Are sometimes those who go against the grain.

As troop levels in Iraq reach an all time high, we should reflect on these words…

“Some of us must say, Let’s step back for a moment, let’s just pause just for a minute, and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control.”

“As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.”

The woman who said these words on September 14 2001, Barbara Lee, a US congresswoman, was certainly a light in the upcoming darkness…

“After speaking those words, Rep. Barbara Lee voted no. And the fevered slanders began immediately. She was called a traitor. Pundits went crazy. Death threats came.”

Heroes are also those who stand up against a system that fails them, like this US soldier, who now stands accused of her own rape. The story is as unbelievable, terrifying and ridiculous as it sounds.

Heroes are also those who stand up for their rights in the midst of repression and bullying. This journalist did that, and was treated like a suspected terrorist. Her story is important reading for those who want to go to the US – for any reason – as well as for those who really need to know how their rights are being eroded slowly but surely.

And if you want a long, healthy life; never work in France.