Benny's World

Saturday, August 20, 2005

JRE Keeps the Mo Goin' in Hawkeye State

JRE swept through Iowa on a 2-day visit. Yesterday, he was in Waterloo, speaking at the Iowa AFL.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 6:05 AM CDT
Edwards campaigning against poverty

By JON ERICSON, Courier Staff Writer
WATERLOO --- John Edwards sees a fight against poverty as a moral imperative.

And, perhaps, as a way for Democrats to regain the higher moral ground from Republicans.

On Friday he addressed the state convention of the Iowa Federation of Labor. In his speech, he focused on poverty, but also issued a challenge for Democrats to maintain "I became a Democrat because our party is the voice for those who have no voice," Edwards said. "Well, we have to stand up for the 36 million people who live in poverty every day."

Edwards ran for vice president on John Kerry's ticket in last year's presidential election, after failing to gain the Democratic nod for the position himself. The former U.S. senator from North Carolina has since started up a center on poverty at the University of North Carolina. In February he began touring the country meeting with the poor and giving speeches on poverty.

Much of the conversation since the election regarding the Democratic party talks of the need to change to meet the needs of the electorate.

Edwards believes Democrats need to return to what built the party. He wants to attack poverty with the zest of Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert Kennedy.

"How 'bout we go out with a passion and backbone for what we believe," Edwards said. "We need to fight for the people we've always fought for. We don't need to be shifting and jiving to meet what the polls yesterday said or what the focus group said." (from the Waterloo Courier; click here to read the rest)

Today he went to Marshalltown, where the Iowa Farmers Union invited JRE as their keynote speaker this morning. Here are two personal accounts from JREG/OAC bloggers who attended the event in Marshalltown.

From Townhome girly:

We just got back from Marshalltown, Iowa after seeing JRE speak at the Iowa Farmers Union Conference. It is always nice to see him in person and hear what he has to say. I still can't believe that this is the 4th time I have seen JRE in Iowa during 2005! Of course, next month at Senator Tom Harkin's Steak Fry will be my 5th!

He tailored his message toward farm subsidies, NAFTA, CAFTA, energy prices, corporate farmers and other issues that are important to the family farm operations in Iowa. In his message he also talked about the present administration and what they are doing to this country and of course his work in bringing poverty to the attention of all people.

There were about 80 people who attended, so it was a small gathering. Candidates who are running for Governor of the State of Iowa spoke before JRE. Our next election is extremely important as Gov. Tom Vilsack is not running for re-election and this election will set the stage in Iowa for the 2008 presidential election.

For those of you who find this important: Blue suit, white shirt and RED tie was this morning's apparel. Patrick was JRE's aide this morning. He is not going to the Iowa State Fair today because Elizabeth wants him home tonight in North Carolina. Emma Claire and Jack start back at school on Monday, so Dad has to be home!

I hope many of you can come to Tom Harkins Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa in September!

From Im4JRE:

Since Townhome girly did such an excellent job reporting on what JRE talked about, I will tell you about the people and their reaction to JRE.

Iowa has to be one of the most friendliest states in America. I think I talked to almost all of the 80 or so people there. Everyone I spoke to said JRE is the one that we need in 2008! Big surprise to those of us who knew that already.

JRE spoke of his loving wife, Elizabeth, and said how strong and brave she was and that he stood by and watched her and if had went thru what she and other breast cancer survivors had, he would have cried like a baby. He also went on to say that she is the love of his life and that they have been married 28 years and that he couldn't imagine a day without her! A standing ovation on that one. JRE spoke about 15-20 minutes, took a few questions from the audience and then was out the door to catch a plane home to Elizabeth.

I had lunch there and sat with Townhome girly and her friend Constance, and there is something to be said about instant friendship and being connected. I do believe JRE brings out the best in all of us. Sitting with us was a priest, two lovely farm wives, a gentleman farmer, and another businessman. We discussed among ourselves what a tragedy Bush has brought upon us.

I heard both Chet Culver and Ed Fallon, both running for Governor of Iowa, speak. I thought both were good, and I saw JRE talking to Culver afterwards.

Mardee, I did get JRE's autograph for you. Bless his heart, as I said, he was hurrying to catch his plane, but when I said "Senator Edwards, a moment please", he stopped and looked and then gave a smile and said "You want me to sign that", I said yes and thanked him.

