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2007 Candidate Statments

Charting VVA's future. [read the candidate's statements ]

In the Emancipator’s Footsteps: A Guide to Springfield

In the year 3000 Anno Domini, archeologists descended on the city of Springfield, Illinois, to study its religious and cultural traditions. Initial studies had indicated that although religious traditions were in line with Christian teachings common to the post-Industrial American Midwest, there had also evolved the worship of a demigod, revered universally, whose image was seen everywhere.

It was rare for residents of the metropolis to perform social functions outside the presence of the demigod’s gaze. Nearly every park was graced with depictions of the saint; every restaurant, every bar, every commercial and government office, every school and church and brothel either included his image or was named for him.

This Springfield icon was Abraham Lincoln. He exemplified the virtues of compassion, intellectual clarity, righteousness, and the flowering of backwoods virility. Researchers wondered whether the citizenry had made these virtues their own. [read complete article]

The Giver And The Taker
Harry Spiller During The Vietnam War

We’ve all watched the scene in movies: The car pulls up in the driveway, a sharp-looking soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine steps out of the car, accompanied perhaps by a priest or minister. The door to the home opens, and a mother, father, or child-toting wife opens the door. The door opens to Death.

Harry Spiller of Marion, Illinois, played this role many times while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was 21 years old and newly returned from his first tour in Vietnam when he was assigned recruiting duty in Cape Girardeau, Mo. It was a prestigious job, especially for one so young and with so little experience. But there was another duty. Spiller also was required to make casualty calls to families in the areas where he was recruiting. Although Spiller spent ten years in the Marines, these three years doing casualty notifications turned his life upside down and changed it forever. [read complete article]

Shots in the Dark: Unanswered Questions Plague The Military Vaccine Program

The Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program ( is emerging from a three-year hiatus after Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the Department of Defense to suspend anthrax vaccinations in May 2004. Judge Sullivan ruled the anthrax vaccine was an experimental drug that had not been subjected to appropriate testing or cleared for human use by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Notably, Judge Sullivan found that hundreds of service members received the inoculations without informed consent, a direct violation of the regulatory statutes conferring protection to human subjects involved in medical research—and a clear breach of medical ethics. [read complete article]



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