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Tilting at Windmills

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September 29, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FUNDRAISER....Over at Comments From Left Field, they're holding a fundraiser in honor of Sgt. Yance Gray and Sgt. Omar Mora, two of the seven soldiers who wrote a recent op-ed about the war in the New York Times. Gray and Mora were killed in a vehicle accident while on patrol in Baghdad two weeks ago.

The money raised from the fund drive is going to Fisher House, a charity that builds houses near military medical facilities. Loved ones of those who have been injured in the line of duty can stay free of charge while their service member undergoes necessary treatment.

So far over $2,000 has been raised, and the organizers are trying to raise a total of $10,000. More details here. You can make donations here.

Kevin Drum 12:36 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (46)

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Comments

Thanks for mentioning this, Kevin.

Regards, C

Posted by: Cernig on September 29, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Hopefully this will get mentioned on some conservative blogs so they can do their bit.

This kind of thing is an example of what government should provide.

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Rush will put up some serious cash. He is such a moron.

Posted by: lk on September 29, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt if the right wing blogs will be interested. After all didn't Rush say they were "Phony Soldiers"? On that little bit of wisdom from the pillhead, see this response:

http://armyofdude.blogspot.com/2007/09/real-deal.html

Posted by: richard locicero on September 29, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, thanks for letting us know. I've been involved with Fisher House before, and it is indeed a worthwhile charity.

Incidentally, they tried to start a similar house here, in England, in a town in Surrey near a military rehab center, and the locas campaigned vigorously against it. Our attitude toward our wounded military members is much more decent, I'm happy to say.

Posted by: KathyF on September 29, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ugh...I hate that I even think of this because I agree with the sentiment above 100%...but won't it look kind of bad that liberal/progressive bloggers are going to want to raise money just for soldiers who spoke out against the war?

Somebody explain to me why I'm wrong. I hate to be so cynical, but I can see right-wingers saying something like that.

Posted by: Xanthippas on September 29, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Two things quickly. First, when we launched this campaign we received support from several conservative websites. Follow the link and you will see the roll of people helping out.

Second, while the money is in honor of the two fallen Op-Ed soldiers, it is all being donated to Fisher House which is an excellent charity which benefits all active military families.

Kevin,

Thank you so much for helping us out in this effort. If you are ever in Pittsburgh or Vancouver let me know and I will buy you a drink.

Posted by: Michael Tedesco on September 29, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Xanthippas, it's not helping those who spoke out--those two are beyond our help, and the others don't need it. It's to help those wounded soldiers and their families, of which there are unprecedented numbers in this war.

And Swan, there's really no easy way for the gov't to provide this, especially to non-dependents.

Posted by: KathyF on September 29, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you so much Kevin. We really appreciate it.

Now, yes, there are a number of Conservative bloggers that have joined the effort, and from the beginning this was intended to be a bipartisan effort. We don't have the BIGGEST conservative names like LGF or Captain's Quarters, but we got Conservative Thinking on Board as well as just about every blog Chris Short writes for.

But I am really proud of the support that this has gotten on the left side of the 'sphere. We are, to paraphrase a certain tactless president, kicking ass.

Finally, for Xanth. I fully understand your concern, and this is all I have to answer. We started this not necessarily because of the OpEd, though that has played a part. What really I think was the biggest factor was that when I first wrote up about their death's, the father in law of Sgt. Yance Gray actually left a comment to thatpost.

In the aftermath of that comment, I found the entire situation grow increasingly personal until I felt compelled to do something.

I've since been in contact with families of both men, Sgt. Mora's brother in law emailed me a couple of days ago to offer thanks on behalf of the family.

So if you want something more specific, there you go, I guess because it got personal.

People, including myself, from time to time talk about how the 3700 who have died are not mere statistics; that was brought shockingly into the forefront for me with the passing of Sgt.s Gray and Mora.

Anyway, I truly appreciate the exposure, and am very grateful to everyone who helps raise funds and gets the word spread.

Posted by: Kyle E. Moore on September 29, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

KathyF, the idea the gov't couldn't provide this is insane. They do a hell of a lot else.

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I really need to learn to be more succinct.

Posted by: Kyle E. Moore on September 29, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Now, yes, there are a number of Conservative bloggers that have joined the effort, and from the beginning this was intended to be a bipartisan effort. We don't have the BIGGEST conservative names like LGF or Captain's Quarters, but we got Conservative Thinking on Board as well as just about every blog Chris Short writes for.

Great, we wouldn't want conservatives to send this to bloggers like Kevin and think they're gypping us into paying for the troops, and then be two-faced and piss on us for "not supporting" the troops.

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Swan,

I sent an email about this to Kevin, because it's a worthwhile cause and I wanted to help make it a visible worthwhile cause.

