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Aptos Parade Entry--More Response

Those symbolic war victims are not abstract ciphers: tens of thousands of examples exist in real life with names and beating hearts, and they got bloody & broken exactly because of bombs we Americans bought, paid for and had delivered. Your children are growing up in that world.
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woman with baby.jpg
Carol wearing burqua joins die in. Her fake dead baby is almost visible.
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Iran Into a Burning Bush-sign by Dan Carey
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Workers push truck along parade route in Aptos with George Bush at the wheel and Mr. Halliburton snapping his whip!
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Die in after Aptos July 4th Parade
July 7, 2005

Open letter to the Diller's of Soquel, whose children were scared by the Aptos parade anti-war vignette:

The woman who chastised our display of a simulated war victim (a bloody dead baby and mother dressed in black, one of over a dozen distinct elements represented) because it "frightened her children" and was not in the spirit of a "family oriented parade" would do well to broaden the context of her concern. Those symbolic war victims are not abstract ciphers: tens of thousands of examples exist in real life with names and beating hearts, and they got bloody & broken exactly because of bombs we Americans bought, paid for and had delivered. Your children are growing up in that world. The tone of implied militancy put forth in the pervasive unquestioning jingoistic mantra "Support our Troops" is certainly pro war. Exactly when did war become a "family value"?

Do you think those persons experience "fear" as our planes fly over? Are they "scared" as shrapnel rips through their bodies? Or just scarred? Do they have the benefit of advanced medical services (or even running water, electricity & sewage service, curiously not part of their new "freedom") after getting their unfortunate bodies in the way of our explosions? Do they have a mother still alive to comfort or explain that things like this "just happen"? Do they even hear the planes fly over, or is the "package" bravely "delivered" from 5 miles in the sky to a selected GPS point?

On July 4th we salute the life sacrifices by veterans of our past wars. Do you remember that 5 times as many "collateral damage" dead are marching in their shadows? Were those people "frightened"? Or is empathy not a family oriented value?

Consider the fates of thousands of Viet Nam war vets. Are all the ones we see on our streets merely defectives; messy misfit trash hanging around ruining the view? Were the ones who came home broken and traumatized merely weaklings and not up to the manly task of blowing people away? Not the ones I knew. They were simply bright middle class kids thrown into the crucible of war, forever changed (and never for the better) by the experience. What of our sons and daughters today? Scheduled to die for Empire & Halliburton!

As we pursue the chimeras offered to us by our government as reason to blow away the latest select group of brown people who happen to be in our way, it behooves you to consider the fear America projects upon the world, that allows us to live our comfortable lives, immune from the fear of random explosions falling from the sky. (DON'T go to 9-11 here. That was not wholesale industrialized package-delivery death, whatever else it might have been). Exactly what do you think our giant war machine does? Sit around & polish its missiles?

So as on this past Fourth of July, perhaps it is time to re-examine the real costs and extent of our "freedom". By the way: did you bother to read the so called Patriot Acts I and II and the total abrogation's of the Constitution and Bill of Rights contained therein which you and your children now live under? New laws that the present administration, aided by our mostly passive congresscritters, seek to enhance rather than void? New laws that have already been used punitively to imprison innocent people? Oh. I thought not. Few have.

Truly "fighting terrorism" requires eliminating the root causes of economic and political injustice fueling it, and good old fashioned police work to seek out perpetrators of heinous acts. Few dead babies are produced by police work. However, that method doesn't serve the financial interests of those who profit from war, nor is it as spectacular and cataclysmic.

Heartwarming and thought provoking as a youthful baseball team or a marching mortgage company, a pack of happy painted dogs or a septic pump truck might be, isn't July 4th also a time for reflection in a real way upon why we are and who we are as Americans?

If you still believe in the tooth fairy, that our collective hands are clean, that we are the savior good guys, you need to take a deep breath of the depleted uranium-infested airs of Iraq & Afghanistan, begin a political education free of the mass media and its' slants, omissions and outright lies, and get with the program. Truth is available. She stood mute and bloodied before you on July 4th.

Expand your knowledge. Yep. That part is complex. Economics. Political History. Propaganda warfare. Media bias. Ethics. And lots more is required. Read at You might learn to follow the money and power mongering and class struggle. It's far more entrancing than sports statistics or un-reality TV.

Then if you can still proudly stand and say "I ACCEPT the price other peoples are FORCED pay for MY freedom, and it's WORTH it", you will at least be coming from an informed and honest place, though not a particularly humane one. Compassion, another family value, seems to come later if at all.

The conclusion that "it's worth it" is just not what I was brought up on. I am sorry your children were scared. We were actually trying to reach you, and all parents. Your kids were collaterally involved. What they saw was a depiction of the reality our tax dollars pay for. It is scary! I for one cannot sit by in celebratory self-congratulation and ignore our hidden communal acts. This is not about people making a personal choice about abortion or not-abortion and the fruits of their own bodies. This is about people who contemplate and inflict uninvited mass death in myriad forms upon the already-born, as a life work, for great profit. Where does that stand within the "family values" spectrum? As a parent, you can explain some of the meanings to them, and they can begin to understand. If you don't tell them truth, how can they trust you?

I cannot remain silent. How can you? We need to see some concrete progress toward making this world a better place, and RE-ENVIGORATE the democratic promise only BEGUN AND ENTRUSTED TO US by our so-called founding fathers, to the whole world if it so chooses. They claimed to intend a dynamic and continuing evolution. We appear to be failing in that task.

If you consider my message too harsh, remember that you also have a voice in shaping the world you offer your children. Now is the time to speak and act. Someday perhaps no one will feel compelled as we do, to show what you and many others so desire NOT to see. Those dramas would not exist, in a "family oriented" parade or anywhere else, in a world where ALL have a chance at peaceful life.

Yours in Hope,
D. Carey Santa Cruz, CA

More Letters from July 9th 2005 Sentinel Letters to the Editor:

End the madness
Since we attacked Iraq, 1,750 U.S. soldiers have been killed, 13,190 U.S. troops wounded. A bare minimum of 25,164 innocent Iraqis men, women and children have been killed; 190 coalition troops are dead. Over 10,895 Iraqi insurgent fighters are dead. In addition to the loss of over 37,900 souls, $180 billion U.S. tax dollars are gone and we continue to hemorrhage $158 million per day into the killing in Iraq. No connection has ever been made between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks. No weapons of mass destruction have ever been found. Our reputation in the world has never been worse, hostility toward the U.S. is at an all-time high and world exposure to terrorist threat has never been greater. War is not the answer. Impeach Bush and bring him to trial for treason and war crimes. End the madness.



PG-13 parade
I still have the image of my 7-year-old daughter practicing her flag-waving in my front yard to get in the spirit of the Aptos Fourth of July parade. Unfortunately, the only image left in her mind was the horrific scene of the woman in black parading her bloody baby to the audience sitting on the sidewalk at the parade.

I would like to appeal to the official council of the Aptos parade and request that perhaps they should start a rating system, just like the one we have for the movies we choose to see. If they feel it’s appropriate to have such violent scenes in the family-friendly parade, then we as parents should be given the advanced warning that certain scenes might be inappropriate for children under the age of 13. This would give us the opportunity to make an educated and knowledgeable decision on whether the parade would be suitable for our children to view and be part of.



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Re: Aptos Parade Entry--More Response

Very nice essay, Dan. What else can I say? You articulated all the points that need to be made.

Thanks for posting this here, especially since the Sentiel was unwilling to publish it. They had more important things to publish on their opinion page that day -- something about "Kleevage Klingons." I'm so glad they are committed to bringing real news to our community.


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