Benny's World

Saturday, August 13, 2005

One Bush Supporter Reaches Out to"Talk to Cindy"

Cindy Sheehan offered to meet with a pro-bush parent who lost a child in the war. Only one person took up her invitation--and it was done with a hug--Gary Qualls of Temple. His son's name is on the cross in the above picture.

Other newsworthy items at Camp Casey
From AP via Yahoo!:

Pro-Bush and anti-Iraq war demonstrators square off in Texas

CRAWFORD, United States (AFP) - Hundreds of demonstrators against the war in Iraq squared of with others rallying in support of President George W. Bush, outside Bush's vacation home.

Protestors seeking a US withdrawal from Iraq gathered near Bush's ranch for a rally and were met, in this tiny town of 750, by a group of Bush supporters.

The squaring off stirred up Crawford, usually sweltering quietly in August heat. About 1,000 people swarmed into town and police came out in force.

The antiwar protest was launched a week ago by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq in April 2004. She decided to camp outside Bush's ranch until he meets with her, and to demand a withdrawal of the 138,000 US troops.

Asked Saturday about the presence of Bush supporters opposite the anti-war protestors, Sheehan said "I don't want to argue with them. This is their right as Americans to do what they do, and we realize that."

Thomas Zapp, the father of another soldier killed in Iraq in November 2004, came to rally for Bush and "talk to Cindy."

"She expresses her opinion and I want to express mine to her. She has no right to call Bush a murderer and to compare him to Saddam Hussein," he said.

Some 1,840 US troops have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003

Another AP Story, courtesy of WINK TV:

CRAWFORD, Texas Protesters on both sides of the Iraq war faced off again today across the road leading to President Bush's ranch.

At the center of it all is Cindy Sheehan -- the mother of a young soldier killed in Iraq last year. Her vigil aimed at getting a private meeting with Bush is now in its second week.

The first to gather today were some 250 counter-demonstrators who support Bush and the war effort. They stood for a few hours with signs across from the campsite where Sheehan and her supporters are staying.

Later -- after all but a dozen of the counter-demonstrators had left -- an anti-war rally of over 350 people gathered.

There were no arrests. Sheriff's deputies and Secret Service agents kept the groups on opposite sides of the road.

Update: The ad Cindy did was featured on Faux News Sunday; MTP also talks about the grieving mom who has put a real face on securing support for our troops and the advocacy for peace.

Choices--often driven by Insurance Companies & Doctors Who Don't Supply Enough JIT Information

From NYT, August 14, 2005:

Awash in Information, Patients Face a Lonely, Uncertain Road

Published: August 14, 2005
Nothing Meg Gaines endured had prepared her for this moment. Not the six rounds of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her liver. Not the doctor who told her, after Ms. Gaines was prepped for surgery, that he could not operate: a last-minute scan revealed too many tumors. "Go home and think about the quality, not the quantity, of your days," he said.

Not the innumerable specialists whom Ms. Gaines, then 39 and the mother of two toddlers, had already mowed through in her terrified but unswerving effort to save her own life. Not the Internet research and clinical trial reports, all citing the grimmest of statistics. Not the fierce, frantic journey she made, leaving home in Wisconsin to visit cancer centers in Texas and California.

Now, just about out of options, Ms. Gaines faced an excruciating decision. Her last-ditch chemotherapy regimen did seem to be working. Three medical oncologists thought she should stick with it. But two surgical oncologists thought she should first try cryosurgery, injecting liquid nitrogen into the tumors to shrink as many as possible, and then following up with chemotherapy, allowing it to be more effective.

The catch? Ms. Gaines's chances of even surviving the procedure were uncertain.

"Who will decide?" she asked a surgeon from Los Angeles.

The doctor then recited what has become the maddening litany of medical correctness: "We're in the outer regions of medical knowledge," he said, "and none of us knows what you should do. So you have to make the decision, based on your values."

Ms. Gaines, bald, tumor-ridden and exhausted from chemotherapy, was reeling. "I'm not a doctor!" she shouted. "I'm a criminal defense lawyer! How am I supposed to know?"


The comment that reasonated with me because of what happened with the specialist here:

"People want to feel a part of their health care," said David Mechanic, a medical sociologist at Rutgers University. "But they don't want to be abandoned to making decisions all on their own. When a doctor says, 'Here are your options,' without offering expert help and judgment, that is a form of abandonment. "

Friday, August 12, 2005

Day in Crawford

Someone recorded a home video of a day with the protesters in Crawford today. It was entertaining as well as enlighening. Thank you, DU for the original post. It is a QT video, but those with Windows XP or better can hear as well as see it.

