Saturday, December 30, 2006

NEW YEAR 2007 only a measurement of time?

First, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year. If we could all possess just a small essence of those 3 little words, we could live our lives in peace and harmony. But unfortunately, for most of the
inhabitants of this world, that
quintessential comfort is out of reach, thus making life, for most a sad state of affairs.

To mark the coming of 2007, I wanted to create a post that would go to the heart of the way I feel on this, the end of one year; the beginning of another.

We measure time in numbers but time is so much more. It's a wrinkle on one's face. It's a good/bad memory stored in our fragile intellect. It's a new life. It's a life ended. It's an epoch tragedy. It's a moment of joy. Time is personal and passes in so many different ways, yet we still just apply numbers to its passage.

Time changes us, not just physically but also cerebrally. As we go from one year to another ourCLICK FOR A TIME TRAVEL BACK TO 1974 characters are altered. Sometime, for the good and other times, our self may take a blow which could leave us with mental scaring, that will interfere with our wellbeing from that time forward.

Time requires intelligence in order to be actualized. If there were no creative power to question, time would be irrelevant. So as a New Year approaches, I am attaching a self-exploratory article by Sam Harris, a man who embodies cognition. A courageous thinker of our time. You may not agree with his perceptions on life but his words provoke thought and thus, give new insights to the measurement of time. And, il va de soi, that without such stimulations of thought, time does not really matter. thinkingblue

Ps: The picture above is an old home movie, a trip back in time, to a New Year's party that took place in New Jersey on the eve of 1973.

Day 1 (Sam Harris): Why Are Atheists So Angry?

Zeus, Thor, Poseidon—and Hashem.

Earlier this year, Newsweek religion columnist Marc Gellman
confessed that atheists had lately befuddled him: “What I
simply do not understand is why they are often so angry,” Gellman
lamented. “I just don’t get it.”

Why are atheists so angry? Sam Harris and Dennis Prager inaugurate Jewcy’s “Big Question” series by arguing this very question. In the Big Question, passionate thinkers will debate the weightiest, most contentious issues of the day via e-mail.

Author of the thundering anti-theist polemics
The End of Faith
and Letter to a Christian Nation, Harris may just be the
Thomas Paine of an emerging movement to wrench religion out of American life.
Prager is a nationally syndicated talk radio host who trumpets the virtues of the Judeo-Christian tradition. For the next four days, each of them will send us one e-mail per day.

From: Sam Harris

To: Dennis Prager

Subject: Yahweh Belongs on the Scrapheap of Mythology

I’d like to begin this exchange by making the observation that “atheist” is a term that should not even exist. We do not, after all, have a name for a person who does not believe in Zeus or Thor. In fact, we are all “atheists” with respect to Zeus and Thor and the thousands of other dead gods that now lie upon the scrapheap of mythology.

A politician who seriously invokes Poseidon in a campaign speech will have thereby announced the end of his political career. Why is this so? Did someone around the time of Constantine discover that the pagan gods do not actually exist, while the biblical God does? Of course not. There are thousands of gods that were once worshipped with absolute conviction by men and women like ourselves, and yet we all now agree that they are rightly dead. An “atheist” is simply someone who thinks that the God of Abraham should be buried with the rest of these imaginary friends. I am quite sure that we need only use words like “reason,” “common sense,” “evidence,” and “intellectual honesty” to do the job.Poseidon: third rail in American politics

So many gods have passed into oblivion, and yet the sky-god of Abraham demands fresh sacrifices. Wars are still waged, crimes committed, and science undone out of deference to an invisible being who is believed to have created the entire cosmos, fine-tuned the constants of nature, blanketed the earth with 20,000 distinct species of grasshopper, and yet still remains so provincial a creature as to concern himself with what consenting adults do for pleasure in the privacy of their bedrooms. Incompatible beliefs about this God long ago shattered our world into separate moral communities—Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc.—and these divisions remain a continuous source of human violence.

And yet, while the religious divisions in our world are self-evident, many people still imagine that religious conflict is always caused by a lack of education, by poverty, or by politics. Yet the September 11th hijackers were college-educated, middle-class, and had no discernible experience of political oppression.

