Independent Democracy

Thought provoking commentary

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November 15, 2008 Posted by | Animals, Barack Obama, Books, Cult, Current Events, Election 2008, Entertainment, Environment, Florida, Fun Stuff, Health, Helpful Resources, Humor, Iraq, John McCain, Letters to the Editor, Magazines, Military & War, Money, Movies, Music, News, News of the Wierd, Newspaper, Politics, Radio, Random, Religion, Rhode Island, Sarah Palin, Shopping, Sirius, Sirius Radio, Sports, Tampa Tribune, Television, Uncategorized, Utah, Utne, XM, XM Radio | Leave a comment

Intolerance in Mantua, Utah

I read this Letter to the Editor in the Standard Examiner newspaper in Utah today.  It’s sad that we have these kind of people living in our country.  Shown below are the comments to the letter people posted on the newspaper website.  The comments give me hope that not all Utahans are like this.  Feel free to leave your comments.

Sen. Obama is anti-American

This country may be on the verge of a catastrophic tragedy that could change the United States and all that our Founding Fathers gave to us as a legacy including the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc., if Barack Hussein Obama is elected as president.

We can kiss the United States of America, as we know it, goodbye, and usher in the United Socialists States of North America. Barack Hussein Obama is not only not African-American, as he claims, but is anti-American.

At the onset of his campaign, he would not wear an American flag in his lapel; would not pledge allegiance to the flag and would not stand with his hand over his heart as the flag passed by. He was evidently advised by his handlers to change that attitude and fast!

All I ever hear from Hussein Obama is “your fault, your fault, etc.” I never hear him offer a solution. What you will get from Hussein Obama is higher taxes to pay for his socialistic plans for Americans.

Having traveled to some foreign countries, I have seen what cradle-to-grave coverage means and we Americans won’t like it! Hussein Obama is a “the-end-justifies-the-means” artist. “Barack Hussein Obama” on White House presidential stationary? Puleeeze, gimmie a break!

Ben U. Smith
Mantua, UT

Comments
By: Carl Evers @ 10/11/2008, 3:39 PM

Well Ben U. Smith of Mantua, when I read your comments, I wanted to puke. It’s because of people like you that Utah has a reputation around the country as a state that is full of bigots, racists, and generally intolerant people. I am embarrassed that I have to live in the same state with someone like yourself who is truly unAmerican. When Barack Hussein Obama is elected President of my United States of America, I hope you will take this momentous occasion to pack your bags and leave the country. Your hatred and bigotry is not welcome in my state or my country.

By: dano @ 10/11/2008, 3:36 PM

Sly. Sit down with some fried chicken and watermelon,do some research on the candidates and shut your damn mouth you moron!!

By: Joel S @ 10/11/2008, 3:27 PM

Quoting from your letter: “Barack Hussein Obama on White House presidential stationary? Puleeeze, gimmie a break!” That statement is about as un-American as you can get. What has a name got to do with anything as far as being American. This country was founded by people with all kinds of different names. You also blasted Obama for being a socialist, yet, your own candidate (I’m assuming is McCain”) is proposing that the government buy up all of the delinquent home loans. Most of these loans were given to people who shouldn’t have qualified for them in the first place or to people who were looking to cash in on the crazy housing market gold rush. Who do you think is going to pay for such a large undertaking. YOU and me! If you don’t think taxes will go up as a result of such actions you are very naive. You say you have never heard Obama offer solutions. That is apparently because you are covering your ears and eyes because he has offered more specific plans than McCain has. It sounds like you listen to Sean Hannity way too much. I hope you get a chance to open your eyes and ears and actually listen to the proposed actions of the two individuals who are running for president. It may result in an educated vote instead of one based on biased talk-radio garble.

By: Sly @ 10/11/2008, 3:06 PM

WOW about the only things you didn’t call him were #*&! and Arab Muslum. How good it must be to be a rasist hate mongering pathetic piece of crap like you.

People like YOU are whats wrong with this country NOT people like Obama. And as always just WHAT does his middle name have to do with anything. Did you pck your middle name?

Whats the U stand for? Urislla?

He explained the pin issue not that you can read outside of the Beck or Rush reports. He didn’t put his hand over his heart at the NATIONAL ANTHEM NOT THE PLEDGE YOU IDIOT!!! You are not required to do so so I guess you hate about half the crowd and most of the players at sporting events who don’t do it either right?

If you never hear him give solutions then you aren’t listening or actually you REFUSE to listen so that’s your fault not his. You don’t want to hear so you try and claim he has none well NO YOU DON’T WANT TOT HEAR IT big difference pal.

People like you disgust me. Stay up in MAntua where you belong.

By: mel @ 10/11/2008, 2:28 PM

The end-justifies-the means is my comment from 10/8. I have copied and pasted, as there is a running discussion about who “doesn’t think” and gets all their info from the media. So, here is the original thought.

By: mel @ 10/08/2008, 8:10 AM

Dave, you’re right, but Clinton didn’t advertise himself as being holier than anyone else. Also, Clinton’s problems don’t lessen Bush’s. And Bush’s hypocrisy makes it worse.

I also think starting unjustified wars, getting Hamas and Hezbollah elected, and strenthening Iran are the opposite of Christian. The end-justifies-my- means is not considered ethical anywhere outside of the Bible, where the person-who-wins-is-favored-of-God.

It will be very interesting explaining to Jesus the reasons why you fell for Neocon philosophy. All they want is money and to force their views on the world. Subverting the one truly democratic and free country in the world for their purposes. The only true thing Bush ever said was “Vladimir Putin is my soul mate”.

Complicated – It’s much easier for me to imagine Christ forgiving Bill Clinton
than Bush / Cheney.

By: Nick @ 10/11/2008, 1:12 PM

Smith’s letter is the ultimate expression of un-American thinking.

Racist, willfully ignorant, hateful and error-filled.

Mr. Smith is no doubt impervious to factual information, so let me just say to him…

President Obama will respect your right to believe nutty things. You can spend the next four years hugging your AM radio and muttering angrily to yourself in complete peace.

By: Mike @ 10/11/2008, 11:31 AM

The lunacy of this letter!!!

Let’s look at what has transpired over the last eight years of REPUBLICAN presidential control and 6 years of REPUBLICANS controlling both houses.

We have seen an invasion of a sovereign nation without cause, the END of Habeous Corpus, the condoning of torture, illegal wiretaps which thanks to BOTH parties now retroactively legalizes the warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens and protects the telecos from ANY legal liability. Gutted bankrupcy laws that benefit the SAME financial institutions currently being bailed out while preventing JOE SIX PACK from saving their mortgages which BTW… these SAME financial institutions had to FORECLOSE ON and now are destroying them. The COMPLETE REDISTRIBUTION of TAXPAYER wealth to the robber barrons who were ENABLED by DEREGULATING REPUBLICANS and to a smaller extent demos, and now… nationalized banks. YET…. you call the Obama a “SOCIALIST”?!?!

PRICELESS!!!

Mr. Ben U. Smith, you may be able to give the likes of haniitylimbaughbeck that anal infusion of smoke but to those who are educated, informed and care about the Country NOT the party, you comments are pure racist drivel.

By: Bruce @ 10/11/2008, 11:11 AM

Wow. What a podunk racist.

And by the looks of it, Mr Smith, you’re not exactly American either. I mean, look at your name. It’s hardly indigenous. I’d dare to say your family probably came from somewhere within just a few thousand miles of the middle east (anywhere in Europe is). And you probably practice one of those Semitic, abrahamic desert religions, one of which is Islam. So unless you’re native American, you are hypocritical to insinuate that someone else doesn’t belong here, as you have so blatantly done by emphasizing Senator Obama’s given middle name.

Mr Smith, it is people like you who are anti-American. Your grandchildren will look upon your beliefs in shame, embarrassed by your close-mindedness and repulsed by your lack of acceptance and understanding for people of different backgrounds from yourself. Barack Obama may not be (and I’ll be VERY surprised if I’m wrong) white like you, a NASCAR enthusiast like you, or he may not even like hunting wolves from helicopters (like Palin), but we’ll see if he’s american enough come election day.

