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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:51 AM
Original message
The Best of Us - an essay for Andy
Because we dont know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon thats so deeply a part of your being that you cant even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

- Words inscribed on the gravestone of Brandon Lee

It was late July 2004, and it was a hot day for Seattle. The park was filled with activists, organizers and regular folks, there to hear a battery of speakers who had come together for this stop on the Rolling Thunder Democracy Tour. I spent a couple of hours that day in a crowded tent with election reform activist Andy Stephenson, running a teach-in on electronic touch-screen voting machines, corporate control of the vote, and what could be done about it.

I threw in my two cents here and there, but this was Andys show. He had thrown his entire life into the fight for election reform, he had crisscrossed the country a dozen times, he had raided the offices of public officials with camcorder in hand to ask questions and demand answers, he had run for the office of Secretary of State in Washington on a platform of reforming the way we run elections in this country, and on that hot July day in Seattle, he was despondent.

As we sweltered in the tent, Andy ticked off all the problems we were sure to face in the coming November presidential election. There was no independent vetting of these voting machines, he explained, so there was no way to tell if the hardware and software within was counting things properly. There were no paper ballots involved, so recounts were a thing of the past. Votes tallied on these machines wound be transferred via unsecured modem to central processing computers which were basically PCs with Windows software that had no security and could be easily tampered with. The companies distributing these machines and counting the votes were run by men who gave money to, and in some instances actively worked for, the Bush for President campaign.

I watched the crowd slump lower and lower into their seats as Andy rattled off the grim news. Meek hands were raised here and there. What can we do about it? people asked. Not much more than Ive done, I could feel Andy thinking, and what Ive done hasnt fixed this damned situation one bit. He squared his shoulders and replied, Get in touch with your Secretary of State and explain the situation. Write letters to the editor. Let people know this is happening. Do what you can.

Flash forward to a cold day in January 2005. I walked the route of the Bush inauguration in Washington DC, counting the protesters and the Bush supporters who were squaring off in shouting matches on every corner. It wasnt Boston cold, but it was cold enough, the chill in the air enhanced by the overwhelming police and military presence. I made my way down to the main protest gathering point, and there in the crowd was a familiar face.

Andy Stephenson stood off to the side, red hair sliding out from under a black wool cap, hands shoved deep into the pockets of his pea coat, ruddy face downcast as he watched the parade go by. We looked at each other a moment, no words available to capture the bottomless depths we felt yawning before us, and then turned to watch the show. When Bush went by in his rolling cannonball of an armored limousine, Andy and I and everyone gathered on that corner turned our backs.

Later that night we sat together with a large crew of activists in a bar that had come to be our gathering point for post-action decompression in DC. I looked over at one point and saw Andy weeping silently, shoulders shaking as all of the frustration and anger poured out of him. Everything he had warned us about in July had happened in Ohio, in Florida, in New Mexico and on that night he felt like an utter failure.

Several of us gathered around him to console him. I took his hand and said, You know, Andy, it could be worse. He looked up at me and asked, How on Earth could it be worse? I looked at him with straight-faced solemnity and said, You could be straight. He smiled that utterly incomparable Andy Stephenson smile and laughed until he was fit to split.

That was the last time I saw him.

Andy Stephenson passed away Thursday night from complications due to pancreatic cancer. A series of strokes caused by the cancer in his bloodstream and a post-operative infection carried him to his rest. At his side were his family and Ted, his partner of nineteen years. All across the country, thousands and thousands of people who had rallied to help him heard the news, and bent their heads, and wept. He was 43 years old.

The story of Andy Stephensons life and death carries with it all the brightness, and all the unspeakable darkness, that exists today in modern American politics. Here was a man of rare passion, an activist who poured his life into a cause, who continued fighting for this cause even after stricken with his disease, who encompassed the death of his sister and kept working, who never stopped believing that one person could make a difference.

Still, there is that darkness. It has been said that you can best know a person by knowing his enemies. In Andys case, his enemies rank among the foulest, most despicable sub-humans ever to draw breath. A small cadre of graveyard rats endeavored to convince the world that Andy was faking his illness, that the money raised to offset his medical expenses was lining his perfectly healthy pockets. They constructed websites dedicated to this premise, and they spammed dozens of blogs with their spurious claims. They deliberately interfered with the PayPal donations process organized by Andys friends, causing a delay in payment to the hospital which blew Andy off the surgical rotation for many critical days.

