Sunday, August 28, 2005

Crawford Aug. 27 2005

It was a large crowd, gathered together in the 101+ degree heat in Crawford, under a large tent. Just a hint of a breeze, that taunted, but did not cool. A variety of people, from elderly to the young were present. There were few pro-Bush folks around. They drove back and forth on the road, waving huge American flags, and honking their horns. One man, in particular, honked repeatedly as we sang Amazing Grace led by Joan Baez.
One thing I did not understand on any of my visits to Crawford (Aug 6, 13, 27) was the attitude of the pro-Bush folks. They spent a lot of time and energy calling us "un-American, pinkos, commies,: and worse. I can curse a blue streak and will do so at any opportunity, but these folks used words that I would not use or even repeat. They feel strongly about their cause, vut are inarticulate and tend to regurgitate the bullet points of the administration. In today's Express-News, there were 2 letters to the editor that almost word for word regurgitated the Prez's bullet points. What a waste of time. But of course, if we do not educate our children well, they will not become critical thinkers, and will be incapable of determining government fact from fiction.
I just do not understand the value of being "pro-war." The folks that protested in Crawford against the peace movement were called "pro-war" in the media. Why is being PRO WAR a good thing? Why would we want to go to war? Who benefits? Obviously the rich and corporate interests benefit, not the rest of us! Folks, stop drinking the Koolaid....wake up! There is no "good" war. We do not solve world wide terrorism by invading Iraq. It's just one country, and the root of terrorism is deeper than that. Economics and social justice play a part in the entire scenario, but we are too blind to see it.

So, more soothe my soul:

I am a lucky Veteran. I served my country in the US Army but my "war" experiences only consist of caring for post Vietnam war Veterans, being active duty for Operation Just Cause at Fort Bragg, and caring for Gulf War veterans with neurological injuries resulting from parachute training accidents at Fort Benning. I have the utmost respect for all our war veterans. I am angry that they do not get the best of medical care. They are continually short-changed by our federal government and used as "cannon fodder" for the rich.
God bless our Veterans.
Be a supporter of our Veterans. Give to the USO; volunteer at a VA Hospital, and question the closure of Walter Reed Army Hospital...which was just getting ready to open an amputee unit. Now, only BAMC will have one.
Do you find it odd that military hospitals and VA clinics are being closed at a time when we have a need to take care of the injured?
Write your legislator!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The very professional police officers in Crawford

Every time I have been up to Crawford, including the first day, Aug. 6, I have been impressed with the professionalism of the police officers. This photo was posted on the blog and is a good example of how things have been at Camp Casey in contrast to right-wing radio and media reports.

"Regarding the friendly relationship at Camp Casey with the local authorities:
Ella playing with Lt. Sid Franklin this weekend."

I just wonder how things will be this weekend as the right wingers plan their supposed invasion of Camp Casey. Previously it has been a calm, friendly place, with few anti-whatever protesters. However, with the right wing media riling up these people there is no telling what will happen. I am hoping the right wing people will remember that they usually pride themselves on being Christians, and will bring their best Christian behavior with them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bush's vacation from his vacation

New York Times
By Maureen Dowd

"W. vacationed so hard in Texas he got bushed. He needed a vacation from his vacation.
The most rested president in American history headed West yesterday to get away from his Western getaway - and the mushrooming Crawford Woodstock - and spend a couple of days at the Tamarack Resort in the rural Idaho mountains.
"I'm kind of hangin' loose, as they say," he told reporters."

Here is a photo of the largest lodgings at Tamarack Resort:
Price per night was not noted. In addition, the website noted that the ENTIRE lodge was closed for the duration of the Prez's visit.
So, what else can our most rested Prez do? How about biking?

Nice that he can "hang loose" while our troops get killed. Nice that he has the most vacation days ever of any sitting President.

