Don Zirkel, an 80 year-old deacon at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Wyandanch, Long Island, was arrested for refusing to remove his anti-war T-shirt at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, Long Island. (Newsday, 3/30/08)
Police claim that Mr. Zirkel was disturbing shoppers with his T-shirt, which listed the number of American troops and Iraqi civilians killed in the Iraq War on the front and the word Enough on the back, along with three blotches resembling blood splatters.
Mr. Zirkel says he was sitting in the mall’s food court drinking coffee with his 77 year-old wife and others, after attending an anti-war protest outside the mall--when police and mall security officers approached and demanded they remove their anti-war T-shirts or turn them inside out. The others complied with the demands, but Mr. Zirkel refused.
· “It seems insane, I said, that there is no punishment for those responsible for the death of so many Iraqis and Americans and the pain suffered by their grieving wives and husbands, family and friends, and orphaned children; yet I am threatened with arrest because six truthful words on my shirt offend ‘somebody.’”-- Don Zirkel
Mr. Zirkel was charged with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. He is to be arraigned May 22. The Bu$hWorld police have done their job, and we can all sleep a little easier tonight
Ninety-eight percent of professional historians surveyed by the History News Network believe that George W. Bush’s presidency has been a failure, with 61 percent labeling it the worst in American history (up from 11.6 percent in 2004). Some of the reasons given were his invasion of Iraq, tax breaks for the rich, and the alienation of nations around the world. (U.S. News & World Report, 4/11/08)
California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took advantage of a trip to the National Governors' Association meeting in Washington, DC to let the Bush Administration know that he wasn’t happy about the way the Pentagon was treating the California National Guard. (The San Francisco Chronicle, 2/26/08)
· “It’s not fair to the states for the federal government to go into a war and then to take from us the equipment. Every time our National Guard leaves, they take with them equipment but they don’t bring it back.”
Schwarzenegger said that the California National Guard was missing about half of its equipment, about a billion dollar’s worth--everything from radios to humvees. The Bush Administration is also using (or misusing) about twenty percent of California’s National Guardsmen (fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan or guarding the Mexican border).
California is not alone in being over-taxed by Mr. Bush’s ill-conceived wars without end.
Last May, the state of Kansas was unable to respond properly to a tornado because 15 of its National Guard’s 19 Black Hawk helicopters were overseas, along with its trucks, bulldozers and other equipment; and let’s not forget Hurricane Katrina.
· “The deployment of nearly 50,000 National Guard troops from 50 states as part of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort has exposed debilitating equipment shortages in a force already stretched thin by three years of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.”--The Chicago Tribune, 9/17/05
· “Most of the Guard's satellite phones--essential during the power and cell phone service outages caused by Katrina--are with troops in Iraq. Indeed, the Guard's best equipment is overseas, causing shortages for disaster relief efforts in this country.”--Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, head of the National Guard, quoted in The Chicago Tribune, 9/17/05
But, we don’t need to worry: