Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Watching the Detectives (Existential That Is)

Saw two very good movies over the holidays I (heart) Huckabees and Sideways. If you are worried or have any interest in relationships, selling out, meaning, petroleum, Merlot, promiscuity, divorce, commercialism, being co-opted, divorce, etc.. than see them both. Well directed, acted, written, and just plain original. One of constants in film for me is the incredible narcissism that the medium brings on. I always think, man, the writer most certainly thinking of MY situation when they wrote that.

Say Yes To Imperialism!

Thousands of Lebanese march in support of the Syrian role in their country!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Election Fraud?

There probably has not been a day that has gone by since the election that I have not received an email or found an article on the web from someone crying about the outcome of the election and blaming it on election fraud. Having no real data to back up my skepticism of these arguments, I criticized them anyway.

Here's an article from people who seem to know what they are talking about when it comes to the electoral system and statistical analysis. They argue that even granting Kerry all of the contested votes the "Kerry won" crowd say he should have recieved the numbers that they trot out still would have not given him enough votes in Ohio. And given Bush's overwhelming increase in numbers in the popular vote particularly in blue states, the fraud numbers they come up with still don't add up for a win for Kerry. They also argue that the statistical analysis of some of the "the vote was fixed" folk is just plain wrong. Lot's of people in Florida other southern states register as Democrats but vote Republican in presidential elections. This is true whether one uses a electronic voting machine or not.

The authors of the article argue that the problem is not outright fraud but a disallocation of resources for voting machines and infrastructure to wealthy areas making their voting process far more efficient and accurate than in poorer and more Democratic areas thus giving an advantage to the Republicans from an institutional point of view.

The "left" needs to look inward. The backbone of the left, the labor unions, spent tens of millions on Kerry and keeping Nader off the ballot. They will get nothing from these efforts. Other social movements, particularly the anti-war movent have suffered because of the electoral focus of many "leftists" over the last year. They spent their time going door to door for a corporate shill (particularly insurance and pharmacuetical companies) and supporter of the war when they could have been out organizing protests against poluters or the war or organizing workers in factories or in service industries.

Presidential elections are a waste of time. The Democratic party has been spending a lions share of its resources on the top of the ticket for years now and the results are disturbing. A majority of state houses, governships, and even some big cities are now run by Republicans. This is a direct result of the Democratic parties abadonment of core principles and playing to the suburbs or middling voters. The base is not being organized around issues because they are too busy, particularly at the top of the ticket, trying to keep Wall Street and up scale socially liberal suburbanites happy. They need to start putting all their efforts into organizing the stae houses on the local level so that the votes will trickle up not down.

The Republicans have done the opposite of the Democrats since 1964. They have turned hard right, energized their base and people across the country have responded because even if they don't agree withem on all of the isuues at least they stand for something. Quick name three issues John Kerry was FOR, OK just one. Here's the lesson not the lesson of the 1992 election of Bill Clinton that brought us NAFTA, GATT, welfare "reform," more cops and jails and war in Bosnia, oh yeah and years and years of talk about Hillary!

Canada or Bust?

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.
The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly.
Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.
"I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota.
The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry.
"He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields.
"Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."
Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.
"A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though."
When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR.
In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border.
Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers.
"If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.
Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.
"I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history majors does one country need?"
In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said.
"We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is determined to reach out."

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Eduardo Galeano on Hugo Chavez

The dictator that has been elected tima and time again. Also see EG's other work.

El Che

Saul Landau on the Motorcycle Diaries and the legacy of Che Guevara.

Cannabilistic Ploy?

A vision of Mary (mother of god) appears on a sandwich (grilled cheese?). Will these cannibals stop at nothing to re-enforce their body and blood eating?

Want a Better CIA?

Here's the problem with the so called left in the United States. Here Robert Scheer a reasonable and knowledgeable guy on the ways of Washington and the world argues for a good CIA.

The CIA was established to spy on leftists, nationalists, trade unionists, radical priests and nuns, socialists, communists, pacifists and any other progressive of any sort. After finding out what these folks are up to there next job is to co-opt them, nuetralize them, buy them off or kill them or have some vicious ally kill them. So why then is Sheer calling for a more efficient killing machine? Answer: most liberals bought into the Cold War and buy into the so-called WAR ON TERROR!

