MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH


February 14, 2003

Heroes of Our Times Series #1: Taking a Stand For Peace and Global Awakening


Hello everyone

Here is yet another new series of compilations I'm initiating in response to the need to inspire and uplift us so as to be more able to sustain the prolonged challenge we face and to ultimately prevail in our common Quest to co-create Peace and Harmony on Earth.

Much MORE to come shortly!

Oh! And make sure to open the attached picture! :-))

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com

This compilation is archived at
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/Heroes1.htm

Check also my latest Media Compilation #114: Countering the War Frenzy - Exposing its Insanity archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MediaCompilation114.htm

IMPORTANT: Michael Moore will be on "60 MINUTES" this Sunday Feb 16, on CBS, 7pm ET/PT
Be sure to tune in!


"We can turn the war on Iraq into a fishbowl of the U.S. government's excesses. We can expose George Bush and Tony Blair - and their allies - for the cowardly baby killers, water poisoners, and pusillanimous long-distance bombers that they are. We can re-invent civil disobedience in a million different ways. In other words, we can come up with a million ways of becoming a collective pain in the ass."

- Arundhati Roy, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 27, 2003 (taken from "Inspiring talk by Arundhati Roy" below)


CONTENTS

1. Swami's 2003 State of the Universe Address
2. Stars' Views Shouldn't Be So Easily Written Off
3. Inspiring talk by Arundhati Roy
4. The Choice Before Us by Starhawk
5. Kucinich Pondering A Run For White House


See also:

Human shield group receives Iraq visas
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_749735.html?menu=
Iraq has granted visas to 65 people travelling to the country to become human shields in the event of war. The group is travelling to Baghdad in two double-decker buses with "Not in our name" written across the front.

NYC Peace Activists Vow to Face Down Bush's War Don't Fence Them In (Feb 12) http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0307/ferguson.php
The mayor and the police chief and the attorney general may not like it, but the masses are about to take to the streets of New York. Despite the Bloomberg administration's unprecedented refusal to allow protesters to march in the city, peace activists insist that hundreds of thousands of people will assemble within sight of the United Nations on Saturday, urging the Security Council to pursue further weapons inspections in Iraq, not war. Organizers with United for Peace and Justice, a network of more than 200 groups, have a permit for a stationary rally starting at noon, on First Avenue north of 49th Street. Protesters in New York will be joined that weekend by more than a million people in 300 cities around the world, a global uprising against President Bush's push for war.

House, Senate agree to prohibit citizens' e-mail surveillance (Feb 12) GOOD NEWS! http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/3647992.html

Monsanto Meltdown (Feb 11) YET MORE GOOD NEWS!
http://rense.com/general34/monsan.htm
Despite heavy advertising and PR greenwash, despite a cozy relationship with the White House, Monsanto's image, profits, and credibility have plunged. Its aggressive bullying on Frankenfoods, its patents on the Terminator gene, its attempt to buy out seed companies and monopolize seed stocks, and its persecution of hundreds of North American farmers for the "crime" of seed-saving, has made Monsanto one of the most hated corporations on Earth.

COMING SOON! Gulf Wars: Episode 2: Clone of the Attack
http://aztlan.net/attack.htm




1.

IN HIS OWN INIMITABLE WAY STEVE BHAERMAN HELPS BRING SOME LEVITY TO THE HEAVINESS OF OUR TIMES

Sent by "Nickolai Parker" <nickolai@worldpeace.org> on Feb 11

Swami's 2003 State of the Universe Address

by Swami Beyondananda

Hello everybody -- it is great to be here ... and you know what? We really have no choice. Because no matter where we are, we are always here. And it is always now. In fact, there's even a book called The Power of Now. I haven't had time to read it yet, but I hope to get to it in a later now.

Meanwhile, back in this now, the issue facing the United States, and indeed the world is, will George Bush give in to his Big Iraq Attack and order up a war? Latest reports say that a war to force a regime change in Iraq will cost $200 billion. It is puzzling to me why some of those fiscal fitness fanatics in the Republican Party haven't tried to find a cheaper way to do it. Maybe if they offered the Iraqis half -- $100 billion -- they could do it themselves.

Then we'd still have $100 billion left to spend on regime change in this country.

Because -- and I have to be blunt here -- the folks we have in charge are fossils fueled by fossil fuels. And in the reptilian brain, problems aren't solved, they're attacked.

