Saturday, January 29, 2005


I must be the most dim-witted, short sited, myopic human on the face of this Earth. After reading in the news this morning, about the Christian Right’s posse going after and outing another cartoon "gay" in our culture. “HUH?” “I never saw that in Sponge Bob.” I incredulously said to myself. If these so called, righteous people can draw a conclusion like that, they must be out of their skulls (they really must be, because anyone in their RIGHT - meaning SANE not Political - mind who watched a silly celluloid cartoon character could never come to this judgment, that's just plain whacky!) These people are Looney tunes! For Pete's Sake, why don't they try looking for some real skin and boned terrorists?

Good Grief, the likes of Jerry Falwell, and others of his ilk are out there (wasting time) trying to find the good, bad and ugly in all we have to entertain ourselves (especially THE UGLY). I wish they would just buy land somewhere ( I mean an island or a small, maybe big, country…) and lead all their PURE, CHERUBIC, SERAPHIC, WINGED, HALOED, VIRGINAL, CHASTE, CELIBATE, AND UNDEFILED phobic followers to this promise land. An ELYSIUM of BLISS, DELIGHT, HEAVEN, NIRVANA, PARADISE, RAPTURE, EXALTATION AND ENCHANTMENT. Away from all the DEVILISH, DIABOLIC, EVIL, SINFUL, AGONY, MISERY, TORMENT AND HELL the rest of us are willing to live in. Hey, they could even take the Dubya couple and make them The Imperial Emperor and Empress!

I mean, they certainly have enough money to do this, with all the bucks they have deceived, flimflammed, chiseled and cheated their pathetic, unenlightened flock out of.

In closing, the only real crime here with all these impractical, foolhardy concocted media cartoon figures is that they are mainly conjured up to persuade the masses to spend their hard earned cash on foolhardy, impractical and foolish junk because it will make their children happy. ”THE AMERICAN WAY”, Carolyn



“It isn't absurd for anyone, including Falwell, to notice these hints, inferences, and references. But it is ridiculous to object to them. There's no scientific or psychological basis for believing that children are affected in their sexual development or eventual sexual orientation by exposure to homosexuality--on television or in real life. If the creators of cartoons are intentionally or unintentionally giving children the idea that gay people are part of the big, happy human family, that's a good thing, not a bad one. (If it weren't for gay people, there would be no Lion King--or much else on the all-American cultural front.) The conservative paranoia about recruiting, which leads them to think that gay school teachers and Boy Scout leaders present a hazard to the young is pure prejudice.
Anyway, for the religious right, this battle is pointless because the war is already lost. Gay themes are everywhere. Pee-wee's Playhouse runs every day on the Fox Family Channel, the cable network Pat Robertson recently sold to Rupert Murdoch. It's just a couple of hours ahead of The 700 Club.” From this site:

Another blow to tolerance from A BUSH appointee, Secretary of Education Spellings.


Spellings' Intolerance
Late last year, when the
Department of Education highlighted the new PBS series "Postcards from Buster," it praised the show's embrace of different cultures: "And by learning about different cultures, Buster also helps to show children what we all have in common." But apparently the concept of universal humanity only extends so far. On her second day on the job as secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, who replaced a previous education secretary with little regard for our nation's educators, has condemned a not-yet-aired episode of the show because of the title character's visit to the state of Vermont, where he spends some time with Emma, an 11-year-old girl, and her two mommies.

THE HORROR!: Although the episode's "focus is on farm life," Secretary Spellings rebuked the president and chief executive officer of the Public Broadcasting System for exposing the nation's children to "such lifestyles." It is unclear what is so offensive about the family's "lifestyle." Emma introduces Buster to her mother and her stepmom, "
whom she says she loves a lot," and the few glimpses the viewer gets of the family – the parents are always a background aspect of episodes – show "loving, moral, and committed" relationships. Furthermore, the episode actually revolves around teaching children how maple syrup is made and the processing of milk from cows.

ERRING ON THE SIDE OF NOT AIRING: In a win for intolerance, PBS has chosen not to distribute the episode nationally to its subsidiary stations, but claims the decision is due to the sensitivity of the issue rather than the secretary's objections. However, PBS officials – including President Pat Mitchell – had "viewed the episode and called it appropriate" before Secretary Spellings expressed her displeasure. Self-described as a "trusted community resource," PBS used to herald itself for quality programming that had the power to "inform, inspire and delight." For seven straight years, its subsidiary stations have been "atop all broadcast and cable networks for children's programming," winning 10 Daytime Emmys in 2004 alone. It is disheartening that a network that informs our nation's children has now been pressured to accept the bigoted agenda of Secretary Spellings.

