Column: Names in the news provides bright spots in the day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2005

Things are looking up a little. For some weeks now T have been in the “slough of despair,” and I can tell you in all truth, the slough of despair is not a place in which to hide.

It’s just that no matter how bad things get in this country there has always been someone with enough gumption and enough generosity of spirit to stand up against the dragon. But things have seemed so politically evil that T was beginning to feel that we were out of heroes and that the country T was taught to love no longer existed.

As the poet Shelley writes, though, “Many a green isle needs must be/ In the deep wide sea of misery.”

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An account of my first green isle sighted was in last Sunday’s Albert Lea Tribune. The story of Cindy Sheehan’s stand against the war in Iraq is inspirational.

Mrs. Sheehan’s eldest son, Casey, 24, and father of twin daughters, was killed April, 2004, in Iraq. Described as a gentle and soft-spoken woman, Mrs. Sheehan was upset by hearing President Bush speak of the soldiers’ deaths as “noble.”

She has expressed the desire to talk to the president. “I would say, ‘What is the noble cause my son died for?’ And I would say if the cause is so noble has he encouraged his daughters to enlist?”’

Dozens of people have joined her according to the account. Demonstrations and vigils are springing up around the country with signs calling on Bush to talk to her.

There is a mistaken idea that going to war, whether the war is good for the country or not is a sign of patriotism. If the war is bad for the country it is a form of treason. Unfortunately we are not a people to learn from our mistakes or our war in Vietnam might have saved thousands of life in Iraq.

Another green isle is Judy Miller. Although I listen to the news every night hoping to hear more about her. The last time I heard was a week ago tonight. At that time she had been imprisoned for 36 days for refusing to reveal her source for a news story she had not even written but for which she had information.

There may be reporters willing to pass on the name of a source, a source who has given information on condition of retaining anonymity. I’ve never met such a reporter. I do remember an editor 5451 announced at a staff meeting that if any of us working for him were jailed for refusing to reveal a source, we had a choice between jail and unemployment.

And the last &045; and certainly not the least &045; of my green isles was an interview on Larry King’s program between him and Bill Nahler. I hope I’ve got that name right and spelled correctly. I seem to be the only one in the country unfamiliar with him. Just don’t get around much anymore, I guess.

In the short time I encountered the program, though, my opinion put him up on the tight little list that also contains such names as Al Franken and Molly Ivins As I say, things are looking up.

(Love Cruikshank is an Albert Lea resident. Her column runs Thursday.)