Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Some swift boat veterans support Kerry
Since this link will only work for a few days, here's the article:
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Vietnam veteran Del Sandusky, speaking at a news conference in Pennsylvania, said he personally witnessed the battle action for which Kerry received Silver and Bronze stars and two of his three Purple Hearts. (AP photo)
Some swift boat veterans defend KerryBy Jon Brodkin / News Staff WriterTuesday, August 24, 2004
Michael Alogna says he knows what it's like to serve on a swift boat in Vietnam. And he doesn't think it's possible John Kerry fabricated the events for which he was awarded war medals.
"They're only 51 feet long," Alogna, a Waltham resident, said of the swift boats. "You're totally visible, and everybody can see what's going on....You can't claim you did something (you didn't do)."
Alogna said he was a naval officer in charge on a swift boat during two tours of duty in 1966 and 1967.
He didn't serve with Kerry, but believes attacks on the presidential candidate by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are unwarranted. Alogna said accounts given by those who served with Kerry prove he deserved the medals.
He also compared the Swift Boat Veterans group's claims to previous Republican attacks on Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a triple amputee Vietnam veteran.
"This is a pattern of not just misbehavior, but low behavior," Alogna said.
Kerry, who was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam, has been forced to fight off charges he did not deserve the medals. Veterans who served with Kerry have come to his defense, and the anti-Kerry group has been accused of distorting facts to cast the senator in a bad light.
The New York Times reported Friday the accounts given by group members are "riddled with inconsistencies" and that material they offer as proof of their claims is discredited by their own previous statements and official Navy records.
Still, there's reason to be skeptical of Kerry, believes Bob Harris, a Vietnam veteran who is also Hudson's veterans agent. He noted there is controversy over whether Kerry's account that he spent Christmas Eve 1968 in Cambodia is true, and also said he was offended by Kerry protesting the war upon returning home.
"He's got a lot of explaining to do on the screw-ups in his story," Harris said. "He's given different versions. I have a problem with him throwing his medals away. You can argue medals, ribbons, or what. If anybody was ever awarded a medal, it comes with a ribbon. If you throw one away, you throw them all away."
Harris, who said he fought for the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, said he is leaning toward voting for President George Bush, but criticized the president for sending Americans to war when he wasn't willing to serve overseas himself.
"Anybody that joined the National Guard was trying to avoid Vietnam," Harris said.
Bush himself has faced questions about whether he fulfilled his National Guard service requirements during the Vietnam war.
Harris said the accusations against both candidates "tells you a lot about their character."
While polls have shown most military veterans favor Bush over Kerry, not all think the candidates' Vietnam records should be election issues.
"They were different people back then," said Fred Otten, an Ashland man who served in the Air Force in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. "As far as running a country, I don't think what they did back in those days should have anything to do with the election."
( Jon Brodkin can be reached at 508-626-4424 or firstname.lastname@example.org. )
57-year-old veteran called for duty
This particular man has skin cancer & high blood pressure.
I say, send the CARBs: Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfield, & Bush.
Volunteering to serve their country would be a novel experience for Cheney, Ashcroft, & Bush.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Reader, you heard it here first. Paul Waldman at Gadflyer agrees with me:
Everyone knows the presidential election is going to be a squeaker.
Liberals are mad at Bush, but conservatives love him. For every blue state,
there's a red state. November 2nd is going to be a long night.But what if it
isn't? What if it isn't even close?Let me go out on a limb: John Kerry is going
to win the 2004 election – not by a nose, not by a chad, but by a
Sunday, August 22, 2004
O'Neill took over Kerry's Swift Boat in 'Nam 2 month after he left it. He never met Kerry while in Vietnam. He never heard of him until the Nixon White House recruited him to go up against Kerry.
I, on the other hand, attended Boston College. Flutie came to Boston College 3 months after I graduated. I never met him. Therefore, I went to school with Doug Flutie.
Just a heartbreaking story of a boy from Belchertown, Mass., who signed up at 18, was sent to Iraq, forced to kill innocent Iraqis, then killed himself when he got home.
The link is to the "Democracy Now" transcript of an interview with his heartbroken parents.
Kerry in a landslide.
On a day when the race is the closest it's been since May:
W L Pct. GB
New York 76 47 .618 --
Boston 69 52 .570 6.0
Maybe they had the bright idea to put this in the Magazine section last Sunday, when the Yankees were ahead of the Red Sox by a season-high 10 1/2 games.
See you in Octo-buh.
See you there, too, Nomar.
The men showed up late in the third quarter & suddenly they were the focus of MSCNBCBCNMBNC's coverage. Craig Sager did a 10 minute interview with coach Larry Brown, so that the audio completely ignored the game being shown. The camera slowly panned over the US men. There was Alan Iverson, staring vacantly into space and nodding to the music from his headphones. Ditto for LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, & Shawn Marion. (A second shot of Shawn Marion in his headphones showed him applauding a US basket, so he at least wasn't completely tuned out.) Only Emeka Okafor seemed to be paying attention to the game, standing & taking photos of his former schoolmates Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird & Swin Cash. Tim Duncan, headphones. Stephon Marbury, headphones.
The visual message from the US men was clear: they had been ordered to come to the game & they resented it. They had nothing to learn from the women. It was obvious even to the announcers. Mike Breen noted that they didn't seem to be watching the game. Craig Sager asked Brown a question about their seeming disinterest.
NBC goes to commercial, comes back & pans over the US men again. Lo & behold, all the headphones are gone! Every player has apparently during this timeout decided to take off his headphones!
You bet the word went down, whether from USA basketball or from the coaching staff, YOU FOOLS, you are embarrassing us & you are embarrassing yourselves.
I'd rather be represented by a competent group of college players than these spoiled, arrogant asses.
Go Lisa Leslie & the classy US women's team.
My Mom worked the Democratic Party booth for two hours on a hot Wednesday afternoon, and reported 5 people came to booth who said they had voted for Bush in 2000 but would vote for Kerry this time.
Later we met up with my cousin who is an attorney in Delaware County. He is a lifelong Republican. He said to me, "This race isn't as close as the polls say it is. I can't tell you how many people I've met who are fed up with Bush. Republicans who just won't vote for the guy. This thing with the Reserves and extending their tours has really hit hard around here."