March 25, 2008

Why Pat Crowley Thinks High Taxes Are a Good Thing In and Of Themselves

Carroll Andrew Morse

A few weeks ago, I pointed out that a basic assumption guiding liberal/progressive thinking about taxation is that…

Government is entitled to a fixed amount of revenue, no matter what services it provides.
There was some spirited objection to my analysis, questioning whether anyone sane really believed this.

Well, today, over at RI Future and in the Providence Business News, in almost so many words, Pat Crowley affirms that the belief that government is entitled to its revenue, no matter what services it provides is a core of principle of progressive thought…

What is the point of income taxes? Are they a mechanism to pay for services from the state? No.
That's a direct quote. This, plain and simple, is why progressives have no credibility on issues of government reform, because high taxes in conjunction with mediocre services provided to the general public are acceptable under their stated ideology.

Remember this during the upcoming budget battle. Progessives like Crowley want your taxes to go higher, but not because it will help pay for government services. He has said it himself.

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His concluding sentence:

"For our state to recover we need to re-establish the democratic principals our state and our nation were founded on."

Rhode Island Democrat principles have given us the fourth highest taxes, the worst business climate, lousy bridges, indefensibly generous social programs, poorly performing schools and too many state legislators who are only covertly corrupt when they are not overtly corrupt.

Thanks, but this state has had more than enough "Democrat principles".

Posted by: Monique at March 25, 2008 12:58 PM

Excessively high taxes is itself a form of tyranny and corruption.

Do you remember what set off the American Revolution? Back thern, they called it the War For Independence.

England was imposing excessive taxes, and they passed a piece of oppressive legislation called the Stamp Act (1765).

In 1772 the HMS Gaspee was attacked in a place called Warwick, RI. It is considered the first attack of the Revolutionary War!!

Come on Rhode Islanders, you revolted once!

Posted by: Citizen Critic at March 25, 2008 1:29 PM

I hate to delve into personal insults on a posting, but sometimes it's warranted. Che Crowley is an idiot! Socialism - which is what he's advocating - is the road to failure in poverty.

History has shown us over and over, so one has to be an “idiot” to continue to subscribe to failure (though Crowley probably considers itself to be in good company with Michael Moore). Probably wants to turn this state into a third world country like Cuba - free healthcare with abject poverty, except for an effete few at the top.

While Tom Cruise as the Church of Scientology, idiots like Che Crowley are crusaders for the Church of Socialism. His faith in the dogma of his religion has elevated him out of the sphere of questioning any of the tenets, and indeed out of the sphere of earthly reality.

It should come as no surprise that Che Crowley supports that other socialist Barack Obama. Recently the folks over at Ocean State Republican posted some entertaining looks at the world view of Che Crowley and his ilk:

“Well, its classic Marxism, which is just a subset of collectivism – communism; socialism; fascism – they’re all just different species of the genus collectivism. First you need to understand that collectivists like my brother actually despise the whole notion of patriotism and national sovereignty, and hold particular contempt for the United States. They hate the United States because its founding principles are the polar opposite of collectivism: the United States stands for individual liberty and its reciprocal requirement for individual self-reliance and self-responsibility, which in turn are enabled by free-market capitalism. They hate the United States because it is this world’s most economically and militarily powerful nation, it is a political finger in the eye of Marxist collectivism, showing by its success the inherent flaws of collectivism. Collectivists hate the whole notion of patriotism and national sovereignty (and religion, for that matter) because those “identities” compete with their preferred identities – and they’re all about “identity politics.” But their preferred identities revolve around race, gender and economic class. Anything to make people not consider themselves sovereign individuals, but victimized groups harboring resentment – and into the void step the collectivist politicians promising to make it better by enacting Marxist-collectivist wealth redistribution schemes.”

“History tells us that the imposition of socialist policies on the scale of those proposed by Barack Obama lead to mass poverty, not mass prosperity. As discussed, there will always by truly rich people – these existed even in Communist countries (the “Party Leaders” – the Communist countries’ version of our own “limousine liberals” – the parallels are striking). There will always be poor people – but under Obama nation there will be tens of millions more of them. The people who will really suffer under Obama nation will be the middle-class; those who subscribe to the American Dream of upward mobility through the rewards that free market capitalism offers in return for hard work and ambition – for people such as this will be prevented from accumulating assets because once they pass a certain (and relatively minimal) threshold of success taxes will confiscate almost all additional earnings (to a large extent this is already occurring with the heavily progressive income tax that kicks in at very middle class income thresholds). This intentional decimation of the middle class is nothing new – for the American middle class is the “bourgeoisie” so despised by Karl Marx – Barack Obama merely intends to be the latest practitioner of this inhumane economic system.”

