Wednesday, December 21, 2005

HERE COME THE JUDGE! Maybe we ain't the crazy ones.


Today, all of us WHO THINK, can finally rest easy, WE NOW KNOW WE ARE NOT THE CRAZY ONES !!! Thanks to one "HERE COME THE JUDGE" for saving our sanity. The Dover Pa. lawsuit in which some brave THINKING people, put their foot down and said NO WAY ARE YOU GOING TO TRY AND BRAINWASH MY CHILDREN WITH YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM! These brave people threw down the gauntlet to tell the "Bush"-whacked (because DUBYA emboldened these lunatic fringed folks) school board members to keep your religious tentacles off my child's brain. Thank goodness, Judge Jones was a member of the THINKING CLASS, and politely told this inane, misguided crew that perhaps they were a bit NON COMPOS MENTIS in their way of thinking about science. Ergo, in no way can you teach a belief system as bona fide scientific theory.

non compos mentis adj. Not of sound mind and hence not legally responsible; mentally incompetent.

Please click this link Scientific Laws,
Hypotheses, and Theories

And then, let us read a little bit about BELIEF SYSTEMS

From the perspective that all Reality is the product of consciousness, it should be clear that a person's beliefs are very important because those beliefs define the limits of their experience in
this realm.

Most humans currently live their lives in this realm around the belief systems of others, be that of their parents', peers', mentors' or society's and because of this they inadvertently give up their ability (and responsibility) to define their reality and have control over their lives.

With this in mind, it is very important that each individual comes to his/her own conclusions about all matters in general and spirituality in particular, rather than blindly embracing the views of others. The purpose of Creation in general and Human 'Beings' in particular is for SOURCE to 'experience' - nothing more and nothing less. In other words, the sole purpose of 'being' human is to bring to the 'CREATOR' (or God for want of a better name) our 'individual' perceptions and consciousness around the experiences we create. The more conscious humans become of this process, the richer the experience. It is for this reason most mystics throughout the ages have said the same thing regarding the sacred task facing all Human Beings - namely that they learn to know themselves. (i.e. "Know Thyself") - meaning humans are to explore and exercise their God given creativity from within this realm for the purpose of experience and
through this process eventually find the flaw in the Game and 're-discover' (sic) that they are an individualised, but inseparable aspects of God. (i.e. their Source)

William Blake (18 century poet and philosopher) summed it up perfectly with the following lines from his epic poem 'Jerusalem' in which he said:

"I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's;
I will not Reason and Compare;
my business is to Create."

The author Robertson Davies was even more brutally honest in his book 'The Deptford Trilogy ' (p477), when he said:

"Be sure to choose what you believe and know why you believe it, because if you don't choose your beliefs, you may be certain that some belief, and probably not a very creditable one, will choose you."

(Click here to read more on this subject)

Anyway, chalk one up for reality this time, I know this won't end the debate because people who have turned their minds over to some unrealistic mindset (or mind-set n. 1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.) will continue to blare out "MY BELIEF IS THE ONLY BELIEF AND MY GOD IS THE ONLY GOD AND YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THE WAY I DO AND YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT MY GOD AS YOUR GOD!" in order to justify their own reasonings or better put their unreasonings. Amen I am outta here,



Darwin Victorious

TIME's Michael Lemonick assesses the theory of evolution after Intelligent Design is defeated in Pennsylvania

"Breathtaking inanity" is how U.S. District Judge John Jones characterized the Dover, PA school board's attempt to cast doubt on the theory of evolution—but in fairness, the recently ousted members of that board were relative unsophisticates, snookered by the intellectual scam that calls itself "intelligent design," or ID.

Where to begin? Well, first of all, proponents of ID point to what they insist are serious flaws in Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. The truth is that the theory is not only an overwhelmingly powerful explanation for how life on Earth manages to come in such a bewildering array of different types, but the only such theory in science. Like any scientific theory, it can't explain how every aspect of every organism came to be, but each time scientists find new evidence—fossils of dinosaurs bearing feathers; fossils of the mammals whose descendants are whales; the molecular structure DNA that carries traits from one generation to the next; the mutations that can alter DNA to introduce new traits—the case for Darwin's theory has gotten stronger.

Do any gaps remain? Sure. Shall we throw up our hands and say "Since we don't know all the details at this moment, God"—oops, I mean, "an Intelligent Designer must be invoked?" The Discovery Institute, a pro-ID think tank favors teaching the controversy over evolution, but that's the scam. There is no controversy, or at least, not the scientific controversy Discovery says there is..

That's not to say there isn't a tiny handful of actual scientists who back ID. Yes, evolution explains a lot, they say, but some things—the eye, for example, or the whip-like tails on some bacteria—are just too complex to have evolved. To which the vast majority of biologists say nonsense. We don't have remotely enough information to make such a statement. Moreover, if ID is a valid theory on its own, it has to make
testable predictions. "It's too complex to explain" is not a prediction.

So ID isn't science, and by that measure alone the Dover school board's attempts to make it so were indeed inane. But beyond that the board insisted that by leaving out the G-word you remove the religious connotation from ID, thus evading a 1987 Supreme Court ban on religion in science classrooms. Again, the board bought the story of people like Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe, an ID proponent, who says that ID doesn't assume the existence of God (although Behe admitted he thinks
the Intelligent Designer is God).
Judge Jones didn't buy that loophole (and for that matter the Discovery Institute stayed out of this case entirely, evidently realizing that it was a legal stinker).

Alas, ID isn't going away. The Kansas school board recently endorsed new educational standards that downplay evolution, and new assaults on Darwin's brilliant and unsettling idea are sure to continue. Meanwhile, there are still gaps in Einstein's theory of relativity and the germ theory of disease and the theory of plate tectonics. However, none of these contradict the sacred text of any religion—and so no school board is likely to be looking for some way to counter them.


Frankincense In Aisle Five!

O ye of little faith, who believe that somehow the birth of Christ is dependent upon recognition in a circular from OfficeMax!

By Anna Quindlen Newsweek Dec. 26, 2005 - Jan 2, 2006 issue -

According to the story, a little more than 2,000 years ago a baby was born in a stable in Bethlehem while his young parents were in town for a nationwide census. Because of the influx of visitors, there were no rooms available in the more traditional places. Humble beginnings notwithstanding, the story continues, the baby grew to be a man who healed the sick, raised at least one friend from the dead, was crucified by the ruling powers and was then himself resurrected. His name was Jesus.

Depending on where you stand, that story is the tale of a prophet, a political agitator or the Messiah, the son of God made man. It is either a myth or the great news, either ancient history, fiction or Gospel. What's beyond dispute is that it has endured through the ages, while the pantheistic stories of other great civilizations became lost to all except those studying the classics. Horrific wrongdoing by the people who embraced the story has not been able to kill it: the Inquisition, the Holocaust. The many schisms among its followers have not destroyed it: Luther's manifesto, Henry VIII's marriages. And today it cannot be tarnished by sheer foolishness, much as some of its loudest champions seem willing to try.

