Saturday, February 19, 2005


I just had an exchange of ideas on the hopelessness gripping our country, that I would like to share with those who read my blog. Below is from a cyberfriend with my reply. Plus an essay about conservatives vs. liberals from a young college student. Carolyn

(My friend is responding to an article I sent called: Sweden's Take on Private Pensions)

To depend on the stock market without being wealthy is a fool's game. Many people did that during our last "bubble" and lost all their savings -- or half of it -- or some of it. In this capitalist place everything, everything, everything is geared to the rich and moneyed class. Poor and middle-poor and upper-middle-poor will always get screwed -- here and elsewhere where money is God, investment banking is Church, and where education is for those who are not us. Self-education has become increasingly more important and now available vis a vis this internet. Now with countries blustering about The Bomb and with our country sitting on most of the A-Bombs and other chemical warfare gizmos -- we will likely be blown to kingdom come before we can see our children's children's children. I have never felt LESS optimistic in my entire life. As a child of the depression, I grew up believing that with hard work and an optimistic outlook anything could be achieved. Now I realize what a great propaganda ploy that was -- the American dream fostered by government and sold to the masses via movies, news, books, radios, tv. It's like being reared in a certain religion and finding out that most of what you believed in is also propaganda. Call me

Dear Friend, word for word that is exactly what I am feeling. I hate almost everything on TV, radio and in most newspapers... The word of a corporation, doctor, lawyer, merchant, business person or especially politician is not to be trusted because their words reek of lust for money (and how to part you with yours $$$)... and this, the fascists, want to jam or bomb down the throats of the unsuspecting world... What a joke! What is so sad is the fact that it all happened before... AGAIN AND AGAIN... the human animal will never learn... greed and power, over the rights of others will always mask the magnificence of the human evolutionary mind ... When I'm not feeling intensive hatred, I get a glimmer of the true sadness of this fact... we, all the inhabitants of this earth, could be living side by side in harmony and hope but we are forced or propagandized by the institutions of power and greed to live side by side LOATHING one another! From the day we are born we are just puppets to the gluttonous opportunist... THE PLUTOCRATIC'S DOGMA!

After watching, what I think was the last episode, of the PBS series Slavery and the Making of America I realized that what was going on then, IS GOING ON NOW!... only they don't use the label slave anymore... but slavery is what they are turning, the masses of the world, into... SLAVES FOR THEIR OWN MERCENARY ENDS! And the beat goes on...

You know it really is a curse to think with common sense when all around you seems illogical. But we have got to hang in there and hope we will start to see logic return (but I have a strange suspicion it will never return and may not have ever been in our grasp)... Actually this, inaccessible hope for logic, is the only thing that makes us get out of bed each day, so we have no alternative but to try and actualize it. Carolyn

PS: Below I found a sobering essay (my opinion) written no doubt by a young
idealistic person... I loved reading his/her ideas on (click link) liberalism v.conservatism .

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

Sunday, February 06, 2005


In my quest to find the truth about what is going on in our country and in the world, (you can't count on mainstream media for true information anymore) I came across this very interesting editorial, written by a New Jerseyite. Since I originally am from New Jersey, I felt a sort of kinship with the writer.

Anyway, his words ring true for any thinking person, who wonders why so many people, as Mr. Testa put it, voted for Bush "the symptom not the problem". As he states, it is the voters, especially the religious RIGHT that put him in office. Thanks, Jim Testa for writing such a clear, easy to read, bit of TRUTH. We need media minds like yours in these LIES infested times. Carolyn

Why The Christian Right Is Always Wrong

by Jim Testa

This issue began with the idea of doing a politically-themed issue timed to come out before the 2004 presidential election. Great idea, right? Only if you know anything at all about Jersey Beat, you know that we don't exactly have a reputation for getting issues out on time. They come out, and have for 22 years, and I'm proud of that. And one of 'the things that's kept me from burning out or going insane over that time is that I've learned not to stress out over deadlines. This isn't Newsweek or The New York Times.... if we're a week or two (or three or four) later than what we planned on, well, that's just part of being DIV.

But with this issue, I wanted as many people as possible to see this issue before Election Day in November... but if you find yourself reading this after the election, that's okay too. Because in the editorials and opinion columns and interviews that you'll find in this issue, you'll find information and ideas that go far beyond who wins on November 2, 2004. Hopefully what you will find here is not just another reason to vote George Bush out of office, but the how's and why's of getting involved in the political process for the rest of your life.