Now contrast with the pronouncements of Comrade Crowley:

>>CROWLEY: The point of the income tax is not about paying for services but about redistribution of wealth from the top to the bottom, pure and simple. Progressives cannot be afraid to defend this very American understanding of taxes … For our state to recover we need to re-establish the democratic principals our state and our nation were founded on.

Comment: I'm sure the Founding Fathers will be shocked to learn that the Constitution of the United States is really a version of the Communist Manifesto. To try to portray socialist wealth redistribution as "very American" goes beyond even propaganda and into the realm of outright lies. And when one has to resort to outright lies to promote one's agenda, all others should pay heed commensurate with the messengers credibility, i.e., not at all.

>>CROWLEY: Over the last decade, as we have engineered our tax structure to the benefit of the elite, they have used the structure to keep control over the available wages.

Comment: To assert that Rhode Island starting to align its tax structure with that of Ted Kennedy's liberal home state of Massachusetts reflects an engineering by Rhode Island's "rich" to jigger the tax system in its favor is laughable on its face.

Also laughable is the unspoken but inevitable co-conclusion that the public sector union and welfare industry controlled Democrat General Assembly, which enacted these changes, is a puppet for the "rich."

I wonder how many public school teachers in Rhode Island cringe at the thought that they are forced to join the teachers union (they have no choice - join or be fired - workers rights on the Cuban model) ... and are driven to tears knowing that the dues forcibly extracted from their paychecks pay Crowley's salary?

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at March 25, 2008 2:28 PM

Andrew, this statement of yours in indeed a fact:
"high taxes in conjunction with mediocre services provided to the general public are acceptable under their stated ideology."

Just take a look at the teachers unions, how much we pay them, and the crappy results they give us. They are living proof of that retarded "progressive" ideology.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at March 25, 2008 2:29 PM

Ragin', either Crowley is truly an idiot, in which case there is no "personal insult" committed; or he knows exactly what he's doing and is willing to go all out to distort the truth to achieve his goals. Either way, no apology is needed.

Great comment.

Posted by: George at March 25, 2008 2:55 PM

"Progressives"like crowley and jerzyk support regressive taxes which have a wide impact thanks to their butt-boy art handy,who co-sponsored the bill that would tax such rich guy privileges as plumbing services,dry cleaning,grass cutting,tax preparation,etc.I realize onlt real huge capitalist tycoons ever need plumbers.If crowley really wants re-distribution of wealth,why doesn't he share everything he owns with anyone who wants it?These are usually the very cheapest people on a personal level.A guy like Henry Shelton often gets on my nerves,but I think he lives a spartan life and really believes he's doing the right thing(he's being played)-crowley makes a lot of money for being a lowlife agitator and he lives in Lincoln-what's a matter pat-too many dark people for you in Providence?It's always the crowleys,steve browns,and baksts who "just happen"to live in lily-white neighborhoods and have the gall to preach to the rest of us.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 25, 2008 5:10 PM

"Progress" and "progressive" have some history. They are key words in the Soviet and communist propaganda efforts.

"Services?" Hahahahahahahaha.

Taxes in RI are clearly about re-distribution of wealth, re-distribution of wealth to the most powerful (and often most corrupt) special interests.

The thought of those jolly jokers in the RI General Assembly and those crooked RI judges dictating to me.. makes me physically ill.

When my wife and were in flight to our new home in Idaho last year, we had an amazing sense of liberation. It was high fives! We had escaped!!

The bottom line: Rhode Island is no longer a good place to live. Live in RI at your own peril.

Posted by: Citizen Critic at March 25, 2008 5:55 PM

When I moved to RI 24 years ago it was a nice place to live right here in Providence as a matter of fact.Now we are beset by political whores trying to shake us down to make lowlifes allergic to work and illegal aliens happy.There is a core of recently arrived activists (Handy,Rick Martinez,Matt Jerzyk)allied with union thugs like Moura,and ethnic ward heelers(Almeida,Diaz,Pichardo)all supported by leadership devoid of ethics(Murphy and Montalbano)and lying down in the gutter with a subhuman piece of filth like Steven Brown who are out to ruin the quality of life that once existed here and is rapidly disappearing-I am very angry that I have to think about moving because I was always ready to pay my fair share and ask for no special favors and be left in peace.But they just won't let things be.I almost forgot David Segal,who is really more immature than bad,and Pat Crowley who was born to make an ass of himself in a duck suit.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 25, 2008 6:22 PM

Does Crowley really live in Lincoln? He signs his letters to the Cranston Herald. Patrick Crowley, Cranston.

