NoisetteandtheDude’s Blog

December 7, 2008

Obama’s best cabinet selection

Filed under: Election 2008 — noisetteandthedude @ 9:34 am
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This morning, on this 67th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Obama announced his choice to head the Department of Veterans Affairs: a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American, General Erik K. Shinseki, who spoke out publicly in opposition to Donald Rumsfeld’s and Paul Wolfowitz’s plan to invade and pacify Iraq with minimal troops.

Shinseki was then serving at the Pentagon as Army Chief of Staff. He retired in protest after Baghdad fell. Neither Rumsfeld nor Wolfowitz attended his farewell ceremony.

In an interview with Tom Brokaw this morning on Meet the Press, President-Elect Obama said Shinseki agreed to join the incoming administration because “…both he and I share a reverence for those who serve… When I reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans and I think about how so many veterans around the country are struggling even more than those who have not served – higher unemployment rates, higher homeless rates, higher substance-abuse rates, medical care that is inadequate – it breaks my heart, and I think that General Shinseki is exactly the right person who is going to be able to make sure that we honor our troops when they come home.”

General Colin Powell called Shinseki “a superb choice… an inspired selection.”

You gotta love the timing – and especially the irony.

-The Dude/Vet

October 24, 2008

Why this “golden age” vet is voting for Obama/Biden

Filed under: Election 2008 — noisetteandthedude @ 5:45 pm
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  Hi folks – welcome to our blog!    

This is the Dude speaking (aka Dennis Berry) – you’ll hear from Noisette soon. Both of us are new to this venue but eager to join the conversation – and we hope you’ll talk back at us.  Avoid attack language, if that’s even possible in these last couple weeks of the campaign.  But please, do try – we’ll do the same.

Starting a blog is easy – figuring out what to say, not so much.  So I’d thought I’d start by sharing a letter I sent about a month ago to my local newspaper in Astoria, Oregon and to the Portland Oregonian.

For reasons known only to the editors of the Daily Astorian and Oregonian, my letter wasn’t published. So hey!  Now it will get published!

Read on, folks – and tell me what you think.

To The Oregonian, Daily Astorian
Subject Why this “Golden Age” vet is voting for Obama/Biden
Message Like John McCain, I served in Vietnam in 1968 (during the Tet Offensive, when we began to lose the war). Fortunately, unlike John McCain, I wasn’t captured; I could come home and get on with my life.  

In 1968, I voted for Richard Nixon, over my fellow Minnesotan, Hubert Humphrey – I did so because Nixon promised he had “a plan to end the war, with honor.” He did: he simply declared victory and scrammed. That was the last time I voted for a Republican.

Nixon’s plan to end the Vietnam war sounds a lot like John McCain’s plan to end the war in Iraq, doesn’t it? Except McCain has already declared victory but thinks we need to stay there anyway.

But I’m not voting for Obama just because he recognized the futility of fighting wars that erode, rather than advance, our national interest and our international prestige – and turns doubters into terrorists every day. 

I’m voting for Obama because he will usher in a new era of growth for our nation. Not just growth in our gross national product, though that will surely happen as we convert our addiction to Middle-Eastern oil to an ongoing, “Manhattan Project” -scaled investment in clean energy and efficient use of natural resources. Doing so will make us completely energy-independent within 10 years – even as it creates millions of new, non-outsourceable high-income jobs. 

No longer will countries headed by people who despise us control our nation’s destiny; no longer will we be slaves to oil companies and the lobbyists who so freely pass around money on their behalf, egged on by their lackeys in the White House.

By moving us forward into the good new days, Obama’s plans for our country will also let us revisit the good old days, when we felt confident about ourselves as a nation and as a people, rather than fearful and helpless, awaiting the next calamity.

Obama will begin with a coherent foreign policy that will elevate the United State’s stature world-wide. Our foreign policy will be inclusive, rather than exclusive, based on shared interests and common values, rather than an “us versus them” mentality (the real meaning of the “Bush Doctrine). Obama and Biden will emphasize negotiation and diplomacy, rather than threat after threat after threat – threats that can only be backed up by going to war, again and again and again, to no effect.

On the home front, I look forward to living in a country where everyone matters again, and where anyone can express an opinion without being labeled a traiter or an anti-Christ. Where women automatically earn the same amount of money as men when performing the same work, where anyone willing to work hard can achieve success, where all children can count on a college education, regardless of their family’s income level. Where soldiers know that they will be taken care of when they return home from battle.

Where everyone knows they can get medical care when they need it, without going into debt. Where sexual orientation is no longer important to anyone and the benefits of marital unions or partnerships are denied to no one.

Where hard-working retirees like myself know that our Social Security benefits – benefits we’ve already earned – will never become a “profit center” for Wall Street investment companies. And our children and grandchildren can count on the same security.

An America, in short, where everyone counts. All of us, together – one nation, under God – all of us living up to the promises of freedom we’ve ignored for far too long.

That’s why I’m voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden – because I’m convinced they will help us get there.

Dennis Berry
Warrenton, OR

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