Tuesday, January 31, 2006

LA LA LAND LOST? S.O.T.U.Address 2006

"LA LA LAND LOST!" State Of The Union Address 2006


I have felt as though our Nation was somehow transported to some kind of delusional LA LA LAND with the Republican take over of our country. Especially, Bush's rise to fame as the most powerful leader in the world. The evangelicals becoming so embolden to the point of actually believing the nonsense the leaders of this religious campaign spread.

Such as: AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals - If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being. Rev. Jerry Falwell Founder of The Moral Majority

"NOW is saying that in order to be a woman, you've got to be a lesbian."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 12/3/97

"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."-- George Bush

"We're going to bring back God and the Bible and drive the gods of secular humanism right out of the public schools of America." --Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan addressing the anti-gay rally in Des Moines, 2-11-96

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."--Randall Terry, Founder of Operation Rescue, The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 8-16-93

"Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals--the two things seem to go together."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 1/21/93

I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag." --Ralph Reed, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 11/9/91

The lists of rhetorical propaganda from the "religious" right goes on and on... Demonstrating that these people are truly NUTS! But Things are A-CHANGING, thank-goodness to all that's holy and moral!

La La Land Lost is finally taking shape. The cockamamie coo-coo crazies behind the evangelical movement are, at long last, getting defrocked. The human brains inside the unfortunates, taken in by the forces of the power driven maniacs who claim they represent GOD, are irrevocably WAKING THE HELL UP! I came across the article below while searching for a preview (click) to Bush's 2006 SOTU address, I thought this "BUSH A CASUALTY OF WAR" to be better than any other sample I might have gotten about Bush's SHIT-OF-THE-BULL speech he will be spewing this evening. thinkingblue
PS: Just in case you would like an opinion of the Bush address read this:

Can State-Of-The-Union Boost State Of Bush's Presidency?

Bush a casualty of war January 7, 2006
They liked what George Bush represented: a return to the values of a time that never really existed. But they are now disillusioned and have stopped listening. Michael Gawenda reports.

The men are wearing 10-gallon hats, fancy, two-color cowboy shirts and elaborately patterned boots. The women are in long skirts and multi-colored cowgirl shirts and suede jackets, knee-high boots and hair-styles straight out of the '50s. Country and western dancing, the two-step, the women light on their feet, skirts swirling, smiling, eyes scanning the dance floor; the men stern and silent, focused, ageing, stiff-jointed, some of them dancing from memory.

Billy Elenga is dreaming, not dancing. He has lived in Tombstone for a decade, having come from New York where the acting career he pursued failed to
materialize. Elenga thought he had some advantages as far as acting was
concerned: his parents, Ren and Clair Elenga, were quick-draw artists in
Las Vegas, the fastest around.

In the '60s, Elenga says, he met all the Hollywood cowboys when they came to Las Vegas to learn how to draw a six gun and do all that other fancy twirly stuff from his parents. He loved those times. Elenga was pretty quick, too, for a kid, though that didn't do him much good in New York.

It didn't do him much good when he applied at the Australian consulate in New York for a work visa. He was told that the prospects weren't great for out-of-work actors or quick-draw artists. Elenga says this was disappointing because he thought that in Australia he would find a real frontier.

"Tombstone is struggling," he says. "I love the old West. There's still some of it around here, but not much. But I can write here. I'm writing a screenplay for a movie. A western. I don't know why they don't make westerns any more."

In the early morning of that Saturday, down the road at the OK Cafe, where buffalo hamburgers are the house speciality, Carmen Mercer, the cafe's owner, is getting ready for her stint patrolling the United States-Mexican border. Her pick-up truck is packed with blankets and ropes and torches. Mercer, who came to the US from Germany in the early '80s, is dressed in jeans, boots and a leather jacket, and once she leaves Tombstone, in a car park beside a supermarket just out of town, she straps on her gun belt with its holstered Colt .45.

Mercer is part of the Minutemen movement that began last April with 800 volunteers who gathered in teams on the Mexican border in Arizona, Texas and California to stop the flow of illegals, mostly poor Mexican villagers in search of the American dream.

The Minutemen movement has grown to 5000 strong, mostly middle-aged men and women who give up their weekends and their holidays to patrol the border. They are convinced that the flow of illegal immigrants into the US is a threat to national security and, more importantly, US national identity.

Standing on the border, alongside the rickety wire fence that separates the two countries, with the flat scrub-covered desert of southern Arizona stretching as far as the eye can see, the Minutemen's demand for a 3500- kilometer wall to separate the two countries is an absurd pipedream.

But the estimated 13 million illegal immigrants in the US and the 500,000 or so who made it there last year are likely to be a big issue in the mid-term congressional elections in October, though it's hard to see how any political party can meet the demands of the anti-immigration activists.

"I voted for Bush but I'm sorry I did," Mercer says. "He's on the side of business, doing their bidding on illegals. Business exploits these people. They are paid nothing, have no benefits, do all the dirty work.

"Bush is a disappointment all round. I was against the war in Iraq, but now that we are there, why can't we just do what's needed to win? We lost in Vietnam because we didn't want to win. Same thing now. And we are hated everywhere. We give money to all these countries; we support them and they hate us in return. How about we look after our own first?"

WHAT comes to mind is inauguration day in January a year ago.

Washington was awash with cowboys and cowgirls that day, triumphant cowboys and cowgirls from Texas, dressed in the finest cowboy and cowgirl gear, white or tan suits and frilled shirts and thin black leather ties, the women in tailored suits and furs, celebrating the first day of George Bush's second term.

There were to be three days of celebrations - dinners, balls, concerts. It felt like a coronation and, with Republicans having won control of both houses of Congress, there was talk among Bush's advisers of a Republican ascendancy that would last for generations.

In this second term, a radical foreign policy, with the goal of nothing less than the spread of democracy and liberty around the world, beginning in the Middle East, would be matched by domestic reforms, including the privatization of social security, that would sweep away the last vestiges of Roosevelt's New Deal.

On the way to Colorado, in Bisbee, a small former copper mining town gouged into the bare mined-out hills between Tucson and Phoenix, on the footpath outside the Bank of America building, at twilight, a group of women dressed in black is staging a silent vigil against the war in Iraq.

Bisbee is a hippie town in the middle of the Arizona desert, its residents all from somewhere else, jewelers and painters and musicians who have renovated the 19th-century shop fronts and the miners' cottages. It is not surprising that there is no great love here for George Bush.

What is surprising, traveling across Arizona, stopping at the small, one-street towns along the way with their 1950s diners and their prefab houses flying the Stars and Stripes and the Utes (sport-utility vehicle) parked outside the fast-food outlets just off the highway, is the almost universal concern, regret, that the US is unloved.