Guess his "war" is going just fine, and he just keep trotting out the same old speeches in front of highly screened crowds. Although I must say, the VFW Convention attendees were awesome enought to find a way to protest without the Secret Service catching on! You see the Secret Service won't allow T-shirts, paper, markers, posters, signs, bumper stickers, etc. But these old guys found a way!

Check out the ear....

God bless those Veterans!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pittsburg police arrest, and tazer women protesters

Sgt. Clint Winkler, a supervisor on duty, told The Associated Press he tried to use pepper spray on one woman who would not leave, but it hit her glasses. She was then subdued with a Taser, Winkler said.
full article

Pepper spray and Tazers to subdue a measly 60 protesters? Outrageous abuse of power. This is still a free country, and this is inexcusable. Period. Of course, did you hear about it on NBC, CBS or ABC? Nope, the news uis canceled, we are fed the pap of celebrity and faux news.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bush flips off everyone

Go to google, click images, put this in the search box: bush + finger.
Although there are some duplicates, it is obvious that our "frat boy" and bully of a President has no sense of decency, despite labeling himself at "Christian."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

George Bush, "getting on with his life."  Posted by Picasa

Today, Thurday Aug. 18 I have many things on my mind ...

Therefore this post will be a free assocation of thoughts, in no particular order. Just as our world is a less orderly place, so are my thoughts. So many problems in our country, and no solutions, it's frustrating.

First, this letter by Elizabeth Edwards:

"Cindy wants Casey's death to have meant as much as his life -- lived fully -- might have meant. I know this, as does every mother who has ever stood where we stand. And the President says he knows enough, doesn't need to hear from Casey's mother, doesn't need to assure her that Casey's is not one small death in a long and seemingly never-ending drip of deaths, that there is a plan here that will bring our sons and daughters home. He doesn't need to hear from her, he says. He claims he understands how some people feel about the deaths in Iraq.

The President is wrong." complete letter

The right wing bashes Cindy Sheehan:

"Pro-Bush media hit squads are busily spreading the notions that Sheehan is a dupe of radicals, na├»ve and/or nutty. But the most promising avenue of attack is likely to be the one sketched out by Fox News Channel eminence Bill O’Reilly on Aug. 9, 2005, when he declared that Cindy Sheehan bears some responsibility for “other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.”
During a typical outburst in early 2003 before the Iraq invasion, Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience: “I want to say something about these anti-war demonstrators. No, let’s not mince words, let’s call them what they are—anti-American demonstrators.” Weeks later, former Congressman Joe Scarborough, a Republican rising through the ranks of national TV hosts, said on MSNBC: “These leftist stooges for anti-American causes are always given a free pass. Isn’t it time to make them stand up and be counted for their views, which could hurt American troop morale?”

Such poisonous sludge is now pouring out of some mass media—and we should expect plenty more in response to a growing anti-war movement."
" more

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart on Bush vs. Cindy. (You gotta love Jon Stewart!)
In a segment titled -- what else? -- "Texas Scold'em," Stewart covers Cindy Sheehan's vigil in his own peculiar way (video here).

Out at "Dude Ranch One," the president steps onto the set of Bonanza to concede that Sheehan does, of course, have the right to say what she believes, as long, Stewart says, as long as that position's a mile away from the BBQ pit!"

And to Bush's statement that he must "go on with my life," Stewart, nearly losing his comic cool, responds: "yes, I've gotta be strong, it's time for me to put this woman's dead son behind me and just move on."

George Bush, "getting on with his life."  Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 15, 2005

Monday morning in Crawford


The ninth day ended in the most awesome way. We were out at Camp Casey and it was sprinkling a little bit and it really looked like the rain was going to start pouring down anytime. We looked over into the next cow pasture and there was a full rainbow. Rainbows are supposedley God's sign of hope. When Casey was killed on 04/04/04, I thought that all of my hope was killed, too. Being involved in the peaceful occupation of Crawford and meeting hundreds of people from all over the world has given me so much hope for the future.