Like the War on Poverty. Remember that? I'm happy to report that it's finally over. The poor people have all surrendered. And take the War on Drugs -- please! How many billions have they spent? My solution is cheaper and more effective ... improve reality!

Now we have the War on Terrorism. We're going to terrorize those terrorists into giving up terrorism if it's the last thing we do! And it just might be. The good news is -- and I have it on the Highest Authority -- there will indeed be peace on Earth. Whether we humans are around to enjoy it, that is up to us.

No wonder there is so much fear, uncertainty and confusion on the planet. I'll tell you how bad it's gotten. You've heard of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? Well, they're not even sure about THAT anymore. And so, more and more people are turning to the mystics for answers.

I have often said there are two kinds of mystics, the optimystics and the pessimystics. Now pessimystics seem to be more in touch with "reality," but optimystics are happier and live longer for some reason. The pessimystics have been crying, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" The optimystics say, "No. It just looks that way because we are ascending."

Now, for those people who read the news -- not to mention those unfortunate enough to BE in the news -- last year was not an easy year to keep an optimystic attitude with so much pessimystic evidence. Call me a hopeless "hopium" addict, but I choose to accentuate the positive. For example, you can say we human beings have moved further down the path of self-destruction. Or you could say the Earth is ridding itself of a virulent parasite.

You can despair over continuing war, disease and starvation, or you can go, "Hey, population control the good, old fashioned way -- without birth control or abortion." Who says "compassionate conservative" is an oxymoron?

You can worry about the government taking liberties with our liberties or you can say, "Life has become simpler! They've boiled the Bill of Rights down to just one: You have the right to remain silent."

So I am not going to dwell on the negative. As my guru Harry Cohen Baba used to say, "Life is like photography ... we use the negative to develop." So let us look at the bright side.

Like technological advances, for example. Forty years ago President John F. Kennedy promised to have a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Well, we have far exceeded that. Thanks to the so-called Patriot Act, George Bush can have a man on Uranus by the end of the week!

George Bush was responsible for a great spiritual advance last year, as well. He upgraded the Golden Rule for the new millennium. It's now the Gold Rule: "Doodoo unto others before they can doodoo unto you."

And -- say what you will -- President Bush has made great strides on behalf of minority representation. Never before have we had a President who was looking out for a smaller minority.

Now this is the State of the Universe Address, and seen from that higher perspective, things look great! I am happy to report that the Universe continued to expand in 2002, and in fact, they actually had to let the Photon Belt out a another notch. An expanding Universe means more jobs too, so we can expect a steady influx of aliens looking for work. Yep, the Universe just keeps purring in perfection, ever-changing as usual. The planets continue to harmoniously spin in their orbits, and except for the occasional case of asteroids, they just calmly go about their business.

Meanwhile, back here on earth, things are a bit more problematical. We still haven't fully recovered from that vicious dogma attack of 911. But as an optimystic, I believe you can indeed teach an old dogma new tricks, simply by changing the emPHAsis to another sylLABle. Instead of focusing only on emergency measures, why not take emerge 'n SEE measures?

When we emerge from our fearful hiding places and see from the cosmic comic perspective, we realize that beneath all the stress and distress and sadness in life there is a deep well of joy. Each time we let laughter bubble up from the well, we experience deep wellness. Levity helps us overcome gravity, especially when we shine the light of laughter on those poorly-lit corridors of power.

Do you know what the leading cause of terrorism is? It's seriousness. I'm serious. Think about it. Those people have no sense of humor. Otherwise how could they believe they will get to heaven by putting other people through hell?

Here is my vision: A suicide bomber arrives at the Gates of Heaven, and God clops him over the head and says, "SCHMUCK! What'd you do that for? 72 virgins? YOU get one 72-year-old virgin, and his name starts with Ayatollah!"

But if Americans are willing to revive the Iraqi Horror Picture Show just to feed our out-of-control oil habit, how are we that different? How many innocents will be put through hell, just to preserve our little corner of relative heaven? There is no real peace without harmony and balance, only the vicious cycle of injustice. Peons get tired of getting peed on, right? You get pissed on, and pretty soon you're gonna get pissed off. This causes the hot spots to flare, and pretty soon you have an uprising, which usually results in a downfall. All these uprisings and downfalls can be wearing on the body politic.