For the record, I’m white, mostly conservative, but mostly tired of 8 years of GOP corruption and George W Bush, who has done more to damage our country than any other president. It is GW Bush who has turned the American Dream into a nightmare. I think I’ll take my chances with Barack Hussein Obama, and I bet there are more who agree with me than with you. So enjoy the next couple months while you can, McCain/Bush supporters, because payback’s a b!tch.

Gobama ’08

October 11, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Current Events, John McCain, Letters to the Editor, News, Newspaper, Politics, Sarah Palin, Utah | 1 Comment

Store and share your holiday photos online with Smugmug

I’ve tried trial versions of about a half-dozen photo sharing/storage sites and Smugmug is by far the best. There are numerous reasons why I love Smugmug which I’ve listed below. The age old saying is you get what you paid for. In the crowded field of online photo sharing services, Smugmug has been everything I’ve ever needed and then some.

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November 12, 2007 Posted by | Animals, Blogroll, Books, Current Events, Environment, Fun Stuff, Health, Helpful Resources, Humor, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Money, Movies, Music, News, News of the Wierd, Politics, Random, Religion, Rhode Island, Sports, Television, Utah | Leave a comment

Freedom of speech is not disgusting

Since when did freedom of speech become “disgusting”? As and active duty military member, I don’t feel that MoveOn.org’s ad on General Petraeus was, as the President called it, disgusting. It’s freedom of speech. It’s not what I would have said but who can argue with their claims?

It’s their right to question the Iraq progress report when DoD’s fuzzy math formula reportedly doesn’t count it as violence if one is killed or injured by a car bomb and only counts an assassination if you’re shot in the back of the head (not the front). Let’s not forget the touting of decreased violence in Iraqi neighborhoods while totally ignoring the ethnic cleansing that occurred beforehand.

Was it disgusting when right-wing groups attacked and lied about war hero John Kerry’s Vietnam record in the last election? Was it disgusting when last year’s Republican controlled Congress (and the President signed) a 2007 defense spending bill which gave the military their smallest pay raise in 13 years? Was it disgusting when certain leaders used “educational deferments” and National Guard duty to avoid having to go to Vietnam? What kind of robot society would we have if we had a bunch of bobble-head citizens who never questioned the actions of their elected leaders?

September 21, 2007 Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, News, Politics, Random | 2 Comments

Smugmug coupon code – Save $5

I’ve tried trial versions of about a half-dozen photo sharing/storage sites and SMUGMUG is by far the best. There are numerous reasons why I LOVE SMUGMUG which I’ve listed below. The age old saying is you get what you paid for. In the crowded field of online photo sharing services, SMUGMUG has been everything I’ve ever needed and then some.

If you want to try out the service free for 14-days and get $5 off a new membership, use this link:
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Things I love about Smugmug and why I chose it over other competing services:

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  • Your photos are safe and secure. They keep 4 backup copies of each photo in 3 states so you’ll always have access to them
  • You can lock galleries with passwords to keep them private
  • Smugmug doesn’t send you SPAM and there are NO ADS on the site
  • You can share your photos with friends & family without them having to register with Smugmug
  • A+ customer service. It’s fast, friendly, and professional
  • Basic account offers UNLIMITED storage
  • Prints can be ordered right from Smugmug. No need to get them ordered with a different company
  • Comments, tags, keywords, and compatibility with blogs and forums – very convenient!
  • Video clips are allowed with a Power User account
  • Very helpful and friendly forum called “Digital Grin” who can answer just about any photo related question you can think of
  • The company is FAMILY OWNED and not run by some internet conglomerate like Yahoo or Kodak
  • Company has always been profitable so there’s no risk of them going out of business then you lose all your files

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Animals, Current Events, Environment, Fun Stuff, Health, Humor, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Money, Music, News, News of the Wierd, Politics, Random, Religion, Rhode Island, Sports, Television, Utah | Leave a comment

War in Iraq can no longer be faceless – Ben Mahaffey

by Ben Mahaffey

Opinion piece from deseret news on 19 July 2007

Late statistics from Iraq indicate that deaths are at 4,000 and are occurring at about 3.5 a day. There are more than 28,000 wounded, maimed and injured in mind, body and spirit. Statistically, the numbers of deaths and wounded are insignificant and will continue to be insignificant in a land with more than 300 million people. However, every death and wound has a circle of catastrophe that touches scores of people.

