Thousands Gather To Honor Nation's Veterans

  Thousands Gather To Honor Nation's Veterans

Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2002 at 07:53:21 PT
By Debbi Wilgoren, Washington Post Staff Writer 
Source: Washington Post 

They came to the Mall yesterday to pay tribute to the fallen -- passing through metal detectors on the Capitol lawn, waiting in long, silent lines to inspect a wall of black granite, waving and wearing the red, white and blue.Ramona Pennell, 44, and Gail Drake, 42, had to be there, wearing twin American flag bandannas around their sunburned necks. They could not watch the PBS telecast of the National Memorial Day Concert from their living room in Cincinnati as they had in years past. Not this Memorial Day weekend.
"We thought it would be a tribute to September 11," Pennell said of their five-day trip to Washington, which will conclude today.Two of Washington's best-known Memorial Day weekend traditions took place on opposite ends of the steamy Mall yesterday: the evening concert featuring the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn of the Capitol and the massive motorcycle rally, known as Rolling Thunder, calling for the return of U.S. prisoners of war and the missing in action.Each always draws flags and plenty of fervor. But this year -- 8 1/2 months after the worst terror attack on U.S. soil -- the day, and the events, took on new meaning.It could be seen on the T-shirts -- the one showing a different New York skyline, including the Statue of Liberty, and the words "Our flag is still there." It could be seen in the unprecedented security at the concert, where the entire West Lawn was fenced off and people had to pass through metal detectors and have their bags searched at one of four entry points.And it could be seen in the crowds that gathered along Constitution Avenue to greet the motorcyclists as they circled the Mall in a deafening and funereal cortege, dominated by black leather but accented by stars and stripes."It's nice to see all the red, white and blue. All the flags, all the pins," said Kelly Cleary, 30, of Rockville, who watched in amazement as the motorcycles roared past and then found her way to the Capitol lawn.Rolling Thunder's 15th event was its largest, organizers said. Gathering at the Pentagon, the Harleys and other bikes filled the north parking lot and, for the first time, spilled into the south. Traffic backed up for miles on highways leading to the Memorial Bridge, and a spokeswoman said some riders never even made it to the rally site. Organizers estimated the number of motorcycles at 300,000 to 350,000, most carrying two people, up from an estimated 250,000 last year. They said the large turnout mirrors a surge in membership over the past year, with the number of Rolling Thunder chapters growing from about 50 to 68."Our wounds are raw," spokeswoman Anne Nicholson said. "We're in a time of war now, and people want to show their support."The motorcycle riders thronged the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to pay homage. They left flowers and wreaths of barbed wire at the Wall and the nearby Vietnam Women's Memorial, along with handwritten notes. They filed past the Quilt of Tears, honoring those harmed by Agent Orange, and wore stickers calling for the release of Scott Speicher, a Navy pilot shot down in Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and believed by some to be alive.At the Reflecting Pool, just below the Lincoln Memorial, they cheered speaker after speaker who extolled the nation's veterans and urged the U.S. government to bring home its dead and missing -- in Vietnam and elsewhere.Norman Descoteaux was there for the third year in a row, with his brother, Roger, who spent a year in Vietnam. They rode down with a group from Connecticut, joined by hundreds more veterans in New Jersey. State troopers accompanied them the whole way."All my life, Memorial Day was hot dogs, hamburgers, a beach . . . you know, a barbecue," Descoteaux, 54, said from a shady spot near the Reflecting Pool. "This is Memorial Day. It's the real Memorial Day, and it's why I'll keep coming back here as long as I can."Between the Rolling Thunder gathering and the Capitol lawn concert was another reminder of Sept. 11 -- the first Afghanistan Day celebration. Thousands of Afghans from the Washington area snacked on kebabs bought from vendors and picnics made at home, enjoying traditional music performed on a tented stage flanked by huge American and Afghan flags. The event, which organizers plan to hold annually, was created by the U.S.-Afghanistan Reconstruction Council to build awareness and solicit donations to rebuild schools in Kabul and support the Red Cross Fund for Afghan Children.The mood of patriotism was checked by the reality of unprecedented security at the Capitol. But that did not keep a large crowd from gathering for the concert. Many people said the metal detectors and bag searches made them feel safe as they settled in for a 90-minute tribute to those who died in U.S. wars, including victims of the September attacks. The concert featured patriotic music by the National Symphony Orchestra and the pop group Chicago, as well as a performance of "God Bless America" by New York City police officer Daniel Rodriguez to start the show. Clouds threatened, but rain held off early, and breezes from the approaching storm offered some relief from the heat of the day.The crowd was hushed as images of Sept. 11 flashed on screens above and to the side of the Capitol stage. Some audience members wept silently during the projection of the images and a retelling of stories by firefighters' survivors."I was pretty emotional throughout" the show, said Victoria Torres, 31, of Victorville, Calif. She said the images of Sept. 11 "made me become more proud of who I am as an American and of my husband," Joseph, who is a Navy lieutenant.Most people arrived early enough that there were never backups at the checkpoints. Officers inspected purses and picnic coolers. They used magnetic wands to check each arrival for metallic objects, requiring some to take off belts and empty pockets before being waved through. Although officers appeared vigilant and strict in their scrutiny, they also were in good humor, and their mood was matched by concertgoers."It's a shame" that the security was necessary, said Dennis Freeman, who brought his family from Independence, Ohio. But, he said, "that's the way things are. Everybody understands."The Ehrlichs and the Mederricks -- longtime friends from the Leisure World retirement community in Silver Spring who have attended the concert together for nearly a decade -- arrived extra early to avoid delay. The handicapped parking space they usually use was in an area closed off by police, but they secured a good spot in plenty of time to set up folding chairs and enjoy pretzels and drinks before the concert."I wasn't going to stay away," said Sondra Mederrick, 64, even as her friend Sandy Ehrlich confessed to being worried about the possibility of an attack. "I can't live my life like that. I'm sorry."Jerry Mederrick and Carl Ehrlich, both veterans, said Memorial Day is now as much about remembering civilians as soldiers."People sacrifice whether they're in uniform or out of uniform," Mederrick said. "We must never forget that." Staff writers Clarence Williams and Martin Weil contributed to this report.Complete Title: Mall's Moving Tributes: Thousands Gather To Honor Nation's Veterans, Victims Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Debbi Wilgoren, Washington Post Staff WriterPublished: Monday, May 27, 2002; Page A01 Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: All POW-MIA Memorial Day Thunder Memorial

