Warm outside! More topics

Workout notes 3600 yards of swimming, 500 of first 100’s, 500 of 25 drill, swim, 10 x 50 free, 25 back on 1:30, 5 x 100 (alt fly/free) on 2, 5 x 100 (alt side/free) on 2, 5 x 50 fly on 1 (fins), 500 pull (8:33), 100 back.

I was dead from yesterday’s swim (5500 yards).

On the bright side, a shapey bikini clad woman shared a lane with me at first, and then a couple of swimmers ended up on either side of me; the guy was doing his 100s in the 1:14-1:15 range, and the lady in about 1:30.

Also, yesterday, I did a short (2 mile) hike in Bradley Park which contains some decent hills. The hip/butt didn’t sqawk, and tingles were almost unnoticable. Of course, this isn’t on the same planet as doing an ultra, but one has to begin from somewhere.

Side note: if you want to get inside the head of an intense but non-elite athlete, check out Crackhead’s post on her race (indoor tri).


There has been some fallout over the cancelled Fox News debate. Liberals disagree on this; you have The Nation aruging that the debate being cancelled is a bad thing, and others saying that the Democrats did the right thing.

From the Nation:

The Nation — Under pressure from liberal bloggers, the Nevada Democratic Party has scrubbed a presidential candidates debate that was set for this coming August.

The bloggers were outraged that the Nevada Dems were partnering with the Fox News Channel who had been given the rights to broadcast the debate.

Count me among those who think the debate cancellation is a ridiculous ending to what was a ridiculous and counter-productive cause. Excuse me, but I thought liberals hated Fox precisely because it was NOT fair and balanced, because of the dearth of voices other than those from the Right.

So here was a chance to force-feed the conservative Fox audience a prime-time dose of Democratic campaigning; but now that’s all been called off by — Democrats! […]

Dennis Kucinich, now denied one of his few shots at a national audience, was the only Democratic candidate who spoke out against the cancellation.

“If you want to be the President of the United States, you can’t be afraid to deal with people with whom you disagree politically,” Kucinich said. “No one is further removed from Fox’s political philosophy than I am, but fear should not dictate decisions that affect hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of others around the world who are starving for real leadership.”

“I’m prepared to discuss the war, health care, trade, or any other issue anytime, anywhere, with any audience, answering any question from any media. And any candidate who won’t shouldn’t be President of the United States.”

I couldn’t agree more.

On the other hand, Kos weighs in:

Those poor saps at Fox. Desperate for political cover, upset at being branded as a right-wing publication, they’re fighting back using every rhetorical trick in their toolbox.

KONDRACKE: Now this tells you a lot. Fox or no Fox, this tells you a lot about what the, Daily Kos kind of left-wing liberals are all about. I mean they are not about free speech and free debate. If Fox, you know, was embarrassingly right wing or something like that, it would be plain for all to see. They just want to stop at any of their — any Democrats from participating in this because it is a Fox thing, and they’re willing to intimidate them to do it. This is junior grade Stalinism on their part.

BARNES: Stalin?


BARNES: Alright, I agree.

I guess I missed the part where MoveOn and I kidnapped the entire Fox News contributor corps in the middle of the night, lined them up against a wall, and shot them.

But it’s telling that they would freak out to this extent merely at being exposed as a right-wing propaganda outlet.

At least Barnes and Kondrake gave up on the concern troll approach, moaning about how all they wanted to do was help Democrats get their message out and win![…]

And just as expected as the Fox News hissy fit is the clueless Democrats hissy fit. We’ll start with your out-of-touch DC consultants:

Democrats would be wise to use Fox as a chance to reach out to a group of viewers who don’t often hear from Democrats, said Karl Agne, a Democratic consultant.

“Anytime you have the opportunity to talk to new voters and spread your message, you should take it,” he said.

Agne is a close colleague of James Carville and Bob Shrum, and is merely parroting the DC establishment spin. Nothing we wouldn’t expect from people who haven’t delivered victories in ages. But I must admit I didn’t expect Dennis Kucinich to chime in. The poor guy is so desperate for attention he’s willing to whore himself on Fox News for a few minutes of airtime, further validating the Right’s premier propaganda outlet. He’s more pathetic than I thought.

As does Cenk Uygur at the Smirking Chimp:

Unless you’ve been living in a box the last ten years, you are perfectly aware that Fox News Channel is a conservative station that relentlessly attacks Democrats and supports Republicans. Even Republicans who think Fox is “fair and balanced” will admit Fox is conservative. They just happen to think that’s fair.

It’s no accident that Vice President Dick Cheney demands that the television in every hotel room he stays in is pre-set to Fox News Channel. Any chance he does that with a station that isn’t clearly on his side? It’s not like Dick Cheney loves to bask in dissent.