When I question my friends and acquaintances whether they know anyone who is serving or has served in Iraq, seldom do I get a positive answer. I served in the Korean War. Two of my sons have served in the military; the third one was not so inclined. My only grandson is not interested, nor would he qualify, because of his personal habits. So, for the past four years, the war in Iraq has been a faceless war for me and for most people. This condition, by nature, causes a general lack of interest. The daily news is shed from the concern of our minds as if our sensitivities have a coat of Teflon.

Last November, on a plane from Dallas, a chance meeting with a National Guardsman from Ogden has changed my whole perspective on the war. The Teflon of my feelings has been stripped away by the acid of knowledge and information gained firsthand by months of e-mails and other communication. I watched and studied where his unit was serving. I received regular information on the complexity and foolishness of many missions required by our military. I learned of his loyalty and bravery until betrayed by the Iraqis they were serving with. I agonized when I received information that my new friend, Sgt. Kevin Roy Shope, was blown up the first time.

He returned to duty with a concussion in two days; a week later he was blown up again. This time, his two crew members were killed and he was severely wounded. Later, I would learn that 11 men out of a platoon of 33 had been killed or wounded. Have you heard that statistic in any national newscast?

I traced him to a hospital in Germany and then to the Fort Bragg hospital. He spent two months there, reporting very poor treatment, caused by an endless government bureaucracy. Apparently, the Walter Reed hospital problems are endemic in other military hospitals. He has now been transferred for treatment at the Hill Air Force Base hospital in Utah. He indicates that his treatment has improved.

I have been a political hawk all of my life. I originally thought that the invasion of Iraq was wise and would be useful. But no more. We won the war, but we cannot win the peace in a land where the people hate their enemies more than they love their children. The elected Iraqi government is impotent and cannot solve its own problems with our presence there. I doubt that the Iraqis will solve their problems when we leave.

Undoubtedly, there has been positive progress, but at what price? We are spending $30 billion to train Iraqis who betray us. We can’t identify our enemy; insurgents are destroying their own infrastructure faster that we can build it. Our national treasury will be taxed for generations from the expenses of this war.

Leave, we must. The logistics can be left to the military. Iranian problems can be solved from a distance. The Israelis will help us. An old man once told me: “A wise man changes his mind; a fool never does.” We’ve been foolish long enough.


Ben D. Mahaffey is a founding member of the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that assists wounded veterans. For information call 435-781-0962.

July 21, 2007 Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Politics | Leave a comment

The most sensible strategy is to leave Iraq

Letter to the Editor from the Standard Examiner in Utah 4/11/07.

Any suggestion to this administration of a pullout in Iraq brings the same old worn-out incantation of fear: “There will be Armageddon and the enemy will come here.” Not likely, since there aren’t enough al-Qaida fighters to install a haven in Iraq.

Even if they did control the Sunni insurgents, they would be strongly opposed by Kurdish and Shiite forces who would fight al-Qaida.

Shiites and Sunnis cannot take each other’s territory since they lack heavy military equipment. And without our backing, the Kurds are less likely to fight Arabs.

Certainly the civil war would continue, and even expand. But all wars end. We had our civil war, Spain had one and, more recently, the one in Northern Ireland also ended.

President Nixon was smart enough to know the war in Vietnam, like this one, was unwinnable, and executed a troop withdrawal.

We cannot leave our troops in Iraq in perpetuity. We have sacrificed more than 3,000 American lives. Thousands more are crippled physically and mentally. Some of our troops are in their fifth turnaround and are burned out and ill-equipped. It is time to bring them home.

The answer we get is the same old rain dance: “Stay the course until we win.” What will we win? Forced democracy in that area, or oil rights or all terrorists eradicated? Tell us.

It is useless to continue down this bloody path due to administration ignorance, hubris and unbending dogma.