Fortunately, we do have a choice. One of my favorite stories recently is about a Native American grandfather talking to his young grandson. He tells the boy he has two wolves inside of him struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other wolf is fear, greed and hatred. "Which wolf will win, grandfather?" asks the young boy. "Whichever one I feed," is the reply.

Every day -- every moment -- we have the choice to feed the wolf of love or the wolf of fear. It is interesting that we are called humanKIND. What better time than now to find out, can mankind treat man kindly?

I have a dream ... I call it tell-a-vision. I say, if you're dissatisfied with the current programming, you can turn off your TV and tell a vision instead. Here is my vision: Remember the Manhattan Project during World War II? It took less than four years for a group of scientists to develop the first weapon of mass destruction. My vision is, we can do even better for an even worthier goal. We could call it the Manhelpin Project, and its purpose would be to develop the first weapon of mass construction instead.

Think about it. What if we used that $200 billion set to detonate in Iraq, and put it toward becoming the worldwide leader in renewable, clean, sustainable energy sources? Now there's some real power. Create something so plentiful you don't have to pay an army to protect your share. A healthy income, a healthy outcome ... what could possibly make more sense? Boy, talk about feeding two birds with one scone!

The choice is up to us. If we want an alternative, we must feed the "alter native" economy ... anything that alters us natives for the better. The world we live in is a byproduct of the products we buy, is it not? What if we only choose to buy products with healthy byproducts? Think about this: There are at least 45 million Americans who consciously want to feed the wolf of peace. If each of us switched just $100 into the alter native economy, that would be $4.5 billion!

Last year, we launched a blisskrieg and declared "all out peace." I'm happy to report it is already working. More people are letting their inner peace out, and these outbreaks of peace are actually causing esteem to rise! And we all know that rising esteem is good for the atmosphere.

As esteem rises, more people on the planet will be able to be all that they can be -- without joining the army. And when more of us put our energy into love and laughter instead of criticizing and condemning, we will have Uncritical Mass ... and we will bring about Nonjudgment Day, and along with it, Disarmaggedon. Now you might be wondering, what will Nonjudgment Day look like? Let me tell another vision.

I have been to the heights of levity, and I have seen people all over the world dancing together in the universal dance of fool realization ... The Hokey Pokey. I want you to hold this vision with me: all of the world leaders at the United Nations beginning their sessions with the Hokey Pokey.

What if Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat put their whole selves in? That would be commitment. And then pulled their whole selves out. That is detachment. Then they turn themselves around, which is transformation. And that, my friends, is what it is all about!

So, how can you help raise the laugh force on the planet enough to bring about Nonjudgment Day? First, you can take a vow of levity, and laugh more. And we even have a Laughmore Society to help you do just that. Next, you can support everyone's right to laugh by joining the Right To Laugh Party ... "One big party, everyone is invited. All for fun, and fun for all."

Commit random acts of comedy. Practice Fun Shui and leave the world a funnier place. Anything to elicit a moment of fool-realization with a spark of laughter. Because only when we lovingly laugh at our foolishness, can we seriously change things for the better. May you wake up laughing and leave laughter in your wake ... and may the Farce be with you!




2.

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@hotmail.com>

Published on February 11, 2003 by the St Paul Pioneer Press

Stars' Views Shouldn't Be So Easily Written Off

by Laura Billings

Jessica Lange is against it. So is Susan Sarandon.

Bonnie Raitt's not in favor of bombing Baghdad. Neither are Michael Stipe, Madonna and Martin Sheen, who plays a president on television but thinks the real one is a "moron.''

When it comes to the impending war on Iraq, a phalanx of famous faces is speaking out against it. Which means that everything they say is being blasted by pro-war pundits, who believe celebrities should confine their opinions to the Zone diet and stay out of demilitarized zones.

Take for instance the shellacking that singer Sheryl Crow recently got after appearing at the American Music Awards in a T-shirt sequined with the message "War is not the answer.'' As she told reporters, "I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."

Though Jesus Christ, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. all expressed similar thoughts, they didn't have the misfortune of living in a world with FOX News. Conservative critics were worse to her than music critics, referring to her as a "noted geopolitical strategist" who "probably thinks Saddam Hussein is a New York City cabdriver.''

