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In Rememberance: SEP 10, 2001: AMHERST FLAG DEBATE, Amherst Mass
self | 09/10/04 | RaceBannon

Posted on 09/10/2004 6:00:51 PM PDT by RaceBannon

Here is an account of September 10, 2001, 12 hours before the first plane hit.

I was at a rally to support the flying of the American Flag from the telephone poles down Main Street in Amhert Mass.

What happened that night was quite profound!~

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Free Republic; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 3rdanniversary; 911; 911memories; amherst; hateamerica; hateamericafirst; jennietraschen; oldglory; september; traschen; umass
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From the opriginal thread, this is what I posted to recount the night. I posted this on Sep 11, 2001, about an hour or two after we all heard.

I was at the town meeting last night.

I was invited by columnist Izzy Lyman, and responded to her cry on this!

Here is a link to Veteran's outcry on this.

I met some of these people last night.

While at the town meeting, one of the left wingers there was offended/frightened because he sat next to me! I was wearing my "Imagine World Police" T-shirt which I wore to protest the flying of the U.N. Flag instead of the United States flag in the front of the Amherst Town Hall. This weasel, who was about 6'2". and 195 pounds, sounded like a true coward, and stated to the council that he was intimidated by my presence!!

After he made his cowardly reponse, I walked right up to the front of the council, sat down in the chair in front, and spoke to the people of Amherst.

I explained how I was outraged by the accusation that anyone should be offended by the fact they sat next to a patriotic American! I reminded the people that the People of Massachusetts were the brave ones who started the United States revolution with the Minutemen and the battle of known as the shot heard round the world.

I then went on to chastise them, for they ashamedly flew the UN flag, yet the American Flag had to be hung in controversy, and now they are taking them down by order. They never ordered them to go up in anyones memory.

That's right, no one in memory ever thought of putting up a flag display for any patriotic reason.

I went on how I was a Marine veteran, one off the coast of Iran for the Hostage Rescue Attempt in Iran, and that one of my clearest memories was of the Iranian criminal student burning our flag, and how that offended me.

What also offended me there, was this woman who got up to say how the flag represented a terrorist nation, the U.S was a terrorist nation!!

Here is the story of the town meeting

There is an add-on to this story.

I was contacted by some of the people who are involved in this, and when we heard of the murderous actions this morning in Washington and New York City, we went and put the flags back up, and hung them at half-mast in memorium. People from all over the town came up to us and thanked us, from the Police to the average citizen. What is ironic, is that they had to be 'stolen' from the town garage where they were kept. the town garage people said, "Hey, we don't know where the flags are", then pointed with their fingers after opening up the get the idea...

One of the town councilmen heard of the flag raising today, and even though he was one of them that opposed the hanging of the flags, he immediately joined in.

We did not give him grief, he understood this WAS a time to hang them, he will have to learn on his own...

1 posted on 09/10/2004 6:00:51 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: RaceBannon

I remember. I pinged you on the 9th. I remember you going up there. How the world has changed.

2 posted on 09/10/2004 6:02:39 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Rick Nash will score 50 goals this season ( if there is a season)
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To: RaceBannon

September 11, 2001: Flags, Amherst and Jennie Traschen

"The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 have transformed Jennie Traschen, a University of Massachusetts physics professor, into a target of harassment and hate.

Critics have publicized her home and e-maiI addresses on the Internet, leading to a flood of nasty calls and computer messages. On her answering machine, strangers have made crude sexual remarks and denounced her as a traitor.

'This nation has been spit on by the likes of this trash,' said an anonymous visitor to an Internet chat site. Another wrote: 'These Marxist traitors should be hanged with piano wire and left to rot in the sun.'

Unlike the backlash against Muslims and Arab-Americans, however, the attacks on Ms. Traschen have nothing to do with her ethnicity or religion. They were sparked by what the diminutive 45-year-old said about the American flag the night before four hijacked planes killed thousands and unleashed a maelstrom of emotion involving patriotism, security and fear.

People in this college town are used to speaking their minds. On the evening of Sept. 10, several dozen of them turned out to do just that at a meeting of the five-member select board that governs Amherst. The meeting had been called to settle a dispute over how often to fly 29 American flags that a group of veterans and volunteers had hung from lamp posts along the town's main thoroughfares.

Roderick Raubeson, a 59-year-old former Marine who heads the town's Veterans' Services office and the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, had long been troubled that Amherst, known for its liberal political bent, had never adequately honored its military veterans. And so, in early August, he used $1,000 from the Veterans' Services budget for commemorative activities to buy the flags that he and others then raised downtown.

The flags raised a stir in this town of 36,000 people. Some residents wrote letters to local officials opposing the display altogether. Others said that flying so many flags every day made them just part of the scenery and eroded their meaning. But many local veterans lobbied for the flags to be flown for months at a time.

With several flags already flying daily at government offices, many town officials thought that any additional display should be confined to commemorative holidays, such as Flag Day and the Fourth of July. The issue grew more heated after Labor Day, when the flags were taken down pending a public debate and a decision by the select board at its Sept. 10 meeting.

Ms. Traschen didn't think twice about going to the town hall to make her opinions known. As a little girl, she had attended antiwar protests with her late father, a World War II veteran who often told her that free speech was among the rights the flag stood for. As an adult, she has frequently spoken out against U.S. policies ranging from the deportation of Central American refugees to Washington's support for the now-fallen apartheid regime in South Africa.

At the meeting, which was taped by a public-access cable-TV channel, Ms. Traschen urged people to lobby for more spending on education and health care for veterans rather than on hanging out more flags. Nervously tapping her open hand on the table in front of her, she also said that the flag had not always represented policies to be proud of. But it was one blunt comment that would be reported by local media and repeated again and again on the Internet.

'What the flag is,' she said on the eve of disaster, 'is a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression.

In hindsight, Ms. Traschen wishes she had explained her thoughts differently. But then, in a town nestled in a peaceful valley in western Massachusetts, she had never had to choose her words with painstaking care. 'There's been a level of repercussion that was totally unanticipated,' she says.

Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, the country awoke to the horror unfolding in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The calls to Ms. Traschen's home began Wednesday morning. In the first, it took 20 minutes to calm down an irate man from Seattle, who then warned her that her home address and phone number were already circulating on the Web. Another caller asked to speak to the 'terrorist sympathizer.' One suggested that she move to Afghanistan.

For a time, Ms. Traschen and her husband, also a physics professor, tried to discuss the issue with callers. When the attacks grew more vicious, however, they contacted local police, who mounted additional patrols past their home and put an electronic 'tag' on their telephone so that operators would know that any call from the residence should immediately be treated as an emergency.

For a time, additional police officers were also stationed outside town hall, where officials fielded dozens of angry calls and e-mails from around the nation. Some senders had heard rumors that Amherst had ordered the flags taken down after the terrorist attacks; others were convtinced that the town had banned private citizens from flying the flag at home. 'We had all kinds of messages,' says Town Manager Barry Del Castelho. 'It was mostly people telling us to leave town or leave the country.'

What had happened at the Sept. 10 meeting was that the town's select board voted 4-1 to fly the 29 flags only on six specified holidays. In the wake of the terrorist attacks the following morning, however, a group of men in a pickup truck went to the town offices on their own, retrieved the flags and returned them to their downtown sites. Since then, a local pub owner has vowed to raise money to buy even more flags for the main thoroughfares.

Mr. Raubeson, the man who started the flag displays, condemns the threats that Ms. Traschen has received. He also defends her right to free expression - with one caveat: 'When you speak your mind like that, there are consequences.'

In light of the terrorist attacks, the select board hasn't determined if it will remove the 29 flags. If there is another public debate, Ms. Traschen doesn't know if she will be there.

Not that the events of Sept. 11 have altered her opinions. 'To many, many ordinary people in countries around the globe, the U.S. has done terrifying things,' she says. 'If I think about the flag, I have to think about it from the point of view of those people.'

But in Amherst, as in other towns and cities, some things have most assuredly changed since the terrorist attacks. Ms. Traschen no longer tries to discuss the flag with anonymous callers. And unsettled by the sound of her own ringing phone, she frequently leaves home to study or write.

Though fearful about future turmoil for the three-year-old child that she and her husband are in the final stages of adopting, she did write a letter to the local newspaper explaining her views. After receiving what she called 'a spate of e-mails that were especially violent and several were obscene,' she wanted to vent a little and talk to the locals.

'It was a good thing to do,' Ms. Traschen says, noting that at the farmers' market, a lot of people came up to her and said they understood. But she remains upset by the episode and its implications.

'People are going to have a much harder time speaking their minds in this community,' she says." (Jerry Guidera and Robert Tomsho, The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2001).

3 posted on 09/10/2004 6:03:08 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: buccaneer81


I spoke first right after this guy

John Nelms: I must say, I’m feeling intimidated. I have to echo… My name is John Nelms. I have to echo, I feel very intimidated here tonight and that is putting the meaning of this display into my impression. So I’m encouraging a very restrictive policy. Start with Memorial Day… Even to put them up in this manner on Memorial Day is a big change for the Town of Amherst. Ummm…and this town has prided itself on being a community that has voiced, well I won’t get into it. But I’m sorry, but I don’t know if you folks have been part of that tradition [laughing to himself]. So anyway, I would urge a very restrictive policy. And again, ummm, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m afraid of actually going back to the seat where I’m sitting.
Selectman: Lets continue on and remember lets not be personal with each other folks. Okay, who’s next.

RaceBannon: Please forgive me. My name is XXX XXXXXX. I’m a Connecticut resident. I drove two hours to be here today specifically because of the things I’ve heard of this issue. I’m extremely offended by the comments I just heard. That’s simply because I’m a patriotic American who favors flying the American flag that an individual who does not favor flying the American flag should feel intimidated simply because I wish to fly it.

This country was founded by people who wanted to overthrow the yoke of tyranny and this is the state it started in. The British marched on Concord in an effort to seize the weapons of the colonialists so that they could impose a tyrannical government even tighter than they already had. The colonialists fought back.

If I remember correctly, the mascot of the UMass team is the Minuteman. On the 25 cent piece known as the quarter, the back of the quarter has a picture of the minuteman. Those are symbols that we all learned from children. It was a symbol of bravery. It was a symbol of people that weren’t going to get stepped on. The other symbol that helps define this country, other than the acts of freedom done by Massachusetts citizens, is the American flag.

I’m a United States Marine Corps veteran. I served from 1977 to 1981. I was one of the Marines off Iran for the hostage rescue attempt. One of the most vivid memories I have of that time period is watching Iranian students burn the American flag and burn effigies of Jimmy Carter, who I believe is an honorable man. They were not burning the United Nations flag, they were not burning Ronald Reagan, they were not burning pictures of the White House. They burned the symbolisms of our country which was our President who was a crude stick figure often painted up in an American flag when he was burned, as a picture of Uncle Sam who we all know is dressed up like an American flag, and then they burned an American flag. If the symbol of the United States is not the American flag, I don’t know what is.

I’ve heard statements made earlier, I believe it was by… I’m sorry, I don’t know who it was. I’m not going to say who I think it was because I’m probably wrong. That the consistent flying of the flag could be worn out on people because you see it all the time. Well then why are you flying the UN flag? I do not believe that this can be disconnected right now. You fly the UN flag daily at the seat of your government of this town. This is an American city in an American state. And yet you fly the flag of an organization which is trying to brand this country as racist, while at the same time ignoring countries that are burning farmers out of their home because of their race, or that are enslaving people because of their race or their ethnicity. This same organization which you fly the organizational flag of outside this building, is ignoring their racial hate crimes and trying to brand us all as racists simply because we are united under this flag.

