Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.

Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).

Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Interrupting this series of posts on Eastern Oregon (with two more to come), I just can't ignore the latest shenanigans of the Bush administration.

Bush might surprise me today and not make a 'recess' appointment that by-passes Congress's responsibility to confirm his pick for Attorney General now that Alberto Gonzales resigned. It was predicted Gonzales would resign during the recess for exactly this reason. Does anybody think Bush wants someone in that position who really cares about the rule of law? It will be no surprise if he picks someone like Chertoff to continue on his merry way with subverting our Constitution. I hope I am wrong.

I had almost not posted on this until I read this column on Huffington Post-- cronyism behind failure in Iraq. Please read this piece as it nails a lot of what went wrong in Iraq and why there has been and will be no change in the direction this disgusting bunch are following. What amazes me most is that they have gotten away with it over and over again. Is anybody in Washington a real patriot?

Any candidate running for president on either side, who defends anything Bush has done, is one of them.


Anonymous said...

Rain cronyism has plagued politics since politics began. Like you i deplore it-whomever does it !

Ingineer66 said...

You really think the Dems would be any different if they were in power. One of the comments on the Fiderer article talked about how in 09 when there is a dem pres and a dem house and senate everything is going to be wonderful and proper. I won't hold my breath waiting for that one. Iraq will likely be no different then than it is now. It will likely just be reported differently with a dem president.

The "Let's lose this war to show Bush" crowd at the Dem party is losing steam.

Rain Trueax said...

I already said they are the same. Feinstein showed that, but some are more blatant than others and lately it's been so open as to make you wonder does anybody pay any attention? Nobody with a brain in their head though, left or right, could want to see the Iraqi people suffer more just to get Bush. That's nuts and only the far right makes that accusation. I think everyone wants to see Iraq work out well. The problem is it has not been. Stopping some killing for a little while only works until the troops move out; then without a real political solution, one that doesn't involve greed or sectarianism, only then could this change.

I will say so far Bush has not appointed a replacement to avoid Congress's approval. That's a plus. He is entitled to appoint someone of his political persuasion, they all do but you'd think that primarily would be ability and that has not been the case with him so far. I hope that changes. This country does not benefit by seeing Bush fail-- whether we like or don't like him

Rain Trueax said...

oh and I personally like to see one party control house and or senate and the other presidency. We have seen the results of one party controlling both in these Bush years where it happened due to patriotism and Christianism. I would prefer to see them have to work together to get things done. Gridlock usually serves the American people best...

Ingineer66 said...

I dont know about that Rain when you see some of the things the left is saying about the war and Bush I think there have been some of them that want to lose just to make W look bad. Now maybe you think it is ok and believe Hillary when she says "she doesn't really want to lose the war, she was only saying that before for affect because when she said that she was not running for president she was trying to build attention against the president in the senate". Personally I don't like politicians of any party that change their story depending on which way the wind is blowing. I prefer people to say what you mean and mean what you say.

You are right about the sharing of power. People say that they want efficient government. Nazi Germany had efficient government. It is not always what it is cracked up to be.

Gonzales was forced to resign because of political reasons. Did anyone really have a problem with his major focus of going after child predators. They just wanted to get rid of him because he worked for Bush.

On a side note, funny how the republicans get slammed for being a bunch of rich white guys (Mind of Mencia last night), but when a republican president has blacks and Hispanics in his cabinet they don't get credit for that. But when Clinton said he was going to have the most diverse administration in history then nominated a bunch of white people it was no problem because he "said" he was going to do something different not actually do it.

Rain Trueax said...

You are a member of the right wing, whether you want to admit that or not, ingineer. Nobody else would have written what you just did. You believe anything bush says and he said it was political, the talking points went out and all the mind-numbed robots on the right are spewing it forth. I suggest you start listening to CW music and skip talk radio...

Gonzales lied to Congress. He tried to jam through a wire tapping program, that took away constitutional rights of Americans and a Republican called him on it. The man who was temporarily taking Ashcroft's place told Congress what had happened and Congress asked Gonzales. Gonzales either remembers nothing of what he has done anywhere or he lied. It was that simple. Gonzales gave the president the okay to do anything he wanted and didn't have a concern for the rule of law that even Ashcroft had. Frankly he makes Ashcroft look like a hero by comparison. Gonzales is the one who okayed torture which has led us to look like barbarians over here to the rest of the world and anybody who really understands torture, like say McCain vs these guys who love war except when they have to fight it, knows it doesn't work. People admit to anything under it and hence you have gotten a lot of false answers that confused our efforts period.

I find it amazing when nice people like you buy all of this. I truly do. It's not political. It's an incompetent man in the White House who has appointed even more incompetent men in all of the positions he can. It's the ultimate cronyism and whether others do it or not, it's important to kick out those who do. Bush has done horrible things to our country but nobody on the left wants to see the war in Iraq fail. When we say it has failed, it's not because we wish it to have. It's because we are facing facts. The same bunch you are admiring so much for your answers, are the same bunch who got us into Vietnam and still bemoan the fact we aren't there with people dying. Wars keep them in power and they will find them wherever they can. It's mind boggling to me but people like you are why they are staying in power and might next election too. That is very scary to me.