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Comment #32 posted by dddd on May 28, 2002 at 17:14:42 PT
...Well Said....
...Right on MDG.......our problems go far beyond any chads..Money ,,,...It may seem simplistic,,but the old saying;"Money is the root of all evil.",,applies to how and why the empire has formed.........Wealth = Power...Power = More Wealth.....Power corrupts the wealthy.......The Wealthy own the Country...
"I think a good number of journalists, like most people, don't have their own ideas and support the ideas and policies of a particular political party just because it's that party. So 'liberal media' means those generally supporting mainstream 'liberal' left wing parties, and mainstream 'conservative media' supports the conservative right wing politicians."
...I agree...I think "The blind,mechanical party supporters syndrome", is a dominate element in mainstream media.,,and, as you alluded to,,it is the same with most people..I've talked to alot of people,,who seem to think that they have an obligation to vote along party lines...When they go to the voting booth,,it is not necessary for them to be informed on what it is,or who it is that they are voting for,,they simply vote all republican,,or all democrat...
..I still think the term "liberal media",,is a trash term with nebulous connotations,and questionable significance. ...
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Comment #31 posted by MDG on May 28, 2002 at 16:23:59 PT
Take that statement a bit further, dddd...
dddd wrote"...I blame an utterly incompetant government that can spend trillions on everything else,,but cant even come up with the funds,and resources for something so basic,and essential to a "democracy",,that being the mechanicics of an up to date voting system that is somehow standardized...."
You realize that (1) not only can the government not solve the problems it claims it can with more money (WoSD, WoPoverty, HMO, War Machine, etc), but (2) it refuses to solve them. (Actually, those should be more along the lines of "it refuses, but can't anyway!"). So why, then, would you vote for a party which encourages more government involvment? This isn't an attack on Nader or the Green Party in general, it's just a basic question because that's what people always say in the government, "We need more money" even though more money thrown at a problem doesn't and won't fix it. (Of course, I realize you said they haven't spent the money on this because of everything else).
Otherwise, tax-stealing all the earned income from the all citizens of the U.S. won't even solve those other problems, just to be left with one massive unemployment problem. Besides, no matter what miraculous vote-counting device is invented it (1) won't keep dumb people from doing stupid things and (2) won't get people off their asses to go vote anyway! Seriously, it's too difficult to get a person to drive around the corner to his/her neighborhood polling place to even worry about whether he can punch a chad, slap a face, or circle a name with a giant marker.
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Comment #30 posted by cltrldmg on May 28, 2002 at 02:46:25 PT
I think a good number of journalists, like most people, don't have their own ideas and support the ideas and policies of a particular political party just because it's that party. So 'liberal media' means those generally supporting mainstream 'liberal' left wing parties, and mainstream 'conservative media' supports the conservative right wing politicians.
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Comment #29 posted by qqqq on May 27, 2002 at 18:14:36 PT
...disregard the previous 4d psycho-babble comment.....4d is a schmoozing turkey ,,,,and somewhat spinelessly transparent,and excessively gushy in his flowerery discources....
...I gotta tell you,,,that I think you are really way out there with your "liberal media" thing!...First off,,the term "liberal",,is an ill defined label that is used to refer to some nebulous,broad group,or ideology....In my opinion, the term "liberal media",is little more than some kind of trashy buzzword that was made popular by Rush Limbaugh.... ..I think that perhaps you might want to consider the possibility of this "liberal media",thing that you are talking about,,is a wayward tangent of some kind....I mean,,come on EJ...think about the way you are using the term "liberal media"........There is no such thing as a "liberal media",,,,it is little more than a diversionary term that sidetracks intelligent,good people like yourself into some sort of strange game,,where the "media",is somehow dominated by some dark ghostly spook known as "liberal"!!!1...think about it EJ,,,,are we to assume that if there is such a thing as a "liberal media",,then there is also some reciprocal opposite thing that is a "conservative media"?????Are we to believe that the "liberal media",,has become so powerful,and dominant,that it has drowned out the "conservative media"???... ..When you use the term "liberal media",,,are we to assume that a more "conservative media",would be preferable to balance things out????.... I hate to get blatant,,but I think the term "liberal media",,is a rubbish term!..I think it is as trashy as the term "druggie",,,or "drug offender"...........I respectfully submit all this for your perusal......dont hold back if you think I'm fulla shit,,,maybe I just dont understand,,,and please dont be offended by my abrasive style... 
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Comment #28 posted by dddd on May 27, 2002 at 16:56:44 PT
...Yes,,the term "Sheeple",is somewhat disturbing,,,but I dont see it as derogatory....I include myself in the flock,,and I am perhaps guilty of overusing me ,the term is used to represent the majority of citizens,,who are being herded into the flock cult,,with the empire being the shepard.....I will use the Sheeple term more sparingly from here on out...I say way too much anyway....
....So you describe yourself as;"a liberal feminist frustrated with the limitations of the culture of victimhood as
      practiced by my fellow liberal feminists."........I think you mentioned that you live in the LA area....would it be wise of me,to give up any hope of possibly meeting you for a lunch,or dinner "date",sometime???.. I doubt it would ever actually happen,,but I'd like to know if I am foolish for even suggesting such a thing....I couldnt blame you if you had misgivings about actually meeting me...I imagine that you probably have alot of other things that annoy you about my crudely verbose comments,,and brackish punctuational fluffings......on second thought,,,I'd rather not get together....It's too much of a hassle..I hate driving up to LA,,and I havnt been on a "date", in at least 15 years.,,and we would probably end up getting into some weird-ass argument,,yet we would pretend to be polite....and then,,,after the date,,,we would go home,and our friends would ask,,,"So,,,how was the date?",,,,, and you would say,,,,"He was an old freaky beatnik hippie guy,,,his clothes were rather shabby,,and his breath smelled like a goat!,but I guess it was an interesting evening."..........and I would tell my friends,,,"..It was an interesting evening,I got the feeling she didnt really like ,or trust males,I think she had the potential to be a real bitch,,,but I kinda liked her."... 