I also emailled HuffPo and Instapundit (neither of whom have mentioned it) and A-list conservative blogger James Joyner (who did).

Regards, C

Posted by: Cernig on September 29, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you to both Kyle and Cernig. I joined the effort, and posted at three sites.

And just ignore Swan. The rest of us do. (I myself installed Cleek's greasemonkey script, so when he bleats about something, I get random comments on the virtues of pie.)

Do you watch Saturday Night Live? He is Kaitlin.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone already said what I wanted to say, but better. Donation made.

Blue Girl - what's this script you're talking about? Please tell me more.

Posted by: anonymous on September 29, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oh! It's hilarious! Cleek wrote a disemvoweller that plugs in to Firefox! (and you can download firefox for free.)

You can make it do all sorts of interesting things to the posts of those you don't want to waste your time on. The really good nuttery gets quoted back anyway - This link should get you started.

Mine says random things about pie, instead of delivering pusillanimous bleating to my screen.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kevin. Worhty cause, especially since Yance Gray was the target of rightwing smears. A Republican member of the Montana legislature wrote that Gray was a dupe, manipulated by lefties into writing the editorial. He reasoned that no real soldier could write using big words like "reconcile".

Posted by: wonkie on September 29, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on September 29, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Honor and dignity should always be accorded to American men who die in combat or who have fought for their country. So I applaud your stance in the cases of these two men. Unfortunately, soldiers returning from Vietnam did not always receive similar welcomes from the peace crowd...

BZZZZTTTT! Wrong! It was your heroes on the right who spit on returning vets, not leftie peace activist. That is the effectiveness of the Wurlitzer. Take a shameful moment in your own past, and recast it in the popular myth as not only the other sides sin, but the worst thing ever. You "people" - and I use the term loosely, really are the bipedal equivalent of the hyena, aren't you?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Mods, can you delete truechristian's crap above, too?

Posted by: anonymous on September 29, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

That will vanish in 5...4...3...2...1

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Pass comments like that on to the FBI when they are made at my site. Sure sounded to this Jew like advocacy for violent insurrection on our soil, dontcha think?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

That's really objectionable that people are not sticking up for the government subsidizing this.

All you do is allow each troop 5 people that they authorize to stay at the house for the length of the procedure and hospital stay (or maybe it's less than 5, depending on resources). The factthat a troop may be unconscious due to health doesn't matter because you do a written authorization ahead of time that they can follow in case the soldier is in a coma/unconscious. Then once you meet those threshholds (authorized by the troop / cap amount of people) it's also subject to space at the facility. So gov't could build house next to a facility, and a soldier can have 5 people with him (if he wants more, then it's still good because only one person has to pay for a hotel, or whatever) and even though it has to be subject to space, it's not likely that a bunch of soldiers are going to be scheduled to have operations at the hospital at the same time and all want a bunch of people to come be with them.

It's not hard to administer. The government administers many much more complicated things and a private group is going to have all the same problems of figuring out how to alot things and how to arrange it as the government is.

BGRS, your comment is useless and insulting. Please don't comment like that anymore, as you're basically harassing me.

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

It was your heroes on the right who spit on returning vets, not leftie peace activist.

Yeah, it was all those pro-war, flag-waving types who called them babykillers. You just might have gotten your own reality wrapped a bit too tightly around yourself.

Meanwhile Democrats in Washington are finding out that you shouldn't let Media Matters do your thinking for you.

Posted by: harry on September 29, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

harry

I have a good friend who did two tours in Vietnam. It's true he didn't appreciate people shouting "babykiller" but he also said that some of the harshest stuff he had to put up with was from the WWII vets at the VFW.

The whole country, left, right and center, let those guys down. It's about time you guys fessed up to your part in it.

Posted by: tomeck on September 29, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

And don't even start to say it was his politics that was the problem at the VFW. He's more Republican, more Pro-life, more NRA, more you-name-it than any of you right wingnuts who hang out here.

Posted by: tomeck on September 29, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Please don't comment like that anymore, as you're basically harassing me."

LOL.... No, dear, she's not, not by any reasonable definition of that word. If you don't like your reputation, stop saying stupid think. You could have started with this post that I'm responding to.

Posted by: PaulB on September 29, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Damn... Not enough sleep last night. "Stupid things," of course.

Posted by: PaulB on September 29, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, it was all those pro-war, flag-waving types who called them babykillers."

Dear heart, the only actual documented case of Vietnam veterans being spat upon was when anti-war vets were spat on by right-wingers. As for the "babykillers" idiocy, I'm not even going to bother.

"You just might have gotten your own reality wrapped a bit too tightly around yourself."

ROFL.... Oh, the irony....

"Meanwhile Democrats in Washington are finding out that you shouldn't let Media Matters do your thinking for you."

