Israel Appears To Be An Apartheid State

Israel Appears To Be An Apartheid State

The Palestinians are trapped between Hamas and Israel

EDITORIAL:                                                              Israel Is Acting Like An Apartheid State

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

What is Apartheid?

The 1973 Apartheid Convention and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defined apartheid as systematic and institutionally entrenched domination and repression by one racial group over another through “inhumane acts.” Among such acts are:

  1. Arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group
  2. Measures designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups
  3. Forcible transfer
  4. Expropriation of landed property
  5. Denial of the right to leave and to return to their country and the right to a nationality

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The Pain Of Veteran’s Day

Often soldiers don't come home. Some come home with PTSD

The Pain Of Veteran’s Day

By Anna Hessel

Is It Enough?

We often see flags waving on porches across our country and special social media posts of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or one of the National Cemeteries, with prayers or poems on Veterans and Memorial Day in honor of those who have served our nation. There are many restaurants that offer free meals, movie theaters offering complimentary admissions, and other giveaways to vets on November 11th, and a national hair care chain offers free haircuts as a thank you for veterans; often our former and current servicemen and women are asked to stand for a round of applause at sporting and concert events, but are these accolades enough?

The Tragedy of PTSD

How are we really taking care of those service women and men who suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)? Many of our veterans return home to find they have no home. More than 40,000 of those who have served our country are homeless. And PTSD is a major factor in causing homelessness.  It is estimated that as many as 33% of veterans, suffer from this debilitating illness. Mental illness is a significant factor in homelessness among veterans.

Recognizing Symptoms

There are 3 main symptoms of this disorder. First, “arousal”: anger, difficulties with sleeping, or concentrating. Second, “reliving”: nightmares and flashbacks which can impede daily activities, and can lead to loss of employment income. Third, “avoidance”: a feeling of utter detachment from life and those around them, often leading to depression so severe it is not possible for the sufferer to function well enough to keep, a job or take care of a home.

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Sam The Sham And The Pharoahs “Wooly Bully”

Sam the Sham And The Pharoahs

“Wooly Bully”

By D. S. Mitchell

Watching The Mailbox

My husband and I were married in 1965. My husband and I waited nervously every day expecting to find a draft notice in the mailbox at any time. He was in his junior year in college and did not want to disrupt his education. In those days there was a military draft and young men all over the country were being drafted. My husband and I were mentally preparing ourselves for that day we knew would come, and he would be sent to Vietnam. The United States had “advisors” in the country for at least a decade by that time. The Vietnam War was escalating in SE Asia, and the Cold War was growing hotter by the day.

Deployment

The rhetoric of the politicians described Vietnam as a domino piece and if it fell so would the rest of Asia. LBJ was president and he had been increasing the American presence in SE Asia dramatically. By the end of 1966 we had a young son, and my husband had finished his bachelor’s degree. After many long and tortured conversations he volunteered for the Air Force and deployed to the huge air base at Da Nang, South Vietnam. The year that he went to Vietnam “Wooly Bully” was screaming from every radio in America, and the American soldier took it to South Vietnam.

Protests Increase

There were major protests across the United States by 1968. LBJ sensing the country had turned against his conduct of the war announced he would not seek re-election. Richard Nixon said he had a plan to end the war. As Americans would see that was all a lie. And the anti-war protests grew. Seeing the people fill the streets outside the White House brought back those days vividly. Americans protest when American politics do not meet the needs and desires of the American people. When Trevor K. McNeil suggested “Wooly Bully” as the Calamity Politic’s Jukebox choice of the day, I said, “hell, yeah”. Here it comes, ready or not, Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, in the long version of “Wooly Bully”.

Wooly Bully” by novelty rock ‘n’ roll band Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs came out in 1965. “Wooly Bully” was written by the band’s frontman, Domingo “Sam” Samudio.” It’s all about the beat.

NO GOOD CHOICE

NO GOOD CHOICE

By Trevor McNeil

Lest We Forget

The idea of Veteran’s day is to remember. This only stands to reason. Though it can also, ironically, be a way to forget. To paraphrase Alan Bennett in his play, History Boys, there is no better way to forget something than commemorating it. It is not that people forget the event happened, but it can lead to a disconnect with younger generations, not sure what it has to do with them. Particularly, if enough time has passed for society to change significantly. A prime example of this is the repealing of the general military draft after the Vietnam era.

