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I knew Cindy before she got all famous and it was unpopular to decry this sad farce of a Schlock & Offal war. We lived in Benicia, CA, were a small group of about a dozen of us had established regular weekly anti-war vigils starting the very day after Bush pushed his big-boy Red Button. We were a peaceful group who often faced spewing inarticulate heavy-breather males who would threaten, bellow, veer vehicles dangerously close as threatening weapons, and generally intimidate the mostly elderly female group. I was regularly thanked by the women for my presence as they indicated the nastiness was kept more remote and lower-key when a male was around.
Eventually, the stalwart efforts of a few to make signs and stand in gloomy winter weather drew ever-wider attention and we routinely saw guests trickle in from near and far. Cindy and her {then} husband would periodically drive in for the evening and my wee family got to meet them several times in the face of such adversity. It was always a pleasure and she has been a pillar of strength from the beginning.

She is made of a metal forged as no ne-er do-well son of a dynasty that thinks the CIA is their family business can match, and it's clear that George Bush's will is the brittle sort to shatter against her heat-tempered mettle. This perseverance is rapidly approaching the conviction and critical mass we've seen before in history: Martin Luther King and the merger of Civil Rights with Anti-War movements. When Camp Casey got fired up I was thrilled for Cindy and the boost she gave this effort - which cannot be underestimated. Her Covington, LA, re-directed efforts post-Katrina to help my dear New Orleans cemented the footing she stands on today and widened her appeal with practical applications seemingly beyond most established organizations.

While I admire the works of Thomas Jefferson for high ideals and impressive prose, as well as our Founders and Framers, I know in my heart the rough, spontaneous, and energetic push-back of Thomas Paine and his Common Sense describes my own place in current events. I've spent far too much of my life at the low end of the social totem pole resisting bullies to stand still when abuse is inflicted and I deservedly got the term hot-head around these otherwise peaceful gatherings: When young tuffs would slowly cruise down our little burgs' main drag in throaty hot-rods calling us traitors I made a point of pacing along and naming them cowards for letting someone else expand the Green Zone in their place. I know, not terribly Zen and all, but there is only so much cheek-turning a practical type like me can stomach before getting ill all over the meditation mat. Anyway, this would shut up knuckle-draggers right quick 'cept for the rev of their engines as they scoot away with tailpipe 'tween legs. Strapping lads who have no courage of conviction should not be lecturing {I use the term loosely} those with an internal strength they don't understand, yet envy.
My wiser-than-me wife broke the will of many reactionary knee-jerkers by dressing up as Miss America & waving a sign for World Peace: kinda-sorta hard to flip-off icons we've been ingrained to respect. We all need to think outside the box more and I applaud Cindy's latest effort before the White House to hold a hunger strike.

Watching her on Hardball last night was refreshing and demonstrated more tolerance of the picky sniping Noran O'Donnell displayed than I could have sat still for, and this is why she drives the Reich-Wing so ape-shit frustrated. They would rather spar with someone flavored feisty like myself and change the subject into a food-fight. The deflection Cindy routinely and almost unconsciously exhibits is something we can all learn from.

It has been clear for some time that MSNBC has little real interest in ratings and what the public thinks except how their efforts at mis- and re-direction succeed - for purposes I cannot ascertain from here. From canceling their number one show, Phil Donahue, for his openly anti-Iraq War stance and guests, to the senseless prattle that routinely spews across the sets of Hardball and other major networks clearly flies in the face of public opinion - which only grows firmer despite these shills' best efforts. I don't know who at Fox News it was that Noran wanted to impress for a job, but she certainly showed which side of her news-puppy belly she would roll over and play tricksy love-slut for. Crooks and Liars, and the other gleaning net services, is the only way I will tune this network. Gentle readers, I suggest the same and urge you to write your local station to tell them - they care more about ratings than the national broadcast head-ends demonstrate.
Remember this: to a media company the term Filler and Content is upside-down from what you and I consider.  Filler is those shows we tune into, such as Lost -or- 24, whereas their term for Content is the commercial breaks they make the big bucks on.  They are a long way from the Fourth Estate principles they are licensed under which demand they present important news and information to the public unable to peer into governmental and corporate activities.  

