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Don’t be fooled by “troop withdrawal” agreement; we are still in for the long haul


The Bush/Cheney team on the move(scene from I.O.U.S.A.)

Across the country today corporate media headlines screamed the news that “an agreement has been reached” that would pull troops out of Iraq’s major cities ten months from now, in June, 2009. Read the fine print. Scrutinize between the lines. If you think all our troops are destined to come home, think again.

Yes, the United States and Iraq have “tentatively” reached an agreement that would see American troops vacated Iraq’s major cities, but that leaves a lot of ground out of the pact. That’s when the terms “broader withdrawal” and the words “tentative” and “but” come into play.

Iraqi leaders have yet to put a final stamp of approval on the deal, and as for that 2011 withdrawal date, it’s “contigent” on the implementation of additional security and on the “political progress” achieved in Iraq. So, folks, don’t hold your breath. The door is still ajar and our soldiers will still be rotating in and out of Iraq. «Read the rest of this article»

Hope Cemetery: Life and death celebrated in a garden of granite


While On the Road in America, I continually look for unique and interesting places and people. In Barre, Vermont, I found just such a special place, a landscape irrevocably linked in life and death to the people of this community whose work is art in its highest form.

The pensive Spence monument is intriguing as the only one not immaculately tended.

Ten years ago friends introduced me to Hope Cemetery, first in a quick drive-by on the way to somewhere else, and later, for a “quick” tour that became a lengthy monument-by-monument tour. For these monuments are like no others. They honor the dead, but are of themselves museum quality works of art and imagination that attract a flurry of annual visitors from all over the world. The granite monuments, carved from Barre’s own Rock of Ages Quarry, rank as the best granite craftsmanship in the world. Most people do not realize that many of the monuments across our country are crafted from Barre (and other Vermont) granite.

I walked the peaceful, quiet grounds, awestruck by the ingenuity of many of the stones, and by the willingness of the creators to step beyond the traditional “names and dates of life and death” inscription and create memorials that capture the essence of individual in the form of a hobby, a career, a love, a memory…

To say that the images unfolding here are breathtaking is an understatement. I was walking through an open air museum of the finest art. «Read the rest of this article»

Concert to benefit “Walk Now For Autism”

A “Rock for Autism” benefit concert will be held Saturday, August 23, at The Warehouse, 20 McClure Street, in downtown Clarksville. The Clarksvegas’ Inaugural Autism Awareness Benefit begins at 8 p.m. and features music by Hometown, The Anythings, The Southern Smoke Band, and Lloyd Nicely. For more einformation on this event, contact

It’s all about the money: Revenue drives red-light cameras, not road safety


“Revenue seems to be driving the red light camera rage,” said Eric Skrum, Communications Director for the National Motorists Association. “If cities were truly concerned about intersection safety, their engineers would be applying sound engineering practices that improve compliance with traffic laws and traffic signals while reducing accidents rather than installing ticket cameras.

Skrum continued:

I find it very revealing that Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest manufacturers of red light cameras in the U.S., has included clauses in their contracts that prohibit city engineers from applying engineering practices that improve compliance and reduce accidents, apparently to maintain the flow of ticket camera revenue. Lockheed Martin specifically prohibits cities, such as San Diego, California, from changing the timing of yellow lights in intersections that host their cameras, even though increasing the yellow light time has proven to dramatically decrease red light violations. «Read the rest of this article»

Dems to host Convention Watch party


The Montgomery County Democratic party will host a “Democratic Convention Watch Party” on Thursday, August 28 at MCDP headquarters, 534 Madison Street (on the corner of University and Madison street) at 7 p.m.

The public is invited to join the MCDP and Clarksville for Obama in watching Senator Barack Obama accept the nomination as the Democratic candidate for the position of President of the United States of America. This year’s convention is a piece of American history in the making.

The Democratic Party office is now open from 2-5 in the afternoon, and will “hit the ground running” with full time hours as the convention ends, according to MCDP Chairman Gene Lewis.

Plan to watch the convention, and enjoy political discussions, at this celebration. Refreshments will be served. The Democratic Headquarters is handicapped accessible. For additional information please call (931) 378-1999. RSVP at

Will uncontrolled debt be the downfall of America? I.O.U.S.A. may have the answer


The audience was small but enthusiastic at Opry Mills 20 in Nashville last night for the national premiere of I.O.U.S.A. and a live panel broadcast that put the opinions and experience of five fiscal leader in the line of fire from the public.

For one night only, both Opry Mills and Nashville’s Green Hills cinemas screened what can only be described as a new kind of horror film, I.O.U.S.A., a Sundance award-winning documentary on the state of the nation’s finances. The picture isn’t pretty.

The film itself is a medley of old political footage, newly taped events, lots of graphics and a occasionally irritating hand held cam in need of a steadier ride. Its opening is an eclectic selection of former Presidents, and current President George W. Bush, making statements about how we must get the economy (read: out of control spending) under control. From Presidents Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, the first G. Bush, Clinton and the current White occupant, we hear the same noise. «Read the rest of this article»

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