It's true, she might not have been especially eloquent on the subject, but neither is our own president. Just a few days after the Crow flap, Bush was quoted saying the United States had to go to war against Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's "willingness to terrorize himself.'' It's a safe bet no one on FOX News made fun of him.

Sean Penn, who seems to have replaced Barbra Streisand as the most hated liberal on talk radio, was in for worse ridicule after the actor placed an anti-war ad in the Washington Post in October. "Bombing answered by bombing, mutilation by mutilation, killing by killing, is a pattern that only a great country like ours can stop,'' Penn wrote in an open letter to the president. He followed up in December with a trip to Baghdad, an attempt to educate himself about the real causes and consequences of a war in that region.

For his troubles - his earnest intention of finding a peaceful solution, rather than a war that will surely lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis - he has been called a "traitor." No doubt his ex-wife, Madonna, can expect the same treatment when she releases a new single this week with a strong anti-war message.

The conservative "Drudge Report" says the video shows her dressed in fatigues and throwing grenades in a landscape of limbless men and women.

The question I have is, why do we so easily dismiss the opinions of famous people, as if they're nothing but "limousine liberals"? (Itself a laughable epithet, as if conservatives are all driving around in Corollas, or being ridiculously rich discounts your opinion on political issues.)

Streisand is continually derided for mixing up Iran and Iraq, and yet no one complains when the president says Iraq was responsible for 9/11. Does anyone remember al-Qaida?

Though there is a strong anti-war movement in this country, it is also strangely muted. And no wonder.

The way the administration has framed the argument, as good against evil, simply asking why (Why us? Why now? Why them? Why not North Korea?) casts the questioner on the wrong side.

Standing up against this march to war takes a big voice, a big ego and maybe even big box office. No wonder Hollywood seems perfect for this casting call.

After getting a lifetime achievement award in London, actor Dustin Hoffman said, "I believe - though I may be wrong because I am no expert - that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power and oil."

"I believe that administration has taken the events of 9/11 and has manipulated the grief of the country and I think that's reprehensible."

Critics say a guy like him has no right to weigh in on the issues of the day; as he says, he's "no expert."

But when it comes to understanding the spin doctoring and cynical manipulations that go on in D.C., Hoffman may have more expert standing than he lets on.

Did you ever see him in "Wag the Dog"?




3.

From: "Arthur Bond" <artbond@blueyonder.co.uk>
Subject: Inspiring talk by Arundhati Roy
Date: 12 Feb 2003

[from a talk at the World Social Forum in Brazil recently - for the whole talk go to http://www.zmag.org]

(...) Many of us have dark moments of hopelessness and despair. We know that under the spreading canopy of the War Against Terrorism, the men in suits are hard at work.

While bombs rain down on us, and cruise missiles skid across the skies, we know that contracts are being signed, patents are being registered, oil pipelines are being laid, natural resources are being plundered, water is being privatized, and George Bush is planning to go to war against Iraq.

If we look at this conflict as a straightforward eye-ball to eye-ball confrontation between "Empire" and those of us who are resisting it, it might seem that we are losing.

But there is another way of looking at it. We, all of us gathered here, have, each in our own way, laid siege to "Empire."

We may not have stopped it in its tracks - yet - but we have stripped it down. We have made it drop its mask. We have forced it into the open. It now stands before us on the world's stage in all it's brutish, iniquitous nakedness.

Empire may well go to war, but it's out in the open now - too ugly to behold its own reflection. Too ugly even to rally its own people. It won't be long before the majority of American people become our allies.

Only a few days ago in Washington, a quarter of a million people marched against the war on Iraq. Each month, the protest is gathering momentum.

Before September 11th 2001 America had a secret history. Secret especially from its own people. But now America's secrets are history, and its history is public knowledge. It's street talk.

Today, we know that every argument that is being used to escalate the war against Iraq is a lie. The most ludicrous of them being the U.S. Government's deep commitment to bring democracy to Iraq.

Killing people to save them from dictatorship or ideological corruption is, of course, an old U.S. government sport. Here in Latin America, you know that better than most.

Nobody doubts that Saddam Hussein is a ruthless dictator, a murderer (whose worst excesses were supported by the governments of the United States and Great Britain). There's no doubt that Iraqis would be better off without him.

