Women proclaim it’s “Time for Our Power!”

Hundreds of women (and a few men) from all corners of the country will gather in Asheville June 20-22 to explore their roles as leaders in the 21st century.

Jane Fonda to give keynote address

by Anne Fitten Glenn

No plain Jane: Actress, author and activist Jane Fonda gives a talk titled “Our Leadership is Needed” on Saturday, June 21, at the Time for Our Power! conference.

Two-time Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda will give the keynote address at the Southeastern Time for Our Power Conference. Also known as an author, political activist and fitness guru, Fonda, 70, will give a talk titled “Our Leadership is Needed” on Saturday, June 21.

Her current pursuits include work with the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (which she founded and whose board she chairs) and serving on the board of the Women’s Media Center, which she also co-founded.

“Because Jane Fonda is such an icon of our generation, it is thrilling to be in her presence,” says conference co-organizer Patty Levesque. “The first time I saw her at the Omega Conference, where I shook her hand, I felt so excited because of my admiration for her. Then I went on to appreciate her openness in speaking to this large group of women from all over the world. She was both strong and humble at the same time.”

The New York-based Omega Institute for Holistic Studies has held five Women and Power conferences, beginning in 2004.

Although she’s been an inspiration to generations of women, Fonda’s political activism famously caused controversy when she visited North Vietnam in 1972. Fonda was photographed and videotaped sitting on an anti-aircraft gun that had probably shot down American planes. She was 25 years old.

“I remember sitting on an upturned ammo crate at a remote firebase in 1969 watching Barbarella on a small screen—the thuds of distant artillery accompanying the soundtrack,” says local author Ralph Roberts. “Later on, I saw that infamous photo of her in a North Vietnamese Army helmet on an anti-aircraft gun. The majority of Vietnam veterans, like myself, considered her a traitor to consort with the enemy during wartime as she did.”

Fonda later apologized for the photograph, though she’s said she doesn’t regret her opposition to the war.

“Yes, she has expressed regret for her actions, [but] what she did then hurt us veterans—and, indeed, America,” says Roberts.

Past controversies notwithstanding, the coveted speaker’s appearance is sure to draw people to the conference.

“Frankly, I was attracted by Jane Fonda’s participation as a speaker,” says retired teacher and former Buncombe County Commissioner Patsy Keever. “Whether one agrees with her actions or not, she has certainly been an outspoken role model for many.”

Author Vicki Donlan, who’s also a conference presenter, says she’s looking forward to hearing Fonda speak because “She’s one of those rare women who’ve been able to forge ahead and overcome her past mistakes.”

After close to 50 years in the spotlight, Fonda can offer a historical take on women’s power, as well as hope for women’s emerging leadership roles.

As conference co-organizer Maureen McDonnell notes: “We have some of the most amazing women in the world living in Asheville. And this conference gives us the chance to bring some of the most amazing women in the world to Asheville.”

Julia Butterfly Hill: A muse muses

by Anne Fitten Glenn

Whatever it takes: Hill, who spent two years living in a California redwood to save it from loggers, will speak on “Saving the Earth.”

Environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill lived in a 180-foot-tall California redwood from late 1997 through late 1999. Her mission was to prevent loggers from cutting down the tree she nicknamed “Luna.” Hill’s commitment saved the majestic tree, and after descending from its branches, she became an author and social-change activist.

Co-organizer Lisa Watters agrees, saying, “This conference isn’t afraid to be strong. We need to claim our power as women, and it’s time for it.”

The guys

Internationally renowned photographer Phil Borges is one of three male speakers on the program. The Seattle resident is the author and photographer behind Women Empowered (Rizzoli, 2007), which presents portraits and profiles of women from various developing areas of the world. His talk, titled “Stirring the Fire,” will address gender discrimination and empowering women in the developing world.

The other two men, Jack Zimmerman and H Hanson, will co-present an experiential workshop titled “How to Live With a Goddess: What Men Need to Know Live Successfully with an Empowered Woman—But are Afraid to Ask” that will give men a chance to share their own experiences living with empowered women.

Most of the talks will be given in the Asheville Civic Center’s Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, while breakout sessions and workshops will play out at assorted downtown venues, including the Haywood Park Hotel and Jubilee! Community church.

To support environmental sustainability, organizers say, all events will be within walking distance of one another.

Birth of a women’s conference

Conference organizers Levesque and Watters (both Mountain Xpress staffers) attended the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies’ first Women and Power conference in New York City in 2004. They heard Fonda and others speak and were so inspired that they attended again two years later. That time, they came away with the idea of hatching a similar conference in their hometown.

Watters wrote about her experiences at Omega in WNC Woman magazine. McDonnell, a professional conference coordinator, read the article and contacted Watters and Levesque, saying, “Let’s make this happen in Asheville.”

The threesome began meeting and planning in February 2007, usually while sharing good food.

Hill will serve on the Time for Our Power Conference‘s sustainability panel on Sunday, June 22. Titled “Women’s Role in Saving the Planet,” it will feature Hill, renowned activist and author Starhawk and Janell Kapoor, founder of Kleiwerks International and The Ashevillage Institute.

Hill took a few minutes to talk with Xpress about what she wants to impart at the women’s conference and about her work with Circle of Life (www.circleoflife.org).

Mountain Xpress: The title of your talk is “Saving the Earth.” Why do you think women today need to be leaders in sustainability and earth conservation?Julia Butterfly Hill: What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves—there is no separation. Women, children and the elderly are most susceptible to diseases, malnutrition and starvation, deformities and these types of things that are directly linked to the degradation and devastation of our planetary body. It is a matter of survival. It is a matter of respect. It is a matter of deep and profound love.