If God is watching us, as some believers suggest, as though we were a television show and God had a lot of free time, the deity would surely be bemused by how dumbed-down devotion has sometimes become in this so-called modern era. How might an omnipotent being with the long view of history respond to those who visit the traveling exhibit of a grilled-cheese sandwich, sold on eBay, that is said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary? It certainly argues against intelligent design, or at least intelligent design in humans.

Or what about the statue in California currently said to be crying bloody tears? On the Gulf Coast thousands are still living with wrenching dislocation during this holiday season, and throughout the country the cold and hungry will pour into soup kitchens and shelters for a Christmas meal. Why worry about the alleged weeping of a plaster effigy when so many actual human beings have reason to cry?

According to the story, the Messiah was sent to save us from our sins, but clearly not our silliness. Right after Election Day, which apparently is a holiday you can find in Leviticus, Pat Robertson, the host of "The 700 Club," rained down rage on the citizens of Dover, Pa. The townspeople had elected a slate of school-board members who supported the teaching of evolution, apparently believing that science should be taught in science classes. Robertson brought dire warnings of divine tit for tat: "If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God; you just rejected him from your city." I wonder: if God were to deign to speak to us through a cable-TV-show host, would it be Pat Robertson, who once predicted Orlando, Fla., could be hit by a meteor for flying the gay-pride flag? Wouldn't it be more likely to be Jon Stewart, or even Rachael Ray? Surely the audience share would be larger.

The cycle of the devotional year has once again wound around to the anniversary of the Nativity, and now the foolishness is all fa-la-la-la-la. It is surprising to discover that some believe the enduring power of the story of the child born in Bethlehem to be so shaky that it must be shored up by plastic creches in town squares and middle-school concerts. Apparently, conservative critics are also exercised by the fact that various discount stores have failed to pay homage to the baby in the manger, in their advertisements, their labeling and even their in-store greetings.

It is hard for me to figure out how a snub by a home-improvement center can diminish Christmas one iota. A flu epidemic carried off as many as 50 million people around the world in the early part of the 20th century, surely a disaster to shake the faith of even the most devout. Yet the holy day endured. Through plague and war, famine and invasion, the tale was told and the lesson learned, of love for neighbors, of charity toward the poor. Carols were sung in foxholes and prisons.

O ye of little faith, who believe that somehow the birth of Christ is dependent upon acknowledgment in a circular from OfficeMax! According to the story, Jesus threw the money-changers out of the temple, saying that they'd made his father's house into a den of thieves. By any stretch of the imagination, does that person sound like someone who would hanker to be formally recognized at Sears and Walgreens, as though his legacy depended upon being given pride of place among redundant hand appliances and teddy bears in Santa hats?

Target is not a temple (although I do pray that the Isaac Mizrahi line of cheap chic will be expanded), and the star of Bethlehem was nothing like a blue-light special. As the pope recently noted, "commercial pollution" is contrary to the spirit of the season and the message of Christmas. For those things, see Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the greatest story never sold. It's an insult to the power and the glory of faith to seek it in fried foods, statuary or the perfunctory greetings of overworked store clerks. If I ever go to Costco looking for religion, I'll know my Christmas goose is cooked.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.© 2005 MSNBC.comURL:



For whom the bell tolls a poem
(No man is an island) by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

The words of the original passage Click Here


Warning very Graphic


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

ThinkingBlue blogspot

TORTURE? Maybe We Are The Nutty Ones.


To continue with the feelings that perhaps, we (the thinking half of the good old US of A) are the crazies...
This thing on torture is beyond crazy, it's beyond Looney bin, it's beyond
psychotic and it's beastly • abusive • barbaric • barbarian •
heartless • animalistic • bestial • brutal • brutish • inhuman
• monstrous • savage • depraved • fiendish... Actually there aren't enough
synonyms in the English language to describe the disgust one feels when the
word is even mentioned ... to think we as a country condones it, is just
outrageous and deplorable!!!

Capitalism, they say is the best economic system we can live under. But the real problem with it is... it promotes greed, insatiability and crapulence
(OH BOY, NOW THERE'S A GOOD WORD TO DESCRIBE THE DARK NATURE OF HOMO SAPIENS:) and it's this greed, that I believe, can lead human beings to impose TORTURE upon other human beings. (a mentality of sorts, that those tortured are less then the one doing the torturing)

Crapulence n. 1. Sickness caused by excessive eating or drinking. 2. Excessive indulgence; intemperance. [From crapulent, sick from gluttony, from Late Latin cr³pulentus, very drunk, from Latin cr³pula, intoxication, from Greek kraipal.] --crapulent adj. --crapuous adj.

Let's get back to the TORTURE subject... Needless to say, the Bush administration is all for it... which in a nutshell, tells you how little they care about the dignity of our species and our country... Below is a bold statement put out by a brave democratic statesman, I say brave because so many Democrats, until recently, have lacked backboned. (they feared loosing their job, if they spoke out against the smuglicans) . Kucinich, on the other
hand, has verbalized from the get-go, about the neocons con-game. Hat's off to Congressman Dennis Kucinich... Then scroll down to Mark Morford's poignant column on Torture.

I am outta here, Thinkingblue

PS: Keep on reading....

Kucinich: The President Is Responsible
Responsible For The Dead And Injured US Troops, Dead
Iraqi Civilians, Waste Of $250 Billion Taxpayer Money, and Failed

WASHINGTON - December 14 - Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH)
issued the following statement today following the President's
latest speech on Iraq to the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC:
"The United States went to war not because of faulty intelligence, but because the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence to mislead the public and to establish a pretext to attack a nation which did not attack us.

"The President, who has given a series of reasons for the war, in his latest in a series of speeches promoting the war, now says one thousand days after the invasion, it was about getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Not about WMD's, because there were none.

Not about Iraq obtaining uranium from Niger. It did not.

Not about Iraq's connection to 9/11, because there was none.

Not about Iraq's connection to Al-Qeada and 9/11, because there was none. '

"The President now says he is responsible for the war in Iraq. I agree with the President. He is responsible.

He is responsible for attacking a nation that did not attack us.

He is responsible for the 2,151 American troops killed in Iraq.

He is responsible for the 15,881 US troops injured in the war.
He is responsible for at least 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed since the start of the war.
He is responsible for draining $250 billion from US taxpayers to pay for the war.

And he is responsible for the failed reconstruction and for the continued occupation.

"I am glad to see the President, one thousand days later, is prepared to admit mistakes. He still has one more admission to go:
That our continued occupation in Iraq is counterproductive and needs to end quickly."

Go to Original

Fun Bits About American Torture
By Mark Morford
The San Francisco Chronicle

Friday 16 December 2005

In many ways, the US is now just as inhumane and brutal as any Third World regime. Oh well?

"We do not torture." Remember it, write it in red crayon on the bathroom wall, tattoo it onto your acid tongue because those very words rang throughout the land like a bleak bell, like a low scream in the night, like a cheese grater rubbing against the teeth of common sense when DUBYA mumbled them during a speech not long ago, and it was, at once, hilarious and nauseating and it took all the self-control in the world for everyone in the room not to burst out in disgusted laughter and throw their chairs at his duplicitous little head.

Oh my God, yes, yes we do torture, America that is, and we do it a lot, and we do it in ways that would make you sick to hear about, and we're doing it right now, all over the world, the CIA and the US military, perhaps more often and more brutally than at any time in recent history and we use the exact same kind of techniques and excuses for it our numb-minded president cited as reasons we should declare war and oust the dictator of a defenseless pip-squeak nation that happened to be sitting on our oil.

This is something we must know, acknowledge, take to heart and not simply file away as some sort of murky, disquieting unknowable that's best left to scummy lords of the government underworld. We must not don the blinders and think America is always, without fail, the land of the perky and the free and the benevolent. Horrific torture is very much a part of who we are, right now. Deny it at your peril. Accept it at your deep discontent.

Torture is in. Torture is the tittering buzzword of the Bush administration, bandied about like secret candy, like a hot whisper from Dick Cheney's gnarled tongue into Rumsfeld's pointed ear and then dumped deep into Dubya's Big Vat o' Denial.

The cruel abuse of terror suspects is sanctioned and approved from on high, and we employed it in Abu Ghraib (the worst evidence of which - the rapes and assaults and savage beatings - we will likely never see), and we use it in Eastern Europe and Guantánamo and in secret prisons and it has caused deaths of countless detainees. And Rumsfeld's insane level of Defense Department secrecy means we may never even know exactly how brutal we have become.

Torture is right now being discussed in all manner of high-minded articles and forums wherein the finer points of what amount of torture should be allowable under what particular horrific (and hugely unlikely) circumstances, and all falling under the aegis of the new and pending McCain anti-torture legislation that would outlaw any and all
"degrading, inhumane" treatment whatsoever by any American CIA or military personnel at any time whatsoever, more or less.

All while, ironically, over in Iraq, our military is right now inflicting more pain and death upon more lives than any torture chamber in the last hundred years, and where we have recently discovered the fledgling government that the United States helped erect in Saddam's absence, the Iraqi Interior Ministry, well, they appear to be so giddy about torture they might as well be Donald Rumsfeld's love children. But, you know, quibbling.

There is right now this amazing little story over at the London Guardian, a fascinating item all about a group of hardy hobbyists known as "plane spotters," folks whose solitary, dedicated pastime is to sit outside the various airports of the world and watch the runway action and make intricate logs and post their data and photos to plane spotter Web sites. It's a bit like bird-watching, but without the chirping and the nature and with a lot more deafening engine roar and poisonous fumes.

These people, they are not spies and they are not liberals and they are not necessarily trying to reveal anything covert or ugly or illegal, but of course that is often exactly what they do, because these days, as it turns out, some of those planes these guys photograph are involved in clandestine CIA operations, in what are called "extraordinary renditions," the abduction of suspects who are taken to lands unknown so we may beat and maul and torture the living crap out of them and not be held accountable to any sort of pesky international law. Fun!

It is for us to know, to try and comprehend. The United States has the most WMD of anyone in the world. We imprison and kill more of our own citizens than any other civilized nation on the planet. We still employ horrific, napalm-like chemical weapons.

And yes, under the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld regime, we abuse and torture prisoners at least as horrifically as any Islamic fundamentalist, as any terrorist cell, to serve our agenda and meet our goals - and whether you think those goals are justifiable because they contain the words "freedom" or "democracy" is, in many ways, beside the point.

Go ahead, equivocate your heart out. It is a bit like justifying known poisons in your food. Sure mercury is a known cancer-causing agent. Sure the body will recoil and soon become violently ill and die. But gosh, it sure does taste good. Shrug.

Maybe you don't care, maybe you're like Rumsfeld and Cheney and the rest who think, well sure, if they're terrorists and if they'd just as willingly suck the eyeballs out of my cat and rip out my fingernails with a pair of pliers as look at me, well, they deserve to be tortured, beaten, abused in ways you and I cannot imagine. Especially if (and this is the eternal argument) by their torture we can prevent the deaths of innocents.

Maybe you are one of these people. Eye for an eye. Water torture for an explosive device. Does this mean that you are, of course, exactly like those being tortured, willing to go to extremes to get what you want? That you are on the same level morally, energetically, politically and, like Cheney and Rumsfeld, you are dragging the nation down into a hole with you? You might think. After all, fundamentalists terrorize to further a lopsided and religious-based agenda. We torture to protect ours. Same coin, different side.

It is mandatory that we all acknowledge where we are as a nation, right now, how low we have fallen, how thuggish and heartless and internationally disrespected we have become, the ugly trajectory we are following.

Because here's the sad kicker: Torture works. It gets results. It might very well save some lives. But it also requires a moral and spiritual sacrifice the likes of which would make Bush's own Jesus recoil in absolute horror. Yet this is what's happening, right now. And our current position demands a reply to one bitter, overarching question: What sort of nation are we, really?




For whom the bell tolls a poem
(No man is an island) by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

The words of the original passage Click Here


Warning very Graphic


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

Thursday, December 15, 2005



For the past 5 years, I can only watch, mainstream-media news TV until Bush or a Bushit comes on. When that happens, I have to switch channels quickly. It seems, since Bush took office, I have developed AADD... If I force myself to watch Bush (or any other Bushit) speak for more than 3 minutes, I start to feel like I am going to ! But after reading the informed opinions by the brilliant writers below, I have come to realize ... IT IS NOT AADD that I've developed BUT AABB.

AABB - Absolutely Abhor Bush Bullshit!
I am outta here, Thinkingblue

PS: This posting, (which is a list of what six American Commentators have to say about what has happened after 5 long years of a George W Bush reign) is a must read. It is interesting, honest and forthright which are rare commodities these days. It may seem a bit long but worth it.

How was it for you?
Five years ago today Al Gore phoned George Bush to formally concede the presidency. Since then the United States has suffered it's worst ever terrorist attack, become embroiled in a disastrous foreign war and bungled the response to a natural catastrophe.
So what is the Bush legacy after half a decade? Is he a ruthless Machiavellian or a bumbling puppet? A devout idealist or a cynical opportunist? A disaster or a mild disappointment? Here, six top American commentators - from the left and the right - deliver their verdicts