Islamists want to kill me and lots of same people that the CIA wants to kill but that is not a good reasn to side with an agency that's entire goal is not democracy and human rights but the opposite. Particularly in the Middle East where the handy work of the CIA and its allies has created the monster that they now are supposedly protecting us from.

In the post-WWII world the CIA did all it could to eliminate progressive forces throughout the Middle East. A coup in Iran, Iraq, support for Israel, invasions and bombings of Libya and Lebanon, support for Turkey's war on the Kurds, wholesale backing of dictatorship in almost every country and a militarization of Afghanistan that actually supported Al-Queda and the like until the early 1990's. With progressive forces completly nuetralized by the late 1970's people throughout the region began to look to the only institution that maintained any autonomy, Islam! Radicals there then took advantage of the yearning for alternatives to corrupt US backed regimes and the most retrograde movement since Nazisim has emerged.

So why do we need a new and improved CIA Robert?

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Mulligan of Class, Race and Rage

An analysis of the NBA fight and US society. Violence is pandemic here and then the outrage comes when we see it at a sporting event. I listened to AM radio this weekend. On the sports talk shows the predominant commentary from the callers was "gangsta and hip-hop culture" caused this. The hypocrisy of the predominantly white callers lecturing black folks on violence and naughty ways is laughable if it were not so pervasive and institutionally reinforced. Have you been to a hockey game ever? Fighting is allowed! How many of the same people abhoring the culture of violence of black folk own guns and back war as a first choice in forgein policy?

Don't get me wrong at my job I see the results of a culture of thugishness and disrespect for everything. Order is certainly a decent value. But the hypocrisy is the problem. It's like Bush and the nuclear bombs issue. This is an outrage that Iran and North Korea want to have bombs. How many tens of thousands does the US have? The two places in the world where nukes actually might be used, Pakistan and Israel, two close US allies!

Bush's Vote Count Up With Electronic Voting Machines

A statistical analysis from UC-Berkeley of the correlation between new voting machines and the rise in the vote for Bush. As well as a survey of the efficacy of the new machines installed since 2004.

I have not been one to claim fraud but here is some data that raise my eyebrow (just one).

Friday, November 19, 2004

Philip Roth

A review of Philip Roth's latest.

An End To Disease?

The human genome project is complete. The hope for many has been that this will give us an edge on eliminating disease. How far have we come? Go to the link.

Coming from the ethically challenged Dingell but still a great quote.

Rep John Dingell (D-MI) on Majority Leader Tom DeLay (TX-R): "These folks talk about values and decency, but then think it’s okay to change the rules once it appears one of their own may have broken them. This amounts to a work release program for the ethically challenged. We should all remember that a decade ago, Mr. DeLay helped to create this rule. Republicans said at the time they were the party of reform and good government. Now they’ve become the party of moribund hubris."

Neo-Cons and Neo-Millenialists

Here's a scary article on the neoconservatives and their affinity with one of "our" countries most important right wing religious "thinkers," Tim Lahaye.

The Day of Reckoning Near?

The International Monetary Fund is warning the United States that the US deficit is too high and that world economy is at risk because of it. As it goes of late international bankers, partcularly in Asia, have floated the US a whole lot of cash to finance the deficits that have been the rule for most of the last 30 years. Because of the dominant place of the US dollar in the world economy (as a reult of the strength of the US economy and the dollarization of petroleum) investors have been willing to finance the US government in their extravegant spending on US corporations and the war machine. Is this coming to end? I doubt it. The bankers might back out eventually if it doesn't pay but the IMF in the end is controlled by the members and contributors, the US being the largest. Will the US dicipline itself through an international organization? I doubt it.

Will we be IMFed?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

#1 Issue for the New Congress?

What does the new values mandated Cogress see as their number 1 order of business as they come back into session after the election? Changing the ethics rules so that the powerful majority leader and former exterminator Tom Delay would not violate the rules that he helped write in 1994. The rules disallowed members to stay in leadership position if they were under indictment. Values indeed.


It looks like there is a growing resistance to the war within the ranks. These brave souls should get our utmost support.

