’t like it? Then go elsewhere. Period, this isn’t open for discussion.

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  24. Old article, but it was disheartening to learn that even 'we' can sink to their level. I was shocked and appalled with the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth shit, and I'm shocked and appalled here.

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Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.