What about the Time for Our Power Conference appeals to you as a speaker? As a woman?

A big part of why I agreed to participate … is because I was asked to be on a panel and co-lead with other women. I chose to take myself mostly out of the public spotlight over the last two years after having spent seven years touring all over the world, averaging about 250 events a year. I say yes to very few requests now (Time for Our Power is one of only seven events I am doing all year). When I do say yes, I look for things where I am not the one-woman “Julia Butterfly Show.” I like collaboration and conversation versus what I call “speechifying.”

You’ve been a longtime supporter of environmental causes. What are you currently working on? What’s most significant to you about this work?
I do most of my work now behind the scenes, in support roles. My organization Circle of Life and I launched a new social-profit organization last year call the Engage Network. It links together small groups to create deeply connected, purposefully driven and inspired individuals for lasting change. One of the sectors of the network is called “What’s Your Tree?” which takes people on a journey to help turn inspiration into action within the framework of self-discovery and building community. I do professional and personal life-coaching, helping people uncover their own unique purpose, passion and power. I also help raise money for organizations that I have built relationships with over the years.

I know that lasting change has to happen from the ground up and the inside out. If we want to live in a healthy, beautiful, sustainable and peaceful world, then we must be these things and live them first. It’s like growing a garden—if you have depleted and toxic soil, you will grow food that is depleted and toxic. If you have healthy, nutrient-rich soil, you will grow beautiful, healthy, vibrant food. I call the work I do “growing and nurturing the soil of our soul.”

Have you visited Asheville before? If so, what do you like about the town?
I have visited Asheville a few times over the years. I love it there. It is such a beautiful area and has some wonderful people who care very much about caring for the earth and all her beings. I actually have dear friends who live in Asheville, and I am looking forward to seeing them as well as everyone at the conference when I come.

Three for all: Conference organizers (from left) Lisa Watters, Patty Levesque and Maureen McDonnell. Photo By Jason Sandford

The inaugural Southeastern Time for Our Power Conference will offer nine speakers and 18 breakout sessions. Celebrity Jane Fonda will give the keynote address and serve on a question-and-answer panel after her talk (see sidebar, “Jane Fonda to Give Keynote Address”). Breakout sessions and workshops will feature leaders on environmental issues, politics, health care, business and the arts (see box, “Conference Highlights”).

“What really excites me about this conference is that it’s broad-based. It brings together all different aspects of ourselves, from health to work to the environment to the soul,” says speaker and author Vicki Donlan.

Topics range from “How to be Juicy and Sexy at any Age” to “Changing the World Through Community” to “Healing Health Care” to “Saving the Earth.”

“Our goal is to hold an event that is inspiring, informative and ultimately transformational,” says conference co-organizer Maureen McDonnell. “Coming together to celebrate who we are as individuals—and the power we possess as a collective force—is what this conference is all about.”

A call to action

Other notable speakers will include environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, author/eco-feminist Starhawk and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy.

“It’s time for a call to action for women to continue to support each other and lead the country,” says Donlan, who lives outside Boston and is the author of Her Turn: Why it’s Time for Women to Lead in America (Praeger Publishers, 2007). Donlan’s talk, titled “Our Time to Lead,” will discuss why it’s critical for women to emerge as leaders now in the U.S.

American women, she notes, account for 52 percent of the population, earn 65 percent of the graduate degrees and make 80 percent of consumer purchases. “Yet we’re still losing ground,” Donlan maintains. “It’s necessary for America to have strong women leaders. This conference brings us together, and women are empowered when they get together.”

Cheri Britton, CEO of the Asheville-based BOOM Thinking, agrees, saying, “When you get women together, it’s doggone powerful.” Britton’s talk, titled “Village Power—Drawing On The Power Of Others” will explore how to help people change their negative or limiting mindsets and then take steps toward believing that what they want to happen can happen.

Women together

“There’s a power in gathering in a group,” notes conference co-organizer Patty Levesque. “It’s life-changing.” That message seems to resonate for many of the women attending Time for Our Power.

Julie Hensley of Big Stone Gap, Va., is bringing along her mother, who’s been dealing with stress and exhaustion arising from her husband’s health problems. “While each of us may have some aspects that we’d like to improve—our ability to nurture, our sense of creativity or fun, our appreciation of our creativity—within a group of many similar women those aspects are whole, and our opportunity to remember those aspects of ourselves are increased,” says Hensley.

The organizers, notes Britton, “didn’t think small. They went right out of the gate and said, ‘Let’s call Jane Fonda.’ They could have gone much smaller for their first time, but they went for it.”

Meanwhile, the three are already looking beyond this year’s event. “If all goes well, we hope to do it again, maybe annually,” says Levesque, “although it’s a lot of organizational work.”

McDonnell adds: “Any one of us alone could never have done this. It’s been an incredible collaboration.”

Empowering, transforming, nurturing

Although some speakers and participants will travel from as far as Florida and Vermont to attend Time for Our Power, a lot of them are local, as are many of the businesses supporting and contributing to the conference.

Sensibilities Day Spa, The Secret Garden Inn & Spa and Togar Rugs are teaming up to create a “red tent”—a quiet sanctuary where participants can relax and avail themselves of spa services, including chair, foot and hand massages.

All conference proceeds (including fees for spa services) will be donated to four organizations that help empower women: Planned Parenthood of Asheville, Helpmate (an Asheville-based domestic-violence support group), the international humanitarian organization CARE, and the first Habitat for Humanity house in Madison County to be built entirely by women.

“We have an amazing number of people donating food and space and time, and even fabric,” notes Levesque. “We want to be able to give back, too.”

