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Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

The right-wing conservative wing of the Republican party is in full hysteria mode.  As the election approaches, they have dusted off the old argument that the Democrats are soft on defense and security.  There are two items that have flamed their hysteria.  The first was ISIS and the second was Ebola.  According to the conservative wing, we are in extreme danger of both of these hideous things.  According to Fox News, we are in imminent danger of having our country wiped off the face of the earth by them.

So, how do Fox News and the wing-nuts envision these invaders entering the country?  Through Mexico of course.  Tom Tillis, the Republican candidate in North Carolina went into full hysteria mode during a debate last night.  He said the only way to stop both ISIS and Ebola is by “sealing the border.”  Naturally, in true Republican fashion he did not state how we are to “seal the border.”  And, of course, his is talking about our southern border with Mexico and not our northern border with Canada.

See, the theory goes that if ISIS wants to attack America, they simply put people ashore in Mexico.  Those people then walk however far is necessary and cross the southwest border with the U.S.  I can only assume that these people will already be armed since Republicans don’t seem to think they can buy guns in this country.  Once they cross the border with Mexico, they will do their worst to kill us all off in our sleep.

They also see that someone from West Africa who is infected with Ebola will fly into Mexico, take a bus to somewhere near the border, and then simply walk across.  All the while suffering from the disease symptoms that include organ damage and internal bleeding.  They make is sound so easy that GOP congressman Duncan Hunter, Jr. of California, told Fox host Greta van Susteren last night that ”[a]t least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.” Pressed on how he knew this, Hunter replied that he’d “asked the Border Patrol.”

When contacted, the Department of Homeland Security flatly denied the charge and basically said Hunter was patently false in his assertion about ISIS people being caught at the Mexican border in Texas.  To be honest, I started laughing that these ISIS terrorists entered in Texas and not in California or Arizona.  Is that a subliminal hint that California isn’t a direct target?

So, is there any validity in the Republicans claim that both ISIS and Ebola are going to just walk across our southern border?  Well, history proves just the opposite.  I know that Republicans aren’t too keen on history and the facts, but let’s look at a few things here.

Before the 9/11 attacks, terrorists crossed our border to carry out their plot.  But please note, none of them entered the country through Mexico.  In order to be able to walk around without being harassed, they either entered the country via European countries on a legal visa granted under false papers, or they entered through, get this, CANADA.  See, if a terrorist wants to commit an act in the U.S. he needs to be able to enter the country without bringing attention to himself.  Entering through a European country or Canada is the best way not to bring attention to yourself.

Every case where the FBI and/or Border Police have captured potential terrorists have been at the Canadian border NOT the Mexican border.  For one thing, the Canadian border is longer than the Mexican border.  There are far more places where people can illegally cross.  There is even the Great Lakes where some can get a boat and simply enter the U.S. from Canada without even being noticed.  When you dock your boat at a marina in the U.S., there are no border police present to check IDs and “papers”, so it is far easier to enter through Canada than through Mexico.  I know, I lived on the Great Lakes most of my life.

So, what about Ebola?  The only case, so far, of a person entering the country with Ebola came through a U.S. Airport.  He did not cross the Mexican border.  He was legally entering the country to visit family living in this country.  As a matter of fact, every case of an epidemic problem that has entered the U.S. was through legal means, not sneaking across the border from Mexico.

So, when Republicans like Tom Tillis start talking about “sealing the border” we need to be asking him if he means both the southern and northern borders.  Even if we were to build an impenetrable wall along the Mexican border, it will not stop terrorists from entering the country through Canada or even our airports.  Besides, where do the Republicans think they are going to get the billions of dollars necessary to build such a border wall?  And, how are they going to pay to maintain it?

Finally, if we do build a wall between us and Mexico, won’t that also mean we will need thousands more border police to patrol the wall?  What about all of the security equipment necessary to let us know when it is breached?  What about the equipment necessary to find tunnels under the wall?