I’ve noticed that the majority of the veterans here are United States Marine Corps veterans. There isn’t a single Marine in here that can’t tell you about Mount Surabachi and the raising of the flag. Chester Nimitz said that the raising of that flag means a Marine Corps for another 10,000 years. It wasn’t the United Nations flag that rose. It was the United States flag. This flag raised on Iwo Jima was a symbol of America. This is the United States.

Now I’m not going to say that there can not be a display of flags that is tacky. Everyone know that and I’m going to be quite honest…I have not seen this display that we are even talking about. I only know of it on the internet, I’ve read articles about, and I’ve read statements by the people doing it. Maybe it is tacky, I haven’t seen it yet.

But in a town that flies a foreign organizational flag in front of their town hall and then complains about an American flag or a group of American flags being raised on your Main Street. I’m willing to bet that if you took that UN flag down and put an American flag up there, the people would not have felt they had to fly these on Main Street. They would have only asked for individual holidays. They would have only asked for Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, maybe V-J Day, maybe V-E Day, maybe groundhog day. But they wouldn’t have had to insist on it being over such a long period of time as they asked for because the people of Amherst would have known that the United States flag flies over their town hall. I’m very upset and I’m going to shut up now before I embarrass myself.

4 posted on 09/10/2004 6:04:57 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

Where do I get one of those "Imagine World Police" T-shirts?

5 posted on 09/10/2004 6:07:04 PM PDT by thoughtomator ("With 64 days left, John Kerry still has time to change his mind 4 or 5 more times" - Rudy Giuliani)
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To: buccaneer81

This is the woman who is the UMASS professor.





Here is her short speech.

Jennie Traschen: A gentleman a couple speakers ago expressed some really lovely sentiments that the idea that the flag stands for the huge collection of people that live in this country. And I thought that was a really nice image and I wish it was true. But I’d like to argue briefly, because it’s late, that actually what the flag stands for is it’s a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and repression. And so I am requesting that you take down, keep down the new flags. So let me explain.
[Voices in the background]

Selectman: Folks, we tolerate opinions here. Please…

Jennie Traschen: So my dad was a World War II veteran. So I guess that makes me part of a family of veterans. And my mom was one of those women that waited at home for the letters and I’m sure had a very hard time when my father was missing in action for many months. But, luckily for me anyways, they lived to bring up a family of delightful children.

One of my earliest memories is standing outside the GE plant in Schenectady Upstate New York on a picket line with my parents because GE was contributing to the war effort that was funneling over into Vietnam. And as I grew up, I watched my parents first draft counseling young men who were being drafted, standing on vigil lines, organizing rallies, working for the nuclear freeze, working to stop the destruction in Central America.

And as I think back about my education, when I left the household, and wasn’t in so direct contact with my parents. In fact, that’s one of the reason why I dragged myself down tonight because I knew that both of then would be here and that I at least had to be as unlazy as my folks were. My education has been punctuated by U.S. invasion. Okay. After Vietnam, you know it’s El Salvador, it’s Nicaragua, it was Panama, it was the Middle East. The people living in Gaza and the West Bank who only had the misfortune to have their homes…live in their homes at the wrong time. Just like the people that lived in this country, in this land before the European Colonists came and one of the first historical acts that was done in the name of the flag was to kill those people to steal their land. And that’s why that flag flies from shore to shining…or sea to shining sea I think the phrase is. It’s not something to be proud of.

Selectman: I understand, I think we understand your point of view.

Jennie Traschen: I want to make one more, one more comment. That, I can also understand as we’ve heard tonight that the flag represents different things to different people. And people have written in and said that the flag stands for freedom and justice. If that’s what you think it stands for or should stand for, go to your legislators and ask them to fund education for G.I.s, ask them to fund education so that everyone can get a higher education in the Commonwealth. Ask them to fund health care because that’s part of freedom and justice. So if you think that that’s important I really encourage people to get out in the streets, and take your pen in your hands and do something to create the reality of freedom and justice because that’s not what the history of our flag has represented.

Selectman: Thank you Jen. [Spattering of applause] Okay, who’s next?

6 posted on 09/10/2004 6:07:55 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

Damn. When I lived in Vernon,CT I worked in Amherst. I hated it. They hated me. (Except at Barselotti's, a great bar on E Pleasant St.). I ran a restaurant and was confronted by Muslims, Lesbos, anarchists and all-around liberals. I hated it there.

7 posted on 09/10/2004 6:09:34 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Rick Nash will score 50 goals this season ( if there is a season)
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To: RaceBannon

I still remember your response to me after I pinged you about the situation: "I Will Be There!"

8 posted on 09/10/2004 6:11:05 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Rick Nash will score 50 goals this season ( if there is a season)
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To: RaceBannon

SONG PARODY: Hats off to Larry (pants down for Jennie Traschen)
DOUG FROM UPLAND - Song Parodies | 10-2001 | Lyrics, Doug from Upland

Posted on 10/14/2001 5:55:20 PM EDT by doug from upland

The following are her words. We did not embellish.

"What the flag is," she said on the eve of disaster, "is a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression."


Jennie Traschen, physics prof…has views that are contrary
In Amherst she fills young minds with mush
Parents, that ought to be scary

Pants down for Jennie…come join us soo-oo-oon
We’ll pay a visit to her and we’ll all moo-oo-oon
What a dis-gray-ace…ha, ha
We’re gonna get in her fay-ace
Jennie Traschen, we will be mocking you

She calls us terrorists…all patriots have gotten p*ssed
It’s time she moves to Afghanista-a-a-an

Pants down for Jennie…come join us soo-oo-oon
We’ll pay a visit to her and we’ll all moo-oo-oon
She is a dis-gray-ace…ha, ha
We’re gonna get in her fay-ace
Jennie Traschen, we will be mocking you

Pants down for Jennie…come join us soo-oo-oon
We’ll pay a visit to her and we’ll all moo-oo-oon
What a dis-gray-ace…ha, ha
We’re gonna get in her fay-ace
Jennie Traschen, we will be mocking you

She loves to diss our flag…she thinks that it is just a rag
It’s time she moves to Afghanista-a-a-an

Pants down for Jennie…come join us soo-oo-oon
We’ll pay a visit to her and we’ll all moo-oo-oon
She is a dis-gray-ace…ha, ha
We’re gonna get in her fay-ace
Jennie Traschen, we will be mocking you

9 posted on 09/10/2004 6:11:33 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: buccaneer81

Amherst Doesn’t Understand Its Reputation as a ‘Citadel for Hate’A professor from UMass, Jennie Traschen, stated publicly the night before the terrorist bombings, "[The U.S.] flag is a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression."

She said those words at a public meeting of the Amherst Select Board during a discussion of the town's flag-display policy, which has become notorious across the country.

The words of the professor were reported in the Northampton Gazette and Izzy Lyman rebutted them in a subsequent column for that paper, "Let me tell you about my flag." Her article was picked up by the Wall Street Journal's Online edition.

We print here both Lyman’s column which was run by the Journal and a reply by Prof. Traschen, which ran in the Amherst Bulletin and the online version of the Gazette. Please note that no one ever "targeted" the professor; it was only Traschen's own words that targeted her. Also note that the professor can never bring herself to tell the reader what she said at the meeting. She never revealed her "statement" from which the quote was "extracted." In light of her lack of candor, one must wonder if the complaints to her were really and truly "hateful" or just in disagreement.

It's remarkable that Traschen reports that Amherst is a place where "everyone's right to present their view is respected" and everyone has learned to be "tolerant." This is amazing in light of the fact that many people report they have to move from that area because it is oppressive to anyone who does not share the radical liberal viewpoint.

This saga is especially sad because the professor obviously has some viewpoints that should be expressed if she could manage to do so in a less belligerent manner that allows for the thoughts of others. But she will probably never do so as long as she lives in the community that does not allow any dissent from politically correct thought.

Let Me Tell You About My Flag

By Isabel Lyman
September 19, 2001

It was an electrifying moment. On Sept. 10, a dark-haired woman named Jennie Traschen spoke at the now-famous Amherst Select Board meeting at which the flag-display policy was being debated. "The flag," she told the Select Board in a statement that was reported in this newspaper, "is a symbol of tyranny and fear and destruction and terrorism." I gasped. In a room filled with veterans and patriots, that sentence had as much impact as if she had burned Old Glory on the Town Common. Amherst resident Phyllis Daley had three words for Traschen as the latter walked past her seat: "Shame on you!"

Since that meeting, and since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, other outraged citizens have repeated Traschen's words - almost verbatim - to me.

I share their outrage. Such "I hate America" sentiments reflect a lack of gratitude for all the good the United States has done, all the blood we've shed on foreign soil, all the money we've given to poorer nations, all the immigrants' dreams that have come true.

But it is easy for me to dismiss her remarks as a childish rant. See, that isn't my American flag she's talking about. Not even close. Let me tell you about my flag.

My flag is the gigantic one that was hung by rescuers at the Pentagon near the crash site of American Airlines Flight 77.

My flag is the one that flew amidst the gray rubble of the World Trade Center towers as emergency crews carried out orange body bags.

My flag is the one that adorable Alana Milawski, age 4, triumphantly waved at a vigil in Las Vegas in honor of the victims and survivors of the terrorist attack.

My flag flies in a field of grass in western Pennsylvania in memory of 44 innocent people.

My flag is the one flying half-staff in downtown Amherst outside Hastings that my 16-year-old son attached to the utility pole.

My flag is the one that flies outside the Oklahoma City bombing memorial in honor of folks like Christoffer Carstanjen and Jessica Sachs. Two who had ties to the University of Massachusetts, and two who died in the hijackings.

My flag is the one that was sold out at the Wal-Mart in Hadley.

My flag is the one carefully held by a man outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv by the sign that read, "All of us today are USA."

My flag is the one the New York firefighters clutched when they stood outside St. Francis of Assisi Church in honor of the Rev. Mychal Judge.

My flag is the one that traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange tucked into their yellow jackets.

My flag is the one hung at a construction site in Times Square near a banner that noted, "Freedom will be defended."

My flag is the living flag devised by 10,000 citizens wearing red, white, and blue in Tucson, Ariz.

My flag is the one carefully draped over the casket of New York Fire Department Chief Peter Ganci.

My flag is the one that mourners at commentator Barbara Olson's memorial service in Arlington, Va., placed on their suit lapels and somber dresses.

My flag is the one in downtown Northampton that a crowd outside Spoleto restaurant faced as they sang the national anthem during a candlelight vigil.

My flag is the one that our president, George W. Bush, raised when he visited Ground Zero.

My flag is the one with the broad stripes and bright stars that flies over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

My flag is a symbol of hope and sacrifice.

My flag is a symbol of unity and freedom.

I hope my flag is your flag. God bless - and guide - America.

Targeted for hate mail

By Jennie Traschen
September 28, 2001

Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we've all spent a good deal of time reflecting on the heroism that so many people have shown. We have heard about the firefighters and other rescue workers who put their lives at risk, many of whom gave their lives to save other people. We have heard about the phone conversation recording how the passengers in one of the planes, acted heroically so that their plane would not be used to kill further innocent people.

The horrifying core of Sept. 11's events was the murder of so many innocent people and the grief of all those who remain. We think about those who died on the planes. We think about those who were buried alive. We cannot change what has happened, but we can try to follow the examples of heroism which are have been placed before us.

The work that needs to be done is to prevent as much further death and suffering as we possibly can. Part of this work, I think, is very simple. It involves figuring out what we should not do. If we love a mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son or friend, then we don't have to explain the fact that their well being is more important to us than anything else. It just is so. Therefore, we understand how terrible it is for innocent, ordinary people to be killed by bombs or bullets, no matter where they live. For they too are children, with siblings and parents. Revenge against innocent people should not be any part of addressing our own loss.