After Andy died, some of them found a thimbleful of decency within themselves and felt bad for their part in hounding a sick man into his grave. Others were not so kind. We need to start pushing a story about how Andy Stephenson faked his own death for insurance reasons, wrote one such ghoul on the conservative forum FreeRepublic.com, where much of this horrifying behavior was organized. Another, going by the screen name AndyScam, commented on another forum where these actions were organized, I wonder if the modified whipple is what they use to treat fake cancer. lol. A few even pushed the idea that Andy had faked his death and was lounging on a beach somewhere.

The list of comments like these, the evidence of actions taken with the direct intent to harm a dying man, has been collected exhaustively. The names of the prime movers behind these attacks are known. Legal actions, both civil and criminal, are in the works. Personally, I feel that those responsible for this should be forced to dig Andy Stephensons grave. I believe they should be forced to spend a day with his mother, who now mourns a son after having lost a daughter. I believe they should fear the wrath of the God in Whose name they so often cloak their deeds.

That is for later, however. Andy will be remembered by his friends and family in Seattle this coming weekend. We will gather, we will sing his songs and tell his stories. We will remember the life of a man who gave of himself far more than he received, who was a patriot in the best sense of the word, whose smile could outshine the stars. We will rededicate ourselves to the causes he espoused, and we will prevail with his spirit as the wind at our backs.

Andy believed he had failed that night in January. If I could have one more chance to speak with him, I would tell him how wrong he was that night. You won, Andy. You were the best of us.
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Sannum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. thanks for that
I am crying again.

Take care of yourself, Will :hug:
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks Will.
Thank you for saying it so well.
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. I hope he's talkin' sense to my Dad about our views 'bout now....
....RIP Andy....give my Daddy a big hello and hug for me K...both gone within a week of one another with cancer. :( :loveya:



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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I'm sorry for your loss as well.
:hug:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. thank you.....
:hug:
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
36. I'm so sorry for your loss.
:( :hug:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
53. thank you.....
:hug:
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. Indeed.
Andy is my hero.
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
5. A wonderful tribute
Thank you for sharing your memories of Andy.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. I don't believe that I have ever been the first to be able to
nominate your post, but I was.
Beautiful Will. Just beautiful.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. You didn't mean any harm when you questioned Andy
neither did I, and neither did anyone else who did. We all, including yourself, regret some of the things we said.

Putting this behind us will require that realization.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Thanks
From May 18th:

===

Various corners of the web have been buzzing with rumors and stories about the status of Andy Stephenson. I, myself, started something of an ugly firestorm on the topic on Tuesday when a bunch of seemingly contradictory information came my way and caused me to question exactly what was going on. To wit: There were allegations made that Andy was not in fact suffering from pancreatic cancer, and that the fundraising blitz done in the last weeks was based upon less-than-accurate information.

After two long days of phone calls and emails, I have come to a few absolutely concrete conclusions. First, Andy does in fact have pancreatic cancer, and is a long way from being out of the woods. Second, there was no bad faith, exaggeration or ill intention whatsoever in the process of raising money for him. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the confusion that has burst forth in the last several days on this issue stems from the simple fact that the people involved in this process have never done anything like this before - raising large amounts of money from anonymous people on a website - and that several people of good faith were publicly posting parts of the story here and there on the web, lending the impression that there was more than one version of the truth floating around.

The details, of course, are more complicated than these straightforward sentences, but the details lead back to the same conclusions.

Back in February, Andy was diagnosed with a tumor in or around his pancreas. Subsequent doctors, subsequent tests and subsequent diagnoses confirmed this. As in any medical situation, though, the specifics of the diagnoses and prognoses changed from doctor to doctor. Anyone who has ever been sick, or dealt with someone who was sick, knows how this kind of thing can be fluid. A couple of weeks ago, thanks to the help of friends, Andy was put into the system at Johns Hopkins, the premier facility for this kind of disease.

The explosion of confusion surrounding this situation took place, in a twist of rotten irony, because of a piece of good news. Andy got a test at Hopkins that revealed the tumor to be encapsulated. I am not a doctor, and the details of why this was better news than originally thought are beyond my ability to describe with any coherence. Yet the fact remains that the worst-case scenario was a little less pressing after this new test.

But when this news was posted as an aside comment on the web, word began to spread that Andy was not, in fact, afflicted with pancreatic cancer, and that the fundraising efforts that were based on this diagnosis were done in bad faith. I, myself, reacted to this badly. The very public proclamations of pancreatic cancer which I and others were told to make did not seem to jibe with the seemingly offhand revelation that this might not be the case.

I suddenly got a whole bunch of messages from other organizations which had likewise supported the fundraiser. If the facts were different than originally stated, they feared, it would be a blow to their reputations and would harm their ability to raise money for their own causes. They feared, in short, that they had helped to sell a false bill of goods, and had done so in no small part based upon my word on the matter. I raised, not to put too fine a point on it, a good deal of hell after this.

Heres the deal: The new test revealing the encapsulated tumor was misunderstood by many, including myself, as meaning the situation was far less serious than originally stated. The misunderstanding came, in no small part, because the people describing the test results (along with myself) know as much about medicine as I know about flying a stealth fighter.

Rather than try to blast through everything, better to address the most-asked questions that have come up.

1. Does Andy have pancreatic cancer?

Yes. The news he got last week may well auger towards a better outcome, but it is still pancreatic cancer and is still very, very serious. Frankly, we are at the point where the doctors will not know exactly what they are dealing with until they get in there and have a look. Once they do, there will be one of two possibilities found: A cancer that can be dealt with, and a cancer that cannot. The surgery is slated for next week, but could conceivably happen sooner if there is a cancellation on the Hopkins surgery schedule.

2. Could Andy have had this surgery somewhere besides Hopkins?

Technically, yes. He could have it in a number of places, but the fact remains that Hopkins is the best place to deal with pancreatic cancer. The odds of a favorable outcome fall off the table when procedures like this are done elsewhere. Andys doctor, apparently, is a Jedi Knight of a surgeon who has developed his own version of the Whipple procedure that is less invasive. Bear in mind that not too many years ago, pancreatic cancer was a no-doubt death sentence. He is lucky to be there, and we are lucky that he is there.

3. Is the surgery going to cost what was originally claimed?

Yes. We managed to raise an eyelash above $50,000 for this, and every penny of it has been needed. In fact, once the chemo and recovery process starts, this merry-go-round is going to start up all over againalbeit with wiser and cooler heads in charge of the process.

I am more than a little disgusted with myself for the part I played in causing all of this confusion. I hope that this will serve to put any questions to rest, so that we can focus on what is important: Pulling for Andy as he goes through this wretched situation. He is in Baltimore now, surrounded by friends, and is well cared-for. When more information comes along, I will let you know.

As an aside, there are some out there on the web who have used this situation as a means to attack Andy because of his work on election reform, or because they just dont agree with his politics. To say this is disgusting, ghoulish and beneath contempt is to put it kindly. My posting this isnt going to stop them from continuing their wholly despicable campaign, sadly.

For those who require more proof than what I have provided, Andy has begun the process of setting up a spokesperson with HIPAA permissions to deal with and make public pertinent documentation. You arent going to get everything, because 99% of this isnt anyones damn business but Andys and his doctors, but enough proof to silence even the most pestilent of critics will be provided once the HIPAA process is done.

http://blog.pdamerica.org/?p=50

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. those were good questions
I had some of those questions myself, but I never expressed them publicly, something in my gut kept me from doing so. Fear of being wrong, basically.

But I thought it was courageous for you to post those necessary questions.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. I had absolutely no questions.
The truth came from Andy's mouth to my ear. Publicly airing doubts really hurt Andy. I talked to him about it many times...he even cried about it.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. While the questions in themselves were genuine, valid, perhaps
even necessary, the way you brought them up, Will, in an accusatory tone and in public, hurt you, Andy and DU. I'm sure you know that, you have said as much.

We have all made mistakes, just as any "family" will when dealing with something so difficult and so frightening.

Should we ever be in a similar position, I hope we find a better, kinder way to deal with our confusions.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
32. It was not necessary to publically ask these questions. And the sickos
Edited on Sun Jul-10-05 01:42 PM by mzmolly
on the internet USE Will Pitt's questions to continue to slander Andy.