I am never disappointed in hearing JRE speak, even though we have heard it before, it just gets better and better. Again, I feel very fortunate to be part of John Edwards supporters and I'm looking forward to Harkin's steak fry and meeting more JRE supporters.


Oh, we blueneckers..we have to wait for a primary I guess to see JRE.

'He's a good rider' W Says about Lance

From Sports Illustrated:

President, Armstrong take spin on 'Tour de Crawford'
Posted: Saturday August 20, 2005 5:24PM

WACO, Texas (AP) -- It's no yellow jersey, but President Bush on Saturday presented Lance Armstrong with another shirt to show for his biking experiences -- a red, white and blue T-shirt emblazoned "Tour de Crawford."

The leader of the free world and the world's biking master rode for 17 miles on Bush's ranch for about two hours at midmorning. Bush showed Armstrong the sites of the ranch that he calls "a little slice of heaven," including a stop at a waterfall midway through the ride.

They were accompanied by a small group of staff and Secret Service agents and a film crew from the Discovery Channel, Armstrong's sponsor, which had exclusive media access for the ride. Footage was shot for a program on Armstrong, who has won a record seven straight Tour de France titles, to air next week.

Neither Bush nor Armstrong spoke to reporters, although White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president was impressed with the champ's skills.

"Recognizing what the world has known for years, the president said, 'He's a good rider,"' Duffy said.


Duh, Mr. President. That's the best complement about the 7-time champion of the Tour De France? I realize he's teasing Lance (in a Texan way0 but he could have been a little more effusive.

DU'ers are upset with Lance for taking W's invitation, especially with Camp Casey close by. I disagree with those who are upset with Lance. I think when you are are world reknown cycling champion and the President (even if he espouses policies you disagree with) extends a personal invitation to you to ride with him, you should. But this event doesn't excuse or shield the President from avoiding Cindy Sheehan either.

Cartoonists Hammer Bush on Sheehan Issue

From Editor and Publisher:
By E&P Staff

Published: August 16, 2005 12:10 PM ET

NEW YORK The refusal of President Bush to meet this month with Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq, has inspired many editorial cartoons now collected in one area of "Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index."

Cagle's Web site links to the "Showdown with Sheehan" section on the top of its home page today.

Inside the section, one of the drawings is by Cagle himself. The cartoonist shows Bush contentedly sleeping despite the presence of mothers outside his window holding signs saying things like "My son died for nothing."

Another cartoon, by Larry Wright of The Detroit News, pictures Bush lounging in the Texas sun telling a Secret Service agent: "I don't think I'll need the sunscreen this vacation." The reason? Sheehan is blocking the sun with a huge placard reading: "What did my son die for in Iraq, Mr. President?"

Chan Lowe of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Tribune Media Services (TMS) shows a Secret Service agent informing Sheehan: "The emperor would very much like to meet with you, but he can't seem to find his clothes."


Friday, August 19, 2005

Daily Kos: Clark is Like JFK, Edwards is Like FDR

by Stirling Newberry

Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 05:33:59 PDT
As potential challengers to Hillary, these are the two people I take the most seriously. For the moment I'm going to set aside the horse race thinking - and focus on the personal qualities of these two men.

The reason Wes Clark creates such excitement is that he has the quality of incandesence which JFK had, the belief that he represents a bright light which is dawning over America. Edwards, by contrast, while he looks more the part, is far more like Franklin Delano Roosevelt - a man with an affable surface, but a deliberative core who offers himself as being the tide of an awakened America.

Stirling Newberry's diary :: ::
If you look at Wes Clark, you can tell that he is not only bright, but brilliant. His eyes pierce every individual, grab every topic. His movements show a man with overflowing energy, who wants to talk to every person, examine every problem, and look into every detail. Nothing seems to escape his notice. If one is from the military, this is an almost essential way of being to cultivate.

His writing merely enlarges this impression, he presents himself as a warrior and a leader. No political figure in the last 40 years has made the idea of leadership and courage so central to his image.

His leadership is the kind of beckoning call to complete the mission and go over the next hill, and in the tradition of American military leadership - his basic philosophy is "follow me". Clark is the techno-optimist, but also the believer in what the ancient greeks called "arete" - excellence. Clark's speeches are loaded with references to what people can do at their best, when they go beyond what they thought was possible.

This quality is matched with a devotion that has taken on a legendary quality. Talk to a long time Clark supporter, and almost everyone has a story that runs "and so I got in the car and drove all night"... You can here it from Eric Massa, one time aid and congressional candidate, but also from any number of other people who have crossed the state - or the country - for Wes Clark.