Fox ripped Bill Clinton apart while he was president and then flipped and said that challenging a president is disrespectful the minute Bush entered office. How can anyone who saw that still say with a straight face that Fox is objective and doesn’t have a slant? It would be a comical statement that would disqualify you from serious discussion.

The Democrats have finally caught on to this. They recently cancelled a presidential debate scheduled to be on Fox News Channel. The only people who remain clueless ironically are real news organizations. The press is jeopardizing its own credibility by buying into the fiction that Fox is in the business of journalism.

Let’s look at just some of the more egregious examples of Fox’s idea of balanced reporting from the past. […]

Go to the article for a very long list. Bottom line: Fox News is merely entertainment for a mostly undereducated right wing audience; it has nothing to do with real news. They have zero credibility as a news organization.

Think about it: compare Fox News coverage to, say, Media Matters. Media matters, at least, doesn’t claim to be nonpartisan, and they take great pains to document every single claim. On the other hand, Fox news blatantly puts out baseless speculation as a matter of routine, and they routinely make, ahem, “mistakes” to further their cause, such as this one:

They have no right to be taken seriously as a news organization.

Injured Soldiers ordered back into combat?

I admit that I don’t know the whole story ,but this is disturbing (hat tip to paddykraska at the Daily Kos:


The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq
At Fort Benning, soldiers who were classified as medically unfit to fight are now being sent to war. Is this an isolated incident or a trend?

By Mark Benjamin

March 11, 2007 | FORT BENNING, Ga. — “This is not right,” said Master Sgt. Ronald Jenkins, who has been ordered to Iraq even though he has a spine problem that doctors say would be damaged further by heavy Army protective gear. “This whole thing is about taking care of soldiers,” he said angrily. “If you are fit to fight you are fit to fight. If you are not fit to fight, then you are not fit to fight.”

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.

I sure hope that there is more here going on, and that these are merely isolated incidents.

More from the Salon article:

The 3,900-strong 3rd Brigade is now leaving for Iraq for a third time in a steady stream. In fact, some of the troops with medical conditions interviewed by Salon last week are already gone. Others are slated to fly out within a week, but are fighting against their chain of command, holding out hope that because of their ills they will ultimately not be forced to go. Jenkins, who is still in Georgia, thinks doctors are helping to send hurt soldiers like him to Iraq to make units going there appear to be at full strength. “This is about the numbers,” he said flatly.

That is what worries Steve Robinson, director of veterans affairs at Veterans for America, who has long been concerned that the military was pressing injured troops into Iraq. “Did they send anybody down range that cannot wear a helmet, that cannot wear body armor?” Robinson asked rhetorically. “Well that is wrong. It is a war zone.” Robinson thinks that the possibility that physical profiles may have been altered improperly has the makings of a scandal. “My concerns are that this needs serious investigation. You cannot just look at somebody and tell that they were fit,” he said. “It smacks of an overstretched military that is in crisis mode to get people onto the battlefield.”

Eight soldiers who were at the Feb. 15 meeting say they were summoned to the troop medical clinic at 6:30 in the morning and lined up to meet with division surgeon Lt. Col. George Appenzeller, who had arrived from Fort Stewart, Ga., and Capt. Aaron K. Starbuck, brigade surgeon at Fort Benning. The soldiers described having a cursory discussion of their profiles, with no physical exam or extensive review of medical files. They say Appenzeller and Starbuck seemed focused on downplaying their physical problems. “This guy was changing people’s profiles left and right,” said a captain who injured his back during his last tour in Iraq and was ordered to Iraq after the Feb. 15 review.

Appenzeller said the review of 75 soldiers with profiles was an effort to make sure they were as accurate as possible prior to deployment. “As the division surgeon and the senior medical officer in the division, I wanted to ensure that all the patients with profiles were fully evaluated with clear limitations that commanders could use to make the decision whether they could deploy, and if they did deploy, what their limitations would be while there,” he said in a telephone interview from Fort Stewart. He said he changed less than one-third of those profiles — even making some more restrictive — in order to “bring them into accordance with regulations.”
Appenzeller denied that the plan was to find more warm bodies for the surge into Baghdad, as did Col. Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., the brigade commander. Grigsby said he is under “no pressure” to find soldiers, regardless of health, to make his unit look fit. The health and welfare of his soldiers are a top priority, said Grigsby, because [the soldiers] are “our most important resource, perhaps the most important resource we have in this country.”

Grigsby said he does not know how many injured soldiers are in his ranks. But he insisted that it is not unusual to deploy troops with physical limitations so long as he can place them in safe jobs when they get there. “They can be productive and safe in Iraq,” Grigsby said.

Read the whole article.

I really think it is time for the chickenhawks who support this war to sign up, or for there to be a draft.

Or, for the war to end.


March 12, 2007 Posted by | injury, swimming | Leave a comment