A letter writer was dismayed that "protesters," myself included, attended the unveiling of the "Purple Heart" stamp. Our presence was respectful and in support of veterans, but not of war. We came to share information with veterans and the public.
Approximately 275,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, some never having recovered from the physical and psychological damage of war. They sleep on our streets, under our bridges or in cardboard boxes. Over 220,000 vets of Gulf War I, who went off to war young and healthy, are recognized as disabled by the VA, and over 10,000 have died of war-related illnesses.These vets struggled for years to gain recognition of their Gulf War Syndrome ailments, just as Vietnam vets struggled to get treatment for the devastating diseases caused by U.S. use of Agent Orange and other chemical warfare agents. Many thousands of sick veterans have waited from six months to a year to see a doctor! Yet the Bush administration proposed cutting veterans benefits! Unpleasant facts such as these were not mentioned in the speeches.
Senseless wars create more Purple Heart dead and wounded (30 Americans killed, scores wounded in Iraq in the last six weeks). A better way to honor vets than issuing a stamp would be to provide all veterans with the full benefits and services they need, while avoiding unnecessary, illegal wars which lead to more injury, death and illness.
The writer suggests we "pack up and move to Cuba, China or North Korea."The "freedom" he refers to seems to be the freedom to speak, act and think like the writer. Many Americans have a broader definition of liberty, including true freedom of speech and the right to dissent.
Thanks to Sen. Paul Koering for acknowledging our right to be there.
St. Regis site
The Green Party of Minnesota and the Green Party of the United States are advocates for the preservation of our earth. The air, the land and the water all combine to give us life and to sustain us.
Sadly, a blatant disregard for the sanctity of many lives, homes and families has been uncovered at the St. Regis Superfund Site in northern Minnesota -- yet another example of shame pulled from a seemingly endless sequence of atrocities perpetrated against indigenous peoples on Indian land. The Green Party believes in decentralization, grassroots democracy and respect for diversity, and we work to ensure that all communities have a direct and powerful influence on their future. Within Cass Lake and the other areas encompassing the St. Regis site, we recognize and cherish the sovereignty of native people and we support their efforts to protect longstanding traditions, whether they be economic, civil or spiritual. The reckless endangerment of all the populations who live on or near the Leech Lake Reservation is unjust, barbaric and criminal.If the mission laid out in the EPA is to carry any meaningful weight, the United States Environmental Protection Agency must discover the responsible parties and hold those who authorized this destruction accountable in a court of law. Not one cent of the complete cleanup cost and restoration should be paid by those who have been made to suffer here: the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the community of Cass Lake and every other individual in this region who has been adversely affected by acute exposure to contaminants in the air, earth and water.
Daniel Alvin, National Minnesota Delegate, U.S. Green Party
Nick Raleigh, chairperson, Green Party of Minnesota
and two other party officials
Since Jesus said, "You are worth more than many sparrows," (Luke 12,7) how can we justify laws protecting, most sparrows, more than unborn human babies?
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