LOCAL STATIONS STICKING TO PRINCIPLE: Marc Brown, creator of "Postcards from Buster," was understandably saddened by PBS's decision, and for good reason: "What we are trying to do in the series is connect kids with other kids by reflecting on their lives. In some episodes, as in the Vermont one, we are validating children who are seldom validated." Emma is one little girl who the Department of Education, in conjunction with PBS, has decided deserves to be left behind. Thankfully, the show's producer, Boston-based WGBH, and other individual subsidiaries such as WNET-TV in New York and KVIE-TV in Sacramento, have recognized the value of such an episode and will be airing it in late March.

EDUCATING OR PREJUDICING?: Secretary Spellings primly declared that "Congress' and the Department's purpose in funding this programming certainly was not to introduce this kind of subject matter to children." She provides no justification as to why. The funding to which the secretary refers is the Ready-To-Learn program that provides grants for "the development of educational programming for preschool and early elementary school children and their families," and the stated purpose of the grant program is to promote school readiness and literacy amongst school-age children, a task which even the department has admitted "Postcards from Buster" is more than up to. And though Secretary Spellings points to the law's statement that "any funded shows must give top attention to 'research-based educational objectives, content and materials,'" she makes no explanation as to why the "Sugartime!" episode does not fit into these guidelines, as the format for this particular episode is no different from previous ones.

EPISODE MEETS GOALS OF GRANT: Secretary Spellings also failed to address additional wording in the grant that states, "Diversity will be incorporated into the fabric of the series to help children understand and respect differences and learn to live in a multicultural society." At a time when one in three gay teens is threatened with a weapon while at school, it seems that the educational programming provided by the "Sugartime!" episode would certainly fall under the purview of the grant and be well worth the money. Instead, the Department of Education continues to choose different spending priorities.

SETTING UP THE CASE FOR CONSERVATIVE CENSORSHIP: In addition to criticizing this particular episode, Secretary Spellings "asked PBS to consider refunding the money it spent on the episode." That was not her only request. She also asked for the destruction of any symbol or statement "linking the department to the show" and that the member stations be alerted to "the nature of the show." She finished off the letter with an open-ended warning: "You can be assured that in the future the department will be more clear as to its expectations for any future programming that it funds." For now, the department is more than clear as to whether bigoted ideology matters more than fruitful education and true acceptance.


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

Monday, January 17, 2005


Today is Monday, January 17, 2005.

But it’s not just another BLUE Monday! Schools are closed, Government Offices are closed, and there will be No mail delivery today, Post Offices are closed. Also, Courts are closed, Financial Markets are closed and there will be no Waste Pick-up Services.

Why, one might ask? Well, on August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King delivered, on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. this historical speech:

"I Have A Dream"
by Martin Luther King, Jr.,

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Source: Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We now honor this Peaceful Warrior of history.

It is a sad fact that today, many a leadership do not wish to standup for peace. In fact, they lead by the very opposite of PEACE. They lead by the sword! They lead by Barbarism! They lead with arrogance! No where in their rhetoric or actions will you find anything harmonious. Yet, they condemn each other for the very acts they commit.

But enough about these sinister regimes, today is for reflection, a celebration of this marvelous human being, who embodied fellowship, empathy and above all respect for his species.

Reading the life of this hero will give us all hope for a peaceful future, and hope that someday our human race will understand each other and put away arms, hatred and realize we are all in this together.

Life is a mystery to be analyzed and probed. Maybe the answer will never be found or maybe the answer is right there in front of all of our faces. If we all joined together and searched for the reasons why we, life's most wondrous creature, exists, we would not have time for intolerance, hatred and the many amoral urges that come with just being alive.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the epitome of symmetry, in a disharmonious world. He could have just lived his life overwhelmed by aversion, (who better than he had a right to hate) but he chose a better path, a road to enlightenment and he led us all down this corridor, without weapons, without force. That is what the human being is capable of and that is what we should all strive for.

Life is so ambiguous and we have so little time for conscientious debate. We mustn’t waste the beauty of our time here on earth; we must try to understand one another and become peaceful warriors. Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr. for showing us our ingenious nature and what we as human, thinking, entities possess, so that we all can overcome and HAVE A DREAM, A DREAM OF PEACE.

1929 – 1968

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

Friday, January 14, 2005


There are so many great articles out there in "THE LAND OF VERACITY" to help discern the truth from the fictional propaganda type lies of the Bush administration. Here is one I came across today. "All The President's NEWSMAN" from The NY Times.

It is a sad state of affairs that even one of the Bush Spin Machine's misrepresentations make it on to our supposedly "most trusted" or "fair and balanced" et al. News-medias and that half our population will see or hear it and think it accurate. For instance, I know all those folks who rah, rah, sis, boom, ba'ed going into Iraq and bombing the hell out of this Bush "AXES OF EVIL" country (Click for an example of a War Rah, Rah-er) will not agree that Bush fabricated the reasons to go to war and I understand why. They have to rationalize the many military and civilian deaths that have occurred there since our Hero President declared WAR. Not to mention, the increase in terrorist groups since the war began.

