FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Reach Out and Touch Someone

by MISSY BEATTIE

I rarely answer the phone unless I recognize the number or name. And any call from area code 202 (Washington, DC) is suspect.

So when “Sam Horton” appeared on caller ID with by a 202 prefix, I started to ignore.

Must’ve been lonely.

“Hello.”

“Dr. Beattie?”

“No, this isn’t Dr. Beattie.”

“Mr. Beattie?”

“I’m female.” This wasn’t going well. Wish I’d said, “Mr. Horton, I’m female.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She sounded sincere, so I stayed with her.

She wanted me to listen to a recording, one so shocking, so shockingly shocking, she knew I’d be as shocked as she was when she heard this shocking shocker. Nothing shocks me anymore.

I think it was immediately after the gender snafu that she conveyed the name of the organization she represents–Conservative Majority Fund, which I Googled when the call ended. The PAC’s mission is the impeachment of Barack Obama. Here’s one reason: “For ignoring his obligation to enforce the laws of the land in the areas of Immigration and the Defense of Marriage Act.” Furthermore there’s proof of the scam perpetrated on the American public (that birther stuff, again) with this: “Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse recently conducted an investigation in Hawaii and returned with indisputable evidence that the certificate is fraudulent.”

But I digress. I was on the verge of shocking you with a recap of the recording, when I detoured. I want you to imagine the sound of outrage. Because the narrator was spitting vehemence as he said, and I paraphrase: “Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Obama, is seizing power for a third term as president. Impeach, impeach, impeach.”

After the recording, the woman asked my reaction. I said I knew she was following a script. That she may not even like her work. That she may not believe the message. That I understand we’re in a recession, and that this may be the only job available to her.

Continuing, I said, “I want you to know I don’t support Obama.”

She jumped in with, “Republican?”

“No, no, no.” I told her the parties are the same, and that I oppose the political system— one “controlled by Wall Street Greed.”

Then, I asked THE question: “Do you know who Bradley Manning is?”

“No.”

Ah, an opportunity. “You really shouldn’t make calls about the shocking without being better informed.”

She said, “Okay.” And I almost was shocked.

But I kept going.

“Bradley Manning’s the 25-year-old Army soldier in prison over 1000 days for exposing war crimes. Was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

I told her that Manning disclosed a video of an Apache helicopter in Iraq whose crew killed more than 12 Iraqi civilians and two Reuters war correspondents.

“I didn’t know any of this,” she said.

“Plenty of Americans don’t. Now you do.”

She THANKED me.

“You’re welcome.”

Hmm. I’ve added telemarketers to those I’ll inform—my new activism strategy of disseminating real news to people in doctor’s offices, groceries, lines, anywhere. But with the latest, I don’t have to leave the comfort of my apartment. Just answer the phone, talk with the person who’s dialing (okay, pushing) for dollars. I may even make a pledge.

Soon, I’ll mention more than Bradley Manning. I’ll bring up Fallujah. “Have you heard of Fallujah, the massacre, the rise in birth defects?” And sanctions. “We’ve placed sanctions on Iran. Do you know that 500,000 Iraqi children died because of US sanctions on Iraq during the 90s?” The military/security budget. US Empire. “Do. You. Know?”

Think about it. Often, when you receive these calls, you hear, “This call may be recorded for quality assurance.”

Insist on it. “Please do. Tell your supervisor to tell her/his supervisor to listen. Use the recording as a teaching tool.”

There’s so much to cover. So much to uncover.  Reach out and touch someone.

Missy Beattie thinks she may have a good plan here. She can be reached at:  missybeat@gmail.com

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
May 06, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Dave Wagner
When Liberals Run Out of Patience: the Impolite Exile of Seymour Hersh
John Stauber
Strange Bedfellows: the Bizarre Coalition of Kochs, Neocons and Democrats Allied Against Trump and His #FUvoters
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and the End of the Democratic Party
Joshua Frank
Afghanistan: Bombing the Land of the Snow Leopard
Bill Martin
Fear of Trump: Annals of Parliamentary Cretinism
Doug Johnson Hatlem
NYC Board of Elections Suspends 2nd Official, Delays Hillary Clinton v. Bernie Sanders Results Certification
Carol Miller
Pretending the Democratic Party Platform Matters
Paul Street
Hey, Bernie, Leave Them Kids Alone
Tamara Pearson
Mexico Already Has a Giant Wall, and a Mining Company Helped to Build It
Paul Craig Roberts
Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China
Dave Lindorff
Bringing the Sanders ‘Revolution’ to Philly’s Streets
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Last Gasp Imperialism
Carmelo Ruiz
The New Wave of Repression in Puerto Rico
Jack Denton
Prison Labor Strike in Alabama: “We Will No Longer Contribute to Our Own Oppression”
Jeffrey St. Clair
David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books, the CounterPunch Connection
David Rosen
Poverty in America: the Deepening Crisis
Pepe Escobar
NATO on Trade, in Europe and Asia, is Doomed
Pete Dolack
Another Goodbye to Democracy if Transatlantic Partnership is Passed
Carla Blank
Prince: Pain and Dance
Gabriel Rockhill
Media Blackout on Nuit Debout
Barry Lando
Welcome to the Machine World: the Perfect Technological Storm
Hilary Goodfriend
The Wall Street Journal is Playing Dirty in El Salvador, Again
Frank Stricker
Ready for the Coming Assault on Social Security? Five Things Paul Ryan and Friends Don’t Want You to Think About
Robert Gordon
Beyond the Wall: an In-Depth Look at U.S. Immigration Policy
Roger Annis
City at the Heart of the Alberta Tar Sands Burning to the Ground
Simon Jones
RISE: New Politics for a Tired Scotland
Rob Hager
After Indiana: Sanders Wins another Purple State, But Remains Lost in a Haze of Bad Strategy and Rigged Delegate Math
Howard Lisnoff
Father Daniel Berrigan, Anti-war Hero With a Huge Blindspot
Adam Bartley
Australia-China Relations and the Politics of Canberra’s Submarine Deal
Nyla Ali Khan
The Complexity of the Kashmir Issue: “Conflict Can and Should be Handled Constructively
Josh Hoxie
American Tax Havens: Elites Don’t Have to go to Panama to Hide Their Money–They’ve Got Delaware
Ramzy Baroud
The Spirit of Nelson Mandela in Palestine: Is His Real Legacy Being Upheld?
Alli McCracken - Raed Jarrar
#IsraelSaudi: A Match Made in Hell
George Wuerthner
Working Wilderness and Other Code Words
Robert Koehler
Cowardice and Exoneration in Kunduz
Ron Jacobs
Psychedelic Rangers Extraordinaire
Missy Comley Beattie
It’s a Shit Show!
David Macaray
Our Best Weapon Is Being Systematically Eliminated
Colin Todhunter
Future Options: From Militarism and Monsanto to Gandhi and Bhaskar Save
Binoy Kampmark
The Trump Train Chugs Along
John Laforge
Dan Berrigan, 1921 – 2016: “We Haven’t Lost, Because We Haven’t Given Up.”
Tadeu Bijos
The Wants of Others
Norman Trabulsy Jr
John Denver and My 40th High School Reunion
Charles R. Larson
Being Gay in China, Circa 1987
David Yearsley
Skepticism, Irony, and Doubt: Williams on Bach
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail