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My Mad Love Affair
By:  Sandra Price
My mad love affair with America must have started before I was born because I can never remember a time when it wasn’t right there in front of me.  I remember a large globe of the world that sat on my grandfather’s desk and he put a small gold star where Santa Monica would be had it been a bigger community.
Grandpa told me over and over what America meant not only to us, but the rest of the world.  We were to protect it with our own blood if necessary.  I was very impressed even if I couldn’t figure out why my bleeding would keep it safe; I did not question my grandfather!
I was with my grandfather when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and saw him torn with grief.  I found Pearl Harbor on the map and we added a little red star on our globe.  I was 9 years old but understood that someone had killed many of our Americans living in and being stationed in Hawaii.  I quietly left him alone and walked around the neighborhood all by myself.
Well, we got through it but not without losing several close uncles, neighbors and quarts of tears.  I got the feeling that our time together was limited and my grandfather suddenly began to instruct me on the glories of the law and we read through the Constitution so he could explain to me why it was such a rare and perfect document.  In looking back I believe he brainwashed me to hold America as the perfect Garden of Eden where all men were equal and welcome.  I still feel it is to this day.
Over and over he stressed the need to fight for America, not just on the battlefields where our men had died, but in every thing we do or think.  America must remain safe and worth any effort to keep so.  A week later he died of a stroke and I found I had lost my best friend.  I miss him every day but boy did he do a job on my patriotism!
That was 62 years ago and not a day goes by when something reminds me of my grandfather.  He also taught me the value of a strong work ethic.  If I wanted to go ice skating it would cost me a bucket of weeds that needed pulling or his shoes that needed polishing and I got so that I did these things ahead of time to build up my credit.  Seems I was also a confirmed Capitalist too! 
When I got out of school I looked forward to working in an office using my writing skills and being a part of a team.  What I observed was terrible.  Everyone seemed to cut each other apart by back stabbing tactics even when it meant being detrimental to the company itself.  The product or service was ignored so that one or two employees would gain something.  The companies were too young and couldn’t stand this inside problem.
Apparently this is still the situation today with the shenanigans we read about with companies like Enron and Global Crossings.  Somehow I believe that my grandfather would not have been surprised at these men and how they used their investors and employees. 
The greatest eye-opener was September 11, 2001.  The keepers of our American freedoms were asleep and concerned only with their own positions in the government.   Major parts of our security measures were overlooked and apparently forgotten for years.  It was at this moment that something kept returning to my memory cells.  Where had I read about this before?  It was like watching a long movie trying to figure out where story line came from. 
A friend of mine on a discussion forum suddenly decided to start a thread called “Who is John Galt” and my memory cells snapped into overtime. 
Of course, I had read about the degradation of America in ATLAS SHRUGGED.  Ayn Rand had called it clearly and cleverly in the development of all her major novels and her associated essays!  It’s all there from the small local politics to Enron and Global Crossings, which led into federal government politics.  How could I have forgotten those books?
Ayn Rand gave us a chart map what would happen to America if we all simply forgot her message.  She may have given us the key to repair.  In her Fountainhead her leading character was forced to build a development that was third rate and ugly and he, the architect burned it to the ground!  In Atlas Shrugged all the successful businessmen who had been tricked and used by the government simply went on strike!  Drastic and physical actions done by real American heroes saved the day but, wait a minute, where are our heroes today in 2004? 
Where are the Hank Reardons and Howard Roarks?  They are not in the House or Senate at this time!  Do we have the ability to recognize the kind of men/women who can lead us out of this terrible mess that we all have allowed to happen?
Have we seen too much corruption to ever trust another President?  The main question is “what do we want to do next?”  We need to discuss the "what" before we can discuss the "who!"  America seems divided into several action groups from ignoring the threats of terrorism and leaving Israel to fight her own battles or simultaneously trying to protect our friends in Israel and searching out the terrorists themselves.  Most of us recognize the actions are related and should be dealt with immediately. 
What I am reading is our lack of faith in our current leaders.  With the reports coming in from many sources, it seems that just about everyone in Washington knew this or that and ignored the warning signs.  Even when it was determined that the terrorists entered our land on forged or outdated visas we still can’t seem to correct this oversight.  Is there no one who can stand up and close our borders until our Immigration and Naturalization Agency is repaired?   Where is our leadership?
If this isn’t Atlas Shrugged all over again, I don’t know what is!  My problem is that I re-read John Galt’s speech this week and I am fired up with my love of America in one hand and a desire to strike out against any single Washington DC legislator who dares to continue the corrupt actions that have been so blatantly displayed for the last 4 years.
Let’s Roll!
Sandra J. Price,
About the author

Sandy Price has absolutely no background in politics, no college degree, and no employment resume that could possibly be responsible for her total disrespect for many political actions that have taken place in the last 40 years.

She began her political activism after finally getting cable in her area of the central California coast.  She watched two hours of C-SPAN and realized she needed to get involved immediately.  That was in 1993 and once she found the internet, it was just the beginning.

Actually, she had been a registered Republican since the days of Ike but never felt much like participating after Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964. 

Sandy is a staff writer for Etherzone, an online news site, and for Lew Goldberg at The Patriotist.  She is now retired from working as a technical writer and costume designer and lives in Sun City, AZ.

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My colleague, Les Blough, Editor of the website, Axis of Logic, sent me this article today and I'm am pleased to republish it in The American Choice

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Frias proposed for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize

 By Carlos Herrara Nov 26, 2004, 18:09

Editor's Note: Please consider signing the petition below in support of President Hugo Chavez for the Nobel Peace Prize. - Editors, Axis of Logic.

 Link to Article and Pictures

Link to sign petition or contribute: PetitionOnLine commentarist Carlos Herrera writes: Thursday evening 9:00 p.m. on Venezuelan National Radio (RNV) I learned that there are moves afoot to propose President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias as a leading candidate for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

For many people throughout the world whose information about Chavez is conditioned by mainstream news media, the immediate reaction to this news could be: ”How could a “firebrand” like Chavez ever be considered for such an internationally prestigious award?”

I can already imagine the radical opposition thinking this and cannot believe that such a thing could conceivably happen. The next stage will be gnashing of teeth and frothing at the mouth! Readers will recall that, two years ago Chavez won the “Man of the Year Award” in an internet vote run by against all comers ... including George W. Bush.

The reaction in 2002 by opposition figures was to send thousands of President Hugo Chavez Frias insulting and threatening e-mails to, accusing the BBC of rigging the outcome, and alleging ... without any evidence ... that the Venezuelan government had “paid” for the results.

This was just a non-scientific poll in internet and not something as prestigious as the Nobel Peace Prize ... so why is Chavez a candidate and likely winner of the Nobel Peace Prize?

Looking at the web page of the Nobel Prizes at the 2004 winner was Wangari Maathai of Kenya was awarded the prize “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” If these three qualities are key to winning the Nobel Peace Prize then Chavez has all these in abundance and more ... he must be the world’s leading democrat having been to the polls 9 times since 1998 ... he promotes peace by asking for troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, so that these sovereign nations can exercise self-determination and define their own path in the future.

Sustainable and endogenous development is one of the corner stones of the Bolivarian revolution -- thus alleviating poverty medium to long term.

Other accomplishments which have been pushed by Chavez’ personal leadership in Venezuela are the Social Missions, all grouped under the humanitarian banner of Mission Christ.

The primary ones are:

Mission Robinson -- teaching more than 1.3 million people to read and write in the space of 16 months, a world record in this field

Mission Ribas -- secondary education for just over 1 million people so far, who were denied this basic human right during the 4th Republic

Mission Barrio Adentro (Into the Nieghborhood) -- to provide free primary health care for more than 10 million people up to now, and who did not have access to health care in the past - unless they paid for it

Mission Simoncito -- care and education for pregnant mothers and their children from gestation to kindergarten, to ensure a healthy start to life

Bolivarian Schools -- integral schooling including free health care and meals, with the objective of inculcating patriotic, humanitarian values in the upcoming generations President Hugo Chavez Frias

There may be other accomplishments I have omitted to mention, and am certain that opposition spokesmen will try to shoot down all these accomplishments in the usual manipulative format and with their well-known semantic bile. However, it does not matter what they think ... but what the Nobel Foundation in Oslo considers to be true and of real value to human development and peace.

The reaction of the USA and and especially that of Condoleezza Rice will be interesting to observe. Let us hope that the Nobel Foundation with its 105-year history will have the courage and independence of thought to consider President Chavez for this world shattering accolade, without outside interference.

Chavez Frias has the qualities and the accomplishments, even though his style may have upset some influential international personalities in the past.

It would be very difficult to taint Chavez as a “dictator” if he does manage to win the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize ... and the ultimate recognition of the inherent goodness in the Bolivarian Constitution, whose precepts President Chavez is carrying out with deep humanitarian convictions.

If you want to contribute the Bolivarian campaign for Chavez to win the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, you can do so by signing the petition at: Petition On Line

Victims of a Lie
By Thomas M. Braun                      
I am a Vietnam veteran who served honorably for my country.  I was an air operations supervisor in the US Air Force, and served on Temporary Duty status at Vietnam's Bien Hoa Air Base and Tan Son Nhut Air Base.  I have great compassion and love for every single military person now serving in Iraq.  I know the horrors they wake up to each day. 
I was the victim of a lie.  They are victims of a vast lie also.  I was not in combat in Vietnam, but the experience changed me and affected me deeply.  I had an epiphany one day when, looking out onto the tarmac from base operations, I saw a pallet of coffins being loaded onto a cargo plane.  The ties did not hold and the coffins fell out onto the ground.  At that moment I left my duty station with the permission of my supervisor as I felt a deep and personal trauma.
I saw the madness and the surreal nature of that war.  I also saw the Base Exchange at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), a kind of Sam's Store selling everything from refrigerators to air conditioners and anything one could find back in the states.  It was ironic to me that this supermarket was dropped right into the middle of a war zone -- a combat zone, and everyone seemed to accept this as normal and right. 
I did not accept this.  Upon returning to the states I joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War (   Like Senator John Kerry, I experienced the horror -- saw the insanity -- and I decided to do everything I could to stop further deaths and murders in Vietnam.  Like Senator John Kerry,  I had no choice.  It was the only honorable thing to do. 
I worked tirelessly, and continue that fight to this day.  The Swift Boat Liars have caused me to wake up again -- and to fight again.  The war in Iraq is an illegal and immoral war.  It violates international law.  Under the guise of bringing "freedom" to Iraq, my government is killing innocent Iraqi women and children for oil. 
My government has caused the needless deaths of more than 1,000 U.S. military members (  My government has launched this insane war causing thousands of maimed and wounded U.S. military personnel, not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians injured and maimed. 
All of this is based on a lie. 
After the loss of 57,000 American lives, the United States did finally wake up with regard to the war in Vietnam.  But it was the people who forced that war to end, not the politicians.  Now, twenty-five years later, the people must again face their duty and demand an end to this lie, the war in Iraq.  The war in Iraq is a vast and vicious lie. 
There are those who tend to minimize this as failed policy or, like House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said ( in her party's weekly radio address Sept. 25, “This war has been a grotesque mistake that has diminished our reputation in the world and has not made America safer.” 
Pelosi is right.  The quagmire in Iraq IS grotesque, but is is far more than a "mistake."  It is a deliberate and calculated lie to trick the American people into a patriotic orgy of support for our current president.  Of course we know the true villains in this.  They are Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice and George Bush, as well as all of the advisors who sanctioned this mess, including the pentagon's (the president's) legal staff who condoned and justified the torture and murder of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib. 
I cannot say how deeply ashamed I am of this war.  I never supported George W. Bush.  I voted against him because I saw his vacant and wild stare and heard his jumbled, chopped, and childish words.  I knew he was inept and incompetent to serve, not only as president, but as commander-in-chief of our brave armed forces.  I know he is a fraud.  Our country has been deeply harmed by this war and this man who hears God tell him to "spread democracy" so violently.
His insanity fits so well with the agenda of the right-wing neocons and the Christian fanatics, each with its own mad road map and grand prophecy.  Christians see Bible prophecy being fulfilled.  The neocons, with their own Bible,
the Project for a New American Century see power being the entitlement of the imperial United States and hegemony as our right.
All of these actors are causing serious, even irreparable, damage to a country once admired and envied throughout the world.  Admiration has been replaced with disgust.  Envy has turned to hate.  The evil of this war has engulfed our country like a deep and smothering fog. 
We who know the horror of a war based on a lie must do everything in our power to stop this madness. 
Thomas M. Braun resides in Tampa, Florida.  He can be reached at

The Bush Tent Show
President Smoke and Mirrors
The Bush presidency has been the most elaborate public relations swindle in the history of the country. From his inauguration to the present day, Bush's every move has been carefully choreographed to maximize the ambitions of his handlers. His appearances have meticulously exorcised any fractious elements that might suggest that he is not unanimously revered by the American people.
As Noam Chomsky notes: "For George Bush the younger, PR specialists and speechwriters have constructed the image of a simple man with a direct line to heaven, who relies on his gut instincts as he strides forward to rid the world of evildoers while contemplating his visions and "dreams, a caricature of ancient epics and children's tales, with an admixture of cowboy fiction."
George Bush is entirely the invention of Madison Ave and the feverish imagination of Karl Rove. If it was possible to get close enough, you could probably pass your hand through the pasty gray spectral figure that is the central image of this political light show. There is simply nothing there.
The iconic image of Bush is devoid of any real substance; rather it is a repository of familiar American symbols and comforting "sound bytes. This has elevated the President to an archetypal figure whose wisdom issues from his deeply felt commitment to God and flag.
This manipulation of symbols first took root during the Reagan administration. Reagan's handlers learned how critical it is to create the illusion of leadership while obscuring the brutish machinations of government. Reagan's cheerful and bumbling character became a convenient foil for ongoing atrocities in Nicaragua and shadowy dealings with Iran. He was an upbeat guy who photographed as well in a Stetson as in a pinstriped suit. His good-humor and alleged forgetfulness proved to be valuable tools in disguising the many crimes that were perpetrated in his name.
The Bush character duplicates much of the Reagan mystique, with one notable difference; the emphasis on religion. The Bush chimera is one part plain-speaking cowpoke and one part Tent-show preacher. This adjunct to the Reagan formula has inspired legions of loyal followers to profess their unflinching devotion to their new messiah. The unfortunate facts concerning his dubious personal history ( a unique mix of shady business deals, insider trading, arrests, alcohol abuse, unaccounted for absences in the National Guard etc) has done nothing to upset their unshakeable belief in junior Bush.
The illusion of Bush's popularity has been, perhaps, the thorniest aspect to stage manage. Bush is the most reviled public figure of our era. Even when he visited close friend and ally Tony Blair in England he had to be accompanied by an entourage of 4,000 secret service agents and an army of 18,000 Bobbies. His presence provokes a similar reaction wherever he goes. (The unprecedented pre-war protests, that sent millions of people across the world into the streets, attest to the overwhelming public revulsion to his policies.)
Never the less, the media has done an admirable job in concealing the rage of the common man by isolating the "Dear Leader from his myriad detractors and by filming him in only the most flattering environs. Public appearances have deteriorated into private affairs for well heeled contributors, who are, in turn, asked to take off their Brooks Brothers coats and roll up their sleeves so they can affect the appearance of Joe six-pack.
Most people know by now that this painfully scripted vaudeville is nothing but political fakery, but it plays well on America's TVs and it lends a bit of credibility to a predictably vacuous performance.
Bush's televised appearances are equally artificial but, regrettably, frequent. On the rare occasion when the camera lingers too long on the presidential visage, peering through the vacuous executive gaze, a broad expanse of emptiness unfolds stretching across the ether; the motionless void of Bush's brain. Then, just as quickly, a shifting of cameras, a jolt back to life, the set jaw, the firm tone and the confident stride; our man from Crawford is restored to his task of saving the free world from fanatics and infidels.
The Bush presidency, with its heavy dependence on symbolism rather than content; "archetypal wizardry rather than leadership, has sent the ship of state limping towards the rocky shore. In just three years the administration has torpedoed long-held alliances, savaged the treasury, eviscerated our international credibility, initiated two wars of aggression, curtailed civil liberties and established an archipelago of torture camps across the globe. These accomplishments would never have been possible without the smoke and mirrors handiwork that spawned the Pretender in Chief.
The White House illusionists have created an effective mask for disguising their rampant criminal activity. By manufacturing a folksy, Bible wielding President, Rove and co. have fully embraced the "cult of the personality" that faithful friend of autocrats and boon to power hungry politicians.
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at:

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.