Figuring out what we should do is a more challenging task. I do not think that capturing Osama bin Laden and his associates will be sufficient to make the world safe from terrorism. Our work must include asking some difficult questions and doing some important learning. What are the real roots of the terrorism? I think we have to do some learning about what goes on in places like Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. What are the living conditions and the political conditions like for most people in these countries? How have the sanctions against Iraq affected the Iraqi people? What disease and death among children has resulted from the sanctions, and can we understand the grief of their parents? What's it like living in a Palestinian refugee camp? What role has the U.S. played in these countries and how do the people who live there think about the U.S.?

We have to do our homework. We must work to establish a humane peace, globally. For the causes of violence, hate and terror, are global. We need to understand that trying to explain why we have become the targets of terrorism is not in any way the same as condoning it. We do need, will need, the strength and vision of heroes to carry out this work.

I requested space for this commentary because the Bulletin printed a very misleading "quote" from me two weeks ago that was extracted from a statement I made at a meeting of the Amherst Select Board Sept. 10, the night before the attack. My comments were part of a public discussion about the display of 29 additional flags in downtown Amherst. This "quote" was further distributed around the Internet, showing up recently on the Wall Street Journal online Opinion page.

As a result, I have received a large quantity of hateful e-mail and phone calls. Most of these have been ugly and violent in tone. Many recent ones, from readers of the WSJ site, have also been obscene. Almost all have been anonymous. These anonymous, hostile, obscene messages accuse me of undermining American freedoms. They accuse me of supporting violence and terrorism.

This could not be further from the truth. Since I was a child, I have been involved in working for peace. I abhor violence, torture, and murder. At the Select Board hearing, at which there were quite a few veterans present, I spoke about how I learned my values from my parents. My father was a World War II veteran. My mother spent agonizing months at home after his plane was shot down. My father survived, thanks to the courage of the French Resistance.

While I was growing up, I went to many demonstrations with my parents and stood with them on many picket lines. They were peace activists during the Vietnam war. My parents did not believe that what our government was doing in Vietnam was in any way consistent with what my father had fought for in World War II. Throughout their lives, my parents continued to work for peace and for the democratic rights of all peoples.

During my own years as an activist, many civilians in different parts of the world lost their lives as a direct result of our government's policies. Throughout the cold war years, our government backed dictatorships in numerous parts of the world that brutally suppressed human rights in the name of anti-communism. This is what I spoke about to the Select Board on Sept. 10. The contents of the harassing messages would seem ludicrous to me, if they were not so scary.

At the advice of two Select Board members, I talked to the chief of police on Sept. 13 about the harassment I was receiving. They were very kind, very professional, and I feel confident of the safety of my family and neighbors. The police advised me not to respond to the messages, although I felt a strong desire to defend myself and set the record straight.

Not all of the callers were hateful. One local caller left his name and number and asked for a call back. I felt that I had to return this call. We talked, not a comfortable conversation, but I believe a good one. Partly we compared experiences of different of our family members who had served in the U.S. armed forces and what the flag meant to them.

Similarly, there were many veterans who are Amherst residents who were at the Select Board Meeting who spoke very sensibly and movingly about what the flag means to them. If the discussion had included only local voices, it probably would have been a typical public meeting in the town of Amherst: a wide range of opinions, feelings, and analysis are presented in an atmosphere in which everyone's right to present their view is respected. In Amherst, we have learned to be tolerant of each other's attempts to speak, to work to understand other people's points of view, and then figure out how to compromise and run a great town.

Let's keep it up. In fact, maybe we should spread this strategy around a little more.

Jennie Traschen is an associate professor of physics at UMass.

Copyright ©2001 Massachusetts News, Inc. Photocopying and data processing storage of all or any part of this issue may not be made without prior written consent.

10 posted on 09/10/2004 6:21:05 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon; kdf1; AMERIKA; Lancey Howard; MudPuppy; SMEDLEYBUTLER; opbuzz; Snow Bunny; ...

Americans behaving badly even quotes this professor!

11 posted on 09/10/2004 6:22:58 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

From the wall street Journal

Ill-Timed Quote of the Century

"The [American] flag is a symbol of tyranny and fear and destruction and terrorism." -- Jennie Traschen of Amherst, Mass., speaking in favor of an antiflag ordinance, Sept. 10, 2001

12 posted on 09/10/2004 6:27:28 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

Amherst's bad timing

By Isabel Lyman
web posted September 17, 2001

"Do you really want to be remembered as the politicians who voted against the flag?" asked Larry Kelley, a fifth generation Amherst, Massachusetts resident.

The short answer: yes.

Resident Mike Lombard hands out flags before the meeting
In keeping with its image as a cutting-edge, politically-correct college town (home to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and Hampshire College), the Amherst Select Board voted 4-1 to prevent twenty-nine American flags from flying in the downtown for an extended period of 4 to 5 months.

Instead, the Select Board agreed that the flags could be flown on six holidays - Patriots' Day, from college graduation day to Memorial Day, Flag Day to Bunker Hill Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veterans' Day. American flags also fly continuously on the town common and outside the police station.

"I don't support extended flag displays," explained Carl Seppala, the chair of the Select Board and a Naval veteran. Select Board member Anne Awad cast the dissenting vote. She said she was opposed to "excessive" displays because it "fades the significance of the flag." Awad added that having such an opinion did not make her "anti-veteran." Town Manager Barry L. Del Castilho was troubled that the "flags went up without authorization," since the Select Board has jurisdiction over the public ways.

Raubeson placing the flags
Rod Raubeson, Amherst's veteran agent and a former Marine, hung the flags in August, with volunteer help, on utility poles owned by Western Massachusetts Electric Company, after company officials and the Town's Design Review Board give him permission to do so. In an effort to boost civic pride, Raubeson hoped that the flags could fly from Labor Day to Veterans' Day in November and from Patriots' Day in April to Independence Day. The flags, which cost about thirty dollars apiece, were bought with taxpayer monies from the Town's commemoration budget.

