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on the heels of freedomgate
March 13, 2003 12:33 PM   Subscribe

"A lot of people may not want to repatriate their fallen loved ones, separating them from their comrades, to make a statement about the French government."

Try telling Congress that. Tax dollars are flying and common sense is dwindling.
posted by artifex (65 comments total)

 
You know, at some point I could have sworn that the House of Representatives was...relevant...I'm just straining to remember when...

Seriously, where the hell is the legislative branch nowadays? The executive branch is obviously having a blast, and the judiciary still appears to be working, but where the hell did that third branch disappear to?

Oh, and: please, no more "-gate" suffixes. Ever again. I beg of thee.
posted by solistrato at 12:42 PM on March 13, 2003


Oh my holy god. They want... to dig up... bodies... because they're mad... at France.

Someone mentioned it earlier, but I can't get the GYWO quote out of my head now either. "Remember that. Grown-ups thought of that."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:45 PM on March 13, 2003


The previously snarky "send back the Statue of Liberty" idea is starting to look more and more plausible/possible. Brrrr.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2003


somebody kill us. please.
posted by Satapher at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2003


Cemeterygate??...sorry :(
posted by woj at 12:48 PM on March 13, 2003


"I, along with many other Americans, do not feel that the French government appreciates the sacrifices men and women in uniform have made to defend the freedom that the French enjoy today," Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite said in introducing legislation providing financial help for the reburial of veterans from the two world wars.

. . .

The host nations, while retaining sovereignty over the burial grounds, have granted the land in perpetuity to the United States as military cemeteries.

Those bastards.

Get ready for more of these fucking hopeless "Look at me! I'm pandering to the media with cynical legislative card tricks!" gestures.
posted by Skot at 12:52 PM on March 13, 2003


1776: American Declaration of Indipendence
1778: France and America become allies

France and America formed an alliance, negotiated by Benjamin Franklin, stating that each would consider the other a "most favored nation" for trade and friendship; France would be obligated to fight for American independence; and America would be obligated to stand by France if war should occur between France and Great Britain. Within four months, France and Great Britain were at war.

1781: Battle of Yorktown
French and American forces joined at Yorktown, on land and at sea, and attacked British fortifications. Key British points were soon held by the Americans and French, and British General Cornwallis soon surrendered, giving up almost 8,000 men. With this defeat, Britain lost hope of winning the war in America

So much for the last-minute "France owns us everything from WWII" idea. They helped America and with troops
and for nothing less than a battle for indipendence and
freedom.

info source
posted by elpapacito at 12:59 PM on March 13, 2003


Okay, the freedom fries thing was funny and harmless though idiotic, but this is just appalling. This fucking stupid Brown-Waite turns a request from ONE person who wants to retrieve his father's remains into a campaign against France. What I would like to see is a huge uproar from veterans and the families of veterans and Brown-Waite told where to shove her revolting political opportunism.
posted by orange swan at 1:02 PM on March 13, 2003


That's it. I resign from Team Sanity. blurblegloivai murp geep blzit.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:02 PM on March 13, 2003


Holy Fucking Shit
posted by signal at 1:03 PM on March 13, 2003


I knew the republicans would spiral into absurdity if given the chance. I have to admit that I underestimated just how much real damage they would do, though.
If there were any justice in the world, Osama Bin Laden would be getting a nice fat consulting fee from the GOP.
posted by 2sheets at 1:11 PM on March 13, 2003


Opposition to a war against Iraq is unpatriotic and unamerican. Other countries are not allowed to hold opinions that differ from Dubya's. Smacks of total facism to me.

Sad to be a citizen of this country.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:12 PM on March 13, 2003


Can't we have one legislative session that doesn't end with us digging up a corpse?
posted by aaronetc at 1:14 PM on March 13, 2003



Although my own views are usually in line with the anti-war, left-wing majority on MeFi, I found myself agreeing with the spirit of this bill for two reasons:

1) A lot of people alive in the US today were involved in, or lost a parent or grandparent in, the liberation of France in 1945. They might be reasonably pissed-off at the general anti-American stance in France which the recent Iraq debate has simply highlighted.

2. It's not unusual, nationalistic or racist for people to want their loved-one's remains to be buried close to home.

Of course, the fact that this bill is being proposed 58 years after the war ended pretty much negates the second point as a motivation behind its proposal, so it probably is just another 'Freedom Fries'-type snipe.
posted by jamespake at 1:16 PM on March 13, 2003


They might be reasonably pissed-off at the general anti-American stance in France which the recent Iraq debate has simply highlighted.