....keep on keepin' on EJ........I like you.....dddd
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Comment #27 posted by cltrldmg on May 27, 2002 at 16:10:01 PT
Sorry, lots of mistakes in that post! I don't think I need to post the whole thing again, it's still readable. I should read over my comments before posting. An 'edit' function would be useful on this site.
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Comment #26 posted by cltrldmg on May 27, 2002 at 16:03:00 PT
the corrupt left
I agree with EJ. I don't think there's a fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats anymore, they have the same basic concept of democracy, except they adapt their policies to benefit their particular lobbies and the groups that support them. It seems like the American electoral system you'd think it had been designed exactly for a two-party system, once they get in power there's almost zero chance of anyone else making it in - particularly more moderate parties, and it's bad for democracy.I remember watching the 2001 Election, and the comments I saw heard about Nader and the Libertarians made me sick. There were these slimy democratic politicians actually directly telling people not to vote for them because 'they don't count, nobody takes them seriously'. I think this was on CNN, and these guys were actually laughing at the idea of anyone voting for a 3rd party, suggesting that anyone who did was either stupid or an extremist. Then the presenter would go along with this, laughing too and making some witticism about the party involved or the candidate, and would go over to a selected 'average joe' member of audience to make some prejudiced comment, 'I'd be scared if the Libertarians ever got into power' (see, it's common sense).I don't see how you could stop that, but the whole attitude felt to me like a blatant insult to democracy, and it straight away turned me off the Democratic party. It's as if it's a different party who've disguised themselves as the old left and are exploiting the loyalty of their voters to the traditional ideals without holding those values themselves.After that I wanted Bush win (though I'm not American - I'd have voted for Nader), not because I support him, but because of the hypocrisy of the democrats. People expect Republicans to be self-serving and interested in money, but the liberals always pretend that they're better, and they're the party that has the higher moral ground. This distortion and deception seems to be especially dangerous and insidious to democracy, more so than hard-line right.I think it was the same kind of situation led to the left losing the French presidential election. Ordinary, left-leaning voters were so sick of the lies, schemes and manipulation that they decided to 'teach them a lesson'. Maybe it's a dangerous attitude to take, but hopefully they'll learn from it. Otherwise people will start turning to even more radical parties, who knows what shall happen?My cynical opinion is that the only purpose of the two major parties is to basically make money and raise funds to get candidates into government. Beyond that they don't have any inherent principles, they'll take anyone's money as long as it doesn't look too dodgy to their electorate.
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Comment #25 posted by E_Johnson on May 27, 2002 at 15:57:10 PT
2922, I subtracted for leap years instead of adding, oops.Al Gore can be accused by a reliable source of having smoked about 2922 joints in his life and the media lets him get away with saying he only smoked a couple.The fierce liberal loyalty to Al Gore has been a big problem for this movement. 
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Comment #24 posted by E_Johnson on May 27, 2002 at 15:52:12 PT
More on the liberal media :-)
So if the media is not liberal, then why was Al Gore let off the hook for his eight years of daily marijuana use between the years 1968-1976, when he quit so that he could enter politics?There was a huge spread in the National Enquirer about his former dealer/neighbor who is now speaking out against the War on Pot because he was in prison and he's angry at Gore for being such a hypocrite about pot after they spent eight years getting high together. They used to call Al Gore "Roach Clip" because he always had one at the ready.So where was this in the media? No mainstream outlet ever picked up on it. They let Gore slide with some glib BS about how he did admit to having smoked a couple of joints way back when.It can only be a liberal politically correct media that fails to point out to the public that 2,918 is not a couple of joints, or even a few!(2918 assumes once per day for eight years, counting two leap years)
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Comment #23 posted by E_Johnson on May 27, 2002 at 15:38:32 PT
A few points
1. The liberal media you can see in the way medical marijuana users have been portrayed with adoring pity because they are victims. Helpless politically correct vitims.The liberal media you can also see in the portrayal of white male stoners as people who don't deserve our sympathy at all because they are addled, spoiled white males. That is also a PC liberal ideology.My point of view observing this is as a liberal feminist frustrated with the limitations of the culture of victimhood as practiced by my fellow liberal feminists. And this liberal culture of victimhood is evidenced in the media portrayal of medical users vs. social users of marijuana.2. I don't like this word Sheeple because I think it's bad karma to project on people who are already to a great extent on our side. Are the so-called Sheeple the 73% of the American public that supports medical marijuana? Were the Sheeple on the jury that acquitted Sister Somayah and sent the prosecutor back to his office with his tail between his legs?And why can't John Ashcroft find enough of these Sheeple to convene a grand jury in LA that will hand him a federal indictment against the LACRC?From what I read, Ashcroft is already 0 for 2 on that one.