Dick Raun
Ogden, UT

Disclaimer: Comments belong to the individual identified in the post. The owner of this blog is not for or against anything the author said.

April 11, 2007 Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Politics, Utah | Leave a comment

Beware of Cheney’s hypocritical standards

Letter to the Editor from the Standard Examiner in Utah 4/11/07.

“Well, just as it’s important, I think, for a president to know when to commit U.S. forces to combat, it’s also important to know when not to commit U.S. forces to combat. I think for us to get American military personnel involved in a civil war inside Iraq would literally be a quagmire.”

This sweeping declaration was made back on April 7, 1991, by none other than Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview given on ABC’s program “This Week.” Mr. Cheney was absolutely correct in 1991; why has he now spurned his own advice? If “governing Iraq makes no sense,” has he lost his senses?

In 1988, Saddam Hussein was a valued asset of the CIA and shared Iraq’s oil wealth with the United States and Israel as he fought against Iran. It appears that when Saddam stopped taking orders from Cheney and his CIA lackeys, he had to be removed.

Hopefully Brigham Young University students can see through Cheney’s incredibly hypocritical double standards when he addresses them!

True Ott
Pleasant View, UT

Disclaimer: Comments belong to the individual identified in the post. The owner of this blog is not for or against anything the author said.

April 11, 2007 Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Politics, Utah | Leave a comment

Bush administration among most corrupt

Letter to the Editor from the Standard Examiner in Utah 4/11/07.

Kudos to Calvin Grondahl for his April 4 cartoon showing Vice President Dick Cheney visiting at the door with his “Elder Libby” in tow. This has to be his best-ever cartoon.

Everything that is coming out today points to the fact that Cheney was the main player in the manufacture of the weapons of mass destruction deception, as well as the lies and deceit that led to the blood-for-oil invasion of Iraq. Cheney has made millions from Halliburton and continues to collect about $1 million a year in deferred compensation. The only thing he lacks is a set of horns and a tail, which could be provided when he speaks at Brigham Young University.

Shortly after this administration took office, plans were approved to take down Saddam and secure Iraq’s oil wealth. This administration was also involved in a plot to overthrow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but it backfired when his people brought him back to power.

Many of those who are a part of this administration and those with ties to it reads like a Who’s Who volume of the oil and gas industry, including Condoleezza Rice, who served on the board of Chevron for 10 years. History will probably show this administration as the most corrupt, and there are millions of us who regret voting for it.

The dupes who sit back and allow themselves to be spoon-fed by this government are playing into the hands of those who are masters at the frog-cooking technique.

Earl LaMar
Roy, UT

Disclaimer: Comments belong to the individual identified in the post. The owner of this blog is not for or against anything the author said.

April 11, 2007 Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Politics, Utah | Leave a comment

Defending Bush is indefensible

Letter to the Editor from the Providence Journal in Rhode Island 4/5/07.

How pathetic that Rhode Island’s Gov. Don Carcieri is “awestruck by George Bush.” (M. Charles Bakst column, March 26).

“This is an immensely talented man whose compassion and caring for this nation is unparalleled,” he told a roomful of, I assume, equally adoring Republicans, given that they gave him a standing ovation.

Talented? Compassionate? Bush?

Where has the governor been the last six years — under the proverbial rock, coming out only to attend dinner parties at the White House or Patriots games in a private luxury box at Foxboro Stadium, to cut funds to poor people, and, of course, bash unions and Democrats? Doesn’t he read? Doesn’t he listen? Doesn’t he care?

Seventy percent of Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — open minded people who get their information from other than U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, or The Weekly Standard, and are not duped by entertainers like radio’s Rush Limbaugh and television’s Bill O’Reilly — know what the governor apparently does not: that this president is totally incompetent, leads an administration of scandalous liars, and cares now only about one thing, his legacy.

It’s a disgrace to be led in this state by a governor who is smitten by a president who will, undoubtedly, go down as one of the two or three worst in history.

TONY SOUSA
South Kingstown, R.I.

Disclaimer: Comments belong to the individual identified in the post. The owner of this blog is not for or against anything the author said.

April 11, 2007 Posted by | Current Events, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Politics, Rhode Island | Leave a comment