But, then, the whole world would be better off without a certain Mr. Bush. In fact, he is far more dangerous than Saddam Hussein.

So, should we bomb Bush out of the White House?

It's more than clear that Bush is determined to go to war against Iraq, regardless of the facts - and regardless of international public opinion.

In its recruitment drive for allies, The United States is prepared to invent facts.

The charade with weapons inspectors is the U.S. government's offensive, insulting concession to some twisted form of international etiquette. It's like leaving the "doggie door" open for last minute "allies" or maybe the United Nations to crawl through.

But for all intents and purposes, the New War against Iraq has begun.

What can we do?

We can hone our memory, we can learn from our history. We can continue to build public opinion until it becomes a deafening roar.

We can turn the war on Iraq into a fishbowl of the U.S. government's excesses.

We can expose George Bush and Tony Blair - and their allies - for the cowardly baby killers, water poisoners, and pusillanimous long-distance bombers that they are.

We can re-invent civil disobedience in a million different ways. In other words, we can come up with a million ways of becoming a collective pain in the ass.

When George Bush says "you're either with us, or you are with the terrorists" we can say "No thank you." We can let him know that the people of the world do not need to choose between a Malevolent Mickey Mouse and the Mad Mullahs.

Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness - and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we're being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

- Arundhati Roy

Porto Alegre, Brazil

January 27, 2003




4.

From: http://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/starhawk/2003-02/msg0000'.html

The Choice Before Us

Starhawk

Somewhere tonight in Iraq, a small girl lies sleeping who in a few weeks may be a lump of scorched flesh buried under concrete. On a basketball court somewhere in the United States a young man lands a jump shot, who in a few weeks may have no legs, or eyes, or have tumors already brooding in his brain from exposure to the depleted uranium of our own weapons. A young boy who is healthy and vibrant today will be racked with cancer. A mother will hear her children crying for food and have nothing to give them but tainted water to quench their thirst.

Land that is today rich and fertile will, a short time from now, be contaminated with radioactivity that lasts longer than all the years between ancient Sumer and Babylon and now. And young men and women who in the innocence of their hearts volunteered to serve their country will be led to perpetrate unspeakable crimes that will haunt their nights and blight the rest of their lives. When they complain of strange ailments, the Veteran's Administration will admit no connection. And for years afterwards, as has happened since the first Gulf War, they will take their own lives in a steady stream of suicides. They will not be the sons and daughters of the men and women who sit in Congress or the White House. A disparate number of them will come from communities in our own land who suffer poverty, dispossession, discrimination. And all of this will be done at the command of men who have never themselves faced combat or fought a war, who rob our schools and hospitals to pay for their own weapons of mass destruction, who promote an empire-building agenda of their own that will not provide the security they claim. For the sheer injustice of our attack on a country that has not attacked us will provoke such fear and hatred against us that all our bombs and missiles and cops and spies will not be able to keep us safe.

The media and the politicians tell us this war is inevitable, that we can't stop it, that our protests and petitions and pleas make no difference. They murmur a constant incantation of our powerlessness, lulling us into a nightmare sleep. But we can still wake up. We can choose to walk out of the nightmare, and dream a different dream.

All it takes is for each one of us who cherishes the lives of children to refuse to be silent, to say no to war, to say yes to peace. And to ask ourselves, how have we abandoned our country, our fate, into the hands of callous men who have no compunction about wasting lives? What spell has been cast that fogs our eyes and binds our hands? What lies have we believed? What power have we let slip away?

Replace the nightmare with this dream: that in the moment when one world power has amassed the unchallenged military might to make its bid for global empire, its own people rise up and say, "No. That is not what we want to be. We don't want to rule the world over the broken bodies of children. We don't want blood on our hands. We want children who are sick to have the best possible care, in Iraq and in our own country. We want schools and jobs and parks and hospitals and food for the hungry. We want to join hands with the people of the world, and strengthen the institutions that are slowly and painfully learning to solve conflicts without bloodshed, and teaching us to respect our differences. We know that peace must be built on justice, and we want peace."

Dream that we wake up, stand up, speak out, not in the thousands but the millions, joining with millions around the world. Dream that soldiers refuse their orders, dockworkers refuse to load ships, secretaries shut off their computers, workers close their factories, and even politicians find the courage to stand for what is right.

