historical fiction novel 'And Should We Die' by Arthur Ruger
'And Should We Die' is a historical novel, written by Arthur Ruger. Based on an actual event, Arthur Ruger writes as descendant of ancestors of the Mormon Handcart Tragedy of 1856. With a compassionate look at a little known tragedy in American pioneer history; the Willie-Martin handcart trek (the last of the handcart pilgrimages) with incredulous hardships that took so many lives.
Look at them two..They both have "the hat" and is that Arthur giving Karl tips on how to use the whip or vice versa. Our neighbors across the street..great folks..and Karl and Arthur really get the party going sometimes, quick wits and repartee.
We watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central on Tuesday night, specifically to see guest, Senator John Kerry. The Daily Show is an amazingly delightful and refreshing change of pace from watching the other long list of news shows we watch practically daily.
Jon Stewart helps us laugh at what is sometimes too deadly serious on other news shows. We have added The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to our "must see" daily news. Tx Jon and tx to Cheri and Sam for pointing us in this direction.
Here is an article on the John Kerry appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Jokesters now the go-to guys for U.S. candidates
By JOHN DOYLE Thursday, August 26, 2004
John Kerry can't do comedy. The world kind of knew that already, but Kerry can do bemused politician. This talent might help him in his television appearances. It is unlikely to help him change the minds of rabid Republicans who hate his stinking guts.
The Kerry-hatred went up a few notches recently and that's why Kerry made a surprise appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday night. The Daily Show (seen in Canada on CTV, weeknights at 12:05 a.m.) is an American cable show, airing on Comedy Central, which spoofs the news.
It looks like a news program, with its grand opening music signalling puffed-up commentary about important issues. But what follows in the show is drenched in irony. It simultaneously sends up TV news programs and current events. A good deal of its comedy is very childish. Bizarrely, it has become one of the most important programs on American television.
A lot of the American coverage of Kerry's appearance on The Daily Show compared it with Bill Clinton's appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show 12 years ago. In that appearance, Clinton played the saxophone and introduced the Elvis side of his personality. It worked wonders for his appeal. Since then, according to cliché, every American politician needs to appear on late-night TV in order to show his or her loose and funny side.
But Kerry's appearance was not about illuminating his goofy side. It was about establishing his integrity. The TV gig, which was only announced on Tuesday morning, was an important strategic move. He needed an opportunity to counter those people who claim that he exaggerated and lied about his service in Vietnam.
"I watch a lot of the cable news shows," Jon Stewart began, "so I understand that you were never in Vietnam."
"That's what I understand too, but I'm trying to find out what happened," Kerry deadpanned in response.
In the few minutes that Kerry was on The Daily Show, other subjects came up, but that exchange was the most important. And it goes it the heart of the craziness of the American political culture today. The presidential election is now less about the candidates than it is about the media who cover them. Fox News, the most popular cable news channel, has savaged Kerry. In order to challenge the perception that he lied and exaggerated, Kerry chose to appear on a comedy program that spoofs the news. It was actually designed to give him some integrity.
In the rest of the pseudo-interview, Jon Stewart stuck to his mockery of the American media, both print and television, that supports George W. Bush and relentlessly attacks Kerry.
"Are you the number one most liberal senator in the Senate?" he barked at Kerry. The candidate's answer was a bemused, "No."
As Stewart continued in his ironic tone, Kerry tried to deliver some simple statements about his platform and his criticisms of Bush. Twice, he succeeded. "Most Americans would like to have an intelligent conversation about the issues," he said to cheers from the studio audience. Later, speaking to the touchiest issue in the campaign, Kerry managed to get off a round of indignation about the war with Iraq. "You don't go to war because you want to," he said. "You go to war because you have to." The cheering that greeted that statement was cut off as the show went to a commercial.
After that, the chat, as wacky as it had been, went further into ridiculousness. There was an incomprehensible exchange about oil. Kerry then closed with a cutesy comment about the rigours of political campaigning. "You'd be amazed at the number of people who want to introduce themselves to you in the men's room. It's the most bizarre part of this entire thing." Then Kerry left the show with the trademark military salute.
Kerry is wrong about that. The "most bizarre part of this entire thing" is his need to appear on a spoof of the news to answer serious charges against him and get his message out. That tells you something about the insanity that has gripped the American media. Imagine if the leader of a Canadian political party decided, in the middle of an election campaign, to ignore Peter Mansbridge, Lloyd Robertson and Kevin Newman, and only do an appearance on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Kerry needed to appear on The Daily Show because the American media itself has become ridiculous and he needs the endorsement of the jokers, not political pundits. The cable news shows that Jon Stewart mocks have become absurdly partisan. The print press is going through a period of self-flagellation as newspaper after newspaper apologizes and backtracks on its initial coverage of the need to go to war with Iraq.
There is no longer a mainstream media in the United States. Every outlet postures and preens. Comedy is now as important as political commentary. Only the jokers have integrity.
The last thing Kerry said, as he left The Daily Show, was a remark to Stewart. He said, "You do a great job." In that, Kerry was correct. It's sad, but true.
And lastly the photo that tears at my heart.. Let's go home, son... after 15 long months at war, yes, take your family home, soldier. I will continue to do my tiny bit to help turn the tide so you don't find yourself back in Iraq in a 2nd deployment. I will do my tiny bit so the soldiers fighting there now can be brought home Now.
And despite it all, after viewing this whole picture blog, know that I am proud of our Iraq veterans and relieved that they are home. Know that I have been and will continue to be proud of our military soldiers. I don't have to be proud of our President and what our government has turned a blind eye to until there was no more ability to shut the eyes and remain blind. To me supporting our troops demands a civilian responsibility to preserve for them the country they love and the principles they went off to war to fight for.....
It was way beyond what I could handle to view let alone save the photos of the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib. And back home the photos depicting our shame as a military power were circulated plenty in newspapers, tv news, internet. I did not want to save any of them. This depiction says for me, what I think needed to be said...again, who gave the orders that were carried out..and where ought the buck to stop..again to that infamous No One. Meanwhile the military will prosecute the soldiers whose faces were in these photos...Our President No One is sure getting a lot of green lights on his bad behaviours...I think someone else who wasn't being held in high regard by the collection of neo-cons, Republicans, big buck corporations and fundamentalist christians would find himself held to trial by now, and likely imprisoned for his crimes.
There was the 911 Commission to see what went wrong, who didn't talk to who, who knew what when...and the buck of accountability apparantly stopped nowhere. No one is responsible or accountable. I remember when my children, when caught out doing something they knew to be wrong were asked "who did this" and answered No One. I guess No One has grown up and become President of the United States now....
A mess in Iraq, the insurgent cities..the reason 1st Armored had to be extended, the outbreaks in Fallujah and Najaf that appeared to me to be more a concern to the President as it reflected on his re-election than the fact of the bloodbath itself. We were not told how many civilians were killed in Fallujah, but we know certainly many soldiers died over the course of the Fallujah insurgency. This is where we heard Rumsfeld using the words our troops which are fungible putting down the Thugs and insurgents and for as long as it takes....
Unforgettable..a mosaic of Bush and each small photo that makes up the mosaic is a soldier who has died in the war..at the time of this mosaic photo the death toll was reaching 500 and since the time of this mosaic photo, soldiers are still dying and the death toll is close to 1000.
And then more photos followed in the news media and online, a kind of flooding of photos, and then it stopped again, the President protested...unfair he said. Like giving up life and limb for a war built of falsehoods and lies is not unfair..
The first photo that was finally at last published in a Seattle newspaper of the returning coffins of soldiers who died in Iraq. The Seattle newspaper was courageous to print and publish this photo in view of the President's orders to the media not to show such photos. The woman who took and shared the photo with the Seattle newspaper, not employed by them, was fired from the job she had elsewhere for sharing this photo. This is our President supporting the troops by not showing dignity, honor or respect to those who gave their lives..
At home we are hearing about long delays in sick soldiers getting seen at military hospitals. We are hearing of other benefit losses, things we aren't hearing on mainstream news media...and the President supports our troops with a knife in their back for when (if) they return home.
The soldiers deployed in our family are with the 1st Armored..they are both extended... we learn this after plans have been made for their homecoming...we hear at the last possible minute, after children have been told their father's will be coming home...we hear it before my daughter knows it and spend the day on computer IM with her supporting her through the heartbreaking news...she survives and carries on, she alone with her 3 children, she is a military wife after all and what else can she do but put one foot in front of the other and march through the days ahead. Her husband so close to coming home, snatched back into the active hotspots in the war in Iraq..Najaf and Fallujah.
Rumors of a Draft..Rumsfeld says no, not likely. The rumors continue, and Rumsfeld says not likely. Solution that presented itself was to extend the 1st Armored beyond their 1 year tour of duty as we were told the troops are Not stretched too thin, rather the replacement troops need to be trained, and until they are ready, 1st Armored needs to stay. By now, those of us who are military families know our soldiers do not have the equipment they need, some families are mailing additional supplies, including the ceramic kevlar jacket vests that the military cannot seem to supply. Do I want a draft..No way... I lived through that once when my own young husband was drafted. Did I want this war in Iraq.....no way..it did not make sense as it was being explained to us by our President and his advisors. Do I need now to worry about the other of age young ones in our family now..a potential of a military draft? Head count, who is of age, who is coming of age. What, they are taking all reservists, retired, non-active, Old Men even..............and still there is half the country (according to the polls) wanting to support this President. By now in the press and news we are starting to know there are no WMD, there is the 911 Commission, there was prior knowledge to avoid 911, there was prior knowledge of Al Quaeda and even of Osama Bin Laden...and just about here on the timeline is when we start to hear of prison abuses.
By now it is March 2004, one year anniversary of Iraq war. We are still in Iraq, there are still soldiers in Afghanistan. Soldiers deaths daily now is becoming part of the standard in the news. A global call to action for people to make their protests heard in countries across the globe. It goes under-reported in the news but it was reported..as briefly as possible. There are hundreds of thousands out in protest on this day across many countries.
A new and alarming concern comes to my attention. Depleted Uranium. The soldiers are potentially being exposed to depleted uranium. I'm onto the computer researching DU for days. I come to realize that there is enough information to be alarmed, even if there is some controvesry about the effects, if even 1/10th of what I've read and researched is true, then our own loved ones have another problem to deal with when they return from Iraq..if they live to return, if they aren't maimed by an explosive device. Their own longevitiy of life, their health, the future children they will create. With this information, I am devastated. I know now that keeping a polite silence is no longer an option. I begin an earnest campaign to call attention at least to this aspect, as all the other aspects to date should be self-evident to others if they are using critical thinking skills. The photo of a card circulated in theatres where depleted uranium has been used...our American soldiers aren't told much about depleted uranium. We certainly aren't hearing much about it at home, not unless we are looking to find it. I write my first speaking out sermon and speak on depleted uranium.