We had a lovely interfaith prayer service this morning. It was truly beautiful and we were all weeping while we were singing "Amazing Grace." But, during the service, one of our neighbors fired off a shot gun. He said he was shooting at birds, but he is tired of us being there and he wants us to leave. I didn't get to talk to him, but I told the media that if he wanted us to leave so badly, why doesn't he tell his other neighbor, George, to talk to me. We are good neighbors and we are cooperating with everyone. By the way, in case I forgot to blog it last night, the Sheriff has requested that I stay down in Crawford during the night, because he is afraid for my safety after he leaves. He said he would "sleep better" himself at night if I came into town to sleep. Judging from the shooting guns, I guess he was right.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Cindy Sheehan's war

"Sheehan herself seems unfazed by the media circus and image-shaping going on around her. In a world where horrors are referred to euphemistically, or limned in politely, or artfully ignored, she does something quite rare -- she calls things by their names as she sees them. She is as blunt and impolite in her mission as the media is circumspect and polite in its job, as most of the opposition to George Bush is in its "opposition." And it was her very bluntness, her ability to shock by calling things by their actual names, by acting as she saw fit, that let her break through and that may help turn a set of unhappy public opinion polls into a full-scale antiwar movement.

What will happen next? Will the President actually attend a funeral? Will Cindy Sheehan force him from his Green-Zone world? Suddenly, almost anything seems possible.

However the media deals with her, she embodies every bind the administration is in. As with Iraq (as well as Iran), the administration can't either make its will felt or sweep her off the landscape. Bush and his officials blinked at a moment when they would certainly have liked to whack her, fearing the power of the mother of a dead son from their war. And then, completely uncharacteristically, they vacillated and flip-flopped. They ignored her, then negotiated. They sent out their attack dogs to flail at her, then expressed sympathy. Officials, who have always known what to do before, had no idea what to do with Cindy Sheehan. The most powerful people in the world, they surely feel trapped and helpless. Somehow, she's taken that magical presidential something out of George and cut him down to size. It's been a remarkable performance so far."

The Tomdispatch article is very insightful, clarifying many historical facts and is well worth the read

Shots fired by Camp Casey!

10:15 a.m.
From Deborah Mathews' report for The Iconoclast: Camp Casey is becoming very organized, with how-to signs placed about. Ann Wright said, "That's what we are trying to do."

Let me read you the schedule posted on a tree: "9:15 camp meeting; 10 a.m. inter-faith service, 10:30 a.m., "Food-Not-Bombs Breakfast at Peace House," and....

"Wait! Someone is firing a gun. (pause). He fired it into the air about five times. He appears to be a local inside the fence line on private property. Now he has thrown what looks like a shotgun into the front seat of a pickup, and he's stomping off out of sight. I wonder where he went.

"Now he's coming back out. I'm out here standing on the road. He's got a no parking sign in his hand, walking toward his fence. I'm going to go try to talk to him. I've got to hang up."

The man is Larry Mattlage, who says he is on his property and just posted a no-parking sign.

"We're going to start doing our war and it's going to be underneath the law," he told me. "Whatever it takes. So y'all go find another place to do whatever you do. 'Cause this is our front yard and back yard."

It was from behind this vehicle that shots were fired. Note the box of shells on the tailgate of this pickup.

As he hung a “No Parking” sign on his fence, he said:

“We’re gonna’ start doing our war, but we’re gonna’ do it underneath the law, or whatever it takes. So you all go find you another place to do whatever you’re gonna’ do, because this is our front yard and back yard.”

I asked him, “When you say you all, do you mean the protestors?”

He answered, “I’m talking this whole damn country is neighbors and friends and this is our country. And if this group says that they are so much in Jesus and neighbors' rights and all that they pretend to be, why don’t they show it. You gotta’ live it. You gotta’ live Jesus Christ. And this is not Jesus Christ . . .

Another reporter walked up and asked, “Are you Mr. Mattlage?”