The New York Times
Former G.I.'s, Ordered to War, Fight Not to Go
November 16, 2004

The Army has encountered resistance from more than 2,000
former soldiers it has ordered back to military work,
complicating its efforts to fill gaps in the regular troops.
Many of these former soldiers - some of whom say they have
not trained, held a gun, worn a uniform or even gone for a
jog in years - object to being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan
now, after they thought they were through with life on
active duty.
They are seeking exemptions, filing court cases or simply
failing to report for duty, moves that will be watched
closely by approximately 110,000 other members of the
Individual Ready Reserve, a corps of soldiers who are no
longer on active duty but still are eligible for call-up.
In the last few months, the Army has sent notices to more
than 4,000 former soldiers informing them that they must
return to active duty, but more than 1,800 of them have
already requested exemptions or delays, many of which are
still being considered.
And, of about 2,500 who were due to arrive on military
bases for refresher training by Nov. 7, 733 had not shown
Army officials say the call-up is proceeding at rates they
anticipated, and they are trying to fill needed jobs with
former soldiers as they did in the Persian Gulf war of
Still, the resistance puts further strain on a military
that has summoned reserve troops in numbers not seen since
World War II and forced thousands of soldiers in Iraq to
postpone their departures when their enlistment obligations
Tensions are flaring between the Army and some of its
veterans, who say they are surprised and confused about
their obligations and unsure where to turn.
"I consider myself a civilian," said Rick Howell, a major
from Tuscaloosa, Ala., who said he thought he had left the
Army behind in 1997 after more than a decade flying
helicopters. "I've done my time. I've got a brand new baby
and a wife, and I haven't touched the controls of an
aircraft in seven years. I'm 47 years old. How could they
be calling me? How could they even want me?"
Some former soldiers acknowledge that the Army has every
right to call them back, but argue that their personal
circumstances - illness, single parenthood, financial woes
- make going overseas impossible now.
Others say they do not believe they are eligible to be
returned to active duty because, they contend, they already
finished the obligations they signed up for when they
joined the military. A handful of such former soldiers,
scattered across the country, have filed lawsuits making
that claim in federal courts.
These former soldiers are not among the part-time soldiers
- reservists and National Guard members - who receive
paychecks and train on weekends, and who have been called
up in large numbers over the last three years.
Instead, these are members of the Individual Ready Reserve,
a pool of former soldiers seldom ordered back to work.
Ordinarily, these former soldiers do not get military pay,
nor do they train. They receive points toward a military
retirement and an address form to update once a year.
When soldiers enlist, they typically agree to an eight-year
commitment to the Army but often are allowed to end active
duty sooner. Some of them join the Reserves or National
Guard to complete their commitment; others finish their
time in the Individual Ready Reserve.
For officers, the commitment does not expire unless they
formally resign their commissions in writing, a detail some
insist they did not know and were not told when they signed
their contracts, although Army officials strongly dispute
Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, a spokeswoman for the Army, said
people in the service are well aware of the provision. "We
all know about it," Colonel Hart said.
She said problems with the call-ups of former soldiers have
involved a relatively small number of people, are being
worked out, and are hardly unique to this conflict. In the
first gulf war, she said, more than 20,000 former soldiers
were called up. With medical problems and no-shows, only
about 14,400 were actually deployed, she said.
Most of the deployments in the first gulf war lasted 120
days, the Army said. The current call-ups are more likely
to last a year.
Of those seeking exemptions now, the Army is studying each
person's case individually, Colonel Hart said, and has no
set rule on what allows a person to avoid deployment. Army
officials are still weighing more than half of the
requests. So far, only 3 percent of requests for exemptions
have been turned down, while 45 percent have been approved.
As for the former soldiers who failed to appear at bases by
their assigned dates, the Army is trying to reach them, one
by one, to discuss their circumstances, Colonel Hart said.
In late September, some Army officials suggested that they
would pursue harsher punishments - declaring people AWOL
and possibly pursuing military charges - but the Army has
since taken a quieter, more conciliatory approach.
"These are challenging times in their lives," Colonel Hart
said, adding that some former soldiers who failed to report
might have moved and not received the Army's notice. "We're
contacting them as best as possible."
For the rest, though, some questions linger over who really
qualifies for the callback.
Colette Parrish said she burst into tears the evening that
her husband, Todd, walked into their house in Cary, N.C.,
with a letter from the Army calling him back to service.
"We had no idea this could happen," she said. "We hadn't
been preparing for any of it because we thought it wasn't
At first, Mr. Parrish, 31, said he was convinced that the
letter was just an administrative error because he believed
that his time in the Individual Ready Reserve had ended.
He had gone to college on an R.O.T.C. scholarship, then
