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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Letter from a Soldier's Mother

Many Americans have been outraged by Karl Rove’s words delivered at a New York fundraising speech. Twin Tower families, Op Ed pages and blogs have exploded with fiery opinion.

I haven’t wanted to add to this vocal outcry, because so much has been said by so many who are more qualified to speak. However, through serendipity, I have received an email in my box from Celeste Zappala, the Philadelphia mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker who was killed in action in Iraq on April 26, 2004. She is a member of Gold Star Families for Peace, as are Lila Lipscomb, mother of Sgt. Michael Pedersen who was killed in Iraq, and Sue Niederer, mother of Lt. Seth J. Dvorin, also killed in Iraq. Lila was featured in Fahrenheit 911 and Sue was arrested after speaking out at a Bush campaign rally. Their stories are more public than those of most mothers of Iraq War soldiers, but they all share a similar fate. Many have spoken out against the Iraq War and many were also outraged by Mr. Rove’s words. With her permission, I’m sharing her letter with you.

This letter was in response to an email about John Kerry's speech on the Senate floor that Lila had shared with her friends and fellow GSFP members.
Yesterday I tried to call Karl Rove at the White
House, you will not be surprised to learn that they
were insulting and snippy to me and I could not get
through to his office. The comment line was as close
as I got and they were clueless as to why the
switchboard would not transfer me to the public
servant known as Mr Rove.

If I had reached him I would have asked him as he
blathered about how anxious and proud the
conservatives were who jumped at the chance to have a
war, - where are they now on the streets of Baghdad?
My son was a very liberal Democrat. When he signed up
for the National Guard no one asked, when he was
deployed no one asked his opinion or his politics, and
after he lost his life protecting the people looking
for those weapons of mass destruction, no conservative
hawk came forth to take his place. Nor have they lined
up at recruiters offices to answer the needs of our
exhausted Army.

I hope Mr Rove will show his true colors and sign up
for a guard unit, no one is too old now, Pennsylvania
guards men in their 50s are serving. If he is too busy
slandering half the people in this Country perhaps he
could send a child he loves dearly to take my
Sherwood's place?

I hope others will ask these questions of Mr Rove and
his friends, maybe their calls will get through.
Celeste Zappala, Philadelphia
Mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker, KIA 4/26/04

Celeste, thank you for putting into words the feelings shared by so many confused, angered and betrayed REAL Americans.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Do They Think We're Stupid?

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They must think we can't remember...I, however, do.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Mothers In Arms

My writing partner, UNCMark, and I have completed a song about the human cost of the Iraq War.  We would like to share it with you. Please give it a listen.


Vocals - Suzanna Hay
Guitar - Brian Keeler
Keyboard - Peggity Price

The better the speakers, the better the experience.  
We would appreciate your comments.  
We would like this to be heard by as many people as possible, so pass it along to whomever you like.

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Lila Lipscomb (Photo Lisa Dejong)

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Sue Niederer (AP Photo)

Mothers In Arms
Music by Brian Keeler
Lyrics by Mark Phialas and Brian Keeler

Nightmare confusion  
No hope of relief  
Dark, common threads
Of each mother's grief
Please give it a name
Better yet, a face
Stuck between Iraq
And a hard (hard) place

Their sons were killed
Before anyone knew
The cause was, in fact,
Denial of truth
And for those who died
There's no saving grace
They are stuck between Iraq
And a hard (hard) place

Mothers in arms, Lila and Sue,
Shared their grief in public view
Sue was arrested for shouting out;
Lila planted seeds of "911" doubt
Mothers in arms, what would you do?
If you were Lila; Sue was you

Loss so relative
Goes far beyond pain
At such a cost for
Absolutely no gain
An for all of those who will be
wandering in this space  
They will be stuck between Iraq
And a hard (hard) place

Mothers in arms, what would you do?
If you were Lila; Sue was you
Mothers in arms, what would you do?
Perhaps you would share their point of view
Mothers in arms, what would you do?
What if this fate happened to you?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Joltin' Joe has left and gone away....

My mind has wandered....from memories of Anne Bancroft in The Graduate to the lyrics of Mrs. Robinson and specifically to the phrase about Joltin' Joe.

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Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidate's debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio,
Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you.
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson.
Jotting Joe has left and gone away,
Hey hey hey.

I thought back to "his" time in the late forties and early fifties.

The early fifites.  Images come back in softer tones of gray...and the politics of the first Republican President since Herbert Hoover, Dwight David Eisenhower, is no exception.

What would he think of today's politics of and the present Republican Party?

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Eisenhower and Kennedy

I know this quote has probably appeared in your email box at some point, but I thought it appropriate to share.  The quote is from a letter Eisenhower sent to his brother, Edgar, on November 8, 1954.  

Eisenhower was a true small government Republican, who had tremendous trepidation about the power that a melding of business and government might aquire and abuse.  He was the first to coin the phrase, Military Industrial Complex.

He also wasn't a fan of Richard Nixon, even though RMN served as his VP.  

The Quote

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things.  Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

November 8, 1954

Indeed, where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio?  Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

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