President's Entourage Whizzes by Cindy

From the AP via Yahoo:

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush and his motorcade passed the growing camp of war protesters outside his ranch Friday without incident.

As Bush passed on his way to and from a political fundraiser, law enforcement blocked two intersecting roads where the demonstrators have camped out all week. Officers required the group to stand behind yellow tape, but no one was asked to leave.

The motorcade didn't stop.

Cindy Sheehan, the California mother who started the vigil along the road leading to Bush's ranch, held a sign that read: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"


Hope they didn't spling mud on them.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

O President Bush, Where Are Thou?

From the Lone Star Iconoclast (the local newspaper which also endorsed Kerry-Edwards last year):

President Bush Ditches Mother Of Slain Soldier

By Nathan Diebenow
Associate Editor

CRAWFORD — The mother of a U.S. soldier slain in Iraq was denied a face-to-face meeting with President Bush here Saturday after she walked through a ditch-like path in the August heat to the President’s Prairie Chapel Ranch.

“I didn’t come all this way from California to stand here in a ditch,” said Cindy Sheehan, 48, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, attempting to continue her trek to the ranch.

Even though two of the President’s aides later agreed to deliver her message to him, Sheehan said that she would remain in Crawford for the whole month, if need be, until she is granted a private audience with the commander-in-chief to ask him for what “noble cause” did her son die overseas.

“If he doesn’t come out to talk to me in Crawford, I’ll follow him to D.C., and I’ll camp out on his lawn,” she said, to a round of applause from her supporters. “I’ll go to prison. I don’t want to live in a country where people are treated this way.”
Sheehan’s actions, she said, were sparked by President Bush’s comments like those made last Wednesday in Grapevine to about 1,800 members of the American Legislative Exchange Council: “Our men and women who’ve lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and in this war on terror have died in a noble cause and a selfless cause.”

“We all know by now that that’s not true, and I want to ask George Bush, ‘Why did my son die? What was the noble cause that he died for?’” said Sheehan. “I don’t want [President Bush] to use my son’s name or my family name to justify any more killing or to exploit my son’s name, my son’s sacrifice, or my son’s honor to justify more killing. As a mother, why would I want one more mother to go through what I’m going through, Iraqi or American?

“And I want to tell him that the only way to honor my son’s sacrifice is to bring the troops home now.”

Her son, Casey Sheehan, 24, of Vacaville, Calif., died in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 4, 2004, when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Bush’s comments Wednesday coincided with the deaths of 12 Marine reservists from Ohio who were killed in perhaps the deadliest roadside bombing of U.S. troops in Iraq. So far, the lives of about 1,821 Americans in uniform have been taken since the 2003 invasion. Pollsters indicate that Bush’s approval ratings are declining in relation to the rise in U.S. casualties in Iraq.

Sheehan, joining anti-war activists at the Crawford Peace House, arrived with a busload of veterans from the Veterans for Peace convention which was held in Irving, near Dallas, since Thursday. The total group of activists there numbered over 50 and included members of Veteran’s for Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), CodePink, and the Crawford Peace House.

Vietnam veteran Jim Waters, not affliated with any activist group, said that he drove overnight from Lubbock alone in support of Sheehan and the Gold Star Families for Peace because he is “very concerned” about the war in Iraq and wants to ask President Bush, “Why aren’t his daughters there?”

“One of the principles of leadership is you don’t ask people to do what you yourself don’t have the courage to do, and [President Bush] is asking people to fight to their deaths when he himself and most of the architects of this war never served,” said Waters, a retired Navy commander and former hospital administrator. “[President Bush] served, but he jumped over 10,000 people to get into the National Guard Champagne Unit, so he could avoid duty in Vietnam. I had to go to Vietnam, and now he’s sending them to their deaths — over 1,800 so far.

“I’m sick and tired of what’s happening to our country,” he continued. “To me it’s almost like the White House operation is a mob operation. These guys are scary, and they’re dangerous, in my opinion.”

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Time To End Poverty

A JRE commentary forthcoming in Sojourner magazine:

You can tell a lot about people by how they treat their neighbors in need.
by Sen. John Edwards

Poverty is one of the great moral issues of our time. It cuts to the heart of America’s great promise: that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules will have the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their family. And I believe that the American people are ready to do something about it if our leaders are willing to ask them.

You can tell a lot about people by how they treat their neighbors in need. And I believe that you can tell a lot about a country’s character by how they treat millions of people who live at the margins and below: Do we send them to the shadowy corners or do we bring them to the center of our lives? We know in our hearts that in a country of our wealth and our prosperity to have so many Americans live lives of endless struggle is wrong.

LINK to read the rest of the article. Thanks to Jeebie at JREG for finding this.