“I sure as hell am,” he answered. “Well, I want to get on the Letterman Show. I want to get on Jay Leno. This is a joke out here. You done your right and I believe in ??. This ain’t about Democrats and this ain’t about Republicans. This is about my rights and these people’s rights as American citizens who live here. You done your deal. You done your show. Now move on. I’m asking that as an American citizen and a taxpaying citizen, because I pay taxes to the middle of this road, and I mow it, and I keep it clean, and all I got now is trespassers. If that ain’t right, it ain’t right, but I want the whole world to know what they’ve done. They started out doing right and now they are doing wrong. When they first got here, I understood their cause and I appreciate it. I don’t like the war no more than anybody else, but right here we got war . . right on my front yard. Everybody here is sick of it. If everybody will leave now, everybody will go home a winner. Then the president can enjoy his vacation like everybody else and these farmers and ranchers can go check their cattle without having to go through a campsite.”

Deborah: Are any of them prevented from getting to their cattle now?

Mr. Mattlage: Ma’am, who wants to wade through all these people walking around there. What this is a war of porta-potties and the one with the most porta-potties is gonna’ win and you know who that is don’t you. You all got started out going to the bathroom in a five gallon bucket. Now, I see three porta-potties. How many more porta-potties are we going to have to put up with? Now, George Bush has more porta-potties than you all, so if I was a bettin’ man, I’d say he’s gonna win. So let’s don’t make this a little more ridiculous than it is now. Everybody go back a winner. You’ve made your point. I’m proud of you. God bless all of you.

Reporter: Did you fire a shotgun?

Mr. Mattlage: Yes I did! I got a right to fire up in the air. I am getting ready for dove season and you all are messing up my dove huntin’, so if you all could please leave and go somewhere else, this whole community would be behind you.
em>[Note: Central Zone Texas Dove Season 2005; Sept 1 to Oct 30 & Dec 26 to Jan 4]

Reporter: How many acres do you have?

Mr. Mattlage: It don’t make any difference. That don’t have nothing to do with it. I pay taxes to the middle of this road and that person over there (he said as he pointed across the road to the opposite side) pays taxes to the middle of that road.

Reporter: So this is your land right here?

Mr. Mattlage: This is my land right here. We’ve been here for 125 years, okay. And this group ain’t running us out. Our family’s fought in wars, drought—grew up without any water—we’re pretty tough folks. We will survive this. This group is like Frosty the Snowman here. It’s gonna’ melt and they’ll be back another day. We are just waiting for Frosty to melt. We’ve got one group over here that’s not gonna’ give up and we’ve got one group over here won’t give up and we right here in the middle. Do you understand? This ain’t New York and it ain’t California and it ain’t Washington. I’m not political. I’m just a taxpaying citizen that wants my rights. That’s all I got to say. Thank you. And I will be back here all night long and I’ll be shootin’ at doves in the air, so anybody that camps here better get ready for some gunfire. If we don’t hit anything, I want every redneck in Texas to come on my property and this property here and we gonna’ really have a show. Thank You."

Now shooting and being called traitors, does lynching come next? Is the truth about Bush that scary that his followers, like the members of a religious cult, must follow and support their leader no matter what, regardless of facts?
Great thanks to the Lone Star Iconoclast, catch them and Cindy watch here They are the best, most complete and unbiased news source there is! and audio links are here

This story embodies some of what is going on at Camp Casey

Annie and the man in the pick up truck

As everyone was going about their business, waiting for the counter protesters to arrive, a man drove up in a huge diesel pickup truck. You know the kind, with the big doolie wheels and such. He parked right in the center of the triangle – right in the space no one from Camp is supposed to be. He parked in such a way that the front end of his truck was facing directly towards the tents where Cindy and the other military families sleep – and where all the crosses of fallen soldiers have been erected.

The man sat in his truck for quite some time while our people looked on and waited to see what he intended. After a while, one of the vets from Camp Casey walked up to the man’s truck and informed him that no one was allowed to park in the triangle. The gentleman identified himself as the father of a fallen soldier. Anne Wright walked up to this man’s truck and began speaking with him through his rolled down window. He told her that he did not support what Cindy and the others are doing at Camp Casey, but he wanted to come and see if his son’s name was on one of the crosses. Anne invited him to come walk the crosses with her. The man got out of his truck and went with Anne to move up and down the rows of crosses, looking together for his son’s name. When they found it, they sat down in front of it, wrapped their arms around each other and cried together.

The entire Camp was affected by this event. I suspect that there were few dry eyes in our little corner of Crawford yesterday afternoon. I know that even as Annie related this story to me, I was choking up and having a very difficult time typing as she spoke, her voice cracking as she related the tale. Much has been said on both sides of this issue about what is “right” and what is “good” and what is “honorable.” If you ask me, the interaction between Anne and “The Man In The Truck” is the perfect representation of what we are trying to accomplish – Peaceful coexistence among people of different beliefs, politics and ideologies. I don’t know who “the man in the truck” is, but should he ever read this, I want him to know how much his story touched me. I want him to know that I honor him, and I honor his child, and I honor the sacrifice his family has made in pursuit of their ideals. To you, Sir, I bow my head in respect.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Camp Casey, Crawford Texas August 13, 2005

A pissed off rancher's sign on the property adjacent to Camp Casey Posted by Picasa

One point of view from progressivegrannie and husband:

We drove up to Crawford for the second time, just to lend our support. There was a large crowd of folks, numbering in the hundreds. There was a smaller crowd of anti protesters, although it was hard to figure out what they were anti about. They bristled with flag strewn shirts, do-rags, and angry expressions. The anti people held a rally near the stadium, and had signs stating "american zone" like those of us who have not drunk the koolaid are traitors and worse. At Camp Casey some anti people, a handful, held signs saying, "don't be Michael Moore's puppets; stay the course; if we don't fight them over there..."

For both of us our experience at Camp Casey was a very moving experience. The lives that have been lost for this war of lies and deceit, is part of a tragedy that it is overwhelming. Standing and looking at the line of crosses is heartbreaking. So many parents gave their treasure, their children, in this war of lies. Then you see Cindy and the other Gold Star mothers and wonder how they can be so strong after such a loss. God bless Cindy, the mouse that roared!

See more photos below.

Many carried signs at Camp Casey

A sign at Camp Casey Posted by Picasa

Cindy Sheehan speaking at Camp Casey Posted by Picasa

The crowd forms at Camp Casey

A shot of another part of the crowd at Campy Casey Posted by Picasa

Another part of the crowd at Camp Casey

Partial shot of the crowd at Camp Casey; a HUGE crowd I might add at least 500 people  Posted by Picasa

In support of Cindy Sheehan we went to Crawford. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Some of Texas' finest, keeping us in line. Note, nobody is out of the grass. We loved the ditch. We stayed in the ditch, fire ants be damned. Posted by Picasa

Cindy Sheehan giving an interview from where she was stopped outside the Bush ranch near Crawford, Texas Posted by Picasa

March to Crawford on Aug. 6, 2005

 Posted by Picasa To view photos larger, right click and click open link.