Posted by: George at March 25, 2008 7:31 PM

Pat Crowley is the chair of the Lincoln Democrats so he must live in the town. The NEA headquarters are in Cranston, from where I assume the letter was generated.

Posted by: mikeinRI at March 25, 2008 7:47 PM

When did the PBN start charging for online access? Does anyone know if Crowley signed his guest column on behalf of the NEARI? Please tell me he didn't.

Posted by: mikeinRI at March 25, 2008 8:18 PM

The Cranston Herald never calls him out as an NEARI official, they just let him sign the letters like he's a Cranston resident.

NEARI secretary/receptionist Lou Rainone also spews the same variety of verbal garbage, although much less frequently now that Cranston is back to big, irresponsible spending and heading back down the toilet.

Posted by: George at March 25, 2008 8:35 PM

You merit a paraphrase. Here goes:

National Republican principles have given us low taxes on the rich and high taxes on the poor, a worsening business climate quickly tumbling towards recession, lousy bridges, a crumbling infrastructure, millions in default of their homes, indefensibly poor social programs (48,000,000 of us with no medical insurance), woefully federally underfunded school programs which leave many children behind and shift the tax onus from the federal government to the states, overtly and covertly corrupt war profiteers, 4,000 of our sons and daughters dead, and an insouciant vice president who can only remark "so" when reminded that 70 to 80 percent of us are against his administration's fiasco in Iraq.

Thanks, but this citizen has had more than enough "Republican principles".

"For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers," Jesus Christ. While you think about the Jesus quote remember that our "Mission Accomplished" fearless leader ducked out of VietNam, but didn't mind hiding away while he sent our sons and daughters to die so that he could show up his daddy.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 25, 2008 8:48 PM

It's been a while since I posted here, but I just can't resist. Now I know Carrol doesn't even read what ever I right and the rest of the lap dog rightists on this page just fall right in line. Maybe Carroll is in the top 1% bracket whose taxes have been cut, again and again, while my taxes have risen. Then yes, he should pay more.

But I actually want to lower taxes - that is why I support the economic growth and fairness act of 2008 - which would give the super majority of Rhode Islanders a tax break.

And I'd be happy to have the Cranston Herald refer to me with my title. I sign my editorials with my title... why they don't publish it is up to them. I know when the Westerly Sun, the Valley Breeze, the Projo, the East Bay Pendulum, the Sakonnet Times to name just a few publish my pieces they include my title. The only time I don't include my title is when I write for Motif Magazine, which you can get on news stands every other week. Or on line at

There you go, have at it. Let's start the clock on how long this obsession lasts with Carroll. We got up to 48 with Justin....

By the way, your flyer is wrong.

Posted by: Pat Crowley at March 25, 2008 8:52 PM

by the way, I just checked the Cranston Herald Online and they have my title.... so again, maybe it is a right wing reading issue that we have here....

Posted by: Pat Crowley at March 25, 2008 8:57 PM

and sometimes they don't...

Posted by: George at March 25, 2008 9:12 PM


You can't lower taxes (which you just said you wanted to do), redistribute income (which you said in your PBN op-ed you wanted to do) more extremely than is done now and maintain the current level services without cuts (which you never support), all at the same time. So you can't realistically be "for" all of these things.

And since you've brought the subject of officialness of your letters and op-eds up, it's fair to ask if your position that income taxes are not a mechanism for paying for state services is also the official position of the state NEA.

Posted by: Andrew at March 25, 2008 10:21 PM

This is getting good.

Posted by: michael at March 25, 2008 10:46 PM

My very same question Andrew. I read the PBN piece at the other blog, where the byline was not provided. His comments are certainly antagonistic, particularly for the venue.

Pat acts more union than teacher, and his inflammatory words and behavior can only have a negative effect on a professional that already suffers from a bit of a public perception problem. He should consider who pays his salary, a hefty one at that.