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Comment #22 posted by Nuevo Mexican on May 27, 2002 at 15:04:02 PT
E.J.: 'The liberal news media! What bunk!
How about the myth of the liberal news media!
Who's On the News?
Study shows network news sources skew white, male & elite
The most evils things Clintor or Gore could've done, would never rate with bush for breaking the evil meter, never!
I voted for Nader too, knowing astrologically (it was an easy call without Astrology) that Gore would win, he did, and it was stolen by daddys' C.I.A., standard operating procedure, see Columbia, Chile, and our recent attempt to overthrow Chavez in Venezuela. Gore may have been the lesser of two evils, which still makes him less desireable the Nader, but I wanted the Dems to lean left, not run from the left. We agree on Nader. Again, I agree with you most of the time, but you are WAAAAAAyyyyy off on this one. Just thought I'd do you a favor an call you on your anti-Gore blindsidedness, no offense intended! dddd speaks for me on this issue, much better than I could ever articulate! bounce to the ounce, same for you, as the election was not about chads, mispunched ballots etc. Do your research and you will see what we mean!
Gore's Victory
There is no liberal media, just neo-liberal talking heads are corporate lies disguised as news. Expose the media, become the media, and ignore the man behind the curtain!
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Comment #21 posted by dddd on May 27, 2002 at 14:28:54 PT EJ...
....As I've said before,I think you are really cool.......Your robust rebuttal in defense of your viewpoint ,is most convincing! .... ..and,,I can agree with with your concept that suggests the radical republican crackpots,being the more blatantly imperialistic of the two evils,,,is favorable to the alternative clandestine,sneaky democrats,,who play the role of being more of the "po' folks' party,so to speak.........But I still disagree ..If this was a normal situation,,where the people had access to actual "news",,and a free press,,then you theory would be more substantial,,,,but the sad truth ,,in my opinion,,is that we are somehow beyond that ,,,,somehow beyond a certain point where actual reality applies to matters that are political,,,and my reason for saying this,,is the ol' "media control" theory....In an earlier post I rambled about how disgusting and tragic it is,that the Sheeple have not really fully awoken to the eminent charade that these bastards are orchestrating via the "news".!!.. I mean, an increased terror alert is one thing,,,,but it gets downright silly when we hear "uncorroberated reports",of non-specific targets,,,,,landmarks?.... scuba diver attacks,,,and then,,,the real capper of this bogus sham,,is when they contend that some of these "alerts",come from Al-Quieda /Taliban evildoers,,who are in custody at some special prison in Cuba! ...What kind of IDIOT,would believe that some Al-Quieda "terrorist",in the custody of the empire,,is going to devulge credible information concerning these "threats"?????.......So,,,in other words,,your concept I can agree with,,in theory..One would think that an American public that was paying even slight attention to all this,,would see right through it,,and expose this bogus shell game that this bilkster government empire of evil is putting over on America,,,,,but it seems that people are either effectivly brainwashed,,or stupid,,,or both....anyway,,It's too bad that you are kinda WRONG!!!..I'm way more right than you are !! . ...(ha-ha),,,,,,,............thanx for your brisk response EJ........I like your style....dddd
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Comment #20 posted by p4me on May 27, 2002 at 14:10:47 PT
good one EJ
If someone is going to be plotting to bring me down, I want it to be some ideological featherbrain doomed to
   shoot himself in the footThat's funny and that is a good observation. It might not be totally accurate to compare the featherbrained attack against the cannabis clubs to the Battle of the Buldge. That was the deadliest battle of World War 2 but some speculate that it shortened the inevitable ending of the war by 6 weeks or more. I know that the cold and callous attacks on the compassion clubs got me riled. Then came the goofy position on hempfoods as if the whole hemp ban in its entirety isn't completely senseless to start with. The only reason more Americans don't feel like I do is because they have no idea of what is happenning. One day they will find out and it will all be over.I mentioned the movie "The Three Hundred Spartans" a few days ago. My favorite line from that movie is after the Persians found the pass that compromised the 300 Spartans position. In the movie they know all is lost and the leader of the Spartans says "We can no longer defend this ground. We must attack." So in the movie they attack Xerxes(?) and almost break through his Invinsibles and are finally beaten back. When the DEA first attacked the North Hollywood Cannabis Resource Center I commented for the doughnut man that the DEA has monitor these sites that they need to do something else stupid so we could get this nonsense overwith. Now DEAth Hutchinson cannot even speak in public without being called a liar and the whole thing is set to blow up. The DEA have a completely indefensible position and have no choice but to attack. It is an attack that will surely be beaten back and I personally believe will help shorten our war for freedom.That is why I think if we all summon our efforts and fight the fight for freedom that goes begging, it could all end rather quickly. I just wish there were some organization doing some polls every week. They have all kinds of polls for Busch but they are media polls and who knows what to believe. The numbers sure do vary. Have a look for yourself. haven't had a job in over a year and I have spent a lot of time trying to figure things out. As far as the elections in Florida you could do a Google search and find is where I found the Greg Palast piece dated 12/19/01- I do not want to stir controversy or go off on a tangent. I say flatly that the best article I have ever found to describe the current canvas and background we are painting on is in the above article. Journalist are supposed to make the fuzzy come into focus and this Greg Palast is as good as they get. Everyone please read this article because it is the best one article I have read in the last year and it shows the kind of stuff newspapers should be printing insead of "All the news that's insignificant we print." That is a quote from Greg Palast in his article titled "Above the law." ICBS,VAAI,POW
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Comment #17 posted by E_Johnson on May 27, 2002 at 12:42:32 PT