Tuesday December 13, 2005
Jacob Weisberg
George Bush seems less likely to be remembered as a disastrous American president than as an ultimately insignificant one. Despite his ambition to reshape American politics and society in the order of a Reagan or a Thatcher, Bush has presided over a period of national and economic drift that more closely resembles the forgettable reign of his father.
The main goal of the Bush presidency was to transform the American electorate by creating a durable Republican majority. Karl Rove, the architect of Bush's political career in Texas and Washington, has drawn an implicit analogy between his own role and that of the legendary
fin-de-siècle political boss Mark Hanna, who served President William McKinley in the 1890s.
Hanna was McKinley's political brain in the way Rove is Bush's. McKinley was an affable, not-too-bright former congressman when Hanna helped to elect him governor of Ohio. In 1896, Hanna raised an unprecedented amount of money, and ran a ruthless and sophisticated campaign that got McKinley to the White House. One could go on with this analogy. McKinley governed negligently in the interests of big business and went to war on flimsy evidence that Spain had blown up the USS Maine.
The key to McKinley's success was the alliance Hanna forged between wealthy industrialists like himself, who provided cash, and workers, who provided votes. In the Bush version, the rich again provide the cash and religious conservatives provide the votes. The wealthy have been
rewarded with tax cuts, the evangelicals with hard-line conservative policies on abortion, gay rights and a school prayer. Bush's re-election victory last year seemed to vindicate his and Rove's strategy of attempting to turn the country to the right. Though it was hardly a landslide, Bush did, unlike in 2000, win a genuine, popular endorsement of his policies.
But a year later, that re-election victory looks like an aberration, explained more by factors such as a weak Democratic opponent rather than any sea-change in American politics. Less than a year into Bush's second term, his approval rating has fallen to less than 40%, which approaches
the nadir for any modern president at any moment in his tenure. This has happened at a time when the US economy, usually a reliable predicter of presidential popularity, has continued to grow robustly, oblivious to Bush's irresponsible fiscal policies and neglect of global competitiveness issues surrounding America's education and health care systems.
Many things have gone wrong for Bush, most notably everything that has happened in Iraq since he declared "Mission Accomplished" in the spring of 2003, but the underlying problem is his relationship to the rightwing constituency that elected him. Bush's debt to his big donors and to
religious conservatives has boxed him in and pitted him against the national consensus on a range of issues. It has proven impossible for Bush to satisfy both the militant conservative base and the eternally moderate US electorate.
The president has never understood the brilliance of Ronald Reagan's way of dealing with this conflict. Reagan managed to appease the religious right with rhetoric, without actually forcing retrograde changes on divisive social issues. Reagan also placated conservatives by
challenging the growth of the public sector. This is a theme Bush has soft-pedalled, preferring to allow federal spending and deficits to rise.
Whether because he is less adroit or because he truly believes what he says, Bush seems able to appease his conservative evangelical base only by surrendering to its wish-list. He has caved in to conservatives on issues including stem-cell research, pension privatisation and the teaching of "intelligent design" in schools. With his most recent Supreme Court nomination, Bush has given in further, creating at least the appearance that he is trying to get enough votes to remove the
constitutional protection for abortion rights.
Through such choices, Bush propels his increasingly beleaguered administration further towards the right-hand margin - a place where his party cannot win future national elections. Possessed of the notion that he had won a mandate for radical change and enshrined a new governing
majority, Bush lost sight of the eternal moderation of the American electorate. Now even rock-ribbed conservatives who face re-election next year are running away from any association with Bush because of his unpopularity.
When it comes to America's relations with the rest of the world, the damage Bush caused may take longer to repair, but his historic influence is unlikely to be any more durable. He will bequeath to our next president the remnants of a negligently planned entanglement in Iraq, but not any coherent American approach to foreign policy or international economics.

