The New Yorker has published a fabulous endorsement of John Kerry - those of you who are undecided might want to take a gander at this - take a gander even if you're not, it's excellent, and should be shared with anyone you might know who is undecided:
THE CHOICE (The New Yorker, 10.26.04)
If you've developed the nervous tick that I've got... you probably got it from checking this site:
Watch this great quicktime clip of Congressman Tim Ryan (D, Ohio) telling his colleagues in the House why it is that youth don't quite believe the Bush administration...
Will Bad News Be Bad for Bush in Election? by Adam Elsner (Reuters, 10.27.04)
Have you seen this list? It's an interesting comparison:
Do we see a pattern here?
Service records of some prominent people:
- Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
- David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
- Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
- Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
- Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
- Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
- John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts.
- Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
- Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
- Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
- Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
- Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
- Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
- Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
- Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
- Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
- Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
- Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
- Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
- Chuck Robb: Vietnam
- Howell Heflin: Silver Star
- George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
- Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received #311.
- Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
- Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
- John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
- Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
- Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
- Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
- Tom Delay: did not serve.
- Roy Blunt: did not serve.
- Bill Frist: did not serve.
- Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
- Rick Santorum: did not serve.
- Trent Lott: did not serve.
- John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
- Jeb Bush: did not serve.
- Karl Rove: did not serve.
- Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
- Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
- Vin Weber: did not serve.
- Richard Perle: did not serve.
- Douglas Feith: did not serve.
- Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
- Richard Shelby: did not serve.
- Jon! Kyl: did not serve.
- Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
- Christopher Cox: did not serve.
- Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
- Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
- George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate; failed to show up for required medical exam, disappeared from duty.
- Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
- B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.
- Phil Gramm: did not serve.
- John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
- Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
- John M. McHugh: did not serve.
- JC Watts: did not serve.
- Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem," although continued in NFL for 8 years.
- Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
- Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
- George Pataki: did not serve.
- Spencer Abraham: did not serve.
- John Engler: did not serve.
- Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.
Pundits & Preachers
- Sean Hannity: did not serve.
- Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
- Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
- Michael Savage: did not serve.
- George Will: did not serve.
- Chris Matthews: did not serve.
- Paul Gigot: did not serve.
- Bill Bennett: did not serve.
- Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
- John Wayne: did not serve.
- Bill Kristol: did not serve.
- Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
- Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
- Clarence Thomas: did not serve.
- Ralph Reed: did not serve.
- Michael Medved: did not serve.
- Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
- Ted Nugent: did not serve. (He only shoots at things that don't shoot back.)
It's going to be one hell of a ride between now and next Wednesday - hold onto your hats, and let's hope for another remarkable win!
Not to put too fine a point on it, but last week sucked. And I knew it sucked, but it wasn't until I bit down on a rock that it was completely and utterly confirmed for me. We were eating dinner at an old haunt, a place we've enjoyed going for ages and always had good experiences. It's a neighborhood Chinese restaurant that's been run by the same family, with the same waitstaff - since we happened upon it. And there I was minding my own business, tired after shopping <ack> (and finding exactly zilch-ola for my troubles), when... well... my meal ended on a hard note.
That was it - I threw up my hands in surrender. "This week has officially sucked," I said.
Not only was Bush ahead in the polls after he was soundly defeated in all three debates (fat lot that means when half of the electorate bases their vote on who they'd best like to have a beer with... and when you think that Bush is a recovering alcoholic, that's a twisted measure at best), but I was served a rock in my dinner! A rock! Practically a boulder! At a place I'd previously felt relatively safe in. It was after the rock (a pebble really - but a rather large pebble as pebbles in one's dinner goes...) that I also noted that our favorite waiter wasn't there. When we left, Ume said she'd heard the owner mention that business hadn't been so hot and that our favorite waiter was no longer working there! Over ten years we've looked forward to that man's fabulous craftmanship (I based some of Miguel's character on him). I'm sure that this is George Bush's fault. I'm positive of it! So it's personal now (not like it wasn't personal when my friend and his buddies got shipped off to a war that was a friggin' lie and a mismanaged disaster...) and so off Ume and I went to New Hampshire - to try to sway the electorate in John Kerry's favor. And isn't John Kerry glad we did? 'Cuz I see as how he's pulled neck and neck in the polls again. And I'm sure that was our doing. Those doors we knocked on and those folks we talked to must have made all of the difference.
One guy was so taken with our appeal that he gave us a poem to read. It was about how immigrants get welfare checks that they buy SUVs with and get corner grocery stores, while folks that are born here get the shaft. Especially folks like him who get disability checks from an accident at work and even though he had a felony charge against him it was only a misunderstanding - nothing that was serious and he served a full year for it, so why wouldn't anyone cut him a break like they did those immigrants?
We cut him a big whopping break and let him know that even though he'd been a felon, he could still vote (he thought he couldn't). Because in New Hampshire, you CAN vote if you've served your time for a felony charge. If you're on parole, you can vote. If you're out, you can vote. It's only if you're serving your time that you can't vote. There's one thing that you do have to keep in mind though - vote for John Kerry. 'Nuff said.
We found our encounter with the ex-felon more heartening than our encounter with the utterly disenfranchized folk. At least he was writing poetry.
We were in a tough neighborhood, it was pretty run down, and there were some scary folks about (they send college kids into these places to knock on doors? Oy.). The people who looked at us as though we were from another, more shiny, less complex planet - they were the toughest to talk with. The old guy taking some air outside the retirement home, he was tough - "I stopped voting five years ago - they don't care what happens to us! All of 'em are crooks." What on earth do you say to that? What I said to the woman who said she was tired of voting for the less of two evils, I guess, "But wouldn't you rather have the lesser one? Look what happens when we've got the greater of two evils running the joint." She granted me my point, but stood fast. "Let some educated person off the street run the country, they'd do a better job." At least she's not fallen for George Bush's 'everyman' routine - sees through him like glass.
The worst was the woman who responded that she just looked after her family, because that was all she could do. Let someone else take care of it... I wish she'd slammed the door in our face like the guy on the phone did. Ume gently suggested that some policies effected her family (the kids looked on at us curiously from behind their mother), and that in NH she had a unique opportunity to effect some serious change. The woman actually apologized for her apathy... but said she wasn't voting anyway.
People of NH do you have any idea how important your vote is in this election? (I hope there aren't any NH Republicans listening... only the undecided ones... who are leaning towards Kerry...)
We talked to a couple of folk who were with us, and willing to register, and we gave them information to make it as easy as pie. Did you know that in New Hampshire, with proper ID, you can actually register to vote AT the polls? Too cool! But it's better to be registered before the election, if you can manage it, and there's a deadline for that in NH (October 31). But if you miss the deadline, remember that you can STILL register at the polls! You just need to bring proof of age, citizenship, and domicile.
Onward to oust Bush! Or as Voltaire would say, "Ecrasez l'infame!" (Crush the infamous thing!) Rah-rah! Go Red Sox! Avast ye! Move it! Move it! Move it! We don't have much time left. If you can volunteer to spend some time in a swing state doing a little calling, some door-to-door action or driving perky volunteers (or folks like us...) to a swing state so they can do it - then visit moveon.com or acthere.com.
BTW: The rock incident reminded me that I need to see the dentist. So I'm making an appointment for early November, maybe November 3rd. Why November 3rd, you're wondering? Here's my logic... You may remember that I'm not fond of visiting places of a dental nature. Well, I figure that on November 3rd I'm either going to be so euphoric I'm not going to give a hoot where I am. Or... I'll be so despondent, I won't give a tinker's cuss where I am - and if they wanna drill a hole in my head it might serve as a pleasant distraction.
So, what did I come away from the third presidential debate thinking about? God, guns, and lesbians.
How often do you hear the word "lesbian" mentioned in a presidential debate? As many times as a Democrat can link it with the Vice President's daughter, I guess... The Democrats have decided to wedge the wedge issue. I wonder how Ellen Degeneres feels about Dick Cheney's daughter becoming the most well-known lesbian in the states? Sad.
