Thursday, October 27, 2005


I have been wondering WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON, now for 5 years. Even further back then that... With Clinton lying over an embarrassing sex scandal and getting impeached over it. There's been little dribs and drabs from the media but never do they show us the full window, the full scope, or, in other words, THE WHOLE ENCHILADA of what the fringe Repubs are doing and WHY THEY GET AWAY WITH IT? The article below from Salon opens the window, reveals the depth of criminality and SHOWS THE MEAT INSIDE THE WHOLE ENCHILADA! It is a real WOW-ER and deserves a read, especially, if you are also, wondering why our country is fast going down the tubes...
Let us all hope that ALL EYES will finally be opened and we can, at long last, SAVE OUR LIVES AND OUR COUNTRY... ThinkingBlue

Fall of the Rovean empire?

Drunk on power, the Republican oligarchs overreached. Now their entire
project could be doomed.

By Sidney Blumenthal

oligarch n. A member of a small governing faction.

Pages 1 For 30 years, beginning with the Nixon presidency, advanced under Reagan, stalled with the elder Bush, a new political economy struggled to be born. The idea was pure and simple: centralization of power in the hands of the Republican Party would ensure that it never lost it again. Under George W. Bush, this new system reached its apotheosis. It is a radically novel social, political and economic formation that deserves study alongside capitalism and socialism. Neither Adam Smith nor Vladimir Lenin captures its essence, though it has far more elements of Leninist democratic-centralism than Smithian free markets. Some have referred to this model as crony capitalism; others compare the waste, extravagance and greed to the Gilded Age. Call it 21st century Republicanism. At its heart the system is plagued by corruption, an often unpleasant peripheral expense that greases its wheels. But now multiple scandals engulfing Republicans -- from suspended House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay to super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to White House
political overlord Karl Rove -- threaten to upend the system. Because it is
organized by politics it can be undone by politics. Politics has been the
greatest strength of Republicanism, but it has become its greatest
vulnerability. The party runs the state. Politics drives economics. Important
party officials are also economic operators. They thrive off their connections
and rise in the party apparatus as a result of their self-enrichment. The past
three chairmen of the Republican National Committee have all been Washington lobbyists.

An oligarchy atop the party allocates favors. Behind the ideological slogans
about the "free market" and "liberty," the oligarchy creates oligopolies.
Businesses must pay to play. They must kick back contributions to the party,
hire its key people and support its program. Only if they give do they receive
tax breaks, loosening of regulations and helpful treatment from government

Those professionals in the agencies and departments who insist on adhering to standards other than those imposed by the party are fired, demoted and
blackballed. The oligarchy wars against these professionals to bend government purely into an instrument of oligopolies.

Corporations pay fixed costs in the form of legal graft to the party in order to suppress the market, drastically limiting competitive pressure. Then they
collude to control prices, create cartels and reduce planning primarily to the
political game. The larger consequences are of no concern whatsoever to the corporate players so long as they maintain access to the political players.

The sums every industry, from financial services to computers, spends on
lobbying are staggering. Broadcast media firms spent $35.88 million in 2004
alone on lobbyists in Washington, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Telephone companies spent $71.97 million; cable and satellite TV corporations, $20.22 million. The drug industry during the same period shelled out $123 million to pay 1,291 lobbyists, 52 percent of them former government officials. The results have been direct: The Food and Drug Administration has been reduced to a hollow shell, and Medicare can't negotiate lower drug costs with pharmaceutical companies. In the 2004 election cycle, the drug industry paid out $87 million in campaign contributions for federal officials, 69 percent of them flowing to Republicans.

Whereas almost all lobbying before the Bush era was confined to Capitol Hill,
now one in five lobbyists approaches the White House directly. Consider the
success story of one Kirk Blalock, a former aide to Karl Rove as deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, where he coordinated political links to the business community. Now, one year out of the White House, he's a senior partner in the lobbying firm of Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock, boasting 33 major clients, 22 for whom he lobbies his former colleagues in the White House. Indeed, the Bush White House boasts 12 former lobbyists in responsible positions, from chief of staff Andrew Card (American Automobile Association Manufacturers) on down.

"The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to more than 34,750," reports the Washington Post, "while the amount that lobbyists charge their new clients has increased by as much as 100 percent."

oligopoly n., pl. oligopolies. A market condition in which sellers are so few
that the actions of any one of them will materially affect price and have a
measurable impact on competitors...


One big happy family.

oligarchy: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.


Pages 2 : Government spending has raced to the fastest pace of increase since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society Macro- and microeconomic policies are subordinate to the circular alliance of oligarchy and oligopoly. Government
expenditures have raced to the fastest pace of increase under Bush since
President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. But the spending is not intended to prime the economic pump. Nor is it invested mainly in public goods such as
infrastructure or schools; nor is it used to expand the standard of living of
the middle and working classes, whose incomes and real wages are rapidly

Instead it is poured into military contracts and tax cuts heavily weighted to
the very wealthiest, who do not in turn invest in productive capital. As a
result, the largest budget surplus in U.S. history has been transformed into
the largest deficit, whose bonds are principally held by Asian banks, a shift
that presages a strategic tilt of global power and long-term threat to
national security. The illusion that as the post-Cold War unipolar power the
U.S. faces no countervailing forces is undermined by the administration's
constantly draining deficits. Thus 21st century Republicanism reverses the
policies that brought about the American century. Under Ronald Reagan, the
unanticipated consequences of supply-side economics -- instead of tax cuts
fostering increased government revenues, they blew a black hole in the budget -- has under Bush been a conscious policy following the Reagan lesson. The reason is to apply fiscal pressure on government, making its regulations more pliable for manipulation in the interest of oligopoly and therefore the Republican political class. Just as macroeconomic policy is the plaything of politics, so is microeconomic policy. Environmental degradation, lowered public health and urban neglect are indifferent byproducts.

The Republican system is fundamentally unstable. Bush has no economic policy other than Republicanism. As the economic currents run toward an indefinable reckoning, the ship of state drifts downstream.

In stable systems, individuals are replaceable parts. Republicanism as
constructed under Bush is a juggernaut that cannot afford to scrape an

click here to go to movie script

NOTE: juggernaut n. 1. Something, such as a belief or an
institution, that elicits blind and destructive devotion or to which people are
ruthlessly sacrificed.

The Republican scandals converge on operators who are the center of the
oligarchy. Their own relationships are complicated and tangled. But the outcome of the scandals affecting these major actors will inevitably unravel the Republican project. Tom DeLay was indicted by a Texas grand jury for money laundering of corporate contributions through his political action committee, a crime that carries a life sentence. DeLay had resigned on Sept. 28 as House majority leader after being handed his first indictment for felony conspiracy. Even as DeLay proclaimed himself a victim of injustice -- "I am indicted just for the reason to make me step aside as majority leader" -- he proclaimed that he would rule "with or without the title."

As DeLay shouts defiance, federal prosecutors close in on one of
DeLay's "closest and dearest friends," Jack Abramoff, whose largess to DeLay over the years, including lavish trips to Korea and Britain, are part of the investigation. Abramoff's bilking of millions from Indian tribes has brought other Republican figures, including lobbyist Grover Norquist, a key DeLay advisor, and Ralph Reed, a central character in the religious right, under legal scrutiny.

At the same time, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigating the
exposure by senior administration officials of the identity of CIA operative
Valerie Plame, has completed his inquiry by receiving the testimony of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, and must issue any indictments before his grand jury expires on Oct. 28. Within the White House, Karl Rove, feverishly mustering wavering conservative support for Bush's nomination of his personal lawyer and White House legal counsel, Harriet Miers, to the Supreme Court, awaits.

Bush never much liked DeLay. DeLay criticized Bush's father, for which there can be no forgiveness, and he criticized him, too. When DeLay wanted to slash the earned-income tax credit, Gov. Bush, beginning his presidential campaign in 1999 and seeking to establish his bona fides as a compassionate conservative," said DeLay wanted to balance the budget "on the backs of the poor."

DeLay, the former exterminator from Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston, who had called the Environmental Protection Agency "the Gestapo," had risen from the Texas Legislature to the U.S. Congress. Once known for his boisterous reveling as "Hot Tub" Tom, he became born again, and his right-wing politics always had a forbidding punitive undercurrent. When he became Republican whip, he hung a whip on his office wall. He relished his nickname, "the Hammer." Asked to put out his cigar in a restaurant because it violated the nonsmoking rule, he bellowed, "I
am the federal government."