In The Shadows

Nine eleven

Remembering 9/11 terrorism attack on the World Trade Center, New York City eighteen years ago.

Despite the general sense of nothing being the same, things have changed surprisingly little since the Vietnam era and in some ways have gotten a good deal worse. Conflict remains a major factor of American life with soldiers still being deployed to Afghanistan to continue a war that started before some of them were even born. The fight against terrorism groups like ISIS, al Ouida and the Taliban goes on. There is no official draft into military service in the U.S., but there is still the Selective Service which every American-born male must register for when he turns eighteen.

War Propaganda

While not strictly the same as the draft, the Selective Service creates a list of potential draftees. Anyone on this list can technically be called up for military service at any time. A situation not a million miles away from what it was like during the two world wars and Vietnam. The only major difference is the absence of effective or at least overt war propaganda. There are no government sponsored ads, at least that I have seen, encouraging fighting age men to go kick ISIS like there was with Hitler in the 1940’s and the Kaiser two decades before that. Enlistment propaganda is always preferred over conscription.

The Thorn In Everybody’s Side

Vietnam is also a major factor in the current situation few want to acknowledge. One of the fall outs from the Vietnam fiasco was a hard drop-off in enlistment numbers after the repeal of the draft. As author Robert O’Connor wrote in his novel, Buffalo Soldiers, “Vietnam was the thorn in everyone’s side.”

Low Enlistment Levels

By the beginning of the Reagan era military enlistment had dropped to an all time low. Low enlistment shouldn’t have been a problem considering it was officially peace time, the last remnants of the Cold War the worst thing most people had to worry about. But, the military meant both money and power, particularly for a Republican administration. In lieu of the draft, several programs emerged to “encourage” enlistment. These tactics in fact, compelled people to sign up for military service.

You Call This Choice?

Among the worst of these was an initiative by which those convicted of minor non-violent criminal offenses were literally offered a choice between prison or military service. There are also some pretty questionable scholarship opportunities available only to those who join the military. It is also one of the few jobs, one can get without a high school diploma. A not unintentional play to attract people from economically depressed backgrounds, particularly African-Americans, Latinos and immigrants.

Then and Now

Don’t get me wrong, things have changed since Vietnam, but not as much as many assume. Remembrance of the past, need not be an empty exercise; alienating us from history, but instead a serious examination of what went before, to give valuable context to the present.

 

A Veteran’s Day Message

“I am a patriot and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend our country irrespective of party or politics.” -Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman

A Veteran’s Day Message

By David L. Shadrick

Veteran’s Day

So today myself and many other Veterans will dress formally, honor the fallen and eat all kinds of free food. Happy Veteran’s Day! Of course, I say the last part in jest.  This year there is another kind of hero and they are under attack. I’d like to talk about these heroes. These men and women who need to be remembered and supported today.

Victims of Rhetoric

Veteran’s Day is a time to set aside political differences and celebrate our fallen heroes.  Strangely enough, I want you to honor some of the stanchest conservatives of all time.  POW John McCain, Ambassador and Bronze Star recipient William B. Taylor, and purple heart winning veteran, Lt Col Alexander S, Vindman are under attack from all sides of the conservative spectrum. Of all things, they are accused of being secret liberals out to overthrow the Trump government.

Not Your Cup of Tea

While these men that I ask you to show support and respect for are not people I’d expect to see voting my agenda, they are heroes.  Their patriotism cannot be denied.  They were wounded, suffered untold tragedy and came out the other side.  It doesn’t matter to me what their political leanings may be, they need our support on Veteran’s Day, and every day that follows.

Betrayal

As a veteran myself, the idea that loyal Conservatives would be attacked and demeaned by other Conservatives is scary.  Suddenly, it’s not did you vote Democrat, but did you vote for the correct Conservative.  Any Conservative appointed by Bush or Reagan, is now not loyal enough for our criminal regime. Happy Veteran’s Day from the Trump administration!

Support

As you celebrate your Veteran’s Day please keep these heroes in your thoughts. They have been betrayed by their command.  They have proven and continue to prove their patriotism and bravery every day.  Send tweets and posts. Pick up the phone and call your Representative. Whether you agree with their politics, or not, no one should ever question their loyalty. Stop the personal attacks on the impeachment witnesses.