Many blame Bush for this. In small-town America, beneath the friendliness, the often startling hospitality - it is amazing how many people are prepared to invite virtual strangers to come share a meal with them - there is disappointment with Bush.

"It's all very well to spread democracy and get rid of bad men like Saddam Hussein, but we get no thanks for the blood and treasure this has cost us," says Kate Polly, a middle-aged hotel worker in Phoenix. "Then, when it comes to saving and helping Americans after Katrina, George Bush and all the other politicians in Washington do nothing."

Arizona is Republican country, a heartland "red" state which Bush carried easily in 2000 and again in 2004. It is small-government, low-taxes Republican, the home of the late Barry Goldwater, who lost the 1964 presidential election to Lyndon Johnson in a landslide, but who became the father of the new conservatism which by the time Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, had become the political and economic orthodoxy not only of the Republican Party, but of centrist Democrats. It was summed up by Reagan when he said: "Government is the problem, not the solution."

Bush swore allegiance to the Goldwater creed, but he has presided over record growth in government spending and record budget deficits. He has become - perhaps he always was - a big-spending Republican, prepared to cut taxes, but unwilling to cut federal programs, a captive, according to many Arizona conservatives, of Washington's big-government elites.There is not much talk of the social conservative agenda in Arizona, not much concern about gay marriage and "liberal" judges who are out to transform a Christian nation into a secular one.

In Colorado Springs, a mountain town framed by the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado, in the sprawling complex of the Focus on the Family headquarters and, a couple of kilometers away, at the New Life Church, a mega-church with ties to Hillsong in Australia, the soldiers on the God side in the culture wars are hard at work.

Thousands of them, young men and women, answering phones, mailing leaflets, selling books and preparing radio and television programs in studios with the most up-to-date equipment. Focus on the Family, founded in 1977 by James Dobson, a former child psychologist, is probably the most politically influential, socially conservative organization in the US.

Dobson's daily radio program, carried by thousands of stations across the country, has an audience of about 7 million. He is a regular commentator on Fox News and is close to several senior White House aides, including Karl Rove. Some observers believe Dobson's "personal" endorsement of Bush - Focus on the Family would lose its tax-exempt status if it endorsed political candidates - helped deliver Bush his second term.

And Ted Haggard, the pastor and founder of the New Life Church, is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals which represents 45,000 churches in the US and through its Office of Government Affairs in Washington, lobbies Congress and the White House on "values" issues.

These two men are much loved and respected in their respective headquarters. There are photographs of them and framed quotations and posters advertising their books everywhere you look. No doubt they are inspiring, and no doubt in the culture wars there are no more dedicated and committed troops than here in Colorado Springs.

But are they winning? Has George Bush, born-again Christian, passionate supporter of "a culture of life", delivered what he promised his evangelical supporters: a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, a Supreme Court that would overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade pro-choice judgement, and the harder-to-define support for "family friendly" policies and initiatives?

Asked this question, Gary Booker, the director of international broadcasting for Focus on the Family, says that he is not in a position to answer "political questions" because Focus on the Family is a non-political organization.

"Our major concern is helping families," he says. "Promoting family values, that's our main goal. Yes, we believe that we need a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage because we believe that gay marriage threatens the institution of marriage, which remains the basis of our civilization. And yes, we believe that abortion is the taking of innocent human life.

"I think, personally, that President Bush agrees with us on these things."

Maybe. During the 2004 campaign, Bush promised to push for the anti-gay marriage amendment to the constitution, but he has not mentioned it at all in the past 12 months. White House aides have made it clear that Bush does not intend to make an issue of what they describe as a lost cause.

Nor is it likely that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade despite the fact that Bush had the chance to fundamentally move the court to the right.

In private, leaders of the Christian Right concede that a majority of Americans are pro-choice and that neither John Roberts, the new Chief Justice, nor Samuel Alito, who is almost certain to be confirmed by the Senate to the court, are radicals in the sense that they would be prepared to overturn what has become established law.

In Colorado Springs, those soldiers of the Christian Right produce their radio and television programs that hark back to an America of intact families living in family-friendly neighbourhoods, where there are no drugs or poverty or homosexuality, where mom stays home with the kids - in other words, an America of '50s sitcoms like Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver, an America that has never existed.

On the drive from Colorado Springs to Kansas, on local radio, Dino Costa, the highest-rating talkback radio host in the state is telling his listeners that Bush is no born-again Christian but rather a Mason from a family of Masons, and that Bush has no intention of returning America to its Christian roots.

"He's a fake," he says. "There are homosexuals in his Administration. There are people opposed to Christianity in his Administration. What has Bush done for us? Nothing. There's more pornography and Hollywood trash around than ever. Liberals are destroying our schools. Wake up, people."

Listening to this, you think of Billy Elenga and his Wild West dreams, and Carmel Mercer and the Minutemen campaign to build a wall around America; you think of the anti-gay, pro-family crusade of the Christian Right, and you wonder how much of this is about nostalgia for a time that never was and never will be.

Bush had big dreams on inauguration day a year ago. Having won a clear, if relatively narrow, victory in November, he famously proclaimed that he had earned political capital that he was now determined to spend.

It was hard that day, in the midst of all that Republican triumphalism and the despair of Democrats, with the military bands playing God Bless America, to remember that America was at war in Iraq, that 1300 US troops had been killed in that war, and that the insurgency was growing more bloody by the day.
triumphalism n. The attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, especially a
religion or political theory, is superior to all others.

In a 13-minute speech, Bush used the words "freedom" or "liberty" in almost every sentence. The rhetoric was soaring, almost biblical. America would rise, as it always has, to defeat the tyrants and the terrorists who are the enemies of freedom:

"From the day of our founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights and dignity and matchless value because they bear the image of the maker of heaven and earth."

In winter, the Kansas plains look desolate and vast, snow-covered and endless. This is farming country, mainly wheat and some soya beans, and off the interstate highway there is small-town America where the Stars and Stripes fly from virtually every greasy spoon and every suburban house, and where there are signs planted in many dead winter lawns welcoming back soldier sons and daughters who are returning from Afghanistan or Iraq.

Kansas is where the "values" Republicans have had their greatest success. This is where farmers face an uphill battle to hang on to the family farms that are threatened by the big corporations building ever-larger farming empires, and where in the working-class suburbs of Wichita and Kansas City there is increasing dread that big manufacturers like Boeing will pack up and move overseas.

This is where the conservative evangelical wing of the Republican Party has convinced these struggling farmers and dread-filled blue-collar workers that what is happening to them, what threatens them, is the fault of the liberal elites who control the media and public schools and the courts. The goal of these elites, most of them from the north-east, from New York or Washington, is to undermine America and traditional American values.

And so in Kansas, the school board has voted to demand that science teachers tell their students that evolution has big holes in it exposed by advances in molecular biology and that science is not just about finding "natural" explanations for life on Earth. And so the board, controlled by "values" Republicans, is planning to introduce education vouchers which parents will be free to use to send their children to private schools and which many people fear will destroy the Kansas public school system.

At Washburn University in Topeka, Bill Wagnon, a professor of American history and a member of the Kansas Board of Education, says perhaps 25 per cent of Kansans really support the right-wing fundamentalist Republicans who have captured the party in that state.

"But these people are organized and active," he says. "And they appeal to people who feel threatened by change and who are nostalgic for that simpler, less morally confused world that was America half a century
ago. At least that's what they think America was back then."

From Kansas on to Cleveland in Ohio, where in a neat, middle-class suburb a 15-kilometre drive out of town, along the fence of the home base of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, there are fresh flowers and small wreaths laid every day to commemorate the deaths last August of 14 members of this unit, killed in a road- side bombing on a desert road west of Baghdad.

In Cleveland, a Democratic stronghold in a state that Bush won by just 200,000 votes, the war in Iraq is much more about the deaths of these young men, all of them from Cleveland or small nearby towns, than it is about America's mission to spread freedom and liberty around the world.

Yet even here, there are few people, it seems, who want US troops pulled out of Iraq precipitously. Not even Paul Schroeder and his wife, Rosemary Palmer, whose 23-year-old son, Edward, was one of the marines who died on that road near Baghdad.

His parents live a few kilometers from the base where their son was trained and from there, they run Families of the Fallen for Change, a group of a few dozen parents of slain soldiers who want Bush to define what would be a victory in Iraq and under what circumstances US forces could be withdrawn.

"We cannot bring our son back, but what we can do is ask our President to explain just what it is we are trying to achieve in Iraq and how he plans to get it done," Paul Shroeder says.

"We support our soldiers, even if we don't support the war."

In this trip across the US, the war in Iraq was not raised by many people, and when it was raised there was mostly anxiety about the mounting death toll and fear that America would lose and that in the aftermath of that loss, the US would be weaker, more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Alexander Lamis is a professor of politics at Ohio's Case Western Reserve University. In his view, Bush beat John Kerry in Ohio, the key "swing" state in the election, because a majority of people, despite their misgivings about the war in Iraq, believed that Bush was tougher on terrorism.

"Yes, there was some values voting ... but the security issue was the key one," he says.

"Now, some of those people have changed their minds. They believe the war in Iraq has made America less secure."

In a couple of weeks, Bush will deliver his annual state of the union speech to Congress. It is doubtful that the rhetoric will soar, that the dream of spreading freedom and liberty will be repeated with quite the sort of confidence and biblical force that marked his inaugural address a year ago. There have been too many travails and too few triumphs for that. And you wonder whether out there, in small-town America, out there in Arizona and Colorado and Kansas, in Ohio and Michigan, where people feel anxious about the future and nostalgic about the past, when Bush rises to address Congress, they will be listening.


After the ball is over,
After the break of morn
After the dancer's leaving;
After the stars are gone;
Many a heart is aching,
If you could read them all;
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball.


Everyone, please copy and paste the below
message into your email signature... spread the word... thinkingblue

NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse nor protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President. http://thinkingblue.blogspot.com

WORD OF THE DAY Gleichschaltung from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The German word Gleichschaltung is used in a political sense to describe the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control over the individual, and tight coordination over all aspects of society and commerce. Another possible translation is "making equal". One goal of this politics was to enforce a specific way of doctrine and thinking to everybody, eliminating individualism.

QUOTATIONS OF THE DAY A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
The most beautiful experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.
-- Albert Einstein




Warning very Graphic


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

Progressive Women's Blog Ring Powered by RingSurf

Monday, January 30, 2006






Wow, do we know what is happening right under our very noses? Read the belowCLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR BROWN SHIRT article and find out HOW "THEY" (the greedy, far right, Christian conservative movement) IS TRYING TO STEAL YOUR BRAINS . This must be how Hitler was able to turn reasonable minded human beings into OBEDIENT, MINDLESS, RUTHLESS SHEEP. OK, now will someone pass out the BROWN SHIRTS PLEASE AND LET THE OBEDIENCE" LESSONS BEGIN. thinkingblue

PS: I hope a lot of people will read today's article... It should be called THE CHRISTIAN TALIBAN! What a joke, they express how adverse the Islamic religion is and they (Evangelical Christian Movement) follow the same creed... DO AS YOU ARE TOLD... DON'T QUESTION... I wonder when they will start telling their CHARACTER TRAINED students... to strap on a bomb and blow yourself up FOR JESUS! This will be next, I AM SURE! OH, WAIT A MINUTE, THEY DON'T HAVE TO, THEY HAVE GEORGE W BUSH'S MILITARY TO "BLOW PEOPLE UP FOR JESUS".

Please read the eye opening article below, CULT OF CHARACTER by 'Silja J.A. Talvi', if you dare.


This piece (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD)OR HERE (DOWNLOAD MIDI) is based on an old Germanic legend, a practice that was highly approved by the Nazis. Its bold and uplifting music is a part of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Wagner's sense of the importance of Germanness, is well as his expressed anti-Semitism, made his music popular with Nazis.

Cult of Character By Silja J.A. Talvi
In These Times
Monday 09 January 2006

How the 'secular' Character Training Institute is working to build evangelist Bill Gothard's vision of a First-Century Kingdom of God-one city, one state, one school board, one police force and one mind at a time.

From the outside the bland, unmarked exterior of the Character Training Institute's headquarters blends remarkably well into its immediate surroundings. This is a section of Oklahoma City that hasn't yet benefited from the nearby, upscale urban development intended to draw both tourism and business to the area. Both the downtown Greyhound Station and the county jail are situated a few blocks from here, which explains the number of forlorn, transient men and women wandering down West Main Street. For the most part these folks seem to have more immediate priorities than paying attention to the dozens of foreign-looking visitors entering and exiting the 10-story Character Training Institute (CTI), which also serves as the headquarters of the International Association of Character Cities (IACC).

But one elderly woman wearing mismatched clothing and a weathered plastic visor ambles across the street to get a closer look. She leans against the wall and tries to peer inside, but the heavy double doors, darkened windows and drawn shades make it nearly impossible to do so.

"What's going on in there?" she asks a young man with a military-style haircut walking toward the door. He takes a polite moment to explain that this is a very important "Building Cities of Character" conference, sponsored by the IACC. Many people, he adds, have come from all over the world to be here. And with that, he disappears into the building. The woman tries, one last and unsuccessful time, to see what's going on inside.

"The Sin of Witchcraft"

Inside the institute, Arizona state treasurer David Petersen takes to the conference podium to tell how his state's Family Services Committee passed "Character Education Legislation."

"All schools now have it implemented," he says proudly. "We're fighting for the soul of this nation." Petersen is not being hyperbolic. He attributes his passion for "character" to a personal meeting with evangelist Bill Gothard.

Gothard, the 74-year-old, unmarried man at the head of the Oak-Brook, Illinois-based Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP)-which brings in an estimated profit of at least $63 million annually-has been in the evangelism business since 1964. Originally named the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, IBLP changed its name in 1990. All totaled, IBLP boasts that at least 2.5 million people have attended the organization's seminars and ministries in the United States and other countries, including Russia, Mongolia, Romania and Taiwan.

Although legally and fiscally independent, the CTI is for all intents and purposes a "secular" front group for Gothard's IBLP. In the last decade, the CTI has quietly gained entry into hundreds of elementary, middle and high schools, state and city offices,corporations, police departments and jails.

Though he never uses the term, Gothard's ideology fits into the framework of the burgeoning "Christian Reconstructionist" movement, which aims to rebuild society according to biblical mandates. Within the Christian Reconstructionist worldview, modern-day chaos is directly attributable to the division of church and state and the consequent degradation of individual character.

For Gothard, the solution is restoring the United States-and then the rest of the world-to something that he calls "The Sevenfold Power of First-Century Churches and Homes."

The concept of obeying God-granted authority runs through virtually all IBLP-published materials. "The key to understanding authority is identifying four areas of God-ordained jurisdiction: parents, government, church leaders, and employers," reads an introductory passage to Basic Life Principles Seminar. "When a decision is to be made, we must ask, 'Whose jurisdiction is this under?' God gives direction, protection, and provision through human authorities. If we rebel against them, we expose ourselves to the destruction of evil principalities. ... This is why 'rebellion is the sin of witchcraft.' "

According to Gothard's interpretation, first century Roman Centurions were admirable figures of authority who followed their orders without question-the prototypes for the kinds of police officers that CTI instructor Ray Nash, the sheriff of Dorchester County, South Carolina, wants to create in his state and elsewhere.

Nash has conducted "Police Dynamics" training for numerous U.S. and international police departments.

"Really, what Police Dynamics is, in a nutshell, is biblical wisdom that's been packaged into a law enforcement message," Nash told Rev. Mark Creech in a November 2004 article for Alan Keyes' Renew-America Web site.

Character Cities Conference

"Leaders around the world are increasingly concerned by the decline in society's standards," CTI founder Thomas A. Hill writes in his introduction to the brochure inviting people to the IACC conference. "As you reflect on the past, you may ask yourself, 'Where did the good old days go?' and 'How did we get to this point?' The answer is rooted in a growing lack of personal character."

Anyone wanting to explore such questions and willing to fork over $360 for this annual three-day conference would be buzzed in through the double doors into an oddly serene and well-ordered environment.

Decorated in a faux-Victorian style, the lobby is spotless and dust-free, complete with displays of fake flowers in vases, rows of couches and psalm-quilted pillows. Low-level classical and hymnal music is piped in, but there are no television sets, radios or wall clocks to be seen. A busy group of young, unadorned women in ankle-length tan skirts, flats and dark polo shirts-and their adolescent male counterparts in pressed shirts and slacks-seem to make sure that everything runs on schedule. It doesn't take long to notice that the female roles are rigidly secretarial and/or service-oriented.

When they arrive at the lobby desk, registrants are handed their Character First! plastic binders. The cover announces "a new paradigm for personal growth," while the introductory letter from IACC Director Steven Menzel thanks attendees for their "commitment and determination to revitalize your community based upon the timeless attributes of character."

Over the course of the next three days, attendees will come to learn that absolutely everything bad happening in our society-from crime to divorce, from drug use to school shootings-can be explained by lack of character.

Instilling character

The CTI was founded in 1996 by Kimray Oil and Gas tycoon Thomas A. Hill. A tax exempt, nonprofit educational organization, the institute's mission is to instill 49 "Character Qualities" into four major civil institutions: family, business, education and law enforcement. In 1998 the CTI spread its wings and established the IACC, which aimed to "commit to develop character."

The Character Cities concept has caught on quickly: 160 cities ranging from Compton, California, to Hamburg, New York, 31 counties, and seven states-Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina-have now passed "character" resolutions and proclamations based on CTI's teachings and materials.

Nor has the CTI's influence been limited by American borders. Forty-seven international cities have already declared themselves Cities of Character, and at least one-third of the approximately 100 people attending the IACC conference arrived from foreign countries, including Romania, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Many have gone so far as to brand their localities with Character First! symbols, plaques, flags, pins, posters, brochures, books, mouse pads and calendars.

Understandably, the Character Training Institute tries to obfuscate the links between its work and Gothard's reconstructionist Christian vision.

"This is not religion, these are character traits," says John Thomas, vice president for global infrastructure services for Perot Systems Corporation, during one of three successive business-oriented presentations at the IACC conference.

Speakers emphatically and repeatedly stress that Character First! training has nothing to do with promulgating religion. Instead, attendees are told, the training promotes great character and, as a side benefit, drives up corporate profit margins. The Character First! DVD is chock-full of tales of incredible savings to businesses: Kimray's Hill, for instance, talks of workers' compensation dropping from $24,000 per month to a mere $2,000 to $4,000, while Todd Anderson, the vice president of C.P. Morgan, a home construction firm, brags about a tenfold increase in profitability attributable directly to CTI training.

The list of Character First! seminar attendees already reads like a who's who of top corporations and government institutions: McDonald's, Burger King, Aflac, Costco, Coca Cola, the Correctional Corporation of America, the Better Business Bureau, Tyson Foods, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, the Arkansas Prison System and the U.S. District Attorney's office are all mentioned, in addition to more than a dozen school districts (including Denver, Memphis and Ft. Lauderdale), and eight healthcare companies and hospitals.

At the conference, attendees are told that the IACC exists "to support government and community leaders who want to develop character in themselves and encourage it in their families and communities."

Oklahoma City-and the state of Oklahoma in general-seems to have truly taken this to heart. Here, even the local county jail's elevators feature Character First! posters in Plexiglass displays, and juvenile detainees study character concepts with the jail chaplains. Each employee receives a Character Bulletin with his or her paycheck, explains Chaplain Argyle Dick. "We hire for character, and we fire, most of the time, for lack of character. ... We are always looking for new ways to saturate even more of our employees with character."

The Character Council of Central Oklahoma has even entered into a "covenant" with the regional career tech programs, covering 12 campuses. "That's our plan for getting character qualities into the hearts and minds of all students," explains Dr. Earlene Smith, the Education Committee chairman for the council.

