Veterans Day: Show Veterans and Active Soldiers Your Support

It’s the 8th Veterans Day since 9/11 and while hundreds of thousands of troops remain deployed in unstable areas of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, what’s truly discomforting is the number of Veterans of the wars of this decade who are unable to return to normal citizen lives.

At least 4,780 U.S. servicemen and women are listed as casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post’s excellent tribute page.

Some estimates suggest there are more than 755,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Of that group, more than 181,000 are collecting disability benefits today, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. philly.com

And considering the current unemployment rate over 6% and the fact that as many as 50 million Americans are without health insurance, today is a great day to give back — even just a little — if you’re fortunate enough to have both a job and health insurance and most of all, good health.

One in four of America’s homeless are veterans and at least one in five veterans of the Iraq War are reported to suffer symptoms of PTSD.

So today, I’m donating to Iraq Veterans Against War (part of the Veterans for Peace 501(c)(3)) in hopes that I can boost the morale of troops still on the ground — not knowing for sure when they’ll return. And ultimately in hopes that we won’t have to fight wars in the future that have no clear agenda or endgame.

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How Much is McCain Paying to Advertise on This Blog? Will it Be Easy to Block Such Ads?

I had to chuckle this morning when I revisited a year-old post about Lara Logan (it’s been receiving traffic lately in the aftermath of her appearance last week on The Daily Show) and found this John McCain for President Google image ad at the bottom of the page:

why is john mccain advertising on my blog

SearchEngineWatch points to a couple interviews in which Google Ad execs predict that both candidates Obama and McCain will depend heavily on Adwords bidding wars and that the Clinton campaign was inconsistent with it’s usage of Google’s Adsense and Adwords platforms.

According to Adsense’s cost-estimate tool, the keyword Obama costs an estimated $0.88 – $1.23 per click (CPC). So, essentially the party who wishes to advertise on a website contextually relevant to the keyword “Obama” would have to outbid other potential advertisers. “Barack Obama” scored similarly on estimated CPC, but the estimated CPC for “McCain” is $1.23 – $1.85 — signficantly higher, implying that someone is driving up the bidding to advertise on websites/blogs featuring the word “mccain.” It comes as little surprise to find Barack Obama ads at the bottom of my posts that feature McCain. Yet, in the instance of the Lara Logan post, I’m betting that the McCain ad was picking up the “Iraq” keyword and advertising on that (Obama-related posts appear to be plastered with pro-Obama Google ads).

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McClellan: Bush DID Authorize NIE Leak, Plamegate

The Scott McClellan story implicates the president with such red hands, it almost seems like the White House will be set on fire by it’s two-term disaster of a tenant solely to incinerate all of the evidence. I exaggerate, of course. But on several talk shows today, one day after Politico.com leaked the juiciest bits from his upcoming autobiography, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” McLellan said what he never had a chance to explain to the press or even Patrick Fitzgerald: Bush personally and explicitly authorized Cheney and Libby to anonymously leak the bogus 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on WMD in Iraq to select members of the media such as Judith Miller, Matt Cooper, and Robert Novak:

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Lara Logan’s Plea From Baghdad

laralogan.jpgCBS News’ Baghdad Correspondent Lara Logan recently sent out an e-mail pleading for friends and colleagues to push CBS to air her “Battle of Haifa Street” report on any of their news programs. They have thus far agreed only to post the video on their Web site. Watch it here and you’ll see why they’re hesitant to broadcast it. The 2-minute clip closes with a soundbyte of an Iraqi citizens’ experience with American troops that may be just too balanced and accurate for today’s U.S. media: “They told us they would bring democracy, they promised life would be better than it was under Saddam. But they brought us nothing but death and killing. They brought mass destruction to Baghdad.” The text of Logan’s e-mail is below:

From: lara logan
Subject: help

The story below only appeared on our CBS website and was not aired on CBS. It is a story that is largely being ignored, even though this istakingplace verysingle day in central Baghdad, two blocks from where our office is located.

Our crew had to be pulled out because we got a call saying they were about to be killed, and on their way out, a civilian man was shot dead in front of them as they ran.

I would be very grateful if any of you have a chance to watch this story and pass the link on to as many people you know as possible. It should be seen. And people should know about this.

If anyone has time to send a comment to CBS – about the story – not about my request, then that would help highlight that people are interested and this is not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore.

Many, many thanks.