No, dear, they aren't, which is why you can't back up this assertion any more than you can any of your many other silly assertions. It is amusing to watch you in action, though, so at least you're good for something.

Posted by: PaulB on September 29, 2007 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

My apologies for contributing to the thread-jacking coming from our usual cast of idiots. On this thread, it's wholly inappropriate. Kudos for the people who launched this effort and to the bloggers like Kevin who further publicized it.

Posted by: PaulB on September 29, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry harry. Here is a link. Here is another. And one more.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! They got a new memo! Notice the shift? They have stopped singling out MoveOn now that Rush's blustering mouth wrote a check his candy ass can't cash, and are now turning their attention back to Media Matters.

Soros will be invoked by name in 5...4...3...2...1

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

LOL.... No, dear, she's not, not by any reasonable definition of that word. If you don't like your reputation, stop saying stupid think.

Thanks for not calling me dear anymore, it's pretty weird. BG wrote some thing about how she was going to eat pie in some exchange she had with me once, and now she chimes in with a comment every once in a while just to say something about eating pie, apparently just to make me feel like people here don't like me. She is freaking nuts. Kevin is ignoring how this gang of assholes is ignoring my substantive comments and writing a bunch of comments to hurl ad hominems at me, tell people to pay no attention to me, and so one over and over again. This is pretty nuts, because I write good, substantive comments that show I'm obviously a real liberal, instead of waste-of-thread comments like a lot of other strange people do, over and over again. You would all be a lot weaker without me, yet somehow Kevin lets these people go after me. It's screwed up.

Posted by: Swan on September 29, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Funnily enough, this conversation hasn't even touched how bad the convo at crooks and liars got.

One thing that has been eye opening this far into the drive is how wrong I was when I made the statement that support for the troops could be a bipartisan and apolitical endeavor.

Not that I wasn't expecting it, but I had hoped...

Thankfully, at least so far, we haven't had anyone here pull the "I won't support the troops because they participate in the war". Sadly, C&L and our own site was not immune.

The Vietnam debate that is going on here, I find somewhat pointless. Does it matter who treated the troops poorly and who didn't? Which is more important, the culpability of people who have since aged forty years (putting the youngest in of their number in the fifties and sixties), or the lessons we have to learn from their errors?

I was still in the military when I had come to the conclusion that I was positively against the Iraq war, and it should be known that while I joined in 1996, basic training was still largely influenced by what occurred in America as a result of the Vietnam war, and that influenced me.

All branches of the military service took a huge hit in terms of public opinion as a result of that war, and had therefore spent the following decades striving to turn its reputation around. When we were taughtabout professional behavior it was done in the shadow of Vietnam.

Likewise much of the quality of life issues that had been used to improve the military lifestyle were also done so as a result of this stigma.

The point is, when it became my turn to decide how I felt about the war my generation was in, one thing became clear, my ire had to be directed towards those responsible, not those who bore the burden.

It is sometimes mistakenly believed that soldiers have a right to abstain from participation in this war under the rule of the UCMJ which allows military members to refuse an illegal order.

But this is a misunderstanding; the rule does not apply to war, but instead applies to more specific unlawful conduct. Unless the UCMJ has been changed, if a soldier disobeys an order on the field of battle, he could be punished by lethal action (though this is not really in practice, and legal action is much more likely).

These soldiers for the most part therefore do their duty, and they do it as professionally as possible, and by a wide majority, with honor.

(incidentally, the GTL has a great post up about this: http://guntotingliberal.com/?p=1951)

The lesson to be learned from Vietnam is that the troops on the ground truly are separable from those delivering the orders from DC. Regardless of the conduct of the civilian and upper echelon military leadership, the NCO's JO's, and all boots on the ground truly deserve our respect.

What I learned from Vietnam was that there were people who unjustly spit on the troops, but that I, as one who is opposed to our war, will not engage in such behavior, nor find myself particularly well disposed towards those that do.

Again, another thing that one would hope can be agreed upon by both sides of the political debate.

All of that out of the way, I wanted to thank you guys so much again. With the help of Kevin and Blue Gal, we raised another thousand dollars today!

That is ridiculously awesome!

I also encourage everyone to tune in Monday where we are going to have a big update and a new goal to get those who may not necessarily have the cash to spare help us meet our Ten Thousand Dollar goal.

K

Posted by: Kyle E. Moore on September 29, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry harry.

We've all heard of Jerry Lembcke.

Posted by: harry on September 29, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

See, there we go again, succinct, not one of my strong points!

Posted by: Kyle E. Moore on September 29, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

*rolls eyes*

Posted by: Kyle E. Moore on September 29, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kyle

Very well said, long posts aren't a problem when they're thoughtful and well written.

Being an older guy myself, I don't have a lot of friends who visit blogs, but I passed along the link. It's for a good cause.

