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Don’t fence me in!

By Jack Hoffman

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences/ gaze at the moon until I lose my senses/can’t look at hobbles, and I can’t stand fences/ so don’t fence me in.” Sung by Gene Autry.Words and Lyrics by Cole Porter.

It seems every time I hear about tightening our borders, especially with a fence, I want to scream out: “You phony fools! You’re duping the American people again!”

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War! What is it good for? War! Carl Nelson’s volume of war poems may be one answer to the question

Carl Nelson’s volume of war poems may be one answer to the question

By Rosalie Tirella

One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, Carl Nelson, works as a teller in a local credit union by day. By night, however, and especially during the weekends, Carl is out scouring bookstores throughout New England for old or outof- print books – specifically those containing poems about war. Any war – ancient battles in China to guerilla fights in the jungles of Vietnam. His goal? To find and preserve the perspectives of the average soldier in war. The grunt. Or the villager whose home has been ransacked by the enemy or the father of a slain soldier. Carl hopes to complile hundreds of the poems he has found in a volume big enough to serve as a kind of reference book for college, even high school, students. Or for any one who really loves poetry. Carl, who lives in East Brookfield with his wife Marie and their daughter Annie, recently sat down to talk with ICT editor Rosalie Tirella about his mammouth undertaking – his labor of love.

Rose: You work in banking but your true love is …

Carl: Literature. … I actually only went to college a year when I graduated from high school in 1968. I pursued other things … . I was laid off from (a floral business). I had a chance to go back to college and I decided to do so. I went to Worcester State [in 1992] to finish my degree in literature and minor in journalism. I graduated in 1995.

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In the name of national security?!

By Jack Hoffman

This is a country that takes human rights seriously.” “We do not torture.” “It’s against our laws and against our values.” That’s your Vice President Dick Cheney.

Just a few days ago, before a Senate sub-committee, General Michael Hayden, head of the C.I.A., admitted the intelligence service did in fact use water-boarding – but only on one prisoner. He would add he claimed it was legal then and now it is not. He must have heard Bob Dylan’s song The Times are a Changing. I guess that just burns the last remnant of pants Mr. Bush has left on him. I thought he ran out of clothes long ago! Denying the use and advocacy of torture – we can add a few more falsehoods. Ever since these denials, evidence of brutal treatment of prisoners in this war seems to transform these folks into piles of mandacious dung – shit that this administration has accumulated since the first day it came into power.

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