What about the anti-just-about-every-country-but-Britain stance that America is cultivating so nicely? I'm not trying to troll here, but it seems ridiculous that we're such a nation of cry-babies that we can't stomach the thought of another country disagreeing with us.

I'm glad I haven't had children yet.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:21 PM on March 13, 2003


To all the people who applauded and approved as the Republicans hounded Clinton over and over again over his private affairs, you've finally gotten what you've deserved - a brain dead, childish, ornery and irrelevant coven of fried ice-cream gofers who are not only whiny and petulant over the side dishes in the House Cafeteria, but are downright ghoulish, too. Now they're going after the French with the same horse's ass blindered fuckmindedness and the same lust for sleazy tabloid grandstanding they showed in the impeachment and various other controversies. Rename our debauched cookery! Dig up our old rotting bones! Let's all take our balls and go home!


When did they get the idea that acting like spastic halfwits on a thinking strike and making our Congress the laughingstock of the entire world was the ultimate expression of patriotism? Prediction - a good many of the bodies they will repatriate will show mysterious signs of rapid turning.
posted by pyramid termite at 1:22 PM on March 13, 2003


I was joking when I wrote this last night, but "Bush Announces 'Nanny-Nanny Boo Boo' Legislation" is making me look like freaking Nostradamus. The assclowns have taken over.
posted by owillis at 1:23 PM on March 13, 2003


The violent overthrow of the US government is sounding like a better idea all the time isn't it?

Some people are just unfit to hold elected office. I include many of our elected officials in that category.

We want to fight terrorism, which we'll need a coalition of world powers to achieve. So we do everything we can to screw up all the coalitions we have.

We get mad at France. So we rename a Belgian potato dish and desecrate the graves of war heros.

We want to strengthen the economy. So we ignore it, except to reduce the tax burden for rich folks.

We want to calm the fears of Americans worried about terrorist attacks. So we start vaccinating people against diseases that don't exist and issuing warnings about impeding attacks.

The system is broken. The terrorists have won. Time to start over.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2003


Do try, everyone, to hold your End of the World speeches until during the actual end of the world, OK? Good lord, you'd think by the responses here that none of you had ever heard of a politician saying something moronic to make an equally idiotic point. C'mon: Rangel's halfwit bill to reinstate the draft was what, 4 weeks ago?

No one is digging up anyone. No one is sending back the Statue of Liberty. Only ignoramuses are forgetting the Revoluntionary War, which ignoramuses have done since the Revolutionary War. Everyone, after me: Breath IN, breathe OUT, breathe IN... there you go! You'll be fine.
posted by UncleFes at 1:53 PM on March 13, 2003


"Freedomgate"? I'll tell you where there's a "freedomgate": right here in Blaine, WA, where Interstate 5 hits Canada. Step through that magic barrier and marvel at the sudden inrush of sanity.

Perhaps this bill will be the absurdity that pushes everyone over the edge and convinces them that the joke has gone far enough, that it's time to reign in the chorus of madmen at the helm before someone actually gets hurt.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:55 PM on March 13, 2003


I don't like making unfounded comparisons between current events and 1984, but has anyone noticed that the countries that want to go to war seem awfully similar to the contries that made up Oceania?

Maybe I can get a job in Germany or something. Does Germany need computer types?
posted by Captain_Tenille at 1:55 PM on March 13, 2003


Good lord, you'd think by the responses here that none of you had ever heard of a politician saying something moronic to make an equally idiotic point.

Yeah, you're probably right Fes. It's just that I AM SO FUCKING TENSE ABOUT EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW that normally laughable idiocy makes my jaw drop and my pulse rise. Do I speak only for myself?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:59 PM on March 13, 2003


Everyone, after me: Breath IN, breathe OUT, breathe IN... there you go! You'll be fine.

