by Peter Freyne
*Updated* Monday evening 8 p.m. (A Flash from the Past!!!)
Two weeks from tomorrow - Election Day in a 21sr Century democracy! Hey, George & Ol' Abe, Ethan Allen, too, you guys watching from above?
If there's the slightest doubt about what the 2006 congressional elections are all about, do read Kevin Tillman's piece. Hey, read it anyway. A Monday dose of reality will get your week off on the right foot. Two weeks from today is his brother Pat's birthday. But Pat won't be here to celebrate.
Kevin, along with brother Pat Tillman of National Football League fame, joined the U.S. Army in 2002. Volunteers. They believed what their government told them about the threat. So they put their lives on the line and fought the Bush-Cheney War in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war based on the Bush-Cheney lies. Pat was killed in Afghanistan. Here's a taste of what Kevin just wrote:
Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.
Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.
Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.
Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.
Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.
Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.
Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.
Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.
Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.
Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.
Yes, indeed - food for Election Day thought, eh?
Read the whole article here. It's on a website called "truthdig - digging beneath the headlines." Very interesting. (That you, John, for the tip!)
And when we went to the Truthdig website whose name do we see on the article under Kevin Tillman's, but an old familiar face - Ron Kovic. It was 30 years ago and yours truly was in our Chicago cab-driver phase. Coming down Lincoln Avenue late one night I see a little dude in a wheelchair outside one of the fine drinking establishments. My conscientious objector nurse-aide duties in a Minnesota hospital had provided an excellent free medical education - it was a rather exciting place, a teaching hospital: Hennepin County General. Everything and anything came through those doors - of the hospital and of the Chicago taxi cab.
Ron Kovic was about to become a household word in 1976 as the author of Born on the Fourth of July. A U.S. Marine wounded in Vietnam - paralyzed from the waist down. Tom Cruise played him in the movie.
As Ron knows, and Kevin, too, all that talk about "supporting the troops" and putting plastic fake ribbons on one's gas-guzzler just doesn't cut it.
As we used to say in Chicago: Vote early, vote often!
*Update* 8:10 p.m.
So I was dashing out of the Williston rest area on I-89, having grabbed a "free" coffee en route to the very photogenic 10:30 a.m. Statehouse presser that Matt Dunne & Doug Racine were putting on in front of Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie's open-door to his empty ceremonial office, WHEN in pulls a car next to me and it's Nancy Bazilchuk, former Freeps environmental reporter starting way back in the days of Queen Madeleine!
I mean, Gov. Madeleine Kunin.
Good lord, known Nancy since the 1980s. Where is she now?
In Norway - the country! Here's her webpage. In fact, Ol' Birkenstock, er, Bazilchuk, was using the pay phone at the Williston rest area to call her hubbie and kid back on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. It's a six-hour difference.
Nancy won many awards for her environmental journalism and is in town for the big enviro-conference that kicks off Wednesday at the Sheraton-Burlington.
I'll have more later - maybe even a photo - but I'm going to try to get this online quickly before something goes wrong. Been have Intenet connection problems (Adelphia, as you may know), which just became "Time-Warner" when I called this morning. Veronica in Barrie, Ontario was very nice - left nursing four months ago for this, and likes it. Said goodbye and had me do a virus scan (took two hours) then shut it off for five minutes. Still ain't right, but I have some deadlines looming and will have to work with what I've got.
Got to go Bernie vs. Richie Rich. On Ch. 5. Richie keeps getting "dry mouth."
And, yes, will explore Burlington Telecom!
Thank you for the suggestion.