When Raubeson did not remove the flags after Labor Day, Del Castilho asked public works employees to bring them down. The Town Manager's action set off a firestorm of controversy and criticism that was even reported in the Washington Times. Before the flags were removed, residents and non-residents bombarded the Select Board with e-mails and phone calls offering their opinions about the festive-looking commemoration. In a letter to the Amherst Bulletin, Phyllis Daley echoed the sentiments of many when she wrote: "There should never be a limitation where, when, or how long our United States of America flag can fly."

On Monday night, when the Select Board convened to set policy about how long the flags could hang on Main and North Pleasant streets, the meeting inadvertently turned into a two-hour referendum on patriotism. Addressing the Select Board, Raubeson acknowledged that some residents in this liberal community did not like the flags because it made the Town "look too American."

"We are not going to apologize for that," said Raubeson.

Michael Lombard, a local veterans agent who handed out small American flags before the meeting, scolded Del Castilho for removing the flags without holding a public debate. "You might as well have burned the flags," said Lombard. He also chided the Select Board for their lack of community spirit, since they have never assisted Raubeson with the Town's annual Memorial Day parade.

Comments during the packed, often emotional meeting ran the gamut from one woman who said she viewed Old Glory as a symbol of terrorism to those who saw the stars and stripes as personifying freedom.

Ed Cutting, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, said the row of flags sent the message that "Amherst is friendly to those who don't hate our country."

Amherst resident Emily Lewis said she was uncomfortable seeing the streets lined with flags. "It's a militaristic symbol," she stated while Jennie Traschen, a University of Massachusetts physics professor, said, "The flag is a symbol of tyranny and fear and destruction and terrorism."

Former U.S. Marine Jim Bancroft, who said he drove two hours from Bristol, Connecticut to attend the meeting, questioned why elected officials would allow the flag of the United Nations to fly outside the Amherst town hall year-round. "Why are you flying the U.N. flag at the seat of your government? This is an American city," said Bancroft.

Carl Seppala and Charlie Meadows prepare to raise the flag
Charlie Meadows, a radio talk show host from the Oklahoma City area, who was visiting western Massachusetts, told the Select Board that the flag controversy, as well as Amherst Town Meeting's proposal to allow permanent alien residents the right to vote in local elections, was making the Town infamous. "Amherst is gaining quite a reputation," said Meadows, injecting a note of levity into an otherwise serious discussion.

When it became apparent that the Select Board was going to allow the twenty-nine flags to fly only on designated holidays, several townspeople stormed out of the meeting room.

The flag controversy hardly ended that night. The following morning - September 11, 2001 - Amherst resident David Keenan, a former member of the Select Board, called Raubeson to request that the flags immediately be hung back up. "If you capture the flags," Raubeson told Keenan, "my whole office staff will head to downtown to help you put them up."

"We needed the flags put up at half-mast as a way of showing appropriate consideration for the dead," said Keenan of his reaction to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Along with Mr. Meadows, the Oklahoma visitor, Keenan headed for the Amherst Department of Public Works (where the flags were stored) to "steal the flags," as he put it.

With the clandestine help of department of public works employees, Keenan and Meadows located the flags, took them downtown, and began to re-attach the flags to the light stanchions. Several veterans helped lower the flags, including Bancroft, the Marine.

Also on hand to hang the flags was another citizen who was deeply impacted by Tuesday's catastrophe - Amherst Select Board Chair Carl Seppala.

Rod Raubeson told the Daily Hampshire Gazette, "It's strange how one day can make a difference."

For now, the American flags will fly indefinitely in Amherst.

Izzy Lyman, author of The Homeschooling Revolution, can be reached at

13 posted on 09/10/2004 6:27:51 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

Towers of Intellect
It doesn’t take terror to show the imbecility of professors, but it helps.

Friday, October 5, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal, on its front page, told the sad story of Jennie Traschen, professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts, who had the bad luck at an Amherst town meeting on Sept. 10 to have called the American flag "a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression."

Her words were circulated on the Internet just as real terrorism and death put them in an unwelcome perspective. Suddenly she started getting irate phone calls and e-mails, some of them threatening or obscene. "There's been a level of repercussion that was totally unanticipated," she said.

Well, maybe it's time that she did a bit more anticipating. The same goes for the professor at the University of New Mexico who said that "anyone who can blow up the Pentagon gets my vote." Later he called this claim "the worst attempt at an incredibly stupid joke," and I'm sure he is right. The language of politics in the rarefied world of American higher education had not prepared either professor for a reality like the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Oh! So that's what "terrorism" means!

They were caught unawares, with their assumptions showing. But others in the academy spoke deliberately after Sept. 11 of the provocations given to the terrorists by America. Prof. Robert Jensen of the University of Texas wrote that the suicide mission "was no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism . . . that the U.S. government has committed during my lifetime." Prof. Barbara Foley of Rutgers University wrote of the terror attack that "whatever its proximate cause, its ultimate cause is the fascism of U.S. foreign policy over the past many decades."

For those unaccustomed to the jargon of the professoriate and unable to recollect the mass rallies of American black-shirts, I should mention that the word "fascist" in the preceding phrase is used in the Stalinist sense to mean anything that is not, well, Stalinist. So automatic has such jargon become to the likes of Prof. Foley that she probably never even stopped to reflect on how much more like the actual fascists known to history were the fanatical theocrats who brought down the towers.
But most academic political views are not thought but reflex, not an attempt to organize reality but an attempt to avoid it. An honest pacifist prepared to put up with the consequences of his beliefs is worthy of respect, but the anti-fascists of academe sometimes seem to start from the assumption that all the violence and trouble in the world would simply vanish if America dismantled its armed forces. Thus Prof. Howard Zinn of Boston University deplores any military response to terror on the grounds that "our security can only come by using our national wealth, not for guns, planes, and bombs, but for the health and welfare of our people, and for people suffering in other countries."