I was there today, roasting my brains out with Ms. Sheehan and company. We were told that we could walk to a designated point, but we had to walk in the ditch because otherwise we would be on private property and would be arrested. Hmmm it was a county road, that's private? So we were walking in a ditch with tall weeds, steep sides, fire ants and possibly snakes. The chant? Bush makes Veterans walk in the ditch. Many folks had fire ant bites, including myself so we did walk on the very, very edge of the road due to these problems. In addition, we were told before hand that we could not go any farther than the bend in the road where we were stopped. Unlike the report, which stated that we were stopped because we refused to obey the police officers, where we stopped had nothing to do with us not "obeying" the police officers, it was a pre-determined stopping point set by the police before we even started walking. The average age of the march particpants was 40-50, how unruly do you think we would be? How did the police handle this? Simply, they were stationed at the bend in the road where we could go no further and behind us where we were allowed to park the bus and our cars. If anyone walked back to their cars to get water (it must have been at least 100 degrees)or to bring some back to others, they were allowed to walk to their vehicles and then told they could not come back. I guess the plan was to cause attrition by heat stroke. I do hope Cindy Sheehan can manage to stay until Bush or a representative speaks with her, but it doesn't look promising. I have a feeling they won't allow food, water or potty breaks to her. Ratio of police offices to protesters: 15 officers for 100 to 150 protesters, plus the obvious secret service guys trying to blend in. All in all, I am glad I went, but the lack of coverage by the media and the sham stories they have made up, really upsets me.
This is about our young people dying for Bush and Co.'s lies, and wanting the world to hear the stories and LISTEN. Will it ever happen? I don't know.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

20 Marines from same town killed this week in Iraq

A roadside bomb killed 14 marines on patrol near the Syrian border on Wednesday. Insurgents killed six other marines on sniper duty northwest of Baghdad on Monday.

The 20 marines were members of the 3rd Battalion, based in Brook Park, a town of 21,000 just southwest of Cleveland. From the CBC News

As I heard this, my eyes filled with tears. So many young people losing their lives for lies, lies and more lies. My heart goes out to the folks in Brookpark, Ohio, and to all the other family members of ALL our troops that have died and been maimed.

14,000 young people have been maimed in this war, 14,000 and rising. This war has the highest amputee rate of any war we have ever fought. So what does our repugnant Republican government do? Cut VA funding, cut combat pay, and this week they cut housing allowances for our military.

Bush and Co. your priorities are so skewed. This is not morally right.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Inouye: GOP not doing enough for troops

There is absolutely no excuse to short change our troops. Lord knows Bush makes it sound like we are supporting them, but he lies. More news on fund cutting the troops...from the AP:

Inouye: GOP Not Doing Enough for Troops

Sat Jul 30,11:07 AM ET

Sen. Daniel Inouye (news, bio, voting record), D-Hawaii, an Army veteran who lost his right arm in World War II, criticized Republicans on Saturday for not doing enough to help troops fighting in or returning from Iraq.

In the Democrats' weekly radio address, Inouye said Senate Republicans were focusing on legislation sought by the gun lobby while ignoring the needs of troops.

On Tuesday, the Senate put off completion of a $491 billion defense bill to act on the National Rifle Association's top priority: shielding gun manufacturers and dealers from liability suits stemming from gun crimes.

"For years, we've heard the president and congressional Republicans speak eloquently about honoring our troops," Inouye said. "But this week — when push came to shove — their priorities were different."

The senator added: "Our men and women who have served should not worry about funding for health care year after year, and our soldiers on the front lines should get the resources they need. Our Congress could consider our men and our women in uniform as our nation's top priority."

The gun bill cleared the Senate 65-31 Friday, with Inouye in opposition.

Standing up to Roberts

by: Paul Rogat Loeb
August 01, 2005
This paragraph concisely stated the most salient facts about Roberts:
"How has a seemingly nice man like Roberts supported a politics of contempt for the voice of anyone but the wealthy and powerful? In a time when the Bush administration acts as if granted the divine right of kings, it's troubling that Roberts defended Cheney's right to refuse to name the corporate participants in his secret energy policy meeting. He advised Jeb Bush on the 2000 election, and denied being a member of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society, then turned up on the Society's Washington steering committee. He's argued that the Voting Rights Act can only be violated by intentional discrimination, saying laws that incidentally discriminate are OK. Most damning, Roberts just ruled that if this administration wishes to exempt someone from the Geneva Convention and international law, they have the absolute right to do so. The belief that a president can do whatever he chooses links this nomination, the Downing Street Memo and Plamegate in a common matrix of unaccountable power."
link to article