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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Rushing to Judgment

Has anyone been following the elections in Ohio? A republican (Jean Schmidt) won by a narrow margin a few days ago. The democrat, Paul Hackett, was a Major in the Marines, voluntarily served in Iraq, and is also a lawyer. That sets the stage...

Rush Limbaugh, well-known right-wing talk show host, criticized Hackett for his service in Iraq, saying he was a "staff puke" who never saw combat. In fact, Limbaugh said this repeatedly. That made me wonder what Limbaugh's military record holds. Did Limbaugh see combat? Is that why he seems so bitter that Hackett volunteered to go to Iraq and ended up serving in a non-combat role? Is Limbaugh traumatized by his service in Vietnam?

Well, it turns out that Limbaugh never did serve in the military. During his year (singular) in college, Limbaugh naturally had a college deferment (2-S). After his year in college, Limbaugh was given a 1-Y classification, meaning that he was eligible for military service only in case of emergency. (This was later changed to 4-F.) Limbaugh's classification as not eligible for military service is due to Limbaugh submitting his doctor's report to the draft board. It turns out that Limbaugh suffered from (and presumably still suffers from) a pilonidal cyst on his posterior. (Limbaugh, by the way, has told people on his radio show that he was ineligible for the draft due to a high school football injury to his knee. His coach, however, does not remember Limbaugh suffering any knee injury in the one season Limbaugh played football.) source

So, a man who got out of military service in Vietnam because of a boil on his butt very loudly called a Major in the Marines, who volunteered for service in Iraq, a "staff puke" and condemned him for not serving in a combat role.

Limbaugh, incidentally, called the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse "a good time." In fact, the exact quote is: "I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?" Blowing off steam for me is having a beer with the guys, not lining up naked prisoners in sexual positions. Limbaugh followed with: "have you people noticed who the torturers are? Women! The babes! The babes are meting out the torture." source Maybe Limbaugh just needs to be spanked? Oh yeah, the boil. I forgot.

In news closer to home, I found out today that Woodbury County is the most polluted county in Iowa, and is releasing more toxins than any other county in the state. The culprit? MidAmerican Energy. source The top five polluters in Woodbury County are:

1. MidAmerican Energy, Sergeant Bluff plant.
2. MidAmerican Energy, Salix plant.
3. Terra Nitrogen, Sergeant Bluff.
4. Ag Processing Inc., Sergeant Bluff.
5. Sioux City Brick and Tile, Sergeant Bluff.

Maybe we could write some letters to MidAmerican? You can contact them here. (I'm sure MidAmerican does a good job at what they do - I have no complaints about their service - but I'm sure they can find a way to clean up their act.)

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