Other examples abound throughout the conference: McDonough, Georgia, flies a City of Character flag outside of city hall; Owasso, Oklahoma, police squad cars sport a "City of Character" emblem on each vehicle; and the Character Council of Florida has ensured that all elementary schools will incorporate CTI training by 2006, and expand from there to higher grades.

Sign of the eagle

On the surface it does not appear as though Gothard is at all involved in the "secular" character training that the CTI provides to countless schools, city councils, state agencies, corporations and law enforcement agencies across the world.

Hundreds of cities have also passed their own character resolutions, modeled on the IACC's materials. None of the CTI/IACC materials mention Gothard's name, but the more obvious attempts to hide the connections end there.

CTI founder Thomas Hill is also the board chairman for the IBLP-alongside other influential board members, such as Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas).

There's also an omnipresent eagle symbol, identically illustrated for both organizations, with different acronyms encircling the image of the bird taking flight. Each group also uses the exact same 49 Character Qualities-CTI's Character Qualities delete all the references to Jesus Christ. Several of Gothard's books (and other Christian books, including Bill Burtness' The Third Alternative: Christian Self-Government) are for sale in the back of the CTI/IACC bookstore.

Then there are the shoutouts that Phil Heimlich, a conservative pro-lifer and former Cincinnati city council member, gives to both Hill and Gothard at the IACC's "Building Cities" conference. One of the longest presentations at the conference is delivered by George Mattix, the international director for the IBLP's missionary efforts. He describes the extent of their successes in bringing IBLP teachings to children and teens in at least 30 countries, under the initial pretense of teaching English and character training.

Obedience, not willfulness

By the first day of the IACC conference, the main meeting room resembled a mini-U.N., complete with simultaneous translation for each of the non-English-speaking attendees.

The Philippines has one of the strongest international delegations here, led by attorney Francis Tolentino, the former mayor of Tagaytay. (His brother now holds the same office.) Tagaytay became a City of Character back in 2000 and, with Tolentino's assistance, the first nationwide Character Conference was held in the Philippines in 2002, with conference materials provided by the IACC.

Tagaytay not only has an official "character oath," but an "official jingle, so that the character program will always be inculcated in the minds of the people." Tagaytay police officers wear a City of Character badge, says Tolentino, and the city now requires character training before a marriage license will be granted. Mayor Sally Lee of Sorsogon City speaks of similar initiatives in her city, where her "goal and objective [is] to really push through this kind of program."

Most of the domestic or international attendees seem familiar with the concepts espoused; indeed, the vast majority represent city and character councils, state or local agencies, school districts or businesses that have already bought into ongoing trainings and supplementary materials.

It's hard to ignore how much money there is to be made in this enterprise. To give a few examples: the Character First! resource disk set runs $40 per month, and the framed character posters cost $89 per month. The actual display cases for the monthly character qualities run from $435 (aluminum) to $685 (oak or cherry). For law enforcement, Sheriff Nash's "Police Dynamics" character concept-based DVD sets run $595 for each series.

But for those of us who aren't yet in the loop-or convinced yet that we need to buy into the whole package-the conference organizers make sure to drive "character" as close to home as possible. Each presenter is introduced by name, and then by how many years he has been married, and by the number of children and grandchildren he has.(There are only a handful of female presenters; each is introduced in similar fashion.) All presenters are given a certificate at the end of his or her presentation, and a CTI official announces which one of the 49 Character Qualities best describes that person's ccomplishments. During some of the presentations, the word "character" is repeated anywhere from four to six times a minute.

As if that weren't enough, attendees are told constantly to refer to the laminated, pocket-sized list of the 49 Character Qualities that are essential for true success in life.

"Obedience: Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me," reads one of the 49 Character Qualities. "Justice: Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right and true," reads another.

Each of the 49 Character Qualities is not only contrasted with its opposite ("Willfulness," for instance, as the opposite of "Obedience"); they are also paired with colorful animal figures and simplistic descriptions of how those animals represent these concepts. A mother wood duck and her ducklings represent "Obedience;" and "Justice" takes the form of a bull African elephant. Oklahoma City proclaimed September 25 a "ZOOrific Day of Character," with billboards and advertisements throughout the city encouraging parents to bring their children to the city zoo to learn about how various animals illustrate character traits.

The animal imagery isn't just reserved for the children's material; gigantic posters of the animals are plastered throughout the CTI headquarters, adjacent to posters featuring historical figures, such as Louisa May Alcott and Martin Luther King Jr., who, like the animals, are lauded for having displayed true character. (Little Women author Alcott, the poster explains, wrote to end her "monetary problems," but never lost sight of her primary responsibility to take care of her extended family.)

It's Not Really about the Animals

Chuck Coker is an authorized Character First! trainer. He is one of the first to start muddying the "secular" concept by mentioning that he engages in missionary work in the IBLP Moscow orphanage, among other locations. But Larry Rhoads, the executive director of Character First!, quickly brings the focus back to both business and the family. One story moves the audience to wild applause: He describes how he realized how important it was not to leave his dirty socks inside out before leaving them for his wife to wash, something he had apparently been doing for their entire married life. The true measure of character, as it's repeated in mantra-like fashion, is what you do when no one is watching.

It's perhaps for this reason that Dr. Joseph Ahne, another certified CTI trainer, decides to be upfront about everything on the last day of the conference, over a breakfast of pancakes and syrup eaten under poster-sized animals.

"They don't tell you this here, but it's all biblically based," Dr. Ahne says. "They use the animals to illustrate the points that are all from the Bible. You see, it's about becoming like Christ. Through teaching the character, we're teaching people how to be like Christ. We could all use that."

A former Methodist preacher, Dr. Ahne says that he has devoted his life to spreading the teachings of the IBLP and the IACC, which he translates into Korean. Every year, Ahne leaves his home in Chicago and spends five months in Korea, where he has a staff of six full-time employees. Ahne says that they have already reached 18,000 Koreans with a combination of character-based trainings. He explains that he has brought teenage boys to the United States for further education at the IBLP's ALERT training ranch in Big Sandy, Texas-as well as sending teenage girls to the IACC in Oklahoma City for their own form of service training. Home-schooling, he adds, is one of the biggest emphases of IBLP worldwide because the organization prefers that young people never get exposed to the pernicious influences in the public school system.

"We use this," he says, pointing to the Character First! binder in the middle of the table, "because we can't take religion into schools and government. But it's all based on the same thing."

Gothard's Vision

Each of the 49 Character Qualities in CTI's secular materials have their exact counterpart in IBLP materials. In books like Gothard's Power of Kingdom Living and The Sevenfold Power of First-Century Churches and Homes, they are typically referred to as "The Laws of the Kingdom."

The IBLP's "blue book," formally titled The Power for True Success, is carried around by many of the IACC officials. It explains the imperative for learning the 49 character qualities this way: "Character reveals the Lord Jesus Christ, since He is the full personification of all good character qualities." It continues, "understanding character explains why things happen to us, because all things work together for good to conform us to the character of Christ."

This book is now in the hands of most of the 1,200-strong Cincinnati police force, courtesy of a life insurance salesman and CTI cheerleader named Mike Daly who, along with Phil Heimlich, helped turn Cincinnati into a City of Character. The two worked hand-in-hand to implement the CTI training into nearly all facets of government and secondary education. During one of his trainings, Daly gifted curious officers with the religious books while telling them to become "apostles for character."

In the blue book and other IBLP materials, the 49 character qualities take on a more strident and extremist tone. "Obedience" is defined as the "freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely appointed authorities. All legitimate authority comes from God. He is the One who sets up rulers and takes them down. ...God ordained government to carry out his will in matters of justice."

"Those who violate God's laws are like citizens who commit crimes" Gothard explains in Sevenfold Power. "They are still citizens, but they lose certain rights and privileges that they otherwise would have enjoyed."

Apparently, sometimes the sinners and the criminals are one and the same. In recent years, IBLP has expanded into highly controversial religious juvenile boot camps and, most recently, into a partnership with the private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, which has announced its intent to bring the teachings to all of the prisons it owns.

To take but one example, the workbook materials distributed to the prisoners in the CCA-run Grants, New Mexico, women's prison include a breakdown of "basic life principles," including "Moral Purity," "Yielding Rights" and "Proper Submission."

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord," reads one of the biblical selections. Emphasis is placed on "courting" rather than "dating;" on women obeying their husbands; avoiding the "addiction" of all forms of music except for those written and/or approved by the IBLP; preserving marriage at all costs; and on the need for Christians to respect, obey and submit to church and government. These institutions and their rulers, as the workbooks explain, exist because of God's will.

Again, here is the fundamental premise: what the IBLP hopes will come of these myriad efforts on secular and religious fronts is a patriarchal, hierarchical Christian government that truly has no place for dissent, for disbelievers, or for those whose character qualities fall short of expectations. Government, from this viewpoint, is akin to the right hand of God: Nothing or no one should stand between the two entities, or question their right to rule over our lives.

"God ordained government to carry out His will in matters of justice. Rulers are to praise those who do well and punish those who do evil," reads the IBLP's Power for True Success. "Because civil authorities derive their power from God, they will be judged if they violate the Laws of God." Church leaders, fathers and husbands, and even business leaders, are given nearly the same power in this conception of a well-ordered society: "Employees are to obey employers with wholehearted service."

As Bill Burtness writes in a book sold in both the CTI's bookstore and through the IBLP, The Third Alternative: Christian Self-Government, civil government is "an institution ordained and given by God ... [and] Christians are the stewards of civil government as an aspect of their stewardship of society."

It is worth noting that the IBLP is just one organization whose ideals fit within the broader Christian Reconstruction movement. But Gothard and the IBLP, unlike many of their fellow organizations, do not appear to be looking for Christian allies in their quest. On the secular front, they alone seem to have accomplished more toward their end goal than most of their Christian Reconstructionist contemporaries, and the profit-making aspects of this large-scale venture cannot be underestimated.

The strategy, in this sense, has proved to be ingenious. After all, who wants to argue with "character"? What kind of person would object to such an innocuous-sounding concept? Couldn't we all benefit from having a bit more ethical character in the way that we conduct our day-to day-lives? Of course we could! And that's precisely the reaction that both the IACC and the IBLP have bet on.

IBLP's master plan appears to be well underway. That is, until inquiring minds finally begin to ask where, exactly, all of this is headed. What, pray tell, lies behind the smiling bears, elephants and zebras so ready and eager to deliver their character traits to you, your children and your community?

If they could talk, they might be able to tell you that all's not well in the peaceable kingdom, no matter how innocent it might look at first glance.

Silja J.A. Talvi is a senior editor at In These Times, an investigative journalist and essayist with credits in many dozens of publications nationwide, including The Nation, Salon and the Christian Science Monitor. She is at work on a book about women in prison.

By Lynn Stuter
April 27, 2005


On April 20, 2005, incidentally the birthday of Hitler and the anniversary of the Columbine High School rampage, the local news station reported on a “wonderful” program being used in Spokane, Washington to “keep our schools safe.” Considering the spate of recent incidents of guns in schools in Spokane, that claim is questionable.

The program, called “Keep Guns Out of School” pays $75 rewards “to students who contacted an adult when they had information that lead to solving vandalism, removing a weapon or confiscating drugs on school property.”

A lady working with the program in Spokane went on the air stating to the effect that anything that produced safer schools was acceptable. In other words, the end justifies the means.

News articles are appearing nation-wide about this “wonderful” program. Quite obviously, the source of it, claims or no claims, is not local to any of the areas reporting on the program.

It didn’t take long to find the source: the United States Department of Justice / Safe Neighborhoods Program. Another of those top-down but made to appear bottom-up, grass-roots, local in flavor initiatives funded by federal grants (with strings attached) to insure that what is done in Spokane, Washington or Minneapolis, Minnesota or _______ (fill in the blank) conforms to the federal agenda in the systems approach to global order.

But please don’t think for a moment that the Keep Guns Out of School program is the first of its kind. Far from it. The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, used in schools for many, many years is another of this same ilk. It also taught children to “snitch” on siblings, friends, neighbors and parents just as the Hitler youth snitched on their siblings, friends, neighbors and parents.

Another of the same ilk is the DFYIT (Drug Free Youth In Town) program out of Texas. This program rewards children who join the club which requires them to give regular urine samples that must be drug free. Those who join and are drug free are given discounts (rewards) by local businesses.

Does the program decrease the incidence of drug abuse? No. Six years after being implemented in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho schools, the schools were bringing in dope sniffing dogs to search students, lockers and cars on school grounds. The program was implemented in the Nine Mile Falls School District northwest of Spokane in the mid 1990’s. The dope sniffing dogs are now being used there also.

What has resulted from the program is that any student who does not
join “the club” is considered to be on dope. After all, as the flawed
logic goes, if you aren’t on dope you would have no qualms about giving a
urine sample. Constitutional rights are not part of the equation just as
they aren’t part of the equation with cameras placed at intersections to
watch traffic — if you aren’t breaking the law, why should you care if
there’s a camera watching you? The same is true of body searches at
airports — if you aren’t breaking the law, why should you have a problem
with being searched?

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Guess that archaic notion only stands when one of the proponents of this concept gets caught in the snare he/she thinks is so great so long as it applies to everyone but them! The mind-set is one of extreme ignorance, and in the long haul, self-destructive.

Now we have the Safe Neighborhoods Program that incorporates the underlying concept of both the DARE program and the DFYIT program in rewarding students for being snitches. So, today we reward the child for snitching, for doing what we want. And in the process we teach the child to be extrinsically motivated (motivated by external stimuli), reinforced over time, the concept becomes engrained, natural, part of the subconscious. This is how we train an animal, just as the rats in the Skinner Rat Box, just as the Pavlovian slobbering dogs.

Now we’ve set this child up beautifully: he/she will do whatever we want so long as the reward is something he/she wants. Today the cause is noble — keeping guns out of schools, but what about tomorrow? Who will be that child’s “handler” tomorrow? And what reward will he/she offer? And will that reward be something the child will want, bearing in mind that the child has also been trained to respond to his/her emotions (wants) as a priority over his/her intellect (thinking and reasoning)?

With this in mind, what happens when a child is standing there with a gun in his/her hand with that gun pointed at someone and there is no one there to reward that child for not pulling the trigger or the child will be rewarded for pulling the trigger?

And therein lays the problem with extrinsic motivation. Extrinsically motivating an animal via the methods of BF Skinner or IP Pavlov (also known as operant conditioning) is one thing, doing it with humans is another, the major difference being the level of intellect or mental capability that differentiates man from animal.

Guns in schools are not funny; nothing to be joked about; not to be ignored. The same is true with drugs, alcohol or any other vice. But the Keep Guns Out of School program, along with the myriad of “government” programs of the same ilk, is not going to cure the problem in the long haul. If anything they exacerbate the problem by portending to be a solution. They are not a solution.

How did Germany descend so quickly into becoming a dictatorship? Is it
happening again?

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WORDS OF THE DAY: obfuscate tr.v. ob·fus·cat·ed, ob·fus·cat·ing, ob·fus·cates. 1. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand: “A great effort was made . . . to obscure or obfuscate the truth”
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Taliban means those who study the book (referring to the Qur'an). It is derived from the Arabic word for seeker or student, talib. Through certain Pakistani madrasahs, the Taliban may have also been influenced by the
Deobandi School of thought which emphasizes piety, austerity, and the family obligations of men. They emerged from the ethnically
areas of Afghanistan. Many of the Taliban grew up in refugee camps in Pakistan FROM THIS SITE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

QUOTATION OF THE DAY “Now that I look back, I realize that a life predicated on being obedient and taking orders is a very comfortable life indeed. Living in such a way reduces to a minimum one's need to think.” Adolf Eichmann quotes



Warning very Graphic


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

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Friday, January 27, 2006



This Earth, we HOMO SAPIENS inhabit is quite complicated, not by the nature of the planet but because of us, the intelligent beings who have evolved from the bottom of the food chain to the top; thus, metamorphosing the makeup of our DNA (which makes up our bodies and spirits) into a deadly malignancy spreading toxins across the entire globe. A sad state of affairs, that our evolutionary journey of kill or be killed of hunter or hunted, caused our life's blood to became a venom of hate, destruction and worst of all GREED.

But we can be so much more than our base instincts of survival of the fittest. We are capable of peace, harmony, beauty and most of all unselfishness. Somewhere in us, extending far downward below the surface, is a desire to share, to love, to exude altruism towards others and in return receive the subliminal gratuities of mental wellbeing.

When our base needs of food, water and shelter are taken care of, we should be able to feel all those benevolent characteristics, intrinsic to our collective unconscious. But something prevents these compassionate human traits of good will to germinate.

Why does GREED impassion us more than kindness? I guess if I knew the answer to that I would possess the Cosmos and become godlike and rule all the living and nonliving material matter of existence... (Oops, oh how easily greed surfaces its ugly head!).

Maybe those feelings of love of one another and of EVERYTHING can't come instinctually, maybe it must be learned or memorized or necessitated by all who think objectively. In that case WHAT THE HELL OR WE WAITING FOR, let the classes begin! It may be more effortless to teach children to hate and kill but we would reap a full harvest of happiness and cooperation if we could educate them to SHARE and CARE. From the beginning, from the very moment one draws his or her first breath of magnificent EXISTENCE, kindness and love should rule the day. Resulting in, an uncomplicated World and allowing us to live out our lives in PEACE. thinkingblue


As a former Republican, I have to say that my ex-colleagues in the party do not believe themselves to be evil. In fact, they sincerely believe themselves to be good human beings who are making the world better. They are passionate believers in Social Darwinism, the philosophy that the human race is in a natural competition for survival, and that it is better for the race that the strong triumph over the weak. Thus humanity's gene pool will move toward strength and ultimately perfection.

That is why the Cheney champions tax cuts for the rich while cutting social services for the poor, why the poor are sent to die as cannon fodder in far off lands, and why natural disasters are allowed to kill the weakest of our citizens. He believes that people get what they deserve, and if you are poor, it is your own fault for not competing for survival.

Of course, this is in truth an immoral and evil outlook on life. I left the Republican Party because I could no longer stomach its lack of humanity. We are all brothers and sisters, connected by a spiritual web of human relationships, and every human being's suffering effects each and every one of us.

The saddest thing is that proponents of Social Darwinism don't understand -- they are human too and have their limits. And in a world where it's every man for himself, they will also one day be left to suffer and die alone. The French aristocrats learned that the hard way during the Revolution when the masses they despised came back for them with the guillotine.

Power is cyclical, everyone who has it will lose it one day. That is an ironclad law of history. If you use your power responsibly, then those who you showed compassion to will show you compassion when they inevitably take your place on the throne. If you abuse it and show contempt for those who appear temporarily weak, they will treat you the same way when they seize power.

The Republicans will learn the hard way, just as every proponent of greed and cruelty has throughout history.
Posted by: Rhett on December 22, 2005 at 04:44am

ALSO READ "A QUARTER OF BUSH'S 15 BILLION FOR AIDS ... GOING TO CHRISTAIN GROUPS (Who, emphasize disease {AIDS} prevention through abstinence and fidelity over condom use.)






PS: Please read Cindy Sheehan's cognitive possibilities of living in a world dominated by peace and love. (BELOW)

A New World Is Possible
By Cindy Sheehan
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Thursday 26 January 2006

And necessary! This is the theme for the World Social Forum that I (along with tens of thousands of people from all over the world) am attending in Caracas this week. I know the idea of a world where everyone lives in peace and with justice is very "subversive," but the theme is very close to my heart and soul.

We need a new world. This one is broken.

Before my son Casey was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004, I had never traveled much to speak of. I had gone to Israel and Mexico and that was about it. I had a barely used passport.

Since I began to speak out against the dishonesty and deception that led to this illegal and morally reprehensible occupation of Iraq, I have journeyed all over the United States and now am starting to fill my passport with stamps.