Cherokee/Choctaw tribal elder and storyteller Grandmother Red Leaf will help open the conference Friday night. She’ll also lead a summer solstice ceremony on Saturday.

“We want a powerful—almost sacred—opening to set the tone for the whole weekend,” McDonnell explains. Other entertainment will include drumming, singing, poetry, dance and comedy.

Another key concern is inclusiveness. “We want everyone who wants to attend to be able to, no matter their financial situation,” stresses Watters. “We have volunteer spots, student rates and partial scholarships. We’ll be offering those right to the last minute.”

[Asheville resident Anne Fitten Glenn, a freelance journalist and photographer, writes the weekly Edgy Mama column for Mountain Xpress.]

Conference highlights

Most events will take place at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in the Asheville Civic Center or within walking distance of it. To register for all or part of the conference, visit www.timeforourpower.com. The weekend package costs $295. Daily rates are also available, as are special volunteer rates and financial assistance.

Evening opening ceremony at 7 p.m. with documentary filmmaker Debra Roberts, poet Glenis Redmond, Cherokee/Choctaw tribal elder and storyteller Grandmother Red Leaf, drummers, dancers and more. Mayor Terry Bellamy will give the “Welcome Address.”

Among the speakers and topics are: Vicki Donlan, “Why It’s Time for Women to Lead in America”; Kate Thomsen M.D., “Healing Health Care”; and Jane Fonda, “Our Leadership is Needed.” Breakout sessions and entertainment featuring local comedy troupe LYLAS, The Buckerettes and others, will also take place that evening.

Featured speakers and topics include: Phil Borges, “Stirring the Fire”; Starhawk, “Women Take Action”; and Cheri Britton, “Village Power.” Afternoon breakout sessions will be followed by a sustainability panel and closing ceremony featuring Asheville women’s chorus Womansong.



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72 thoughts on “Women proclaim it’s “Time for Our Power!”

  1. R Bernier

    Its sad to see our mountain leaders stand up with Fonda.

    Then they will show up at memorial day events & say they support our troops.

    Fonda is a real disgrace & the leaders here should be ashamed.


  2. I don’t think Women are as good for overpopulation as they think they are because public schools exploit childless taxpayers and a lot of their security stuff uses energy.

  3. As I was quoted above, many of us veterans still consider her visit to North Vietnam during wartime and her other actions in the 70s traitorous. It was, perhaps, less than sensitive of the leadership of this conference to invite her here.

  4. donny

    ralph says”It was, perhaps, less than sensitive of the leadership of this conference to invite her here.”

    …or, they dont share your particular political viewpoint and feel no need to cater to it. Imagine that!

  5. funny Molton but stereotyped.

    my quote in the article above was truncated (and I can understand why, it was a bit sexist for an article about a women’s meeting) but I added that (having seen “Barbarella” in Vietnam, which includes nude and other scenes of a sexual nature featuring Fonda), she visited the wrong army. We grunts in the field would have REALLY appreciated her presence. To the North Vietnamese, she was just another fellow traveler commie tool.

    I stand by that. ;-)

  6. “this country” is also a political manifestation. In fact this county had no “enemy”. Only the feds had an enemy.

  7. I believe we’re starting to dissolve into mumblely vagueness here… it is black and white — in my opinion, and that of many other Vietnam veterans, there is a line and Fonda went over it.

  8. Alan:

    The words I wish to express to you are not appropriate for this message board, so I will not type them. I cannot help but wonder what it must be like to be so completely emotionally detached from the rest of humankind, to have no superego or conscience.

    The Communists we fought in Viet Nam were an enemy of humankind in their ideology. That same ideology murdered over a hundred million people in the 20th Century, and enslaved hundreds of millions more.

    To claim that everything is political is to accept the false premise of Hegel, that in every facet of life there is a thesis and an anti-thesis that is required to produce a synthesis…then the synthesis become the thesis to a new anti-thesis and so on.

    This is madness. That denies absolute truth.

    Treason and Honor are also matters of morality, which trump any law.

  9. now you’ve crossed the line, Alan… that’s unacceptable, ungrateful, and pretty much incomprehensible that any American could actually believe that. … go tell what you said to all those names on that long black wall in Washington, D.C. Some of those names are from right here in Buncombe county and some were my friends. My name came very close to being up there. … like Thunder Pig, civility stops me from giving you my complete opinion.

  10. Alan:


    So, to make sure we are clear…you hold that it is impossible for a human to be an enemy of humankind, or to hold to an ideology that is an enemy of humankind?

    It’s nice to know you think those protesting the war were braver than the kids in Viet Nam who fought for their brothers, that those facing an enemy that was shooting at them were braver than those who faced people who 99.99% wouldn’t even shoot real real bullets at them.

    Just wOw.

    I’d like to have a few hours sometime to discuss philosophy with you, Alan. That is, if you can have a discussion about deeply held beliefs without screaming or storming off. I think it would be very interesting.

  11. that those facing an enemy that was shooting at them were braver than those who faced people who 99.99%

    should read

    that those facing an enemy that was shooting at them were not braver than those who faced people who 99.99%

  12. People died opposing that war more bravely and MORE honorably. Vietnam has many more graves than names on a Washington wall, millions who died defending their homeland against Washington politicians, again MORE honorably. And 80% of the Vietnamese people, over 30 million communists, do necessarily constitute humanity.
    Just because this war may be justified will NEVER justify that one.
    And I told you there IS NO LINE!

  13. Rob Close

    hey, who here still believes all those old rumours about Jane Fonda that were total lies? I mean, sure she DID support the viet-cong, but most of the associated stories are total lies (which i’ve already had to prove to a handful of vet’s in this city, annoyingly enough). seems like a respectable woman to me.