Well, as George Orwell said, you have to be an intellectual to believe such nonsense--or the nonsense spouted by some of Prof. Zinn's fellow ornaments of American scholarship in a forum on the terror attack sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Richard Slotkin of Wesleyan University writes of the "two myths being deployed in response to the terrorist attacks." The first is the myth of savage war, based on "the oldest U.S. myth, the myth of the frontier," and the other is the myth of the good war, "summoned by the invocation of Pearl Harbor." Since fighting terrorists cannot be a "good war," he reasons, we are likely to fall back on the "dangerous" myth of the "savage war," which "represents American history as an Indian war, in which white Christian civilization is opposed by a 'savage' racial enemy."

Poor Native Americans! First slaughtered, then turned into myths! The fruit of the anthropological researches of Catherine Lutz of the University of North Carolina is the discovery that the U.S. has been, as she says, in a "permanent state of war since the late 1930s" and, except for a brief period during World War II, on the wrong side. When Mr. Bush talks about "hunting the terrorists from their holes," she is reminded "of the racial hatred that has preceded, stoked, and been inflamed by nearly every one of the 20th century's wars." Luckily, she boasts, she and her students have refused to accept the war-like "framing devices" of television.

Assistant Prof. Christopher Phelps of Ohio State University is worried about framing, too. He is "wary of wars framed for freedom, which in general have produced the exact opposite effect." Just look, for example, at how, "during the cold war, the 'Communist menace' became the basis for hysterical McCarthyist attacks on civil liberties" or how World War II led to the internment of Japanese-Americans. These were horrors greater, presumably, than those that they were invoked to oppose. Meanwhile, Prof. David P. Barash, a psychologist at the University of Washington, wonders: Since "many people consider the United States to be a terrorist state," weren't the terrorists doing to us just what President Bush proposed to do to them?
People who can write with such moral imbecility are people who have forgotten who they are. From the perspective of the Ivory Tower, apparently, it is easy to assume a global point of view and to look with disdain upon those of us who still consider ourselves mere Americans, wounded as Americans by a foreign attack on our country. Thus, taking their comforts and the freedoms that produced them for granted, the professors can write airily of the "cycle of violence"—or, as Prof. Zinn puts it, "a hundred years of retaliation, vengeance, war, a hundred years of terrorism and counterterrorism, of violence met with violence, in an unending cycle of stupidity."

Talk about a cycle of stupidity! Does a policeman who has to subdue a violent criminal by force become guilty of the same crime? Is he perpetuating "the cycle of violence"? Those who suppose so must have been locked away from the world to shuffle words all their lives, like Prof. George Lakoff of Berkeley, whose response to an attack on his country was to analyze the phallic imagery of the falling towers or of "the planes as penetrating the towers with a plume of heat. The Pentagon, a vaginal image from the air, penetrated by the plane as missile."

For such people, even a shock like that of Sept. 11 cannot persuade them that the likes of Osama bin Laden or the Taliban could possibly be coming after them.

Mr. Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and American editor of the Times Literary Supplement of London.

14 posted on 09/10/2004 6:28:57 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

Web exclusive 11/6/01
Suppression of speech on campus
The speech most under attack is pro-American speech

By Michael Barone

When the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were attacked September 11, the overwhelming majority of Americans immediately felt, "We have been attacked." A very small number of Americans immediately felt, "They had it coming." Of the 500-plus members of Congress, all but one or two felt, "We have been attacked." Similar majorities of Americans in every occupation, economic class, ethnic group, political party, and institutional affiliation felt the same way.

With one exception: the faculties of our colleges and universities. There the cries of "They had it coming," were fierce and frequent. "Anyone who can blow up the Pentagon gets my vote," said University of New Mexico history professor Richard Berthold. George Wright, a political scientist at California State University at Chico, accused the Bush administration of wanting to militarize the Middle East, colonize the Arab world, and gain access to oil for the Bush family. Jennie Traschen, a physics professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, called the American flag "a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression"the day before September 11, but she held to the same view afterward.

Naturally, some Americans are calling for dismissal of such professors. Others are arguing that there should be no penalties for the exercise of free speech. Among the latter is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: "Across the nation, in response to the atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, and to the debates and discussions that have occurred in their wake, many college and university administrations are acting to inhibit the free expression of the citizens of a free society. Some administrations continue selective repression as if nothing had occurred: In the name of preventing 'offense,' they seek to stifle the views with which they disagree. Other administrations, more careerist in times of crisis than at other moments...want to avoid scandalizing broader public opinion. In both cases, they are willing to continue to sacrifice American liberty." What is interesting about the attempts to suppress speech, which have been chronicled by FIRE, is that almost all of them have been directed not against those who celebrated the attacks of September 11 but against those who take the same view as the overwhelming majority of Americans. The speech most under attack is pro-American speech.

Can this really be true? Here are some examples.

A. Zewdalem Kebede, an Ethiopian-born U.S. citizen and student at San Diego State University, received two letters from the university's misnamed Center for Student Rights, one stating that he had been "verbally abusive to other students," the other warning him that "confronting members of the campus community in a manner that is found to be aggressive or abusive" will result in severe disciplinary action. His offense: On September 22, after overhearing a group of Saudi students saying in Arabic how pleased they were with the September 11 attacks, Kebede, who is fluent in Arabic, said, "Guys, what you are talking is unfair. How do you feel happy when those 5,000 to 6,000 people are buried in two or three buildings? They are under rubble or they became ash. And you are talking about the action of bin Laden and his group. You are proud of them. You should have to feel shame."

Orange Coast Community College instructor Ken Hearlson, in a class the week after September 11, called Muslims who condone terrorism "terrorists," "murderers" and "Nazis." Muslim students complained, and one student E-mailed administrators that a Muslim classmate had said, "Don't hold your breath [that Hearlson's coming back]. He might not live." College president Margaret Gratton relieved Hearlson of his teaching duties but not his pay.