Many intelligent minds had warned him of the danger of pursuing this preemptive path but Bush and his self-declared dogmatism of knowing what is right or wrong for our nation, stubbornly went to war anyway.

Leading us into war on false information, was but one of the many, mendacities told by the Bush Spin Machine. There are so many others, that it is quite difficult for the Watchdogs to spot them all. What is most frightening is, if a lie is told over and over and over again it could, eventually, be understood as a truth! I believe this is what is happening now. SHUDDER! ThinkingBlue ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

January 16, 2005

All the President's Newsmen

ONE day after the co-host Tucker Carlson made his farewell appearance and two days after the new president of CNN made the admirable announcement that he would soon kill the program altogether, a television news miracle occurred: even as it staggered through its last nine yards to the Network guillotine, "Crossfire" came up with the worst show in its fabled 23-year history.

This was a half-hour of television so egregious that it makes Jon Stewart's famous pre-election rant seem,if anything, too kind. This time "Crossfire" wasn't just "hurting America," as Mr. Stewart put it, by turning news into a nonsensical gong show. It was unwittingly, or perhaps wittingly, complicit in the cover-up of a scandal.

I do not mean to minimize the CBS News debacle and other recent journalistic outrages at The New York Times and elsewhere. But the Jan. 7 edition of CNN's signature show can stand as an exceptionally ripe paradigm of what is happening to the free flow of information in a country in which a timid news media, the fierce (and often covert) Bush administration propaganda machine, lax and sometimes corrupt journalistic practices, and a celebrity culture all combine to keep the public at many more than six degrees of separation from anything that might resemble the truth.

Click This Link To See Fiore's Movie:

On this particular "Crossfire," the featured guest was Armstrong Williams, a conservative commentator, talk-show host and newspaper columnist (for papers like The Washington Times and The Detroit Free Press, among many others, according to his Web site). Thanks to investigative reporting by USA Today, he had just been unmasked as the frontman for a scheme in which $240,000 of taxpayers' money was quietly siphoned to him through the department of Education and a private p.r.firm so that he would "regularly comment" upon(translation: shill for) the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind policy in various media venues during an election year. Given that "Crossfire" was initially conceived as a program for tough interrogation and debate, you'd think that the co-hosts still on duty after Mr. Carlson's departure might try to get some answers about this scandal, whose full contours, I suspect, we are only just beginning to discern.

But there is nothing if not honor among bloviators. "On the left," as they say at "Crossfire," Paul Begala, a Democratic political consultant, offered condemnations of the Bush administration but had only soft questions and plaudits for Mr.Williams. Three times in scarcely as many minutes Mr. Begala congratulated his guest for being "a stand-up guy" simply for appearing in the show's purportedly hostile but entirely friendly confines. When Mr. Williams apologized for having crossed "some ethical lines," that was enough to earn Mr. Begala's benediction: "God bless you for that."

"On the right" was the columnist Robert Novak, who "in the interests of full disclosure" told the audience he is a "personal friend" of Mr. Williams, whom he "greatly" admires as "one of the foremost voices for conservatism in America." Needless to say, Mr. Novak didn't have any tough questions, either, but we should pause a moment to analyze this "Crossfire" co-host's disingenuous use of the term "full disclosure."

Last year Mr. Novak had failed to fully disclose - until others in the press called him on it - that his son is the director of marketing for Regnery, the company that published "Unfit for Command," the Swift boat veterans' anti-Kerry screed that Mr. Novak flogged relentlessly on CNN and elsewhere throughout the campaign. Nor had he fully disclosed, as Mary Jacoby of Salon reported, that Regnery's owner also publishes his subscription newsletter ($297 a year). Nor has Mr. Novak fully disclosed why he has so far eluded any censure in the federal investigation of his outing of a C.I.A. operative, Valerie Plame, while two other reporters, Judith Miller of The Times and Matt Cooper of Time, are facing possible prison terms in the same case. In this context, Mr. Novak's "full disclosure" of his friendship with Mr. Williams is so anomalous that it raised many more questions than it answers.

That he and Mr. Begala would be allowed to lob softballs at a man who may have been a cog in illegal government wrongdoing, on a show produced by television's self-proclaimed "most trusted" news network, is bad enough. That almost no one would notice, let alone protest, is a snapshot of our cultural moment, in which hidden agendas in the presentation of "news" metastasize daily into a Kafkaesque hall of mirrors that could drive even the most earnest American into abject cynicism. But the ugly bigger picture reaches well beyond "Crossfire" and CNN.