  14. William P Miller

    Jane “Hanoi” Fonda. Forever vilified by Vietnam vets for her treason during that war. She should have done prison time for it. It took her many years to finally “apologize”…half-heartedly I may add. Probably just to get the vets to leave her alone. I guess when people protest YOU, the shoe is on the other foot. -:) Her father didn’t speak to her for years after her treason. Nuf said.

  15. It is among my fondest wishes that conservatives start protesting lefty speakers, and give them a taste of their own medicine, by the bushel.

    If it didn’t cost $295 to get in the door, I’d attend just to be able to stand up and call her traitor.

  16. William P Miller

    Since we are on the subject of Hanoi jane, thought this little piece is of interest. Leftwing lies and distortions.

    “The Top 10 Lies of the Left
    From “Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies: Issue by Issue Responses to the Most Common Claims of the Left from A to Z”
    GrassTopsUSA Guest Commentary
    By Gregg Jackson

    Lie#1: “It is uncertain when human life begins, therefore it’s a religious question, not a scientific one.”

    It is an undisputed biological scientific fact that human life begins at conception. At the very moment of conception, the unique creation is completely human in every one of his or her characteristics totally unique from any other living organism. The new developing baby has the same 46 human chromosomes and DNA he or she will have until death. Even an atheist can acknowledge this fact.

    Lie #2: “The Constitution mandates the separation of church and state.”

    Actually that’s correct. The Constitution does mandate a “separation of church and state” — the former Soviet Union’s Constitution (article 52) that is. The First Amendment ensures freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The words “separation of church and state” neither appear in the U.S. Constitution nor the Bill of Rights but rather were used in a private letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists 11 years after ratification of the 1st Amendment to assure them that the federal government would not establish a federally recognized “state” religion. Anti-American/Anti-Christian organizations such as the ACLU and Americans United For the Separation of Church and State have intentionally distorted and perverted the true meaning of the 1st Amendment in a concerted effort to banish the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of our nation while simultaneously imposing their own Secular Humanist theocracy in America.

    Lie #3: “The Republican Party is racist.”

    The Democratic Party has had a long history of racism that is still alive and well today. The Republican Party was founded in 1854 to abolish slavery. Democrats founded the KKK. Democratic Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia was a Kleagle in the KKK and used the “n-word” twice on “Fox News Sunday” just a few years ago. Slavery, the poll tax, and Jim Crow laws were primarily institutions of the Democratic Party. Eugene “Bull” O’Connor (the poster boy of American racism) was a Democrat. Democrats almost unanimously support raced based “affirmative action” –essentially a form of racism and oppose school vouchers for minorities trapped in under performing government run schools.

    Lie#4: “Tax cuts- such as the Reagan and Bush tax cuts- cause budget deficits.”

    Historical evidence has demonstrated that tax cuts have increased tax revenues to the federal treasury. Three times in the 20th Century (the 20s, 60s, and 80s,) and once in the 21st century (2003 Bush Tax Cuts), taxes were cut across the board. All four cuts stimulated the economy substantially and immediately, resulting in increased tax dollars to the federal treasury not decreases as Democrats predicted. Any “deficits” were primarily the result of government spending not tax cuts.

    Lie #5: “Bush exaggerated the case for war in Iraq by lying about WMD.”

    Almost every nation’s intelligence agencies, American, British, and Russian intelligence, U.N. intelligence, and even prominent Democrats shared the Bush Administration’s view that Iraq posed a grave and imminent threat to America’s security, that sanctions and resolutions were not working, and that force was necessary to disarm and remove Saddam from power.

    President Bush’s famous 16-word statement in his 2003 State of the Union that Iraq had been seeking uranium ore from Africa was factually correct and confirmed by the Senate Bi-Partisan Intelligence Committee and British Pre-War Intelligence Report. The only proven liar was former ambassador and partisan Democrat Joe Wilson who lied when he claimed that Vice President Cheney had asked him to go to Niger on a “fact finding trip.”

    Lie #6: ” Global warming is the result of human induced carbon emissions.”

    Carbon Dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels is not a toxic pollutant and is vital for life on earth. According to the U.S. National Climate Data Center, the world in 2006 was only .03 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in 2001 within the margin of error and not statistically significant. Although there is a “consensus” that the earth has warmed about a degree Celsius over the last century, there is no similar “consensus” among scientists that said “warming” is human induced. Moreover, average global surface temperatures actually fell during the greatest increase in man made fossil fuels from 1940 to the late 1970s. The “Man Made Global Warming” theory is based on very weak and uncertain science and is essentially a far left political movement that is inherently anti-capitalist and anti-human. Many world renowned scientists such as R. Timothy Patterson has shown that there is a strong correlation between natural solar activity and warming and that “global cooling” is the major threat to the world.

    Lie #7: “Children who are raised in same-sex homes fair as well, if not better, than children raised in divorced or step-families.”

    There is little hard clinical data to suggest “same-sex” family configurations would be a healthy environment for children. The small amount of research available regarding children raised in same-sex couple households reveals that those children are comparable in terms of well being to those in single parent households. But single parent households, though necessary sometimes, are not the ideal — financially or emotionally.

    Supporters of same sex marriage and adoption cite the 2002 American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Report as proof that same sex couples are equivalent to heterosexual couples with regard to raising children. However, the report concluded that, “Research exploring the diversity of parental relationships among gay and lesbian parents is just beginning,” and that “the small and non-representative samples studied and the relatively young age of most of the children suggest some reserve.”

    Lie #8: “Bush stole the 2000 election.”

    Every individual recount concluded that Bush was the winner in Florida. Although the left leaning Florida Supreme Court improperly attempted, to aid Gore in illegally recounting votes in select Democrat precincts, their judicial activist ruling was overturned 7-2 by the Supreme Court and nullified. Bush got more votes on election night, following the automatic recount, and after all absentee ballots were counted. Seven media publications including USA Today (hardly a rightward leaning newspaper) sponsored recounts and concluded that, under any proposed standard of methodology, Bush won every recount. It was Al Gore and the liberal media who attempted to “steal” the election by prematurely calling the election for Gore on election night before the polls closed in the heavily GOP populated Florida panhandle and attempting to nullify overseas military votes from being counted.

    Lie #9: “Bush is stupid.”

    George W. Bush scored a 1206 on his SAT. He graduated from Yale and earned a 3.6 GPA at Harvard Business School, flew fighter jets in the Texas Air National Guard during Viet Nam, was a successful business owner, became Governor of Texas twice in landslide victories, and became President of the United States twice, the second time getting more votes than any president in the history of the United States. He also scored higher on military intelligence tests than John Kerry. It was Al Gore who received mostly C’s at Harvard, dropped out of Vanderbilt law school and failed out of divinity school. It was Ted Kennedy who was kicked out of Harvard for cheating. By the way, why is it, do you suppose, that Hillary still refuses to release her transcripts from Wellesley and Yale?

    Lie#10: The lefties say: “School vouchers unfairly benefit the wealthy.”

    Voucher programs have almost exclusively benefited poor minority students. The vast majority of voucher programs have almost exclusively enabled minorities in cities such as Washington D.C., Cleveland, and Milwaukee to transfer from under-performing public schools to a superior charter schools where, on average, grades and test scores have risen dramatically at a lower per pupil expenditure.

    Liberal-Democratic politicians overwhelmingly choose private and parochial schools for their children but side with the teachers union (the NEA-National Education Association and AFT-American Federation of Teachers) — who happens to be its largest financial contributors — in opposing minority parents from having the same opportunity.”

  17. Life begins BEFORE conception. Sperm and eggs are obviously alive.
    But Fonda probably supports public schools, which pollute by exploiting the childless. And $295 is clearly elitist. Does Fonda live in an elitist land use zone?
    Don’t enlist! The next war may not be any more justifiable than Vietnam, even if this one is. Don’t promise to let Washington politicians tell you who to shoot!



    Ex-Kent State student, wounded in 1970 melee, dies at 58
    The Associated Press • updated June 16, 2008 7:56 am

    Akron, Ohio – Robert Stamps, one of nine Kent State students wounded in the Ohio National Guard shootings that killed four other students 38 years ago, has died. He was 58.

    Stamps died Wednesday of complications from pneumonia in Tallahassee, Fla., his wife, Teresa Sumrall, said in an e-mail to friends, according to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. His death was confirmed by

  19. William P Miller

    it’s sad when anyone dies. But why the big deal that he was a protester throwing rocks during a riot? Sometimes, when you mess with the bull you get the horn. God bless the veterans who died during Vietnam, Korea, WWII, Iraq, Afghanistan. they are the true heroes, not spoiled brat college “protesters” who waved a red flag in front of the bull and got burned.

  20. William P Miller

    Jane “Hanoi” Fonda needs to hold a press conference when she arrives in Asheville. She should forcefully and sincerely apologize to Vietnam veterans for her traitorous perfidy during her visit to North Vietnam in the early 1970s. She caused a lot of torture and VC murder to happen. People do stupid things when they are young. Jane, just admit it sincerely and we will forgive.

  21. jj

    Here. I’m a woman. And I think all of your arguing is just another pseudo-intellectual waste of time. This isn’t productive, OK? You cannot spend time worrying about what one huge American media figure did. There are countless, lesser-known “traitors” that you guys don’t even know about. Where does it end?

  22. jj, we do not know where it ends but we know where it started, on a North Vietnamese antiaircraft gun in time of war. It’s not something that can be defended.

  23. contentpersephone

    re-sending, minus all cursing.

    another female here.

    I am disgusted by this whole ridiculous “conference” for completely different reasons than the ones that seem to have grabbed the attention of most of the above posters – largely a bunch of men, it would seem.

    Yes, it *is* absurd that Jane Fonda would be chosen as the keynote speaker for this conference – not because of her actions during the vietnam war (which she has apologized for many many times already). But because on what planet is Jane Fonda any type of feminist example? To my knowledge, the only “power” Jane would be familiar with is using her sex appeal to snag wealthy men….ick.

    The article mentions also that one of the topics to be discussed at this “conference” is “how to be juicy and sexy at any age”. Are you kidding me? THAT is the “power” they think women should be focusing on?

    Using sex appeal is the oldest trick in the book – we’ve all seen how much “power” it’s given to women thus far.

    It seems that contemporary feminism either tells women to be more like men…or to use their sex appeal to manipulate men.

    how totally lame.

  24. Contentpersephone, I agree with all you say above except for “…which she has a apologized for many times…”

    She HAS NOT apologized, the best is that she has expressed rather lukewarm ‘regret’ … especially in 1988 when a movie project she was in was being disrupted by protesters. A good source of what’s true and what’s NOT true (as in many urban myths) is snopes.com, see:


    Which I do not condone the actions of the gentleman who spit tobacco juice on her in 2005 (see above link), I understand his feelings.

    Her actions insulted both men AND women.

  25. William P Miller

    Ralph, thank you so much for the Scopes link. I served in Vietnam and will always hold a grudge against Hanoi Jane…until if and when she gives a true heartfelt apology. She should have done hard prison time for being a traitor.