Posted by: mikeinRI at March 25, 2008 11:12 PM

Would anyone here disagree with me if I were to say that "re-distribution of wealth" is really a euphemism for theft?

Posted by: Citizen Critic at March 25, 2008 11:45 PM

Old Time Lefty,

People aren't *entitled* to government health care. Entitlements killed Rhode Island, and they are killing our country too.

You talk about the destruction at the hands of the Republicans. I got news for you, the Republicans are not the folks who destroyed the state of Rhode Island.

Republicans freed 30 million people in Iraq.

Posted by: Citizen Critic at March 26, 2008 12:03 AM

Citizen Critic
If you say that the Republic-rats "freed" 30,000,000 Iraqi's, you can also say that they killed 650,000 and displaced another 2,000,000. You are so far in the minority and so far removed from reality that rational argument is strewing pearls before swine. In case you haven't looked recently, there's a civil war going on among Sunni, Shia and Kurds. No one agrees on how to divide oil revenues and the fragile "truce" with Muqtada al Sadr's militia is about to fall apart. How can you call that mess "freedom".

The best you can say is to echo Cheney's "So" and stick your head further into the sand.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 26, 2008 12:36 AM

Old Time Lefty,

You and the other anti-war "progressives" are quick to judge failure.

All wars are messy. The Revolutionary War here was messy, and so was WWII.

Between the Nazis and the Soviets it took 50 years to free Eastern Europe. I repeat: 50 years. Was it worth it?

We are only 5 years into Iraq.

Should we have not fought Hitler?

Posted by: Citizen Critic at March 26, 2008 2:43 AM

... and the 650,000 figure has been thoroughly discredited. The New England Journal of Medicine puts it at 151,000. (Yes, still 151,000 too many.)

Posted by: Monique at March 26, 2008 7:48 AM

Republicans freed 30 million people in Iraq."

Soldiers freed 30 million people in Iraq. A lot of them are Democrats.

Posted by: michael at March 26, 2008 9:13 AM

All wars are indeed messy. Some were necessary. This one was trumped up and sold under false pretences. The deaths in WWII were awful, the war was necessary. This war is a fiasco. Can you tell me why we invaded - Military necessity, nope no WMD's - to get back at Al Qaeda, nope A.Q.'s Hq was and still is in Waziristan. As a result of our invasion Al Qaeda is now in Iraq. We got the countries wrong. We got the war wrong and we got the wrong administration.

So, saying "WWII" means nothing in regard to the current fiasco. It's like Orwell's Animal Farm when the sheep are taught to bleat "Four legs good. Two legs better" in order to justify the ruling pigs strutting around on two legs. Read the book.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 26, 2008 1:35 PM

"False pretenses?" RUBBISH! In the worst case, the lack of WMD is only one intel error. All wars have some intel mistakes and the Iraq war was no exception.

Saddam had an active WMD program, and made efforts to show the world he had that capability. Everyone --including the CIA, the US Congress, the US Democrats, and our allies --thought he had them. It was part of Saddam's strategy/ ruling style of creating fear.

Part of the reason Saddam cultivated the rumors of WMD was to keep Iran in check. Saddam was more worried about Iran than the US.

Whether he had WMD or didn't have them, is really a red herring. It's sad that the US Democrats use it as a traitorous wedge for political advantage.

Why is WMD a red herring? Because WMD was just one (1) reason item on a very long list of justifications for removing Saddam. Saddam's attempted assasination of President GHW Bush alone is legal justification to remove him. And there were many many more reasons.

WWII has alot of parallels, escpecially between Hitler and Saddam.

Hated Jews. CHECK.

Favored genocide of Jews. CHECK.

Ba’ath Party patterned on Nazi Party. CHECK.

Gassed civilians. (Hitler in concentration camps, and Saddam at Halabja). CHECK.

Invaded other countries. CHECK.

Controlled globally strategic real estate. CHECK.

Started wars with neighbors. CHECK.

Gamed and then thumbed his nose at diplomacy. CHECK.

Mass-murdered hundreds of thousands or millions of people. CHECK.

Highly militarized, stockpiled weapons. CHECK.

Threatened world peace. CHECK.

For years no government did much to stop him. CHECK.

Plenty of appeasers and peaceniks opposed confrontation. CHECK.

Henchmen prosecuted for crimes against humanity. CHECK.

Posted by: Citizen Critic at March 26, 2008 2:21 PM


Why do you promote the NEA Duckling by name? He's simply not worthy of the PR to say nothing of his intellect.

".. Now I know Carrol doesn't even read what ever I right and the rest of the lap dog rightists on this page just fall right in line."

Classic NEA!!! lol

Posted by: Tim at March 26, 2008 3:08 PM

being called lapdogs by a balding pug is comical

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 26, 2008 4:50 PM

Please don't insult innocent Pugs by associating them with Crowley.

It's bad enough that innocent ducks are insulted when he costumes himself as one.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at March 26, 2008 6:11 PM

Ragin'-I apologize-pugs are some of the nicest dogs around-much better examples of their species than crowley is of ours

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 26, 2008 9:25 PM

"Now I know Carrol doesn't even read what ever I right and the rest of the lap dog rightists on this page just fall right in line."

We all read what you say ... we just ignore it because it's silly nonsense.

Crowley quote above ... let's count the spelling errors from Mr. NEA:

"Now I know Carrol"

I'll presume you're referring to Carroll Andrew Morse. Just call him Andrew; it's easier to spell.

"doesn't even read what ever I right"

"Whatever" is a single word, and of course, that should be "write," not "right" (must be subliminally thinking of those nebulous "right wingers")

It's a run-on sentence, too. ;)

Anyway... we enjoy Pat. He clearly was the kind of kid who got teased a lot in school, and this is his way of making up for it. Looks a little like Lenin, mixed with the stature of Napoleon. I'd be angry and bitter to if I was hung from the locker by my underwear on a regular basis, too. People like him remind us what we're fighting for ... truth, justice, and the American way for starters.

Posted by: Will at March 26, 2008 10:59 PM

Citizen Cricket- You chirp by engaging your hind legs, certainly not your brain. Like Hitler you live by the big lie. You make a bunch of assertions and provided no factual backup.

Hated Jews. CHECK -
Assertion. No proof. Denied.

Favored genocide of Jews - CHECK. Assertion. No proof. Denied.

Ba’ath Party patterned on Nazi Party. CHECK.
Assertion. No proof. Denied.

Saddam gassed civilians. True. U.S. gave syphilis to hundreds of unsuspecting blacks in the 1940's so that they might serve as guinea pigs; tolerated lynchings, intimidation and terrorism which were visited upon black Americans living in the South. Ever hear of Jim Crow laws? How about small pox infested blankets to native Americans? Ever hear of that? Nobody invaded us over these atrocities, but you put on your sanctimonious robe and bludgeon Iraq.

You say Iraq controlled globally strategic real estate. Yes indeed. The globally strategic real estate is Iraq. What the hell, it was and is their country why shouldn't they have controlled it?

Invaded other countries - CHECK. The U.S. seized California, and the Southwest from Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico, and The Philippines from Spain, set up proxy governments in South and Central America - Government of by and for United Fruit. The pot is calling the kettle black.

Started wars with neighbors. Ever hear of the Mexican-American war or troops landing in Santo Domingo or the ridiculous invasion of Grenada to name a few?

Gamed and thumbed nose at diplomacy. If Saddam did it we did it in spades. There were U.N. inspectors in Iraq when Bush asked them to leave so that they wouldn't be in harms way when we launched our invasion. Bush/Cheney scorned diplomacy in their rush to war. If you don't know that by now you are hopelessly ignorant.

Iraq was highly militarized and stockpiled weapons. First off, we have yet to find stockpiles of weapons and the Iraq military proved woefully inadequate. Secondly, do I have to remind you that the U.S. military budget exceeds the military budget of all other countries combined and that our nuclear weapons number in the thousands or tens of thousands?

You say that Iraq threatened world peace. You don't know that we violated it with an actual invasion?

I can go on but you wouldn't understand or care too. Just keep bleating "Four legs good, two legs better" with the rest of the sheep.

Bush famously ducked out of Vietnam. Cheney had other agendas, but they didn't mind sending thousands to die to show how tough and fearless they were.

Wake the f-ck up!

About the Ba'ath Party. What makes you say it was modelled after the Nazi Party?

Just to set the matter straight - I give up hope of setting you straight - The Arabic word Ba'ath means "renaissance" or "resurrection" as in the party’s founder Michel Aflaq’s published works "On The Way Of Resurrection". Ba'thist beliefs combine Arab Socialism, nationalism, and Pan-Arabism. The mostly secular ideology often contrasts with that of other Arab governments in the Middle East, which sometimes tend to have leanings towards Islamism and theocracy.

Inspired by 18th century French Enlightenment, the motto of the Party is "Unity, Freedom, Socialism" (in Arabic wahda, hurriya, ishtirakiya). Unity refers to Arab unity, freedom emphasizes freedom from foreign control and interference in particular, and socialism refers to what has been termed Arab Socialism rather than to Marxism.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 26, 2008 11:22 PM

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians and then Kurds against whom Saddam Hussein used WMD would be a little surprised to hear that he did not have WMD.

(... those who were not killed.)

Posted by: Monique at March 27, 2008 12:13 AM

We're a bit off-topic here, but...

The Baath party is not like the Nazi party, because Baathism is just race-based socialism?!?!?

Considering the Nazi party started out as raced-based socialism too, that's not a great opening line of defense.

Posted by: Andrew at March 27, 2008 8:18 AM

Wow, Lefty. You really hate America bad.

Why do you live here when the socialist utopia of Canada is so close?

Posted by: Greg at March 27, 2008 9:14 AM

You are very wrong. I do not hate the United States. I see its faults and attempt to address them. Jingoists like you mistake criticism for hatred.

I intend to stay here and urge social reform. By the way. I served three years in the U.S. Army, received an honorable discharge and a Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant from the then Chief, US Army Security Agency, General Lyman Lemnitzer. What's your service record or are you an arm chair patriot.

Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and two million displaced ones know the US has weapons of mass destruction. They love us so much that they are now lobbing mortars into the Green Zone and we express our love by stopping all traffic in Baghdad. Yes, they do shoot back, as you and I would if we were invaded.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 27, 2008 7:15 PM

old time lefty-you must be old if Lemnitzer was running ASA when you were in-and you needed a high level clearance to be in that assignment-but why do you run interference for saddam hussein?whether you agreed with the invasion or not,(i didn't)the world won't exactly miss him-he was a mass murderer,palin and simple-i'd hardly call him an ideologue and ceratinly not religious-more like al capone with his own country and army-do you have a problem with the afghanistan campaign?if you do,then i guess in your eyes the USA can do no right(and i am not an armchair patriot-Nam service 1968-69 and serious agent orange related disability as a result)

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 27, 2008 8:42 PM

03NOV92 - 03NOV96
USCG Heavy Weather Rescue

A handful of ribbons and a medal or two. I wasn't in it for the fruit salad. I was an adrenaline junkie and heavy weather is like a roller coaster put together by retarded chimps. You just hang on and hope you don't die. Saved a few lives and did a couple of fairly insignificant drug busts.

Honorable Discharge on my DD214

I was a firefighter for 2 years before that. Father was a chief.

Posted by: Greg at March 27, 2008 8:51 PM

greg-i was assigned to 54th ARRS out of Pease AFB in New Hampshire when i got home from Nam-i was in that unit for a while until i crosstrained to another afsc,but i saw enough there -the PJ's were nuts,but a great bunch of guys-we flew some joint ops with USCG C-130's-we had HC-130H models,converted tankers with the "scissors"device on the nose-we almost collided with a coastie 130(missed by about 200 ft)one day-when we all landed in Argentia that night we became seriously drunk together-we didn't even bother with the goofy newfy girls

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 27, 2008 10:11 PM

Gotta love the Hercules. CG still uses a ton of them for long-range SAR. I guess they're waiting for the Marines to shakedown the Osprey enough for everybody to feel comfortable with it.

I'd still be doing it today if the military wasn't full of small-minded power-driven jerks who use the lower ranks like slave labor.

Posted by: Greg at March 28, 2008 7:41 AM

Greg-I am sorry to hear that.I was lucky beyond belief to have served both stateside and in Vietnam with many officers and senior NCO's who were on their third war-a lot of them were WW2 veterans,and they knew about taking care of the troops.I respected those men a great deal,and I made E-5 in just over 3 years.I have an old photo of a Bird Colonel named Meiklejohn who was our Chief of Maintenance in Vietnam-I took it on his last day in country and he's flashing a big s""t eating grin.Now I was just an E-4 at the time and he didn't mind standing still for a snapshot-I guess those types are hard to find today.And believe me,NOBODY messed with his mechanics(of which I was one)and everyone turned to without any bitching in that unit.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 28, 2008 10:41 AM

I had Top Secret Crypto clearance. Also worked for NSA as a civilian.

