Coming Up

September 4th Show

We're back in full swing and hard at work on today's show. Here's what's happening today:

In our first hour we are joined by (Ret.) General John Keane, former Army acting chief of staff and Anthony Cordesman, military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Both have recently returned from separate trips to Iraq and will share their thoughts about what's happening in the region. Later in that hour we will talk to Dr. Mark Olfson, professor of clinical psychiatry at New York's Columbia University, who will answer your questions about bipolar disorder. Be sure to send us your questions.

For our second hour we'll talk about The Python Years with British comic Michael Palin. His new book is a decade long collection of diary entries of the members of the comedy group Monty Python. Following that, we'll talk about the "cost" of wearing saggy pants. Lindel Toups, councilman in LaFourche Parish in Lousiana, will talk about his proposed legislation to ban the public display of undergarments that was made into state law last month. We'll end the hour with your emails and blog comments. Now that the dog days of summer are officially over, tell us about how your life changed on this day after Labor Day. Did you cart your kids off to school for the first time? And how bad was that commute this morning?

Leave us your comments!!

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My Questions to Congress
You await reports from the generals on the ground in Iraq to find out how the 'war' is going.

Does that mean you haven't heard that the Iraqi people are living in increasing misery, without electricity, clean water, medical care, jobs, and any sense of safety, while the infrastructure of their country crumbles? That 4 million Iraqi people have become refugees, to escape the dangers of life in their own country?

Does that mean you don't know that 4000 American youth have been killed and that an untold number have been maimed for life, both physically and mentally?

Do you not know that more than 10,000 service men and women have gone AWOL, and the recruiters are having increasing difficulty convincing more innocent kids to sign up?

Have you lost track of the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11?

Have you not noticed the increasing number of military leaders and high government officials who bravely are calling for an end to this debacle?

Are you unaware of the increasing number of terrorists who are using Iraq as a training ground, and the hatred of the United States around the world that this invasion has bred?

How do you continue to ignore the fact that most Americans want this invasion to end now?

What more do you need to hear? What are you waiting for?

Kayla Starr

Sent by kayla starr | 2:13 PM | 9-4-2007

Today my life changed when I dropped our foreign exchange student off for her first day at a new high school. She has been here for 5 days and went into the new school, she said she didn't want anyone to go with her. For me, I wondered what I would do if I were 15 and in a new country - would I want someone to walk me in, or like most teens in america would I be imbarrased? As I glanced at my oldest I wondered how will I feel when I drop him off, next year, for his first day of high school? And I got the twinge of tears all the way back from his first day at pre-school. I can definitely wait for next year. As I watched our foreign exchange student walk into the school with confidence, I admired her strength and obvious disdain for my concern - well teens aren't that different no matter what country they are from!

Sent by Natalie Beck | 4:05 PM | 9-4-2007

OUR Iraq dilemma is similar to the dilemma faced last Friday afternoon (8/17/07) by the rescue managers in the Utah mine accident (and also by the rescuers and their families).
AS OF that Friday afternoon the rescue operation had suffered 3 deaths and 6 injuries in the ranks of the would-be rescue crew.
THE rescuers were trying to reach 6 trapped miners whose condition is unknown.
IF THESE miners were already dead then the rescue operation has increased the death toll by 50%.
THEY were now at or approaching the time limit beyond which no trapped miner had ever been rescued alive.
FOR the rescuers and their families it was now a matter of how many more lives were they willing to risk in order to demonstrate solidarity (and keep faith) with the trapped miners and their families.
IN SHORT it was a very clear, but poignant cost/benefit equation.
THE same is true for Iraq but the millions of details of the war blind us to the very simple cost/benefit analysis that is required.
IRAQIS are trapped in the rubble of their collapsed nation.
WE ARE now up against a time limit beyond which no nation as divided as Iraq is has ever been rescued intact without a civil war.
WHAT muddles the Iraq War cost/benefit analysis is that we won't have the wake-up call of a 50% increase in the death toll in a very short period of time.
LIKE the proverbial frog in the slowly heating pot of water we haven't been shocked, as the miners' families were, into full awareness of how many more lives we could lose in an effort to keep faith with the heroes already wasted in the Iraq War.

Sent by Ben Andrews | 9:38 PM | 9-4-2007

Re: Baggy Pants.
I'll guarentee passing a law against the wearing of baggy pants 'south of the border' will render this "fashion" obligatory to anyone wishing to cock a snoot at a pompous authority.
It's a pity that Councilman Lindel Toups did not have the chance to listen to Michael Palin's use of ridicule against authority because it can be used just as well against baggy pants.
Heaven preserve us from this silly idea that we can legislate behavior when we can be far more effective using a light touch.
On the other hand, I would be in favor of banning legislators from wearing a flag on their lapel - as if we couldn't tell from their words and actions which side they are on.
Now please excuse me while I loosen my belt and with a bit of a wiggle.....

Sent by Malcolm Martindale | 1:58 PM | 9-7-2007

The situation we're in is regrettable, mostly caused by Rumsfeld and Cheny and General Officers. But pulling out now will not make things better for the Iraqi people. I've done my time in Al Anbar as a Marine and saw it first hand. As a result, I believe almost nothing I hear in the press if they are reporting from Bagdad. Reporters should get out of the green zone and spend time with the troops and Iraqi soldiers. It's like reporting on Hurricane Katrina from Washington DC, but I digress. There are significant problems there to say the least. The Iraqi government is corrupt and ineffective, but both Sunni and Shia know that if we leave before more progress in made, genocide will follow. As unpleasant as it is, it is our duty to fix what we've messed up. It will not happen over night, but the new SECDEF and his crew seem to be headed in the right direction to allow the Iraqis to help themselves. If the Iraqis cannot reconcile with themselves for the good of their countrymen in the next 18 months they will deserve what follows after we leave.

Sent by Marine Infantry | 2:44 PM | 9-7-2007