DeLay never really respected Newt Gingrich, who had led the Republicans out of their 40-year wilderness to control of Congress and become speaker of the House. Despite Gingrich's penchant for vituperative personal attacks on Democrats, DeLay thought he was soft. There was something of the lost boy about Gingrich, who collected dinosaur bones, loved to visit zoos and speculated about outer space. DeLay also felt that Gingrich had fallen under the seductive spell of President Clinton and conceded too much to him. DeLay plotted coups against Gingrich and finally succeeded after the Republicans lost seats in the 1998 midterm elections. DeLay worried that Gingrich would weaken in the struggle to impeach and remove Clinton, and because of Gingrich's mistress on the House payroll, which made him doubly vulnerable. DeLay coerced House Republicans to impeach Clinton, threatening moderates that he would fund primary opponents and deny them advantageous committee assignments. Without DeLay, there would have
been no impeachment. After the Senate acquitted Clinton, DeLay preached at his local church that Clinton had been impeached because he had "the wrong worldview." The center of DeLay's operation was the K Street Project, the pay-for-play system by which businesses and lobbyists kicked back to the Republican Party in exchange for legislation. He kept a little black book noting which lobbyists were good and which were bad, who deserved favors and who punishment. One reporter, believing that the story about the black book was apocryphal, (exaggerated) asked DeLay, who proudly showed it to him.

Tom DeLay's House of Shame

Of all the lobbyists on the good list, Jack Abramoff ranked at the top.
Abramoff's provenance as a scion of Beverly Hills, Calif., could not have been
more fortuitous for a career in the Republican Party. His father was president of the Diners Club franchises, owned by Alfred Bloomingdale, a member of Ronald Reagan's kitchen cabinet. Abramoff parlayed his connections and money into a campaign that gained him the chairmanship of the College Republicans in 1981, Year 1 of the Reagan era.

Abramoff's campaign manager was a radical right-winger named Grover Norquist, and the two of them recruited a zealous younger activist to carry out their orders, Ralph Reed.

Reed required College Republicans to recite a speech from the movie "Patton," replacing the word "Nazis" with "Democrats": "The Democrats are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood! Shoot them in the belly!"



Pages 3 The political potential of evangelical churches

Norquist was the first to point out the political potential of evangelical
churches to Reed, imagining that they could be turned into Republican
clubhouses. During the week of George H.W. Bush's inauguration, Reed
encountered Pat Robertson, the right-wing televangelist, who recruited him on the spot to run the Christian Coalition. "I want to be invisible," Reed
explained. "I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You
don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election
night." Norquist himself underwent a metamorphosis from gadfly to player with the Republican takeover of Congress. His Wednesday meeting became a place where conservative groups from the National Rifle Association to the Christian Coalition plotted strategy. Norquist opened it up to lobbyists, who paid exorbitant fees to be part of the action. They, too, were then coordinated. Norquist was especially close to Gingrich, a relationship he used to build up his own lobbying business behind front groups such as Americans for Tax Reform. Once Gingrich was toppled, Norquist used Abramoff to link him tightly to DeLay.

Karl Rove, whose political career began as chairman of the College Republicans in 1971, was well acquainted with the Abramoff circle for years by the time he began planning George W. Bush's presidential campaign. He was not enamored of anti-tax crusader Norquist, who had made a grandstand gesture of assailing Gov. Bush in the mid-1990s for suggesting raising taxes to support schools. But, for the campaign, Rove made peace with him.

In 1997, Reed left the Christian Coalition to found his own lobbying firm,
Century Strategies. He sent Abramoff an e-mail: "Hey, now that I'm done with the electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I'm
counting on you to help me with some contacts." Rove soon recruited Reed for the upcoming Bush campaign, setting him up as a consultant for Enron.

When Sen. John McCain defeated Bush in the Republican primary in New
Hampshire, Reed came into play. South Carolina was Armageddon. Suddenly, McCain was beset by a series of vicious accusations, including racial slurs about an adopted daughter and dirty tricks.

Marshall Wittman, who had worked as director of the Christian Coalition under Reed, had joined McCain's staff, though Reed had attempted to bring him along to the Bush campaign. "Ralph was very, very, very close to Rove," Wittman told me. "Ralph asked me in 1997 if I wanted to work on the Bush campaign. Rove was operating everything. Rove parked Ralph at Enron. Ralph told me before the New Hampshire primary that he would do what it took to eliminate McCain as an opponent if he posed a challenge to Bush. He would do whatever it took, that means below the radar, paint his face. Ralph has a dual personality, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, charming in public and then ruthless and vicious."

Abramoff grew ever closer to DeLay, helping DeLay's former aides who had
become lobbyists, who also assisted his business. Abramoff took millions from various Indian tribes and then lobbied against them so they would pay him more. Norquist complained to Abramoff about a "$75K hole in my budget from last year," and his pal put him in the deal. Reed was hired to use the
religious right to campaign against the casino that the Tigua tribe had
contracted Abramoff to help them open. Meanwhile, Abramoff forced the Choctaw tribe, another client, to kick back $1.5 million to the Alabama Christian Coalition. Norquist acted as the go-between for the money, funneling it ultimately to Reed's efforts.

Eventually, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee exposed the various scams; it does not seem ironic that the committee's chairman is McCain. Soon, the
Justice Department was investigating. Norquist and Reed have both appeared in front of the grand jury. Reed is running for lieutenant governor of Georgia. "Ralph has notions he'll be president of the United States," said Wittman.

Abramoff is under investigation by a grand jury in Guam for illegal contracts
and money laundering and another grand jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In that case, a former business partner in the SunCruz casino boat company with whom Abramoff had had a dispute was allegedly murdered by three hit men, who have been indicted for the crime. Abramoff's business partner Adam Kidan made payments from company funds of $30,000 to one of the killers' daughters, who performed no services for the company, and $115,000 to a firm the hit man owned. Reportedly, Abramoff is not under suspicion for the murder, but he was indicted in August for bank fraud in the case.

Last month, another player in the ring was arrested -- David Safavian, a Bush White House official, director of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, in charge of overseeing $300 billion in federal contracts. Safavian had been Abramoff's lobbying partner in the mid-1990s before he became Norquist's lobbying partner. Before he was elevated to his sensitive post in the White House, he had been chief of staff at the General Services Administration, where he tried to help Abramoff grab two federal properties in Washington. On Wednesday, Safavian was indicted on five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. (Safavian's wife, Jennifer, is chief counsel on the House Government Operations Committee, overseeing the investigation into the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.)

Meanwhile, the grand jury in the Valerie Plame case prepares to conclude its
work. In August, it called Rove's assistant Susan Ralston to testify. As it
happens, she had formerly been Abramoff's assistant. And it was revealed that before she allowed people to meet with Rove, she cleared them with Norquist. Rove, for his part, often used Abramoff and Norquist as his conduits to DeLay.

Now all the investigations are coming to a climax. Will it mean the decline
and fall of the Rovean empire? "Rove is the ultimate center of everything,"
said Wittman. "All roads lead to Rove. If it's Rove, everything collapses.
People say there is no indispensable man. That's not true."

But more than the fate of one man or even a ring around him is at stake. For
decades, conservatives created a movement to capture the Republican Party and remake it in their image. Under Bush, Republicanism as a system dominates.

With astonishing arrogance and bravado, the Republican oligarchy wired
politics and business so that they would always win. But in believing that
they actually possessed absolute power they have overreached. Now their
project teeters on the brink.



The president he got his wars
folks don't know just what it's for;
No one gives us a rhyme or reason
have one doubt they call it treason. -
Eugene McDaniels

About the writer - Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Clinton and the author of "The Clinton Wars," is writing a column for Salon and the Guardian of London.

also read Shipwrecked

Bush has so thoroughly destroyed the Republican establishment that no one, not even his dad, can rescue him now.
By Sidney Blumenthal



Tuesday, October 25, 2005



I emailed my friend this morning, a comment regarding this article she had sent me...To my friend:

I am on pins and needles waiting for the whole story to BREAK! I heard that possibly tomorrow or Friday... we will then be hearing what is going on in Fitzgerald's head...

Good grief, I hope what he tells the world warrants a ticker tape parade... We need sanity to return to our country but even with its return we can't undo what these B*****ds did to us... that will take years and years to heal...if ever... but the scars will never fade...

