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American Flag, Offensive??

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Via(CBS 11 News Mansfield, TX)



Supervisor Asks Woman To Take Down American Flag

Is it okay to show your patriotism at the office?

For one Arlington woman, the answer was “no” after she hung an American flag in her office just before the Memorial Day weekend.

Debbie McLucas is one of four hospital supervisors at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield. Last week, she hung a three-by-five foot American flag in the office she shares with the other supervisors.

When McLucas came to work Friday, her boss told her another supervisor had found her flag offensive. “I was just totally speechless. I was like, ‘You’re kidding me,'” McLucas said.

McLucas’ husband and sons are former military men. Her daughter is currently serving in Iraq as a combat medic.

Stifling a cry, McLucas said, “I just wonder if all those young men and women over there are really doing this for nothing.”

McLucas said the supervisor who complained has been in the United States for 14 years and is formerly from Africa. McLucas said that supervisor took down the flag herself.

“The flag and the pole had been placed on the floor,” McLucas said. But McLucas also said hospital higher-ups had told her some patients’ families and visitors had also complained.

“I was told it wouldn’t matter if it was only one person,” she said. “It would have to come down.”

McLucas said hospital bosses told her as far as patriotism was concerned, the flag flying outside the hospital building would have to suffice.

Rest of the story here:

Well looks like the hospital is treating to do major damage control.  The story doesn’t jive at all.

Read the Kindred Damage Control Press Release here:

You can also email them your thoughts here:

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

What’s This? Obama Worse Than Bush on Wars!

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Yes you read that right.  According to some Anti-War Activists.


Obama’s War Policies Worse than Bush’s, Anti-War Activist Says

Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War

( – President Barack Obama’s war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan are criminal and worse than those of former President Bush, according to Adam Kokesh, who serves on the board of directors of the anti-war group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).

Kokesh and other members of the IVAW gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to call on Obama to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also launched a 24-hour vigil/demonstration called “Operation No Change” to mark the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War (March 20, 2003).

“In some ways, Obama is worse than Bush,” Kokesh told “Bush wasn’t proposing a surge in Afghanistan – and Bush was talking about a quicker timeline for withdrawal than Obama.”

“That’s why we called this ‘Operation No Change,’” said Kokesh. “What Obama is doing with our foreign policy on a fundamental level is not change. Though we are going to re-label the troops ‘non-combat troops,’ they are still out there, and clearly they are still fighting for American interests.”

Kokesh also said that he “absolutely” thinks Obama’s war policies are criminal and that he has not been surprised by Obama’s actions since he became president in January.

“I’m not disappointed because I never had any hope in him,” said Kokesh. “All of the predications of those of us who read the fine print about Obama have come true. During the primaries he sold himself very vaguely as a peace candidate and said he wanted to end the occupations.

“But when that congealed into something specific, I could see right away he really had no interest in reforming foreign policy or ending these occupations,” Kokesh said.

Tracy Harmon, however, who is an IVAW member, told that while she has been disappointed in Obama’s actions since his inauguration, she thinks he is sincere about his intention to withdraw from Iraq.

“I do believe him,” said Harmon. “I think he wants to get us out but it has taken longer – he extended the pullout date by three months.”

Harmon said that Obama’s decision to send a surge into Afghanistan demonstrates that he is not a “peace president” as many voters may have thought.

“For the most part, it is a disillusionment,” she said. “He is seen as an anti-war president, but he is starting a whole new war in Afghanistan.”

When it comes to war policy, there were a number of presidential candidates who would have been better than Obama, including 2008 candidates Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), said Kokesh.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Shoe Throwing Becomes Popular!!

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Protester throws shoes at Peterson during city meeting

ITHACA – A protester dressed in his 1950s-era military uniform threw his shoes at Mayor Carolyn Peterson and brought Common Council’s Wednesday night meeting to an almost hour-long standstill, insisting that he wanted to be arrested in protest over the Council’s position against the “immoral wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Long-time Ithacan and former Weather Underground member Robin Palmer began speaking at about 7:15 p.m., near the beginning of Council’s privilege of the floor, during which any citizen may speak on any topic.

Palmer handed out packets of information on the U.S.S. Indianapolis, a Navy vessel sunk during World War II; Common Council’s Community of Sanctuary resolution, which asserts Ithaca’s commitment to protect the rights of military personnel protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and a statement addressed to the editor of The Ithaca Journal titled “Who were the terrorists? And who are the unrepentant?”

Palmer then addressed the Council, saying he was drafted in Ithaca in 1952 and was honorably discharged two years later. He then stated, “I’m here to protest the Community of Sanctuary Resolution.”