Steve Thomas, a spokesman for the American Legion, said the veterans' group would need some time to look at the legislation. He said the American Legion has always respected the wishes of the families concerning those who died in combat, but noted that "a lot of people may not want to repatriate their fallen loved ones, separating them from their comrades, to make a statement about the French government."
The French Connection
posted by thomcatspike at 1:59 PM on March 13, 2003


let's look at this.

an american g.i., let's call him joe, he serves his country in world war ii by fighting in france. joe fights not only out of a sense of patriotism, but out of a desire to liberate a country under siege. joe fights bravely, but falls on the battlefied. this country is grateful for his sacrifice and honors him through memorial, providing him a place of rest.

now why would you ever want to remove him from a place that exists solely to remember his sacrifice and bravery?
posted by grabbingsand at 2:00 PM on March 13, 2003


Beautiful, just beautiful, pyramid termite.
posted by UKnowForKids at 2:01 PM on March 13, 2003


Look, folks, if one Florida constituant wants to play ghoul with papa's remains 'cause Shrub told him they lay in an enemy country, I'm all for it. More power to him. Hope he has a bakesale to get the money. Because I Goddam-sure don't want my tax dollors going to make some idiot redneck feel better about a corpse 'cause he used it to insult France. What the hell did those soldiers fight for? So their earthly remains could be used as political pawns by their children, and their children's elected officials? I hope that this unnamed constituant feels the burning shame for what was done, supposedly on his behalf.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:03 PM on March 13, 2003


It's OK dude, these are tense times. Just remember that one moron does not a nation of muffinheads make, as thomscatspike so ably points out. And that every four years, we have elections.

And that the things you write here will be forever recorded on a googlecache.
posted by UncleFes at 2:04 PM on March 13, 2003


How about we let Congresswoman Brown-Waite know how we feel about her proposal. Addresses and phone numbers of her offices are here. This is the only email address I could find of hers. For those of you in her district, please feel free to remember this act of stupidity the next time she's up for election.
posted by whirlwind29 at 2:09 PM on March 13, 2003


And that every four years, we have elections
Well, so far. Let's hope nothing "comes up" before November '04. :)
posted by owillis at 2:12 PM on March 13, 2003


My French Connection, wrong connection, the article, sorry I was trying to post something positive not more French bashing. Bush Sr warning over unilateral action.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:24 PM on March 13, 2003


On the bright side, Mr. Powell seems to have changed his tune.

Just remember: They may be mad, but if they are mad enough, we may be able to fix things up after we kick these fucking morons out of the country with an impassioned plea of insanity before the U.N. I think this is a step in the right direction.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:28 PM on March 13, 2003


whirlwind: go to this page, select Florida and enter 34601 for the zip code.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 2:40 PM on March 13, 2003


11%: of French population killed or wounded in WWI.
0.37%: of U.S. population killed or wounded in WWI.

Ginny Brown-Waite: "I, along with many other Americans, do not feel that the French government appreciates the sacrifices men and women in uniform have made to defend the freedom that the French enjoy today."

Molly Ivins was right a few weeks ago about the painful disconnect between "surrender monkey" blather and the actual historical experiences of the 20th c.
posted by Zurishaddai at 2:46 PM on March 13, 2003


America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
posted by Satapher at 2:55 PM on March 13, 2003


At least some of those American soldiers buried in France might twirl in their tombs to think they died so complete pinheads could get elected to Congress (and the White House).

My first and last name are French. Perhaps one of these days here in the Fatherland, I'll be told I have change my name to Freedom Freedom. At which point, Mars Saxman, I too will go over the border (my French ancestors came from Quebec anyway).

Or perhaps I will get a pardon after I show Fatherland Security how patriotic my family is, illustrated by the many medals my dad got in WWII. His Distinguished Flying Cross trumps Duhbya's distinguished period of AWOL from the TX National Guard. It trumps the whole freaking White House staff. It even beats 41's war career. (MY dad didn't lose *his* plane. Neener neener.)

BTW I thought I heard the "surrender monkeys" thing came from "The Simpsons." If so, anyone else see the irony in a bunch of boneheads quoting Homer Simpson as part of their policy statements?
posted by NorthernLite at 3:12 PM on March 13, 2003


whirlwind: go to this page, select Florida and enter 34601 for the zip code.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 7:40 PM on March 13


Thanks thatweirdguy2!
posted by whirlwind29 at 3:16 PM on March 13, 2003


Hey, I never thought this Iraq thing would get to be such a constant national preoccupation, that people would belive Iraq was connected to Sept. 11, and that our leaders would be seriously thinking about screwing up the entire international system and even contemplating seeing its running ally as expendable. But we're there. "Just breathe and it'll all be over" may be sound advice at other times, and maturity is always advisable. Stranger things, however, are already happening.
posted by raysmj at 3:27 PM on March 13, 2003


It's not going to BE over till people start waking up and doing something about it.
posted by whirlwind29 at 3:50 PM on March 13, 2003


I hesitate to believe that the general atmosphere in the USA right now isn't accurately reflected by Ginny BW's silly hysterics.

