Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Monday, November 21, 2011

A Different Kind Of Anti War Movie

Commentary By Ron Beasley

Today President Obama signed a bill giving tax credits to employers hiring veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.  A worthy cause and similar to efforts that I was part of during the Vietnam war.  Even those soldiers who are not physically injured are mentally injured and employers know this.  Vietnam was bad, Iraq was worse.  I was a member of the military during the Vietnam war and although I was never in Vietnam I knew many who were.  Most of those he served in Vietnam were OK when they came home but many were not.  From what I have seen even more of the Iraq war veterans are not OK.  If I were an employer I would think twice before hiring an Iraq war veteran.  That brings us to the movie - In the Valley of Elah.

In 2004, in Munro, Tennessee, the former Sergeant and owner of a tow truck Hank Deerfield tries to contact his son Mike in Fort Rudd after a period serving in Iraq. However, he is informed that his son is missing in the base and has become Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL). Hank drives to the base to search his son and after an interview with the military staff, he is not convinced of the answers; then he goes to the police precinct telling that Mike is a missing person. However, the jurisdictional conflict between the Army and the police associated to a lack of interest in the case leaves Hank in limbo. Detective Emily Sanders feels sympathy for Hank and together they investigated and discover dirty little secrets with an impressive case of dehumanization caused by the invasion and consequent war in Iraq.

When his son who has just returned from Iraq goes AWOL/missing Hank Deerfield, a retired military investigator, discovers that his son was murdered by his fellow Iraq war veterans.  He also discovers that his son and his fellow soldiers return from Iraq damaged even if it's not physical.  That is a somewhat intangible cost of war. 


  1. Powerful movie and maybe the best performance ever by Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon both. Saw it twice and wept like a baby all the way through it both times. The ending is a heartbreaker and very much on point.

  2. I agree Bill it was a really good movie with really good acting. It's message is also an important one. The physical injuries are obvious the physiological ones not so much. After 10 years of these wars many of our policemen are veterans of these wars which may account for some of the police overreach.