Listening to Kerry and Edwards promise to kill people every time they get some air-time makes me nauseous. Reminds me of the scene in the film "Harold and Maude" where Harold is trying to evade military school by pretending to be a psychopath yelling, "Kill! Kill! Kill!". I'm not daft, I know why they feel they have to drive the point home - "The terrorists must die!" (read: Democrats are not soft-bellied effetes). And I'm behind the sentiment all the way, sure, hunt the bastards down and off 'em - you'll get no complaints from me. But could we raise our public discourse above the level of a Spaghetti Western please?
God. I filled my yearly quota of God talk last night. What high drama! They both believe. Oy.
My eyes glaze over when they try to connect with voters through God. Their faith guides them in everything they do... "I'm just like you! We share stuff! We share God even! Isn't that nifty? That someone as stinking rich as I am, and someone as pathetically powerless and pedestrian as you, can actually pray to the same God? Of course, given who I am and who you are, you might draw the conclusion that God kind of likes me better... but hey, I still want you to vote for me anyway, okay? Aren't I folksy and real?"
I was hoping for a knock out last night, but it didn't happen. Kerry kept Bush on the defensive, was terrifically articulate and in all, an excellent debater to watch. But he didn't put Bush away. Made some excellent points and hammered away where he needed to though. Let's hope it was effective.
Kerry's probably too senatorial for people, but I don't mind it. Good hand gestures too - though I wish he'd stop placing his hands on himself in that "earnest" manner. Nothing says insincere to me quite like that gesture. But it's such a relief to see someone who can speak articulately! Who can relate large concepts along with pertinent facts. Not just whine, "But my plan's better! And look at this crooked research funded by a right-wing think tank that backs up my claims!"
So, after the debates, the American public can rest assured that Bush, as he stated in the second debate, is solidly against the Dredd Scott ruling of 1857, and Kerry, as stated repeatedly throughout, will not let France decide America's foreign (and one might safely assume, domestic) policy.
Anyone who has the guts to stand up and insist that they will never, EVER, allow the French to have a veto over our foreign policy - well, anyone with that kind of courage - he's got my vote!
We're in the final stretch folks, and they're neck and neck. It's all about voter turnout now! If you can get a Democrat to the polls in a swing state, you have a shot at determining the outcome of a national election. Don't think that doesn't strike fear into the very heart of the beast. Let's get busy people!
Democrats, Republicans Charge Vote Improprieties (Reuters, 10.14.04)
Ooh la-la! Are Tom DeLay's days in power numbered? One can only hope:
Tom DeLay Taking Hits (OnPoint Radio, audio file, 10.12.04)
I wish they'd leave Mary Cheney alone, I think it's a low blow to use her. But when people claim deep disgust <cough, weeze...> at John Kerry's mention of her in the debate, they might want to keep in mind that the GOP hasn't exactly done well by her either (and I'm not even talking about the naked bigotry of their policies):
Is Mary Cheney Being Hidden - Gay Group Asks by Doug Windsor (365gay.com, 09.02.04)
Initial report: Afghan election a success by Jim Bencivenga (CSMonitor, 10.14.04)
Wealthy New Lab Aims to Capture Dreams, Literally (Reuters, 10.13.04)
Study Sees Link Between Breast Cancer, Adolescence (Reuters, 10.13.04)
Afghan vote article
This is what I was thinking after the first presidential debate - and now, even more:
Hello, Gender Gap by Michael Tomasky (The American Prospect, 10.07.04)
"...God, that voice. You don't quite call that screaming. It wasn't exactly caterwauling. Maybe yowling. Whatever it was, [Bush] sounded like a tedious and noisome braggart in the parking lot after a football game."
"The worst moment, when Bush just clearly behaved like a rude jerk, came at 9:36 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, when Charlie Gibson was trying to ask him a follow-up and Bush brusquely waved him off, interrupted, and charged forward and started yelping about Tony Blair. It was witnessing this moment that made me start to think about women viewers."