Palmer repeatedly called the resolution “odious” and “nauseous” and challenged the Council members to explain what right they had to make such assertions.

“You … resolve that ‘all city officials and all city employees and all others who are opposed to the immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan’ – excuse me, who are you to say that the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan is immoral? Who are you to say that?” Palmer said.

The Council passed the resolution unanimously at its October 2008 meeting. The resolution declares Ithaca a “Community of Sanctuary, thus respecting the rights of its residents to support lawfully and proactively military personnel and veterans who are organizing to stop the wars in and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and all future violations of the United Nations Nuremberg Charters.”

An AWOL Fort Drum soldier cited the resolution late last year when asking Council members to write him letters of support as he hoped to avoid a court martial or jail time.

Members of the public are normally limited to three minutes during privilege of the floor, but Peterson allowed Palmer to continue.

Palmer recounted some of the history of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, stating that one of the sailors who died onboard was Robert Carrol Sams, brother of the late Common Council alderwoman Diann Sams.

“Your nauseous resolution is a desecration, is a desecration to the death of Robert Sams, and it doesn’t do Diann any justice either,” Palmer said.

Peterson then told Palmer that his time was up, to which Palmer replied, “I know it is.”

He then reached into a bag, pulled out two shoes and hurled one at Alderman J.R. Clairborne, D-2nd, and another at Peterson. The first shoe flew between Clairborne and Alderman Eric Rosario, I-2nd. The second fell short of the Mayor. Several Council members pushed their chairs away from Palmer while Clairborne and Aldermen Svante Myrick, D-4th, stood and began to approach Palmer. There were roughly 30 people in the city hall audience.

Palmer pulled another shoe from his bag and waved it at Council members, asking “Who wants another one?”

Ithaca Police Officer Brad Nelson, who has attended virtually every Common Council meeting since an incident in February 2008 when a gunman killed five people in a Missouri city hall, approached Palmer and placed his arm around him, attempting to calm him.

Palmer continued to shout at the Council members, then Peterson informed Palmer that Nelson is the son of Diann Sams, nephew of Robert Carrol Sams. Palmer looked surprised and greeted Nelson, smiling.

Palmer then said, “I want my shoes back.”

“You’re not getting your shoes back,” Peterson responded.

Palmer said, “I’m not getting them back? Then I’m not leaving.”

He sat down and insisted he would not leave until he was arrested.

Peterson then ordered Council members to leave the room and go to an adjoining conference room.

For roughly 10 minutes, Nelson continued talking calmly with Palmer, encouraging him to leave. Janis Kelly, chairwoman of the City of Ithaca Republican party and the only person who spoke against the Community of Sanctuary resolution when it was passed in October, was also in the audience. Kelly approached Palmer and also spoke quietly with him.

Kelly said afterward she told Palmer she, too, was opposed to the Community of Sanctuary resolution and she encouraged him to leave because he had already made his point. Palmer continued to insist he would not leave until he was arrested.

Another Ithaca police officer arrived and stood nearby, seemingly awaiting instruction.

After 10 minutes Clairborne, a Navy veteran, Myrick, and Alderman Joel Zumoff, D-3rd, re-entered Council chambers and conferred with Nelson and Ithaca Fire Department Chief Brian Wilbur and Deputy Chief Tom Parsons. Wilbur and Parsons were attending the meeting because Council was scheduled to vote on authorizing a new mobile command vehicle for the police and fire departments.

Clairborne then asked members of the audience to leave the room, directing them to City Hall’s second-floor conference room.

Five minutes later Palmer’s wife, Mimi Palmer, arrived and entered Council chambers, attempting briefly to encourage her husband to leave. He wouldn’t.

She then exited the room, followed by Peterson.

“He wants to be arrested,” Mimi Palmer said, noting that he would be if Peterson pressed charges.

“I don’t want to give him the satisfaction,” Peterson responded.

Mimi Palmer then turned to a police officer and said, “Please arrest him.”

Palmer said her husband is unwell and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Peter Houy waited just outside Council chambers with members of the media. Houy described himself as a friend of Palmer since the 1960s, and said Palmer asked him to attend the meeting with him in case he needed support or a ride. Houy said Palmer did not tell him what he was planning to do, but that he knew it might be “something dramatic.”

Houy said he doesn’t necessarily agree with all of Palmer’s actions or statements, but that he does agree Council should not have passed the Community of Sanctuary resolution.

“It’s not city business,” Houy said. “They’ve overstepped their bounds.”