Posted by: tomeck on September 29, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kyle,

I am pleased to be of any assistance at all. Hopefully a couple of people kicked in because I asked them to. I will be sure to update on Monday.

We don't mind length on these threads - we do put a high value on substance, tho. You have that in spades.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 29, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

swan flaps his wings and pokes his neck out:

just to make me feel like people here don't like me.

this gang of assholes is ignoring my substantive comments

I write good, substantive comments that show I'm obviously a real liberal

You would all be a lot weaker without me

hmmm, you keep telling us how valuable your contributions are and how much they're appreciated, and yet no one ever chimes in to second that. Why not?

Posted by: bored masses on September 29, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

I went over to Left Field this morning and smiled with my coffee when I read this--

"Before the tunes though, here’s a big thanks to Kevin Drum who is the latest to join the long list of conservative and progressive bloggers to support our fund raising effort. You may have noticed that for his good deed, Kevin was rewarded with a little karma. His USC Trojans survived a scare tonight in Seattle, holding on to beat the Washington Huskies 27-24. Hey, you too can earn such karma by simply throwing a coin in the fountain."

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 30, 2007 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Some of us will throw a coin in the fountain in honor of already received karma (cough, Cubs clinch! WOOT!).

Posted by: shortstop on September 30, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks guys! Yeah, Mac had me cracking up with that too.

Now it's time to see if some of that karma rubbed off on my niners.

Posted by: Kyle E. Moore on September 30, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ugh... wish I wouldn't have looked...

But don't even think the karma will rub off on you... It will, it just skipped my boys a little.

Posted by: Kyle E. Moore on September 30, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

...whereupon, a poster named Swan makes an ass of himself...

Thanks for not calling me dear anymore, it's pretty weird. BG wrote some thing about how she was going to eat pie in some exchange she had with me once, and now she chimes in with a comment every once in a while just to say something about eating pie, apparently just to make me feel like people here don't like me.

Pie tastes good.

She is freaking nuts.

No, you're nuts. We've *seen* the proof. I don't need to defend BG,RS because she does all her defensifying and all that for her damn self. But to think you have something up on her when she has a history here is laughable. This is what newbie pests do when they make a fatal mistake on a blog they know nothing about--they insult a person who has actual status in a place.

Kevin is ignoring how this gang of assholes is ignoring my substantive comments and writing a bunch of comments to hurl ad hominems at me, tell people to pay no attention to me, and so one over and over again.

Kevin ignores all of us. It's standard operating procedure around here.

This is pretty nuts, because I write good, substantive comments that show I'm obviously a real liberal, instead of waste-of-thread comments like a lot of other strange people do, over and over again.

No, you don't. You're childishly simplistic with commentary that doesn't stand up to simple, basic analysis.

Here, you wrote:

All you do is allow each troop 5 people that they authorize to stay at the house for the length of the procedure and hospital stay (or maybe it's less than 5, depending on resources). The factthat a troop may be unconscious due to health doesn't matter because you do a written authorization ahead of time that they can follow in case the soldier is in a coma/unconscious. Then once you meet those threshholds (authorized by the troop / cap amount of people) it's also subject to space at the facility. So gov't could build house next to a facility, and a soldier can have 5 people with him (if he wants more, then it's still good because only one person has to pay for a hotel, or whatever) and even though it has to be subject to space, it's not likely that a bunch of soldiers are going to be scheduled to have operations at the hospital at the same time and all want a bunch of people to come be with them.

...what the fuck, son? DO you LIVE in the real world? That would never work, what with family structures, distances that must be travelled by family members, medical procedures that take up to thirty different surgeries, physical rehabilitation which has to happen in other facilities, not to mention--you know nothing about Fisher House. You know nothing about WRAMC, BAMC, or any of the other facilities where surgeries like this occur. It's called a "power of attorney" when you have to make arrangements on behalf of people who are incapable of making their own arrangements. You don't just sign a form--you have to have a power of attorney. You are out of your element. Why pick the number "5" out of thin air? Why not "7 and a half people" or "six and one half dozen of the other?" What you propose is not feasible and would never work. Hence, your commentary is meaningless and simplistic.

You would all be a lot weaker without me, yet somehow Kevin lets these people go after me. It's screwed up.

I wasn't aware of a previous issue, given that some of us have been posting, commenting, fighting and taking breaks from this place for over two to three years, in most cases.

However, you are so ignorant of the forum, it's structure, what we do here collectively and individually, I doubt very much whether you would have the self-awareness to figure this out, but here goes--

--you're a newbie pest. Move on to the next blog, please. It's pretty clear--you ain't wanted here.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 1, 2007 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

People put vinegar in buttermilk to make ranch dressing, but they do not put vinegar in their milk. Not even Balsamic vinegar.

Posted by: Brojo on October 1, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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