Part of this is because he has an intensity of personal connection, when he listens it seems as if he is listening to one person only. He seems to be the person that every smart person in the country believes will listen to the importance of a particular problem, and could be convinced if only there was a chance.

Clark makes its seem like he will get the best people and get the most from them, driving them forward, and taking endless pains to hold the world together.

His personal motto is "be all you can be". And he makes many want to be all that they can be.

- - -

John Edwards is a man whose public image does not capture his essential strength as a political leader: John Edwards draws out the thinking of those who work for him, and comes to judgement. He is also a man who relentlessly critiques his own judgements and his past - but on stage before others. If Clark looks and leads, then Edwards listens and pulls. If Clark is "the light", then Edwards presents himself as the tide of the inevitable. If Clark presents himself as the future, Edwards is the present.

Looking through how different presidents have run the office, there is one President whose ability to reach down to local political leadership, and tell them that the time has come for change - and that President is FDR.

FDR's personal political style, in how he ran his organizations, is also as close a match as one could find. FDR had a boundless capacity to absorb what people told him, the ability to find out the structure, and the ideas that animated what they presented, and then he drew all of this in, and deliberated in a place where no one else could reach. It was both his great gift, and made him maddeningly enigmatic.

There is no sign on Edward's face of his personal tragedies or trials. And in this, people underestimate the emotional depth that allows him to mask them. The same was true of FDR, who in the run up to 1932, was written off as a genial dilletente by the press.

It allows him to present one face to the world, smiling or conscientious, forceful or wise - all of the while searching for that emotional balance point. It is more than an intellectual process, it is a matter of instinct.

And what it allows Edwards to do is to look out over the broad sweep of America, and embrace all of it at once. He feels for millions who have been left out of American prosperity, for the millions whose prosperity hangs by the housing bubble, and for their children who are having opportunities foreclosed and foresaken.

This is what makes Edwards a compelling figure when persuading individual politicians and local people - in the end, he creates around him the belief that there is a vast ocean of America, ready and able to turn the tide against our problems, and that he, most specifically he, is at the crest of that tide. A tide that will push out fear and hesitation, and will act from that deep heart of America, urging us to do what is right.

Not willing to buy the concept that Clark is like JFK.

When Cindy Gets Back

Photo Courtesy of Glen Barry's Earth Blog. Glen Barry is an ecologist from Wisconsin who decided to join the protesters at Camp Casey.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Godspeed, Cindy, to you & Your Mom

Yahoo! reports that Cindy Sheehan had to leave Camp Casey to be with her ailing mom, who had a stroke today. Godspeed to you Cindy the Peace Mom while you take care of your mother. Here's a flower for you both.

From Crawfordupdate blog:

We got word a few hours ago that Cindy's mother had a stroke. We dont' know how serious the stroke is and cannot tell you whether she is in stable condition or not. Cindy and her sister left a hour ago to take a plane to LA from Waco. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her immediate family.

We are still here. Over 300 people are on the grounds right now. Over 200 mothers are marching right now. Its Thursday. We will have thousands here by Saturday. We need your help in sending this message to President Bush: Get out sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, neighbors and schoolteachers, husbands and wives out of Iraq.

This stand will continue. The Iraq Veterans Against the War are still here. The Veterans for Peace are still here. Military Families Speak Out are all still here. Goldstar Families, founded by Cindy and her sister, are still here. And you're still here. Come to Crawford. Stand with us

UPDATE from Cindy Sheehan and the CrawfordUpdate blog:

Cindy wanted to pass this message on to her supporters, both here in Camp Casey and and around the world:

"I'm going to take care of my mother right now, but I hope to be back before the end of August. Meanwhile, keep the camp together, and keep your spirits high. I may have started this camp out, but I'm counting on you to continue the movement. The call to end the war must be made by everyone!"

Cindy, we're thinking of you and praying for your mother's health. Do what you need to do and we'll see you soon! We'll move our camp early tomorrow morning before the Interfaith service at noon, and we're really looking forward to having more space and security (and being closer to Bush's ranch ;) The camp will be even bigger and better by the time you return to us.

UPDATE: Amy Goodman Interviews Cindy (posted August 19, 2005)

AMY GOODMAN: This is Cindy Sheehan, the woman who began it all here just a few weeks ago when she left a Veterans for Peace annual meeting in Dallas and headed to President Bush's ranch, asking if he would simply have a meeting with her. I asked her yesterday at the airport how her mother was.

