Well Duck fans, what's your excuse now? That's 3 loses in a row - Arizona, UCLA and OSU. You lost on your home turf despite the referees trying their best to help you win. But today's close game proves that had Mike Bellotti done the ethical thing not playing Dixon against Arizona and prepared his two backup quarterbacks to step up after Dixon was injured in the ASU game who knows how the season would have turned out with the Rose Bowl on the line?
But the best team (at this time) won today. However it's time Coach Riley taught his line backers how to tackle other than head butting! OSU not only plays tough defense, they play dirty defense. Head butting and tackling above the shoulders ought to be illegal in the NCAA. There are far too many cheap shots taken which is one of the reason so many Pac-10 quarterbacks had to sit key games out during the season.
USC is really the best team in the nation with their #1 quarterback playing. So USC gets to the Rose Bowl (gag) and the Beavs and Ducks will go to "Losers" Bowls... WAZOO won its bowl game last week in Husky Stadium. The Dawgs got their chance last night in Aloha Stadium. While the worst pass defense in the nation had the Rainbow Warriors on the ropes, the "Warriors" slipped away for a win with the help of the refs.
PS: Talking about a poor offensive strategy - how can the Democrats win in '08 ticking off people in Michigan? The DNC's decision to lockout Michican delegates to the convention in Denver gives the GOP a good line for the fall campaign - "we came, they didn't." If you want to take a stand agains frontloaded primaries don't tick off the voters in one of the big states - boycott Iowa and New Hampshire two of the most unrepresentive and smaller states in the nation! This is worse than Howard Dean's infamous "scream in '04."
Floyd J. McKay / Guest columnist - "Next president must confront the challenge of climate change,"
Climate change could be the defining issue in the 2008 presidential election. A year away, candidates of each party look remarkably like each other, and in stark contrast to the other party.
Science has had its final say on climate change. Now the politicians must step up to the most serious challenge facing the world today.
That includes those who want to be president of the United States.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered its final report Nov. 17, and next month world leaders gather in Indonesia to draft a new climate-change treaty.
Little leadership can be expected from the White House. President George W. Bush spent six years denying global warming and censoring reports, and only this year grudgingly admitted what was no longer deniable. His delegate to the Indonesian meeting declared, "What's changed since 2001 is the scientific certainty that this is happening," but promised no change from Bush's reliance on voluntary actions.
That's not good enough, but fortunately we will have a new president in 14 months.
Which makes it important that the candidates tell us what they plan to do — and that media hold their feet to the fire.
The lack of federal leadership has forced states and even cities to assume leadership. Seattle has been in the forefront. The state of Washington has joined a regional compact but done little to adopt concrete proposals. Still ahead are important decisions about coal-fired generators; Centralia's coal plant accounts for much of Washington's carbon-dioxide emissions.
While congressional legislation remains stalled and threatened with a Bush veto, California — already below the national average for emissions — has acted. Nearly a year ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered state regulators to cut carbon-dioxide emissions 25 percent by 2020.
Certainly, Schwarzenegger's prominence should encourage Republican candidates for president — a boost from the "governator" would be most helpful in the big California primary.
But the Republicans are cautious — at best — with the sole exception of John McCain, who has sponsored important climate-change legislation and is unafraid to campaign on it.
A voter visiting Republican candidates' Web sites and checking "issues" would find, however, that none suggest specific action on climate change; all view energy in a national-security framework. Fred Thompson still hasn't accepted the science ("we don't know for certain how or why climate change is occurring"), and Rudy Giuliani has nothing on his issues page on energy or climate change. Only twice in the Web sites of the six GOP candidates does one even find the words "climate change" or "global warming."
This is particularly discouraging, for climate change is an area where the Republicans can separate themselves from an unpopular president, associate themselves with popular governors (several GOP governors have joined Schwarzenegger), and address an issue that Americans want addressed.
A poll by the Gallup organization found that 62 percent of Americans "believe that life on Earth will continue without major disruptions only if society takes immediate and drastic action to reduce global warming." Forty percent said global warming would be "extremely important" (16 percent) or "important" (24 percent) in their voting for president in 2008.
What is it the Republican candidates don't get? Have they hitched their wagons so firmly to national security that they believe Americans care about nothing else? Is McCain the only one willing to stand up to Big Oil?
Democrats generally agree on what is needed: a cap-and-trade method of reducing emissions from major sources, a ramped-up mileage standard for cars, investment in research on alternative energy. Most are quite specific on their plans and have sections on their "issues" pages devoted to energy and global warming.
Additionally, most of the Democratic candidates serve in Congress, and are on record (with McCain) on climate-change or energy votes. Their Web sites are not afraid to use the term "global warming" or "climate change," and to raise the unpopular issue of higher fuel standards for private automobiles. It is not a leap of imagination to see Al Gore playing a prominent role in any of their administrations.
