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Monday, May 29, 2023
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Where’s the bottom line?

Bush chased by beeSomeone told me yesterday that she believes that when there is a draft, THEN all people will stand up and DO SOMETHING.  Having organized and run many events of the Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties group since the 2004 election, I told her that I think not.

I thought people would be dying to do something when we invaded an innocent country.

Gosh and heck, people would be ready to do something when Fahrenheit 9/11 came out!  Remember the part where George is holding hands with a Bin Laden?  Who besides me thought, “there’s no way George Bush is going to try to kill any Bin Laden”?  My Army neighbor, hot on the trail of Osama Bin Laden, came back from Afghanistan after friendly fire dropped bombs on his troop.  

Bush, Cheney—they’re OIL tycoons. 

I thought people would be jumping mad when the 2004 election was proven to be fictitious, hacked—without a doubt.  I thought they’d at least want to hear about it and then do something.

How about taking out the constitution in government and putting in the bible?  HELLO Dark Ages.

I thought people would want to do something when Katrina showed what incompetent Bush men run high offices.  How many Bush favorites have been found incompetent since then? 

I thought those pictures where we torture the Iraqis, would for certain make people want to do something.  There was a video on the internet of our people (contractors I believe) shooting civilian cars off the road (they had no provocation and their victims had no warning) on a highway in Iraq. 

The statistics of innocent dead civilians in Iraq.
The statistics of dead and wounded Americans in Iraq.
The stories of mental injuries to our soldiers in Iraq.
The statistic of the cost of this war. Our troops are exhausted and over the edge and we send more over for longer periods! If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to see The Ground Truth and other movies.

Democrats compromised and took off the timeline for leaving Iraq.  I don’t think I’ve recovered from that one yet. The president stated he wants to set up Iraq just like South Korea. 

So if there’s a draft, everybody is going to hit the streets in protest?  (that’s what she thought)  All of a sudden my boss and my neighbor is going to now jump out there and protest for other people’s sons?  He/she doesn’t do it now while thousands of other people’s sons and daughters are dying (Iraqis included).  People like me would probably be seen doing psycho things like laying down in front of cars to protest.  And there’d be a resurgence in protest by people who are already used to action.   But there would be another waiting…waiting for someone else to do something.  “Aha, now they’re going to do something.”   “Now those Republicans are going to pay”, we’d think smugly. 

Action starts somewhere.  And it starts now.

At our last rally some people from Nashville had signs that said “Honk for Peace”.  It was overwhelming how many honks we heard.  That honk was a small action.  A small doing.  That’s how it starts.   All of our actions started small.  We went to other people’s rallies.  We saw movies, we searched the web.  We went to poetry readings and art galleries and plays and the park.  We picked up litter.  When someone held a rally or a protest, we went. 

When MoveOn.org said to “sign the petition,” we did.  We wrote our own letters and letters to the editor.  Writing to the editor was a bit scary at first and some weren’t printed.  But we supported each other and persisted and showed there was another viewpoint out here.  For one of us that letter writing and research evolved into clarksvilleonline.  Now this blog offers us the opportunity to speak out.   

Each one of us has to get up, move our bodies and not lay like possums waiting to be run over.

What is it that you think should be done?  Now realize that you have no champion to stand for you.  Ask yourself what little thing you can do today.  If you feel strongly about something, do a little thing about it yourself.  Then do more.  Empower yourself.  Let decency be your guide. 

Your bottom line happened a long time ago.   

Movement, a little at a time, is the answer.

Debbie Boen
Debbie Boen
Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter's choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.


  1. A very insightful piece Debbie! I often ask how much is it going to take. Most people just don’t bother answering. I felt that warrantless spying and removal of habeas would have done it for most red blooded patriotic American males. But no we still have war supporters, who link supporting a political party, ethically unsound policies both in the war and domestically, and a president who has repeatedly violated his oath of office; the Constitution of the United States; and his own word; the moral equivalent of supporting the troops.

  2. Thanks for putting this into words. For many, it may well take that draft notice for a son or daughter arriving at their door to wake them up. Too late then. But take heart: people are aware, and even if they aren’t protesting, or taking to the streets — yet — there is a growing surge of discontent running through the country. It’s showing up in blogs and e-mails and websites and conversations. We activists are the frontrunners, and the general rule is that for every voice that shouts out loud there are a hundred more in silent agreement. Let’s try to get those hundreds to speak out via their privately cast ballots in 2008. Let’s keep the fires of awareness and information right out there in front of them, reminding them that, in the long run, their lives are at stake, just as much as the soldiers on the front lines.

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