Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Lately, I've been throwing out useless apostrophes all over the place. It's embarrassing. I'm going to have nightmares about the eats, shoots, and leaves lady coming to get me.
As for my commas, I feel no remorse. I never got commas. I use them as pauses- end of story. I actually had a college professor pull me aside after class because of my commas. I was an honors student- valedictorian of my high school class and all that- but I was really bad at commas. She approached me as if she was about to tell me I only had a week to live. How tragic, my dear, your commas are all over the place! Somehow, her acknowledgement has made me feel better about my flaw.
I try to look at it the way most people look at math. Nobody feels bad about making a math error. Highly intelligent adults (including my grammar police sister) say one hundred and one several times a day instead of one hundred one. This makes me cringe, but I will never get an apology.
Yet somehow, I still feel guilty about those apostrophes as if someone will dismiss everything I've said because I, in my haste, typed apostrophe s instead of just s.
No politics today. Reader's Digest has an article about Iraq. It depressed me so I dealt with it in my family's way by making an inappropriate joke.
One of the soldiers in the article has the last name of Rape. Very unfortunate. It reminded me of the time I took the super liberal English professor I was dating to my company's annual Military Police Ball.
All of us military folks were in our dress uniforms complete with nametags. Surrounding us at the table were folks named Milkman, Hickey, and Martini. My date asked if those were their real names (they were).
My (lame) joke since then has been that people who stay in the military (and move up in rank) do so because they have last names that inspire jokes. At least in the military, they have to be treated with respect.
After that, I stopped reading the article.
Denial, denial, denial.
Monday, November 29, 2004
Luckily, the folks in charge in Massachusetts feel the same:
Critics of the November 2003 ruling by the highest court in Massachusetts argue that it violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of a republican form of government in each state. They lost at the 1st
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
Their attorney, Mathew Staver, said in a Supreme Court filing that the Constitution should ''protect the citizens of Massachusetts from their own state supreme court's usurpation of power.'' Federal courts, he said, should defend people's right ''to live in a republican form of government free from tyranny, whether that comes at the barrel of a gun or by the decree of a court.''
Merita Hopkins, a city attorney in Boston, had told justices in court papers that the people who filed the suit have not shown they suffered an injury and could not bring a challenge to the Supreme Court. ''Deeply felt interest in the outcome of a case does not constitute an actual injury,'' she said.
He has a degree in political science, is currently working as a lawyer, and has been dreaming of a future in politics since I've known him. Every decision he's made has been about building his resume.
He often talks to me about religion in the south, stressing to me that I just don't understand the way it is down there. We're both Catholic, though he's more Catholic than I am, but where we come from religion is private.
He tells me stories about people who answer the phone with "Praise the Lord" instead of hello or others who call him after being scammed out of money by someone who "said he was a Christian" (which is their reason for handing over the money.)
He sent me this report of an article (I don't know the source) and his (tongue-in-cheek)comments:
In today's paper, many "victims" are talking about a scam that they fell victim to, that has netted the purveyor over 1 million dollars in the past year. The scam artist goes door to door in rural North Carolina and asks people if they have a loved-one in jail. If they do, the artist states that he has ways of getting their loved ones out of jail if they will pay him thousands of dollars in cash. Now since the artist is not a lawyer, I feel no sympathy for these "victims" as I cannot imagine they contemplated this guy utilizing legal means to get their relatives out of jail. I simply share this info because of the reasons the "victims" gave for falling prey to the scam. One woman stated she emptied his 401K of $15,000 when this man came to her door asking for money. She stated "I didn't trust him at first, coming to my door asking for 15 grand in cash, but he said he went to Church every Sunday and that he was a Sunday schoolteacher, so I got him the money." Said another, "I guess we should have had more sense. [My son] is a criminal and he gone done a lot of things in his life,but the armed robbery was the one thing he did not do.I laid him down $30,000 because he said if I had faith he could get my son out." My question is: If people are this gullible, and they have all this money...why aren't I scamming them out of this money RIGHT NOW!? Someone's going to get it, why not me? I've got to make some calls... =)
Fascinating stuff. In my few experiences with southern states, I was always amazed that they had Bible stores in the malls. Then again, I also thought it was nice that everyone calls everyone "sir" or "ma'am". Can't there be a balance?
Sunday, November 28, 2004
This one chilled me:
Specialist Michelle Witmer, 20
She and two of her sisters, Rachel and Charity, were deployed to Iraq.
April 9, 2004
E-mail to her twin sister, Charity
Hey Sweety Bear, life here has been very crazy the last week or so. About five days ago our platoon sergeant starts running into our rooms saying the Baghdad police stations are overrun and there are riots all over the city. In the meantime we're getting attacked almost nightly with RPGs, mortars and small arms fire. Rachel's station in al-Adhamiya got the worst of it. I was really afraid for her. Charity please pray for us; this is some scary shit. Hopefully by next week this will all be over. Love you forever.
Later that day, Witmer was killed when her convoy was attacked.
Hinzman has one regret: "I did not strip off my uniform right then and refuse to cooperate any longer." He felt like he was on a "100-mile-an-hour train" that wouldn't slow down for him to think.
The time to think came later that month when his unit returned to Fort Bragg, and he
returned to his wife and son. Through reading and discussions with Nguyen and friends in Fayetteville, Hinzman solidified his opposition to the Iraq War. "We were not attacking Iraq because we were under an imminent threat," he says. "Our aim there was economic in nature. To die or kill other people so that the American public could have cheap access to oil was wrong."
Just days before Christmas, Hinzman's unit was ordered to redeploy--to Iraq. This time he did strip off his uniform.
Read about the others.
Robert L. Borosage
John Kerry has conceded. George W. Bush will have a second term. By consolidating their hold on the South, Republicans have added to their majorities in the House and Senate. What is clear is a fundamental failure of leadership. In the midst of a war—with 9/11 still searing our consciousness—Bush's policies and politics have deepened the divisions in this country.
Bush won votes by wrapping himself in the flag and by summoning the passions of his evangelical base. Conservative evangelicals supplied his volunteers, turned out in large numbers and voted overwhelmingly for Bush.
Bush's Narrow Base
The president split the popular vote with Kerry, but the narrowness of his base is striking. The majority of Bush's support—88 percent—came from whites. He lost African Americans nine to one. Asians nearly two to one. Efforts to woo Hispanics earned all of 40 percent of their votes. Only in the South did Bush win a majority—losing the popular vote in the East, the Midwest and the West.
Class mattered—even though Kerry was unable to sustain an economic message amid the barrages of the campaign. According to exit polls, Bush lost majorities of all those making $50,000 and less—and won majorities of those making more than that. His biggest margin came from those making more than $100,000. His base remains the "haves and the have mores," as he famously put it.
The president won overwhelming majorities among those who considered the war on terrorism or morals the most important single issue. But, tellingly, he lost three-quarters of voters who considered Iraq the most important issue and three-quarters who thought the economy and jobs the most important. Kerry's candidacy was propelled by anti-war sentiment and economic discontent. Kerry also won vast majorities of those who thought health care or education was the most important issue.
Some argue that the strength of the president's evangelical base suggests America is headed toward a new era of prohibition and moral reaction. But John Kerry was the most secular of candidates. He championed science against the forces of moral reaction. He stood clearly for liberal social issues from civil unions to women's right to choose. He was a liberal senator from Massachusetts, as the president delighted in repeating. Kerry's campaign may mark the beginning of a reaction not by the right—but by the center and left against the forces of intolerance.
Amid record turnout, the mobilization driven by progressive groups from Americans Coming Together to MoveOn.org to the AFL-CIO clearly transformed the race. First-time voters went for Kerry. Young voters went for Kerry. African-American turnout was up dramatically. Union households sustained one-quarter of the electorate and voted in large majorities for Kerry. That mobilization won Pennsylvania and Michigan, drove the divide in Ohio and overcame the systematic Republican efforts at voter intimidation and suppression.
Bush's victory will produce a second-term president with a mandate for little beyond patriotic and pious posturing. A majority of Americans have shown that they oppose his war and have no interest in his domestic agenda. When the offensive starts in Iraq and the casualties rise, his popularity will plummet. Were he to try to privatize Social Security, move to a flat tax or weaken Medicare, his party will suffer. When the dollar falls or the economy slows, burdened by debt and oil prices, a broad majority will express their buyers' remorse.
The independent energy and organization that drove the Kerry campaign must continue to build. Its potential was demonstrated in this election. The sophistication exhibited by groups like Moveon.org, ACORN, U.S. Action, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, Working America and many others provides the base for taking back the country—whether the White House is an ally or an enemy.
Just to clarify: In order to claim the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter was forced to abandon future personal or independent judgment—the very judgment the people of Pennsylvania elected him to exercise. He has pledged—in advance of knowing who they are—to endorse the president's judicial nominees and to vote for a highly controversial GOP rule change to end filibusters and effectively terminate dissent of any sort in the Senate. Is it ironic that judicial nominees may not
speculate at their confirmation hearings about how they will vote in future cases, but the chairman of the Judiciary Committee himself cannot be seated until he's pledged in advance to confirm those unknown nominees?
Read the rest.
The department's independent investigative unit concluded, however, that politics played no role in allowing so many mistakes to be published in the original version of the "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report for 2003.
The 2003 report said that terrorist attacks and related deaths had dropped to the lowest levels in three decades, and top Bush administration officials immediately cited it as proof of their success in the global war on terrorism. But the underlying data actually showed a sharp increase, to a 21-year high.
The 199-page report, made public April 29, also omitted any significant terrorist attacks occurring after an early November cutoff date, including bombings in Turkey that killed at least 62 people, and left out some terrorist activity in Chechnya, Iraq and other locations.
Isn't it comforting to read that politics trumps truth?
This article talks about many of the maps we've seen as well as some we may not have. Even though the election passed awhile ago, I thought this was really good reading.
I had my own polarizing moment, however, back in that extreme red/blue year of 1988. Not long after the election, looking at that pathetic little string of red Democratic states at the northern edge of our national map, I had an urge -- which turned out to be a few years ahead of its time -- and wrote my first piece for the Nation magazine. I invented two Canadian political scientists who, I claimed, had produced a massive pre-election report suggesting a logical political realignment of North America, incorporating those Dukakis states into an enlarged liberal Canadian commonwealth. (It turned out to be a realistic enough sounding scenario even then for a Canadian Broadcasting Company interviewer to call me looking for the two -- quite fictional -- scholars, having been unable to track them down either at their nonexistent institute in Toronto or at their home university in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.) I thought, you hardcore weekend Tomdispatchers might find this peek into my archival past amusing and perhaps still of interest in the present context. Even then, as you'll see, I was quite aware that this country was far more complex than any map filled with red-and-blue blocs of color could
possibly begin to indicate.
Canada busy sending back Bush-dodgers
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."
Saturday, November 27, 2004
By George Lakoff
We are the 55 million progressives who came together in this election, voted for Kerry and rejected the Bush agenda. We came together because of our moral values: care and responsibility, fairness and equality, freedom and courage, fulfillment in life, opportunity and community, cooperation and trust, honesty and openness. We united behind political principles: equality, equity (if you work for a living, you should earn a living) and government for the people - all the people. These are traditional American values and principles, what we are proudest of in this country.
The Democrats' failure was a failure to put forth our moral vision, celebrate our values and principles, and shout them out loud. We must immediately convince our leaders to unite behind these values, express our common moral vision and hold the line against the Bush agenda because it is immoral!
Bush will call them obstructionists. They must frame themselves as heading in the right direction, going forward not backward, defending the greatest of American ideals and moral principles, working against a radical right agenda that would lead our country to disaster and speaking for more than 55 million highly moral, patriotic Americans.
If we communicate our values clearly, most people will recognize them as their own, personally more authentic and more deeply American than those put forth by conservatives. At the very least they will see progressives as having deeply held, traditional American principles. This would be a huge step forward from the present state, in which conservatives are seen as having a monopoly on "values" and progressives are framed as the party of "if it feels good, do it," with no higher principles.
Moral values at the national level are idealized family values projected onto the nation. Progressive values are the values of a responsible nurturant family, where parents (if there are two) are equally responsible. Their job is to nurture their children and raise them to be nurturers of others. Nurturance has two aspects: empathy and responsibility - both for yourself and your children. From this, all progressive values follow, both in the family and in politics.
If you empathize with your children, you will want them to have strong protection, fair and equal treatment and fulfillment in life. Fulfillment requires freedom, freedom requires opportunity and opportunity requires prosperity. Since your family lives in, and requires, a community, community building and community service are required. Community requires cooperation, which requires trust, which requires honesty and open communication. Those are the progressive values - in politics as well as family life.
Take protection. In addition to physical protection, there is environmental protection, worker protection and consumer protection, as well as all the "safety nets" - Social Security, Medicare and so on. Equality means full political and social equality, without regard to wealth, race, religion or gender. Openness requires open government and a free, inquiring press. Progressive political ideals are nurturant moral ideals.
On the other hand, the strict-father family model assumes that evil and danger will always lurk in the world, that life is difficult, that there will always be winners and losers and that children are born bad - they want to do what feels good, not what's right - and have to be made good. A strict father is needed to protect and support the family and to teach his kids right from wrong. That can be done in only one way: punishment- painful enough that, to avoid it, children will learn the internal discipline necessary to be moral. That discipline can also make them prosperous if they seek their self-interest and no one interferes. Mommy isn't strong enough to protect the family and is too soft-hearted to discipline the children. That's why fathers are necessary.
Apply this, via metaphor, to the nation: We need a strong President who knows right from wrong to defend the nation. Social programs are immoral because they give people things they haven't earned and so make them undisciplined - both dependent and less able to function morally. The prosperous people are the good people. Those who are not prosperous deserve their poverty. Taxes take away the rightful rewards of the prosperous. Wrongdoers should be punished severely. Government should get out of the way of disciplined (hence good) people seeking their self-interest. The President is to be obeyed; since he knows right from wrong, his authority is legitimate and not to be questioned. In foreign policy, he is also the absolute moral authority and so needs no advice from lesser countries. ]
The so-called "moral issues" are affronts to strict-father morality. Strict-father marriage cannot be gay; it must be between a man and a woman. For a wife to seek an abortion on her own or a daughter to need one is an affront to strict-father control over the behavior of the women in his family. They are not the main moral issues in themselves; rather they are symbolic of the entire strict-father identity as applied to all spheres of life. That's why they are so powerful for conservatives.
Swing voters have both models - in different parts of their lives - and are unsure about which to apply to politics in a particular election. The job of a candidate is to activate his model in the swing voters. Conservatives know this: By talking to their base, they are activating their base model in swing voters. When liberals move to the right, they are shooting themselves in both feet: They alienate their base and they activate the other side's models in the swing voters, thus helping the other side. Democrats in Congress need to understand this. They must hold their ground, be positive and be aware that moving to the right is a double disaster. It will only help the radical right's agenda, break with values that unify us and make it harder to awaken our values in swing voters. The only way to trump their moral values is with our own more traditional and more patriotic moral values. Proclaim them and live them, and we will find that there are many more than 55 million of us.
Jackie Lee Shrader, 49, and his son, Harley Lee, 24, had a brief shootout with .22-caliber handguns, provoked when the pair confronted each other over how to cook skinless chicken for dinner (Bluewell, W.Va., September). And Niccolo Rossodivita, 62, shot Billy Cordova, 40, twice in the chest after Cordova followed him around their house prolonging their argument over Jesus Christ's correct name (Wasilla, Alaska, September). And Angela Morris, 19, was charged with assaulting her boyfriend by pouring boiling oil on him during an argument over a Bible verse the two had been reading together (Eugene, Ore., May). [Charleston Daily Mail-AP, 9-29-04] [Frontiersman (Wasilla), 9-27-04] [ABC News-AP, 5-20- 04]
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
I noticed one sign on my way to work last week. Cardboard. Black Marker. Alas, I couldn't read it before I passed under it, but I recognized the idea.
Monday I saw it again. This time I was looking. The cardboard sign had been joined by one of the elaborate Widowmaker signs. I made out balackboxvoting.org in the cardboard sign.
Tuesday. Both are still there. The cardboard sign asks "Where's my vote?"
Freeway Blogging is alive and well out here and apparantly the local authorities really care about freedom of speech.
It's always nice to know there's someone like-minded in your backyard.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Concerning the latest "hot button" issue about an American soldier in Iraq who is now under criminal investigation for shooting (and killing) a "downed" Iraqi insurgent in mosque, the editorialist posits:
Here we have an American soldier who enters a building where he THINKS that there may be ARMED enemies ready to attack him, so he fires preemptively in order to get the job done.
Our American military was led to believe that an enemy was at a particular place, ready to do us in with weapons of mass destruction. So we entered--preemptively and shot (and continue) to kill---in order to get the job done.
Why is it that our country is entitled to such behavior---sanctioned by our government----but an individual soldier is "over the top and mean spirited" for doing essentially the
same thing in a one-on-one situtation?
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Due to the fact that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I'm going to spread the love and I expect you to do the same. Please leave a comment letting us know five things you are faithful for.
1. My daughter and her family.
2. My job.
3. My students- for inspiring me.
What are you thankful for?
The mere fact that you're reading this article right now suggests that you not only think politics is important, but you actually like it. You read the paper and listen to political radio and talk about politics at parties. In other words, you view politics the way a lot of
people view cooking or sports or opera: as a hobby. Most undecided voters, by contrast, seem to view politics the way I view laundry. While I understand that to be a functioning member of society I have to do my laundry, and I always eventually get it done, I'll never do it before every last piece of clean clothing is dirty, as I find the entire business to be a chore. A significant number of undecided voters, I think, view politics in exactly this way: as a chore, a duty, something that must be done but is altogether unpleasant, and therefore something best put off for as long as possible.
Okay, go read the rest.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
I've been trying not to think about all the new Cabinet folks. This was what scared me (though less than the Supreme Court nominees) and all of my worst fears are coming true. Particularly troubling is the uncontested appointment of Gonzales: Head of the Torture Department. I haven't read one good thing about him yet. The good news is that some of the media are getting back to real reporting instead of kissing the feet of the Bush administration.
My day in court was inconclusive because the commission needs more evidence. Of course the hearing has stirred up a lot of repressed feelings about pregnancy and adoption. I realize there isn't much yet on my birthmother blog. I suppose if people are interested in my opinions on all of the research I've done on adoption I could add that to that blog. I intended it to be more of a diary, but lately I've found the need to educate people about adoption reality so I may want to turn it into my own personal adoption resource. There are several decent sites already out there, but I'm sure one more wouldn't hurt.
One of the reasons adoption has been on my mind is due to a diary written on Daily Kos. While the original diary was good, the comments section was hijacked by an extremely offensive user. This person believes adoption is a cure-all and that desperate women could solve all of their problems by "donating" their babies (he also said women are lazy, selfish, psychopathic, pro-death, extremist, and incapable of making ANY decisions about their health). I barely managed to hold in my temper.
As for abortion- I'm still pro-choice though I respect both sides of the issue.
For the record though, there are some articles about stem cells, IVF, and abortion that I've been wanting to post for quite awhile. For those who are uninformed, stem-cell research would use embryos from IVF. For those who are pro-life, again I ask, are you also against IVF?
By the way, Iraq is still a mess. No civilians, right?
Poor Statue will be back in regular circulation soon.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Along with failing to fact-check competing claims, false equivalence belongs in the trash heap of discredited journalistic shortcuts, but in the final weeks of the election campaign reporters began relying on the practice as a protective shield. In its most common form, it amounts to a reporter holding up actions on both sides as equally blameworthy,
when it's clear that no such equivalence exists. The classic parody of false equivalence:
To be sure, Candidate X is a mass murderer, but it's worth keeping in mind that Candidate Y is a serial jaywalker.
To save you further pain, we'll give you just two real-life examples. Just days before the election, in an October 27 story headlined "As a Final Gambit, Parties are Trying to Damp Turnout," John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal wrote: "Both camps are doing what they can, in ways both overt and subtle, to convince the other side's supporters that they shouldn't bother voting in the first place."
For example, says Harwood, "Democrats say they see suppression efforts in Republicans' well-advertised plans to vigorously check the registrations of those who show up to vote. In their eyes, such efforts are designed to convince voters that trying to cast a ballot will be too much of a hassle. 'They're trying to scare decided voters away from going to the polls,' former President Bill Clinton declared this week."
On the other side, Harwood writes, "Republicans see suppression efforts in Democrats' attempts to sow doubts about Mr. Bush's character and his fealty to social conservatives. They believe Democrats will use the Internet to spread fresh rumors about Mr. Bush's youthful behavior among conservative Christians. Bush strategists saw a similar effort when both John Edwards and John Kerry went out of their way in the recent debate series to mention the fact that Mary Cheney, the vice president's daughter, is gay."
Huh? The first example is a case of what Democrats would argue is unlawful voter suppression. In Florida in 2000, thousands of African-Americans were wrongly denied the chance to cast ballots. Even Republican operatives would define their intention
less as "to convince the other side's supporters that they shouldn't bother voting in the first place," as Harwood had put it, than as actively preventing them from doing so.
Harwood's second example, by contrast, is simply negative campaigning. Harwood may find it dismaying that campaigns sometimes design messages that are intended to reduce turnout among the opponents' supporters, rather than to increase it among their backers. But that's hardly the same thing as actively, and perhaps illegally, working to prevent people from voting
Read the whole thing.
And for more media BS, read this as well.
This automatic pilot approach to reporting -- due to either laziness or ineptness, or both -- continued throughout the campaign season on an endless number of topics from the war in Iraq to the politics of the flu. The framework remained the same no matter what: a quote from a candidate or campaign surrogate reprinted without question by the
reporter or editor, followed by (if available) a quote from the candidate's opponent, also printed without question. This at a time when the data-rich Internet is available to any reporter at the touch of a keyboard. (To be fair, that same Internet permits campaigns and party committees to pelt reporters all day -- and night -- with an endless stream of new talking points, just as distorted as the old ones.)
The Bush National Guard story resurfaced (after being originally reported by the Boston Globe in 2000) in late winter 2004 during the Democratic primary. And with the story's reemergence, Campaign Desk saw a momentarily rejuvenated White House press corps, demanding that the president be held accountable for his promise to release all his records. Unfortunately, that exuberance failed to motivate the reporters to take the time to familiarize themselves with the simple timeline of the president's National Guard service. As the story dominated the news cycle in February, the campaign press struggled to learn easily obtainable facts, such as the number of months early that Bush left the national guard (eight) or the number of transfer requests Bush submitted before receiving approval to fulfill his duties in Alabama (two).
The same ineptness carried over to coverage of Kerry's military service after the senator promised to release all of his military records in April, and again when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth unleashed its factually questionable campaign against the Democratic nominee. Most of the charges leveled by the SBVFT were unfounded and could be dismissed with an afternoon's read of available Navy documents. Yet, for months, until the end of August, campaign reporters unquestioningly passed along falsehoods, including the charge that Kerry's wounds were not severe enough to warrant a Purple Heart (severity of injury is not a consideration in the awarding of Purple Hearts).
This was one of the reasons I started to blog. In about half an hour, I could determine the truthfulness of the latest campaign statement yet the MSM kept reporting lies. The thing is, they still are. All we get are talking points.
November 10, 2004
BY LEONARD PITTS JR.
I have to thank Jimmy Carter for saving my sanity.
Granted, his was not a presidency one looks back to with fondness. Gas lines stretched forever, Iran took our people hostage and there was disco, besides.
But Carter's ex-presidency has been a model of that unofficial institution. He has built homes for the poor, mediated wars, helped feed the hungry in Africa, fought disease in Latin America. In so doing, Carter, a deacon of Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga., has obeyed a directive Jesus issued one of his disciples.
Do you love me? He asked Simon Peter.
Peter said yes.
Feed my sheep, said Jesus.
Remembering Carter's example, his very public embrace of that command, is what has gotten me through the last week without a facial tic. If one more person tells me "morality" guided their decision to vote for George W. Bush, my head is going to pop like a balloon.
Few signs of morality
One is hard pressed to find morality in Bush's ineptly prosecuted war, his erosion of civil rights and the loss of international credibility his policies have caused. Unless, of course, one has been quaking in one's boots at the prospect of same-sex couples making a commitment straight couples have avoided like SARS. In that case the vote probably reflects one's morality just fine.
No political tactician am I, but I think Democrats made a fundamental mistake when the Christian right rose as a political force: They watched it happen, ceded God to the GOP without so much as a beg your pardon. Democrats, fearful of unsettling the secular West and Northeast, only shrugged as the Almighty was packed up and shipped South, where He is to this day routinely trotted out to endorse various would-be governors, senators and school board members.
Small wonder faith has come to seem inextricable from voting the straight Republican ticket.
A GOP shill wrapped in a flag
And if you are, as I am, a Christian who remembers what Jesus told Simon Peter, it is galling to see Him reduced to a GOP shill, wrapped in a flag and used to advance a conservative agenda. Which stands the Bible on its head.
After all, the book says Jesus consorted with lepers and prostitutes. It says He talked with women -- which was beneath a man of His time and place -- and washed the feet of his followers.
And it tells us He said things that seemed to make no logical sense.
If someone takes your shirt, let him have your cloak as well.
If someone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the left.
Love your enemies.
This was crazy talk. There was nothing conservative about this man. So I look at the success conservatives on the so-called Christian right have had in claiming Him as their exclusive property and I wonder, where in the heck is the Christian left? Where are the people who preach -- and live -- the biblical values of inclusion, service, humility, sacrifice, and why haven't they coalesced into an alternative political force?
Instead of a movement like that, we have an old peanut farmer building houses.
You wish there were Christian people shouting from the rooftops that the faith exemplified by the politics of exclusion is not the faith the rest of us celebrate, not the faith that lifts us and makes us whole.
But nobody's shouting these things. It occurs to me that maybe they're all too busy building houses for poor people. And that maybe I should be as well.
God bless you, Jimmy Carter, wherever you are.
LEONARD PITTS JR. appears most Wednesdays and Fridays in the Free Press. Reach him at the Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132; toll free at 888-251-4407 or at email@example.com.
I remember talking to Di Wednesday morning and the two of us trying to understand what had happened. I said that it had to be religion (I am starting to hate the term “values”) because the record turnout only affirmed Bush, whom the majority of voters did not think was doing a good job, but they voted him back in anyway. Nixon once coined the term “silent majority” and this election proves him right in the exact sense he meant it, i.e. “middle America”.
(Hmmm, maybe the whole thing is a Tolkien influence: Middle America is as weird as Middle Earth? Did Bush got all the Shire’s electoral votes?)
Now the pundits are also on the “values” bandwagon, and the backlash has been for the Bush voters to call Democrats “elitist” because many of us have concluded that the majority of voters just don’t get it.
“Values” now means right-wing religious leanings, “elitist” means you don’t accept casting your vote by “gut” rather than after thought, “flip-flop” demeans the ability to change one’s mind or consider multiple points of view, and “liberal” no longer means that you care about those less fortunate than you- it now means you are a dovish spendthrift (even though Clinton balanced the Budget and Bush grew the largest deficit ever, and Clinton tried to kill Bin Laden via missile attack, but...never mind.) I knew there was a reason I read Orwell’s 1984 several times in my youth.
The Republicans have elevated name calling and semantics to a high art (Newspeak), convincing Bubba, the Hobbit of Middle America, that they are not the rich man’s party, the party of Halliburton and Enron, but rather the party that will fight “faggot marriages”, “baby killing”, scientific thought, and gun control. What Bubba doesn’t know is that he will never retire, or get rich, and his country has taken a good first step towards the U.S. becoming a Christian version of Iran. There is a price we will all pay, because a simple majority has rejected “elitism” (government by thought) for “God is on our side” (government by gut), but we won’t know the price for a while.
I may have a t-shirt made up: “I am an elitist, liberal Democrat, because I have a brain, and so can’t help myself.”
Guess, I needed to rant.
Ordering Pizza in 2008
Operator: "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I have your national ID number?"
Customer: "Hi, I'd like to place an order."
Operator: "I must have your NIDN first, sir?"
Customer: "My National ID Number, yeah, hold on, eh, it's6102049998-45-54610."
Operator: "Thank you, Mr. Sheehan I see you live at 1742 Meadowland Drive, and the phone number's 494-2366. Your office number over at Lincoln Insurance is 745-2302 and your cell number's 266-2566. Email address is sheehan@ home.net. Which number are you calling from, sir?"
Customer: "Huh? I'm at home Where d'ya get all this information?"
Operator: "We're wired into the HSS, sir."
Customer: "The HSS, what is that?"
Operator: "We're wired into the Homeland Security System, sir. This will add only 15 seconds to your ordering time"
Customer: (Sighs) "Oh, well, I'd like to order a couple of your All-Meat Special pizzas."
Operator: "I don't think that's a good idea, sir."
Customer: "Whaddya mean?"
Operator: "Sir, your medical records and commode sensors indicate that you've got very high blood pressure and extremely high cholesterol. Your National Health Care provider won't allow such an unhealthy choice."
Customer: "What?!?! What do you recommend, then?"
Operator: "You might try our low-fat Soybean Pizza. I'm sure you'll like it."
Customer: "What makes you think I'd like something like that?"
Operator: "Well, you checked out 'Gourmet Soybean Recipes' from your local library last week, sir. That's why I made the suggestion."
Customer: "All right, all right. Give me two family-sized ones, then."
Operator: "That should be plenty for you, your wife and your four kids,and your 2 dogs can finish the crusts, sir. Your total is $49.99."
Customer: "Lemme give you my credit card number."
Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid you'll have to pay in cash. Your credit card balance is over its limit."
Customer: "I'll run over to the ATM and get some cash before your driver gets here."
Operator: "That won't work either, sir. Your checking account's overdrawn also."
Customer: "Never mind! Just send the pizzas. I'll have the cash ready. How long will it take?"
Operator: "We're running a little behind, sir. It'll be about 45 minutes, sir. If you're in a hurry you might want to pick 'em up while you're out getting the cash, but then, carrying pizzas on a motorcycle can be a little awkward."
Customer: "Wait! How do you know I ride a scooter?"
Operator: "It says here you're in arrears on your car payments, so your car got repo'ed. But your Harley's paid for and you just filled the tank yesterday"
Customer: Well I'll be a "@#%/$@&?#!"
Operator: "I'd advise watching your language, sir. You've already got a July 4, 2006 conviction for cussing out a cop and another one I see here on September for contempt at your hearing for cussing at a judge." "Oh yes I see here that you just got out from a 90 day stay in the State Correctional Facility. Is this your first pizza since your return to society?
Operator: "Will there be anything else, sir?"
Customer: "Yes, I have a coupon for a free 2 liter of Coke".
Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but our ad's exclusionary clause prevents us from offering free soda to diabetics. The New Constitution prohibits this.
Thank you for calling Pizza Hut!"
Friday, November 12, 2004
By far the most annoying post-election line I'm hearing over and over again is how remarkable it is that George W. Bush managed to become the first presidential candidate since 1988 to win a majority of the popular vote. Oh my God! How remarkable! Let's see: This means that, with his 51 percent of the vote, W. managed to break the long, non-popular-majority string of exactly two presidents--Bill Clinton and himself. Of course, to make the comparison meaningful we need to factor in that, unlike 1992, 1996, and 2000, this year there was no serious third-party challenger peeling away votes. But still, W. managed a better electoral margin than one whole president other than himself. How ever will he handle the burden of it all?
The rest of the article is good, too.
I hope the election of George W. Bush is seen as a wake-up call to all the liberal Democrats who oppose God's will. It is His doing that George W. Bush is still our president. Millions of born-again Christians helped win this election through our prayers and votes. Jesus speaks through the Republicans.The Democrats will not be able to win elections until they renounce their sinful ways and stop encouraging abortions, gayness, and trying to take away our guns.
I'm not the only one:
- Real conservatives value fiscal insolvency, including irresponsible tax cuts, corporate giveaways, massive spending increases, huge undisclosed pork-barrel spending projects hammered out during congressional conference, rather than actual budget legislation on the Congressional floor that is open to the public and recorded in the public record. You know that conservatives value these things, because these are the things the vast majority of self-proclaimed conservatives do.
- Real conservatives do not value your personal liberties. They like disenfranchising voters, challenging voters, and making it more difficult to vote. They like it when the government is in your bedroom. They want to be able to spy on your personal files. They do not respect your right to privacy. They like to tell you who you can and cannot love, and what you can and cannot do to your own body. You know these are conservative values, because
conservatives regularly pass laws of this nature.
We lost on "values"Given that "values" is a euphenism for anti-abortion, anti-gay, I would rather lose than compromise on those issues. Even a cold-hearted realist like me has his limits. Individual Democrats are free to compromise on those ideals, but our presidential nominee should not.
In so far as "values" are a determining factor in federal elections, the problem is our inability to frame the issue. Not just redefine what values" means to something other than hate and discrimination, but also effectively communicate the GOP hypocrisy on values -- divorces, spousal abuse, and othor "immoral" behavior. We have the ammunition. We have been remiss in using much of it by Democrats squeamish about veeing off the high road. Times for such niceties are past.
"The last time I saw this, not only the high degree of anxiety but people anxious about many things, was the late 1960s," said Tom W. Smith of the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center.
Andrew Kohut, who runs the nonpartisan Pew Research Center polls, concurred. "This is not a happy nation. This is an anxious nation," he said. "Terror, economic well-being, health care, values: There's a whole set of worries that are reflected in his election."
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Several ABC affiliates have announced that they won't take part in the network's Veterans Day airing of "Saving Private Ryan," saying the acclaimed film's violence and language could draw sanctions from the Federal Communications Commission .
But the worst part is here:
"We're just coming off an election where moral issues were cited as a reason by people voting one way or another and, in my opinion, the commissioners are fearful of the new Congress," Cole said. (emphasis added)
After reading the article, I broke down and bought the DVD today.
A personal note: This movie was in theaters during our two weeks of yearly training for the National Guard. The commander stopped training one afternoon and had our entire company go watch the film. Sitting there next to my platoon, squad, and team members gave the movie quite a bit of relevance.
By Peter Norton November 8, 2004
VOTING WILL get underway shortly in the New England states on whether to secede from the United States of America. The new country would be named Red Sox Nation and would comprise Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and most of Connecticut.
Red Sox owner John Henry, who initiated the hastily organized referendum, said that he was not a sore loser. "This has nothing whatever to do with the defeat of yet another liberal Massachusetts politician with aspirations for national office. I'm just tired of living in such a bitterly divided country. My goal is to create a new nation where everyone can agree on something."
Polls show that 97.3 percent of people living within the borders of the proposed nation root for the Red Sox. Members of the New England Patriots football team and New England Revolution soccer team were quick to endorse the measure. Sales of bumper stickers, such as "Don't Blame Me, I'm From Red Sox Nation," have been brisk.
Senator John Kerry, a long-time Red Sox fan, said in a statement that he would vote for secession and would even vote to authorize the yet-to-be-elected president of the new nation to go to war if necessary. On the other hand, Kerry said that if there were a war, he would oppose it and vote to deny any funding whatsoever.
While Kerry has ruled out running for president of Red Sox Nation himself, numerous local politicians, sensing home field advantage, have formed exploratory committees, including Michael Dukakis, Howard Dean, Joe Leiberman, Niki Tsongas, Mitt Romney, William Weld, and half a dozen Kennedys. Political pundits, however, speculate that the top honor is most likely to go to a member of the Red Sox team.
"Having won the world championship, any one of them, even a utility infielder like Pokey Reese, would have an immediate advantage over the politicians," said one analyst. He noted one exception, though. Curt Schilling, who was once considered a front runner based on his status approaching that of a war hero wounded on the field of battle, may have hurt his chances by campaigning with US President George Bush before the referendum was even announced.
Newly reelected President Bush spoke out against secession. "I've always said I'm a uniter, not a divider. And by that I mean I'm a uniter. I unite things. You see, they don't call this great country the United States for nothin'. If you divide it, then it isn't united anymore, is it? It's as simple as that."
Privately, though, White House aides admit that the president would not be sorry to see the troublesome states leave the union; the United States could scarcely afford to redeploy troops from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to quell a local uprising.
Border disputes have already arisen. The southwest corner of Connecticut was excluded from the proposed nation, due to heavier concentrations of New York Yankees fans. However, plans for a security fence were leaked to the media and showed that officials intend to deviate from the originally proposed boundary in order to include several Red Sox enclaves deep within Connecticut Yankee territory.
Skirmishes have broken out in New Haven, near the proposed border, and an extremist Yankee website has posted a call for attacks on the "illegal Red Sox settlements."
One of the cornerstones of the draft constitution is the right of return. Red Sox fans living in exile anywhere in the United States, or even the world, would be guaranteed citizenship in the fledgling nation.
"I can hahdly wait," exclaimed one Red Sox fan, a Boston native currently residing in Manhattan, who refused to give his name citing security concerns. "During the World Series, I got up my courage to wear my Red Sox cap on the subway. It was the first time I felt safe wearing it in the last 10 yeahs. If this thing passes, I'd move back to Boston in a hahtbeat!"
And if you don't want to live in Red Sox Nation, perhaps you can ask the red states to expel you from the nation.
To all the men and women who have fought to secure the freedoms we enjoy today, I thank you.
A special thanks to my grandfather (WWII), my father (Vietnam), and my good friend and fellow soldier, SGT Roshell (Iraq).
Don't forget to thank a Veteran today.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The geekiness in me comes out again.
Actually, I just wanted to say that posting may be light this week. I will be continuing to blog, but I kind of want to take it easy for awhile (that and everytime I try to post, blogger gets all crazy on me!).
Just so you all have an idea where my thoughts are right now, you can read this.
Basically, my head is still spinning over all the talk about playing nice and not stereotyping the red states and blah-blah. Excuse me, but aren't the Democrats in bad shape because of all the stereotypes the Republicans have spread about us all these years? Now that we fight back, everyone criticizes us. I say, screw you. As soon as liberal and conservative both have negative connotations, we can talk about being civil.
My other issue is the whole bit about Republican talking points. If we fall for them, how can we expect the folks in the middle not to? (BTW, this is in the article referenced above) They are masters of spin, folks. We need to catch up without sacrificing our values.
I'll check back in soon (I'll definitely be posting on Veteran's Day), but until then...
Don't forget to keep fighting the good fight!
No, that isn't me in the picture (tee-hee), but this math geek is sorry, too.
It's funny because I did a lesson on the election numbers and I had my students do the same math this guy did (minus the sorry percentage). The results feel a lot better when you figure out what percentage of the eligible voters voted for Bush rather than the actual voters.
So as I've said before, you can manipulate numbers to say almost anything you want them to say. In this case, that's a very good thing.
Yay math geeks!
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Among the issues:
The SBV's were not connected to BC04.
Kerry didn't want to talk about his Vietnam experiences.
Kerry did want to respond to the SBV attacks and said a lot of the same things we all said.
The Kerry campaign really was disorganized.
The Bush campaign really was organized.
The Bush campaign really did want to exploit 9/11.
Bush and Kerry really do despise each other.
There really are two Bushes: the likeable one and the petulant one.
Bush drinks non-alcoholic beer.
The Bush twins (and their dad) really do love to party.
Bush and Rove really won't listen to any criticism.
The Kerry girls never openly criticized Bush.
Teresa really is bad for the campaign.
Read it. It's well worth it and it's flattering to both candidates.
Also, here are a few other stories that have caught my eye this weekend:
The Republicans' winning strategy
The military keeps quiet
What are the Kerry-backing papers saying now?
Mourn. Then organize.
record turnout (59%)
How can they be so dumb?
The working poor vote Bush.
On that note, I'm off for the day. Happy reading!
Saturday, November 06, 2004
It makes me really angry that none of this could have been published prior to the election. This is exactly the kind of information we should be getting. I hope everyone reads this.
Luckily, it's online.
A sample from the early Kerry campaign:
The best testimonial came by pure luck. In Oregon in early January, a retired policeman named Jim Rassmann was in a bookstore and noticed a book about Kerry's Vietnam experience by historian Douglas Brinkley, "Tour of Duty." Rassmann had been a Special Forces soldier who had fallen off Kerry's boat during a fire fight in the delta. Kerry had swung his boat around and come back to rescue Rassmann. His arm injured, Kerry himself had pulled Rassmann out of the water.
Rassmann thumbed through the index of "Tour of Duty" and saw his story. On a whim, he called the Kerry campaign and said he'd like to help. The receptionist, Jackie Williams, had the presence to get hold of the campaign's veterans coordinator. Rassmann was in Iowa the next day, flown there by the campaign. (Briefing Rassmann, a Kerry aide asked if he'd ever been in front of cameras. "Yes, usually after somebody's been killed," the ex-cop drolly replied. He had worked as a homicide investigator.)
Kerry was genuinely surprised to encounter Rassmann, whom he had not seen since 1969. Their reunion, a warm hug, was on television all over the state. The caucuses were only two days away.
And one from the early Bush campaign:
The ads, when they were first screened on March 3, caused a dust-up. Reporters fired questions at Mehlman and the others at Bush-Cheney headquarters. Wouldn't some voters think the campaign was exploiting 9/11? Wasn't the coffin a little much? By the next day some 9/11 widows were criticizing the spots. The mainstream press turned harshly critical. BUSH CAMPAIGNS AMID A FUROR OVER ADS, read the headline in The New York Times. A 'SHOCKING' STUMBLE was NEWSWEEK's headline.
McKinnon and Dowd were ecstatic. At a strategy meeting the next day the same morning the Times headline appeared they joked about how they could fan the flames. Controversy sells, they said. It meant lots of "free media"; the ads were shown over and over again on news shows, particularly on cable TV. The "visual" of the rubble at the World Trade Center was a powerful reminder of the nation's darkest hour and Bush's finest, when he climbed on the rock pile with a bullhorn. What's more, the story eclipsed some grim economic news, low job-creation numbers released by the Labor Department. McKinnon and Dowd had commiserated over the job report in Dowd's office. They knew that the strength of the economy would be the best single predictor of the election's outcome.
"That was a moment when we kind of gulped and said, 'Oh, man'," McKinnon later recalled.
At that Saturday's Breakfast Club, they were still laughing about the ad flap. (Rove had cooked eggs, bacon and some tasty venison sausage.) Dowd told the group they had received $6 million to $7 million worth of free ad coverage. "Unfortunately, we've been talking about 9/11 and our ads for five days," Dowd deadpanned at a senior staff meeting. "We're going to try to pivot back to the economy as soon as we can."