The world simply cannot afford another president who first denies science and then stiffs its recommendations. The media and the electorate need to push the candidates on this issue. It surpasses by far abortion, gay rights and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, and is at least equal to health care as an overriding concern.
If climate change becomes the major issue dividing the parties, the stakes for 2008 just increased, not only for us but also for the entire world.
Floyd J. McKay, a journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University, is a regular contributor to THE Seattle Times editorial pages.
RAD: The GOP play-book for '08 is very clear based on last night's debate, it's all about the elusive war on terrorism spouting code words like "Islamic Fascism" and "The Jihadists" and then "Deport the Illegals" - all 12 million of them! There's not a word about climate change! If the GOP continues to play to its base, the GOP will suffer a crushing historic defeat in '08 akin the the debacle of LBJ's victory in '64 which buried Goldwater and brought more Dems into Congress than ever before. That's the good news.
Of course, we're talking about Democrats. In '92 with Slick Willie in the White House getting Dems to vote with their president was like herding cats. As the saying goes - "I'm not a member of any organized group, I'm a Democrat." But with Al Gore in the wings let's hope FM is right on. If not our children and grand children are in for some rough times down the road. Frankly I think "cap and trade" is environmental smoke and mirrors. What is needed are tough standards and regulations imposed on industry, not allowing them to play Mickey Mouse games.
Finally, more and more one hears the so-called "smart people" talking about bringing back nuclear power. What ever happened to energy saving through new technology? How about tax credits for solar power? If we're not careful we may be faced with a Faustian bargain and a false choice between coal powered or nuclear powered electrical energy. So before the "enviros" get too far in downsizing hydro power on the Columbia from Grand Coulee to Bonneville, let's hope a candidate for president offers a balanced approach.
It would also be nice if our foreign policy makers told the Sheiks of OPEC to go shove it - their 16th century politics and their oil fields. It's time when those who love the term sustainability and green economics showed us the way past the PR to the promised land of balanced growth and smart economics. Like I said in my railroad blog - it makes no sense to have so many truckers on the highways from coast to coast when most of their hauls could be put on a flat car pulled by battery powered electric engines!
It's time to move from enviro chic to enviro reality.
By John McChesney, NPR's Morning Edition, November 28, 2007, "Army Captains Critique Iraq War"
A dozen former U.S. Army captains wrote a column for The Washington Post last month entitled "The Real Iraq We Knew" in which they set out to describe the war they had experienced, instead of the one generals and politicians had described.
The officers' words have stirred controversy, with some critics calling them traitors. But that hasn't stopped them from speaking out.
In the op-ed piece, published on the fifth anniversary of the authorization of military force in Iraq, the 12 captains wrote that they had "seen the corruption and the sectarian division."
"We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out," they said.
"Captain is a unique position in the Army because you are really a cog at the center of it all," said Jason Blindauer, a veteran of five years in the Army, including three deployments to Iraq. "As we used to say, you can see the asses of the generals and the faces of the privates."
But a $35,000 retention bonus could not keep these captains in, even though at the outset they had been deeply committed to the military.
"There is no job that I ever wanted to do other than being a military officer," Blindauer said. "As far as the prospect of going to war with Iraq, I was excited about it. I was a young infantry officer with the opportunity to go to war."
Jeff Bouldin served in the Army for four years and in Iraq for 14 months. Like most of the 12 captains, he initially supported the invasion, but gradually became disillusioned with the leaders in charge of the war.
"The tactics we used and the overall goals in every province I served in had no semblance to any military logic that I had ever known," he said.
Then there was the prospect of repeated deployments without much time in between for family.
"I had a young family," Bouldin said. "I had a son who was 24 months old and I had seen him for four months of his entire life."
Blindauer and Bouldin are talking in Elizabeth Bostwick's Dallas apartment. Bostwick spent four years in the Army.
"I believed in my mission and beyond that I tried not to think about it," Bostwick said.
She said she tried not to think beyond her own security mission with the Military Police. Even though she comes from a military family, she wasn't gung-ho about the war.
"Knowing that the preponderance of your peer group is home shopping, having stable relationships not interrupted by deployments … it's disheartening," Bostwick said. "You're saying enough of this bumper-sticker patriotism. Do something about it or stop wasting my time."
To the group of 12, doing something about it means signing up to serve, and they suggest that a draft may be necessary. Jason Blindauer quotes German military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz, saying a country has to have both the strength of means and the strength of will to win a war.
"We don't have a military large enough to conduct the long-duration, low-intensity wars, and we haven't harnessed the collective will of the American people. So what good is it?" Blindauer said.
Luis Montalvan, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the son of conservative Cuban immigrants. He joined the Army when he was 17 and stayed in for 17 years. He did two tours in Iraq. Montalvan angrily disagrees with the many bloggers who say the 12 captains ignore the apparent success of the recent troop surge.