Have y'all heard the new country song that's all "remember 911" and "hell with Hussein" and all that blither? And certainly you've all heard the news broadcasts and their bizarro-world hyperbole and outright lies about what's going on. And, of course, the constant stream of bullshit and spin from Ari, Colin, and George.

This media blitz MUST have an effect on the general American population. We all might be enlightened, informed, and sanely skeptical people here at MeFi, but we are not average America. (For starters, we're international.)

I'm quite sure your average American, his head stuffed full of crap from his boobtube, is convinced that Saddam Hussein is personally responsible for the WTC attack; that the Iraqi people are a bunch of relentlessly violent, ignorant fanatics with a hate-on for the USA; and that America has Divine Right to possess and control the mid-East.

Never mistake yourself for an "average" American, you American MeFiers. Your presence on MeFi alone disqualifies you from averagehood.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:56 PM on March 13, 2003


Is there an email address like everyone@france.fr that I can send a message to telling them that not all of us Americans are spastic halfwits on a thinking strike?
posted by DakotaPaul at 5:13 PM on March 13, 2003


five fresh fish: Not every beloved-in-the-heartland country act is of the same opinion. Just for the record.
posted by raysmj at 5:24 PM on March 13, 2003


Is this story true? The bill is not in Thomas, and there are no other news stories on it. In fact, Google won't even pull up the ohio.com article. Is it my poor searching skills? Unfortunately, house.gov email goes only to one's own representative, and no one's at the Brown-Waite office right now to take a call ... worth following up, do you think?
posted by win_k at 5:33 PM on March 13, 2003


I'm quite sure your average American... is convinced that Saddam Hussein is personally responsible for the WTC attack

A CBS poll taken in September 2002 had 51% of respondents affirm that "Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11th terrorist attacks." (pdf, question 36).

Television didn't tell people this.
posted by eddydamascene at 5:46 PM on March 13, 2003


"I, along with many other Americans, do not feel that the French government appreciates the sacrifices men and women in uniform have made to defend the freedom that the French enjoy today," Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite said in introducing legislation providing financial help for the reburial of veterans from the two world wars.

Without even mentioning that the French lost untold numbers fighting for OUR freedom, I don't think the Honorable Congressperson understands the sacrifices the French people are undertaking to protect us from the stupidity of our own government. After all, the French aren't going to be getting any of the massive bribes Bush et al are providing other nations to induce them to support U.S. bloodlust.

Just remember that one moron does not a nation of muffinheads make

No, but pretending it's only one moron spewing this bile ain't exactly accurate, now is it?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:08 PM on March 13, 2003


blurblegloivai murp geep blzit.

Now you're talkin' sense, buddy....

and always the logician, as well,. I must note.
posted by y2karl at 7:28 PM on March 13, 2003


win_k, try here
posted by whirlwind29 at 7:43 PM on March 13, 2003


ya gotta love newsmax's spin:

"Congresswoman: Bring WWII Martyrs Home From Ungrateful France"

you'd think they were hamas.
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:58 PM on March 13, 2003


We're just trying to out-crazy North Korea. Who's the isolationist, reactionary, cult-ish weirdos with the weapons of mass destruction now?!
posted by skallas at 8:15 PM on March 13, 2003


Not every beloved-in-the-heartland country act is of the same opinion. Just for the record.

word
posted by y2karl at 8:41 PM on March 13, 2003


Zurishaddai, Molly is right on the money.. that article sums up my feelings. I've got some friends here in FL from France, and I feel bad when this shit comes up; they just don't understand why they are so critical of their nation.

It really is offensive. I don't know if the politicians are trying to look patriotic for votes, or if they think by being passive-aggressive hatemongers they'll change France's position? Ain't gonna happen..

Fscking morons. And I'm not surprised this came from here, either. Fark has an icon for our state for a reason.
posted by shadow45 at 8:43 PM on March 13, 2003


No, but pretending it's only one moron spewing this bile ain't exactly accurate, now is it?