Strange, I awoke this morning, with a sort of absurd thought... What if, this whole investigation goes further back than lying to get us into war... maybe 911 was contrived by this bunch of egomaniac ideologists, who would stop at nothing to get their screwy ideas turned into reality... Something you
and I had felt was very possible... HOLY COW, one million times... I still sort of, believe the 911 attack came with a wink and a nod by these fascists... but if they orchestrated it... our government and our way of life NEEDS SOME BIG OVERHAUL... Just rant from semi-paranoid me, Thinking Blue


JUST IN FROM CNN: US troop death toll in Iraq hits 2,000


Anti-War Protesters Mark '2000 Soldiers Dead' Milestone


Go to Original

Bush at Bay: Fitzgerald Looks at Niger Forgeries
By Martin Walker

Monday 24 October 2005

Washington - The CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House
aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African
uranium that started the investigation, according to NAT0 intelligence

This suggests the inquiry by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald
into the leaking of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame
has now widened to embrace part of the broader question about the way
the Iraq war was justified by the Bush administration.

Fitzgerald's inquiry is expected to conclude this week and despite
feverish speculation in Washington, there have been no leaks about his
decision whether to issue indictments and against whom and on what

Two facts are, however, now known and between them they do not bode
well for the deputy chief of staff at the White House, Karl Rove,
President George W Bush's senior political aide, not for Vice President
Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The first is that Fitzgerald last year sought and obtained from the
Justice Department permission to widen his investigation from the leak
itself to the possibility of cover-ups, perjury and obstruction of
justice by witnesses. This has renewed the old saying from the days of
the Watergate scandal, that the cover-up can be more legally and
politically dangerous than the crime.

The second is that NATO sources have confirmed to United Press
International that Fitzgerald's team of investigators has sought and
obtained documentation on the forgeries from the Italian government.

Fitzgerald's team has been given the full, and as yet unpublished
report of the Italian parliamentary inquiry into the affair, which
started when an Italian journalist obtained documents that appeared to
show officials of the government of Niger helping to supply the Iraqi
regime of Saddam Hussein with Yellowcake uranium. This claim, which made
its way into President Bush's State of the Union address in January,
2003, was based on falsified documents from Niger and was later
withdrawn by the White House.

This opens the door to what has always been the most serious
implication of the CIA leak case, that the Bush administration could
face a brutally damaging and public inquiry into the case for war
against Iraq being false or artificially exaggerated. This was the same
charge that imperiled the government of Bush's closest ally, British
Prime Minister Tony Blair, after a BBC Radio program claimed Blair's
aides has "sexed up" the evidence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

There can be few more serious charges against a government than
going to war on false pretenses, or having deliberately inflated or
suppressed the evidence that justified the war. (AMEN - jc)

And since no WMD were found in Iraq after the 2003 war, despite the
evidence from the U.N. inspections of the 1990s that demonstrated that
Saddam Hussein had initiated both a nuclear and a biological weapons
program, the strongest plank in the Bush administration's case for war
has crumbled beneath its feet.

The reply of both the Bush and Blair administrations was that they
made their assertions about Iraq's WMD in good faith, and that other
intelligence agencies like the French and German were equally mistaken
in their belief that Iraq retained chemical weapons, along with the
ambition and some of technological basis to restart the nuclear and
biological programs.

It is this central issue of good faith that the CIA leak affair
brings into question. The initial claims Iraq was seeking raw uranium in
the west African state of Niger aroused the interest of vice-president
Cheney, who asked for more investigation. At a meeting of CIA and other
officials, a CIA officer working under cover in the office that dealt
with nuclear proliferation, Valerie Plame, suggested her husband, James
Wilson, a former ambassador to several African states, enjoyed good
contacts in Niger and could make a preliminary inquiry. He did so, and
returned concluding that the claims were untrue. In July 2003, he wrote
an article for The New York Times making his mission - and his disbelief
- public.

But by then Elisabetta Burba, a journalist for the Italian magazine
Panorama (owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi) had been contacted
by a "security consultant" named Rocco Martoni, offering to sell
documents that "proved" Iraq was obtaining uranium in Niger for $10,000.
Rather than pay the money, Burba's editor passed photocopies of the
documents to the U.S. Embassy, which forwarded them to Washington, where
the forgery was later detected. Signatures were false, and the
government ministers and officials who had signed them were no longer in
office on the dates on which the documents were supposedly written.

Nonetheless, the forged documents appeared, on the face of it, to
shore up the case for war, and to discredit Wilson. The origin of the
forgeries is therefore of real importance, and any link between the
forgeries and Bush administration aides would be highly damaging and
almost certainly criminal. (What are the odds that there was no "link"?
We KNOW better! jc)

The letterheads and official seals that appeared to authenticate the
documents apparently came from a burglary at the Niger Embassy in Rome
in 2001. At this point, the facts start dribbling away into conspiracy
theories that involve membership of shadowy Masonic lodges, Iranian
go-betweens, right-wing cabals inside Italian Intelligence and so on. It
is not yet known how far Fitzgerald, in his two years of inquiries, has
fished in these murky waters. (OH, WOW! jc)

There is one line of inquiry with an American connection that
Fitzgerald would have found it difficult to ignore. This is the claim
that a mid-ranking Pentagon official, Larry Franklin, held talks with
some Italian intelligence and defense officials in Rome in late 2001.
Franklin has since been arrested on charges of passing classified
information to staff of the pro-Israel lobby group, the American-Israel
Public Affairs Committee. Franklin has reportedly reached a plea bargain
with his prosecutor, Paul McNulty, and it would be odd if McNulty and
Fitzgerald had not conferred to see if their inquiries connected.

Where all this leads will not be clear until Fitzgerald breaks his
silence, widely expected to occur this week when the term of his grand
jury expires. (I'm dying here of anticipation! jc)

If Fitzgerald issues indictments, then the hounds that are currently
baying across the blogosphere will leap into the mainstream media and
whole affair, Iranian go-betweens and Rome burglaries included, will
come into the mainstream of the mass media and network news where Mr.
and Mrs. America can see it. (Wooo-hooo! IMAGINE THAT! All these folks
that have kept their heads in the sand watching coverage of dead blonds
and hurricanes!)

If Fitzgerald issues no indictments, the matter will not simply die
away, in part because the press is now hotly engaged, after the new
embarrassment of the Times over the imprisonment of the paper's Judith
Miller. There is also an uncomfortable sense that the press had given
the Bush administration too easy a ride after 9/11. And the Bush team is
now on the ropes and its internal discipline breaking down, making it an
easier target.

Then there is a separate Senate Select Intelligence Committee
inquiry under way, and while the Republican chairman Pat Roberts of
Kansas seems to be dragging his feet, the ranking Democrat, Jay
Rockefeller of West Virginia, is now under growing Democratic Party
pressure to pursue this question of falsifying the case for war.

And last week, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (MY MAN! jc), D-Ohio,
introduced a resolution to require the president and secretary of state
to furnish to Congress documents relating to the so-called White House
Iraq Group. Chief of staff Andrew Card formed the WHIG task force in
August 2002 - seven months before the invasion of Iraq, and Kucinich
claims they were charged "with the mission of marketing a war in Iraq."

The group included: Rove, Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Karen Hughes,
Mary Matalin and Stephen Hadley (now Bush's national security adviser)
and produced white papers that put into dramatic form the intelligence
on Iraq's supposed nuclear threat. WHIG launched its media blitz in
September 2002, six months before the war. Rice memorably spoke of the
prospect of "a mushroom cloud," and Card revealingly explained why he
chose September, saying "From a marketing point of view, you don't
introduce new products in August."

The marketing is over but the war goes on. The press is baying and
the law closes in. The team of Bush loyalists in the White House is
demoralized and braced for disaster.


They Are Not Numbers

By Cindy Sheehan
Saturday 22 October 2005

I received this email the other day. I have removed the names:

Dear Ms. Sheehan

I wasn't sure how else to contact you, so am sending this thru the
gsfp website. I just want to thank you for posting your essay entitled
"A Peaceful Day," dated October 17th on the website,
a site I visit every weekday.

My cousin, "brave soldier," 30, originally of Indiana, was one of
the five US soldiers killed on Saturday, October 15th - Iraq's
"peaceful day." He is survived by his wife, his two children, his
parents, his sister, our grandma, his aunt, his two uncles and his two
cousins. We are currently awaiting confirmation per DNA

I thank you for taking notice. The loss of his life and that of his
comrades does not make for a peaceful day - may their souls will rest
in peace.