I don't run interference for Saddam Hussein. I might ask you why you run interference for George Bush? Saddam was a bad dude, but take a look around, there are a helluva lot of bad dudes. Why'd we pick him, because junior wanted to show up his daddy? As a consequence, millions have suffered and died. Iraq is in an even worse mess - consider the plight of women there now, consider the civil war that's going on there right now. The British pulled out of Basra and now Shia are fighting each other and we're getting sucked in deeper. The war is a tragic mess. Saying that Saddam was an evil person is an unarguable truth, but it didn't warrent our invasion. What do you think Iraq (if there is an Iraq) will look like in ten years? If it remains whole, it'll be ruled by another dictator. If no dictator emerges it will fragment into pieces and cease to exist as a country. Either way we will have been the sponsor of a disaster.

Finally, it's tiresome being called unpatriotic for having leftist views. When it was my time to serve I did so and did it honorably. I was a socialist before I served on active duty. I was a socialist during active duty and I'm a socialist now.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 28, 2008 11:20 PM

George Bush?Are you kidding-I didn't vote for that a##hole either time.I can't stand him and his whole panoply of draft dodging neocons so don't make assumptions-I was unable to vote in 2000 (being out of the country) and in 2004 I voted for some thrid party out of pure disgust at the main choices-I've supported McCain since 2000

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 29, 2008 2:23 AM

I don't think I called you unpatriotic.I asked what your position was on Afghanistan.You are entitled to your views and it doesn't matter where or when you served-you didn't duck it,that's all that counts.My opinion of Perle,Wolfowitz,Cheney,and Feith cannot be printed here.
I think Iraq may eventually become three states.
Here's the problem-if we try to withdraw overnight(probably not physically possible)there is likely to be a repeat of the nightmare that swept the former Indochina after we withdrew suddenly from Vietnam.I don't have a good answer.
I am very angry at the government for forcing multiple tours of duty on Reservists and Guardsmen.They lack the guts to institute a draft.I'm not sure that would be a very good idea either,because the same privileged turds would get deferments no matter what.I thought we had saddam pretty well contained with no fly zones and embargoes-this president has been a failure and he rivals Jimmy Carter as the worst in my lifetime.
Afghanistan is necessary-they brought it on from there so we're stuck in that situation indefinitely.
You'd be surprised how many conservatives don't give a rat's ass for this administration.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 29, 2008 2:40 AM

No you didn't call me unpatriotic. I was referring to other bloggers and did not clearly so state.

Afghanistan is an incomplete job interrupted by our ridiculous Iraq adventure. Although I would ask you to remember that we loaded the Taliban with weapons to fight the Russians, and we're looking at yhem again from the wrong end.

The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, i.e. Waziristan, is impossible to occupy. No outside power has ever had success trying to control it. Alexander marched thru it but never really controlled it. After he died one of his generals literally traded it for a couple of elephants and it has been its own "government" ever since. Parts of Afghanistan can be occupied as can parts of Pakistan, but not Waziristan. Best we can hope for is containment there. I don't think that bin Laden can ever be captured. Even if he were somehow eliminated his ideas have caught hold and you can't kill an idea. We are at the limits of our power.

No, I am not surprised thay many conservatives disagree with this administration. The gang that's running Washington cares nothing for conservatism. They have to be ousted. I wish more true conservatives would join in the call to impeach Bush. Why should he retire with a pension and secret service guards etc.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 30, 2008 11:48 PM

I have used the Alexander reference in discussions of this also.The Northwest Frontier was never controlled by anyone;even the relatively popular Afghan monarchy had only minimal influence on the warlords.It was unimportant until Al Qaeda arrived in the area and added an international dimension that it became of concern to us.And who armed the mujaheddin?Carter.We had no business getting involved against the Russians in that area-didn't anyone in the State the history of "the Great Game"interminably played out by Russia and Great Britain in that area?
Probably the best description of Waziristan accessible in visual form is the British TV series"Traffik"which was made in the late 80's.Steven Soderburgh used it as a basis for"Traffic",but of course changed the locale to Mexico(just as valid for the purposes of the film)."Traffik"is available on dvd and I own the boxset-it showed the utter lack of any form of governmental control or influence in the area.I have to agree that short of incinerating the whole region,a holding action is about all that can be achieved,although Al Qaeda's operations outside the area can be impacted severely.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 31, 2008 8:41 AM
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