Yes I am 100% serious
Everything the Bush administration is doing to attack medical marijuana was planned and set up during the Clinton administration.Democratic Gore supporters would have found many reasons to get fully behind Gore if he were the one in charge of fulfilling the Clinton administration plans to shut down medical marijuana.The liberal news media would have sided with Gore.Because it is Bush doing the shutting down instead of Gore, Democrats find it much easier to criticize this action, and the liberal media wonks can use it as one more piece of evidence against Bush.Politically speaking, it is better that we are victims of an extreme Republican administration. The campaign against medical marijuana can now be associated with the religious extremism of Ashcroft.Under the Clinton administration, the campaign against medical marijuana looked nice and politically correct and not unappealing to liberals.And it would have continued to carry that PC appeal if the battle were being waged by Gore. And he certainly would have been waging it.And also -- those ads linking drugs with terrorism -- a Gore administration might have been too smart to do something dumb like that. A Gore administration would not be making the kinds of inane and self-defeating choices than the Bush administration has made.I don't think it is in our best interests to have a cabal of intelligent liberals plotting to bring us down! If someone is going to be plotting to bring me down, I want it to be some ideological featherbrain doomed to shoot himself in the foot.
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Comment #14 posted by p4me on May 27, 2002 at 12:16:29 PT

Ramblings of a dry stoner
EJ,let me say as a personal belief that one of the biggest problems we have is a two party system that wants it to stay a two party system. I remember my eighth grade teacher talking about the one party rule in Russia 35 years ago. Have two parties take turns doing and undoing laws is not much better. There are a lot more numbers that follow 1 and 2. As long as it is Democrats and Republicans they can get their list together of what they want and play I will let you have that if I can have this. I wish people would leave both parties in droves so the gangster setup going now could be moderated.Your response to what I said seems a little misdirected and I would encourage you and others to read this excellent article by Greg Palast. In the article he flat out says he doesn't give a rat's behind who won and it- our democracy is at stake. I can agree with that statement. What the supreme court did was wrong and I could care less about the personalities involved. I prefer not to interpret what I think such an outstanding professional journalist said however as his work stands for itself. When I express an opinion about Busch I realize I am probably a minority and the main reason I do so is that the controlled media and the political machinery do not hear complete silence as they spout their propaganda and lies. One person speaking is louder than a 1000 silent little lambs afraid of speaking their minds even though they have an unpopular belief.I watched 60 Minutes last night on the 3 strikes law in California. Two members of a jury did not want to impose the 25 year to life conviction for a third offense and were removed from the jury. In California misdeamoner theifs become felonies if their was a prior conviction for felony theft or something like that so that one person discussed in the case for stealing two slices of pizza was tried for felony theft and in fact was sentenced under the three strikes rule which carries a minimum of 25 years to life. It raises the issue of jury nullification and all that goes with the way the laws are being twisted. I said it six months ago when I first called bullshit. I do not know everything, but I know what bullshit is because I have heard so much of it. The spirit of the constitution is not being met in my opinion and that puts Busch up there near, at, equal to, or over treason. We are calling something that is not a war a war. Korea was called a police action and Vietnam started out with that term. Those were wars and they called them police actions and now we have a police action and they are calling it a war.The constitution was a best shot at the way things were supposed to work and even then it had to have the Bill of Rights attatched to get it ratified. They made provision for amendments to fix problem areas they overlooked and knew that problem areas would arise. Good grief, when they first had Presidential elections the person that finished second became vice president and that proved not to be a good idea in a hurry.I never have claimed to be a legal scholar but I remember when the US took Noreiaga, and I admit I do not care enough to check on spelling, out of Panama. My uncle was a lawyer and his second wife was a lawyer and they both said it was an illegal act plain and simple. Do I know that it is illegal. No. I don't have any law books to look it up and wouldn't because what difference does it make? Do, I think it was illegal? Yes, because the two lawyers I knew to talk to said it was plain and simple- it was totally illegal.The only reason I came back was to say something about Tom and Rollie. I was thinking about their tombstones and thought about the epitaph "Give me liberty or give me death." It makes me think that if they were side by side the second epitaph would read "I was really hoping for liberty."Man I wish I had a joint.
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Comment #13 posted by dddd on May 27, 2002 at 12:09:23 PT