Thank you for your efforts.

I received this email today from a distraught Gold Star Mother:


I have so many questions ... How I do I stop the vulgar pain in my
chest? How do I do this? How I do I continue to breathe but cannot
live? How do I do this? How do I keep my soul in my body? How do I do
this? How do I close my eyes wondering if sleep should come but yet
knowing if I sleep I will awaken to know this is not a nightmare but
my life? How do I do this? How do I love someone with my very being
but cannot ever hold him again? How do I do this? How do I go on
without that sweet face that brought more joy to my life than I ever
deserve - never to be seen by my eyes again? How do I do this? How do
I stop the scream that no one hears but me? How do I do this? PLEASE
TELL ME ... how do I live without my child, my son, my heart, my soul,
my joy, my validation to my life ... Please tell me ... how do I do
this? How does the world go on without Steven ... how do I do this?

I received this email yesterday from a mom who doesn't "qualify"
to be a Gold Star Mother (from the other org., she does belong to GSFP)
because her son committed suicide. He suffered horribly from PTSD.

Hi, He (Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Ma) was asked about his five boys, and his
answer was that they were grown, with families, and they made their
own choices. He then reminded everyone that our children chose to
enlist. Aggressively recruited would be a better phrase. And then not
told the truth, only to discover like my son that he had made a big
mistake. He went on to say that he had attended all the funerals.
Kevin said simple, no you haven't ... Both Kevin and Debbie felt that
the wall was up and that no change of attitude would be forthcoming
from our Bush "yes" man. On the positive side, his chief of staff
spoke to Kevin privately about veteran affairs and that they would
like to improve the system.

I find that I can't get Jeffrey out of my mind. I can see him at
11-12 years old jumping in the car, when I'd pick him up at a friends.
It's so real ... it's almost like you can reach out and touch him.
What a world of hell this administration has put us in. One we will
live in all the rest of our days ...

The 2000th tragically appalling death of American troops is,
unfortunately, coming up rapidly in Iraq.

The official death count today from the War Department's Casualty
site is 1992. The toll could reach 2000 within a couple of days.

Of the 1992, 13 are pending notification. I have written about
"pending notification" before. 13 families are going through their
normal lives today not even knowing that the other shoe is about to
drop. They have been worrying about their loved one for days, weeks, or
even months. Some of them may know that 11 of our children have been
killed in the last 2 days, and they may be anxiously awaiting news. Will
it be their lives destroyed today? Or is it another family who was
randomly picked by the universe to suffer this violent assault on their

There are so many people in our country today who are happily
certain that their lives are not about to be turned upside down because
their darling child will be killed in a meaningless war. This would
include every member of this criminal administration and Congress and
every person who puts headphones on and spews right-wing hate from their
mouths. Not one of these people who mostly support the war, either out-spokenly,
or tacitly by their silence in not calling for an end to the occupation
of Iraq, have any idea of the horror of lying awake at night worried
about your wonderful child, or walking around all day with an icy-cold
stomach because you heard that soldiers were killed in Iraq today.

We know that George Bush and his supporters, who are crumbling
like 3-day-old sugar cookies, care not one whit about the people they
have sent to die and kill innocent people in Iraq. We know that George,
Dick, Condi (who I believe is the Deputy Secretary of War ... she never
thinks of the Diplomatic solution), Donny (in charge of the killing
department), and the rest will never admit that they made a mistake,
because guess what, folks? Things are going just as they have planned in
Iraq! They are happy as clams in their shells that things are in chaos
and turmoil in the Middle East. That means that they and their partners
in crime can rake in more money, rape Iraq of its resources and empty
our treasury of money and our communities of future leaders.

The little vignettes of pain that I have shared with you are just
3 stories out of millions. Out of the tens of thousands of mothers in
Iraq who have had their children killed, how many of them remember their
baby boy or pre-teen child with their innocent eyes reflected with the
mom's hopes and dreams of their future?

Casey had such a bright future ahead of him. Someone asked me the
other day what I miss about him the most. I just miss him. I miss
everything about him. I miss his presence on this planet. I miss his
naïve joy and heartbreaking hope for the future. I miss his future and I
remember his past with love and pain.

On the sorrowful day of the 2000th soldier killed, I am sure
there will be candlelight vigils all over the country to honor the ones
who have been killed. That is nice, but that doesn't help bring our
other troops home or insure the safety of the Iraqi people.

On the day of the 2000th, I will be in DC. I will go to the White
House. Our house. I will sit on the sidewalk again and demand that the
war criminals who live and work in there bring our troops home. I
suggest, instead of candlelight vigils and singing "Give Peace a
Chance," every person who cares about ending the immorality of the
occupation of Iraq take signs and their presence to their Congressional
offices near them and demand that each and every Congress person do
everything in his/her power to bring our precious lifeblood home from
the nightmare. It is time to get peacefully radical.

The day of the wrought-with-voting-fraud constitutional
referendum in Iraq, George said:

"Democracies are peaceful countries."

Let's hold him and our other elected officials accountable for
that hypocritical statement. If George won't make it so, we must!

Our young people aren't numbers. Our young people are confined to
early graves because of criminals who should be confined to prison, who
are profiting handsomely from the undeclared mess in Iraq. The Iraqi
people are less than numbers. If they are counted or thought of at all,
they are very often wrongly counted as "insurgents," when they are
children and women.

If mere numbers will wake America up, think of Dr. and Mrs. Death
(Donny and Condi) when they say that this occupation could last at least
a dozen or more years.

What number are you comfortable with? One was too much for me.

Women Call For Peace Upon 2000th US Death in Iraq


Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

C.D. in D.C.

2000, Why?

Not One More

A message from Cindy Sheehan

Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes
lawless and corrupt. Mahatma Gandhi

Unfortunately the 2000th American death in Iraq is tragically coming
up too soon. In addition to the wasted young lives in Iraq, 246 of our
brave men and women have been killed in Afghanistan. Our troops and the
war in Afghanistan get even less attention than Iraq, if possible.

I am in Washington, DC now and along with a coalition of peace groups
and local activists, we will be holding vigils at the White House for
the rest of the week from 12 noon to 8 PM.

Each day we will be passing out black wrist bands and we will have
each person who picks one up write a KIA troops' name and number on it.
Each wrist band will also stand for 50 innocent Iraqis killed. Everyday
at 6 PM we will have a "die-in." We will ask everyone who is present at
6 PM to lie down and represent a dead soldier. At that point, the park
police will give us 3 warnings before they arrest us. We are not
encouraging people; to get arrested is a very personal decision. I am
planning to not get up on the day after the 2000th soldier is killed. I
may be arrested. Then when they let me out, I will go back and lie back
down. We in America have let this criminal administration get away with
murder for too long. Enough is enough. It's time to start practicing
non-violent civil disobedience (C.D.) on a large scale.

On Tuesday the 25th we will be fasting for the length of the vigil in
solidarity with the hardships that Americans and Iraqis are enduring on
a daily basis. We are asking America to fast in solidarity with us.

On Wednesday the 26th at 10:30 AM, we will be going to Arlington
Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then to the
White House for our vigil.

On Thursday the 27th at 10:30 AM we will be delivering a wreath and
signed sympathy cards to the Iraqi Embassy. We are asking people who
come out to our vigil on the Lafayette Park side to bring sympathy
cards. Then to the White House for our vigil.

On Friday the 28th at 10:30 AM we will be delivering flowers and get
well wishes to Walter Reed Hospital and we are asking people to bring
get well cards to our vigil. Then off to the White House for our vigil.

Tomorrow I will be calling on President Bush to answer my original
question: "What Noble Cause?" There is absolutely no noble cause. Our
children and the Iraqi people are dying and suffering for no cause
except for power and money greedy criminals.

The numbers are staggering. More American soldiers have been KIA in
the first 32 months of Iraq so far then in the first 4 years of Vietnam.
This isn't another Vietnam people, this is worse.

We cannot allow the people who are running our country to keep on
running it into the ground.

It is time to exercise our sacred duty as human beings.

Let's get peacefully radical.


Prepare to mark the 2000th US service member's
death in Iraq

by cleveland imc Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005 at 1:02 AM

If the trend continues, October 25th (give or take a day) will mark
the 2000th
U.S. Service member to perish in the current Iraqi war. Groups prepare vigils and actions that illustrate the size of the death toll.

