The Hollow Men

:::this is the way the world ends:::

Day: October 29, 2006

Feel Free to Do Likewise

I am sending this letter to both of my senators and all eight of my representatives. Feel free to use my letter for your own purposes, or make your own. Both of my senators are Jewish; so I am assuming the word genocide means somehting to them. I am also sending it to my very own President of the United States.

To: The Honorable Russ Feingold
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4904 

Dear Senator Feingold, 

This letter is written to plead that you and other United States representatives pay attention to what is happening in Darfur, Sudan. I, a voting citizen in a swing state, implore you to take some action, whatever action you can, to prevent the genocide occurring as we speak. How many more hundreds of thousands must be killed before we act? President Bush himself has described the situation as genocide. I am horrified, outraged, and flabbergasted that our country has remained neutral in action on this heinous situation. “You can look at it this way: back in 1944, the Germans didn’t want anybody coming in and seeing their death camps. Today in Sudan, the government doesn’t want anybody coming in and seeing what amount to death villages.”

Please let us use our resources where we can make a true moral stand against murder and injustice. Can we not send more aid to these areas? Can we not more fiercely condemn these behaviors? Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton both recognize Rwanda as their crowning failure. Will we stand by and do nothing, again? Is it true that we have resisted sending a U.N. Peacekeeping force because we have received information on Osama Bin Laden from leaders in Sudan? “It’s been a very good deal for the government of Sudan to give little tidbits of information about suspects around the world in order to blunt United States outrage over what’s happening in Darfur,” Prendergast says.

First, I challenge you as a respectable acting member of the government of the United States to respond to me with a letter entailing actions you are taking to prevent the slaughter taking place in Sudan and answer my questions. Are we turning our backs on Africa and Sudan because we have no financial interests there? Secondly, I challenge you to send me information on how I can make a tangible difference. 

Ned Gannon
2028 8th Street 
Eau Claire, WI 54703


A Moment of Hope


While many of you were whooping it up in Kansas City, Liz and I were at Putamayo’s Acoustic Africa Concert featuring Dobet Gnahoré from Ivory Coast, Habib Koité from Mali, and Vusi Mahlasela from South Africa. Liz and I have been long time fans of Habib Koité and like the last time we saw him in concert we left with a little glimmer of hope in our otherwise pessimistic hearts.

Though the venue, UT’s Hogg Auditorium, makes for a rather staid atmosphere to see Afropop by the end of the show everyone was on their feet. Many times while Liz and I were dancing I had to look behind me in wonder at all the different races and ages of the 600 other folks dancing with us. All the skin tones of the human spectrum. Blue haired retirees, nuclear families, all phases of life were there. As we left I heard more than one conversation in something other than English. This is a typical experience at Performing Arts Center events and it makes me proud to play a small part in it. There is no experience that gives me more hope for the future of the human race.

Except of course the experience of playing Settlers of Catan with you idiots.

(Shotts: Acoustic Africa will be at the Walker Arts Center on Thursday. If your schedule is free, I highly recommend that you and Jen check them out.)

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