Vigil Update: We've moved away from our Carquinez Straits friends, but the vigil continues unabated each and every week since the invasion & occupation of Iraq began. What started out an even 50-50 thumb-up -vs- flip-off drive-by feedback ratio is now firmly 20 to one against this war now. And growing.
Hooray, for our side!

- Jonathan Gibson -

Originally posted to MisterGibson on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 08:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  MSNBC media linkage: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca, Cynmill

    Here's the Crooks and Liars link to the MSNBC Hardball interview Noran O'Donnell "performed"  I mention above.  
    It's well worth a download.

    Love puppies eat from my bowl.

    by MisterGibson on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 08:26:36 AM PDT

  •  I met Cindy Sheehan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at a book signing a few months ago.  I don't presume to know anything about her personality, but I do want to say that she exuded this aura of peace & serenity, which I find doubly inspiring considering what she's been through and continues to endure.  I didn't expect to feel that when meeting her, and it very much impressed me. I wish the people who find it so easy to criticize and threaten her could just be face to face with her for five minutes.  

    You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarass the guilty. - Jessica Mitford

    by Cynmill on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 08:34:53 AM PDT

  •  Give em hell Cindy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This woman have more backbone than  a lot of mens have,is it time for somone else to come along and represent the cause,she has lost something   personally in this war in Iraq,why do you rightwinger send your son over to Iraq ,if he is not a coward

  •  Hullo, Old Friend! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Well, it was indeed a pleasant surprise to see your essay this morning, Jonathan! As a founding member in good standing of the Benicia Vigil, which has gone on unbroken every Thursday night since March 20, 2003, you've certainly covered the highlights well.

    Have to laugh though. I was one of the ones who always got a kick out of you and your mouth! Yeah, I know ... not PC, eh? But I tell you ... sometimes I think we're too laid back with the knuckle-draggers, to the point where they think they can treat us like dirt because we won't speak up for ourselves. A couple of months ago I took a page from your book and yelled back at one of these passing idiots. Of course, the elderly Suzanne was all over my case in a minute to maintain some dignity and pipe down! But, oh, I did enjoy that moment of release.

    I wonder if someday I'll ever achieve Cindy's serenity, not to mention her natural ability to maintain her focus. But I suspect you and I are a lot alike in many ways, Jonathan ... too angry to be serene, at least right now.

    Oh, but I miss Miss America ... and your little one (who's not so little any more). And remember Josh who used to come dressed up as Jesus with a sign that said "Blessed are the Peacemakers"? Kinda tough to flip off that act, too!

    At any rate, last night Suzanne clocked 245 honks and thumbs up and peace signs from the cars that passed by us in a 2 hour period ... and that was only the ones she caught. Myself, I only saw 5 or 6 thumbs down the whole time I stood there ... and no shouted swear words at all. We had some 9 folks lined up down the curb ... and lots of people just walking by on the sidewalk reading the display signs that we stick in the grass.

    Despite all this, I do remain pessimistic about our leaving Iraq any time soon. It's not enough for passing motorists to drive by and show support. They need to GET OUT OF THEIR CARS AND COME STAND WITH US AT THE CURB. Only when America takes to the streets in great numbers will there be any hope of turning this place back to sanity and decency.

  •  Cindy Sheehan is a national treasure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pat K California

    I am saddened by the fact that there are many Kossians/Kossacks that are openly hostile to her and drove her away from posting here.  She has more integrity than the Bush Maladministration even thinks it had.

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon

    by trashablanca on Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 10:21:39 AM PDT

  •  Times are a changing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pat K California

    Times are a changing..My first observation of guts came from michael moores film, when I had to drive 60 miles to see because we were not allowed to see it in , my area..Then Cindy showed us how someone with guts doesnt back down, and that is all she wrote..Thanks to cindy a lot of lambs in america and the world, got the courage to stand up and I will forever be grateful to her for that..

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