*SPEAKING OUT!*

Jesus
Jesus was an unselfish, loving, forgiving man, who did not condone killing for any reason. Those who say they follow Jesus, insult him by being selfish, greedy and by condoning killing. Those who say they follow the bible, and then justify hate, greed, executions, and war are really followers of their own self interests, not the interests of Jesus, the true bible or mankind. Open your eyes America, we are being led down a primrose path to hell.
 
CRAWFORD, Texas - The angry mother of a fallen U.S. soldier staged a protest near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, demanding an accounting from the president of how he has conducted the war in Iraq. Supported by more than 50 shouting demonstrators, Cindy Sheehan, 48, told reporters, "I want to ask George Bush: Why did my son die?
       Sheehan arrived in Crawford aboard a bus painted red, white and blue and emblazoned with the words, "Impeachment Tour." Her son, Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. He was an Army specialist, a Humvee mechanic. Sheehan, from Vacaville, Calif., had been attending a Veterans for Peace Convention in Dallas. She vowed she would camp out as close as she could get to the president's ranch until Bush comes out and talks to her.
       Local law enforcement officials were keeping Sheehan four to five miles away from the ranch's entrance. "If they won't cooperate, we won't," Capt. Kenneth Vanek of the McLennan County Sheriff's Department, said of the marchers. He said the group was stopped because some marchers ignored instructions to walk in the ditch beside the road, not on the road.
      Sheehan said she decided to come to Crawford a few days ago after Bush said that fallen U.S. troops had died for a noble cause and that the mission must be completed. "I don't want him to use my son's name or my family name to justify any more killing," she said. Sheehan said Bush administration officials "don't have a mission and they don't even ever plan on completing it." She said she fears that the United States plans to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq indefinitely. Sheehan's bus pulled up at a house run by peace activists a few hundred feet from the town's only stoplight. There, she met up with other demonstrators and then led a caravan of about 20 vehicles down a winding road toward Bush's ranch The group stopped along the way and sheriff's deputies advised them that if they wanted to go farther toward the ranch, they would have to walk in a ditch along the road.
       The marchers walked about half a mile until the deputies stopped them, saying that they had violated their instructions by walking on the road itself instead of staying in the adjacent ditch. Sheehan protested, saying she had not walked on the road. The deputies refused to let her go farther. The protesters then began chanting, "W killed her son."
         Supported by more than 50 demonstrators who chanted, "W. killed her son!" Cindy Sheehan told reporters: "I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?'" Sheehan, 48, didn't get to see Bush, but did talk about 45 minutes with national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, who went out to hear her concerns.
Appreciative of their attention, yet undaunted, Sheehan said she planned to continue her roadside vigil, except for a few breaks, until she gets to talk to Bush. Her son, Casey, 24, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. He was an Army specialist, a Humvee mechanic.
       "They (the advisers) said we are in Iraq because they believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that the world's a better place with Saddam gone and that we're making the world a safer place with what we're doing over there," Sheehan said in a telephone interview after the meeting. "They were very respectful. They were nice men. I told them Iraq was not a threat to the United States and that now people are dead for nothing. I told them I wouldn't leave until I talked to George Bush."
She said Hagin told her, "I want to assure you that he (Bush) really does care."
"And I said if he does care, why doesn't he come out and talk to me."

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Another Label

Yes friends, it IS the same John Dean from Watergate. 

 

Triumph of the Authoritarians
    By John W. Dean
    The Boston Globe

    Friday 14 July 2006

 

    Contemporary conservatism and its influence on the Republican Party was, until recently, a mystery to me. The practitioners' bludgeoning style of politics, their self-serving manipulation of the political processes, and their policies that focus narrowly on perceived self-interest - none of this struck me as based on anything related to traditional conservatism. Rather, truth be told, today's so-called conservatives are quite radical.

    For more than 40 years I have considered myself a "Goldwater conservative," and am thoroughly familiar with the movement's canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon "imperial presidency" on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.

    What true conservative calls for packing the courts to politicize the federal judiciary to the degree that it is now possible to determine the outcome of cases by looking at the prior politics of judges? Where is the conservative precedent for the monocratic leadership style that conservative Republicans imposed on the US House when they took control in 1994, a style that seeks primarily to perfect fund-raising skills while outsourcing the writing of legislation to special interests and freezing Democrats out of the legislative process?

    How can those who claim themselves conservatives seek to destroy the deliberative nature of the US Senate by eliminating its extended-debate tradition, which has been the institution's distinctive contribution to our democracy? Yet that is precisely what Republican Senate leaders want to do by eliminating the filibuster when dealing with executive business (namely judicial appointments).

    Today's Republican policies are antithetical to bedrock conservative fundamentals. There is nothing conservative about preemptive wars or disregarding international law by condoning torture. Abandoning fiscal responsibility is now standard operating procedure. Bible-thumping, finger-pointing, tongue-lashing attacks on homosexuals are not found in Russell Krik's classic conservative canons, nor in James Burham's guides to conservative governing. Conservatives in the tradition of former senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan believed in "conserving" this planet, not relaxing environmental laws to make life easier for big business. And neither man would have considered employing Christian evangelical criteria in federal programs, ranging from restricting stem cell research to fighting AIDs through abstinence.

    Candid and knowledgeable Republicans on the far right concede - usually only when not speaking for attribution - that they are not truly conservative. They do not like to talk about why they behave as they do, or even to reflect on it. Nonetheless, their leaders admit they like being in charge, and their followers grant they find comfort in strong leaders who make them feel safe. This is what I gleaned from discussions with countless conservative leaders and followers, over a decade of questioning.

    I started my inquiry in the mid-1990s, after a series of conversations with Goldwater, whom I had known for more than 40 years. Goldwater was also mystified (when not miffed) by the direction of today's professed conservatives - their growing incivility, pugnacious attitudes, and arrogant and antagonistic style, along with a narrow outlook intolerant of those who challenge their thinking. He worried that the Republican Party had sold its soul to Christian fundamentalists, whose divisive social values would polarize the nation. From those conversations, Goldwater and I planned to study why these people behave as they do, and to author a book laying out what we found. Sadly, the senator's declining health soon precluded his continuing on the project, so I put it on the shelf. But I kept digging until I found some answers, and here are my thoughts.

    For almost half a century, social scientists have been exploring authoritarianism. We do not typically associate authoritarianism with our democracy, but as I discovered while examining decades of empirical research, we ignore some findings at our risk. Unfortunately, the social scientists who have studied these issues report their findings in monographs and professional journals written for their peers, not for general readers. With the help of a leading researcher and others, I waded into this massive body of work.

    What I found provided a personal epiphany. Authoritarian conservatives are, as a researcher told me, "enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian and amoral." And that's not just his view. To the contrary, this is how these people have consistently described themselves when being anonymously tested, by the tens of thousands over the past several decades.

    Authoritarianism's impact on contemporary conservatism is beyond question. Because this impact is still growing and has troubling (if not actually evil) implications, I hope that social scientists will begin to write about this issue for general readers. It is long past time to bring the telling results of their empirical work into the public square and to the attention of American voters. No less than the health of our democracy may depend on this being done. We need to stop thinking we are dealing with traditional conservatives on the modern stage, and instead recognize that they've often been supplanted by authoritarians.


    John W. Dean, former Nixon White House counsel, just published his seventh nonfiction book, Conservatives Without Conscience.

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