I've found commentary on the second debate interesting... lots of praise was heaped on Bush, because he didn't rush Kerry, Jerry Springer fashion. "The President managed to have his temper under control for the majority of the debate! He didn't even seem to mind having to answer most of the questions..." This is laudable? If he were a woman, half the country would be cracking jokes about PMS.
I would have welcomed a Jerry Springer moment, but had to settle for Bush the Brat's stellar moment bullying the moderator. Demanding preferential treatment to rebut a comment that Kerry made, even though the rules for rebuttle clearly did not afford him one. Rules? Those are for wusses...
And then there was that facial tick... He was exerting so much effort not sneering and scowling (as he did in the first debate), that at one point the left side of his face spasmed. And I'm not talking about the times he was winking at people in the audience.
Of his pronounced swagger, Bush has been quoted as saying, "In Texas, we call that walking." From the vantage point of the Notheast (where, incidentally, he hails from... or should I say Yales from...), it looks like a man desperately afraid of being called "a swish".
And now, we wait for next Wednesday. I'm hoping Bush puffs his chest out even further during the opening handshake than he did this last time - maybe it'll cause him to get the hiccups... Wouldn't that be fun?
Boycott threatens Afghanistan's foray into democracy by Scott Baldauf (CSMonitor, 10.10.04)
Polls may not mean much (especially when the margin of error negates the "lead"), but this is better than Bush having an 8 point "lead"... And indicates that, again, the debate was decisive:
Kerry Opens Three-Point Lead on Bush by John Whitesides (Reuters, 10.10.04)
Lest we forget:
Crimes in Freedom's Name: Dick Cheney's El Salvador by Mark Engler (CommonDreams, 10.08.04)
Okay, now I'm pissed. The pigeons are gone. They're off the porch. As in, gonezo.
They're on somebody else's porch. As in, the building to the rear and off on a diagonal from ours.
What, I would like to know, is so fabulous about their porch? Is it the raw wood? The tree shade? What? What?! Bastards went and stole my albatross!
Maybe "stole" is too strong a word... Maybe, it's more like borrowed... Okay, maybe it's more like not. Maybe what actually happened, is the folks in our building complained so much that the landlord went semi-nuclear on the pigeons (poison, remember, is illegal hereabouts - though people do it, which is stupid, because then the things like hawks and falcons that eat pigeons get poisoned too). The landlord showed up with screen and sticky stuff and paint and all manner of deterrence in his attitude and the pigeons haven't been back since.
My pigeon acceptance muscles are going to atrophy! (click here if you want to know what that means) I feel that I've been robbed of an opportunity to become a zen master. It would have taken time, true, my pigeon acceptance muscles were pitifully weak, but I was, like, way workin' on it and stuff.
I do have to admit to getting an evil thrill from watching the pigeons landing on my neighbor's porch... maybe I ought to work on that... sometime...
The world has been through some serious tumult and devastation since my last post - Iraq, Haiti, Florida. And now Mt. St. Helens is acting up? Let's just all take a deep breath shall we? And contemplate something uplifting...
Like George Bush becoming peevish and petulant, then tired, during the first presidential debate (poor man, they don't usually make him stand up that long). And it costing him his edge in the polls. What a fine thought...
Grand Vizier Cheney managed to look as hunched as ever (from the great effort he had to make to keep from narrowing his eyes and sneering at his opponent) in his debate against Mr. Perpetually Smiley. I don't care for Edwards. Nope. No siree. But the alternative is unacceptable, not to mention delusional.
Listening to a Bill Clinton interview, I heard him quote Malicky McCourt (Frank McCout's brother), he said:
For those of you who have struggled all of the way through this post, to you, dear reader, I give a link to the first installment of my new story:
Marjorie Humboldt: A Revelation In Several Parts
Go for a walk, would ya?
Walking is linked to a reduced risk of dementia, research suggests (BBC News, 09.22.04)
Want to keep the facts straight this election? This is where you check 'em: