Tell Tale Signs

By Judy Andreas
It was Saturday at the heavily trafficked corner of Route 59 and Middletown Road in Nanuet, NY. On the Northwest corner stood a group of approximately 20 protesters, carrying signs demanding an end to the war in Iraq. On the Northeast corner were two counter demonstrators carrying three American flags and a sign supporting President Bush. On the Southeast corner, a barely perceptible sign said "Final Days" It was a macabre scene. However, upon closer examination, the words "Final Days" were proceeded by a sentence that a furniture store was going out of business....and the sale was in its final days. Whew....what a relief. I guess all this "end times" stuff is starting to get to me. Unless, of course, the sign was, in actuality, a sign of things to come. Maybe the furniture store is the first to go and the rest of us will follow. Today, Finklestein's Fine Furniture....tomorrow the world. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
I was a placard-carrying member of the peace brigade. Our signs were varied and provocative ....encompassing such eye catchers as " Patriots for Peace" and "Bush Lies.....Soldiers Die."
One sign read "Honk for Peace." The intersection was alive with a chorus of cars responding to the request. Most of the autos were friendly to our protesters. People held up fingers in the form of the peace sign as their hands hit their horns. On the flip side, all puns intended, a passing driver held up his middle finger imparting a different message. You had to hand it to this guy. He had managed to put both middle fingers in the air and yet, the car continued going straight on the busy thoroughfare. A man with such a keen driving skill should not be wasting his talent in Rockland County. He would be better served driving a Humvee in Iraq.
One driver bellowed "Why don't you get out of my country!!!" This had, indeed, become an auspicious occasion. Right here, in quiet little Rockland Country, the owner of the country was driving past our demonstration. I had always wondered who owned this country and I must say that I was a bit disappointed by the gentleman's lack of hospitality. On second thought, in light of the county's current behavior, it was logical that the owner of the United States would not be wheeling a Welcome Wagon.
Operation Iraqi Freedom. It sounds almost medical. We have gone to Iraq to remove extraneous people and body parts. Once we have depleted your resources ..........we will help you conduct the same democratic elections that were held in the USA. Perhaps Mr. Diebold will even install touch screen voting booths so that your landscape won't be littered with an unsightly paper trail. Save the Iraqi trees.
Perhaps the news has traveled to Iraq about our exemplary election. Our President, George W Bush, is so popular that the votes outnumbered the voters. I guess "vote early and vote often" was taken literally. And how about those "exit polls?" (Based on the exit polls, Mr. Bush should have received 213 electoral votes to Mr. Kerry's 311)
The Internet is abuzz with stories about voter fraud. "Voter fraud?" In America?. That's not setting a good example for our brothers in the Middle East. After all, they attacked us because they hated our freedom. Or did we attack them because of their weapons of mass destruction?
Pardon my digression..........I have trouble following the script.
Apparently, voter fraud is the latest craze. Have you been reading about the election in the Ukraine?
"Fundamental flaws in Ukraine's presidential election process subverted its legitimacy," the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, sponsored by the Democratic Party in the United States, declared in its preliminary report. The institute, cited "systematic intimidation, overt manipulation and blatant fraud" that were "designed to achieve a specific outcome irrespective of the will of the people." -- New York Times
Is that like the inconsistency of official election results and exit polls in the USA? Is that like the intimidation of minority voters in Florida and Ohio? Is that like the failure to count two million ballots cast......... half by African-American voters ?
In sharp contrast to our election, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Kiev to protest the election in the Ukraine.
An Associated Press article, dated November 28, 2004, stated that President Leonid Kuchma called on opposition demonstrators to end their four day blockade of government buildings, saying compromise was needed to solve the political crisis that has engulfed the Ukraine since its disputed presidential vote.
Western-leaning opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko, who claims he was cheated out of victory in the November 21 run-off election, is demanding a new vote. " Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have jammed Kiev for a week to support him."
Alexander Cockburn, editor of Counterpunch, has dismissed the idea that the U.S election was stolen. He wrote, and I quote, "The 911 nuts have relocated to stolen elections. My inbox is awash with their ravings."
Perhaps your inbox is not all that needs washing, Mr. Cockburn.
In the United States, cries of election fraud are still in their infancy. "Get over it" is something I have heard, on more than one occasion, when I mentioned the anomalies of the Bush victory. And yet, an ever growing number of people are beginning to "get it." Even in the sanitized world of the mainstream media, the sounds of silence are being replaced with cries of "election fraud."
"This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical,
but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." ~ Frederick Douglass, 1857
Copyright 2004 Judy Andreas



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