And make the dream real. If you have spoken out before, now is the time to speak again, to make another phone call, write another letter, stand in another vigil. If you have marched before, march again and this time bring more of your friends and neighbors. If you haven't marched, if you have been immersed in the demands of your own life, if you feel that your small voice makes no difference, now is the time to speak anyway, to interrupt your ordinary pursuits, to become the one small drop that just might turn the tide.

If you can get to New York or San Francisco on the weekend of February 15 for the big marches and rallies, come because the numbers are vitally important. If you can't, there will be marches and rallies and vigils to join all across the country. Find one, or call one of your own.

Be public. Be visible. Be the loud, uncomfortable conscience that has disappeared from the halls of power. And believe that truth is stronger than lies, love trumps fear, and no cabal of power can contain the multitudes when we awaken and choose life.

Starhawk

For details and a list of planned actions around the country, check http://www.unitedforpeace.org

Starhawk is the author of Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising and eight other books on activism and earth-based and feminist spirituality. Her website is http://www.starhawk.org

Please feel free to forward and reprint this as widely as possible.

Resistance is the secret to joy.




5.

From: http://www.nbc4columbus.com/news/1949938/detail.html

Also from http://truthout.org/docs_02/020603G.htm

Ohio Congressman Possible Presidential Hopeful?

Kucinich Pondering A Run For White House

Friday 31 January 2003

WASHINGTON -- Those battling to nab the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2004 include Joe Lieberman, John F. Kerry, John Edwards, Dick Gephardt -- and Dennis Kucinich?

After making stirring speeches across the country and emerging as Congress' liberal answer to the Bush administration, one of Ohio's congressmen is starting to be mentioned as White House material.

Kucinich, 56, is best known nationally as being Cleveland's "boy mayor" in the 1970s. However, since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the increased attention on the inspection of Iraqi weapons, Kucinich has become a national voice for civil liberties and peace.

He plans to spend five days in Iowa this month. Still, the three-term congressman has skillfully dodged questions about his political ambitions. He told Wolf Blitzer on CNN this week to "stay tuned."

"I have been hearing from people all over the country who are asking for my voice to be added into the debate," Kucinich said at a Washington news conference this week. "I'm listening very carefully to those voices."

A spokesman from Kucinich's office said the congressman receives "tens of thousands" of phone calls and e-mails each day urging him to run. The onslaught started after Kucinich gave a speech last February called "A prayer for America."

In that Los Angeles address, Kucinich used patriotic language to denounce Bush administration policies that he says tread on personal liberties and take the country in a dangerous direction internationally.

The Los Angeles address circled the Internet and led Michael, a 44-year-old computer privacy consultant from Oklahoma City, to launch a Web site asking people to urge Kucinich to run. The site, http://www.draftkucinich.com, has gone from about 200 to 300 a hits in its early days to about 5,000 visitors a day.

"He struck a chord with the activist progressive grass-roots part of the Democratic Party, also with the Green Party," Michael said. "I'm hearing from such a cross section of people. They are interested in his strong statements, how he is not tepid on his views of the war with Iraq and also his populist economic roots."

Ralph Nader, who also appeals to economic populists, has spoken publicly about his support for Kucinich, saying the race needs a progressive candidate. Nader was the Green Party's presidential candidate in 2000.

As chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which consists of 55 of the most liberal members, Kucinich has pushed in Congress for a worker-friendly economic stimulus package and been a longtime advocate for establishing a Department of Peace.

"He is very strong on labor issues, so I am hopeful that he may raise some issues that might not otherwise be discussed," said Gordon Fischer, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party.

Fischer said his state has seen many of the Democratic hopefuls in the last several months and the buzz about Kucinich has been circling the state. The Iowa Caucus is considered an early test of how successful candidates would be in a presidential race.

Still, Kucinich lacks the name recognition of the current Democratic contenders. And his campaign account had $43,668 as of Nov. 25, 2002, while a presidential primary campaign costs $20 million to $30 million.

Ohio State University political scientist Paul Beck said he wouldn't take the Kucinich rumors seriously -- but, he added, you never know.

"It can happen. I would have said the same thing about Jimmy Carter in 1974," he said. "One can only imagine that if the war goes badly and the economy continues to decline, all of a sudden, Dennis Kucinich looks like he's positioned right on the axis of the major issues."




"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

- Arundhati Roy




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