I am not slamming Will, but don't USE him in this manner I resent it and I see right through it.

Will Pitt did much to make ammends for questioning Andy, most of the question Andy movement has not, yet they continue to USE Pitt in their ugly escapade.

Sickening that I have to come here and watch people defend THEM.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #32
69. I must have missed the amends made. n/t
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
47. Thanks for posting this, Will.
I'm one of the relative newbies who's been a bit confused about what happened with Andy. Your post here clears up a lot of that confusion.

fwiw - from an outsider - I've been a longtime fan of yours from Truthout, and I have a lot of respect for you posting this, taking responsibility for your own words and actions - maybe more responsibility than is due, but I guess that's up to people more knowledgeable than me. It seems to me you have done your best to do the right thing all along. But sometimes even when we do our best we get something wrong, and it hurts someone. It happens. But it appears that instead of caving in or being overly defensive, you just lay it out honestly; and you're still doing your best for Andy. I have a lot of respect for that.

So...thanks. And hang in there.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
64. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. ...
Edited on Sun Jul-10-05 12:32 PM by Misunderestimator
deleted
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
25. There are those who may have legitimately
questioned for a short time as a result of freepertrolls planting lies here.

Then there are those who wear a very transparent veil of disguise while continuing to defend the freeps and expect us to join "them". Pfffft.

There is no "putting it behind", when it comes to deliberate disturbance and disruption and disinformation and hate and harm.... that is, until we are putting a few choice ones of "them" in a courtroom.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #25
33. You got that right.
:toast:
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
31. Mr. Pitt apologized more than once, too bad others who "didn't mean harm"
Edited on Sun Jul-10-05 01:51 PM by mzmolly
don't do the same?
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In Truth We Trust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
13. Andy had not failed. He fought the good fight. In his memory we will
continue to fight for election reform. Paper ballots and hand counts are the solution. Thank you Will for this wonderful post. I hope you derive peace and fortitude yourself from your relationship with Andy.

As for those low life dirtbags who libeled and literally hastened Andy's passing I only hope they find the justice they deserve. They are unconscionable filth who should be exposed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. He did not fail. He taught me VOTER VERIFIED PAPER BALLOTS
And he taught many thousands of others. It is our job now. He built an educated army for VOTER VERIFIED PAPER BALLOTS. We will be the manifestation of his success.

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malmapus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
14. Well spoken Will.
I think I'm just realizing how great a warrior Andy was in the fight for election reform. I mean I knew his views, but never really fully realized how much of himself he put into it. The more I've been actually reading from varios people the more I'm starting to fully comprehend and feel bad that I never knew before.

He was wrong that night, his work has opened the eyes of many people, myself included.

:patriot:
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
15. Pancreatic cancer is tough to beat. Kudos to those who tried
Edited on Sun Jul-10-05 12:51 PM by lebkuchen
including Andy.

As for the vulgarian "graveyard rats," while even Shakespeare had sympathy for the underworld, until a cure is found for abominable, wicked, and detestable behaviour, let's allow the good to live on through the example of their deeds while robbing the bullies of their stage by closing the curtain on them, with a thud.
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. Great stuff, Will.
Your post, and those of others made me wonder about something.

Which is the worst cancer: The one that inflicted itself upon Our Sweet Andy, or the "vulgarians" who seem to infect the populace, the ones who so facily set out to destroy others, through gossip, false witness and innuendo?

I don't know the answer.
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. Beautifully told.
THank you.
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sleipnir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
21. Very moving. An amazing tribute.
Good work Will.

Let's focus these next few days on Andy's life and his contributions to the betterment of our world. Perhaps there are more ways to continue his work.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
22. Thank you
Andy & Will, you both remind us that we all walk and live among giants :toast:

peace
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
23. Rest in Peace Andy.
If there is an afterlife, I know you'll be keeping up the fight. :hug:
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
24. very nice
A subject that I wrote about quite a bit the other day myself. Not easy for me, and I never even met the man. Just saw him around here and all. I didn't even know the whole story until his death, as I wasn't around much for months. Like a kick to the gut. Especially the way it all went down. The sincerest form of love and remembrance is to carry on a person's legacy through their work. So what was important to Andy, should now all be even more important to us. But this was nice. Heartfelt. Genuine. A fitting tribute.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
27. wonderful tribute..for a WONDERFUL MAN!
THANK YOU WILL!

someone sent this to me..and i pass it to you...