Medbh Sings ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~






CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I have often wondered how the very rich of this world can glance at the impoverished, then look away and spend their megabucks on sumptuous luxuries that only they can enjoy. Yes, it really boils down to, just a few very greedy individuals using up the earth's resources and it's worse than disgusting, it's PROFANE. This is sad to put it mildly but what is even sadder is the fact, I believe, that it will never end. This world will always have poverty, and plenty of it, as long as there are people who lust after wealth and are willing to ignore or use those born into poverty as pawns, slaves or just big opportunities or nuisances to their plight of gathering and maintaining their riches.

Below is a very witty and very sarcastic essay written by one of my favorite internet bloggers, Mark Morford. He illustrates how selfish an American family can be with their idea of what they call God's Gift... not to mention how obscene. I have also included a small article on abject poverty. ThinkingBlue

PS: WARNING - You must possess a form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of ridicule, to enjoy this article... Amen


God Does Not Want 16 Kids

Arkansas mom gives birth to a whole freakin' baseball team. How deeply
should you cringe?

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Click to ViewClick to View
Who are you to judge? Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that's right 16 kids and try
not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?

And furthermore, who are you to suggest that her equally troubling husband -- whose name is, of course, Jim Bob and he's hankerin' to be a Republican senator and try not to wince in
sociopolitical pain when you say that -- isn't more than a little numb to the real world, and that bringing 16 hungry mewling attention-deprived kids (and she wants more! Yay!) into this exhausted world zips right by "touching" and races right past "disturbing" and lurches its way, heaving and gasping and sweating from the karmic armpits, straight into "Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you people?"

But that would be, you know, mean. Mean and callous to suggest that this might be the most disquieting photo you see all year, this bizarre Duggar family of 18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair, the kids ranging in ages from 1 to 17, worse than those

nuked Smurfs in that UNICEF commercial
and worse than all the horrific rubble in Pakistan and worse than the cluster-bomb nightmare that is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise having a child as they suck the skin from each other's Scientological faces and even worse than that huge 13-foot
python which ate that six-foot alligator and then exploded.

It's wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a
bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?

Is it wrong to notice how all the Duggar kids' names start with the letter J (Jeremiah and Josiah and Jedediah and Jesus, someone please stop them), and that if you study the above photo (or the even more disturbing family Web site) too closely you will become rashy and depressed and
you will crave large quantities of alcohol and loud aggressive music to deflect the creeping feeling that this planet is devolving faster than you can suck the contents from a large bong? But I'm not judging.

I have a friend who used to co-babysit (yes, it required two sitters) for a family of 10 kids, and she reports that they were, almost without fail, manic and hyper and bewildered and attention deprived in the worst way, half of them addicted to prescription meds to calm their neglected
nerves and the other half bound for years of therapy due to complete loss of having the slightest clue as to who they actually were, lost in the family crowd, just another blank, needy face at the table. Is this the guaranteed affliction for every child of very large families? Of course not. But I'm guessing it's more common than you imagine.

What's more, after the 10th kid popped out, the family doctor essentially prohibited the baby-addicted mother from having any more offspring, considering the pummeling endured by her various matronly systems, and it's actually painful to imagine the logistics, the toll on Michelle Duggar's body, the ravages it has endured to give birth to roughly one child per year for nearly two decades, and you cannot help but wonder about her body and its various biological and sexual ... no, no, it is not for this space to visualize frighteningly capacious vaginal dimensions. It is not for this space to imagine this couple's soggy sexual mutations. We do not have enough wine on hand for that.

Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the
homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

Where is, in other words, the funky tattooed intellectual poetess who, along with her genius anarchist husband, is popping out 16 funky progressive intellectually curious fashion-forward pagan offspring to answer the Duggar's squad of über-white future Wal-Mart shoppers? Where
is the liberal, spiritualized, pro-sex flip side? Verily I say unto thee, it ain't lookin' good.

Perhaps this the scariest aspect of our squishy birthin' tale: Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious
sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation. Is that an oversimplification?

Why does this sort of thoughtfulness seem so far from the norm? Why is having a stadiumful of offspring still seen as some sort of happy joyous thing?

You already know why. It is the Biggest Reason of All. Children are, after all, God's little gifts. Kids are little blessings from the Lord, the Almighty's own screaming spitballs of joy. Hell, Jim Bob said so himself, when asked if the couple would soon be going for a 17th rug rat: "We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them." This is what he actually said. And God did not strike him dead on the spot.

Let us be clear: I don't care what sort of God you believe in, it's a safe bet that hysterical breeding does not top her list of desirables. God does not want more children per acre than there are ants or mice or garter snakes or repressed pedophilic priests. We already have three billion humans on the planet who subsist on less than two dollars a day. Every other child in the world (one billion of them) lives in abject poverty.

Being of the most miserable kind; wretched:
abject poverty.

We are burning through the planet's resources faster than a Republican can eat an endangered caribou stew. Note to Michelle Duggar: If God wanted you to have a massive pile of children, she'd have given your uterus a hydraulic pump and a revolving door. Stop it now.

Ah, but this is America, yes? People should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want with their families if they can afford it and if it's within the law and so long as they aren't gay or deviant or happily flouting Good Christian Values, right? Shouldn't they? Hell, gay couples
still can't openly adopt a baby in most states (they either lie, or one adopts and the other must apply as "co-parent"), but Michelle Duggar can pop out 16 kids and no one says, oh my freaking God, stop it, stop it now, you thoughtless, selfish, baby-drunk people.

No, no one says that. That would be mean.

Abject poverty rails against ostentatious riches

Poverty entails untold misery upon the earth. Life gives nothing at all
to countless millions of children that are born and condemns them at the
very moment of their birth to live in physical and moral wretchedness.
They are born for sorrow and suffering. Life does not hold many happy days
for them. The shadow of destitution hangs over their hovels. Fierce and
remorseless is their struggle to win their daily bread. Starvation stares
in their eyes. From sunrise to sunset they are on their legs for the
merest pittance. Soaked in sweat, they toil and moil with their stooped
shoulders and shrunken bodies. They have many more mouths to feed than the
scanty food they have in the larder. They go to bed hungry on many more
nights than filled. They lay on their beds of mattress or on bare floor at
night. They snuggle together in a blanket, if they have one and whimper.

The poor in this world of plenty are in perpetual agony. Abject poverty
mercilessly grinds down the masses. They have no wherewithal to lodge and
clothe and feed and are without the barest means of sustaining life. The
starving mothers could not give their breasts to their children. They
slave all their lives, yet know not the joys of wholesome existence. The
cold wind and frost of poverty withers them. Desperate is their plight and
slowly do they starve to death. Condemned to live in the midst of dirt and
filth and disease, they die of starvation and they die neglected. Famine
and plague kill them like flies. Harrowing are the stories of the
destitute. No wonder the poor everywhere are embittered against the whole

Click here for Alabama poor

The mother earth can nourish with ease all that live upon her gentle
bosom. Science and machine can make the world a good place to live
in for every man and woman and child
. They can relieve all men
and children of undue hard labor and drudgery and leave them leisure to
develop their mind. Mass production by machine can provide something for
everyone in the world. Yet countless millions starve in the midst of
plenty and are haunted by the specter of destitution. Man's
maladjustments bring starvation for swarming millions and fattening in
unbounded luxuries for a small number of parasites. Life to those
who amass colossal fortunes by corrupt means is a perpetual revel. They
feed fastidiously and live luxuriously. They use their riches in riotous

Click here

Thou Ahura Mazda, hast made the poor and the rich of common clay. Thou
hast not made the rich of gold dust. Thou hast not ordained that the
kernel should be for the rich and the husks should be for poor. Sad is the
spectacle of poverty increasing in the world with the advancement of
civilization. O Thou our Eternal Guide on the path of progress, lead
erring mankind to make poverty, in the light of new knowledge only a
cursed memory.


The serious side of sex: fpa celebrates 75 years of achievement 1930-2005


I am the mother of 12 children, nine of whom are living. I am only
40 and live in dread of having any more, which for the sake of the others
I can't afford to keep. My health has been taxed to the utmost and my baby
is just two … I dread my husband touching me … a little
advice would do a lot of good, my life up to now has been one big

This was the reality of sexual health in 1930 when many lives were ruined by constant childbearing and relationships blighted by fear and ignorance about sex. Click Here

Click here to read article


Republican majority Senate again Rejects Minimum Wage Hike

(AP) Senate proposals to raise the minimum wage were rejected Wednesday, making it unlikely that the lowest allowable wage, $5.15 an hour since 1997, will rise in the foreseeable future.