Rain Trueax said...

Our army cannot turn any country around. It takes the country doing it. The troops go in, bring about some order, go somewhere else, and it all falls apart. An army is not able to make the government or people over there cater to our opinions-- no matter how much some in some other country yearn for something like oil.

In this situation, it will likely go through more bloodshed whether we stay or go; and then it will find peace as a government from the far right Muslim extremist groups. That is what seems to find 'peace' there. One way or another the various groups kill everybody they have to until they keep them quiet. It's brutal but our military cannot change that.

Vietnam now has peace and a government a lot don't like in this country, who wish it was still a divided nation; so they could control the industrial end of it. And yet what are we hearing now from the revisionists of history? That if we were still there, it'd be better. Can you honestly believe that more people wouldn't still be dead if we had stayed-- ours and theirs, than the temporary bloodshed that finally settled down into their natural form of government?

Do you want to be the policeman of the world with your children and their children sent to fight wars that the rich in this country like but don't want their kids fighting? It's amazing to me what the right is defending now. We truly are a country divided.

Ingineer66 said...

I am not sure what you mean by me admiring the group that got us into Vietnam. Do you mean the Kennedy Administration or the Johnson administration? I am pretty sure most of those guys are dead by now.
Your thought that only republicans start wars is untrue. Kennedy (dem) attacked Cuba in the Bay of Pigs. Harry Truman (dem) went to war in North Korea. FDR (dem) started war with Germany and they had not attacked us. Woodrow Wilson (dem) attacked Germany and they had not attacked us. President James Polk (dem) declared war on Mexico.

Yes Vietnam has peace now and is finding out that capitalism is what works. We are starting normalized relations with them and with that comes trade. As for Nixon (rep) pulling the military out of Southeast Asia in 1975, I guess it did stop more American soldiers from being killed, but the 1.5 to 3 million killed in Cambodia or the 100,000 plus killed and still being killed and tortured in Laos might think differently.
If you are ready to accept that the region will devolve into a killing field then let's get out and let them go at each other. The mass graves with thousands of bodies from Sadam's reign have been dug up so there is plenty of room to bury thousands more.

Ingineer66 said...

We are truly a nation divided with the dem leadership on the side civil liberties for terrorists.
When there is another major attack on US soil all the whining people who are worried about privacy of sharing names of airline passengers or listening to foreign phone calls will be screaming about why the government didn't do something to protect them.

Rain Trueax said...

Kennedy was supposedly about to pull out the few troops we had in Vietnam. Johnson and Nixon (did you forget the republican by accident or on purpose) were the ones who mainly led to vietnam.

What will happen when we pull out, who knows. The experts on the right have been wrong so far but what I am saying is plenty of Iraqi citizens are dying right now and that isn't likely to stop when we leave. I don't know if it'd be more deaths then or not. Did you see the Republican legislator who just said gas will go to $9 a gallon if we pull out? Basically it is guesswork and fear talk as to what will happen. The only given is the young men and women in our military right now will not be among them. If it will someday get worse and the military will be back, I don't know that either. And nobody else does.

What gets me is that people supporting Bush are saying we must stay even if going in was a mistake. So every mistake we make as people we have to live with through a lifetime or many lifetimes? Vietnam was a mistake to begin with that we entered it. Iraq is the same way. How many people have to die before we leave it? Do we actually raise the taxes finally that are needed to keep our men and women there forever? Do we start a draft given we won't have enough volunteers to stay there forever keeping peace everywhere in the nation? What tax rate is okay with you to cover this? It's obvious we can't keep going in the hole forever. For those people who don't mind others dying over there, they often still don't want to pay any personal price at all and hence our volunteer military has been taking the brunt of this. My daughter has a younger friend married to a man who is back for his third service there. How long do we expect people like them to do it? Right now we are buying them with sizable bonuses. Sad that we make the people poorer so that for many the military is their only option.

I would like to see Iraq be a democratic nation with peace and good life for all the people there. Do you honestly believe our military can make that happen? or can they only temporarily bring peace to one region or another only to see it collapse as soon as they leave? How fair is it to keep asking 'other' people to make those sacrifices? What is even worse is the number who will be making it for the rest of their lives due to the injuries both mental and physical that they suffered there. Why are they doing it? For whose good?

Rain Trueax said...

and then to read that piece on the cronyism that has been part of why this failed, the inept or untrained people put in positions of power over there and why? It boggles the mind

Rain Trueax said...

Nobody was blocking the right of the police to do their jobs and the right to do wiretapping was always okay with a court overseeing it. The concern that Ashcroft and other Republican legal minds had about what the bush administration is that if you take away constitutional rights for supposed safety, you are on the road to fascism and a police state. How are you going to like those same rights being in Hillary clinton's hands? The issue is the government should not have too much power.

Ingineer66 said...

In reality I agree with you about pulling back in Iraq and saving the lives of our servicemen. I was just commenting on whether dems or reps start wars. Also when there is a slaughter over there because the US military is not there to prevent it, all of the liberals will start whining about how come the (insert presidents name here) didn't do more to stop it.

