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We Mourn Students, But Not Soldiers (Bill Press)
Bill Press ^ | 04/16/2007 | Bill Press

Posted on 04/27/2007 2:07:44 PM PDT by NotchJohnson

We Mourn Students, But Not Soldiers April 26, 2007

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It never occurred to me there was any disconnect in President Bush's order that flags be flown at half-staff to honor the memory of 32 students and faculty gunned down at Virginia Tech. It was, I believed at the time, the fitting tribute of a nation, united in grief, over the slaughter of so many young and talented people.

I still believe President Bush did the right thing. But now I'm also troubled by the disconnect: Why are flags flown half-staff to mourn slain students, yet never flown half-staff to mourn slain soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan?

That burning question was first raised, not by me, but by Army Sgt. Jim Wilt of Combined Joint Task Force-82, stationed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. Writing online, Wilt noted that, as at other military bases around the world, flags had been lowered at Bagram to commemorate the tragic deaths at Virginia Tech. Nonetheless, he added: “I find it ironic that the flags were flown at half-staff for the young men and women who were killed at VT, yet it is never lowered for the death of a U.S. servicemember.”

Recently, in fact, a fellow soldier stationed at Bagram had been killed by enemy forces, leaving Wilt to ponder: “Is the life of Sgt. Alexander Van Aalten, a member of our very own task force, killed April 20 in Helmand province, not valued the same as these 32 students?” Good question!

Or how about the nine young Americans killed by one suicide bomber just outside Baghdad, one week to the day after the Virginia Tech shootings? They also died violent and senseless deaths. Don't they deserve the same recognition? Shouldn't their photos and life stories also be told? And why aren't the flags lowered for them?

For one simple reason, some might say: We expect soldiers to be killed, but not students. Which begs the question: Did we really expect over 3,200 troops — and counting — to be killed in Iraq after President Bush announced “Mission Accomplished”?

The truth is, a Virginia Tech-like slaughter happens in Iraq almost every day. Yet there's one very practical reason why Wilt's suggestion that slain soldiers receive the same flag honors as slain students will probably never happen: Given the way things are going in Iraq and Afghanistan, flags would be flying at half-staff every day.

Of course! That's the point! What better reminder that we are bogged down in a bloody, seemingly endless war than to see the Stars and Stripes only halfway up the flagpole — day after day after day? Otherwise, for most Americans, the war remains a distant operation, for which only our brave soldiers and their loved ones pay the price.

But drawing attention to the human cost of the war is the last thing President Bush wants. For the last four years, in fact, he and his cronies have done everything possible to conceal the number of war casualties. Until he got caught, Donald Rumsfeld used an autopen to sign condolence letters to the families of soldiers killed in action. Photographers are prohibited from shooting or publishing photos of flag-draped coffins returning to the States. And, to this date, Bush has not attended the funeral of even one soldier killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

By law, only the president can order flags to be flown half-mast at federal buildings nationwide. Within each state, however, governors have the same authority. And several governors — including Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and John Baldacci of Maine — have already acted, issuing a decree that all flags be flown half-staff the day a soldier from their state is buried.

Deciding to lower the flag state-by-state is not as meaningful as a national tribute, but, for now, it's the least we can do show our soldiers and their families that the American people really do care.

And why not? In the words of Army Sgt. Jim Wilt: “Isn't it time our flag saluted back when a person makes the ultimate sacrifice? Shouldn't the flag, which represents our society, tip its hat when someone dies to ensure it will fly another day?”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: billpress; fallen; soldiers; vatech; vt
Go ahead, fly flags at half staff and the libs will scream. Only using death to further their goal is in order you see. Flying flags at half staff would create respect for our servicemen and woman. No way in hell that can be allowed.
1 posted on 04/27/2007 2:07:47 PM PDT by NotchJohnson
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To: NotchJohnson
Which begs the question: Did we really expect over 3,200 troops — and counting — to be killed in Iraq after President Bush announced “Mission Accomplished”?