The number of morons spewing this bile is closer to one than it is to all. Giving them credence and assuming all think the same is the greater mistake.
posted by UncleFes at 8:47 PM on March 13, 2003


if only bush sr had used a freedom letter.......
posted by quarsan at 10:59 PM on March 13, 2003


Well if a majority of you are not bile-spewing morons, and are indeed offended that your country has, over the past few weeks, come across as a nation of jackasses and ignoramuses, SHUT THE IDIOTS UP ALREADY!

There's a saying that any publicity is good publicity, but that's just not true. It didn't do OJ a whole lotta good, and it sure as hell ain't doing America any good.

It's time to actually pick up the phone and contact your district rep, your mayor, your county bossman, whoever and whatever you've got for politicians.

Chew their asses out. They'll pass it on up the chain. Maybe there'll be an overall pulling-of-heads-from-asses and America will be able to walk with its head held high once again.

You've got to do something.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:24 PM on March 13, 2003


somebody kill us. please.

Unfortunately, this is a request that will be honoured not long after the bombs begin to fall in Iraq by thousands of willing converts in the middle east and elsewhere who might otherwise not have taken up arms and the anti-america cause.

Your government will have more American blood on its hands than any terrorist group will before this is done. And we all know that American blood is more precious than any other.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:42 PM on March 13, 2003


For future reference, the email address for these special types is usually firstname.lastname@mail.house.gov. I used to work in a Congressman's office. Teehee.

And, since her page is http://www.house.gov/brown-waite, I assumed her email was ginny.brown-waite@mail.house.gov. However, I got some flack from house.gov's mailserver on that one and a few others I tried. Oh well.
posted by antimarx at 1:09 AM on March 14, 2003


She even looks like a scary conservative Congresswoman, though.
posted by antimarx at 1:10 AM on March 14, 2003


Does Germany need computer types?

Yes, lots of them, actually. Germany's economy is rapidly imploding because of nationalistic tendencies which made it impossible to import and hire specialists in the new technologies. But with a little effort you might get yourself a well-paid job with high social security here.
posted by zerofoks at 2:18 AM on March 14, 2003


Do they need unmotivated dilettantes with astronomical IQs who just want to look hot and get paid for whipping up half-baked ideas? I'm not asking for myself, you understand - it's for a friend of mine...
posted by Opus Dark at 2:32 AM on March 14, 2003


Wow. The burgeoning pre-adolescent 'bad France won't gimme my war' tantrum in Congress, as well as the whole 'Freedom Fries' restaurants thing is starting to get a bit of coverage in the media on this side of the Atlantic. Much amusement has ensued, as well as quite a lot of shaking of heads and further questioning of the mental capacities of the people at the steering wheel over there.

Please reassure me that, whatever about the politicos, most folks over there haven't forgotten that other governments are actually allowed to disagree with their government without fear of economic reprisals and childish insults??
posted by Doozer at 2:43 AM on March 14, 2003


maybe this is just a clever ploy to cover up our government's secret super soldier project, in which we inject a strange mixture of radioactive isotopes and hearty texas chili into the fallen heroes of yesteryear to revitalize their clammy bones and form an army of invincible undead patriots.

or, on second thought, what WolfDaddy said.
posted by badzen at 2:50 AM on March 14, 2003


quarsan: if only bush sr had used a freedom letter.......

hoho! And, in a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Irony, because my IP is non-US, I got a pop-up ad for the "US Green Card lottery" when I clicked on the story link.

it could only be more staggeringly ironic if I actually had a French provider...
posted by taz at 4:28 AM on March 14, 2003


gee, and you thought we made idiots of ourselves back with that whole election debacle. you've no idea how hard the world was laughing at THAT one.
posted by kaibutsu at 7:04 AM on March 14, 2003


heh, my father's my district rep. i'll bitch at him when he gets home ;)
posted by shadow45 at 7:16 AM on March 14, 2003


Don't bother with email, folks. Word is that it's just discarded. You need to phone voice, go to their office and rant face-to-face, or send a postal letter.

Be polite but forceful.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:20 AM on March 14, 2003


It's not discarded any more than a phone message is. And, believe it or not, unless you're part of an absolute swamp of calls, when they say "I'll pass that on to the Congressman," they do, on a page with a bunch of other stuff.
posted by antimarx at 10:47 AM on March 14, 2003


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