served four years as a field artillery officer. He said he
resigned his commission after that, became an engineer, and
still owed the Army four years in the Individual Ready
Reserve to complete his total obligation.
To Mr. Parrish, who has filed a lawsuit against the Army in
federal court in North Carolina, that obligation ended on
Dec. 19, 2003. But the Army apparently does not agree, and
says that it never accepted Mr. Parrish's resignation as an
As the court fight has continued, Mr. Parrish's date to
report to Fort Sill, Okla., has been pushed back, again and
again, one month at a time. Instead of thinking about
long-term plans, for his wife and their future family, he
is living in 30-day increments.
He said he always looked back on his service years fondly,
and with a deep sense of patriotism.
"I guess I feel disillusioned now," he said. "This isn't
about being for or against the war. It's not about
Democrats or Republicans. It's just a contract, and I don't
think this is right. If they need more people, shouldn't
they get them the right way? How many more like me are
Mark Waple, Mr. Parrish's lawyer, said he had received
calls from 30 other former soldiers in recent months, all
of whom had heard of Mr. Parrish's case and had similar
At least two other former soldiers have filed suit over the
In Hawaii, David Miyasato, a former enlisted soldier who
served in the first gulf war, said he would never go AWOL;
he would have gone to Iraq, he said, if need be.
But Mr. Miyasato also said that his eight-year commitment
ended nearly a decade ago. After he received his letter
calling him back to service, he said, he called the Army
repeatedly to argue that he was not eligible. Finally, he
said, with his date to report to a base in South Carolina
just days away, he contacted a lawyer and filed suit on
Nov. 5.
"This was actually my last resort," said Mr. Miyasato, a
former truck driver and fuel hauler who said that, at 34,
he led an entirely different life, with an 8-month-old
daughter and a window-tinting company to run. "I had been
calling around everywhere for help."
On Nov. 10, Mr. Miyasato said, he learned that the Army had
rescinded his orders.
In New York, Jay Ferriola, a former captain in the Army,
filed a suit saying he had resigned his officer's
commission in June and no longer qualified for call-up in
the Individual Ready Reserve. On Nov. 5, the Army rescinded
his orders and honorably discharged him.
"This shows that the system works," Colonel Hart said. "If
the soldiers bring their situations to our attention, we're
going to do what's right."
Barry Slotnick, Mr. Ferriola's lawyer, said he wondered how
many other soldiers might be in similar positions, but
without the money, the contacts or the certainty to sue.
Mr. Slotnick said he had received numerous calls from
others since he filed Mr. Ferriola's case in late October.
"We might as well add another phone bank," Mr. Slotnick
said. "What I can see is that there are many, many cases of
people being called up that shouldn't have been. This is a
backdoor draft. I also have to wonder how many are already
in Iraq who shouldn't be there, who just didn't think to
question it."
The Army's current plan is to fill 4,400 jobs through March
from among 5,600 former soldiers ordered to duty. But an
Army official said last month that more former soldiers,
perhap in similar numbers, might be called on later next
year, aswell.
For now, those being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan are being
asked to handle a variety of support positions, including
truck drivers and fuel and food suppliers.
Months ago, the Army said some of the former soldiers would
be needed to play the French horn, the clarinet, the
euphonium, the saxophone and the electric bass as part of
the military's bands, but the notion drew criticism from
members of Congress who questioned the need to order people
to give up their civilian lives to play instruments.
Colonel Hart said the Army has since filled the musician
jobs with volunteers.
Before going to Iraq, former soldiers are receiving as many
days of training as they need, an Army spokesman said. Some
of the soldiers said they were worried, though, about the
prospect and safety of trying to get up to speed in a few
"These guys like me are basically untrained civilians now,"
said Mr. Howell, the former helicopter test pilot. Mr.
Howell said he left the Army years ago with an injured
back, knee and elbow, leaving him wondering about his own
physical condition.
"I don't even have a uniform anymore," he said. "But they
don't have any more reserves left, so we're it. All they
want is some bodies to go to Iraq, just someone to be
there, to sit on the ground."
When he left the military in 1997 as part of a reduction in
forces, Mr. Howell said, he saw a note in the "little
print" in his annuity agreement about a future commitment.
But he said he was told that his obligation to the
Individual Ready Reserve would be brief and meant little
anyway. "They said it was just a way of having me on the
books," he said.
After that, Mr. Howell said, he jumped into the civilian
world. He got married. He and his new wife began building a
house. They struggled to have children.
In September, his first child, Clayton, was born. Just
before that, his orders arrived.
"It does rip my heart out that these young men and women
are over there, and there is part of me that wants to be
with them," he said recently. "But I have responsibilities
here now."
Mr. Howell said he had applied to the Army for an exemption
but was recently turned down. If he loses his appeal, he
will be given a new reporting date. His best hope, he said,
is that his appeal is buried somewhere at the very bottom
of a big stack of them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Motorcycle Diaries