A labor-backed measure by Sen. Edward Kennedy would have raised the minimum to $6.25 over an 18-month period. A Republican counterproposal would have combined the same $1.10 increase with various breaks and exemptions for small businesses.

The Kennedy amendment to a spending bill went down 51-47, and the GOP alternative 57-42. Under a Senate agreement, they would have needed 60 votes for approval.

Kennedy, D-Mass., said Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the depth of poverty in the country and he pointed out that a single parent with two children working a minimum wage earns $10,700 a year, $4,500 below the poverty line.

He said it was "absolutely unconscionable" that in the same period that Congress has denied a minimum wage increase, lawmakers have voted themselves seven pay raises worth $28,000.

But Republican opponents, echoing the arguments of business groups, said higher minimum wages can work against the poor if they force small businesses to cut payrolls or go out of business.

"Mandated hikes in the minimum wage do not cure poverty and they clearly do not create jobs," said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who offered the Republican alternative.

Kennedy noted after the vote that three of the four Republicans who supported his amendment — Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island — are up for re-election next year. "Candidates that are out campaigning know the power of this
issue," he said. The fourth Republican supporting Kennedy was Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, asked Wednesday about Kennedy's measure, said President Bush "believes that we should look at having a reasonable increase in the minimum wage. ... But we need to make sure that, as we do that, that it is not a step that hurts small business or prices people out of the job market."

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said minimum wage workers "deserve a pay raise — plain and simple — no strings attached."

"It is appalling that the same right-wing leaders in Congress who have given themselves seven pay raises since the last minimum wage increase have voted down the modest minimum wage increase proposed by the Kennedy amendment," he said in a statement.

Enzi's proposal would provide tax and regulatory relief for small business, permit tips to be credited in complying with minimum wage hikes and expand the small business exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

It also would have put into law a "flextime" system, opposed by organized labor as an assault on overtime pay, under which workers could work more in one week and take time off the next.

Both proposals, amendments to a fiscal 2006 spending bill, needed 60 votes to pass.

Kennedy, who has campaigned relentlessly for a minimum wage increase, picked up one vote from the 46 votes for a similar measure in March. On Tuesday he modified his proposal, which originally called for a $2.15 increase over 26 months, in hopes of attracting more Republicans.

The first minimum wage of 25 cents an hour was enacted under President Roosevelt in 1938. Congress has since voted eight times to increase it, including under Republican presidents Eisenhower, Ford and George H.W. Bush. Congress approved the last increase in 1996, with the second stage, boosting the rate to $5.15, taking effect in 1997.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than the national level, including Washington State at $7.35, according to the Labor Department. Twenty-six states are the same as the federal level; two — Ohio and Kansas — are below; and six do not have state

Also on Wednesday, Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, proposed adding $3.1 billion to the administration's $2 billion request this year for emergency heating assistance for low income families.

"We're about see a second tidal surge from Katrina and Rita," with rising energy costs, Reed said.

A vote could take place Thursday, with GOP leaders saying an emergency spending bill to be taken up soon was a better venue for the heating assistance debate.
©MMV The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use


Saturday, October 15, 2005



The medical community will indiscriminately medicate patients with substances that can and does kill us... while a safe one is deemed illegal by THE POWERS TO BE... I have long wondered why this safe drug was ever demonized by these same powers?

Did you ever wonder... that maybe it's, so the law has a reason to harass...?

Did you ever wonder... if it was because of some irrational political ideology (a similar type of ideology that got us into an unnecessary preempted war)?

Well perhaps the article below will answer some of your perplexing questions on WHY ALCOHOL IS LEGAL AND POT IS NOT... but read this recent article
Study turns pot wisdom on its head.
Calgary — Forget the stereotype about dopey potheads.

It seems marijuana could be good for your brain.

Rose, right, and Heidi Farnola enjoy pot yesterday at Marijuana Party
bookstore in Vancouver. Photo: Lyle Stafford/The
Globe and Mail


Why is Alcohol Legal and Marijuana Illegal?
by David Cable

In life, we are continuously surrounded by objects that can be harmful to
our health. We are also simultaneously around substances that can be
beneficial to our health. The question is—how do we know the difference?
Is it through media, the government, or our peers? There is always so much
hype about new foods and medicine that is supposedly healthy. Then some
new evidence arises and…oops we were wrong. The only way to really know is
through experience. People are so quick to make assumptions and believe
almost anything they hear. For this reason, I will try to answer my own
question—Why is alcohol legal and marijuana not?

The first area to be addressed is the drawbacks that alcohol carries. If I
were a man of assumptions I would assume that since alcohol is legal and
marijuana is not, then marijuana must be pretty dangerous. Only I don’t
like to assume anything. I spent most of my life in the presence of both
of these drugs (and more recently I have done quite a bit of research) and
I have yet to hear of a single overdose incident from marijuana. As for
alcohol…well, people get their stomach pumped everyday. In fact, about
50,000 reported cases of alcohol poisoning occur each year. It is
estimated that one person dies every week from alcohol poisoning. Alcohol
is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. When alcohol is ingested,
the first part of the brain that it affects is the frontal lobe—which
controls our motor functions, planning, and reasoning. This is why
people’s speech gets slurred, coordination is impaired, and bad decisions
are made. About 10% of people who use alcohol have problems in their lives
related to alcohol use. Around 90% of all assaults, 50% to 60% of all
murders, and over 50% of the rapes and sexual assaults on children are
alcohol-related. Alcoholics’ life expectancy is cut by an average of 10-12
years. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2002, an
estimated 120 million Americans (12 or older) reported being current
drinkers. That is just over half of the population. Also about 54 million
Americans participated in binge drinking at least once in the 30 days
prior to the survey. That comes out to 1 in 5 Americans over the age of
12. Over 33 million people (1 in 7) drove under the influence at least
once in the 12 months prior to the survey. In 2001 more than 6 million
children lived in a household where at least one of their parents abused
or was dependent on alcohol. In 2002, an estimated 18.6 million people
needed treatment for alcohol problems—2.2 million actually received
treatment (13, 14).

Looking at all of these numbers, I can not help but to think of a lifetime
of memories where alcohol was the source of infinite problems. Is alcohol
the real gateway drug? Has America made the assumption that—it’s legal, so
it can’t be that bad, or is it the classic-he did so I figured it would be
ok? At the same time, alcohol does have some positive aspects, doesn’t it?
It provides temporary relief of insomnia—even though there are over the
counter and prescription drugs for that. It helps people with high blood
pressure by thinning the blood. Wait a second; doesn’t aspirin do the same
thing? There are also prescription drugs for high blood pressure. When you
have a rough day it can help you forget your problems. Although, the next
day you will remember your problems and maybe even have a few new ones
accompanied with a headache from dehydration. Alcohol can help shy people
be more sociable, but they might do something a little too sociable and be
filled with regret the next day.

If all of this is true then why is alcohol still legal? The fact is—it is
part of our culture, a way of celebration. America would still continue to
drink if it was outlawed. It was made against the law and look what
happened—it went underground. This is exactly where marijuana is today. In
2002, about 54% of young adults (18-25) and 21% of youths (12-17) had
tried marijuana. In the month prior to the survey in 2002, about 14.6
million people smoked marijuana. Of that 14.6 million, 12.2% smoked on
300+ days out of the year. That is close to 3.1 million daily pot smokers.
In 2001, there were an estimated 2.6 million new users. That number has
nearly doubled in the last decade. So if this many people use it, why are
we wasting our time trying to catch all of these “criminals”? Why not turn
it into the capitalist-American way of life and legalize to make money and
quit trying to stop the inevitable? “Make the most of the Indian hemp
seed, and grow it everywhere.”—George Washington. “The greatest service
which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its
culture.”—Thomas Jefferson. This makes me wonder even more: why is it
illegal? Only history can answer this question (6, 13).