Mr. Williams has repeatedly said in his damage-control press appearances that he was being paid the $240,000 only to promote No Child Left Behind. He also routinely says that he made the mistake of taking the payola because he wasn't part of the "media elite" and therefore didn't know "the rules and guidelines" of journalistic conflict-of-interest. His own public record tells us another story entirely. While on the administration payroll he was not only a cheerleader for No Child Left Behind but also for President Bush's Iraq policy and his performance in the presidential debates. And for a man who purports to have learned of media ethics only this month, Mr. Williams has spent an undue amount of time appearing as a media ethicist on both CNN and the cable news networks of NBC.

He took to CNN last October to give his own critique of the CBS News scandal, pointing out that the producer of the Bush-National Guard story, Mary Mapes, was guilty of a conflict of interest because she introduced her source, the anti-Bush partisan Bill Burkett, to a Kerry campaign operative, Joe Lockhart. In this Mr. Williams's judgment was correct, but grave as Ms. Mapes's infraction was, it isn't quite in the same league as receiving $240,000 from the United States Treasury to propagandize for the Bush campaign on camera. Mr. Williams also appeared with Alan Murray on CNBC to trash Kitty Kelley's book on the Bush family, on CNN to accuse the media of being Michael Moore's "p.r. machine" and on Tina Brown's CNBC talk show to lambaste Mr. Stewart for doing a "puff interview" with John Kerry on "The Daily Show" (which Mr. Williams, unsurprisingly, seems to think is a real, not a fake, news program).

But perhaps the most fascinating Williams TV appearance took place in December 2003, the same month that he was first contracted by the government to receive his payoffs. At a time when no one in television news could get an interview with Dick Cheney, Mr. Williams, of all "journalists," was rewarded with an extended sit-down with the vice president for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, a nationwide owner of local stations affiliated with all the major networks. In that chat, Mr. Cheney criticized the press for its coverage of Halliburton and denounced "cheap shot journalism" in which "the press portray themselves as objective observers of the passing scene, when they obviously are not objective."

This is a scenario out of "The Manchurian Candidate." Here we find Mr. Cheney criticizing the press for a sin his own government was at that same moment signing up Mr. Williams to commit. The interview is broadcast by the same company that would later order its ABC affiliates to ban Ted Koppel's "Nightline" recitation of American casualties in Iraq and then propose showing an anti-Kerry documentary, "Stolen Honor," under the rubric of "news" in prime time just before Election Day. (After fierce criticism, Sinclair retreated from that plan.) Thus the Williams interview with the vice president, implicitly presented as an example of the kind of "objective" news Mr. Cheney endorses, was in reality a completely subjective, bought-and-paid-for fake news event for a broadcast company that barely bothers to fake objectivity and both of whose chief executives were major contributors to the Bush-Cheney campaign. The Soviets couldn't have constructed a more ingenious or insidious plot to bamboozle the citizenry.

Ever since Mr. Williams was exposed by USA Today, he has been stonewalling all questions about what the Bush administration knew of his activities and when it knew it. In his account, he was merely a lowly "subcontractor" of the education department. "Never was the White House ever mentioned anytime during this," he told NBC's Campbell Brown, as if that were enough to deflect Ms. Brown's observation that "the Department of Education works for the White House." For its part, the White House is saying that the whole affair is, in the words of the press secretary, Scott McClellan, "a contracting matter" and "a decision by the Department of Education." In other words, the buck stops (or started) with Rod Paige, the elusive outgoing education secretary who often appeared with Mr. Williams in his pay-for-play propaganda.

But we now know that there have been at least three other cases in which federal agencies have succeeded in placing fake news reports on television during the Bush presidency. The department of Health and Human Services, the Census Bureau and the Office of National Drug Control Policy have all sent out news "reports" in which, to take one example, fake newsmen purport to be "reporting" why the administration's Medicare prescription-drug policy is the best thing to come our way since the Salk vaccine. So far two Government Accountability Office investigations have found that these Orwellian stunts violated federal law that prohibits "covert propaganda" purchased with taxpayers' money. But the Williams case is the first one in which a well-known talking head has been recruited as the public face for the fake news instead of bogus correspondents (recruited from p.r. companies) with generic eyewitness-news team names like Karen Ryan and Mike Morris.

Or is Mr. Williams merely the first one of his ilk to be exposed? Every time this administration puts out fiction through the news media - the "Rambo" exploits of Jessica Lynch, the initial cover-up of Pat Tillman's death by friendly fire - it's assumed that a credulous and excessively deferential press was duped. But might there be more paid agents at loose in the media machine? In response to questions at the White House, Mr. McClellan has said that he is "not aware" of any other such case and that he hasn't "heard" whether the administration's senior staff knew of the Williams contract - nondenial denials with miles of wiggle room. Mr. Williams, meanwhile, has told both James Rainey of The Los Angeles Times and David Corn of The Nation that he has "no doubt" that there are "others" like him being paid for purveying administration propaganda and that "this happens all the time." So far he is refusing to name names - a vow of omertà all too reminiscent of that taken by the low-level operatives first apprehended in that "third-rate burglary" during the Nixon administration.