Walter Salles knows how to make movies. He knows who to cast, how to point the camera and what music will most make the viewer weepy. I saw the Motorcycle Diaries last night and at times said to myself, this is somewhat overly dramatic or obvious. But looking back, what could be more dramatic than Che Guevara's formative experience? It's a fine film with gorgeous people and scenery. Well worth giving $8.50 over to the pinche gringo imperialistas! Adelante!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Temperance Revisited

The "left" has become so timid of late that the only issues that they seem to take on are "safe" ones like smoking and eating too much. In London the moralists on in high gear banning smoking in public spaces.

This move to nannyism is a result of the success of the right. They have so succesfully dominated the debate that major issues are not even engaged anymore surrendering health care, wages, war to the sidelines.

Avoid this tendency! If people want to smoke, drink a little or even snort something why should the state have anything to say about it. It's a health issue I would agree but put it there not in the political sphere.

Friday, November 12, 2004

New Wes Anderson

I hate to be such a corporate shill but Wes Anderson's (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore) new film is coming out at Christmas time. It's called The Life Aquatic
with Steve Zissou

Free Camilo Mejia

Resistance to the war will only succeed if soldiers stop fighting and massive demonstrations and strikes disrupt the economy and political system. Camilo Mejia deserves our support.

Dear God

I have always liked this one.
Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.
When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I
simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination & End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements
of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
her period of menstrual uncleanliness, (Lev. 15:19-24) the problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill
him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination (Lev.11:10), it is a lesser abomination that homosexuality. I don t agree. Can you settle this? Are there degrees of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have
a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev. 24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, as we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Eternally Yours,

-- A Concerned Christian American

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I think a better way to look at the Red/Bluedivide at least from a non-electoral college political perspective is to look at a the relative county vote and the counties won by each party map. These two maps give one a better idea of the concentration of barabarism and socialism as Marx put it.

It looks like our only hope is more water!

On the social front here's a pretty decent take on the values of the red areas. Murder, divorce, crime, inequality, and a load of other social ills are far greater in the red states. With values like those...

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Beware of God

Daniel Lazare on the debate about Islam. Always a pleasure to read D.L. whom I first read in the Bergen Record in High School.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Kill the Chicken and Scare the Monkey

This is probably the best slogan I have heard in awhile. It come from China where a "strike hard" policy is endorsed by a vast majority if the populace. Strike hard is a policy of rounding up "criminals" by the hundreds and sometimes thousands and executing them. I came across this approach in a CBC documentary featured on Wisconsin Public Radio called "To Kill or to Cure?" This documentary looks at the criminal justice systems in Japan, the US, China, Finland, and Canada. A very Canadian approach. In Canada they are tinkering with their system lately borrowing from the US and trying out approaches from Scandanvia also. It's worth a look.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Why Republicans Win

It's not because of fraud. It's because they have out organized the left and liberals. They have issues that they aticulate, war, tax cuts, antigay, etc... Can you name 3 issues Kerry stood for? When Roosevelt and Truman started to alienate the solid (racist) southern Democrats the ball began to roll. The 1964 election saw the first electoral fissure and by the time 1968 rolled around Nixon's boys, including Kevin Philips, figured out a southern strategy that is still paying benefits today. Reagan's addition was the rightward political mobilization of evangelical christians and catholics and the Democrats contribution to the rightward shift has been the embrace of Wall Street and Market Populism. This brings us to the question of why Bush and the Republicans are now in the majority in all branches of the Federal government, control most state houses and lots of governorships. It's the same reason the Democrats Lost Kansas.

