We the People vs. The (cyst)em (On the One-Year Anniversary of Announcing My Candidacy)
Although I don't want to, I vividly remember the day that Casey was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004.
I woke up at about 9am because it was a Sunday: Palm Sunday. I went out to brunch with my then best friend, Lynda, and we drank two mimosas each. After brunch, I went home and cleaned house and got my clothes ready for the next week of work.
Casey was in a war zone and I was having problems eating, sleeping or concentrating. Dear Reader, if you are a parent, you know what I am talking about. Even when my children went off to camp, or over night at a friend's, I worried. I was worried that day as I completed my chores.
About four hours before the grim reapers came over to inform us that Casey had been "killed in combat," I saw a humvee burning on CNN and it was announced that eight soldiers had been killed in Baghdad that day. Although we didn't even know where Casey was stationed yet, (he had just been in Iraq for 5 days before he was killed) I knew one of the dead soldiers was my first-born child. When the three Army officers came to confirm my worst fears, I fell on the ground screaming and screaming and screaming. After four years, three months and six days, I am still surprised that I was able to get back up. That day I found strength in myself that I never imagined that I could ever possess, but little did I know that my "metal" would be tested repeatedly, each day and in many other ways since that tragic day for the Sheehan family.
Now four years, three months and six days later, I live in San Francisco in a one bedroom flat in a cool Victorian home in the Mission District and I am running for Congress against House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. I have traveled the world struggling for peace and human rights; I have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and have been honored with dozens of other peace awards. I have met thousands of interesting and amazing people; I have a new grandson, Jonah; but I still miss Casey tremendously and cry everyday for his wasted life.
However, exactly one year ago today, (my 50th birthday) I left Crawford, Texas for the final time (San Francisco in the summer is a lot nicer than Crawford in the summer---and in more ways than one), and set out with a couple of dozen other peace activists on our Journey for Humanity from Crawford to Washington, DC, demanding that Pelosi put impeachment back on that now infamous "table" and do her duty by allowing John Conyers to do his.
Ms. Pelosi's office said at the time that impeachment would be a "distraction," and, anyhow, the Democratically controlled Congress was busy trying to "end the war."
. Since Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker, Congress has given George over ½ trillion more dollars to wage the war that she says she is trying to stop: recently appropriating 162 billion for an entire year's worth of carnage! Since Nancy has been Speaker, tens of thousands of Iraqis have died and about 1200 of our young people have been unnecessarily murdered or tortured (with Pelosi's approval) and their families sent into tailspins of grief. Millions of people have lost their jobs and/or homes and oil is just under 150.00 a barrel. That's why it hurts me so much when Nancy says that she "likes" the president and when she opposes him (which has literally been never, since she's been Speaker), that it's not "personal." How can one personally like someone who has been responsible for so much heartache in this world? I wish the horrible state of affairs we find ourselves in were not "personal" to me but things are deeply "personal" to me. Bush's crimes and Nancy's support of him have cost a lot of innocent lives and caused a lot of pointless pain.
When I first left the Democratic Party in May, 2007, over disgust at the continued war funding and continued destruction of our rule of law, I was roundly and thoroughly criticized by the centrists and even more so when I announced my candidacy for Pelosi's seat. In the intervening year, I have been unfortunately vindicated by Congress's fresh attacks on our civil liberties and constant caving into BushCo and War, Inc. Just like being right about the wrongness of the war gave me no joy, being right about the wrongness of the "left" (read right of center) also gives me no consolation. Working to rectify the malignant (cyst)em is what gives me resolve and hope.
Today, Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) introduced an Article of Impeachment against George Bush and Nancy says that the House Judiciary committee "may" investigate the Article. WOW! That is some "strong" defense of the Constitution on a day when George Bush also gleefully signed the bill that Congress wrote destroying the 4th Amendment. Is such a "courageous" remark because my campaign is gaining so much momentum? Or could it be because Congress has the abysmal approval rating of 9%? Congress' approval rating is dropping like a bomb over Baghdad; zoomed past George's historically low marks on the way down and in a few months' time could go into negative integers if Congress keeps going in the same demented direction its "leaders" seem intent on traveling.
It has been a challenging year ramping up the campaign, and getting our office up and running (totally renovating a store front that was formerly a successful sex shop) but we are seeing the fruits of our labor. We have raised over $215,000.00 in about 8 months time and our volunteer force is growing as dissatisfaction here with Pelosi and the (cyst)em also grows. In gathering the democracy-suppressing amount of signatures required from an independent to get on the ballot in California, we have been able to campaign and spread the news that corporately controlled Pelosi is part of the problem and that voting for me will be part of the solution.
I want to thank everyone who has contributed money, time, encouragement, talents, and even criticism that helped us grow.
I want to thank my surviving children, Carly, Andy and Janey, for the moral support that I need to be able to do this, but I want to especially thank my sister, Dede Miller, and my campaign manager, Tiffany Burns, who have constantly been by my side since August, 2005 when we first camped in a ditch in Crawford, Tx, and millions of people stood with us around the world.
I am convinced that we will be on the ballot when the final count is made on August 28th, then there will be no stopping us! America really wants a change, and we have the opportunity for real and positive change here in California's 8th district.
This race is not about Cindy and Nancy: it is about "We the People" standing up against the (cyst)em that is beholden to the Military Industrial Complex. This time, "We the People" must be victorious!