CINDY SHEEHAN: It’s too early to tell. She was still in the emergency room when we left, so we didn't get any messages from my brother, who is there with her right now. So, hopefully, the status hasn't changed since we last talked to him.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think it means for you to leave Crawford, for you to leave the ranch where President Bush is vacationing?

CINDY SHEEHAN: Well, it's kind of ironic, because this morning I gave two interviews, one to Air America and one to “Nightline” early this morning. And I said, you know what, this Camp Casey movement is bigger than me. It's growing. It's bigger than any of us. And even if I had to leave today, it would keep on going. And if we leave August 31 without the President speaking to us, it's going to keep on. It's growing. It's organic. It's here, and nothing is going to stop it. And just because I’m gone, things will just carry on as normal. I want to get back as soon as possible, because I did say I would stay there until President Bush spoke with me until he left on August 31. I hope if he comes out and speaks to the other moms that they give him hell, though.

Read the rest at Democracy Now.

Dear Mr. Northern

On Monday night, McLennan County resident Larry Northern, drove his pick-up with a pipe chained to the back and ran over the 1800 crosses (near Camp Casey) that represented our fallen soldiers in Iraq . On Tuesday afternoon, Northern was arrested and bail was set and paid at $3K for criminal mischief. To him, he thought his actions would intimidate the Camp Casey folks in hopes they would leave. Instead, the actions symbolized not only disrespect for the peaceful protesters, but also the patriots who served us in a needless war.

Here is a letter that has been making the rounds on different blogs. Many thanks to Julie on the OAC blog for bringing it to the attention of JRE supporters:

Mr. Northern:

I am a Veteran of the Iraq war, having served with the 4th Infantry Division on the initial invasion with Force Package One.

While I was in Iraq,a very good friend of mine, Christopher Cutchall,was killed in an unarmoredHMMWV outside of Baghdad. He was a cavalry scout serving with the 3d ID.Once he had declined the award of a medal because Soldiers assigned to him did not receive similar awards that he had recommended. He left two sons and awonderful wife. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers in Iraq was Roger Turner. We gave him a hard time because he always wore all of his protective equipment, including three pairs of glasses or goggles. He did this because he wanted to make sure that he returned home to his family. He rode a bicycle to work every day to make sure that he was able to save enough money on his Army salary to send his son to college. At Camp Anaconda, where the squadron briefly stayed, a rocket landed inside a tent, sending a piece of debris or fragment into him and killed him. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers was Henry Bacon. He was one of the finest men I ever met. He was in perfect shape for a man over forty, working hard at night. He told me that he did that because he didn't have much money to buy nice things for his wife, who he loved so much, so he had to be in good shape for her. He was like a father to many young men in his section of maintenance mechanics. They fixed our vehicles with almost no support and fabricated parts and made repairs that kept our squadron rolling on the longest, fastest armor advance ever made under fire. He was so very proud of his son-in-law that married the beautiful daughter so well raised by Henry. His son-in-law was a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division, who died last year. Henry stopped to rescue a vehicle belonging to another unit on what was to be his last day in Iraq. He could have kept rolling - he was headed to Kuwait after a year's tour. But he stopped. He could have sent others to do the work, but he was on the ground, leading by example, when he was killed. On Monday night, August 16, you took it upon yourself to go out in the country, where a peaceful group was exercising their constitutional rights, and harming no one, and you ran down the memorial cross erected for Henry and for his son-in-law by Arlington West.

Mr. Northern - I know little about Cindy Sheehan except that she is a grieving mother, a gentle soul, and wants to bring harm to no one. I know little about you except that you found your way to Crawford on Monday night in August with chains and a pipe attached to your truck for the sole purpose of dishonoring a memorial erected for my friends and lost Soldiers and hundreds of others that served this nation when they were called. I find it disheartening that good men like these have died so that people like you can threaten a mother who lost a child with your actions. I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.

Perry Jefferies, First Sergeant, USA (retired)

I think Sgt Jefferies says it all.