They did, however, spend a remarkable amount of time at their local mosques talking about the depravity of infidels and about the pleasures that await martyrs in Paradise.

How many more architects and mechanical engineers must hit the wall at 400 miles an hour before we admit to ourselves that jihadist violence is not merely a matter of education, poverty, or politics? The truth, astonishingly enough, is that in the year 2006 a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get 72 virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this. The cause of their confusion is simple: They don’t know what it is like to really believe in God.

The United States now stands alone in the developed world as a country that conducts its national discourse under the shadow of religious literalism. Eighty-three percent of the U.S. population believes that Jesus literally rose from the dead; 53% believe that the universe is 6,000 years old. This is embarrassing. Add to this comedy of false certainties the fact that 44% of Americans are confident that Jesus will return to Earth sometime in the next 50 years and you will glimpse the terrible liability of this sort of thinking.

Nearly half of the American population is eagerly anticipating the end of the world. This dewy-eyed nihilism provides absolutely no incentive to build a sustainable civilization. Many of these people are lunatics, but they are not the lunatic fringe. Some of them can actually get Karl Rove on the phone whenever they want.

While Muslim extremists now fly planes into our buildings, saw the heads off journalists and aid-workers, and riot by the tens of thousands over cartoons, several recent polls reveal that atheists are now the most reviled minority in the United States. A majority of Americans say they would refuse to vote for an atheist even if he were a “well-qualified candidate” from their own political party. Atheism, therefore, is a perfect impediment to holding elected office in this country (while being a woman, black, Muslim, Jewish, or gay is not). Most Americans also say that of all the unsavory alternatives on offer, they would be least likely to allow their child to marry an atheist. These declarations of prejudice might be enough to make some atheists angry. But they are not what makes me angry.

As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population. The plain truth is this:
There is no good reason to believe in a personal God; there is no good reason to believe that the Bible, the Koran, or any other book was dictated by an omniscient being; we do not, in any important sense, get our morality from religion; the Bible and the Koran are not, even remotely, the best sources of guidance we have for living in the 21st century; and the belief in God and
in the divine provenance of scripture is getting a lot of people killed unnecessarily.

Against these plain truths religious people have erected a grotesque edifice of myths, obfuscations, half-truths, and wishful thinking. Perhaps you, Dennis, would now like to bring some of that edifice into view.


Did the human genome project find God-

Are there teapots in space-

Straw men, teapots, and moral confusion

Finding Jesus in a Waterfall

Secularism's Useful Idiots

The New Religion of "Scientismo"

God is no "useful delusion"


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


Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Sad Tale Of Murder In North Florida


The Miami Herald, did a news story on an injustice that occurred over 60 years ago, here in my home realm of North Florida. (Click picture on left for video)

I love living here, with its countryside aura, amidst nature, away from the hustle, bustle and stress of a major city.

The mornings are the best but if something brings you to your front porch in the middle of the night, you get to feel and hear the music of nocturnal creatures who own the darkness. Moonlight is the only illumination, which allows you to view, subtle movements of moss laden tree branches swaying in the moist breezes.

One feels somewhat, safe here today. But not so long ago, during the time when people were denied their civil rights; BARBARISM ruled and was allowed to go unchecked. Law enforcers had actionable license to look the other way when it came to assaults, perpetrated by those reared with a daily dose of prejudice and bigotry.

I am so glad someone brought back, out of obscurity, the story of Willie James Howard. Murdered, due to hatred, hostility and disgust by one group of homo-sapiens towards another body of same breed. Hatred with no foundation... insane antagonism without reason.

Objectivity, is freedom. When one can think impartially it allows a person to view such a story as this, with great sorrow. A sadness for our species and a grief for the unrestrained atrocities our kind is capable of. thinkingblue

PS: Read below the tale of a teenage boy who's only crime, only sin was to look upon a young girl with adoration. A condition of youth, that is so part of our journey through life. But with intolerant blindness can and was looked upon as a deviation or a contradiction to Life's perpetuation of the species. We've come along way since those dark days of discrimination but, as the saying goes, we've got a long, long way to go!

The legacy of Willie James

Six decades after Willie James Howard was
killed in the small town of Live Oak for having a crush on a
white girl, his death -- one of the country's few remaining
unresolved civil rights cases -- is driving a demand for
It's a beautiful day, warm and still like summer, but
Samuel Beasley just doesn't want to be here. Hasn't been since he
was a boy. Even though he has lived most of his 63 years near the
Suwannee River, its shallow waters, its limestone banks, its old
oak trees swagged in moss.

Too much pain, 60 years, maybe more. Beasley, gentle and wise
and plain-spoken, knows something about this place and its people.
Something about what can happen when a black boy likes a white
girl. Something that lingers and haunts, that distorts the soul
long after a Sunday afternoon years ago.

''The river is evil,'' Beasley says softly of this tea-colored
ribbon. ``It took too many of our people. It took Willie James.''

It is here, just where the water puddles and the sky opens,
that Willie James Howard, perhaps the one black boy in town whom
everybody believed had a shot at something good, was taken. Just
15, he was dragged from his home at gunpoint, hogtied and forced
into the river on Jan. 2, 1944, by three white men for the
cultural offense of having a crush on one of their daughters.

He was never seen alive again. But was he never forgotten in
the black community, his death affecting the people of Live Oak in
sometimes unexpected ways.

''We need what really happened to come out. Everybody needs to
know the truth,'' says Beasley, a former councilman who was
elected as the first black to serve on the council since

To appreciate the legacy of Willie James is to understand how
three men -- a cousin of the dead boy, a funeral director and a
Miami historian -- men without much in common beyond a deep sense
of loss, have come to demand justice.

Eleven years before Emmett Till was lynched for whistling at a
white woman in Mississippi, an atrocity that helped launch the
civil rights movement, the Willie James Howard story became a
cautionary tale about what happens when blacks cross the line.
Under the patina of good race relations, progress and Southern
hospitality, the story, in all its layers, still resonates in this
sawmill town.

''I can remember hearing the story like it was last week,''
Beasley says. ``It was a huge story. It defined us.''

There were no arrests; there was no trial, just a stunted
investigation typical of the civil rights crimes of the era. Among
the activists who rallied for justice: A young attorney named
Thurgood Marshall, who later would sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now, all these years later, Miami historian Marvin Dunn, who is
writing a book about lynchings in Florida, has asked Attorney
General (and Gov.-elect) Charlie Crist to reopen the case -- one
of the country's few remaining unresolved civil rights cases.

''We are interested and reviewing the facts and documents,''
says Allison Bethel, head of the state civil rights office.

Though the suspects are long dead, Crist or his successor, Bill
McCollum, has the power to pursue the case, as a new generation of
prosecutors has reopened other cases across the the South. These
''atonement trials'' include last year's conviction of Edgar Ray
Killen in the murders of three civil rights workers in

''The clock does not stop ticking on this kind of offense,''
says Dunn, a retired Florida International University professor
who ran across the case while researching his book.

''I got so angry when I read about the case. He was just a a
child,'' Dunn says. ``This community needs a real investigation.
They need healing.''


Willie James Howard was supposed to be somebody. Relatives and
friends say he had that hard-to-pinpoint, hard-to-explain thing,
uprightness, perhaps, that somehow would have propelled him into
respectability, past the grim, one-dimensional landscape of black
life in the 1940s South. They talk lovingly about the boy who was
so special because he worked at the white-owned dime store

''He was going to grow up to be good and right. Just made a
mistake, and them mean folk got him,'' Mammie Perry, 95, the boy's
aunt and oldest living kin, says from her house in Orlando.

''Put you in the mind of a Will Smith. He was charming,'' says
Dorothy DePass, a former classmate. ``Everybody knew Willie James,
and everybody called him by both names.''

By all accounts, Willie James, also called Giddy Boy for his
good nature, was smart, funny, good-looking, popular, a great
singer -- and smitten with Cynthia Goff, a white girl he worked
with after school at Van Priest's. They were the same age, 10th
graders who attended segregated schools just a few hundred yards

During the Christmas break in 1943, Willie James gave Goff and
his other co-workers holiday cards. He signed the one for Goff,
``With L [Love].''

Perhaps she was vexed that a Negro had given her a card, his
gesture too familiar, too presumptive for the social attitudes of
the time. So Willie James wrote an apology dated Jan. 1, 1944.

``I know you don't think much of our kind but we don't hate
you all. [W]e want to be your friends but you w[o]n't let us. . .
. I wish this was [a] northern state[.] I guess you call me fresh.
Write an[d] tell me what you think of me good or bad. . . . I love
your name. I love your voice, for a S.H. [sweetheart] you are my

Goff gave the letter to her father, A. Phillip Goff, a former
state legislator, who recruited two friends to pay a visit to the
Howard home on Jan. 2.

According to the affidavit given by Lula Howard in March, 1944,
the men took her son from their front porch at gunpoint. They then
went to the Bond-Howell Lumber Company, where the boy's father
worked. They picked James Howard up and headed to the river eight
miles outside of town.

''I tried to pull him away and also kept pleading and asking
what Willie had done,'' Lula Howard's affidavit reads. ``By this
time Mr. Goff had pulled out a revolver from somewhere on his
person and leveled it at me. . . . I ran after the car which got
away from me.''

What happens clouds the town's memory even today.

''I think this case can open some wounds,'' says Jim McCullers,
city clerk and a distant cousin of one of the men accused. ``But
wrong is wrong.''

What is known for sure: Hours after his mother last saw him,
Willie James Howard was dead. The black undertaker was ordered to
retrieve the body from the river, and Willie James was buried
almost immediately. No farewell, no funeral.

Goff would later tell the Suwannee County sheriff that he and
the other men simply wanted to discipline the boy for getting
fresh with Cynthia. They admitted to binding Willie James to keep
him from running while he was being punished by his father. They
claimed he became hysterical, and despite being hogtied, jumped
into the river.

Suicide, they said. A tragic drowning.

James Howard told a far more heart-breaking story. When
questioned by the State Attorney almost six weeks later, he said
the men had forced him to watch his only child die.

He said that by the time they got to the river, he knew his son
would never leave alive.

''Willie, I cannot do anything for you now. I'm glad I have
belonged to the Church and prayed for you,'' he recalled in his


He said Willie James was given a choice: Jump in the river or
be shot.

Willie James jumped.

And then the men took Howard back to work. He finished his

''We found out at school the next day. It was so scary, but
that was life in the 1940s. We thought the KKK were coming to get
the rest of us,'' says DePass, 78, a retired teacher.

Within days, the Howards had sold their house and moved to

''As soon as I saw my sister she told me what happened. She
cried and cried and cried. She said she held on to Willie James
tight, but they had a gun,'' Perry says.

Pressured by the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, the state briefly reviewed the case. Thurgood
Marshall, who learned of it from a black attorney visiting Live
Oak over the Christmas holidays, demanded that Gov. Spessard
Holland fully investigate. A grand jury was impaneled but refused
to indict.


For half a century -- its passage marked by the Till murder,
the beginnings of the civil rights movement and the deaths of his
parents -- Willie James Howard lay in an unmarked grave at the
once ''coloreds-only'' Eastside Cemetery. His ugly death remained
a whispered memory until Douglas Udell, a funeral director, was
researching the records of a black undertaker whose space he was
renting. He found the log of Willie James' death, with the
notation ''lynched'' and the initials of the three men accused.

The record piqued Udell's interest and released a flood of
memories. His own great-grandfather was lynched in the 1920s, his
partial skull and pocket knife found when Udell was a teenager.
``I started looking into it. He had no birth certificate and no
death certificate. It's like Willie James Howard doesn't exist.
And 60 years is an awful long time for the soul to lay in the
earth without recognition.''

So last year, Udell, a Suwannee County commissioner, bought a
headstone for $250 and organized a memorial service. The headstone
reads: Willie J. Howard, born 7-13-28, Died 1-2-44, Murdered by
Three Racist

On Jan. 2, 2005, exactly 61 years after Willie James' death, a
service was held at Springfield Baptist Church, where the family
had worshipped. The congregation prayed and sang I'll Fly Away.

A typical Live Oak funeral draws about 125 people. Two hundred
came to say goodbye to Willie James.

''It was so emotional. People who knew Willie James got up and
talked. People cried,'' Udell says. ``It was like he had died

Then, a procession to the cemetery was led by Live Oak Sheriff
Tony Cameron, and the headstone was placed on the grave. A few of
Willie James' cousins rode in a midnight blue limousine.

''I just felt like there was nothing I could do for my
granddaddy,'' says Udell, but there was something I could do for
Willie James.''


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

thinkingBlue blogspot


Saturday, December 09, 2006



I came across this clip on the left from the crooks and liars website. It is extremely heart-wrenching.

To think John Lennon has been gone for 26 years, yet his words of peace still ring loud and clear.

Although this small film is very hard to watch, it still deserves a big thumbs up and many praises to the author "sakitamasao".

Pictures, lyrics and music come together to cause one to take a hard look at the annihilation and agony human beings thrust upon one another. It leaves you with the forever unanswered question...Will we ever learn?

"Lennon represented life and Mr. Nixon and Mr. Bush represent death...."

"The U.S. government saw Lennon as such a serious threat that President Nixon attempted to have him deported in 1972. In addition the FBI closely monitored his actions and amassed a file on Lennon of over 400 pages."

for an uplifting you-tube clip on John Lennon from TENNESSEE GUERILLA WOMAN

PS: Now read below the fictional obituary of the RIGHT WING TALK RADIO... may it and all its toady hosts, forever REST IN APPEASE.

Twelve years of unmerited influence and half-truths swathed in red, white and blue
patriotism met its demise this past Tuesday with a dagger to the
heart served up by revelations from the Iraq Study Group
substantiating that everything right wing talk radio had said was
right about the Iraq, was wrong.

Born the day Rush Limbaugh mid-wifed Newt Gingrich's Contract For
(On) America, RWTRR lived a healthy and wealthy life duping a
great portion of the America public into voting against their own
best interests.

Right wing talk grew larger and louder over its lifetime, adding
names like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Glenn
Beck, Neal Boortz, Dennis Prager and many more imitators. They
each spent three hours a day catchphrasing words and thoughts - no
matter how rickety their evidence (if any) - that the mainstream
media would give equal time and space along side the truth.

All of a sudden, the truth was only worth 50% of any issue.

Enabled by a gullible mainstream media hoping to hitch itself to
the growing Lords of Loud audience, the Rove-inspired red-herrings
were greased up even more by talk radio's band of Professor Harold
Hills and shoved charmingly down America's throat. And, as with
all great con men, these snake oil salesmen sold hole-cloth,
betraying the public trust and making fistfuls of dollars doing it.

To be fair, they had to. It's was a Catch-22. If they had trusted
their audience with the truth, they'd have no audience.

But November's election and the ISG report finally drained
life-giving oxygen from a lying heart. Not only did the public
begin to understand they were being duped, but even the FOBIJB
(Friends of Bush including James Baker) could no longer ignore the
tide. Of course there will continue to be FOBIL (Friends of Bush
Including Lieberman), but they will sustain escalating losses,
just as the LOL are losing audience in droves.

But the one-two punch of November's mid-terms compounded by the
Iraq Study Group's revelations, knocked a terminal hole in any
credibility right wing talk may have had left.

Limbaugh admitted he was shilling for Republicans who didn't
deserve to be elected, then attempted to hush the death knell rung
by the ISG by recasting it, oh so hysterically, as the Iraq
Surrender Group. Get it? He changed one of the words. Second-rate
comics who are dying on stage always go for the insipidly obvious
and as with the comics, it never gets the audience back.

Hannity has gone off the deep end calling everyone else but
himself wrong. He persists on telling liberal callers that we
found WMD even though Bush doesn't seem to have gotten the same
intelligence Sean has while Curt Weldon and Rick Santorum were
voted out of office whipping the same dead horse.

Beck asks an American Congressman to prove he's not working for the enemy.

Prager believes the same Congressman holding his bible will bring
down American civilization.

O'Reilly can't drum up many recruits to fight this year's War
Against Christmas, and how many times can you hear "look at me"
with out re-tasting last night's dinner?

And Savage...? Well, just "Savage."

Oh, they'll keep some listeners, but they'll be talking to a choir
who doesn't care that they're hearing to a bunch of cloutless
charlatans who never had the balls to serve our country but have
no problem sending other families into life-changing horror; fans
who don't care their heros had it wrong, and had it wrong over and
over. And when it came to the war...dead wrong.

Now any relevance these cascading Lords of Loud might once have
had, if not dead, is on life support. And if there are some in the
media who still choose to give these mongrels of
misrepresentation any time, space or air, they do it at the risk
of their own relevance.

Right-wing talk show relevance was never married but leaves behind
soon to irrelevant offspring: Dick Morris, Bernie Goldberg, Tom
DeLay, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, David Limbaugh, Bill Kristol,
Michelle Malkin, General Tommy Franks, Oliver North, James Dobson,
Whitewater, Swift Boaters, Flip-flopping, Terri Schiavo, The
buses, Outing covert agents as appropriate government behavior,
WMD, Saddam's close relationship with bin Laden, If you're against
the war your against the troops, If you're against the President's
policies you're against America, Activist judges are making laws,
"Making progress," Tax relief benefitting the middle class, No
child left behind is a success, Republican legislators
appreciating veterans, Pharmaceutical companies writing drug bills
will benefit the public, Stem cell research causes baby cloning,
and Wars against Christmas

Memorial services will be continued, sadly, three hours a day. All
donations should be made to Fox News.

Steve Young is author of the "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" and can be read every Sunday on the LA Daily News Opinion page


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


Tuesday, December 05, 2006



This little cartoon movie,(click picture on left) is the STORY OF MY LIFE. When I got married, my husband and I decided, to not go the credit card route. We managed to keep our bargain, until the kids arrived... ALL BETS WERE OFF after that. But, even though we had some tough times, (as the movie, so cutely
and cruelly, depicts) we managed to get to retirement and still stay afloat.

We were the lucky ones. I know of stories about people WHO weren't so lucky and, I am sure, THERE ARE TALES OF WOE far more numerous than the ones I've heard about. The STATISTICS keep going up on how many middle class families wind up drowning in debt, left hopeless in the end..

Let's hope, with a new Congress in place, the credit card company's enormous, insatiable, voracity to pilfer American families until they are left impoverished, ashamed and broken at the end of their hardworking trip through life. will finally have a check and balance on their GREED and the middle class, will at long last, be treated fairly. thinkingblue


I take responsibility for my credit card payments. So I expect
the credit card companies to do the same. I expect an END to:

* late fees if my bill payment is postmarked by the due date;

* retroactive interest rates - changes that apply a higher
interest rate to charges I made under the old interest rate;

* interest rate increases due to a late payment I made on some
other debt;

* over-limit fees if my credit card company has pre-approved
the charge.

I also want my credit card contracts, updates, and bills to be
easier to read and understand. They should give me basic
information I need to know, in a format that I can understand
without getting a lawyer.

* Each bill should update me about the financial result of
making a minimum payment--how long it will take to repay the
balance and how much it will cost in interest;

* The pricing disclosed in the contract and in my bills must
be simpler and easier to understand.

Finally, if I can't always understand my credit card contract,
how can I expect my teenaged children to understand. Congress
should protect young consumers from marketing practices that
place them at risk of crushing debt that can ruin their
financial futures.

It's time to bring some fairness for consumers into
the credit card marketplace. Bills like S. 499 (the "Credit
Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act"), S.
393 (the "Credit Card Minimum Payment Warning Act of 2005"),
S. 2655 (the "Credit Card Reform Act") and H.R. 3492 (the
"Consumer Credit Card Protection Act") offer these kinds of
protections. Don't let another year go by without acting on
this important issue.





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