Our world is so beautiful, and the people who inhabit it are, for the most, part loving - and all they want is a good life for themselves and their children. They just want to feel safe and secure in their communities. They want to be warm and fed. They want clean drinking water and they want to dance and laugh when appropriate. They want to live long lives with their families and they want their children to bury them at the end of their time here. In short, the people of the world want what we Americans want.

It is our governments who want to demonize and marginalize other cultures, religions, races and ethnic groups. George Bush and his cold-hearted cronies and his easily misled and willingly blind followers want to "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here!" Who are these "thems" that we are fighting over there? Are they the babies lying in their cribs when a bomb (chemical or conventional) is dropped on their house? Is it the mother who has gone shopping for her family's daily food who is killed by a car bomber who never even thought to commit such a heinous act until his country was occupied by a foreign invader? Is it the grandmas and grandpas who are too old, or too stubborn, to leave their lifelong homes when the coalition troops are illegally carpet bombing civilian centers?

We as citizens of the United States of America must stop allowing our leaders to give the orders to kill innocent people. I almost said: we must stop allowing our leaders to "kill" innocent people. But we all know the cowards don't fight their own fantasy battles or send their own children to fight in the causes that they idiotically and diabolically iterate are "noble." No, they order our children to go over and do their dishonest and destructive dirty work! Our soldiers are taught that "Hajis," the brown skinned people of Iraq who clean their toilets, showers, and wash their clothes, are less than people ... which makes them easier to kill. The dehumanization of the Iraqi people is also dehumanizing our soldiers. Our children.

I got a hate email from a "patriotic American" once who told me that when we see the mothers and fathers of Iraq screaming because their babies have been killed, that they "are just acting for the cameras. They are animals, who don't care about their children because they know they can produce another." This is the mentality of General Sherman when he said "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." This wicked rhetoric is the rhetoric that dehumanizes us all.

A new world is necessary and it can only be possible if we believe and live the belief that every human being is inherently the same as we are. They feel pain when they are hurt. They have hunger pains when they haven't eaten. Their mouths go dry when they are thirsty. They mourn when they experience a loss. They shiver when they are cold. They laugh when they are happy. How can we condone our leaders' killing our brothers and sisters like this, or even allow it?

A new world is necessary, and it can only be possible if we rein in the depraved corporations that thrive off of the flesh and blood of our neighbors all over the world and here in America. War profiteers like Halliburton, Bechtel and General Electric, who are racking up obscene profits and increasing the bottom line of their shareholders while they are running roughshod over this planet. Malevolent companies such as Dow who dump chemicals and other pollutants into the water and atmosphere that kill people, our environment and our future! Companies like Wal Mart that exploit workers in the US and abroad to enrich a family that already has
more than enough money to fund healthcare and a living wage for all of its employees and have a little extra left over to pay their country club fees.

A new world is necessary, and it can only be possible if we decrease our dependency on oil and use some of the money that we are pouring into the desert sands and sewers of Iraq to expand research on renewable energy sources and expound and promote the renewable sources we already have, such as bio-diesel. I have talked to many citizens of Venezuela who are understandably nervous about a US invasion, and they know that it is not about the idea that President Chavez is a "dictator," which he is not, he is a democratically elected leader who is very popular in his country. The people of Venezuela are very savvy and they know that if the US invades their country that it won't be because we are spreading "freedom and democracy" to them. They know they already have it.

A new world is necessary but not possible, until we Americans get over the arrogant idea that we can solve the Iraq issue and the human rights violations problems alone. We have to reach out to fellow members of the human race all over the world to forge the bonds that are crucial to protecting innocent members of humankind who are impoverished or killed by our government and corporatism that has gone wild and is largely unchecked.

Peace and justice are intimately connected, and the world can't have one without the other. True and lasting peace can only occur when we the people force our leadership that is dependent on the war machine for their jobs and for their lives and demand justice for the crimes against humanity that are perpetrated on the world on a daily basis by such "leaders."

A new world is possible, and it is attainable. For this new world to become a reality, it is necessary for us to take into our beings what Martin Luther King Jr. said of his own eulogy, but more importantly, the way he lived his life:

"I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness."

JUST IN - Cindy Sheehan May Challenge Calif. Senator By Ian James

The Associated Press Sunday 29 January 2006

Caracas, Venezuela - Cindy Sheehan, the peace activist who set up camp near President Bush's Texas ranch last summer, said Saturday she is considering running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein to protest what she called the California lawmaker's support for the war in Iraq.

"She voted for the war. She continues to vote for the funding. She won't call for an immediate withdrawal of the troops," Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview while attending the World Social Forum in Venezuela along with thousands of other anti-war and anti-globalization activists.

"I think our senator needs to be held accountable for her support of George Bush and his war policies," said Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Feinstein's campaign manager, Kam Kuwata, said the senator "doesn't support George Bush and his war policies."

"She has stated publicly on numerous occasions that she felt she was misled by the administration at the time of the vote," Kuwata said by phone from California.
But with troops committed, Feinstein believes immediate withdrawal is not a responsible option, Kuwata said.

"Senator Feinstein's position is, let's work toward quickly turning over the defense of Iraq to Iraqis so that we can bring the troops home as soon as possible," he said.
Sheehan accused Feinstein of being out of touch with Californians on the issue.
She said she would decide whether to run after talking with her three other adult children. The Democratic primary will be held in June, and candidates must submit their statements for the voter guide by Feb. 14.

Kuwata said Feinstein and Sheehan appear to have a fundamental disagreement over whether troops should be pulled out right now. "That's why they have elections, and if she decides to file (paperwork to run), so be it," he said.
Sheehan said running in the Democratic primary would help make a broader point.
"If I decided to run, I would have no illusions of winning, but it would bring attention to all the peace candidates in the country," she said.

Sheehan, 48, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., said she would head to Washington on Sunday for protests against Bush's State of the Union address on Tuesday, and then return to California to discuss her idea of running against Feinstein with her son and two daughters.

"I can't see - if they think it's going to help peace - that they would be opposed to me doing it," she said.


President Clinton and Liel sing
John Lennons:

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.

That's Kabbalah in a nutshell.

A body of mystical teachings of rabbinical origin, often based on an esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

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NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse nor protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President.


QUOTATION OF THE DAY "Let us plant dates even though those who plant them will never eat them. We must live by the love of what we will never see. This is the secret discipline. It is a refusal to let the creative act be dissolved away in immediate sense experience, and a stubborn commitment to the future of our grandchildren. Such disciplined love is what has given prophets, revolutionaries, and saints the courage to die for the future they envisaged. They make their own bodies the seed of their highest hope." Ruben Alves, Tomorrow?s Child


Warning very Graphic


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