Republicans don’t really care about “sealing the border.”  What they care about is letting loose a hysteria that those “other” people are coming to get us and the only way to stop them is to lock off the “other” people from getting in too.  That is what brings the wing-nut voters to the polls.  We don’t need to worry about our northern border, because they are not those “other” people.  They are white Christian souls just like us.  Forget that is from where terrorists enter.

Terrorism and infectious diseases, not just Ebola, are real concerns that we face everyday.  The problem is that both of these concerns are more likely to enter the country via legal means and through our own airports than “sneaking” across the southern border.  But, Republicans know that hysteria can generate votes.  It is truly sad that they think they need to hype it up in order to win an election.  But then, they don’t have anything else to run on.

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Okay, I am going to say this as plainly as I can.  There is a real terrorist threat to America.  This threat has existed for a long time now, and the right-wing media is ignoring it completely.  The reason they are ignoring it is because this threat does not come from Islamic terrorists.  It comes from white, right-wing, anti-government extremists.

We all know that Fox News is xenophobic.  What they have been successful in hiding is their total disregard for right-wing terrorists for a very long time.  The recent stories, or lack thereof, about the Oklahoma killing and the terrorist shooting of two state troopers in Pennsylvania shows that Fox News doesn’t think right-wing extremists are terrorists but a fired Muslim worker is a terrorist.

Last week there was a gruesome murder in Oklahoma.  A fired worker, Alton Nolan, entered his former workplace and beheaded a co-worker.  This ghastly story has been front and center over at Fox News.  Not because the crime was so gruesome, but because the suspect, who is in custody, recently converted to Islam.  That means according to Fox News it was a terrorist attack.  Police say otherwise noting that the attack came immediately after Nolan was fired and stating that they’ve yet to find a link to terrorism.

According to Fox News, this proves that Islamic Jihadists are running rampant in the heartland of the country.  They are treating the story as a national problem with political implications.  Of course, they blame President Obama for the attack because of his “indifference to the threat of Islamic terrorism.”

Yet another story that really is an act of terrorism is ongoing with barely a mention from Fox News.  On September 16, 31-year-old marksman Eric Frein was allegedly laying in wait outside the Blooming Grove police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, preparing to assassinate state troopers. Shortly before 11 p.m., Bryon Dickson was shot and killed as he walked towards his patrol car. Moments later, as he approached the barracks to begin his overnight shift, trooper Alex Douglass was shot and seriously wounded by a bullet fired from a .308-caliber rifle.

Frein, who is described as a survivalist, fled into the Poconos Mountains woods where he has been hiding out ever since.  There has been a massive man-hunt for this terrorist by the State Police, FBI, U.S. Marshalls Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Because Frein has been described as “extremely dangerous” and possibly armed with an AK 47, local schools were closed for fear of another attack.  Business were warned to remain black.  And mail delivery was suspended because officials feared mail carriers might be attacked by Frein.

So, what sparked this ambush?   “He made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and to commit mass acts of murder,” state police commissioner Frank Noonan warned the public at the time. Another official noted the shooter has a “longstanding grudge against law enforcement and government in general” dating back to at least 2006.

A friend was even more explicit.  “He was obviously a big critic of the federal government.  No indications of really any malice towards law enforcement in particular. Most of his aggression was (toward) the federal government.”

Philadelphia columnist Dick Poleman wrote:  “We have a well-trained sniper who hates authority, hates society, hates government, and hates cops enough to plug them from ambush. He’s so lethal, so locked and loaded, that communities in the Pocono Mountains feel terrorized.”  “He kept camouflage face paint in his bedroom. He toted the AK-47 on social media. He collected, according to the criminal complaint, “various information concerning foreign embassies.””

If this sounds like domestic terrorism being perpetrated by a homegrown terrorist, you are right.  But, turn on Fox News and you will not find anything about the story.  None of the major evening commentators like Meagan Kelly, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity or Neil Cavuto have said a word about this domestic terrorist.

To really show the slant, in the two weeks since the shooting, the shows on Fox News monitored by Nexis mentioned Frein’s name only six times.  And most of those were in one sentence “updates”.  None of the so-called big news people mentioned above have said a single word about the murder.  On the other hand, these shows have donated hours and hours of the Oklahoma killing.  They even have included overheated commentary, and most of them dwelled on the fact the killing may have been an act of terror.