Veteran’s Day Itself

I just want to stress the importance of Veteran’s Day itself.  This isn’t just a three-day weekend for veterans.  I don’t know any veteran who hasn’t lost a friend.  Even though I never saw combat, I served overseas. I lost friends.  Friends that stayed in the service after I got out and ended up not making it home. Friends like Airman Jacobson.

Jacobson

For me I always think of Airman Sara Jacobson on Veteran’s Day.  After my eight years in the Army, I drove a cab for awhile. Jacobson was often one of the MP’s who checked my shuttle going in and out of Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX.  She was nice. She was funny. She was nineteen years old. She and my ex-wife were good buds.  I literally saw Sara Jacobson 5 days a week for a year and a half, before she deployed.  They named the South Gate at Goodfellow in her honor, after a roadside bomb killed her in Iraq.  I’m crying while I write this.  I can’t help myself. Pardon my melancholy.

Final Thoughts

Today will be a good day. I mean I’m going to Denny’s for breakfast, Olive Garden for lunch and Golden Corral for dinner.  Enjoy the three-day weekend, they don’t come often.  Just pray for our heroes under attack, for the ones we have so tragically lost and those yet to come.  Remember to thank a veteran. Just as importantly, remember the service of those you may disagree with politically. We all know there are no liberals or conservatives on the battlefield.

 

Remembering 9/11-Eighteen Years Later

Remembering 9/11 Terror Attacks On World Trade Center, NY

9/11-Eighteen Years Later

By D. S. Mitchell

World Trade Center Memorial

The 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attack was commemorated by victims relatives, survivors, rescuers and officials today. The attacks were masterminded by al Qaeda and it’s founder Osama Bin Laden.  At least 2, 977 people died in the attack. It was the worst attack on American soil in U.S. history. Even the Pearl Harbor attack on Hawaii (then a U.S. territory) could not equal the death count at the World Trade Center.

High Jacked Commercial Airliners

On that beautiful Fall day, now nearly two decades ago, al Qaeda terrorists high jacked 4 commercial airliners. Two of the planes were subsequently crashed into the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center, New York City, N.Y. A third plane was directed at the Pentagon causing significant damage. The fourth and last commandeered plane was crashed into a rural field in Pennsylvania when passengers and crew fought back against the terrorists for control of the plane. Remembering 9/11 is important. Not just for the lives lost that day, but remembering the mistakes of our response is just as important as the attack.

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

D. S. Mitchell

Cookie Time

I’m making my family’s favorite Molasses Cookies. It takes awhile, mostly because the dough has to sit in the frig for 3 hours. I Don’t know why, that’s just what Mom’s recipe says I’m supposed to do. But, it does give me a chance to reflect on the political landscape, and make my first entries to today’s Calamity News and Politics, blog.

Random Thoughts:

I am upset about the chemical attack on Syrian citizens and the killing of babies, apparently by the Assad government. Barbaric. Inhuman. After saying that, I don’t like all the praise President Trump is getting from both sides of the Congressional aisle. If it was another president, I might be showing support for the action, but in the case of Donald Trump I reserve my praise.

Questions

Why? For one thing, Trump showed no heart when brown babies, in their mother’s arms, stood crying on our doorstep. Secondly, we all know that Donald Trump is a narcissistic sociopath. So, now what? Let’s go bomb, North Korea, because he thinks his poll numbers might go up. Thirdly, nice distraction. You’ve tried a bunch of stuff, but now you really turned their heads from the 2016 Russian election collaboration investigation. Fourthly, who is actually running the government? Is it Trump, Bannon, Kushner, Putin or a frog in the pond? I know Don is the figurehead, but who is actually setting policy? If there is a policy.

Strategy vs Muscle Flexing

President Trump is now moving ships of the U.S. Pacific Command toward the Korean Peninsula. This is real fire power. Seoul, South Korea, our ally, and home to 26 million people is in the crosshairs, caught between two madmen. I hope we have a true strategy, and are ready to accept all possible consequences, before we start lobbing missiles all over the place. What are our goals? Who are we aligned with? What is our strategy? How many war fronts are we ready to fight on? Our military attacked a Syrian air base with 59 Tomahawk missiles,  we have blown up half of Afghanistan with MOAB (Mother of all bombs) and we have a naval strike force headed to the Korean peninsula. Wow, in one week, we have taken several major steps toward world destabilization.

Is this part of Trump’s “secret plan” to destroy ISIS or us? I guess I’ll just hide under my desk and wait for the all clear whistle.

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