At Central Michigan University, Emmons Hall resident Don Pasco was told to remove from his dorm room door "an American eagle, a picture of the World Trade Center exploding, and a column." Residence hall director Al Nowak explained, "We look to create an environment conducive to academic study. If people choose to put something in their room, it's OK But the common areas have a posting policy. If offensive, defined as anything that degrades other individuals, verbally inappropriate messages, explicit pictures, nudity, or any type of profanity, it is not allowed. We look to make sure people feel comfortable. CMU has people with different ethnic and diverse backgrounds, and we want them all to feel comfortable going down the hall."

Charles Fairbanks, then director of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, in a panel presentation September 14, argued that the United States should direct its response to September 11 not only at Osama bin Laden but also against governments that supported the attack. He said the U.S. wouldn't be able to find bin Laden, and "I'll bet anyone here a Koran on that." He went on to identify Iraq, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Authority as likely sponsors of the September 11 attacks, and said, "Unfortunately, Palestinians hate us and that's a painful fact." At which point a woman in the audience stood up and accused him of "innunendoes intended to encourage and to assist people in conducting hate crimes ... toward Muslims." On September 18, Fairbanks was fired as head of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute. He was later reinstated, but a message was sent.

The University of California-Berkeley student Senate in early October called for punishment of The Daily Californian, the campus paper, for running a cartoon on September 18 showing two Muslim terrorists roasting in hell. The suggested penalty: The University should raise the paper's $8,000 per month rent unless the newspaper staff underwent "voluntary diversity training." The student government also called upon the paper to issue "a printed apology, and a new record of dedication to truth in editorial and news rectify its complete insensitivity to the needs of its campus and its values."

What is behind this lunacy? The speech codes that some two thirds of the nation's colleges and universities have imposed on their faculty and students. And they are justified with language that could have come out of George Orwell's 1984. The Berkeley student Senate prefaced its call for "voluntary diversity training" with a statement saying, "Berkeley remains one of the few places in the world where a thoughtful, critical exchange can occur from people across a spectrum of backgrounds and races, without fear of reprisal or hatred." That is, factually, utterly wrong. Berkeley is a city whose government banned pictures of flags on its fire trucks on the theory that they would provoke hate crimes. Berkeley is a university where 1,000 copies of the Daily Californian were stolen from newspaper racks on Sproul Plaza October 24 by a group offended by an advertisement titled "End States Who Sponsor Terrorism"–supposedly an offense to the Iranian community. The university, as usual, took no action against those who stole the newspapers.

Berkeley and hundreds of other colleges and universities today are some of the few places in America where free exchanges of ideas cannot take place because some ideas–most of them ideas shared by the great majority of the American people--are systematically suppressed. Colleges and universities are the least free places in America.

Speech codes were put into place to stifle criticism of the racial quotas and preferences employed by colleges and universities to produce "diversity." In the name of diversity, they impose uniformity of opinion. They are aimed at any speech which is deemed, by anyone, to be offensive to blacks or other minorities; hence their use to suppress speech that is offensive to those who excuse or cheer the attacks of September 11.

Why has this free society allowed its colleges and universities to systematically suppress speech in this way? Partly because most of us turn our heads away. When I talk of suppression of speech on campus, most people of my acquaintance, of whatever political persuasion, say this simply can't be true, or it can't be this bad. The response to September 11 shows that it is true and it is this bad. At this time, when liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans take exactly the same view of the September 11 attacks, it should be easier for those beyond the small number who have been concerned about suppression of speech on campus to see it for what it is. The institutionsthat should be the setting for the free exchange of ideas have become institutions that are the setting for the greatest suppression of the free exchange of ideas.

It is time for the taxpayers and tuition-payers and alumni contributors of this country to demand that college and university administrators dismantle their odious apparatus of speech suppression. This is a cause on which liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans can agree. This is not a call for suppression of the speech of campus radicals; quite the contrary. But it is a call for ending the days when the campus radicals can suppress everyone else's speech.

15 posted on 09/10/2004 6:30:17 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon

Good post. SEMPER FI Race.

16 posted on 09/10/2004 6:31:58 PM PDT by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: Dubya; Kathy in Alaska

bump for memory and to honor the dead.

This is what we face, and for the last 3 years, Freepers have been in the front of the battle here at home.

17 posted on 09/10/2004 6:48:49 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon; Dutchy; kphockey2

Thanks for the reminder, Race. I remember your FReep of Amherst like it was yesterday...

18 posted on 09/10/2004 8:12:18 PM PDT by nutmeg ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." - Comrade Hillary - 6/28/04)
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To: nutmeg; Kathy in Alaska

Today is the anniversary of what that woman said...just 12 hours before the first plane hit!

I have the audio, I am going to link it soon

19 posted on 09/10/2004 8:13:52 PM PDT by RaceBannon (KERRY FLED . . . WHILE GOOD MEN BLED!!)
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To: RaceBannon; JohnHuang2
God bless you race for your act of courage and commitment in standing up for the flag.

It is incoomprehensible to me that there are people like that woman, enjoying the peace and prosperity of this free land, who do not understand that what that flag represents is the very thing that has given her that peace, prosperity and freedom...and yet she can stand there...and apparently to this day still holds to the belief that the flag stands for terror.

She has a right to her opinion...but she is still a blind fool who is nothing more than a useful idiot for the people and forces who would destroy this land.

Let one of those oppressed terrorists show up and listen to her drivel, and they would slit her throat and that of her husband and child just as quickly as they would slit yours or mine. In that moment she would realize how critical the minutemen, the Marines, the sailors, airmen, soldiers...and even the common citizens who hold dear the 2nd amendment are.

God bless and keep our nation during these perilous times. May He remove the strong delusion that is blinding so many minds. I am afraid, unless folks open their eyes, hearts and minds, that it will only be removed by things even more horrible than 911. I pray it is not so.

20 posted on 09/11/2004 5:27:15 AM PDT by Jeff Head (
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