Another Bushism: "Important for me to go on with my life"

From (the San Francisco Chronicle), August 14, 2005

As of Saturday, Bush was standing firm on his decision not to meet with her saying, according to a news service, "I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say." And then he added, "But I think it is also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

The last comment spurred Ben Sargent to create a political carton that dripped with irony and appeared in some newspapers today:

Peace--Before Another Mother's Son is Lost

Last night, over 1500 sites in the US held a candlelight vigil in honor our men and women in Iraq. Held at Cindy Sheehan's suggestion, and True sent e-mails throughout the country for activists to sign up and participate in the event.

I was not able to attend the one in Urbana, but I am guessing more people showed up than signed up. Peaceful anti-war movements capture the imagination more because the anger is not masked, but brought out in a positive manner. To see some newspapers which featured the vigils on their front pages, click here (courtesy of the DU).

Here is a picture from the Alberqueque vigil, supplied by someone at the DU. I thought it was touching. This person was one of 250 who lined the streets, mainly in front of a church. It was reported that one passerby yelled at the protesters "you don't know what it's like to lose anyone in the twin towers!" I don't understand how anyone can see the connection between 9/11 and the war in iraq, but there are enough citizens who bought into the administration's disengenuous reasons for going to war with Iraq.

Pete Seeger's song "Where Have all the Flowers Gone" from the 1960's, is timeless. I'm reminded of it as our soldiers continue to die each day in the war. UPDATE: Joan Baez joined Camp Casy last Sunday and gave a concert. Here's a link to the video of her rendition of "Where Have all the Flowers Gone." It will make those of you who are older reminescent or perhaps sentimental.

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young men gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone to soldiers, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

And where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, a long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

And where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, every one!
When will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?

(Photo by Mandel Ngan, courtesy of

The modern day version of this song is expressed by a group called Greenday, and the name of their song is "Wake Me Up When September Ends." The video is more powerful than the words. Click video on the website and choose the appropriate bandwith for viewing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Mother and her Son

Today, I received this e-mail from Elizabeth Edwards:

Dear Benny,

Casey Sheehan was born May 29, 1979, the first born child of Cindy and Pat Sheehan. It was a long labor. Fifty-one days after Casey was born, our first child, Wade was born, also after a long labor. They started school the same year, played the same games, watched the same television shows, loved the same country. On April 4, 1996, three weeks after going to Washington as a winner in a national contest about what America meant to him, Wade died in an automobile accident. On April 4, 2004, eight years later to the day, Casey, who loved his country enough to wear its uniform, died in Iraq. Cindy and Pat's hearts broke, as had ours.

We teach our children right from wrong. We teach them compassion and honor. We teach them the dignity of each life. And then, sometimes, the lessons we taught are turned on their heads. Cindy Sheehan is asking a very simple thing of her government, and she and her family, and most particularly Casey, have paid a very dear price for the right to ask this.

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.

Whether you agree or disagree with every part, or any part, of what Cindy wants to say, you know it is better that the President hear different opinions, particularly from those with such a deep and personal interest in the decisions of our government. Today, another voice would be helpful.

Cindy Sheehan can be that voice. She has earned the right to be that voice.

Please join me in supporting Cindy's right to be heard.

I grew up in a military family. My father and my grandfather were career Navy pilots. I saw what it meant to live a life every single day when the possibility of an honorable death is always there, at the dinner table, on the playground, at the base school. Will someone's father not come home tonight? And I didn't just feel the possibility, I saw the real thing, and, believe me, it stays with you, it changes you.

I also saw, then and more recently as I campaigned across this country and spent time with courageous military mothers and wives, how little attention is paid to the needs and the voices of military families. It has to change. The sacrifices that our military men and women make assure us that we have the strongest military in the world, but the sacrifices that their families make are too often ignored. The President's cavalier dismissal of Cindy Sheehan is emblematic of a greater problem. This is a mother who raised her son to love his country enough to serve. This is a mother who lived the impossible life of a mother of a soldier serving in Iraq, unable to sleep when he sleeps, unable to sleep when he is on duty, unable to watch the television, unable to stop watching the television.

And when the worst does happen, when the world comes crashing down and she puts the boy she bore, the boy she taught, the boy she loved in the ground, what does that government say to her? It says we'll do the talking; we don't need to hear from you. If we are decent and compassionate, if we know the lessons we taught our children, or if, selfishly, all we want is the long line of the brave to protect us in the future, we should listen to the mothers now.

Listen to Cindy.

Join me so Cindy knows we believe she has earned the right to be heard.

Elizabeth Edwards

Indeed, I had thought about a few days ago that Casey was Wade's age and died on the same day as Wade, except on a Palm Sunday, 8 years later.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Nashville Counters "Just Us" Sunday with Community of Faith and Unity

Carynel from JREG blogged on Daily Kos about the counter protest of the Just us Sunday, both of which were held in Nashville yesterday.

Volunteers for Stripes? Not Jenna & Babs

In 1981, Bill Murray starred in a movie called Stripes. He plays a chronic never-do-well who joins the army and fails to find a anyone to appreciate his ironic sensibilities in his by-the-book sergeant (Warren Oates). When push comes to shove, however, the smirking hero takes charge of his ragtag unit and turns them into fighting machines, albeit to the rhythm of hit songs by Manfred Mann and Sly Stone. (summary borrowed from

FDR's 4 sons went to fight in the war after the US was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor. But since Vietnam, no president has sent their children over to fight in the wars, especially Bush Sr and W. They want to win wars and believe they are noble causes, but their children don't seem to be interested in fighting for a noble cause, as Richard Bradley from the Huffington Post seems to point out.

From today's Huffington Post:

by Richard Bradley
August 15, 2005

Thanks in large part to Cindy Sheehan, people are starting to raise the issue of why Jenna and Barbara Bush aren't serving in the military. It's a tough question, but I think it's a fair one. The President of the United States is calling on American young people to volunteer to go to war, but his own daughters, who are certainly of the appropriate age, are better known for their drunken nightclub escapades than for any acts of patriotism.

There's a precedent for prodding Bush on this question. Back in 1993, when Bill and Hillary Clinton moved to Washington, they decided to enroll Chelsea in a private, rather than public, school. Because the decision seemed to contradict the Clintons' stated faith in public schools, the press asked the Clintons about that decision, and they had to defend it—publicly. (And unlike the Bush daughters now, Chelsea was a minor.)

It's pretty simple, really. The military doesn't have enough soldiers; the president believes that this is a good and just war; he has two daughters who could enlist in the military, but haven't. These things don't add up.

So here's a question I think a White House reporter should ask the president: " President Bush, if your own two daughters won't enlist, how can you expect anyone else's children to join the military?"

"So what really gets me is these chickenhawks, who sent our kids to die, without ever serving in a war themselves. They don't know what it's all about."---Cindy Sheehan, speech at the Vets for Peace Convention, Dallas, TX 8/05/2005

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"This thing, the wheels are coming off it.”

William Rivers Pitt, one of my favorite cyber-journalists, has written one of the most succinct articles that brings the best of Camp Casey to our screens. He posted a draft of a piece that will be published tomorrow on Here's a little preview of one of the most patriotic works I've read in some time.
From the DU:

Cindy's Victory
August 14, 2005

“This thing, the wheels are coming off it.”

- Gen. Barry McCaffrey, after returning from an inspection of Iraq, 08/12/2005

They are sunburned and storm-lashed. They sleep in tents that sit along the muddy earth of drainage ditches by the side of the road. They have been heckled by ‘counter-demonstrators’ who chanted “We don’t care!” during a rendition of ‘God Bless America.’ They have been attacked by fire ants and hassled by local health inspectors. On Thursday morning, at about 5:30am, they were blasted awake by a fourteen-car convoy of Secret Service SUVs which roared through the camp at high speed while leaning on their horns the whole time.

They have been jolted with fear when a local resident fired his weapon into the air several times to make them go away. When the shooter, a Larry Mattlage, was asked why he was firing his gun, he said, “We're going to start doing our war and it's going to be underneath the law. Whatever it takes.” It is safe to say, therefore, that their lives have been threatened.

The thing is, they’ve already won.

Cindy Sheehan and her ever-growing band of supporters intend to stay in those ditches outside Bush’s Crawford “ranch” until he comes out to talk or until August 31st, whichever comes first. They have been there for more than a week now, garnering more and more attention from the national and international press. Yes, they are tired. Yes, they are uncomfortable. Yes, they have already won.

The nearly 2,000 crosses, crescents and Stars of David that make up the Arlington West cemetery, erected by the demonstrators a few days ago to represent all the fallen American soldiers in Iraq, stretch almost a mile down the country road. Bush had to drive past that on Friday when he went to his fundraising shindig at the Broken Spoke Ranch. It takes a while to drive past them all. This man, who cannot abide hearing or seeing anything in the way of dissent or disagreement, saw those crosses whistle past his window. That is a victory.

Read the rest here. You are guaranteed to be moved.