It all started in 1914 when a drunken white man was killed in El Paso,
Texas by a drunk and stoned Mexican. So they put the blame on the
marijuana—instead of the booze. Possession became illegal in El Paso
because of this incident. Then came the real problem—prohibitionist-Harry
J. Anslinger, the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He
believed that if the laws were tough enough, then America could do away
with alcohol. If enough people went to jail, eventually the public would
learn to behave. He then turned and applied this philosophy to begin
America’s famous “war on drugs”. He quickly realized that it would be
impossible to police 48 states with a “depression strapped budget”, so he
lobbied for the states to pass the Uniform Narcotics Law. Here comes the
propaganda. During the 20’s, marijuana caused “physical and mental ruin”.
In the 30’s it was “if you smoke it you will kill people”. When they all
finally signed, Anslinger was able to get Roosevelt to pass the Marijuana
Tax Act of 1937—without public debate, scientific inquiry, or political
objection. This prohibited the possession of marijuana in the United
States without a special tax stamp from the treasury department. Only the
treasury department never issued any stamps—oh and did I forget to mention
that Anslinger’s position was in the treasury department. Then to make
sure the public supported the law and to induce fear, the propaganda
continued to pour. In the 40’s, the public service announcement was
“marijuana: assassin of youth; causing violence, insanity, and murder”

There were still hopes though. The mayor of New York, Fiorello La Guardia
commissioned a six year, medical and sociological, study by 31 scientists
which finished in 1944. They found that “marijuana did not lead to
violent, antisocial behavior, or uncontrollable sexual urges. Smoking
marijuana did not alter a person’s basic personality structure.” This
commission “fully disproved every single negative effect ever claimed by
Harry J. Anslinger”. He was furious. So he used his influence with the
press to have the report discredited. He then destroyed every copy of the
report that he could get a hold of. As if this wasn’t enough, he put a
stop to any further research by restricting the supply of marijuana. Next,
he ordered his men to dig up dirt on anyone who opposed him. His next
target was the entertainment industry. In fear of trouble with the
government, Hollywood studios agreed to give Anslinger personal control
over all movie scripts that mention drugs. If he felt it was the wrong
message, he just banned the movie (6).

During the late 40’s and 50’s the new scare was heroin. This opened the
door for more propaganda—“if you smoke it you will become a heroin
addict”. This enabled Anslinger to assist Senator Boggs in getting the
Boggs Act of 1951 passed. This gave possession convictions mandatory
sentences. Their slogan—“behind every narcotics peddler there was a
communist preparing to over through our government.” How could they
actually believe this? Well, because drugs are “primarily” coming from
“red” China. If this wasn’t enough, Anslinger then persuaded Eisenhower to
push the Narcotics Control Act through congress in 1956. This put
marijuana in the same category as heroin. The sentence for a first
conviction was a mandatory 2 to 10 years. With these stiff penalties,
America needed more propaganda for justification. During the 60’s, it
was—if you smoke it, you will not only “withdraw from reality, lose all
motivation, and undermine national security,” but you will become a
“dysfunctional loser” (6).

Of course, those penalties couldn’t hold for too long. During the 60’s,
many people started thinking that the problem was not so much the
marijuana but the marijuana laws. “The use of the criminal law causes more
harm than the drug itself.”—Keith Stroup (founder of National Organization
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). The cover of a 60’s Newsweek magazine
read “Marijuana: Time to Change the Law?” This spawned the Controlled
Substances Act of 1970, which eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing and
effectively reduced penalties for possession of marijuana. Then the Ann
Arbor (Michigan) City Ordinance of 1972 was passed making possession a
minor offence equal to a parking ticket. A year later, Oregon became the
first state to pass a decriminalization law. Four years after, a study was
done that showed no increase in marijuana use and a substantial savings in
tax dollars normally spent on law enforcement. By this time nine other
states had decriminalized marijuana, but the war still had a long way to
go (6).

The next tough soldier in the “war on drugs” was President Nixon.

President Richard M. Nixon sniffs out a sample of confiscated marijuana
in a scene from Unapix Films'
Grass - 2000

First, he launched “operation intercept”. Since it was off-time from war, he used
the military to do what was officially called the largest search and
seizure operation. He put people all along the Mexican border to stop the
marijuana. After about three weeks of wasted time and money, the operation
was abandoned. So Nixon poured the money into police drug training. At
this time the propaganda was—if you smoke it “bad things will happen” (but
we don’t know what they are). Nixon wanted to find out what these bad
things were so he used millions of dollars to set up the National
Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. After strenuous testing the
commission put out their first report. It concluded that “marijuana did
not cause crime. Current laws against marijuana led to selective
prosecution. The police were suspected of using these laws to arrest
people with objectionable hairstyles, skin color, or politics. The
enormous costs of trying to enforce laws against marijuana overwhelmingly
outweighed any deterrent value of these laws. In conclusion, private use
and possession should not be a criminal act.” Just to give you an idea of
the “enormous costs” of the “war on drugs” mentioned above—

1937-1947=$220 million

1948-1963=$1.5 billion

1964-1969=$9 billion

1970-1977=$76 billion

1980-1998=$214.7 billion

This was the most comprehensive and highly publicized study of marijuana
ever done. When Nixon got the feedback with the report, he became very
angry and tossed the report in his wastebasket without ever reading it.
Doing the exact opposite of what was recommended; Nixon formed the Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA). This combined all of the anti-drug agencies into
one super agency. With over 4000 agents and analysts, the DEA had the
authority to “request wire taps, enter private homes without knocking, and
to gather intelligence on ordinary citizens” (6).

Things began to look up when Jimmy Carter took office. He was openly for
decriminalization. He wanted to end federal criminal penalties for
possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. Then a man named Peter Bourne
(one of Carter’s appointments) got caught up in a cocaine scandal and
ruined it. Carter could no longer afford to appear soft on drugs. His
proposal to decriminalize just died in congress (6).

When Carter left office Ronald Reagan became the new general in the “war
on drugs”. Since they had no real evidence of the dangers of marijuana,
they had to take the broad approach. Recognize this—“This is your brain,
this is your brain on drugs”. Reagan also pioneered the “just say no”
campaign. Then when George Bush took office he wanted to take real action.
“Drug trafficking should be grounds for the death penalty,”—George Bush.
So along came about the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and 1988. This allowed
the seizure of property because of a threat to national security. They say
like father, like son. When September 11 hit, it gave George W. Bush the
chance to get more laws through congress. So all of a sudden, all of the
drugs were coming from Afghanistan. The government has the right to put a
bug in your home, car, and phone. The big change was that this evidence
was now admissible in court. What ever happened to the right to privacy (6)?

I can’t understand why the government would push so hard for all of these
years to keep it outlawed. Since Proposition 215 was passed in November of
1996, effectively legalizing medicinal marijuana in California—quite a bit
of testing has gone on. Studies have found that if you had glaucoma,
marijuana could lower your internal eye pressure and effectively slow the
onset of blindness. AIDS patients get a lot of pain that can be eased by
marijuana. It can also stimulate the appetites of people suffering
malnutrition from AIDS “wasting syndrome”. Multiple sclerosis, epilepsy,
and spinal cord injuries cause muscle spasticity and chronic pain that can
be alleviated by marijuana. Cancer, anorexia, migraines, and even
arthritis patients can all benefit from marijuana. It has been found
successful over and over in helping stop nausea and vomiting. Recent
reports from the National Institutes of Mental Health have stated that
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-the chief psychoactive compound in
marijuana) and cannabidiol (CBD-a non-psychoactive component) both appear
to protect brain cells from the damage that often occurs during a stroke.
When the blood supply is cut from the brain, THC and CBD act as
antioxidants, protecting the brain cells from glutamate (a toxic brain
chemical). This also indicates that marijuana can hold medicinal value for
the treatment of brain injuries and diseases like Alzheimer’s and
Parkinson’s (4,8,12,16).

Anonymous “Patient No. 9” signed up to participate in marijuana testing
about five years ago. He had already signed “do-not-resuscitate papers”
expecting his death soon from AIDS. Fighting Pneumocystis pneumonia,
Kaposi’s sarcoma, and internal parasites—his weight dropped from 240 to163
pounds. This experiment turned his life around. The pneumonia and
parasites were cured. The sarcoma receded. His AIDS virus levels, “once
sky-high, became undetectable in tests” (5).

“Doctors and patients should decide what medicines are best. Ten years
ago, I nearly died from testicular cancer that spread to my lungs.
Chemotherapy made me sick and nauseous. The standard drugs, like Marinol,
didn’t help. Marijuana blocked the nausea. As a result, I was able to
continue the chemotherapy treatments. Today I’ve beaten the cancer, and no
longer smoke marijuana. I credit marijuana as part of the treatment that
saved my life.”—James Canter (12).