People talk about punk rock all the time, but what does "punk" really mean? I like to think that at least in part, punk is about being part of an ongoing revolution that looks to undo the "old" way of doing things. Big corporations put out records? Punk rock says, it doesn't have to be that way, we'll put out our own records. Rich promoters controls which bands play what venue? Punk rock says, Let's put on our own shows. Media conglomerates publish pop magazines that pander to the least common-denominator? Punk rock says, we'll put our own fanzines and write about what we really care about.

I'd also like to think that being an American is all about being part of an ongoing revolution too. What revolts me most about the Neo~Cons and the Ashcrofts and their ilk is the post-9/l I screed that questioning authority is somehow unpatriotic. Nothing is more patriotic than standing up for your beliefs and speaking out. It's the foundation of this country. It's what the United States of America is built on. There is no document more sacred to me - and l would think, to any American, than the Constitution. And yet we have elected and appointed officials in Washin9ton D.C. who are not only working to pass new amendments banning abortion, flag-burning and gay marriage, but actively seeking to repeal or curtail the freedoms we were given in the Bill of Rights.

It's not so much that George Bush should lose arid John Kerry should win this election. George Bush is a symptom, he's not the problem. The real problem are the people who put George Bush in office, people whose beliefs are not our beliefs, whose goals are not our goals, whose values are not our values, whose concept of right and wrong is not the one we share as free, independent thinking Americans.

The history of the United States has always been a story of empowerment, of extending rights. Oh yeah,we got a lot wrong, but that's part of being human. But look at all we've fixed. - abolishing slavery, women's suffrage, the civil rights moment. Now that tide has turned; political discourse talks about using the courts and the legislatures to take away rights, to limit freedoms.
What's ironic is that the Bush agenda hides behind the cloak of Conservativism. But if you know anything about Conservative ideology, you know that's nothing but blatant hypocrisy. The true Conservative believes that man is inherently more capable of making moral decisions than the government; that government governs best when it governs least. Yet this modern Conservative movement is all about legislating morality - banning abortion, taking the issue of gay marriage out of the hands of the states, limiting scientific research in the name of questionably religious ethics.

I was raised a Catholic. I lost my faith a long time ago, although when life turns bad, I (like most other people) still turn my eyes to heaven and pray for help. But the values I learned as a Catholic stay with me. We were taught that Jesus fed the poor, healed the suffering, championed the meek. We were taught that his death and resurrection happened for the benefit of all humankind - not just people who looked like us, talked like us, worshipped like us, The Evangelical Christian movement - of which George Bush is both a member and a driving force - has taken Jesus' message and twisted it to its own agenda.

I've read the New Testament. I don't remember it saying anything about hating people. Christ's message was a message of tolerance. But Born-Again Christians think that only "they" have the true answer, Only they worship the one true God and only they wil go to Heaven. The rest of us, those of us who aren't born again, we'll just go to Hell. And since we're going to Hell anyway, it's perfectly all right if we get pushed around a little while we're still here on Earth.

William F. Buckley once said that as a Catholic, he didn't need to be born again; he was "a congenital Christian." Mega-ditto, Bill. But none of us "needs' to be born again to enjoy basic human rights, guaranteed to us in a Constitution that specifically calls for the separation of church and state. (Funny, 1' also remember another guy who said something about "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and render unto God that which is God's." Sounds like the same idea, doesn't it?)

Here's my theory. The Christian Right know in their hearts, above all else, that they are going to heaven, because they've taken Jesus into their hearts. So it doesn't matter what else they do while they're here on Earth. Plunder the environment? Why not? Give to the rich and take from the poor? I'm not sure the Jesus I read about in Paul and Luke would like that, but Bush and his cronies at Halliburton don't seem to mind the idea. Invade another country, violating generations of United States foreign policy, because you have a personal gripe with the guy running the place? Sure. What's a few thousand dead American soldiers (and tens of thousands of dead Iraqis) if we make Baghdad safe for Gulf Oil and Starbucks? None of those heathens were on the glory train anyway.

Here's what I hate most about the Christian Right, though. Not that they're evil; that they're smug. They think they have this country in their hip pocket, because the people who don't follow them into church on Sunday are home in front of their TV’s watching Fear Factor and celebrity poker. They think the rest of us are too apathetic, too jaded, too stupid, or just too cowed to fight back.

