Madam Speaker, the State of our Union is . . .

What tripe. What if the President gave a State of the Union address and nobody came? I ceased watching these events back in 2004 and I kick myself for taking so long to awaken to the reality of this presidency - and the signs were all there from the beginning: faith over evidence. At the very start of this reign of Bush the Second, he has chosen to ignore things that do not conform to what he believes: stem cell research is bad as an embryo of 12-weeks has as much a right to live as a person of 30, 40 or 70 years; hybrid cars are not the way - hydrogen is the path we must trod; treaties - even those written in his lifetime - are too ancient and creaky to underpin our nation's defense (what must he think of some rickety documents like the Declaration of Independence?); and the one that surely must be thought of as Belief Zero - if Bill Clinton did it, it must be wrong.

It is from these beliefs - those of a man who has a surety of self that is supremely uninformed by his own record of achievement - that we have arrived where we are today: 3000 of our citizens killed in one day from an attack by an organization that until 12 September 2001 never received more than passing attention (next time you hear anyone complain about the Clinton Administration response to the attack on the Cole; ask them what the Bush II Administration did?); 3000 of our soldiers dead and tens of thousands of them gravely wounded in service of a war against a man (Saddam Hussein) and a nation (Iraq) that had neither the intention nor ability to attack our nation and still today - 24 January 2007 - the man who struck the gravest blow against our nation that has ever been struck walks the earth as free as the day he was born. Almost 2000 days have past since that fateful day. Scores of children have been born into this new world - the world created in the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001. How they must walk around and think that as it is now it has always been an forever shall be: airplane passengers treated like criminals simply for wanting to fly and color-coded messages that tell us how fearful we should be on any given day. A world in which the adults talk of never-ending war and then tell their kids that violence is not the answer. Our actions are leading us further from the goals in which we profess to believe: Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward all Her People.

When will we arise from this nightmare, shake loose the cobwebs from our minds and venture forth with the confident stride of our ancestors, as opposed to these timid steps that keep us within the limited visibility of our "leaders"?

I should make this clear: I was against this war in Iraq before it started; I am against it now; I do not support expanding the war with a "troop surge" and I certainly do not support increasing the field of battle by attacking Iran and/or Syria. I lived and worked in NYC back in 2001 and I was their on that day. I want those responsible for that attack to face justice. Last I heard, the whole world believes UBL to be living on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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