I see Bill got the memo.

2 posted on 04/27/2007 2:08:54 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: NotchJohnson

What about the Scumbag Code Pinkos who were filmed at the front gates of Walter Reid Hospital with Lying Posters saying they supported the troops, yet were recorded to say, “ The American Soldiers are the terrorists”
That is what they realy believe, they are seditious rats
and traitors.


3 posted on 04/27/2007 2:12:01 PM PDT by LtKerst (Lt Kerst)
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To: NotchJohnson
plus when someone with any notoriety, anyone the leftist media can get some mileage out of, such as Pat Tillman, is killed in action, it has to be "friendly fire" or some other such malfunction.

I think Don Henley was right. It's all dirty laundry to them -- they'll use a corpse if it will get them what they want.

4 posted on 04/27/2007 2:13:42 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Thank you St. Jude.)
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To: NotchJohnson
Flags are flown half-staff on Memorial Day.

Your welcome Bill and may you get a clue because you are a huge ignoramus.

5 posted on 04/27/2007 2:17:02 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: NotchJohnson
Flags are flown half-staff on Memorial Day till noon.

Your welcome Bill and may you get a clue because you are a huge ignoramus.

6 posted on 04/27/2007 2:17:22 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: NotchJohnson

My first thought is that that is why we celebrate Memorial Day every year. To remember all of our fallen from all of the wars. I see Bill forgot to mention that we do have a day set aside. That would have been an “incovenient truth”. I see Veterans’ Day doing the same but for all service men and women who have served but not necessarily given the ultimate sacrifice.

So we do have a day set aside for our fallen. Let us all remember to treat it as more than just a day off from work with picnics and play during a long weekend.

Too many have forgotten the price paid. Too many just don’t care.


7 posted on 04/27/2007 2:17:59 PM PDT by spkpls4 (Jeremiah 29:11)
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To: NotchJohnson; All
Apologies for the double-post.
8 posted on 04/27/2007 2:18:17 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: rollo tomasi

Flags are flown half-staff on Memorial Day till noon
I did not know that!


9 posted on 04/27/2007 2:19:07 PM PDT by SF Republican
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To: NotchJohnson
99% of America recognizes the name "Cindy Sheehan."

99% cannot name one of the heroes in Iraq.

Thank you Mr. Press and your pressies. You have collectively brought this about. By choice.

10 posted on 04/27/2007 2:20:03 PM PDT by cookcounty (No journalist ever won a prize for reporting the facts. --Telling big stories? Now that's a hit.)
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To: facedown

Dear Bill,
This is deep stuff and hard to understand. But the short explanation is that the soldiers volunteered to protect our country, knowing full well what that involved. The students at VT, on the other hand, were going to school to continue their education.


11 posted on 04/27/2007 2:22:35 PM PDT by ANGGAPO (LayteGulfBeachClub)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: NotchJohnson
Here in Alaska, Governor Palin orders flags at half staff EVERY time a soldier (or even a soldier stationed in Alaska) is killed.
13 posted on 04/27/2007 2:24:31 PM PDT by Species8472 (We will never Forget !)
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To: NotchJohnson
Otherwise, for most Americans, the war remains a distant operation, for which only our brave soldiers and their loved ones pay the price.

Whether you agree with the article or not, this is very true.
14 posted on 04/27/2007 2:26:18 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: NotchJohnson

This has been discussed before. Conclusion:

It was wrong to fly the flag at half mast for the VA Tech students. It insulted our troops.

The only time to lower the flag is to pay tribute to someone who died while defending our country.

On Memorial Day, and at no other time, should the flag be lowered.


15 posted on 04/27/2007 2:36:11 PM PDT by Sleeping Beauty
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To: NotchJohnson
“I find it ironic that the flags were flown at half-staff for the young men and women who were killed at VT, yet it is never lowered for the death of a U.S. servicemember.”

Being a soldier is an honorable yet dangerous profession and freedom doesn't come cheap.

The "muttinhead" who found irony in this doesn't realize at all how much our soldiers sacrifice everyday, for if we did this, our flag would be at half mast 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

16 posted on 04/27/2007 2:37:31 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: NotchJohnson

Oh, and:

Our soldiers risk their lives to keep our flag at the top of the mast.

Never, never lower it, except for their sacrifice. On Memorial Day.


17 posted on 04/27/2007 2:38:11 PM PDT by Sleeping Beauty
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To: NotchJohnson
Why are flags flown half-staff to mourn slain students, yet never flown half-staff to mourn slain soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan?

The left obviously wants the flag to be lowered for the entire length of any war.

In wartime you keep the flag high on purpose. In Revolutionary or Civil War battles, the flag carriers were taught to hold the flag high, even if they were wounded, and someone else would instantly pick up the flag if they were.

If the flag were at half staff all the time, it would be meaningless. If you have two tragedies at once, do you lower it to the ground?

Flying the American flag at half staff because of losses in battle appears as if we're surrendering to a victory by our enemies. Which is obviously what the Democrat/media complex wants.

18 posted on 04/27/2007 2:38:25 PM PDT by narby
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To: NotchJohnson; rollo tomasi; spkpls4; SF Republican

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 16, 2006

Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2006
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Throughout our history, the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States have placed the security of our Nation before their own safety. America will be forever grateful for their service and sacrifice. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Defending the ideals of our Nation has required the service and sacrifice of those from every generation. From Valley Forge, across Europe and Asia, and in Afghanistan and Iraq, courageous Americans have given their lives so that others could live in freedom. These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen took an oath to defend America, and they upheld that oath with bravery and decency. They have liberated the oppressed, spread freedom and peace, and set a standard of courage and compassion for our Nation. All who enjoy the blessings of liberty live in their debt.

This debt of gratitude extends also to the families who stood by our servicemen and women in times of war and times of peace. Each of the fallen has left behind loved ones who carry a burden of grief, and all Americans are inspired by the strength of these families.

At this important time in the history of freedom, a new generation of Americans is defending our flag and our liberty. These men and women carry on the legacy of our Nation’s fallen heroes and demonstrate that the United States Armed Forces remain the greatest force for freedom in human history.

Those who lost their lives in the defense of freedom helped protect our citizens and lay the foundation of peace for people everywhere. On Memorial Day, a grateful Nation pays tribute to their personal courage, love of country, and dedication to duty.

In respect for their devotion to America, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950, as amended (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated the minute beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 29, 2006, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day. I encourage the media to participate in these observances. I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States, and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.

GEORGE W. BUSH

# # #


Return to this article at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/05/20060516-5.html


19 posted on 04/27/2007 2:39:37 PM PDT by smoothsailing ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction"--President Ronald Reagan)
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To: NotchJohnson

I do not think the flag should have been at half-staff for the VT students. It isn’t that I don’t feel sadness for them...it just does not seem appropriate to me.

If a plane crashes with 150 people on board, we don’t put it at half-staff for them.

If five people were murdered, we don’t do it for them. And we shouldn’t.

It is all politics and Political correctness.


20 posted on 04/27/2007 2:41:02 PM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: narby

Yep. That’s it. You got it.


21 posted on 04/27/2007 2:42:23 PM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: cookcounty

I know what you’re saying but my wife and I can (remember names). Some are on “the Wall” and others served in Iraq with our son on his first deployment, we remember them well. We love ‘em and will never forget them. We have been honoring Memorial Day in our family since I can remember and that tradition has carried on and our kids damned well continue it as well (of course, our soldier does, goes without saying).

This Memorial Day, I’ll play the pipes for CPL Billy Long at Arlington, we’ll be there with his step-Dad and mother. No, not as an official thing but to honor him and for love and friendship for those left behind.

CPL Billy Long was with the “Old Guard” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier until he reenlisted because he said that he had to “do his part too”. He did, he was killed trying to help total strangers rebuild their government. We remember, we will always remember and I know you will too.


22 posted on 04/27/2007 2:43:23 PM PDT by brushcop (Men of B-Co 2/69 3ID Outpost Bataan/Iraq: God Bless your efforts, stay safe.)
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To: NotchJohnson
“Isn't it time our flag saluted back when a person makes the ultimate sacrifice? Shouldn't the flag, which represents our society, tip its hat when someone dies to ensure it will fly another day?”

These are truly ignorant people. The flag is the PALL OVER THE COFFINS of those who make the ultimate sacrifice for this great country of ours.

23 posted on 04/27/2007 2:45:34 PM PDT by MilesVeritatis (War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things...." - John Stuart Mill)
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To: facedown

Mr Press, you, your party and the dying main stream media are all communists, so you could never mourn someone defending American Ideals. I despise you sir, and all like you.


24 posted on 04/27/2007 2:46:49 PM PDT by stumpy
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To: NotchJohnson
We honor them every day,always,guess bill press doesn't realize that.

It Is The Soldier

It is the Soldier, not the minister Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

25 posted on 04/27/2007 2:49:18 PM PDT by mdittmar (May God watch over those who serve,and have served, to keep us free.)
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To: NotchJohnson

Flying the flag at half-staff for the VT massacre was a big mistake. Look for the idiots to capitalize on this mistake whenever possible.

Dumb move, Mr. President.


26 posted on 04/27/2007 2:52:47 PM PDT by gridlock (Enough already about Virginia Tech!)
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To: Sleeping Beauty

I wouldn’t go that far. Flying the flag at half-mast symbolizes national mourning, or mourning for some national tragedy. It’s not restricted to soldiers who die in the line of duty. Weren’t the flags supposed to fly at half-mast for forty days after President Reagan died? I think President Bush actually issued an executive order to have them flown full-mast at Independence Day, though the forty days were not up.


27 posted on 04/27/2007 2:58:31 PM PDT by Irish Rose (Will work for chocolate.)
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To: Irish Rose

Hi Irish Rose:

Yes, it’s does lower for presidents. But, on the other thread I mentioned, someone said he wasn’t so sure about presidents, either. That they were not the same kind of patriot that a soldier is.

It got me thinking....

40 days for Clinton....


28 posted on 04/27/2007 3:10:03 PM PDT by Sleeping Beauty
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To: NotchJohnson
Why are flags flown half-staff to mourn slain students, yet never flown half-staff to mourn slain soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan?

The Democratic Governor of Michigan orders flags at half-staff for every Michigan soldier killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. I guess as usual with the MSM, Bill Press is misinformed and too lazy or malicious to find out the facts. He hates Bush and America so much, he'll stoop to anything to attack both.

29 posted on 04/27/2007 3:10:45 PM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (Jabba the Hutt's bigger, meaner, uglier brother.)
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To: stumpy

I am not impressed by Bill Press and his crocodile tears for our brave soldiers. Inside, he regards them as babykillers and war criminals (he HAS too, they’re all volunteers).

Like the crocodile tears of Charles Gibson, who feels that the arrival of multiple flag-draped caskets should be constantly televised (”So that I, too, can mourn!”).

Media people are morally worthless TRASH!


30 posted on 04/27/2007 3:24:53 PM PDT by elcid1970
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To: NotchJohnson
Why are flags flown half-staff to mourn slain students, yet never flown half-staff to mourn slain soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan?

NEVER?

I was at Keeneland Racetrack the weekend of April 14, and the flags there were flown at half staff, at the request of the Governor, to honor two(?) Kentucky soldiers who fell that week.