By 8:15 p.m., Bangs Ambulance personnel arrived and, with Ithaca Police officers, escorted Palmer from the room and aided him into an ambulance.

Mimi Palmer said he had not been arrested and was being taken to the hospital.

In his statement, Palmer said he had personally placed a bomb in the Criminal Court House in New York City as a member of the Weather Underground. He also participated in the 1971 Attica prison uprising.

Palmer said he felt the Vietnam war was immoral because Ho Chi Minh “was, and is, the George Washington of Vietnam.”

He said he “so far support(s) wholeheartedly U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, especially in Iraq.”

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

No R&R in Tijuana for U.S. Marines!

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Tijuana off-limits to U.S. Marines

By William M. Welch, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — For tens of thousands of U.S. Marines in Southern California, new orders from the brass amount to: Baghdad si, Tijuana no.

Citing a wave of violence and murder in Mexico, the commanding officer of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Pendleton has made the popular military “R&R” destinations of Tijuana and nearby beaches effectively off-limits for his Marines.

The order by Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland restricts travel into Mexico by the 44,000 members of the unit, many of whom have had multiple tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat zones under their belts — or are there now.

The limits were first put in place for the Christmas holiday. Last week the commander extended the order indefinitely, said Mike Alvarez, civilian public information officer for the unit at Camp Pendleton.

“The situation in Mexico is now more dangerous than usual,” he said. “The intent is just to look out for the Marines’ safety and well-being.”

Tijuana has been a popular attraction for Californians since Prohibition days, when legal liquor was unavailable north of the border. In more recent times, its 18-year-old drinking age, cheap prices, gambling, beaches, tourist-oriented businesses and bars have attracted civilians and off-duty military from the San Diego area and elsewhere.

San Diego, heavy with Navy and Marine presence, adjoins the Mexican border and Camp Pendleton is in northern San Diego County, about 50 miles from the border.

Fallen on hard times

These days, sidewalk restaurants along Tijuana’s main tourist street, Avenida Revolucion, often are empty. Tourists are buffeted by barkers and merchants desperate for U.S. dollars. Visitors may be approached with offers of drugs or prostitution as well.

Tijuana, like Ciudad Juarez across the border from El Paso, has been hit particularly hard by the drug violence that has spread across Mexico. Tijuana saw its bloodiest year ever in 2008 with 843 killings, compared with 337 the previous year.

The violence in Tijuana grew toward the end of last year and continued this year with numerous execution-style slayings. Many of the bodies were found decapitated. The State Department has issued a travel alert for Americans going to Mexico.

Officials from the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana regularly check with Mexican police and jails for Americans in trouble, and U.S. military Shore Patrol officers check daily. Alvarez said “there have been incidents from time to time” but did not know how many Marines have gotten into trouble.

Helland’s directive requires written approval from a lieutenant colonel or higher-ranking officer for travel across the border — whether for official business, to visit family or for leisure, known in the military as rest and relaxation, or R&R.

Marines venturing over the border also must complete anti-terrorism training, receive a military security briefing and “use the buddy system,” that is travel with a companion 18 or older, according to Helland’s order.

Most of the affected Marines are at Pendleton, but some are at other bases in Southern California and Arizona. And 13,500 members of the unit are currently deployed overseas, said Alvarez, a retired captain and helicopter pilot who served three tours in Iraq.

As part of the order, Marines who cross the border on approved travel must carry contact information for the U.S. Consulate General and the Border Shore Patrol.

The restrictions don’t apply to the more than 75,000 active duty Navy sailors in the area, but they are required to inform their chains of command if they cross the border, said Lt. (j.g.) Lenaya Rotklein, public affairs officer for the Navy Region Southwest Command at San Diego.

For Marines, the order is enforceable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Violators could face a court-martial.

“It’s a lawful order,” Alvarez says. “As Marines, we obey lawful orders.”

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Military Will Be On Alert During Inauguration!

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Military to be on high alert for inauguration

About 11,500 troops, including chemical attack experts, will join the security detail as Obama takes the oath of office.

Reporting from Washington — The U.S. military will be on high alert during Barack Obama’s inauguration, increasing air defenses and deploying chemical attack experts and medical units, a general said Wednesday.

Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., who heads the military command that oversees security for North America, said the Defense Department had not been told of specific Inauguration Day threats. Nonetheless, he said, the armed services must be ready.

“It would make news for a terrorist element or rogue element to interrupt that event,” Renuart said. “So it is prudent to plan for the possibility of that event and to deter it or to respond to it.”

Continue the story here:

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie