Some items members wanted to note for the community (below are excerpts).
Tammy e-mails noting Joseph Alexander Ferrandino's "A Voter Without A Party" (from Rita J. King's Ruminations on America):
Joseph A. Ferrandino, 28, lives with his wife and son, Joseph Truman, in Florida. He recently earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology from the University of South Florida.
I am a lifelong Democrat who named his son Truman. I have always felt that the Democratic Party was the party of the people, the party that represented the true American spirit, values and principles. I am today, sadly, a man with no representation in government. Rather than living in a democracy, I am living in a theocracy of the minority imposed on the majority. My party has let that happen and let me down.
The core belief of a Democrat is that a nation is judged by what it does for it's poorest and most needy citizens. The Republican Party, the party in power at all levels of government, corporations and media, has always been the party of the rich minority. A perfect example is the newest energy bill approved by Congress. Yet gas prices rise. Electric bills rise. Home heating costs soar. President Bush and Congress signed that bill, with its billions of dollars for bridges to nowhere. That is just one of many mammoth bills from a "compassionate conservative" who has been running a country with high job losses, stagnated wages, the disappearance of health care and pensions, all while lowering taxes and waging war--the first American President in our history to do so. The question is why was this able to happen.
The answer-the extinction of the Democratic Party.
Brenda wanted to note Cindy Sheehan's "False Freedom Isn't Free: The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford -- Day 19" (BuzzFlash):
Today when I was driving back and forth between Camp Casey II and the Crawford Peace House, I saw a lot of signs that say "I'm4W" "Support our Troops" and the one I hate the most: "Freedom isn't Free." I have excerpted an article I wrote a few months ago called: A Lie of Historic Proportions. I am not feeling well tonight, so I am heading to bed before six a.m. tonight.
Iraq has been the tragic Lie of Historic Proportions of Washington, DC since before the first Gulf war. For years, Saddam was one of our government's propped up and militarily supported puppets. Many people have seen the famous footage of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam. I suppose the two are smiling so big for the cameras because they are kindred spirits. After all of the hand-shaking and weapon brokering, when did Saddam become such a bad guy to Bush, Cheney, Halliburton and Co.? (Insert your favorite reason here).
During the Clinton regime the US-UN led sanctions against Iraq and the weekly bombing raids killed tens of thousands of people in Iraq. Many of them were children, but since one of her children didn't have to be sacrificed to the homicidal war machine, Madeline Albright, thinks the slaughter during the "halcyon" Clinton years was "worth it." More lies.
Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of current events understands that this invasion/occupation of Iraq was not about Saddam being a "bad guy." If that logic is used, then how many innocent Iraqi people have to die before the citizens of America wake up and know that our government is a "bad guy?" We also know that Iraq was not about WMD's. They weren't there and they weren't going to be there for at least a decade, by all reports.
Another reason, so wispy and more difficult to disprove, is that America invaded Iraq to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people. When one tries to dispute this particular deception, one is accused of being unpatriotic or hating freedom. Even though correct, the statement "Freedom isn't Free" is very insulting to me. False freedom is very expensive.
[As BuzzFlash notes, "Learn more about Cindy at http://www.meetwithcindy.org/ or about Gold Star Families for Peace at http://www.gsfp.org."]
Bernardo wanted to note Seant T. Lewis' "Why I'm Leaving the American Legion: An Open Letter to the National Commander" (also BuzzFlash):
I have been paying attention to all of the good things The American Legion does: community service, veterans' advocacy, and lobbying for veterans' issues.
Despite the Legion's support for European Fascism and Benito Mussolini 70 years ago, I felt that those sympathies of the past were just that: the past -- a dark chapter in the otherwise stalwart history of The American Legion.
Yesterday, you proved me wrong.
That your address to the National Convention this week repeated as fact the lies by which this country was led down the path to war in Iraq is despicable, but of only secondary importance to me. Passage of Resolution #3, and your statement that anti-war demonstrations should be suppressed "by any means necessary" is taken directly from playbooks written by Goebbels, Marcos and Duvalier.
I cannot speak for you, but I enlisted, trained and fought with the ideal and willingness to protect and defend the rights of all Americans, not only the ones who agree with me. First among these rights, enumerated appropriately in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, are the freedoms of Speech, of Assembly, of Association, of Religion and of the Press.
Now The American Legion has taken an official stand against The Constitution of the United States. You should be ashamed.
??? e-mailed to note Cindy Sheehan's "A Return to Camp Casey: The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford -- Day 18" (yes, BuzzFlash):
The most emotional thing for me though was walking through the main tent and seeing the huge painting on canvas of Casey.
Many things hit me all at once: That this huge movement began because of Casey's sacrifice; thousands, if not millions of people know about Casey and how he lived his life and the wrongful way in which he was killed; but the thing that hit me the hardest was how much I miss him.
I miss him more everyday. It seems the void in my life grows as time goes on and I realize I am never going to see him again or hear his voice. In addition to all this, the portrait is so beautiful and moving and it captures Casey's spirit so well. I sobbed and sobbed. I was surrounded by photographers, I looked around until I finally found a friendly face, then the news people crushed in on me and I couldn't breathe. I didn't mean to have such a dramatic re-entrance to Camp Casey, but the huge portrait of Casey really surprised me.
I can take all of the right wing attacks on me. I have been lied about and to before. Their attacks just show how much I am getting to them and how little truth they have to tell. What really hurts me the most is when people say that I am dishonoring Casey by my protest in Crawford. By wanting our troops to come home alive and well, that I am somehow not supporting them.
So, after Joan Baez gave us a great concert tonight, I got up and I talked about Casey. About the sweet boy who grew up to be a remarkable young man. Casey was not always a brave, big soldier man. He was my sweet, sweet baby once. I told the people at the Camp named after him, that when he was about 2 years old, he would come up behind me and throw his arms around my legs, kiss me on the butt and say: "I wuv you mama." I also talked about the loving big brother and wonderful, nearly perfect son. Casey was a regular guy who wanted to get married, have a family, be an elementary school teacher, and a Deacon in the Catholic Church. He wanted to be a Chaplain's assistant in the Army, but was lied to about that also by his recruiter. The last time I talked to him when he called from Kuwait, he was on his way to mass.
[As BuzzFlash notes: "Learn more about Cindy at http://www.meetwithcindy.org/ or about Gold Star Families for Peace at http://www.gsfp.org/."]
We'll close this by noting Dahr Jamail's latest again, "Two 'Green Zones':"
Attacks on US forces in Iraq are now back up over 70 per day…we'll cross the 2,000 dead mark before too much longer, and things are about to get much, much worse. As Iraqis continue to say, "Today is better than tomorrow." The same goes for US troops there.
There is a reason why a relatively recent Army survey found that 54% of all soldiers in Iraq reported either "low" or "very low" morale.
There is also a reason why, again according to the Army, that 30% of all soldiers returning from Iraq develop mental health problems 3-4 months after their return.
And there is a reason why soldiers like Nicolas Prubyla come home and join organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War.
"Up until five days ago, I had large amounts of blood in my stool," he told me recently, "I've felt tired all the time, I have had loss of hair…loss of the feeling in my right arm…I'm battling this stuff."
What he is battling is exposure to uranium munitions in Iraq. He is battling radiation sickness as the result of the most recent nuclear war waged by the United States of America. There is a reason why over 11,000 veterans from the '91 Gulf War are dead today, and over 250,000 others are on medical disability. That reason (hundreds and hundreds of tons of uranium munitions dropped on Iraq) is the same thing Prubyla is battling today.
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