The only show that had a feature on Frein and his act of terrorism was one segment of the show On The Record With Greta Van Susteren.  But before you give old Greta some praise here, she whitewashed the story.  She never mentioned Frein’s vocal anti-government leanings, nor was there any suggestion Frein was a domestic terrorist.  At the end of the story she even told viewers to stay tuned for a report about the “nightmare” looming from the threat of jihadist fighters inside the United States.

Naturally, this isn’t the first instance of right-wing terrorism in the country.  We had two cops killed in Nevada by right-wing terrorists.  That ambush came just two days after Dennis Marx, member of the “sovereign citizen” anti-government movement, tried to lay siege to a courthouse outside of Atlanta. Sovereign citizens are militia-like radicals who don’t believe the federal government has the power and legitimacy to enforce the law. The FBI has called the movement “a growing domestic terror threat to law enforcement.”  Like Frein, these stories got little coverage on Fox News.

The Pennsylvania ambush is just another in a long line of extremist terrorism that has taken place from Neo-Nazi killers, to a string of women’s health clinic bombings and assaults, as well as bloody assaults on law enforcement from anti-government insurrectionists.  With very little coverage, if any, on Fox News.

As CNN’s Peter Bergen noted earlier this year, since 9/11, “extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology.”

I don’t know what you make of this “fair and balanced” news reporting from Fox News, but I find it very telling.  If someone has any ties to Islam and commits a crime, it is an obvious terrorist attack on America.  Fox News is very quick to put terrorism and Islam together whenever a horrible crime is committed.  But, they are hesitant at best to even mention when a white man commits an act of terror, especially if that white man is a right-wing extremist.

You only have to remember Sean Hannity praising law-breaker Cliven Bundy as a true hero and patriot for stealing from the federal government.  And, don’t forget those pictures of a man lying on an overpass in ambush ready to shoot and kill federal law enforcement officers, if he deemed it necessary.  Sound familiar to Frein?

I have been watching the news for over fifty years.  I have never seen anything as biased as Fox News before.  But then, what do you expect from a network whose sole purpose is to preach the right-wing propaganda?  Sadly, if you look at Fox News and the propaganda machine in Germany during the 30s and 40s, you will see a disturbing similarity.

Like the German propaganda machine at the time, Fox News is only interested in pointing out whom we should be afraid of.  Everything that is wrong with the world and our country can be blamed on those people.  Maybe it time for Fox News to change its logo.

 

 

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The mid-term elections are beginning to turn to warmonger vs. not-so-much warmonger.  ISIS has been in the headlines for months, and the warmongers are all screaming for “boots on the ground” to eliminate the threat.  They have even pulled the immigration reform battle into this fight as well.  According to the warmongers, we need to lock down our southern border so ISIS cannot get in.  They aren’t asking for the northern border to be locked down.  And, history has shown that more terrorist types enter the country through Canada than Mexico.

The real warmongers are calling for an all out war against ISIS.  They want us to send troops back into Iraq and also into Syria to kill the ISIS terrorists.  The not-so-much warmongers want us to continue the bombing and arm other groups to fight ISIS.  The President announced in his speech that he intends to bomb ISIS both in Iraq and Syria and to arm groups in the region to do the actual ground battle with ISIS.  But, that isn’t good enough for the warmongers.

The real problem is that Republicans who are running for office are now beginning to run ads with no other intent than to scare the holy shit out of the voters in their state.  Tom Tillis in North Carolina is a perfect example of this scare tactic.  He recently unveiled an ad criticizing the President and his opponent Sen. Kay Hagan.  He claims that “their policies are putting you in DANGER.”  I emphasized danger because he used font bigger than I have ever seen on that one word.

Naturally, he criticized his opponent for missing some committee hearings.  That turns out to be no big deal according to Republican candidate Scott Brown who said that senators have hectic schedules and serve on multiple committees that often double-book hearings.  So, even if Tillis is elected, he will also miss a bunch of committee hearings.

The real problem with Tillis and many of his fellow Republicans is that he won’t take a stand on what to do.  He is very critical of the President, and therefore his opponent, but he also supports bombing ISIS.  Unfortunately, he won’t state what different policies he favors.  Even when he is campaigning with Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is obviously one of the biggest warmongers in Washington.

See Graham wants to put “boots on the ground” practically everywhere there may even be a terrorist threat.  That means we put our troops back into Iraq whether the government there wants us to or not.  He wants troops in Syria so we can get involved in their civil war.  I haven’t heard of a place Graham doesn’t want to put troops into.

While on the campaign trail, Tillis was asked if he, like Graham, supported giving arms to rebel groups fighting the Syrian regime.  His answer was basically, “I don’t know.”  He said:

“I actually don’t know if we should or shouldn’t,” Tillis said this week. “I would have to know that these arms would not get in the hands of people who would want to take over the Middle East.”

Asked about the differences between he and his opponent, Tillis said, “it’s not a matter of disagreement.”

“It’s a matter of having an independent thought, something that Sen. Hagan hasn’t had 96 percent of the time. … Based on the information I have today, we don’t have a disagreement; we’re just at different places in the decision process.”

Lindsey Graham also favors sending troops to fight ISIS arguing that is the only way to “win” against them.  So, since Graham was with Tillis on the campaign trail he was asked if he agreed with that stand.  He said he didn’t have enough information to make a decision.  In other words he punted.  He further said that Graham had had  “briefings that I haven’t had access to. He’s arrived at his conclusions as a result of those briefings … When I have the opportunity to be briefed at that level, then I’ll make a decision based on the information.”

So, as usual, we have a Republican candidate who is openly crying wolf but won’t say what he would do differently.  You may ask if that puts him in the not-so-warmonger category.  I believe it puts him in the category of “I don’t know what I would do differently until after I am elected.  So, you will just have to trust me.”  That type of attitude puts him in the warmonger camp as far as I am concerned.  Remember, North Carolina has several large military bases located in it.  Openly stating he favors sending all those brave men and women back into battle may not be politically correct for him.

He is not alone in his “I don’t know but trust me” room either.  The Republicans have been saying that ever since President Obama was elected back in 2008.  They hate the Affordable Care Act and want to repeal it, but won’t tell us what they would replace it with, for example.  Only, when you are talking about putting American Military Personnel in harm’s way, we deserve a better philosophy than “I don’t know, but trust me”.

According to the Republicans we are supposed to trust them with our service members lives, we are supposed to trust them with our health care, and we are supposed to trust them with our economy.  I don’t know about you, but I do not trust anyone who won’t answer a simple question.  My own children can attest to my irritation with their not answering a question.  They heard me say more than once “answer the question” when they tried to circle the situation.

Why should we trust politicians who won’t answer simple questions either.  Maybe Tillis and other Republican candidates haven’t received the same briefings that Graham has.  That doesn’t preclude them from saying what they would do based on what they do know.  That makes me believe that they either won’t say what they would do for fear of losing votes, or they really don’t know.  Either way, they don’t deserve our vote for their non-stance.

 

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Last week there was that great gathering of conservatives called the Value Voters Summit.  Every time I research this Summit, I can’t help but think the name is an oxymoron.  Think about that.  Value Voters Summit.  It kind of makes you think that people with real values are attending the summit looking for candidates who share real values.  Then, out pops speakers like Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and others.  It appears that “Value Voters” don’t really have any “values” like they want you to believe.  Unless you consider greed, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and hatred of the poor as values.

Then, I couldn’t help but think that I had fallen through a time-warp or something.  I felt like I had gone to sleep and woke up in the middle-ages.  I heard Michelle Bachmann actually call for another Crusades.  Now, she didn’t actually use the word Crusades, but it was apparent that was what she meant.  In her speech, she said:

“Yes, Mr. President, it is about Islam!  And I believe if you have an evil of an order of this magnitude, you take it seriously. You declare war on it, you don’t dance around it. Just like the Islamic State has declared war on the United States of America.”

Now, if you studied any history at all, you can’t help but conclude that Ms. Bachmann is actually calling for a Crusade against Islam just like in the middle-ages.  Of course she failed to say that if we did “declare war on Islam” we would be fighting in almost every country in the world including in our own country.  See Islam is everywhere.

To be honest with you, I can’t remember who came up with the idea first.  Was it Michelle Bachmann or was it Bill O’Reilly?  See, old Bill has a solution to the problem as well.  And, it sounds very similar to Bachmann’s.  Bill said on his show that the answer is to put together a 25,000-person, well-paid, mercenary “world-wide strike force.”  He then said:  “You wouldn’t believe how many military people who have called me and gone, ‘that’s a great idea.’

Well, he was right about one thing.  No one believed him about the military people who said “that’s a great idea.”  As a matter of fact, no one on FOX News thought it was a very bright idea either.  Even Charles Krauthammer said: “You’ve gone from out of the box to off the wall. Do you really want to be running around the world responsible for a band of desperadoes?”

A guest military expert said: “It’s a terrible idea. We’re not going to solve this problem by creating a band of Marvel’s Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy.”  I guess it is kind of bad when your own side calls you nuts!

But, no one dared say anything bad about Michelle Bachmann and her call for a crusade.  I don’t know if no one paid any attention to her, of if she has fallen so low on the FOX radar that she doesn’t get a mention anymore.  But, anyone with a brain can tell you that those kinds of words are exactly what ISIS is looking to play up.  What better way to recruit more “converts” to their cause than play a recording of Ms. Stupid calling for a war against Islam?

There were a lot of other stupid moments at the Value Voters Summit as well.  Like Sarah Palin saying the White House is at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Just think, she was supposed to be McCain’s Vice President.  Guess it is a good idea he lost, she would still be looking for the White House for her first meeting.

She even weighed in on the ISIS thing too.  She said:   “Bush’s war was bad, but Barack’s bombs, oh baby those red lines, the strategery [sic] there that was thought up on the back nine, Barack’s bombs, oh they’re the bomb.”  Yes, she used the word “strategery.”

I don’t usually get to worked up about the Value Voters Summit.  I fully understand that the attendees don’t have any moral values.  But, when members of Congress, even out-going ones like Michelle Bachmann, start calling the second largest religion in the world “evil” and calls for the U.S. to “declare war” on it, we need to take notice.

Even more frightening than her speech was the applause she received for it.  Apparently, the Value Voters who attended this summit agree that we can declare war on a religion.  These are the same idiots who claim “religious persecution” because our laws won’t allow them to discriminate against those they don’t like.

This is the type of lunacy that creeps up when politicians are more interested in establishing a theocracy than working to make our country better.  The mid-terms are coming up.  You have a choice between reason and these folks.  Which are you going to choose?

 

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The 2014 mid-term elections are just a couple of months away.  Yet, we are seeing a whole lot more about the 2016 elections, especially the crowded Republican field, than we are about the mid-terms.  Maybe that just goes to show us just how unimportant most citizens feel that Congress has become.

The biggest problem that I see so far is that the Republicans are trying to find someone they can tie their banner to and ride to victory in 2016.  The field is full of right-wing nuts, so-called libertarians, and members of the Conservative Christian Cult.  We continuously hear how the Republicans really care about equal pay for women, yet they keep voting down the Pay Fairness Act.

The one candidate who seems to be making more tracks than anyone else right now is the faux libertarian Rand Paul.  Yes, I said faux libertarian.  Rand Paul is less of a libertarian than I am.  He only trots out his libertarian credentials, which aren’t really his but his father’s, when it suites him.  He is more in line with the Cult than true libertarianism.

Something is coming out that to me is just as disconcerting.  He is beginning to sound just as stupid as George W. Bush sounded.  I am not saying Bush was stupid, but he certainly sounded stupid.  Rand is following up on that theme.  Maybe he thinks it will help him get elected since it didn’t hurt W.

Paul is always talking and always walking back his talking as soon as someone questions him about it.  It is only Wednesday, and Paul has inserted foot twice.  As W was famous for, Paul seems to be suffering from “foot in mouth disease.”  Maybe he should check with his health plan since I am sure it is covered.

First, Paul said that if he was elected President, the first thing he would do is sign an executive order that would overturn every executive order issued in the history of the country.  That means that every single executive order issued since George Washington would hit the waste bin.  So, one reporter asked if that includes small meaningless executive orders like the Emancipation Proclamation or the desegregating of the military.

His reply:

Well, I mean, I think those are good points, and it was an offhand comment, so obviously, I don’t want to repeal the Emancipation Proclamation and things like that. Technically, you’d have to look and see exactly what that would mean, but the bottom line is it’s a generalized statement that I think too much is done by executive order, particularly under this president. Too much power has gravitated to the executive.

Oops!  If that sounds like double-talk to you, you are not alone.  But then, Paul seems to favor double-talk.  He does have one trait that seems to fit him.  When called out on these stupid comments, he simply changes course and pretends the first didn’t happen.

Then, when Paul wanted to show his Libertarian side and his dislike for foreign intervention he went off about the Middle East problem and ISIS in particular.  But, he wasn’t really railing against ISIS, he was using John McCain as proof that you don’t know who to trust.  John McCain had gone to Syria and met with Free Syrian Army leaders whom he called moderate.  McCain wants to arm the Free Syrian Army in their civil war.

During the trip a story broke that McCain was meeting instead with “anti-American” lunatics.  There was even a photo to prove it.  Where did this story originate?  From a Hezbollah Paper.  The New York Times has since debunked this story.  But, that didn’t stop Paul from making his point.

Here’s the problem. He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t. If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you — I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists.

In a not surprising rant, McCain went off on Paul when contacted by the Daily Beast about Paul’s comments.  “I can’t believe Rand is still repeating this stuff, which came from a Hezbollah newspaper in Lebanon! He’s getting his information from Hezbollah. It’s outrageous…I don’t know if Rand is dishonest or misinformed.”

Which brings me back to my original point.  Rand Paul seems to be taking the same tract as W did in his run for office.  Sound as stupid as you can, then pretend you never said it.  With backers like FOX News, that is an easy thing to do.  FOX News never backtracks on their stupid stories.  They simply double-down and pretend that they are always right.

I think the worst part of all of this is that Rand Paul seems to be the leader right now.  Of course you have the Canadian Senator Cruz making sounds like he wants to run too, but Paul is getting the most ink.  What does that say about the state of our politics?  I know his supporters at FOX News are doing everything in their power to dumb-down the Republican base, but does Paul really think that is good way to get elected President?  If so, maybe we are in worse shape than we thought.

 

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I am going to not talk about Roger Goodell and his decisions concerning Ray Rice.  As you probably know, the Commissioner has given Ray Rice an indefinite suspension and the Baltimore Ravens have cut Ray Rice from the team.  All of this comes after the release of a second video, one inside the elevator showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, now Janay Rice.

Who saw what video and when is the question that everyone is asking.  The original two game suspension raised enough questions about how the NFL handles cases of domestic violence.  This new “evidence” only raises new questions.  On top of all of this, there are those who either reject Ray Rice for the violent domestic abuser he is, to those who defend him.  I honestly cannot believe that anyone in their right minds can defend Rice, but there are those who do.

What everyone is totally missing in this case is the fact that the video actually shows just how vicious domestic violence really is.  It further shows that when domestic violence happens, it is the victim who is questioned most by authorities, not the offender.  Questions usually begin with “what did you do to provoke the attack?”  That is not made up.  I have heard police ask that question myself.  I wanted to punch the officer who asked it, if truth be told.

There are other consequences that no one seems to be talking about.  When a woman is trapped in a domestic violence relationship, it is more than just the physical battering, which is undefendable in itself.  It is also a mental battering that the woman must endure.  Women face depression.  They face fear all of the time.  They fear not only for themselves, but for their children, if any.  It is a vicious cycle that never ends for the victim.

A lot of people who have never been exposed to such violence, or don’t know anyone who is victimized don’t understand why a woman will continue in a relationship with the batterer.  If you really want to see things as they are, go to the twitter feed #whyistayed to discover the reasons women give for staying in the relationship.  If you think the video was sickening, you really need to read these comments.

One of the most sickening reasons I read was a woman who said she stayed in her abusive relationship because the pastor of her church told her “god hates divorce.”  If I had been around, I would have asked that jerk if god loves beating the shit out of women?

There are many reasons women stay in these relationships.  Some experts call it “battered wife syndrome.”  The fact is that for whatever reason, the woman believes they have no alternative but to stay in the relationship.  You can usually tell just by looking at their faces when you get them to talk about the abuse they are suffering.

Yesterday after everything went down, Janay Rice tweeted the following:

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” Palmer wrote. “If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels.  Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”

Now, I am not going to question Janay Rice or her comments.  But, I have seen and heard this type of reaction before.  Here is a woman who is the victim of a vicious attack by her then fiancé, and she is putting the blame somewhere else.  That is typical behavior in these cases.

At “mensrights” idiots are saying that Rice was simply defending himself from an attack from Janay.  Of course, that is ridiculous.  When Janay Rice was punched, her head hit the rail in the elevator.  She could have died from this attack.  But, the part that really shows just how unaffected Rice was, was how he casually dragged her body from the elevator when the door opened.  If Rice had any real concern for her welfare, he would have pushed the emergency button in the elevator and asked for an ambulance to assist her.  He didn’t!

Or, you could look at the press conference the Baltimore Ravens held for Rice after his initial two-game suspension was handed out.  The Ravens were brazen enough to have Janay Rice sitting next to her husband.  She even said “I want to apologize for my part in this incident.”  I often wondered exactly who wrote those words for her.

I don’t know if Rice owns a gun.  But all too often, these domestic violence cases turn to murder if a gun is present in the home.  You don’t have to take my word for it either, there are plenty of statistics that prove this point.  Yet, the problem of domestic violence is all too often simply swept under the carpet by law enforcement and the courts.

This is not just and NFL problem.  It is a societal problem.  When victims are accused of “instigating” their own beatings, how can there be any justice?  How can the District Attorney who prosecuted this case in Atlantic City claim that no jail time was the proper justice for an aggravated felony assault?  We know that he had the video in the elevator.  Plus, he also was aware that Rice admitted punching Janay Rice in the face.  Yet he let him slide.

The scars the victims of domestic abuse carry last for years.  Sometimes, they never get over them.  Women don’t trust another partner.  I can hardly blame them for their distrust.  The real problem, and one that never seems to be talked about, is the fact that children who grow up in an abusive environment tend to become abusers themselves.

Domestic violence is a barbaric act that cannot be defended.  In real terms, it is the true definition of “domestic terrorism” that can be found.  I know what this does to women.  My wife was married before me.  She was a victim of domestic abuse.  It took me over twenty years to help heal most of the scars from that experience.  There are some scars that I know will never heal.

It is this vicious cycle that forces the government to pass legislation like the Violence Against Women Act.  Even then, there are those who opposed a simple bill like that.  The real sad part is that many women in Congress voted against it.  How can they justify their belief that it is unnecessary?  Especially, after seeing this sickening video.

This horrible situation is caused by the insistence that “men act like men.”  That phrase turns my stomach because it is saying that men are entitled to behave like the proverbial caveman.  All of this stupid machismo that is portrayed as “being a real man” is total bullshit!  It is also caused by the sick belief of many in the conservative Christian cult that women are subordinate to men.  That too is bullshit!

The real shame is that as long as society, especially men, condone this barbaric attitude about men, this problem will not go away.  And, that is the fault of any man who defends such behavior!

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The right-wing war hawks are revving up again.  The usual actors are calling for a “big war plan” against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.  Heck even Paul Ryan said that the U.S. military needs to “finish [ISIS] off because we will either fight them here or we will fight them there,” adding that the deployment of ground troops to Syria or Iraq or wherever should not be “off the table.”   Not to be outdone, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that President Obama “is becoming derelict in his duties as commander-in-chief to protect our homeland by not aggressively confronting ISIL wherever they reside, including Syria.”