So, tell me again about those great Republican values.
Oh, and buy this issue. Or at least read the rest of it.
Bev then had Dean open the GEMS program to see the results of a test election. They went to the screen titled "Election Summary Report" and waited a moment while the PC "adds up all the votes from all the various precincts," and then saw that in this faux election Howard Dean had 1000 votes, Lex Luthor had 500, and Tiger Woods had none. Dean was winning.
"Of course, you can't tamper with this software," Harris noted. Diebold wrote a pretty good program. But, it's running on a Windows PC. So Harris had Dean close the Diebold GEMS software, go back to the normal Windows PC desktop, click on the "My Computer" icon, choose "Local Disk C:," open the folder titled GEMS, and open
the sub-folder "LocalDB" which, Harris noted, "stands for local database, that's
where they keep the votes." Harris then had Dean double-click on a file in that
folder titled "Central Tabulator Votes," which caused the PC to open the vote
count in a database program like Excel. In the "Sum of the Candidates" row of numbers, she found that in one precinct Dean had received 800 votes and Lex
Luthor had gotten 400.
"Let's just flip those," Harris said, as Dean cut and pasted the numbers from one cell into the other. "And," she added magnanimously, "let's give 100 votes to Tiger."
They closed the database, went back into the official GEMS software "the legitimate way, you're the county supervisor and you're checking on the progress of your election."
As the screen displayed the official voter tabulation, Harris said, "And you can see now that Howard Dean has only 500 votes, Lex Luthor has 900, and Tiger Woods has 100." Dean, the winner, was now the loser.
Harris sat up a bit straighter, smiled, and said, "We just edited an election, and it took us 90 seconds."
Daschle's political demise will prompt a half-dozen other Democratic senators from Republican-leaning states to think twice before defying the president, Norquist says: "When Achilles died, the Greeks were in trouble."
Bush's first press conference:
Q Mr. President -- thank you. As you look at your second term, how much is the war in Iraq going to cost? Do you intend to send more troops or bring troops home? And in the Middle East more broadly, do you agree with Tony Blair that revitalizing the Middle East peace process is the single most pressing political issue facing the world?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Now that I've got the will of the people at my back, I'm going to start enforcing the one-question rule. That was three questions. (Laughter.)
I'll start with Tony Blair's comments. I agree with him that the Middle
East peace is a very important part of a peaceful world. I have been working on Middle -- Middle Eastern peace ever since I've been the president. I laid down some -- a very hopeful strategy in June of 2002. And my hope is that we'll make good progress. I think it's very important for our friends the Israelis to have a peaceful Palestinian state living on their border. It's very important for the Palestinian people to have a peaceful, hopeful future. That's why I articulated
a two-state vision in that Rose Garden speech.
I meant it when I said it, and I mean it now.
What were the other parts of your question?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, Iraq, yeah. Listen, we will work with the Allawi
government to achieve our objective, which is elections. And we're on the path to stability, and we'll continue to train the troops. Our commanders will have that which they need to complete their missions. And in terms of the cost, I -- we'll work with OMB and the Defense Department to bring forth to Congress a realistic assessment of what the cost will be.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. How will you go about bringing people together? Will you seek a consensus candidate for the Supreme Court if there's an opening? Will you bring some Democrats into your Cabinet?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Again, he violated the one-question rule right off
the bat. Obviously you didn't listen to the will of the people.
First of all, there's no vacancy for the Supreme Court, and I will deal
with the vacancy when there is one. And when I told the people on the campaign trail that I'll pick somebody who knows the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law -- you might have heard that several times -- I meant what I said. And if people are interested in knowing the kind of judges I'll pick, look at the record. I've sent up a lot of judges -- well- qualified people who know the law, who represent a judicial temperament that I agree with, and who are qualified to hold the bench.
The second part of your two-part question?
Will you please resign?
Oh, and here's some food for thought:
Who Said This?
Quotations: "Strength lies not in defense, but in attack."
"If the world will not help, the people must help themselves. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it, we may wage the battle of our life. "
"Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live."
"It must be thoroughly understood that the lost land will never be won back by solemn appeals to the God, nor by hopes in any League of Nations, but only by the force of arms."
"Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless."
"It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge"
"The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty - of Him who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward."
"Who says I am not under the special protection of God?"
Who said all these things?
All of the above quotes are from a well-known world leader:
In fact, I'm quite tired of all the folks telling me to play nice.
These are the same people who call me a liberal commie for supporting Kerry, who destroy a decorated war veteran for the sake of winning an election, who dismiss the views of foreigners while calling these foreigners the worst slurs possible, who attacked the little girl from Kids for Kerry for no reason, who think the poor need to just shut up and get a job, who could care less about genocide in Sudan, who send boys to die while they sit at home laughing with the President as he flips people off or makes jokes about WMDs.
I value tolerance. Tolerance of religion, race, gender, lifestyle. There is only one party who agrees with me.
Some have told me I'm more conservative than I think because I've expressed support for fiscal responsibility. I think I must be a liberal because I supported the only candidate who showed any idea of what fiscal responsibility is and he's a liberal.
The same people who claim to detest welfare are the recipients. Did you know that the blue states overwhelmingly get less than $1 back from the government for every dollar they put in while the red states get more than $1 back for every dollar they put in? Who's on welfare now?
How interesting that the leader of value-land has a drunk driving conviction in his history. How interesting that his daughters are following in his footsteps. Forgive me for thinking that endangering the lives of innocent people doesn't represent values.
Excuse me for not supporting the guy who screamed at the debate moderator- who lost his temper for no good reason- who smirked and sneered and laughed at his opponent in their battle for the highest office in my land. I'm sorry that respect for others is one of my values and I voted for the candidate who showed that respect.
Excuse me if my religion taught me humility. My religion didn't teach me to lie just so I could get a cheap laugh and garner greater support from those Americans who don't have the time or inclination to fact-check the President (timber company, anyone?). My religion taught me to admit my mistakes and seek forgiveness not to pretend those mistakes never happened.
I voted with my values, too. I voted for John Kerry.