It is healthy and honorable to weep at the loss of someone we love. Healthy because such passion must be released. Honorable because it is respectful to admit the importance of people who have loved and supported us...people whose footprints cannot ever be matched. ~ Maya Angelou

Andy's foot prints can never be matched, but we can keep his beloved work going forward, and know he is an angel on our shoulders, wispering and cheering us on...

i miss his voice and i miss his laughter..and i miss his unconditional love...fly
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
28. Redouble efforts to expose the machines and the GOP operatives who control
Edited on Sun Jul-10-05 01:08 PM by blm
them.

And all you freepers who think we're delusional, put the shoe on the other foot....Would YOU trust an election where the exit polls all had the Republican winning decisively, and then electronic machines controlled by George Soros inexplicably registered more votes for the Democrat?
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. they'd go nuts
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
29. AW WILL... THANK YOU! (Even though you got me bawling again....)
I have to leave in a few minutes to speak at an Election Reform meeting, in a county where the they're setting up a three-person closed committee to look at voting systems and the BOE Director has already made the statement that he thinks Diebold (!) has the best product. (yup!) Not a great situation, but if we keep banging the drum hard enough eventually people will hear it. In his heart of hearts, Andy knew that.

Anyway, the plan tonight is to show Votergate.tv and then it falls to me to help get these citizens riled up to take constructive action. Damn it's going to be hard to watch that movie tonight in front of 50 people, but I know Andy will be with me.

You're right, Will.
ANDY WON.

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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
34. A tribute to a fearless fighter and a lovely man.

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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
35. Well said, Will
To those who hounded and hurt Andy, the time will come when you will be held accountable for your actions. It's hard to believe that there are some people who seem to find fulfillment in attacking and destroying others.

I believe that because these people are so shallow, so devoid of feeling deeply, and caring deeply, for anything but their own miserable, twisted egos. They know that they could never, ever, be like Andy, a brave and tireless champion for the right of each of us to have our vote count fairly.

Because they are capable of nothing constructive, their only impulse is to destroy what others create, thinking that this will prevent any comparisons to their own wretched lack of doing anything good, or right.

They are like people who see great works of art in museums, and knowing that they could never create a painting as beautiful as a Da Vinci, or a Monet, take a knife and deface the paintings.Instead, they could admire the beauty of the work, and contribute to keeping the museum open, but choose instead to destroy what they can not create.

Will, I am behind you in whatever way you choose to pursue seeing that they are called to account for their truly vile actions.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
37. I have to believe that Andy knows now...
how we all felt. He knows how much he was loved and admired and respected. He's in a place where all things are made clear.

He was the best person I think I've ever known.

We just can't share enough of these right now :hug:
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
38. Back from the clothing store.
I try to tell myself that I needed a new suit anyway...
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Oh...
:hug:
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. Thanks.
:hug:

I really did need a new suit, but I was hoping to put it off for a happier event.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #43
55. I said something very similar just yesterday
I mentioned that I would likely get to meet Will Pitt and a whole bunch of DUers but this is not the way I wanted that to happen.

I would give up getting to meet any of you if, in return, Andy hadn't lost this fight.

Damn.
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. I tried shopping today myself...
and it just didn't work. I couldn't convince myself to buy anything to wear to the memorial yet. :(
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. I had to do it by today. Damned alterations.
x(

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Paradise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
41. beautiful. thanks for sharing... n/t
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
44. Wonderful Tribute, Will
What Andy started , we must all do what we can to go forward in the fight for Election Reform.
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
45. Beautiful. and I believe the best memorial the rest of us can
build is to continue Andy's work, and build a movement to reform Election Laws.

Sorry, having trouble typing through the tears....
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
46. Beautiful, Will.
Well said as always. :hug:
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
48. .
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Scout1071 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
49. Brought me to tears Will.
Rest in peace Andy.
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housewolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
50. Thank you, Will...
Very moving, a wonderful tribute to your friend, Andy

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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
51. That was a great tribute
thanks for personalizing him for those of us who didn't have the honor of meeting him.
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
52. We all have work to do. We now do it with Andy constantly in our thoughts.
Thank you for the fine essay, Will.