If CNN, just under new management, wants to make amends for the sins of "Crossfire," it might dispatch some real reporters to find out just which "others" Mr. Williams is talking
about and to follow his money all the way back to its source.

Molly Ivins
Leading by misleading
From Iraq to Social Security to jobs,
Bush administration hallmark is deception

Robert Scheer
Is Al Qaeda just a Bush boogeyman?
BBC documentary casts doubt on key
assumption of war on terror

Sean Gonsalves
A dispatch from Bizarro World
Whatever planet Bush & Co. are on,
we're somewhere else

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

Thursday, January 13, 2005


To read the news today is a harrowing experience. I realize humanity has not been what it is capable of being throughout history but this is no reason or excuse for what is going on today in our government. Since Bush has occupied the Whitehouse, there is an ugly emphasis on brutality and greed. It is a sad fact that this administration is so devoid of concern or sympathy for their fellow man. Even more somber is the fact that they represent us all. I am thoroughly ashamed of the covert avaricious actions of Bush and the blatant disrespect he has for the rights of others. Let us hope that one day they will all be held accountable for their notorious actions. ThinkingBlue

Below readings are from this site American Progress

IRAQ The Salvador Option
To deal with the
skyrocketing insurgency, the Pentagon is considering
creating secret death squads in Iraq. Now, the Pentagon's brave new solution for democracy in the Middle East is to revisit the reprehensible "Salvador Option," the clandestine operation implemented by the Reagan White House in the 1980s in El Salvador. Back then, faced with losing a war against the Salvadoran rebels, the United States government funded "nationalist" forces "that allegedly included so-called death squads" which killed scores of innocent civilians. Today, according to an explosive new article in Newsweek, the Pentagon dusted off that model and has a proposal on the table to "advise, support and possibly train" secret Iraqi squads, "most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria."

WHAT THE SQUADS WOULD DO: It's unclear whether the current proposed policy would direct the Iraqi squads to assassinate their targets or "snatch" them and send them to secret facilities for interrogation. In plain language: the squads would be either hit men or kidnapper/torturers. The United States has recently come under serious criticism for whisking suspects to countries with questionable interrogation techniques. Recently, for example, a German national was allegedly kidnapped by Macedonian authorities, turned over to the United States and flown to a prison in Afghanistan where he claims to have been
repeatedly beaten, all because he shared a name similar to one of the 9/11 suspects. Other reports show the CIA has employed a secret private jet to ferry terror suspects to places with terrible human rights records, such as Egypt, Jordan, Afghanistan and Libya.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has held El Salvador up as a
model for Iraq. And during the recent Vice Presidential debates, Vice President Dick Cheney stated, "Twenty years ago we had a similar situation in El Salvador. We had a guerilla insurgency that controlled roughly a third of the country, 75,000 people dead. And we held free elections…And today El Salvador is a whale of a lot better because we held free elections." According to a 1993 U.N.-sponsored truth commission, however, up to "90 percent of the atrocities in the conflict" were committed by the U.S.-sponsored army and its surrogates, "with the rebels responsible for 5 percent and the remaining 5 percent undetermined." These death squads "abducted members of the civilian population and of rebel groups. They tortured their hostages, were responsible for their disappearance and usually executed them."

Two versions of the same 1984 CIA intelligence memorandum on "Dealing with Death Squads." The first, released to the National Security Archive in 1987 under the Freedom of Information Act and heavily excised, gives the impression that the Duarte government and the Salvadoran armed forces are taking effective steps to end death squad activities. The second, obtained by the Archive in 1993, clearly states that efforts by the government and military "have made little progress and have been aimed almost exclusively at placating Washington. CLICK HERE

NEGROPONTE'S NEFARIOUS NEGLIGENCE: John Negroponte, the current U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad, is no stranger to death squads. In the 1980s, Negroponte served as the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras. At the time,
he was "cozy" with the chief of the Honduran national police force, Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who also ran the infamous Battalion 316 death squad. Battalion 316 "kidnapped, tortured and murdered more than 100 people between 1981 and 1984." According to Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, "Negroponte publicly adopted a see-no-evil attitude to this army death squad."

President Bush also appointed neocon
Elliot Abrams to be his senior adviser on the Middle East. Abrams was also a staunch supporter of the Salvador Option in the 1980s: when newspapers "reported that a U.S.-trained military unit had massacred hundreds of villagers in the tiny Salvadoran hamlet of El Mozote, Abrams told Congress the story was nothing but communist propaganda." When confronted with the United Nations report that the vast majority of "atrocities in El Salvador's civil war were committed by Reagan-assisted death squads," Abrams's response: "The administration's record on El Salvador is one of fabulous achievements." Abrams was convicted of lying to Congress about Iran-Contra in 1987 – he was pardoned by George H.W. Bush in 1992.