No Way Bounce to the Ounce!
...I must respectfully,and adamantly disagree with your "voters fault" theory.......I will admit that if the voters were smart,,they might have elected a government that could assure a fair,and accurate election....but I dont blame the voters for the voting machine/chads thing,,,I blame an utterly incompetant government that can spend trillions on everything else,,but cant even come up with the funds,and resources for something so basic,and essential to a "democracy",,that being the mechanicics of an up to date voting system that is somehow standardized....I respectfully submit,,that I think blaming the voters is absurd,and a wreckless assertion!....I think that what went on in Florida during the election was scandalous,,criminal,,and most disturbing...I think the tall tales that were spun about "chads",,and incompetant voters was a smokescreen to divert attention from the slimy court appointment of the texas dickhead!!......I dont mean to ruffle your feathers,,but I dont think your voter blame theory is legitimate........
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 27, 2002 at 11:54:30 PT

Bounce to the Ounce
Actually this article is off topic but I thought we could post what is important to us. Memorial Day stirs up many emotions. I don't want to bum anyone out but you know how you only have your birthday every 7th year if you are born on February 29? Today on May 27, 1996 my son passed away from AIDS and this is the first time that both the day and Memorial Day fall on the same day once again. Memorial Day means something very different to me. We shouldn't forget those who died for whatever reason on this day I believe.
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Comment #11 posted by Bounce to the Ounce on May 27, 2002 at 11:46:59 PT

Just have to make this comment...
I apollogize if this is off-topic, but I need to address the "Bush was selected/appointed" comments. I am not a supporter of Bush, but I feel the circus that was the 2000 Election was the fault of the voters. I mean, come on...if you can't punch a hole in a simple ballot correctly, you have no business at the polls. Also, the voter turnout in an average American election is pathetic: an average of 50% of Americans of voting age bother go to the polls every 4 years (Sources: and ). Sure, us Americans can sit on our asses and complain about quickly this country is going down the tubes, but what causes it...corrupt government officials or the voter apathy that allows it to happen? Just wanted to get that off my chest.
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on May 27, 2002 at 11:22:42 PT

...Good Grief EJ!!!!!
...I was right with ya in your last comment..I also voted for Nader,,and there were people who suggested I should vote Gore,to try and make sure that Bush didnt win,,or get appointed...I had some heated discussions with my little brother who is a college professor,,,and he said ,,that he was going to vote Gore,,,I made it a challenge,to try and persuade him to vote for Nader,but he insisted,,that if the republicans took control of the whorehouse,,,it would be disasterous,because of the people they would appoint as AG,,judges,,etc...well,,,I had to admit that he was things are alot more fucked...........I hope that perhaps you were joking??..

.: "We in this movement are damned lucky that it is Bush not Gore doing the shutting down."..

.???....Are you serious EJ?.........dddd
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 27, 2002 at 10:36:11 PT

p4me and everyone
That's exactly what I am hoping C News is becoming. A place where news articles and comments make it a place that we can put the puzzle together. This is also way off topic but last night we watched a program on the History Channel about the 12 lost tribes of Israel. It blew me away when they were in Kabul. This was of course before 9-11. It doesn't matter what is important to each one of us necessarily but the sum of all the things that are talked about is what makes us tick.

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Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on May 27, 2002 at 10:33:26 PT

Are you saying my vote against Gore didn't count?
He talks about how the elections were stolen by the Republicans by eliminating people from voter roles that had convictions in other states and 180,000 ballots that were not even considered for a recount.
I hate it when people try to make Gore look like an innocent victim.I voted for Nader specifically to help Gore LOSE!
If Gore hadn't aliented people like myself irretrievably with his lying openly about the IOM report, and his shameless pandering to the PDFA, there would not have been a chance in hell for this election to have been so narrow that these issues mattered at all.Please do not tell me that my own personal effort to hurt Gore had no impact, I really want to believe that Gore was punished by voters like myself for being such a Drug War pandering bastard.The man stood on the stage at the 2000 Convention and said he believed in a Drug Free Anmerica.His wife was the national poster child for Zoloft at the time.I really want to believe that Gore got exactly what he deserved for doing that, and I really don't like attributing Gore's own deserved bad karma to anything done by Bush.If Gore had won, they'd still be shutting down the cannabis clubs, but the liberals would be backing it fully because it was Al Gore the Great White Liberal doing it.We in this movement are damned lucky that it is Bush not Gore doing the shutting down.
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Comment #7 posted by qqqq on May 27, 2002 at 10:29:37 PT

......After Hours.....
11:45 PM..Bud-Wise Epicurean Spleef Tasting Event in 4qs Winnabego....BYOB,,(bring your own buds)
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Comment #6 posted by p4me on May 27, 2002 at 10:25:21 PT

a description of the canvas
Maybe what everyone is trying to do by reading Cnews is develop a picture of what is going on for real. What is real is that things are screwed up and if it were not for the internet nobody would know anything.There is an article by Greg Palast, an investigative reporter in exile in the UK and working for the BBC. He describes the canvas and background of the painting we are all trying to create in our minds. I cannot recommend this article strong enough. It is at talks about how the elections were stolen by the Republicans by eliminating people from voter roles that had convictions in other states and 180,000 ballots that were not even considered for a recount. He says that Osama is no Hitler, but more of a John Gotti running a protection racket- pay us or we will blow you up. He says investigative reporting is dead in the US and cites Seymour Hersch that broke the My Lai story 30 years ago and has won at least two Pulitzer prizes cannot even get a job with an American newspaper. Then there is Palast himself that complains his children are growing up with a British accent because of his exile from American journalism. He says too much to try to condense. If you want a very articulated statement of our current situation you would have to read this. Again: still do not know that 120 FBI agents were out people hunting 10 days before 9/11 instead of protecting our real national interest. Tom and Rollie were casualties in a war for freedom as much as any combat veteran. The tragedy of their deaths is compounded by the fact that the enemy was our own government. The government is way out of control and the American people need an outcry that all of Congress has got to go for letting this situation continue and grow. I think they should impeach Busch for malfeasance in office. I wish they could hang him and I am just a moderate member of the Extremist Party.ICBS,VAAI,POW
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on May 27, 2002 at 10:22:12 PT

SDome day we shall have a Memorial Day
Here will be our observance on April 20 of each year:Sunrise service, singing of the hymn "Tree of Life, Healer of the Nations"Moment of silence for the victims of the war8am: Communal breakfast of hemp foods
All day: Picnics, games and performances to lighten the spiritNoon: The blessing of the seed4:20pm ceremonial smoke4:25pm DinnerSunset: Lighting the Candle of Remembrance of the Drug WarRepeat singing of the hymn "Tree of Life, Healer of the Nations"
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Comment #4 posted by letsgetfree on May 27, 2002 at 09:59:30 PT

Memorial Day
I'm only 20 and from Canada, so I wont pretend to know how you yanks feel on this day. Some observations from up north:It seems to me that American patriotism is at dangerous levels, allowing the government basically a free hand in doing what it does best: representing the corporate and military industrial complex. It's scary when people are so curtain of their superiority, like many in the USA do. How many times have I heard 'greatess country on the planet' blah bla bla you've all heard it before i'm sure. It seems Americans, in general, still could care less for what happens to other people on the planet. I'm Canadian, like I said before, but don't think that really means much when you think about it. I happened to be born in a curtain location that is a country. I did not plan on being born where I did, who knows I could've been born in India or China, or anywhere in Africa, and my life would've been compleately different from the one I have now. To me I am a human being, no better or worse then the other 5 billion of us. But because I was born here I'm supposed to have this fanatical devotion to my government and country. Nationalism is so scary and dangerous, so seeing things like memorial day in the states sends shivers up my spine. Just some thoughts.LetsgetFree
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Comment #3 posted by Rambler on May 27, 2002 at 09:38:08 PT

