Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cindy Sheehan Faces Down the Pigeons

Jim Jamison, speaking after the Cindy Sheehan program held last Friday in our Crossroads city, is quoted [Terre Haute Tribune Star, April 14, 2007] as follows: “He [Jamison] believes Sheehan’s anti-war message ‘hurts the troops. They want to see they have support from their country they are defending, and they don’t get that from her and the messages she puts out.’”

Enough! This is hogwash . . . and worse.

The troops have always had the full and unqualified support of the anti-war movement. It is Bush’s flawed and failed policies that are questioned and opposed by Cindy Sheehan and the many other individuals and organizations opposing this war. And this is how a large majority of Americans feel and vote today.

Jamison represents a group of self-styled patriots calling themselves “Gathering of Eagles.” They are dedicated to disrupting Cindy Sheehan appearances in Indiana. But their shrill, finger-pointing, synthetically patriotic rhetoric is no longer effective. Americans have concluded that our troops deserve more than this. Americans have decided not to be swayed by the rants of these Rumsfeld clones, “tail-enders” who confuse mindless flag waving for serious thinking. People have come to recognize the lies that led us into this tragic war. They will not accept putting our courageous military personnel in harm’s way for another year.

Once for the war, Americans now know in their hearts and minds that our troops have given all and more to a policy founded on lies and doomed from the start. They are saying, enough!

Jamison’s self-glorifying “Gathering of Eagles” group ignores the facts of history and the facts on the ground in Iraq today. Their support of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld fiasco is now reduced to red-faced emotionalism. They are not Eagles; they are Passenger Pigeons. They continue to dutifully and unthinkingly carry the false, ever changing and hollow messages of this administration. But the credibility of these messages, like the Passenger Pigeon of the past, is long extinct.

Our troops have given all and more than anyone could ask. We now enter year five of this war. Yesterday the deaths of five good, strong and true Americans in Iraq were announced.

For a perceptive account of Cindy Sheehan's Terre Haute appearance: Stephanie Salter: "Cindy Sheehan an ordinary woman on a path that’s extraordinary" go here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

Kurt Vonnegut, an American cultural hero celebrated for his wry, loonily imaginative commentary on war, apocalypse, technology, materialism and other afflictions in "Slaughterhouse-Five" and other novels, has died. He was 84. (LA Times obit)

In 1981, the Eugene Debs Foundation awarded Kurt Vonnegut the Debs Award which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to society in the "Debsian" tradition. Vonnegut’s appearance in Terre Haute was memorable. In receiving his award, Vonnegut’s humor along with his steadfast support of freedom of expression by writers around the world was much in evidence. Vonnegut's probing, unsettling voice will be missed--and remembered.


" … when a society is in great danger, [writers are] likely to sound the alarms. I have the canary-bird-in-the-coal-mine theory of the arts. You know, coal miners used to take birds down into the mines with them to detect gas before men got sick. The artists certainly did that in the case of Vietnam. They chirped and keeled over. But it made no difference whatsoever. Nobody important cared. But I continue to think that artists — all artists — should be treasured as alarm systems." – Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Terre Haute Human Rights Day 2007 -- Freedom of Expression

Free and Open to the Public

Terre Haute Human Rights Day 2007
takes place on the campus of Indiana State University on Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

This year's theme is Freedom of Expression. In keeping with this theme, there is a student art show, a panel on journalism, a discussion of Rap lyrics, films, an open forum Speakers' Corner, and guests from all over the world who have stood up for the dignity of humanity and the right to Freedom of Expression.

For a complete schedule of the speakers and events, go here.

At 4 pm, in The Center for the Performing and Fine Arts Recital Hall, the renowned singer-song writer Carrie Newcomer will be performing in a FREE concert.