If the government ended marijuana prohibition all sorts of doors would
open. All of the $11 billion gross sales would generate some serious money
from taxes. Sales taxes and excise taxes similar to the ones placed on
tobacco and liquor would generate some serious income. Just a 6% tax on
the consumers that spend $11 billion would produce $660 million every
year. Also, we can’t forget about the money spent on the “war on drugs”.
Every year the federal government spends an estimated $19.2 billion, and
the states combined spend about $77.8 billion. “Conservatively speaking”,
over 20% of that money is targeted towards marijuana. Suddenly all of the
“criminals” and drug dealers would become agricultural workers, farmers,
factory workers, sales people, and CEOs. All of the growers, runners,
financers, distributors, collectors, lookouts, and consumers would not
have to worry about getting caught. They would just be doing something
they believe in (1).

In my opinion, it is unethical to have marijuana illegal especially when
drugs like alcohol and cigarettes are legal. I feel that the illegality of
marijuana is an extreme economic, cultural, and medical limitation to the
advancement of our society. I feel that the evidence speaks for itself and
that America should know the truth.


1.) Brown, Maureen. “Legalize, Tax Marijuana to Fill Budget Gap.” The
Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Aug 14, 2003, Final. Editorial: pg. B5.

2.) Dealing With Alcohol and Drug Problems. Keele University. Sept. 16,

3.) Drunk Driving. Sept. 16, 2003.

4.) Ehisen, Rich. “The Battle Medical Marijuana.” State Net: California
Journal. July 1, 2003. Vol.51, Iss. No. 7.

5.) Krieger, Lisa M.. “Study Targets Stalemate Over Medicinal Use of
Marijuana.” San Jose Mercury News. July 19,1998.

6.) Mann, Ron. Grass. Sphinx Productions. 2002.

7.) Miller, Steve. “Pot Paradox: Medical Marijuana Draws Unusual Political
Backing.” The Washington Times. July 20, 2003, Final Edition.

8.) New Emerging Evidence of Marijuana’s Medical Efficacy. Sept. 16, 2003.

9.) O’Keefe, Michael; T.J. Quinn and Christian Red. “Gone to Pot (1 of 2):
Reefer Madness—Why More Athletes are Turning to Marijuana.” Daily News
(NY). May 4, 2003, Sports Final Edition.

10.) Palca, Joe (host). “Medicinal Marijuana.” Talk of the Nation/Science
Friday: National Public Radio. July 18, 1998. <>

11.) Porterfield, Elaine. “Should We Make It Legal?” The Seattle
Post-Intelligencer. Sept. 10, 2003, Final. News: pg. A17.

12.) Proposition 215: Text of Proposed Law/Analysis/Rebuttal. Sept. 16,

13.) Results from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
National Findings. Department of Health and Human Services Administration;
Office of Applied Studies.

14.) Sternberg, Robert J.. Pathways to Psychology: Second Edition.
Harcourt College Publishers. 2000

15.) Turner, Chris. “Grass Routes.” National Post: Canadian Business and
Current Affairs. Aug. 2003. Iss:1494-1988.

16.) Zeese, Kevin B.. Summary of Results of State-Sponsored Medical
Marijuana Studies. Nov. 6, 1988.


I found this paper to be the most mentally rewarding out every other
research paper I have ever done. My feelings toward this topic are very
strong. Upon completion, it was just another reason for me to think of how
corrupt our government is.

The amount of information available pertaining to this topic is endless.
My biggest problem was narrowing it down. If I included everything I
wanted to include, this paper would have tripled in size. I even thought
about trying to get permission to combine my two papers into just this
one, but I knew that probably wouldn’t fly.

There were two particular sources I found to be extremely useful. One is
the documentary Grass. This was basically a biography of marijuana in
America. The other source was the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
I actually participated in this survey when I was attending Texas A & M
University Corpus Christi. The government funds the survey and this latest
is considered to be the most scientifically accurate survey ever done in
the history of mankind. It was asked not to be compared to any of the
previous surveys because of its accuracy. Although, there was a two-inch
stack of papers to sort through in order to find the equality of about a
paragraph and a half useful.

I also found a ton of information on the medicinal aspect of marijuana,
but considering that a group already covered that in their presentation I
only touched on it lightly. Also source #3, titled “Drunk Driving”, I
found to be particularly biased. I found out that Anheiser Busch owns the
website. All of the information was watered down to show that alcohol
wasn’t that bad. In addition, the first source on the list had some very
interesting theories of what could happen if marijuana was legalized.

I am not too sure on exactly what the guidelines are for the endnotes. If
you have any questions or comments just email me at



And on the seventh day, god stepped back and said "There is my creation, perfect in every way... oh, dammit I left pot all over the place. Now they'll think I want them to smoke it... Now I have to create
republicans." -
Bill Hicks
See I think drugs have done some good things for us. If you don't think drugs
have done good things for us then do me a favor. Go home tonight and take all of
your records, tapes and all your CD's and burn them. Because, you know all those
musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout
the years? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal f**king high on drugs, man.
Bill Hicks
You know all that money we spend on the military ever year - trillions of
dollars? Instead, if we use this money to feed and clothe the poor of this
world, which it would do many times over, then we can explore space, inner and
outer, together, as one race .Bill Hicks
Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed
through a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself
subjectively, life is only a dream and we are the imaginations of ourselves. .Bill Hicks
My final point about alcohol, about drugs, about Pornography...What business is
it of yours what I do, read, buy, see or take into my body as long as I don't
harm another human being whilst on this planet? And for those of you having a
little moral dilemma on how to answer this, I'll answer for you NONE OF YOUR
Take that to the bank, cash it and take it on a vacation
outta my f**king life. And stop bringing shotguns to UFO sightings, they might
be here to pick me up and take me with 'em .Bill Hicks
Obnoxious , self-righteous, whining little f**ks. My biggest fear is that if I
quit smoking, I'll become one of you...Don't take that wrong. I have something
to tell you non-smokers that I know for a fact that you don't know, and I feel
it's my duty to pass on information at all times. Ready?.......Non-smokers die
every day...Enjoy your evening. See, I know that you entertain this eternal life
fantasy because you've chosen not to smoke, but let me be the 1st to POP that
bubble and bring you hurtling back to reality....You're dead too. Bill Hicks
I generally love my job. You know what the great thing about being a comic is? I
have no boss. That's a definate lifestyle plus isnt it?..Aren't bosses
something?.....They're like gnats at a picnic man....Get the f**k out of here
buddy, it's just a job, doesn't mean a thing. I smoked a joint this morning,
you're lucky I showed...My bed was like a womb man...Bill Hicks
Ever noticed that people who believe in Creationism look really un-evolved? Bill Hicks
When Jesus comes back to earth the last thing he wants to see is a cross. Bill Hicks
The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it,
you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes
up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very
brightly colored and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have
been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is
this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us,
they say, "Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a
ride.. Bill Hicks

Click for history on Bill HicksSo who the hell is Bill Hicks?

Tell the Truth, Laughing: The Life and Work of Bill Hicks by Nick Doody

Bill Hicks Biography by Paul Outhwaite
With American comedian Bill Hicks there was always an awareness of other people, of how our society links together. With this came an idealism and a vision of what the world could be. But first he had to slay all the "fevered egos" polluting the planet. He saw himself as a flame, Shiva The Destroyer, using comedy as a weapon to expose truths and show people how governments are screwing us every day of our lives. He also happened to be achingly funny such was the accuracy of his comedy. At the age of 13 Bill Hicks did his first gig. Six weeks before his death, aged 32, he did the last. In the intervening years he frequently did over 250 gigs a year. He tried to reach as many people as possible, to put them in touch with inner and outer space in a majestic flight of one consciousness thinking. Those he inspired haven't lost the ability to take a ride.People use and misuse the word "tragedy" all the time. It seems to accompany the death of anybody famous. But the real definition of tragedy evokes a sense of loss and poignancy, a sense of someone dying before they really gave everything they had to offer. Without hyperbole, Bill Hicks' death was a tragedy, for there was so much still to come from this creative, imaginative talent. When he died in 1994 the world lost a rare talent, but his spirit and philosophy still live on.

CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it! ThinkingBlue