We didn't keep troops in Vietnam. Congress cut funding and we had to leave. Was leaving in the manner we did a good thing> Looking back with a bit of historical perspective, I'm gutted by the image of helicopters leaving the roof of the embassy, Air American pilots trying to get their people out before the bases were overrun. We were not defeated in Vietnam--we left, and I wish we'd stayed long enough to get our people out of there.
I see film of those poor desperate people at the embassy gates and think it might be one of the saddest film I've ever seen.
Look at South Vietnam today. Anyone associated with the former South Vietnamese Army will never rise out of the underclass, and when you in the Vietnamese underclass your children starve. You can't go anywhere or talk to the people--they're terrified of being thrown into a reeducation camp. Sure South Vietnam was corrupt, etc, but these guys in North Vietnam play tough too.
But my main point really is that Iraq is not Vietnam and we can't apply the same model. We can't just roll out like we just rolled in. We have to talk to everyone in the Middle East and keep troops there, at least enough to train those folks, and get our own out.
Bush the father, abandoned the Kurd and Saddam killed the Kurds along with the people in the South, and we just sat there and let it happen. We have to get our friends out of there, if we're going. We can't leave people we've made promises to hanging in the wind.
If we do such a thing, then we're the savages. We have to try to clean up this mess we've made, stay close and try to help right a wrong Bush has made.
Then we can start looking at how we got there. It doesn't matter that Bush screwed up. Not a news flash. What we do now is the real question. Who cares if Hilliary wont apologizes or that Obama says he was against the war in '02. What matters now is how we step up, make some sacrifices and do the right thing by the people we've screwed. It's not enough to say sorry and leave. Not this time.
As long as you're laying out the demands, I'd suggest you make some demands on behalf of the men and women who are getting shot all to hell over there. How about a full, WW2 style funding of the GI bill, and an immediate revamping of all VA and Military hospitals.
I'm working out of the Jim Webb playbook here, but as long as you're brinking, you might as well throw the the poor soldiers a bone.
A new "real" GI bill would do more to change the class structure than anything.
But his experience is much deeper and broader than anyone running. But if we take out the experience part--his intellect and understand of class in this country and our place in this world is just outstanding and I don't see any candidate close to him.
Check out Jameswebb.com. It's his old website, where he has a ton of stuff he's written over the years. He's so much more qualified than the crop we're looking at now. As VP, he'd be wasted, and whoever the President was, probably wouldn't like having the smartest guy in the room be their VP.
Seems to me if you're looking for a true populist, Jim Webb is probably the best example we have these days. How about a DRAFT WEBB movement? He probably brighter than any candidate we're looking at, and he's certainly on point with his message of economic fairness.
His proposal on revamping the GI Bill, if approved, would have radical effects on the underclass in this country, as so many of our soldiers come from smaller, often rural towns where economic and educational opportunity is disappearing. He's a strong supporter of unions.
There's not much I don't like about Webb. I think he's the real deal, more than any candidate we're looking at now.
I'm not so worried about experience as a factor, but, I would like to see some informed expertise, something Webb has in bushel baskets.
As a member of two unions, I don't want to be pandered to, but I do want a Democratic candidate who understands the issues facing working people today, and this is where Obama fails. This business of him not applying himself to the issue and going on autopilot does not bring me closer to him, and is a insult to the union members there in Las Vegas. Obama's been getting a free ride, playing to college Kids and all, but now he's facing some thinking audiences, not American Idol fans, and he'll change or be gone.
Yeah, he's made some terrific speeches. Big deal. And his health care plan--what is it, Nixon's secret plan to end the war? He's running for President--he needs a damned health plan. You Obamoids need to get the glitter out of your eyes and talk substance and so does your candidate--or you'll all be history by 2007.
Get a grip there, Ralph. Social conservative doesn't really go far enough. So Hagel wants us out of Iraq. That's not enough for me. There's a few other issues out there. Check out Hagel's voting record.
Also, I think it's against MYDD policy to endorse anyone but a Democrat. It's fine if Hagel wants to play nice about Iraq, but the only way to make real change is get a Democrat in the White House and enough Dems in Congress to filibuster-proof the joint. Then, we can make change--real change. Democrats voting for Republicans got us where we are today.
I must say, between the barber comparison, the Star Trek reference, and the nonsensical proposal on how one would go about making and getting paid for a record--I'm astonished. But--I'll take that $10,000 now if you don't mind> :)
I suppose I have a dog in this fight. I'm a small-time musician and songwriter. When I say small-time, I mean I was a road musician for 25 years, writing songs for my own CD's and LP's. I worked with a couple of small labels and also had my own. I've had my music picked up by a label in Europe had a couple of songs in movies, or picked up more successful artists than me. All told, I've had a good career for a musician. I've certainly eaten my share of soupbeans and cornbread, but I've been able to educate my children and keep the wolves from the door.
I think people at my level can really be hurt by copying. A lot of small-time musicians depend on CD sales to pay for gas and hotels. We sell our work at shows, and many of us play up to 300 nights a year to keep food on the table. We work hard our whole careers, maybe have some small success, but when it's time to hang up the guitar, we look to our catalogue to provide part of our income. Maybe we have one hit or a half-dozen songwriting cuts on bigger labels. Our work is no less professional or worthy than that of those who make millions, but usually if you're a blues musician or some other genre musician, you're not going to be on MTV and you depend on every bit of revenue you can find. Song royalties are a crucial part of this income, and most of us consider them part of our retirement fund.
I had a song on a Grammy nominated bluegrass album recorded by a popular bluegrass artist. The first time I went on Napster, I saw my song had a ton of hits, and all I could think of was all those nickels I could be missing out on. Small songwriters are already squeezed to death by the publishing companies who force you to sign bad contracts to get your music on a popular album--squeezed by ASCAP who tilts the royalty share toward the big names. We usually can't afford
good entertainment lawyers. Who's gonna take on a German record label over a couple of thousand dollars?
Our songs are intellectual property, but more than that, they're really our investment in ourselves. As our property, they are often what we have to leave our children. Songs don't have a shelf life.
How many time do we see an old song made new? Blues Stay Away from me, written by Alton Delmore has been recorded twenty or more times. As I know the heirs of the Delmore family, I know how important that one song has been to them. It was a gift of their father to them, and like an old house that gains value over the years, this song has value also and just because the song is the output of a mind, makes it no less real than real estate.
If I'm lucky, I might get a couple of more cuts on one or more of my songs, and have a little extra income I'll need when I'm unable to work. For every superstar songwriter out there, there's a 1000 people like me, just getting by, trying to scrape a living out of a business that's already tilted toward whatever top twenty artists are out there getting rich.
There's always been this attitude that copying music is taking from the rich and giving to the poor, but for guys like me, it stealing plain and simple, and like all theft, somewhere along the line, somebody pays for it.
I know some might tell me how the Internet is going to make me even more money once I get a proper online profile; how having a song pirated is really publicity for my work, etc--all the usually talking points. Having your work available for free may help some young indie band, but this old blues singer has never figured out how to make a palatable meal out of publicity.
We have a blog in Kentucky, The Bluegrass Report, a pretty good blog lefty blog most of the time, but as you scroll down the blog you'll see ads for McCain and other right-wingers. It's disgusting to see such an ad on a supposed Democratic blog.