My daughters unit is not due to go to Iraq for another 2 years, but many of her friends have been and say we should have nuked em and got it over with since they are just killing each other anyway. I have another friend at work and his son has been there for 4 tours and he is getting out of the Marines this winter. It does take a toll.

I have to take exception that only the poor go into the military. First people complained that only poor or black or whatever got drafted so now they make it volunteer and people are still complaining that the poor or black or hispanic are being taken advantage of. As a person who came from a low income background I think it is great the military is there for people to get an opportunity. They can get money for college or get a job skill or make it a career. Colin Powell or John Abizaid didn't do so bad. It is what you make it. If you are determined to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" (a little Reagan quote there) then you can be successful in this country. And the military is not the only option. I made it and I didn't join the military. I had a child at 19 and I still put myself through school becoming the first person in my family to graduate from college.
It is the whining crowd that wants the nanny government to do everything for them that is ruining America.
And how are we making people poor? The US poverty rate was down this year for the first time in a decade. The jobless rate is low. The Bush tax cuts saved the economy after 9/11.

What constitutional rights are being violated if we are listening to foreign nationals? They have no US constitutional rights which is not any different than when US citizens travel to other countries the constitution does not follow you there. I am a big believer in upholding the Bill of Rights for US citizens, but we need to defend our borders and that includes electronic messages crossing our borders. Right now it takes 200 man hours to get a wiretap through the FISA court and the Intelligence community says they cannot keep up with all the traffic. Which is what they said prior to 9/11 so after the next attack and all the hand wringing maybe then we will go back to a summary review system for the FISA court which is what they used to have. And it is only for wired systems not wireless so the laws are not keeping up with technology.

Rain Trueax said...

Just remember you said that about wire taps when it's Hillary calling the shots. You might understand then why those of us on the left would mistrust that power in someone else's hands. It was not just about foreigners that they were doing it too. It was anybody who they thought was not supporting them politically which means even bloggers or journalists. Once you start down the road, it's whoever you don't like. Remember Ashcroft refused to sign off on it when Gonzales went to his hospital bed to try and get him to okay it. Whatever they wanted at that time has never been told to us. Republicans say it's anybody who doesn't support their position. Once you start down the road of giving up your freedoms and this was judged unconstitutional by many scholars, then where does it stop?

The Republicans have spent more money than any Democrat could dream about, put us more deeply into debt but you still support them. They still give the money out. It's only a question as to who it goes to.

If the military was not primarily drawing from the poorer people, why wouldn't more rich people's kids be in there. If your daughter goes in two years, hopefully she won't be in combat and facing what some have. I hope we are out of there long before that. I heard some talk radio myself today, discussing the positions of the Iraqi leaders over there by a Democratic Congressman who had recently been there. A lot don't mind us staying there because the billions going over there are being skimmed by both sides.

As for whining when your taxes go up to finally pay for what you have been advocating but unwilling to pay for, I have a feeling it'll be you doing the whining. This country has sunk itself into a hole by wanting a war that it wasn't paying for. The piper will be paid someday-- he always will. If people understood the real cost, not just in human lives, but in debt, a lot more might have said no especially when there is nothing to gain except making Republicans look like big tough men. I hope if they have another draft, they don't just take kids this time. I'd say put ALL names in the lottery hopper under 50 yo(and only at that age because most over 50 don't have the strong bodies still and would have more health problems) and let the whining begin!

Rain Trueax said...

One more thing, what college cost when my kids went, when you went, and even more so when I went, is nothing to what it has become. The charges have kept growing as the government helps less and less with the costs which means more and more from the middle classes cannot afford college. It's one of my concerns given I think we are ahead when everybody can go to college-- if they are working hard, getting good grades and pay some of the cost. It's how it used to be. I do not think it's fair to expect the kids from lower economic levels to do all the fighting and dying. If this country is determined to go around the world fighting wars, than an equal opportunity draft is the only answer and in my opinion, as I said before, let older ones get drafted too. It might make some less prone to say it's good to be a world policeman.

I saw a guy on tv yesterday discussing how our military could be used in other countries if we didn't have Iraq draining us, and it'd be to train their military, to help with their equipment but the problem will always be-- who is them? Who do we support? We did bin Laden at one time. Who are we training and do we someday have our own men fighting that person? The scandal of the Iraqi war is all the missing arms that may be in the hands of the insurgents now. The carelessness, the laxity, the complete greed, has been beyond soulless

Ingineer66 said...

I don't support everything Bush does, in fact I am not going to vote for him in the next election. He keeps acting like a democrat hoping that dems will like him and it doesn't help they still don't like him and the republicans don't like him either. This latest thing with wanting to bail out people that cant pay their home mortgage just proves he is a democrat.

I know college is way more even at State colleges. Here in Cali they have been talking about how we are selling our future short by making it so much more expensive. But we have several politicians that want it to be totally free for minorities or illegal immigrants so the white people end up paying more for the people that probably shouldn't be there in the first place. Then we have to pay even more for remedial programs for the inner city kids to be at the university when they should have started at the Junior college.

And I agree it is time to take a hard look at our position in Iraq. Let them kill each other off then make war or peace with whoever is left over.