MEDIANews They Can Use
The White House
paid conservative commentator Armstrong Williams more than $240,000 of taxpayers' money to "promote President Bush's No Child Left Behind law" on his syndicated television program "and to other African-Americans in the news media." His public commentary on the law likely violated Section 317 of the Communications Act, which stipulates broadcasters must disclose when they are paid to include program matter in a broadcast. Over the weekend, Chicago-based Tribune Media Services dropped Williams's column, "saying he violated his contract," and CNN spokesman Matthew Furman said Williams failed to disclose his government contract before he praised the law during a segment in October. The Williams Contract is just the latest of the administration's repeated efforts to pass off government propaganda as news. Join Media Matters' David Brock in asking news organizations to refrain from using Williams as an "independent" commentator.

The Williams contract was filtered through Ketchum, a public relations firm that the Department of Education has paid $1 million in taxpayer money to help promote its policies. As part of a $700,000 contract uncovered by
People for the American Way in October, Ketchum helped the administration produce a "video news release geared for television stations." It also developed a ranking system for newspaper coverage of NCLB. Points were awarded for stories saying "President Bush and the Republican Party are strong on education," while "Stories lost five points for negative messages, including claims that the law is not adequately funded or is too tough on states."

AN INSTANT ADVOCATE: Williams has called himself a "
longtime supporter of No Child Left Behind," but he wrote nothing about the bill in his weekly syndicated column until his contract kicked in late in 2003. He proceeded to write five columns singing the praises of Bush's education policies in the first six months of 2004. In addition, he shilled for NCLB on CNN (10/19/04) and CNBC's the Capital Report (8/9/04). According to Bloomberg's Al Hunt, Williams did some heavy lifting for the bill behind the scenes as well: "Armstrong did deliver his promise," Hunt said, "because I occasionally worked out at a gym and Armstrong's there, and he told me several times, you know,
'Why don't you write about No Child Left Behind


MORE FAKE NEWS: NCLB is not the only domestic policy the Bush administration has promoted covertly to the public. Last January, local news stations across the country aired a story by "reporter" Mike Morris, "describing plans for a new White House ad campaign on the dangers of drug abuse." Viewers were not informed that Morris was not a journalist, nor that his "report" was produced by the government. On Friday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, "scolded the Bush administration for distributing phony prepackaged news reports," which included a "'suggested live intro' for anchors to read, interviews with Washington officials and a closing that mimics a typical broadcast news sign off."

ACTING LIKE JOURNALISTS: The GAO's rebuke is the second of its kind. The Office chided the White House last year for distributing fake news segments promoting its Medicare legislation. One segment featured paid actress Karen Ryan posing as a "reporter." Another video, intended for Hispanic viewers, showed a government official being interviewed in Spanish by an actor posing as a reporter named "Alberto Garcia." The GAO said the segments "violated federal law" and were a form of "covert propaganda" because "the government was not identified as the source of the materials, broadcast by at least 40 television stations in 33 markets."

Under the Radar

Mr. Blackwell puts you on his list, there's a good chance that he is paying you a compliment. In Ohio, when Mr. Blackwell puts you on his list of potential donors, it means he wants you to pay towards his 2006 gubernatorial campaign – through legal or illegal means. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who has been embroiled in controversy since serving a dual role as chair of the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign and overseer of the Ohio elections, recently sent out pledge cards to a list of potential donors stating that "corporate & personal checks are welcome," even though corporate donations are illegal in Ohio. Blackwell's spokesman blamed the mistake on a printing error and claims that all such donations would be returned.

Since former Chairman of the House intelligence committee Porter J. Goss became the new director of the CIA, "
about 20 senior CIA officials have resigned or retired" as a result of what many have seen as personnel moves that were partisan in nature. Now the next thing to go on Goss's list is the director's daily 5 o'clock meeting with senior CIA, FBI, Pentagon and Homeland Security Department officials. Instituted by Goss's predecessor, the daily meetings were created in reaction to the failure of intelligence agencies to coordinate their tactical counterterrorism operations before the Sept. 11th attacks. Though the meetings are now being held only three times a week, a CIA official assures that "
They are still very much focused on terrorist issues. If something exploded, [Goss] would get briefed right away."