Memorial Day..(re-post)
Country or Government?      by Paul Hein      Memorial day is again upon us, reminding us that hypocrisy and sentimentality, not to mention naďveté and gullibility,
      are with us to stay.      Someone with the title “White House Commission on National Moment of Remembrance” has written a letter to Dear
      Abby reminding us to “reclaim Memorial Day for the noble and patriotic purpose for which it was intended.” How is this
      to be accomplished? All Americans are “to pause and reflect for one minute--at 3 p.m on Memorial Day, in
      remembrance of those who have died to preserve our freedom.” If you’re driving, turn on your lights. The playing of
      Taps is recommended at public events. This will remind us of the two million men and women who “have sacrificed their
      lives to defend and preserve this precious land of hopes and dreams.” The writer concludes with the hope that Abby’s
      readers will “join together in solidarity with those whose grief is fresh and deep, to express their gratitude to the men
      and women who have died that we might live in freedom.”      Well, there’s one thing to say for this bit of fluff: at least it didn’t refer to sacrifices for our country, although we can be
      sure that the weekend will not pass without our hearing that expression many times: the brave men and women who
      gave their lives for our country.      What nonsense! Our country was never at significant risk in any of our legitimate (i.e., declared by Congress) wars, and
      in the subsequent unlawful military adventures, the risk to the U.S. mainland was even less. Millions of American men
      and women (how many women?) have died fighting, but they were fighting for their government, not the country.
      Franklin Roosevelt admitted, in a letter to Colonel House, that the American government has been owned by “certain
      financial interests” since the days of Andrew Jackson. It was to protect those interests that doughboys died in WWI,
      and the consequence of WWI was WWII, in which additional hundreds of thousands died. Those killed in Korea or
      Vietnam weren’t defending our country, either. That these slain soldiers were brave is not the point: of course they
      were. Going off to fight, knowing that you might very well die in the ensuing battle, requires courage. But it is doubtful
      that any of those prepared to make the supreme sacrifice could tell you what they were sacrificing for, in anything but
      the most general terms: “We’re fighting for freedom,” or “to preserve the American way of life.” Well, you can’t expect a
      man facing death to be clear-headed.      Were they fighting and dying to preserve our freedoms, as suggested by the “White House Commission on National
      Moment of Remembrance?” What freedom was threatened by the Kaiser, or Emperor Hirohito? Yes, if we had lost the
      World Wars, American would have been occupied by German or Japanese troops, and we’d have had to take our
      orders from them. Instead, we take them from Americans. Orders are orders! Does the language matter?      Japanese and Germans took orders from Americans during their occupation (our troops are still there, more than half a
      century later) but today, they take their orders from their own, in their own language. So did our erstwhile enemies
      loose their freedom? When people fight for their freedom, it is against their own governments that they fight. Today,
      my freedom is curtailed by my own government, not that of Saddam.      Propaganda, of course, is the way governments speak to their subjects. It is not surprising that we find this sort of
      meretricious tripe being circulated on Memorial Day. Simple straightforward speech is inconsistent with government
      objectives. You can hardly expect our rulers to admit that they delight in war, and are perfectly willing to accept
      American deaths to further their hegemony.      No, the frustration lies not in our rulers’ hypocrisy, but rather in the pathetic acceptance of it by Americans, who
      continue to believe that our dead soldiers died fighting for our freedom, or to protect our country. This much can be
      admitted: They did not die in vain. But the purpose for which they gave their lives was not, and is not, the preservation
      of the country, or the maintenance of our freedoms!      May 27, 2002 
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on May 27, 2002 at 09:01:28 PT:

How about a Memorial Day
for lost liberties?If a bell were rung every second for every non-violent person whose lives were destroyed not by drugs but the DrugWar, you wouldn't have any sleep for a month. If a cannon were fired for every instance of your Bill of Rights being abrogated by the US Government during the DrugWar, they'd all be slagged from the heat. I'm sure the ghosts of Esequiel Hernandez, Mario Paz, Donald Scott, Patrick Dorismond, Alberto Sepulveda, Peter McWilliams and God alone knows how many others, can sleep safe in the certainty that their unlawful deaths serve the greater good...killed by the people charged with 'preserving and protecting' those same rights against such unlawful deaths.Memorial Day has come to mean something else to this veteran. You'll forgive me if, after planting flags at the local military cemetary, I don't join in the yappy, self-congratulatory nonsense. If this insane domestic warfare and foreign adventurism isn't stopped and soon, I fear that someday, I shall have to attend the largest funeral yet; the one for the Republic of the United States of America. It's on life support, alraedy...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 27, 2002 at 08:07:28 PT

Memorial Day
Hi Everyone,I know this article is off topic but it is Memorial Day and I know many people who are part of Cannabis News were affected by Vietnam and it must never be forgotten. It must never happen again.
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