ML/NJ

31 posted on 04/27/2007 4:16:58 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

I’m also a Kentuckian who spent twelve years on active duty, and I am proud of it. We knew when we took the oath that we may have to fight and die for our country. My oath was just a few years after the end of WWII, and thanks to a real leader, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who a grateful nation chose to make their, and my, commander in chief, we had a peaceful, and productive period of time to build, house and educate a country.

As it turns out, a very large number of those who benefited from the sacrifices of men and women who were clearly their betters have been ingrates. We know who they are, don’t we?


32 posted on 04/27/2007 4:37:20 PM PDT by billhilly (My former tag line.)
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To: billhilly
I’m also a Kentuckian

Just to be clear, I'm not a Kentuckian. I've lived in NJ for the past 35 years.

I do love Keeneland though! I hope to be back in the fall. (And your bourbon isn't bad either!)

ML/NJ

33 posted on 04/27/2007 5:28:58 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

I’ve been a Virginian for 49 years, but began my life in Kentucky. The horses can be an obsession, I’m told.


34 posted on 04/27/2007 5:46:37 PM PDT by billhilly (My former tag line.)
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To: NotchJohnson
If I were on on the floor of the House, and I was a Congressman, I would say the following, for the record:

The vote on this bill, a bill to cut off the funds to brave men and women defending our country and the country of Iraq is a despicable and cowardly political move. It has all the elements of Congressional TREASON. It should be struck down on a floor vote. If, any member of this house can't stand behind these brave troops, perhaps they should stand in front of them. But, there are no members of chamber that have the GUTS to do that, nor do they have the GUTS to admit that our troops protect our freedom. I yield the balance of my time, MADAM......speaker"! Then I would throw my notes to the ground and storm out.

35 posted on 04/27/2007 6:02:23 PM PDT by timydnuc (I'll die on my feet before I'll live on my knees.)
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To: billhilly
The horses can be an obsession,

Obsession? What are you talking about?

This year I hope to attend my 42nd consecutive Belmont Stakes, and my 41st consecutive Travers Stakes.

ML/NJ

36 posted on 04/27/2007 6:05:26 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: NotchJohnson
Liberals don't care about the troops except to use them for political advantage. Nancy Pelosi and Benedict Arnold Harry Reid can't even make time in their day to listen to what General David Petraeus has to say about the progress we're making in Iraq. They're fixated on defeat and their hypocritical concern with American casualties is solely to devalue the sacrifices of our fighting men and women in Iraq.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

37 posted on 04/27/2007 6:07:05 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: ml/nj

” Obsession? What are you talking about?

This year I hope to attend my 42nd consecutive Belmont Stakes, and my 41st consecutive Travers Stakes.

LOL. Looks like I hit the old horseshoe nail squarely on the head.

I hope you have many more.


38 posted on 04/28/2007 6:07:25 AM PDT by billhilly (My former tag line.)
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To: NotchJohnson

Our flags should not be lowered except for the death of a president of the United States.

End of story.


39 posted on 04/28/2007 6:10:13 AM PDT by listenhillary (Islamofacists are playing our media like a virtuoso)
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To: gridlock

I would not go that far. it takes someone special like Bill Press to find an angle like this. VT had nothing to do with the war but he found a way.


40 posted on 04/28/2007 7:15:45 PM PDT by NotchJohnson
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To: gridlock

I would not go that far. it takes someone special like Bill Press to find an angle like this. VT had nothing to do with the war but he found a way.


41 posted on 04/28/2007 7:16:02 PM PDT by NotchJohnson
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To: NotchJohnson

Bill Press is not the only one. Every moonbat Democrat in the country is all over this one. They want to demostrate that the President does not care about the troops, and they don’t care how stupid they sound when they try to make the point.

There are rules for flying the flag at half staff for a reason. President Bush chose to ignore those rules and those reasons, and now he will pay the political price. As well he should.

Stupidity should be punished, even when it is the good guys being stupid.


42 posted on 04/28/2007 8:07:53 PM PDT by gridlock (Enough already about Virginia Tech!)
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