"What has the government of Iraq done? It has done nothing, so it doesn't matter how many tactical successes you have if you're not having any strategic successes."
Montalvan says the 12 have no political agenda; most are independents. The captains believe that current American strategy is simply arming and training Sunni and Shite militias for a future civil war. Montalvan, who worked closely with Iraqis on both his deployments, said he is disgusted with the level of corruption he witnessed. Even worse, he said, is American inaction in the face of it.
"There is still no Iraqi-American anticorruption action plan. This corruption is feeding, sustaining the sectarian divide."
On his first tour in Iraq in 2003, Montalvan worked on the Iraq-Syrian border with only 40 soldiers trying to watch over a major foreign entry point where corruption ruled. At one point things got nasty.
"Some men tried to assassinate me in December of '03 and they nearly succeeded," he said. "They were wielding knives and hand grenades, and I was injured. One of them was killed and the other was severely wounded but he staggered off."
Montalvan said he is "not altogether comfortable talking about it." He says it's something he's dealing with and will "probably deal with for sometime."
Some bloggers have called the 12 cowards and traitors.
"For those people who would rather thump their chests and say that these people don't know anything or that these people are cowards or anything along those lines, they can go to hell," he said.
When the interview was over, Montalvan went into his bathroom and got sick. He apologized, saying it may have been side effects of medications he was taking. But his friends said it was more likely the result of reliving painful events in Iraq.
RAD: The original Washington Post op ed piece is available online, just Google it. As the interview above notes the surge is a sad joke, more smoke and mirrors. Until the Government in the Green Zone deals with fundamental issues such as corruption, the distribution of oil revenues and the sectarian divides - no long term political solution is possible. And as even the generals in charge have noted in congressional testimony - there is no military solution possible in Iraq only a political solution.
At best the surge has bought us the time to exit Iraq which a figleaf of honor and the claim of victory. At best our strategy of making deals with sectarian warlords (local sheiks) in the various provinces has turned our enemies of the past into enemies of outside insurgents. But such a tactic is like going into Detroit and cleaning up the streets by making deals with gang leaders who then can pacify their neighborhoods, block by block. It does nothing to establish legitimate political authority.
The insurgents are not dumb - they know the the Americans will be leaving Iraq within the next year. They can hunker down for now waiting for the time to renew the ethnic cleansing and the civil war after the US exits. The cynicism of the US policy in Iraq is especially notable by our negotiations with the puppet government to negate oil contracts with Russia and long term plans for an American force to remain in Iraq to protect US oil interests. At the end, it was always about oil not about peace or freedom!
For those D's out there - Queen Hillary's post-war plans include such a mobilization! So if we're not careful we'll go from Bush "lite" to Hillary "macho." One hopes the folks in Iowa and New Hampshire are paying attention.
By Jim Hightower, Commentary, "Bush's Hollow Support for Veterans," November 28, 2007.
Once again, George W has done a little tap dance on the heads of American veterans.
On the Saturday morning before Veterans Day, Bush woke up, ate a big bowl of crispy cynicism for breakfast, then delivered a national radio address chastising Democrats in Congress for not passing a funding bill that “they know our veterans need.” This from a guy who has consistently shortchanged the budget for veterans programs, leading to such messes as the scandalous collapse of out-patient services at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
Also, one reason the Democrats have not yet passed the funding bill is because the White House objects to the fact that it provides $3.7 billion more for veterans programs than Bush requested. For example, about half a million vets in need of medical treatment are presently caught in the VA’s backlog of cases, with delays for treatment now averaging six months – so Democrats have increased funding to ease these waiting times. Bush didn’t mention this in his pouty radio diatribe.
Nor did the cynic-in-chief mention that because of his budget stinginess on health insurance for veterans, there has been a drastic increase in the number who have no coverage. Indeed, 1.8 million vets – plus another 3.8 million of their spouses and children – are now without insurance, adding up to about 12 percent of the total number of Americans who are without health care protection – and many of these vets are in poor health.
In his radio message piously calling on Democrats to give their thanks to veterans, Bush avoided another shameful statistic from a new report on homelessness. The report revealed that, under Bush, the number of homeless veterans is up, now totaling a fourth of America’s homeless people.
What kind of thanks is that? As John Kennedy – himself a war hero – put it, “We must never forget that the highest appreciation [for veterans] is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
RAD: Our nation has a sad legacy of denying vets the care they need despite their service to our country. Vietnam era vets face a host of challenges from mental health issues to homelessness. Now a new generation of vets from Iraq are entering the system with even greater needs. But what do they get from "draft dodger" Bush - a gratuitous thanks with the back of his duplicitous hand! It's time we showed Bush and the GOP the back of our hand as we "show them the door" in November '08. Good riddance.