  26. William P Miller

    Infantry Intelligence? That is an oxymoron isn’t it Ralph? -:) Thanks for serving in The Nam Ralph. And I like your show on URTV. 1/5 Infantry Mechanized, I Corps 1969. I rode in APC’s on ‘The Z’. Fortunately for me, we had kicked their behinds so bad in Tet 1968 that in 1969 they were a bit quiet in our area. But I was ready, as always. God bless America!

  27. right, military intelligence in general was, as always, the greatest oxymoron. ;-) … but those of us who went to Vietnam served and I remain proud of it.

  28. contentpersephone

    All due respect, especially to Mr Roberts (we all sincerely appreciate your service, I am sure, Sir), but the point that I was really trying to make earlier was that this conference sounds like a lame excuse for “female empowerment”.

    It isn’t just that they picked a keynote speaker who is clearly very controversial (good link, btw – thanks for the insight on the particulars of Ms. Fonda’s “apologies” – I had been under a different impression about it)…it’s that it would seem that the conference organizers have bought into the common modern fallacy of equating female “power” with the ability to manipulate men.

    I can’t say if the conference didn’t actually turn out to be more for the participants (at $300 a pop, I would certainly hope so). But a quick perusal of the conference schedule left me wondering if it had been “brought to you by Glamour magazine”.

    Empowering? Not so much…more of the same old, same old…..”men will listen to sexy, attractive women who play the game as it’s been set out.”

    I think women, all women, not just the “juicy” sexy ones, have a lot more to offer than that.

    This thread, and some others here, have also made me wonder where all the other female posters are. (No offense to you fellas, but I was kind of hoping for some additional female perspective on this).


  29. cgo

    Okay, here goes it. I find it somewhat uncanny that the heading to this thread is: Women Proclaim that it is Time for our Power” and we have guys smugly locking elbows on how they served and “kicked behinds” in “Nam”. I posted on another thread that was eradicated by the powers that be for some reason. There was a discussion I wouldn’t have minded having if it wasn’t taken over by the usual mindset. I personally pondered if it was really all that important that I express my view. Prone to being sometimes passionately contentious, I often have to step back and ask how important is my opinion – really – for my own peace of mind. Right – left arguing is usually petty anyhow and avoids deeper nuance.( ) My father was career military and was in Vietnam. I lived in a military community. Most of the other kids fathers were there in some capacity. By the way, my father, and the other fathers, were not anything like the above posters. When he came back he didn’t know how to traverse the upheaval and societal changes. Worse than that, he didn’t know how to talk about it, wasn’t given or could find a language to make sense of it all. He came from a physically and psychically brutal place where everybody was cut off from there deeper selves, and when he came home his wife was singing: “I am Women Hear me Roar” stuff. Alienation seeped in. At 51 he died of a heart attack. Feminism didn’t help my father. Instead they were trying to take his “patriarchal power” away that he didn’t even know he had. The feminist wanted his masculinity instead of showing him how he could heal. There were no mens’ centers where he could talk about what was going on inside him. He wasn’t supposed to or allowed to feel that “stuff”. And women were trying to be more hard-ass. Feminism wasn’t feminism. It was trying to be the worst of masculinism. And the message to men was, and sometimes still is, is that we are one dimensional, reptilian minded, adolescent boys with shallow feelings. Just watch t.v. and see, in commercials, how the wives act like mothers and the husbands act like boys. The idea floating around now is that women will save the world with their powerfull godess nature.( ) I posted on another, now defunct, thread that feminine energy will help save the world, but from men also. I stated on how easy it is for women to tap into their masculine selves but how hard it is for men to access their “softer’ selves. The kind of access that would of helped heal my father. That is what feminism was supposed to do. It is funny though, because when I posted that thought, one of the above posters scolded me by telling me to “be a man”.

  30. david


    Thanks for the good post. I hear where your coming from. I wrote a much longer post yesterday, but i see the moderators are more interested in allowing the flame-baiting trolls to post hate-filled idiocy than in promoting a good conversation.

    But I do appreciate your words, and trust that there are many others out there who know that real ‘feminism’ is not about predominately rich, priveledged white women trying hard to be like caracatures of men. Jane Fonda said something in a rolling stone interview recently about how the antidote to Patriarchy isnt Matriarchy, it’s Democracy. What do you think?

    Maybe if I say something hateful about Jane Fonda they will post my words this time around.

  31. maybe if the meeting’s planners had chosen someone less a lightning rod than Jane Fonda they would have gotten more positive results.

    someone was not thinking on that decision.

  32. contentpersephone

    Hi cgo and David – thanks for two great (and on topic!) responses here – (I had started to wonder if I had inadvertently killed the thread entirely).

    I have to wonder if there isn’t some kind of hiccup in the moderated (new) members ability to post – I myself have had more than one post here never show up. While one time I am pretty sure that I used a curse word – at least one of the other times, I have absolutely no idea why my post wouldn’t have been approved (if that is actually what happened).

    It might be worth contacting the mod staff here to ask about it – I know that it’s more than a little annoying to spend time putting a post together, only to have it vanish into the internet ether (especially when a lot of other threads certainly do seem to have some pretty inflammatory comments make it through, presumably from members who are no longer moderated (?) (though perhaps they should be).

    David- I don’t know how to answer your question regarding patriarchy/matriarchy/ and democracy. I think most of us would agree that “power corrupts” and these days I am hard pressed to find an example of democracy that really lives up to any ideal, in terms of human rights and such.