Roughly 325 foreign fighters are currently in U.S. custody in Iraq and "have been deemed by the Justice Department
not to be entitled to protections of the Geneva Conventions," the New York Times reports. Moreover, the foreign detainees, whose numbers swelled by more than 140 after U.S. troops entered Fallujah in early November, may soon "be transferred out of the country for indefinite detention elsewhere." White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales appeared to approve of these Justice Department policies during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Describing how members of al Qaeda were "flooding" into Iraq, Gonzales said, "the question was legitimately raised, in my judgment, as to whether or not – what were the legal limits about how to deal with these terrorists." The decision to ship detainees to other countries (particularly those with weaker prohibitions on torture) has become a "principle weapon in the CIA's arsenal" against prisoners.

We Are All Torturers Now
by Mark Danner

An unmuzzled dog appears to be used to frighten a detainee at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq - Two military dog handlers told investigators that intelligence personnel ordered them to use dogs to intimidate prisoners.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – DESPITE PROMISES, FIRMS KEEP DRUG STUDIES SECRET: A Boston Globe analysis found that drug companies have publicly posted unpublished trial results for just five drugs, despite their promise six months ago to make their clinical trials more transparent. At the height of the industry's political crisis last fall, major drug firms said they would use a common website to offer Americans ''unprecedented access" to clinical studies "both good and bad." Yet, of the more than 10,800 prescription medications and dosages sold in the United States, the website has posted information on only 26 drugs, the Globe found, and only five of those studies include data that have been previously unpublished. The site also lacks any information about the "unpublished, large-scale clinical trial of Vioxx performed in 2000 that showed a six-fold increase in cardiovascular risk." ''It's pathetic," said Dr. Drummond Rennie, associate editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. ''They get all the publicity from saying they will do it, and then they don't."

LABOR MARKET – FACING UP TO THE NUMBERS: Fabiola Quitiaquez suffers from high blood pressure and cholesterol; her daughter uses a screwdriver to change gears in her car. However, Quitiaquez realizes that car mechanics and doctors visits are unaffordable luxuries. Unfortunately, her case is not a unique one. About one in five unemployed workers have been jobless for more than six months – "the point at which most state benefits run out." These
3.6 million American workers living without unemployment benefits are faced with what psychology professor Richard Price has dubbed a "chain of adversity," a life full of personal and psychological stresses. Despite the Bush administration's constant ravings about the overall drop in unemployment numbers, Economic Director at the conservative American Enterprise Institute Kevin Hassett admits, "It's not a partisan issue, it's a fact. The labor market is worse than in the typical recovery."

VETERANS – HOME BUT HOMELESS: The Department of Veteran Affairs is facing an old problem much sooner than expected; veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are already showing up in homeless shelters. According to a nationwide survey released by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans,
nearly 70 veterans from the two active military campaigns have spent time in shelters over the past year. Though the number may seem small in comparison to the number of soldiers discharged so far, veterans' groups see these individuals as the first trickle of what is expected to be a deluge of returning soldiers psychologically scarred by these emotionally taxing wars.
The War in Iraq Cost the United States


Join Humanity vs. George W. Bush et al, War Criminals

Invisible Soldiers: Iraq War Veterans Go

Homeless Months After Returning From War
Homeless Iraq vets showing up at shelters By Mark Benjamin

Bush's Ugly America by John Stanton

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

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Oh my goodness, here we go again... Four more years of trying to stop Bush from dismantling all the good social benefits to the people of less means... His first butchery is Social Security... Click here Take Action ... speak out and read the example below with my comments embedded in the middle.

To the editor:President Bush is endangering my retirement and the retirements of millions of Americans by taking the first step in his adverse plan to dismantle Social Security.

Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed -- whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not.

For those entering the workforce today, that means more than a 25 percent cut in the retirement benefits they're counting on; for their children, it guarantees a 46 percent cut.

(My excerpt below)

This destructive day is the first day of the rest of our lives, our children's lives, our grandchildren's lives et al. Of course President Bush does not fathom this concept. To this un-empathetic, obtuse person who can only see as far as his own mortal, brief existence on this earth, only today matters. (It only matters as long as he is a part of that today.) His lack of vision for the future inhabitants of our country will hurt all generations to come and create an avalanche of deep poverty.

We, the people who can see further than our own duration must rise up and speak out against such a possible future pillaging to our capability to have a roof over our head and some food on our table, when work is not an option to a livelihood.

We mustn’t stand by and let George W. Bush and the Republicans cut our promised guaranteed retirement!

Read more about this by clicking these links:

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

Sunday, January 09, 2005


I picked up Newsweek this morning and flipped through it. The last page caught my eye, it was an article written by Anna Quindlen called “The Ghost of Politics Past”. This is a must read for all true Liberal thinking people. It gives you an answer to the “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” question, plus a little friendly advise to Democrats. Please click the link and give this article a bit of your time you won’t regret it.

There are so many articles out there in the FREE THINKING world, written by intellectuals with a heart. I was sent in an email this article by Paul Krugman and Paul gives you another slant on the “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” dilemma. Krugman writes that what we are experiencing in reality with this Bush regime is equivalent to a bad fictional novel. Please take a look at the New York Time OP-ED piece
Worse Than Fiction. It doesn’t answer any question but does give you a sense of sanity.