The President has already assigned about 1,000 troops into Iraq as advisors.  The right-wing says that isn’t enough and more “boots on the ground” are needed.  Of course they complain that we didn’t keep a military presence in Iraq when we pulled our troops out.  Of course, they fail to mention that Iraq refused a treaty that would have kept troops there.  As a result, we could not keep troops in Iraq because the Iraqi Government told us they didn’t want us there.

When the problems in Syria kicked off, the right-wing was all for bombing and putting troops in Syria to help oust Assad.  But, just like in Iraq, they didn’t have an end game for after Assad was kicked out.  It was that lack of an end game in Iraq that led to the mess that is occurring there now.

President Obama recently has ordered surveillance planes over Syria to gather intelligence.  The war hawk Washington Post editorial board takes that to mean we will soon be shooting in Syria.  But, their advice is a little different from Graham’s.  The U.S. needs to launch a war on the cross-border Iraq-Syria theater and find partners: “Kurds in Iraq and Syria, Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq, the Iraqi government if it can become more inclusive, what is left of the Free Syrian Army.” That should be real easy to do with a few phone calls. “Aiding them does not require a U.S. invasion,” the editorial continues, “but it will need ‘boots on the ground,’ as Mr. Obama already has acknowledged by sending close to 1,000 special forces back to Iraq. They will be needed for training, to assist in air targeting and perhaps more.”  Aren’t “boots on the ground” the same as an invasion?

The White House’s main concern, at this point, doesn’t seem to be about getting involved in Syria — it’s about “how to target the Sunni extremists without helping President Bashar al-Assad,” as the New York Times writes.  As we know, you can’t have a nice little war without boots on the ground too.  But, there is a big problem with all of this war talk that no one seems to be talking about.  How are you going to pay for it?

President Clinton left President George W. Bush a surplus budget.  Two wars later we are $17 Trillion in debt mostly due to the cost of the wars that were not paid for.  Additionally, we are a war-weary country.  Our troops have spent their blood in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We know that the VA is  a mess and veterans are still having problems getting their benefits including health care and disability ratings so they can get their pensions.  Yet, the war hawks are calling for more war across international borders.  You know the same kind of borders that they claim Russia is breaking in the Ukraine, which he is.

It is amazing to me how the only “veteran” who is calling for more war is John McCain, and he should know better.  Regardless of what you hear from other forums, military personnel are not all gung-ho to go to war.  We are the ones who pay the price for war.  We would rather be a tool used to prevent war rather than a tool to force it.

I would like to think that all of these war hawks would encourage their own children and/or grandchildren to sign up for the military right now.  Maybe, they wouldn’t be so quick to send our troops into another war.  How about Sarah Palin telling Bristol she should join up as her patriotic duty?  Or Lindsey Graham tell his children or grandchildren to sign up.  I say that knowing full well that will never happen.  War hawks want a war, they just don’t want their families involved in them.

They like to keep it to the “little people” like us.  My father served in WWII and the Korean War.  I served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard.  My son served in the Marines during the second Iraq War.  My grandson is going through the process to enlist in and serve in the Navy.  There are a lot of reasons why we have all served.  Mostly it is because we love our country.  Unfortunately, these war hawks don’t feel the same responsibility to serve their country.

I don’t know if we will be forced to join in a war against ISIS or ISIL whatever they call themselves.  But, if we are, it must first be voted on by the full Congress.  We must make sure that every single member of Congress either buys into another war or goes on the record against it.  And, it must include a way to pay for it!  We also must make sure that these veterans will be properly taken care of when the fighting is over.  Something that this country has failed miserably at for generations.

It was once said that war is hell.  It is!  I urge the President to force a vote on this issue in Congress.  Even if it is a bombing campaign.  There can be no doubt in November who was for and who was against military action in a foreign country.  I have no doubt that the men and women in uniform will do their job whatever the outcome of this debate is.  It is time for Congress, and especially the war hawks to do theirs first!

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