· Jacob Weisberg is the editor of and the author of the "Bushisms" series
Kathleen Parker
The marriage between President George Bush and his base is like any other - fraught with tensions and imperfections. So much so that, to appraise his popularity with those who brung 'em to the party, one might need to think in terms of the Ford Theatre's most infamous drama: "Other
than that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?"
Other than Bush's "fiddle-de-dee" Scarlett O'Hara approach to deficit spending ("I'll think about that tomorrow"), an immigration policy that threatens to turn the US into a private piñata for Mexico's president, Vicente Fox, and a fuzzy relationship with the religious right that has even Catholics lurching for the balcony ... he's still got a full orchestra pit. Those most willing to give him a pass on domestic issues tend to be those who think it is critical that a Republican president restore
conservatives to the federal courts, or who believe that the war in Iraq is of paramount importance, or who think both. And there still are plenty who do. These are the folks who, though they may share everyone's dismay that the war has dragged on at greater cost in blood and money than many expected, tend to see the war in Iraq as part of the second world war: not just a skirmish over oil or an exercise in daddy-revenge, but as a systemic approach to an enduring problem, a theatre in a wider war against a new and virulent fascism. But his domestic policies have been a mixed bag - so that the conservative party has become divided over the central question of what it means to be a "conservative". Is it about protecting unborn life or keeping government out of personal decisions? Is it about preserving "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance or about freedom from all belief? Is conservatism about controlling government's appetites or about feeding the beast in the name of national security, even at the expense of civil liberties?
Thus, contradiction and paradox have become bedfellows in the Republican party's sleepover for the past five years. And much of the confusion stems from Bush's seminal decision - with the approval of the Congress, we feel compelled to note - to invade Iraq. It is hard to make a case
for fiscal conservatism when you are underwriting a war. It is hard to keep government small when the mandate to prevent another 9/11 results in the creation of a mammoth new bureaucracy such as the Department of Homeland Security.
Bush's spending habits cannot be blamed entirely on the war. To true conservatives who vote Republican because they prefer limited government
and low taxes, the president spends like a day-wager on a three-day drunk. His is the visionary perspective of a man for whom perfectionism is neither flaw nor pathology, but an achievable goal. Combine that philosophical perspective with the money-is-no-obstacle legacy of a born-rich kid, and you see Bush in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, no longer a mere compassionate conservative but His Majesty Comus astride his Mardi Gras float, tossing gold coins to the homeless and hungry.
Bush enjoys the further distinction of increasing spending more than his Democratic predecessor via passage of the pharmaceutical drug bill in 2003 - the largest entitlement since Medicare in 1965. And then there is his "No Child Left Behind" package that enhanced the federal
government's role in education more than any measure since the 1960s. Which is to say, a large portion of Bush's Republican base feels betrayed - even if some of their pain has been eased by recent reports of a healthy economy, new jobs, and a 20-year low in unemployment (5% as
of this week). The tax cuts didn't hurt, either.
Bush's greatest failing may be his continued wooing of illegal immigrants at a time when his biggest supporters want secure borders and for whom Bush's proposed guest-worker programme is a euphemism for amnesty. His argument that "guests" will do the work that Americans are
unwilling to do is viewed as an insult to the many citizens already waiting tables and cleaning hotel rooms, and suggests the same disconnect with working folk that plagued his father, who failed to
recognise the scanner in a grocery store. Not surprisingly, the most steadfast of his supporters are social conservatives who applaud Bush's court appointments - surely his most lasting legacy. By the end of his second term, Bush will have appointed more than half of the Appellate and US district judges. He is also more than likely to fill three seats on the US Supreme Court, including Chief Justice John Roberts, Judge Samuel A Alito Jr and at least one more, possibly the multiple-niche-filling Viet Dinh, a Harvard-educated Vietnamese-American law professor and former assistant attorney general. Only Baghdad Bob would insist that Bush is doing swimmingly at his
five-year marker, but only a pessimist would deny that the night is still young. The next three years may be enough time for Bush to reach an acceptable level of success in Iraq, which has to do more with leaving Iraqis in charge than in defeating every last insurgent/ terrorist. In the meantime, the president has accomplished much of what he promised, from arranging conservative courts to imposing trickle-down economic policies. Those distressed by his performance must have been
dozing when the curtain rose on The Bush Show, Part II.
· Kathleen Parker is a political commentator whose weekly column in the Orlando Sentinel is syndicated to more than 300 US newspapers
Howell Raines
At this point, the policy legacy of George Bush seems defined by three disparate disasters: Iraq in foreign affairs, Katrina in social welfare, and corporate influence over tax, budget and regulatory decisions. As a short-term political consequence, we may avoid another dim-witted Bush
in the White House. But what the Bush dynasty has done to presidential campaign science - the protocols by which Americans elect presidents in the modern era - amounts to a political legacy that could haunt the republic for years to come.
We are now enduring the third generation of Bushes who have taken the playbook of the "ruthless" Kennedys and amplified it into a consistent code of amorality. In their campaigns, the Kennedys used money,
image-manipulation, old-boy networks and, when necessary, personal attacks on worthy adversaries such as Adlai Stevenson and Hubert Humphrey. But there was also a solid foundation of knowledge and purpose undergirding John Kennedy's sophisticated internationalism, his Medicare initiative, his late-blooming devotion to racial justice, and Robert Kennedy's opposition to corporate and union gangsterism. Like Truman, Roosevelt and even Lincoln, two generations of Kennedys believed that a certain amount of political chicanery was tolerable in the service of
Behind George W, there are four generations of Bushes and Walkers devoted first to using political networks to pile up and protect personal fortunes and, latterly, to using absolutely any means to gain office, not because they want to do good, but because they are what passes in America for hereditary aristocrats. In sum, Bush stands at the apex of a pyramid of privilege whose history and social significance, given his animosity towards scholarly thought, he almost certainly does not understand.
Here is the big picture, as drawn by the Republican political analyst Kevin Phillips in American Dynasty. Starting in 1850, the Bushes, through alliance with the smarter Walker clan, built up a fortune based on classic robber-baron foundations: railroads, steel, oil, investment banking, armaments and materiel in the world wars. They had ties to the richest families of the industrial age - Rockefeller, Harriman, Brookings. Yet they never adopted the charitable, public-service ethic
that developed in those families. Starting with Senator Prescott Bush's alliance with Eisenhower and continuing through the dogged loyalty of his son, George HW Bush, to two more gifted politicians, Presidents Nixon and Reagan, the family has developed a prime rule of advancement. In a campaign, any accommodation, no matter how unprincipled, any attack on an opponent, no matter how false, was to be embraced if it worked.
The paradigm in its purest form was seen when the first President Bush, in 1980, renounced a lifelong belief in abortion rights to run as Reagan's vice-president. His son surpassed the father's dabbling with pork rinds and country music. He adopted the full agenda of redneck America - on abortion, gun control, Jesus - as a matter of convenience and, most frighteningly, as a matter of belief. Before the Bushes, American political slogans of the left and right embodied at least a
grain of truth about how a presidential candidate would govern. The elder Bush's promise of a "kinder, gentler" America and the younger's "compassionate conservatism" brought us the political slogan as pure disinformation. They were asserting a claim of noblesse oblige totally foreign to their family history.
But whether Bush the father was pandering or Bush the son was praying, the underlying political trade-off was the same. The Bushes believe in letting the hoi polloi control the social and religious restrictions flowing from Washington, so long as Wall Street gets to say what happens to the nation's money. The Republican party as a national institution has endorsed this trade-off. What we do not know yet is whether a Republican party without a Bush at the top is seedy enough to keep it
going. Americans have had an ambivalent attitude toward their aristocrats. They have also believed that dirty politics originated with populist machiavells such as Louisiana governor Huey Long and Chicago mayor Richard Daley. The Bushes, with such minders as Rove, Cheney and
Delay, have turned that historic expectation upside down. Now our political deviance trickles down relentlessly from the top. The next presidential election will be a national test of whether the taint of
Bushian tactics outlasts what is probably the last Bush to occupy the Executive Mansion.
In 1988, the first President Bush secured office by falsely depicting his opponent as a coddler of rapists and murderers. In 2000, the current President Bush nailed down the nomination by accusing John McCain of opposing breast-cancer research. He won in 2004 with a barrage of lies
about John Kerry's war record.
With the right leadership, the US can stop the blood-letting in Iraq, regain its world standing, avert the crises in health care and social security, and even bring disaster relief to the Gulf Coast. But that's not simply a matter of keeping Bushes and Bushites, with their impaired civic consciences, out of the White House. The next presidential campaign will show us whether these miscreant patricians have poisoned the well of the presidential campaign system. If so, there is no telling
what we kind of president we might get.

· Howell Raines is the former editor of the New York Times and author of a forthcoming memoir, The One That Got Away
Kitty Kelley
George Bush became "born again" when the bottom dropped out of the oil boom in Midland, Texas. In the spring of 1984, the town's bank failed, fortunes crashed and overnight millionaires tumbled into life-wrecking debt. In a desperate effort to rescue lives and restore morale, the
church elders invited the evangelist Arthur Blessitt to stage a revival.
Blessitt was known as the man who had wheeled a 96lb cross of Jesus into 60 countries on six continents. Midland residents lined the streets during the day and watched Blessitt roll his 12ft-high cross through the boomtown gone bust.
Bush felt uncomfortable about attending the revival, but he listened to the broadcast. On the second day, he asked a friend to arrange a meeting with the evangelist at a coffee shop. Bush told Blessitt: "I want to talk to you about how to know Jesus Christ and how to follow him."
The evangelist quoted Mark and John and Luke to George, who held hands with the two men, repented his sins, and proclaimed Jesus Christ as his saviour. "It was an awesome and glorious moment," said Blessitt. He later wrote in his diary on April 3 1984: "A good and powerful day - Led Vice-President Bush's son to Jesus - George Bush Jr.!! This is great. Glory to God ..."
That conversion eventually led Bush to give up tobacco, alcohol and drugs at the age of 40, illustrating the wisdom of philosopher and psychologist William James (elder brother of the writer Henry), who said "the only radical remedy I know for dipsomania is religiomania". Ever since Bush came to Jesus, his religion has ruled his life and, as president, his policies reflect his fierce religiosity. Within 48 hours of his first inaugural, he issued an executive order banning US
government aid to international family planning groups that perform abortions or provide abortion counselling. He also signed a bill that required that a foetus that showed signs of life following an abortion procedure be considered a person under federal law. He later signed a law prohibiting partial-birth abortion. The measure, which had been vetoed twice by President Clinton, was the most significant restriction on abortion rights in years. Federal judges in Nebraska, San Francisco
and New York ruled that the law was unconstitutional, but Bush did not care. He had placated his evangelical base for his re-election.
By defining a foetus as a person, Bush had forced himself into taking a hard line against providing federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research - a decision that will hamper scientific research for decades. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, whose husband was dying of Alzheimer's, urged Bush to back stem-cell studies. Instead, he restricted federal funding to only 60 stem-cell lines, already in existence. He felt his compromise was the perfect political, if not moral, solution. He satisfied the religious right while giving something to moderates in his party who wanted the federal government to advance rather than hinder research into debilitating diseases.
Bush proposed several constitutional amendments to appeal to the 30 million evangelicals in the US, including a ban on same-sex marriage. By executive fiat he allowed contractors to use religious favouritism in their hiring practices. He also asked Congress to make it easier for
federally funded groups to base their hiring decisions on a job candidate's religion and sexual orientation. The Rev Barry W Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the president had instituted "taxpayer-subsidised job discrimination" by allowing tax-payer-funded groups to hire and fire based on religious belief.
As president, Bush had crossed the constitutional line separating church and state. Within days of taking office, he made federal funds available to faith-based groups that provided social services. More than $1.1bn was disbursed by his administration to Christian groups. No Jews or Muslims received funds. Over time, W's "faith-based initiative" came to look like a political pay-off to church groups to keep them voting Republican. And it worked. In 2004, Bush was re-elected by 3.4 million religious conservatives, who, like him, oppose teaching evolution in schools, and insist on substituting a God-based version of "intelligent design".
From Abraham Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt, all presidents have invoked providence and appealed to a higher power, but Bush actually sees himself as a divine messenger. "I trust God speaks through me," he told an Amish community in Pennsylvania. "Without that I could not do my
job." After 9/11, he told Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, "I believe God wants me to be president." After the World Trade Centre attacks, Time magazine reported that the president spoke of "being chosen by the grace of God to lead at that moment".
With messianic zeal, Bush took the country to war in Iraq against "evil doers" and, despite the lives lost and maimed, he, unlike a growing majority of Americans, has never questioned his policy. "Absolutely not," he said during the presidential debates. "It was the right decision."

· Kitty Kelley is author of Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty

R Emmett Tyrrell Jr
With his detumescent polls, his unpopular war and his faltering domestic policy, George Bush is very much in the sorry state that an earlier president, Harry S Truman, found himself when he left office in 1953. Truman's approval rating then was 23%, worse than Bush's present 38%.
Truman was in a war he saw as an extension of the war against tyranny that his predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt, had fought and that Truman had successfully concluded. Then, too, he was engaged in consolidating FDR's New Deal, a consolidation that earned him the profound resentment of the Old Order that he and FDR had replaced, the Republicans. Alhough Truman was viewed a failure, he is now esteemed as one of the "near-great" presidents. He was inspired in the 1940s by high-minded ideals, as was FDR, who perceived Hitler's threat to our civilisation
perhaps even before Winston Churchill. Truman, too, was an enemy of tyranny; in March 1947, he told a joint session of Congress: "I believe that it must be the policy of the US to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside
This was called the Truman Doctrine. Today, with minor emendations, it might be called the Bush Doctrine. Like Truman, Bush will be adjudged a failure or a success on the outcome of his "support of free peoples".
His foreign policy is his greatest gambit. It is not his foreign policy, however, that explains his weakness in the polls. At roughly 38%, it is down from his natural approval rating of 45-48%. The erosion has been from his conservative base. He was elected by the growing conservative disposition within America to consolidate the policies of the first epochal president since FDR - namely, Ronald Reagan. As FDR in 1933 began the age of big government in America,
Reagan in 1981 began the era of alternatives to government. Bush came to the White House believing he would continue the Reagan regime. He has won significant victories - for instance, tax cuts that have led to 10 straight quarters of near 4% growth in GDP, with low unemployment and
usually low inflation. He continued the Reagan policy of free trade with his Central American Free Trade Agreement, though he has occasionally parted with free trade for political expedience. With the successful nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the Supreme Court, and with at least one conservative justice on the way, he has continued the conservative drift in the judiciary.
Yet his conservative base feels he has failed to keep down spending. He has failed to champion various hot-button matters that ephemerally inflame each constituent group in the conservative amalgam: piety for the people of faith, deregulation for the economic conservatives, attention to immigration for the national security-conscious. But these are distractions. The main point is that Bush has to leave the presidency with a healthy economy, which he probably will, and stability
and something like democratic government in Iraq, which I believe he is closer to achieving than his critics contend.
One thing is certain. He will leave the White House with many Americans furious with him, much as Truman did. Most of those who seethed at Truman were Republicans from the Old Order, with a few conservative Democrats along for the wrathful ride. Those who seethe at Bush are from
America's present Old Order - to wit, Democrats, who have been steadily losing power nationwide and who now hold power mainly in the media and the universities.
They loathe this president. They are proud of their anger. The intensity of this anger is peculiar. After all, Bush's domestic policy is not that much different from Reagan's and his foreign policy is pretty much in line with the doctrine that Truman lent his name to and which FDR would
indubitably have approved. How does one account for this dispendious wrath? More than principle or personal interest, politics is the domain of psychological need. In the case of Bush, the need of a passing Old Order to have enemies.

· R Emmett Tyrrell, Jr is the founder and editor-in-chief of the American Spectator
Dee Dee Myers
George Bush is talking again, and I don't have a clue what he's saying. It's not that he's mangling his syntax. That's par for the course. And while it's as amusing as it is disconcerting, I usually think I know what he's trying to say (though I do confess to being stumped by "more and more of our imports are coming from overseas").
Bush is talking about Iraq, which is always confusing for those of us who like our words and facts to match. He's saying he'll "settle for nothing less than total victory". And I'm wondering: what in the world is total victory? Does it mean large numbers of American troops will stay until Iraq is a fully functioning democracy with a vibrant economy and the political will to help spread freedom across the Middle East?
That could take, like, 100 years. Or does it mean that we'll stay until we stand up enough Iraqi police officers and soldiers to claim with a straight face that they can handle their own security? That could mean substantial troop reductions in time to prevent total defeat in next year's mid-term elections. I just don't know. But this is a familiar feeling for me. I think I know what something
means - until I hear George Bush say it. My trouble with Bush's words started early. When he was running for president in 2000, Bush said he was a "compassionate conservative". I thought I understood compassion and conservatism separately, but put them together and it might as well be cold fusion, a concept that, I confess, totally eludes me. Five years later, I'm still trying to get my
head around it. I guess cutting income, estate and capital gains taxes is the compassionate part, since the cuts really help the rich, who did have it awfully tough during the Clinton years. Or perhaps that's the conservative part, because I'm pretty sure that adding $2.4trn to the
national debt isn't.
Neither is vastly expanding the size of government. Bush says he's for "fiscal restraint". But during his first term, federal spending increased by $616.4bn - not that anyone's counting, in the wake of 9/11. Obviously, I'm not looking at this right. But even when I don't count the vast sums spent on defence and homeland security, Bush is still the most profligate president in 30 years; domestic spending alone is up 36%. OK, so maybe the Congress is to blame. Even though Republicans
control the place, they don't seem to have got the message about "fiscal restraint"; they passed $91bn more in programmes than Bush requested during his first term. Surely Bush fought hard to slow them down, refusing to go along with their mountain of cockamamie spending (1825-29) to serve an entire term without vetoing a bill.
"Uniter" is another word that gives me trouble. Bush says he is one. Granted, he ran a campaign aimed at dividing the country, but who can blame a guy for wanting to win? He decided early on that he would forget about building a broad consensus for his second term. That kind of talk
is for sissies, like John Kerry. Bush wanted a narrow victory, 50% plus one - and that's what he got. But after the election, he said he wanted to be president of all the people, even the dummies who didn't vote for him. And he welcomed us to just change our views so we could all agree
together. That was pretty big of him.
My list of confusing words and concepts gets longer all the time. "Competence" is on the list. George Bush promised us he was the first MBA president and would run the White House with cold-eyed efficiency. And it's very reassuring to hear him say that from Iraq to New Orleans, the government is doing a "heck of a job". Ditto torture. The president says the United States doesn't torture. Boy, is that a relief. Now if only I had a new word for what I saw at Abu Ghraib. Let's not forget "energy policy". I'm sure there's a good reason why Bush's friends in the oil business ran up record profits while American consumers were choking on record prices.
I wish I had Bush's ability to tell all those voices in my head to shut up. Maybe I need to learn his squinty-eyed stare; it certainly seems to have had the desired effect on the press corps. I, too, want to believe that the world is black and white, that all problems have simple solutions, and that doubts are for the weak and faint-hearted. I, too, want to ignore complexity and laugh in the face of contradictory facts. I, too, want to be 14 again

· Dee Dee Myers is a political analyst and commentator, and a former
White House press secretary in the Clinton administration

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Cindy Sheehan wrote an article on Monday, (posted below) about a peace activist Brian Haw, who lives in London. He has been carrying out a vigil in protest of this BUSH/BLAIR Iraq war for 4 years now. These wonderful people who brave the elements and ridicule, to awaken the rest of us who get taken in by the lies and deceit of politicians, should be applauded until our hands are red with pain. It is always an uphill battle for them, since we all have our comfort zones and do not like to stray too far from them.

Our nation especially needs some awakening. The shameful execution Tuesday, December 13, 2005, of a rehabilitated man who may or may not have been guilty of the crimes he was murdered for, is an ideal example of the cruel nature of our culture. Capital punishment is so political and barbaric, this one in COW-LEE-FOR-NEE-A (as schwarzenegger pronounces it) particularly, reminded me of the days when Royalty used slaves to perform
homicidal games for their entertainment. When the strongest
gladiator overpowered the other, he would look to the Royals in their balconies for a thumbs up (to spare the life) or thumbs down (to kill their opponent); to me Arnold gave a thumbs down with very little display of leadership or compassion. This is the world, we the people, live in today. Every break is given to the rich and powerful and hardly any crumbs for those who need help the most. 60 billion in tax cuts to the rich and 60 billion in cuts to social programs...WHY DO WE STAND FOR THIS?? I am ashamed to call myself an American if America only represents avarice and barbarity, this has got to change.

Please read Cindy's words of hope, she is a heroin and I hope her efforts will change the course of our NATION AND OTHER NATIONS to start thinking about who matters the most, WE THE PEOPLE the backbone of society. Thanks, Thinkingblue


Comfort Zones
By Cindy Sheehan
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Monday 12 December 2005

Today was bitterly cold as I walked from the Charing Cross Tube Station to
Parliament Square in London. I was heading there with my traveling
companion, Julie, to go and visit Brian Haw after several exhausting but
productive days in England and Scotland.

Brian is a peace activist and an exceptionally compassionate man who has
been camping out and vigiling in Parliament Square since June 2, 2001. He
was so enraged by the sanctions of the United Nations against Iraq that
were supported by the US and his government that he felt it was the only
thing to do.

While I was vigiling and camping out in Crawford by George Bush's ranch
because of my outrage at the continued and unnecessary killing of Iraqis,
Americans and coalition troops, Brian sent me a letter. Part of it reads:

We stand beside you as family, and you can be sure of our love no matter
what. Now let's help the rest to understand, sort the mess in the quickest
possible time. I don't want another day, another child to come home in a
body bag, nor do you. Well, let's get through to the rest of our folks
pretty damn quick. Amen?!

Your brother Brian, in Jesus name xxx

This portion and the rest of the letter so touched me that I knew if I
ever visited England, I would have to go and see Brian. I was shocked when
I found out that Brian had been arrested early Saturday morning.

This past year, the British Parliament passed a very restrictive law
called The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. The act restricts
freedom of speech and freedom of assembly around Parliament and No. 10
Downing Street. Citizens who break this law can be arrested, and often

A young woman went in front of the Parliament building and read the names
of the 97 British Iraq war dead. She was arrested.

An old man started yelling at Jack Straw for his complicity in war crimes.
He was arrested.

Brian Haw, who has been camping in front of Parliament for over 4 years,
was arrested very early the other morning. Brian is allowed to be there
because the law was passed after his vigil started, but he was arrested
for encouraging "new people" to join his vigil. These new people,
naturally, agree that the war is a tragic mistake and that our troops need
to come home.

These prohibitions and many more on freedom of speech and dissent seem
eerily familiar to me. I have been hauled in twice for exercising my First
Amendment freedoms in America. I have tried to petition my government on
dozens of occasions to redress the wrong that George Bush and the other
neocon monsters have inflicted on the world and my family. I have spent a
lot of money, sacrificed so much, and have traveled far and wide to do so.
No one in the government is listening. No one pays any attention.

I was speaking to a large crowd of hundreds of peace activists in London
at an International Peace Conference, and I challenged them to take back
the freedoms that our governments are taking away from us. Just as
thousands of people traveled from all over the world to join us at Camp
Casey over the summer, I wondered why hundreds of people didn't go to
Parliament and scream out the names of the slaughtered British war heroes
after the young woman was arrested for doing the same. Parliament's
complicity and support of the war crimes in Iraq have contributed to the
killing of the troops and innocent Iraqis. The MPs and Tony Blair should
be faced with their acts of murder on a daily basis.

Why, when Brian was arrested the other day, didn't hundreds of people go
down to Parliament Square and pitch their tents alongside Brian's?

Why do we as Americans sit complacently by and watch our government use
chemical weapons in Iraq? George Bush says that Saddam Hussein is "a bad
man" because he used chemical weapons against his own people. What does
that make George Bush and the leader of the War Department? I think that
makes them bad men. Why do we allow it to continue?

Why do we as Americans turn the channel when we see that our government is
transporting alleged criminals and torturing them in European airspace?

Why do we turn our backs on the innocent children who are killed every day
in the name of liberating a people and spreading "freedom and democracy?"

Why do we let the war criminals rape and pillage our treasury and rob
precious human treasure from our communities and families?

Brian Haw, who is a father of 7, left the comfort zone of his home and
family to save the children of the world. He states his reasons so
eloquently on his website:

I want to go back to my own kids and look them in the face again knowing
that I've done all I can to try and save the children of Iraq and other
countries who are dying because of my government's unjust, amoral, fear-
and money-driven policies. These children and people of other countries
are every bit as valuable and worthy of love as my precious wife and

I was violently ripped out of my comfort zone on April 4, 2004, when Casey
was killed in Iraq. Even if I weren't constantly traveling and
demonstrating against the immoral occupation of Iraq, I will never be
comfortable again. I will live the rest of my life with a part of my heart
and soul missing. I have had my comfort cruelly amputated, as so many
soldiers have had limbs ripped off by IEDs.

Brian showed me pictures of babies who are affected by depleted uranium
sickness in Iraq. He showed me pictures of morbidly ill Iraqi children who
couldn't or can't get medicine because of the prior inhumane sanctions and
now the devastating occupation. Even as the occupational authority in Iraq
can live in relative security in the Green Zone in Baghdad, the people of
Iraq have no comfort zones. They are unrecorded, unreported and
marginalized as sub-human. What we as citizens of humanity are allowing
our governments to do is monstrous and heartless.

So we who care about our freedom and democracy, and who care about our
governments perpetrating crimes against humanity, have to take action. We
have to do as Henry David Thoreau said, "vote with our whole ticket."

If you do nothing for peace and justice in the world, start doing
something. If you are doing something, do more. Our survival on this
planet demands immediate action.

Now is the time to leave our comfort zones and make a difference.

If you don't know what to do, contact me at

I will give you some ideas.

'Peace Mom' Sheehan in New Play by Nobel Winner
Reuters Sunday 11 December 2005

London - U.S. peace activist Cindy Sheehan, who won wide attention with a
vigil outside President George W. Bush's ranch in the name of her soldier
son killed in Iraq, is the subject of a new play by Nobel laureate Dario

"Peace Mom" received its world premiere in London on Saturday night,
starring British actress Frances de la Tour, with both Sheehan and Italian
dramatist Fo in the audience.

The one-woman show is based on extracts from Sheehan's letters to Bush and
other writings. De la Tour delivered the monologues beneath large pictures
of Sheehan's son Casey and a tank in the Iraqi desert in front of a plume
of fire.

"Frances did such an amazing job of conveying my feelings of anger and
betrayal," a tearful Sheehan said after the play.

She said she hoped the play would help "put a human face" on the war.

Sheehan, from Vacaville, California, has become one of the best-known
figures calling for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq since she
protested for several weeks outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, in

Bush has said he sympathizes with Sheehan over the death of her son in
2004 but will not pull out U.S. forces. Some of his supporters have gone
further, accusing her of being an advocate of surrender in the face of

The play was rushed into production to conclude a day-long conference of
activists opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, with de la Tour reading
some passages from a script.

Fo, the leftist playwright who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature,
said his wife and artistic partner Franca Rame would star in a longer
final version of the play in Italy.


Click Here to go to the shame of Schwarzenegger

Statement denying clemency from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

The State of California Killed an Innocent Man



For whom the bell tolls a poem
(No man is an island) by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

These famous words by John Donne were not originally written as a poem -
the passage is taken from the 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon
Emergent Occasions and is prose.
The words of the original passage Click Here


Warning very Graphic


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


Monday, December 12, 2005


Today's message, will be short and to the point. Below, is a
correspondence I received from "The Pen" (the people's email network- WE
THE PEOPLE-) with links to write in your opinion on stopping the

patriot act
from going through AS IS-I can't imagine anyone wanting
our rights to be stripped away from WE THE PEOPLE, allowing government more power than EVER . Also,
Bill Frist, the unethical, greedy senate majority leader R-Tenn., is rearing his ugly head again and trying to use the NUCLEAR OPTION, with this warning..."
It would be against the intent of the Founding Fathers and our Constitution to deny Sam Alito an up-or-down vote on the floor of the United States
Senate," he said on "Fox News Sunday."
remember his JUSTICE SUNDAY, from thinkingblue May archives, well he is up to his dirty, threatening tricks again. Please sign both petitions and give our SO CALLED LEADERS a comment on how WE THE PEOPLE think about both
these issues. Thanks, Thinkingblue

PS: Click here to go to DEMAND YOUR RIGHTS webpage.

tyranny n., pl. tyrannies. 1. A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.

ThinkingBlue comments:
To my (Florida) representatives in Washington: How much more power do the Republicans, who
are suppose to represent WE THE PEOPLE, want? Never mind, I know the answer. THEY WANT ALL OUR RIGHTS STRIPPED SO THEY CAN MAKE THE JUDGEMENT ON HOW WE ARE SUPPOSE TO LIVE UNDER TYRANNY. They want the masses to be slaves to their commands. For what, you may ask, for power and money. This is nothing new, governments have had such power before they were even
called GOVERNMENTS. I absolutely believe, many On the Right Side Of The Aisle, desire ABSOLUTE POWER, which always brings them riches beyond the imagination. It should be evident to all, but sadly it is not. Please, "Reject the Patriot Act without stronger civil rights protections." Thank you, ThinkingBlue


To my (Florida) representatives in Washington: I see Bill Frist, senate majority leader R-Tenn., is using the NUCLEAR OPTION again, with this warning..."It would be against the intent of the Founding Fathers and our Constitution to deny Sam Alito an up-or-down vote on the floor of the United States Senate," he said on "Fox News Sunday." It wasn't so long ago when he, with his JUSTICE SUNDAY,
tried to tie in Christianity, to get exactly what he and his ilk desire and warrant, which is, ABSOLUTE POWER ON THE SUPREME COURT... You know, if the Supreme Court goes totally conservative and vote on any subject that comes before them, exactly as the FAR RIGHT demands them to do, and that is to, VOTE WITH A CONSERVATIVE VISION and nothing else. I ASK YOU THEN...WHAT IS THE GOOD OF HAVING A SUPREME COURT? It would be just a LAME DUCK court or KANGAROO COURT, and every issue would have an outcome which would be totally predictable. Please, vote to have "No right wing conservative to replace Sandra Day O'Connor." Thank you, ThinkingBlue

lame duck n. 1. An elected officeholder, group or person ineffective and weak.

kangaroo court n. 1. A mock court set up in violation of established legal procedure. 2. A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetence.



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your responsibility as a citizen.
Help us spread the word about this resoource to everyone you know.

One issue that unites activists of many persuasions is their distrust of the Patriot Act, the provisions of which megalomaniacs inside our government were pushing for years before America was attacked, and for whom those attacks were nothing more than the excuse they'd been waiting
for. The fact is these unlimited powers are ALREADY being abused, and they have not made us safer. With all the emphasis on airline security the best they can do is murder confused passengers in cold blood as we saw this week. Please contact your members of Congress now and
tell them to vote AGAINST the conference report.

And the cat killer is out of the bag as Frist stated today that if there was a possible filibuster against Sam Alito their trigger fingers would go right back to the nuclear option. The cowardly capitulations of the past have gained us precisely nothing, just as we argued at the time. This is all the more reason to reject not only Alito, but
any hardcore, biased, right wing agenda driven nominee they might put up in his wake. We must tell our Senate that NO conservative is acceptable as a replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor. Otherwise there will be nobody left to protect us when the outrageous dictatorial new powers being seized by the President are challenged in court, as they surely must be.
Please speak out now while we have the chance.

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this message to everyone else you know.
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SEE "THOUGHTS FROM WITHIN" Poem by Woody Harrelson

Angry Fiction By John Cory

Calendar of US Military Dead
during Iraq War

We Stand Our Ground

By William Rivers Pitt



For whom the bell tolls a poem
(No man is an island) by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
These famous words by John Donne were not originally written as a poem -
the passage is taken from the 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon
Emergent Occasions and is prose.
The words of the original passage Click Here

Warning very Graphic


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