Peace.

www.missionnotaccomplished.us - How ever long it takes, the day must come when tens of millions of caring individuals peacefully but persistently defy the dictator, deny the corporatists their cash flow, and halt the evil being done in Iraq and in all the other places the Bu$h neoconster regime is destroying civilization and the environment in the name of "America."

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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
54. Certainly not a failure, look how many he inspired and how many more
people joined the movement.

We shall triumph, and that day will be for Andy.
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peacefreak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
56. Will, you done good.
Andy was truly one of the good ones. This board has allowed us to hear some of the best & the brightest. Unfortunately, some have gone too soon. With friends like you, we are reminded of what we are capable of. Hold your passion, proudly.
I am so sorry his name is now beside the other dear people we have lost. I hope he realized how much we thought of him. Thanks for saying this so eloquently. Love, peacefreak.
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lavendermist Donating Member (172 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
57. Thanks, Will, for being able
to say how you feel so eloquently. Your respect for Andy comes through loud and clear. I am sorry for your personal loss. :hug:

Yes, you jump the gun sometimes. Yes, you question many things with a lot of passion. But passion is what you need to write eloquently and it is what we all need in order to accomplish the jobs Andy left unfinished. Let us leave all the judgments of ourselves and others behind and begin the tasks that most surely await us. Peace

Beverly
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In_The_Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
58. thank you Will
I'm so sorry you lost a good friend.

Will ~ when I saw Andy in NYC, we talked for awhile about many things and he told me how much love he felt for you.

:hug:
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Independent_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
59. Kick!
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
60. Thank you Will.
As Andy would say, I am verklempt. :cry:

:loveya: Andy :loveya:

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fortyfeetunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
61. Thanks much Will.
I choose to remember Andy for waking me up to the problem. Now it's time to continue his quest for fair and accurate voting in this country.

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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
62. We had such hopes that he could make it through this.
Oh God, I hope he knew how much he was loved. That tribute touched my soul, Will.

So, I put my head in my hands and mourn our loss; not just our loss, but our country's loss. It hurts.
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
63. Will - I hope you will submit this to every newspaper as an op-ed and
highlight the need for transparent elections and universal health care.
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Laurab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
65. Thank you, Will
beautifully written. And one of the things I have admired about you since I've found DU, and then your writing through Truthout, is your passion, even if sometimes you tend to jump the gun a bit. I always KNOW you are going to set the record straight and/or apologize. It takes a man to do that. Andy understood, no one else has to.

I visited a couple of those sites that shall not be named last night and was literally sick to my stomach reading some of the posts. I was sickened also by their use of your post, of course, neglecting to mention your follow-up post. Those people are truly evil, as is the poster in this thread who wants you to "sue him". Someone sowed seeds of doubt, and it wasn't Will Pitt, nor was it any friend of Andy's. I think it was more than just some"one" - maybe two, maybe three. Evil, vile people, who knew exactly what they were doing. Andy is gone, and still they continue. It is beyond my comprehension.

To them I say - I am quite sure that Will Pitt would gladly spend a day with Andy's mother, and I am fairly certain that she would welcome him with open arms. I didn't know Andy personally, but I would guess he would be the first to come to Mr. Pitt's defense if he could. Do not blame your evil, vile, inhuman reasoning on a friend of Andy's who had put his name/reputation on the line for his friend, and in fact, had a right to question, after you so successfully sowed those seeds of doubt. The blame lies with you, and your sick, demented campaign to impunge the integrity of a good man who was dying, along with that of his friends who were trying to help him.

I hope that there is some type of legal action that can be taken against these "people". If not, I do believe in karma. I wish them the karma they deserve.

Will Pitt, I just wish you peace, and hope you don't fall into the guilt trap they have laid for you. Andy understood - that's all that matters.

Thank you again for the beautiful tribute to someone who was obviously a beautiful person.





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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. They can use me all they want to hide in public
It won't hold up in court.

Kinda like trying a case on the courthouse steps. Sounds good...until the jury gets the facts.

Thanks.
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 04:31 AM
Response to Original message
67. Bravo, Will
He was the best
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
68. kick
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #68
70. .
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-05 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
71. Link to final
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