    In any case, I certainly don’t know that I would advocate a matriarchy as any kind of “antidote” to the two thousand odd years of patriarchal tradition. Doubt that it’s even possible, and don’t see the purpose if it were. So it seems like a rather silly comparison, truthfully.

    In my perfect world, civilization and government would be concerned with *all* people, not just “their” group of it; male, female, American, etc…etc…etc.. It kind of drives me a little nuts that our current culture claims how they value motherhood and children, until it’s time to put their $$$ where their mouths are.

    Ralph – I’m not sure what “positive results” were meant to come about from a conference like this anyway…..it seems like just another racket to me – make some $$$ (you know someone did – I doubt all the speaker’s came gratis) and have a bunch of folks with apparently nothing better to do with their time or cash sit around patting themselves on the back and spout a bunch of ivory-tower nonsense. What real impact on anything this might be supposed to actually have – I have no idea.

    Of course, I didn’t attend the actual conference, so I could certainly be wrong.

  33. david and cgo:

    Just register with the MtnX and your posts will go through pretty easily. I’ve never had a problem once I registered.

  34. cgo

    David and Contentpersephone. Thanks for the feedback. I agree with Contentp. We all seem to be trying to stuff ourselves into labels and concepts. Not to mention that the definitions should be questioned – such as power. What is power? Are there different kinds of power? There were damn good reasons for womens’ rights and the challenging of social roles and perceptions. However, every human’s first love was there mother. We all had to pass through our mothers into the world. And that is an amazing power that women have had and a role that should be empowered by society (P. I agree $$$). And fathers probably run a close second. And a little bit of gentleness can go a long way. So lets stop trying to define ourselves in a limited 2-dimensional mindset – I’m this and you’re that etc…. Thanks again. I am going out of town and away from a computer. This is last response. Peace.Peace.

  35. Zora Reece Hays

    Zora, why so late in addressing this one?

    The feminists’ support for Jane Fonda and inviting her to Asheville simply illustrates again how radical and anti-American their approach has been from the beginning! Remember their “dress” in the big Washington March! Big error for the Mayor to participate in this welcome to Asheville.

    We trounced the mis-nomered Equal Rights Amendment in North Carolina in the 1970s
    and early 80s 4 big times. I was there for the
    whole scene. Rep. Lulabell Wiseman from Spruce
    Pine switched her vote because of an article I
    brought to her attention.

  36. Zora, was that THE Lula Belle, as in Lula Belle and Scotty? I visited them once up above Spruce Pine in the early 70s, I believe. Very gracious and exceptionally musically talented and two true mountain heroes. Their big song was “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” — which was recorded by quite a few big name stars, including Marty Robbins, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, Gene Autry, Red Foley, Lulu Belle & Scotty (themselves), Sons of the Pioneers, Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters, Tex Ritter (1946), Tony Bennett, Roger Whittaker, Ray Price, Rod Stewart, Foy Willing (1946), Red Foley with Roy Ross (1946), Kitty Wells & Red Foley, and the great Gentleman Jim Reeves.

  37. William P Miller

    Ralph said “…Marty Robbins, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, Gene Autry, Red Foley, Lulu Belle & Scotty (themselves), Sons of the Pioneers, Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters, Tex Ritter (1946), Tony Bennett, Roger Whittaker, Ray Price, Rod Stewart, Foy Willing (1946), Red Foley with Roy Ross (1946), Kitty Wells & Red Foley, and the great Gentleman Jim Reeves.”

    Wow, we love the same music and same performers!

  38. Thanks, William… yep.

    Speaking of Marty Robbins, I lived in El Paso for eight months back in 1989, writing a book on artificially intelligent machine controls, of all things. But “El Paso” was Marty’s BIG hit and in it he sings of Rosa’s Cantina. There really IS a Rosa’s Cantina in El Paso (still is, see: http://www.benoconnor.com/nightspots2.cfm). It is currently billed as a ‘family friendly place’ but back in 1989, it did not look that way to me, more like the roughest, toughest Tex-Mex bar you’ve ever seen. Still, I visited it one night and came out again. ;-)

    “Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
    I fell in love with a Mexican girl
    Nighttime would find me in Rosa’s cantina
    Music would play and Felina would whirl

    Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina
    Wicked and evil while casting a spell
    My love was deep for this Mexican maiden
    I was in love, but in vain I could tell …”

  39. William P Miller

    Wow, thanks Ralph. I love western music. Marty Robbins is right up there with Sons of the Pioneers and Bob Wills. Here’s the rest of that wonderful song…

    “…One night a wild young cowboy came in,
    Wild as the West Texas wind.
    Dashing and daring,
    A drink he was sharing
    With wicked Felina,
    The girl that I loved.

    So in anger I

    Challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
    Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
    My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
    The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.

    Just for a moment I stood there in silence,
    Shocked by the FOUL EVIL deed I had done.
    Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there;
    I had but one chance and that was to run.

    Out through the back door of Rosa’s I ran,
    Out where the horses were tied.
    I caught a good one.
    It looked like it could run.
    Up on its back
    And away I did ride,

    Just as fast as I

    Could from the West Texas town of El Paso
    Out to the bad-lands of New Mexico.

    Back in El Paso my life would be worthless.
    Everything’s gone in life; nothing is left.
    It’s been so long since I’ve seen the young maiden
    My love is stronger than my fear of death.

    I saddled up and away I did go,
    Riding alone in the dark.
    Maybe tomorrow
    A bullet may find me.
    Tonight nothing’s worse than this
    Pain in my heart.

    And at last here I

    Am on the hill overlooking El Paso;
    I can see Rosa’s cantina below.
    My love is strong and it pushes me onward.
    Down off the hill to Felina I go.

    Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys;
    Off to my left ride a dozen or more.
    Shouting and shooting I can’t let them catch me.
    I have to make it to Rosa’s back door.

    Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
    A deep burning pain in my side.
    Though I am trying
    To stay in the saddle,
    I’m getting weary,
    Unable to ride.

    But my love for

    Felina is strong and I rise where I’ve fallen,
    Though I am weary I can’t stop to rest.
    I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
    I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.

    From out of nowhere Felina has found me,
    Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
    Cradled by two loving arms that I’ll die for,
    One little kiss and Felina, good-bye.”

    Ah, for love we sacrifice. Sometimes for love of country, ala The Nam.

  40. Roy Rogers sung with the Sons of the Pioneers before he became famous and one of my all time favorites songs is “Faded Love” by Bob Wills.

    As I look at the letters that you wrote to me
    It’s you that I am thinking of
    As I read the lines that to me were so sweet
    I remember our faded love

    Jane Fonda would never understand any of this.

  41. William P Miller

    Roy Rogers and Bob Nolan started the Pioneers in Inglewood CA in 1932. They eventually got gigs playing in B westerns, including a Gene Autry picture. In 1937 Gene Autry went on a strike for a raise. A casting call went out for a replacement. Roy answered and got the job. He was told to go down to a stable and pick out a horse. He picked the horse he would name Trigger, who was rode by Olivia DeHavilland in “Robin Hood”.

    Roy made “Under Western Stars”, which was a big hit. After a few more movies, his popularity soaring, he went in to see the same studio executive who told Gene Autry no. He also told Roy “no”. Then he said that Roy’s success was due more to the horse than the actor and that he could have a replacement on that palomino in short order. Roy answered, “I own Trigger”. He got his raise.

    I’ve met Roy twice and Dale once. They truly appear to be the real people in person that they portrayed on screen. Too bad the current generation does have more wholesome heroes like we had.

  42. That’s great, William! … I never got to meet Roy or Dale but, back in the 80s, I edited the national tabloid for B-Western fans, “Sagebrush Journal.” I met and interviewed a great many of the stars and supporting actors from that era.

    More recently — in one of my several TV personas, ‘Tex Ralph’ — I host “Tex Ralph’s Westerns” on channel 20 here in Asheville (URTV) which shows a complete B-Western movie every Saturday at 8pm. I have now done 100 episodes and will add more as I obtain the rights to show more films.

  43. William P Miller

    I’ll check it out Ralph. What time? I am a b western fan and have quite a few dvds. Favorites are Roy Rogers & Hopalong Cassidy.

  44. I have movies by both Rogers and William ‘Hopalong Cassidy’ Boyd. But tons of other stars also. I grew up loving Gene Autry and Roy Rogers but have since come to believe the greatest B-Western star was really Hoot Gibson. ;-)

    For them what are interested, here is a 60-second promo for the show:


  45. William P Miller

    I like them all too Ralph. The entire Republic Studios cast of cowboy actors are fun to watch. Did you know that Gabby Hayes was a NY stage actor who did Shakespeare before he went out west? He would dress to the nines when he went out in public and some wouldn’t recognize him. That character of gabby was good acting as he was a completely different person in real life. He also got a lot of movies and worked a lot.

    How about Tex Ritter? Ya.

  46. Gabby Hayes worked a lot! He was even John Wayne’s sidekick in several movies. John Wayne, for those that don’t know, even made several singing cowboy movies. Wayne could not sing so they dubbed a real singer in. It’s hilarious to watch Wayne riding along singing in an almost operatic voice. Those were his young days in low budget movies, but even in those his star presence came through.

    Wayne’s high school classmate was another cowboy star, Bob Steele. And Steele’s father, Robert N. Bradbury, directed several of Wayne’s early movies.

  47. William P Miller

    Yes, I remember Wayne in “Singing Sammy baugh”. Awful flick. And Gabby was Hoppy’s sidekick for a while as “Windy”. He took the name of Gabby after he left Hoppy so as not anger the studio. -:) Wayne was also one of the Three Mesquiteeros for a while. He was recruited from USC football.

  48. david

    Here’s my addition of relevant lyrics:

    “The voice of racism preaching the gospel is devilish
    A fake church called the prophet Muhammad a terrorist
    Forgetting God is not a religion, but a spiritual bond
    And Jesus is the most quoted prophet in the Qu’ran
    They bombed innocent people, tryin’ to murder Saddam
    When you gave him those chemical weapons to go to war with Iran
    This is the information that they hold back from Peter Jennings
    Cause Condoleeza Rice is just a new age Sally Hemmings
    I break it down with critical language and spiritual anguish
    The Judas I hang with, the guilt of betraying Christ
    You murdered and stole his religion, and painted him white
    Translated in psychologically tainted philosophy
    Conservative political right wing, ideology
    Glued together sloppily, the blasphemy of a nation
    Got my back to the wall, cause I’m facin’ assassination
    Guantanamo Bay, federal incarceration
    How could this be, the land of the free, home of the brave?
    Indigenous holocaust, and the home of the slaves
    Corporate America, dancin’ offbeat to the rhythm
    You really think this country, never sponsored terrorism?
    Human rights violations, we continue the saga
    El Savador and the contras in Nicaragua
    And on top of that, you still wanna take me to prison
    Just cause I won’t trade humanity for patriotism”

    -verse one of Immortal Technique’s-“The Fourth Branch”


    David your points aganist these two are well taken, they don’t have a leg to stand on.
    Id love to enter the debate but I am not going to spend time drafting a post, when I’ve already had 2 of them moderated. The thought police don’t want a dialogue here especially, from me

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