What is to be done?

*We need to take on imperialism to show that it makes us less safe and that it kills and impoverishes billions including us.

*We need to talk about values so that people do not see more secular folks as the devil. Health care, day care, wages, pensions, principled democratic positions, principled positions on crime and punishment all could be spoken about in the terms of values even if we disagree on abortion or gay rights.

* Gay rights need to be discussed in terms of democratic rights. The marriage debate we will lose. Let anyone who wants to get married wherever they want but the state should only be dealing in civil relationships in legal matters, terms of benefits, visitation, etc...

*The role of government needs to be discussed with more clarity. Health care is a winner in this respect. VA hospitals are run cheaper and better in many respects than private institutions. Medicare and Medicaid are subsidies to corporations that need to be scrapped. They actually are part of the reason costs are so high. They just feed the never satisfied appetite of the beast.

*Social Security needs to become a national pension system. I think even employers would get behind this idea.

This is a program for victory. The Democrats after 2004 will probably go in exactly the opposite direction.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Unless you are an owner of large business or a trust funder you will become poorer as a result of this election. Here are some short and long term impacts of this election.
*Watch out Iraqi's you are now going to become even more of a free fire zone.
*The supreme court could have as many as 3 new reactionaries appointed to it in the next 4 years.
*Social Security partial privatization is now on the table.
*Some sort of tort "reform" will be passed in the next two years.
*State houses around the country are now more Republican. This will ensure the majority in the House will remain for a long long time.

The Democrats have a serious dilemma. Their base is more and more liberal. The leadership is becoming more and more pragmatic/centrist/sold out to Wall Street. Can they bring out their base, Union households, Blacks, Jews, single women, with a message that is contrary to their interets? James Carville is correct when he asked what do you call a candidate that depends on young people in a election? Answer, a loser.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Packers have spoken.

With the Redskin loss this weekend Bush's loss is assured. Seriously though I am predicting a Kerry win. I know this is going with the flow of the pundits but if Ohio is truly this close then Kerry will pick up 2 of 3 in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. If he does this then he does not even need Florida which I believe Bush will win. I think Kerry will get 273 electoral votes (no Florida, Wisconsin or New Mexico- he will pick up the votes in Ohio and New Hampshire). Actually I just re-added this scenario and this leads to a 269/269 tie. What fun!

For the first time since 1984 I considered voting Democrat for President. I surprised myself with this given the battle scars over the years on this issue, here's why. I was somewhat swayed by the argument that a Bush defeat is important, Tariq Ali and others have made this argument. Those who make this argument, which I agree with, maintain that his reactionary rule must be repudiated. In other words primarily for the war in Iraq it must be shown that you cannot get away with this kind of imperial plunder and slaughter. I will be happy if he loses. It will send a positive message but I still didn't vote Kerry.

Kerry supported the war and supports the occupation. He also supports the "WAR ON TERRORISM." This means perpetual war with whomever is the enemy of the week. He supports an increase in spending for Special Forces and for the "intelligence" forces. This means more spying on people around the world and in our country. He volunteered for Vietnam because he believes in US power and the use of it for good. I think when it is used 9 times out of ten the result will be negative. I know he opposed the war when he returned but not after killing a number of Vietnamese who were only trying to defend their homes and nation.

His domestic plan is meager at best.

Build the Greens and other third party movements so that the Democrats and Republicans will at least inch to the left. Otherwise we will have a slow drift rightward in both parties which has occurred over the last 30 years.

Need to know where to vote? Go to this site.

Create your own electoral scenario at this site.

Anthropomorphic Swine: Take This!

In Brazil a legislature has final found the root of our troubles: giving animals human names! Once we are rid of this scourge nirvana will reign! Read an article about it here.