And that's why it's important to vote. Not just this election, but every election. Why it's important to protest. Why it's important to speak out. We have to let THEM know that WE are here too. We have to make our voices heard, and we have to spread the message that it's all right to open your window and shout, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Because that's the only sane response to the current state of this country.

There are some excellent books reviewed in the current issue of Jersey Beat that you should find and read. Mark Anderson's ALL THE POWER: Revolution Without Illusion provides a step-by-step guide for true punk activism, combining commitment and idealism (and, lest we forget, patriotism,) with punk ideals and ideology. Krist Novacelic, the bassist of Nirvana, has written a short paperback called Of Grunge And Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy. It's all about using the power of the ballot and the public forum to create meaningful change.

The first time I was old enough to vote, I not only voted, I volunteered and canvassed door to door for my candidate. He was a man I believed in passionately, and I hated his opponent as much as I'd ever hated anyone. That candidate was George McGovern. His opponent was Richard Nixon. And you know (I hope) how that election turned out. But less than four years later, the tide had turned, and the majority of Americans felt, as I did, that Richard Nixon wasn't fit to be President. Nixon was undone by a handful of diligent and persevering newspaper reporters, a group of honest politicians on the Watergate Committee, and most of all, public opinion.

Never think your opinion never matters, never think your vote doesn't count. If you do, they win.

Click Here To Go To "Black Ties and Body Bags"
Click Here To Go To "Christian Right Are Wrong" webpage

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

Friday, February 04, 2005



The tears fall each time young soldiers, die.
For a lie…
The tears fall as last breaths whisper, goodbye.
For a lie…
The tears fall, as exploding bombs, fill the sky.
For a lie…
The tears fall, filled with hate, reflecting why?
By Carolyn

This melancholy essay speaks volumes of
the audaciousness of the 2005 Inauguration and
the inequities between those with too much power
and those with none.
A very sad story, indeed. Carolyn


Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 12:12 PMSubject: Minneapolis Star Tribune

Some in black tie; others, body bags by Susan Lenfestey
It's time to party!
As the families of bomb-flattened Fallujah huddle in make-shift refugee camps, drinking from sewage-filled streams,

Iraqi policy mastermind Paul Wolfowitz fastens the last stud into his starched collar.

As the Iraq Survey Group ends its search for WMD, concluding that there was no imminent mushroom cloud or even a smoking gun, Condi Rice draws herself a hot bath.

As Sgt. Kevin Benderman, an Army mechanic with nine years of service, refuses a second deployment to Iraq, saying, "You just don't know how bad it is," Colin Powell pours himself a drink.

As Specialist Charles A. Graner, miscreant and major-domo of Abu Ghraib, shuffles off to prison, Donald Rumsfeld straightens the black tie of his tux.

As the 9/11 widow tucks her children into bed, wondering why the recommendations made in "The 9/11 Commission Report" weren't implemented, Tom Ridge tightens his cummerbund.

As prisoners charged with no crimes, and given no recourse, languish in the hellhole of Guantanamo Bay, torture apologist Alberto Gonzales clicks his cufflinks into place.

As Dan Rather retires in disgrace over forged documents, former CIA Director George Tenet, proponent of forged documents about Iraq's nonexistent nuclear program, adjusts the Medal of Freedom around his neck.

As the working mother in Chicago wonders how to keep her child from being left behind now that her special-ed program has been cut, Armstrong Williams polishes his shoes.

As Valerie Plame walks away from a distinguished career as a CIA "operative," destroyed when her identity was revealed by columnist Robert Novak, Mr. Novak walks to his limo.

As Osama bin Laden chuckles in his cave to see America's fortunes sink in the morass of Iraq and as fresh recruits to his cause multiply like flies, Dick Cheney pops the cork on a bottle of Dom Perignon.

As America's trade gap surges and the red ink in the national debt bleeds to a record level, Treasury Secretary Paul Snow finishes shaving and dabs at a spot of blood on his chin.

As the Republican Congress gets ready to underfund everything from Head Start to veterans' benefits, Speaker Dennis Hastert checks his profile in the mirror.

As Pfc. Francis Obaji, oldest son of an immigrant Nigerian family, is zipped into a body bag for the sad journey home,

Laura Bush zips up her Oscar de la Renta gown.

And as his corporate pals slide their millions across the table to dance at his ball, forgetting for a moment the bottom line that forces them to ship jobs overseas, George W. Bush pulls on his snakeskin boots.

It's time to party!
Susan Lenfestey is a Minneapolis writer.

Please click link below to see this poignant writing on my webpage:


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