What is it with Jehovah’s Witnesses? We have a JW church not far from where I live and its members periodically go around as if in some sort of hypnotist’s trance and knock on residential doors in a programmed fashion. At first, I would listen to their ten minute spiels, usually on the evils of our existence then politely tell them I am not interested in their take on reality. This worked, temporarily by making them vacate my front door. But later, a new set of programmed disciples would come around and the rhetoric on evil, I’d hear again. I tried being a bit rude to them but still, they keptacomin.

Yesterday, a very sweet looking woman in her early 40’s tapped on my door and upon opening it (which I really didn’t want to do as I was still in my night gown and house coat) she began talking about doctors and health care. I listened to her for awhile, thinking she was going to pull out a petition for me to sign. Well, she pulled something out of her purse and it wasn’t a petition… IT WAS THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESS LITTLE PAMPHLET! I uttered the same words I have spoken many times before to these people, but this time with an aura of disbelief. “OH NO, PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOU ARE FROM THE CHURCH?”
She looked startled and said “Oh, the Jehovah's Witness church, uh, uh, yes.”
Again, I scolded “I am not interested! How can I get it through to you people that I have my own belief system and am not interested in yours! I don’t go around trying to make people believe as I do, so why do you?”
She seemed nervous and said, “Oh, we do have a list of the people who don’t wish to have us call.”
“Please put my name on that list.” I pleaded.
She took down my name and address and left.
I hope I won’t see any JWs again. (I suppose these zealots have a purpose but I do not beckon them to my door so please stay away.)

The reason I am writing about my little episode with the Jehovah’s Witnesses is because I feel Bush and his followers are trying to do the same thing, except worse. They are trying to make it a law that you believe as they do or go to jail.

"There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as The Dark Ages."
-Ruth Hurmence Green who wrote:
The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To the Bible

Ruth Hurmence Green

On this date, January 12, 1915 , Ruth Hurmence Green was born. The Iowa native received a journalism degree from Texas Tech in 1935, married, had three children, and settled in Missouri. Ruth, a "half-hearted Methodist," first plodded through the bible when convalescing from cancer in her early sixties, calling the shock she suffered from reading the book worse than the trauma caused by her illness. "There wasn't a page of the bible that didn't offend me in some way. There is no other book between whose covers life is so cheap," Ruth discovered, prompting her to write the enduring modern freethought classic, The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible (1979). When terminal cancer developed in 1981, Ruth, who always insisted "There are atheists in foxholes," took her own life, swallowing painkillers. In her last letter to Anne Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation on July 4, 1981, Ruth wrote: "Freedom depends upon freethinkers." D. 1981.
“I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion . . . If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society's admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?” -- Ruth Hurmence Green 1915 - 1981

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

Saturday, January 08, 2005


As Grover would say,
"La la la la. Oh hello everybody. Yeah, I am so glad you are here. I was just here all by myself you know."

Jim Henson, created a world of lovable characters, to delight children and somehow give them a hope that the world, they were born into, was not an unpleasant, hateful place. The Henson Happy Muppets gave little ones, who were lucky enough to have a TV, a belief that most people are good and most are unselfish and sharing. I suppose there is no harm in exposing children for an hour a day, to a world that is always positive and where problems are always solved. Especially, if some of those little viewers, live in a cruel reality with not much food and caregivers with little or no patience. A little escape from actuality can be good. Right?

Well, on this, the first entry into my new blog, I say, I DUNNO. As a matter of fact, the older I get the more I dunno! The world, according to me, is so topsy-turvy, it is a wonder anyone even tries to figure out what the HELL is going on. But, they do, I know because I see them on TV and read their articles, always trying to let us know the “what’s” and the “whys” of our lives. Since Bush got a second term though, I think, I sense an uneasiness in their sureness. Both, intellectuals on the Right and the Left, are having a hard time figuring out how such a detestable election result could have occurred.

Thank goodness though, there are brave souls out there in "Intellectual World", who can give us a straight answer or at least an honest opinion of, again I say, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?”, and one such person is…
Mark Morford as a matter of fact one of his articles, led me to opening up this blog as a new year's resolution, where I can express my, “dunno’s” and my confusions, being a blue from a red state, IN OTHER WORDS, someone who tries to use all of their sensory perceptions to shape their reality.
Well, I hope my list of cyber-friends will join me in some good ole roundtable discussions on any subject but preferably on the “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” topic. Thank you,
PS: Please visit my website at: where I like to put Mark Morford's articles as well as other accounts from the many minds of discernment. (the writers who help us break momentarily away from this Bush nightmare.)
CAROLYNCONNECTION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!