"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Grand Immoderation of Studs Terkel;  Dead at 96. All The New Polling and Ohio Election Fraud Hits The Front Burner With Brunner. Much Food For Thought!



Oral historian, rabble-rouser and grand old man of the American left, Studs Terkel died Friday at 96. From Robert LaFollette to Barack Obama, he never pulled his punches through the chronicling of five generations of American history. Read John Nichols' appreciation of the life and work of a true American hero and Dennis Kucinich's eulogy to the quintessential American writer.


In celebration of Terkel's 95th birthday last year, the Nation's Deadline Poet and celebrated essayist, Calvin Trillin, paid tribute to "America's pre-eminent listener."


Watch TheNation.com for more appreciations of the life of a great and compassionate man and please visit The Nation online for continuing coverage of the final conclusion of Election 08.


Best Regards,
Peter Rothberg
The Nation


Studs Terkel: The Power of His Prose | by DENNIS KUCINICH


Studs Terkel knew the real America. The America of grit and gumption, heart and soul, passion and nerve. He chronicled five generations of American history with a compassionate and deep understanding of the American character.


He was the quintessential American writer. He was our Boswell, our Whitman, our Sandburg. He was able to get people to open up and share their innermost thoughts and their deepest dreams. In the words of Kipling 'he walked with kings and never lost the common touch.'


Infused in each word he wrote and in his spoken word, he was a master story-teller and could regale groups for literally hours with his deep understanding of human nature its possibilities and its foibles. He was a person of great appetites and his greatest appetite was for the truth. America has lost a tribune of the people. But the power of his prose lives on.


Studs was a dear friend. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have enjoyed many visits in Studs's home. His good humor was a constant even during a visit a couple of years ago when he was recovering from heart surgery.


I was touched by the forward he wrote to my bookA Prayer for America. I'll never forget the encouragement he gave me to run for president in 2004.


DAMN!  Polls


 Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com (who supports Obama, it should be noted) makes a couple points about Zogby's work: One-day samples have very high margins of error; Zogby's "party weightings" are unusual; Zogby's surveys tend to "lag" reality.












Today's Polls: The End May Be Near 


ACLU Stops Illegal Voter Purges In Michigan


Documents Reveal How Ohio Routed 2004 Voting Data Through Company That Hosted External Bush Administration Email Account | By Larisa Alexandrovna And Muriel Kane




Newly obtained computer schematics provide further detail of how electronic voting data was routed during the 2004 election from Ohio's Secretary of State's office through a partisan Tennessee web hosting company.[Whistleblower Stephen] Spoonamore said tampering could have been accomplished without broad knowledge.



It Is Now Absolutely Crystal Clear That Republican Rule Is Dangerous and Authoritarian



By John DeanFindLaw.com. Posted November 1, 2008.


Thirty Years Too Late: The Implosion of John McCain and the Demise of the Regressive Right | by David Michael Green


There are lots of good explanations for why John McCain is rapidly swirling down the toilet bowl into the sewer of political ignominy, but my all-time favorite was just published in the New York Times Magazine this week.


The article – "The Making (and Remaking) of McCain", by Robert Draper – gives an explanation for McCain’s idiotic-to-the-point-of-embarrassing stunt last month, at the time when the economic meltdown was initially kicking into hyper drive. McCain’s response – to suggest cancelling the debate, ‘suspending’ his campaign, and parachuting into Washington to heroically save the empire from the evil capitalist derivative speculators (uh, oops – yeah, that’s right – the same ones he’s been flacking for his entire career) – marked the beginning of his slide into historical footmarkery, right down there with the likes of Bob Dole and Lil’ Danny Quayle.


But that wasn’t actually the bit I had in mind for my favorite explanation of McCain’s demise. Nor, for that matter, was it even the fact that this great ploy – soon to be enshrined in a place of pride within the Political Buffoonery Hall of Fame – was crafted by none other than Steve Schmidt, McCain’s chief strategist. You might have thought that that alone was hysterical enough, given that Schmidt is a protégé of Karl Rove (though he apparently hates being labeled as such), and that these were the very same folks who had ruined McCain himself back in 2000, using the Atwood/Rove/Schmidt character assassination playbook.


So – lemme guess – you’re thinking: "Ah, what sweet justice. There is a god, after all!" But it actually gets better. Here’s why: according to the article, all this happened because the guy who John McCain picked to run his campaign once got the "smartest bit of political wisdom he ever heard" from – are you ready for this? – really? – wait for it now... none other than that renowned national genius, George W. Bush.


And what did Bush teach him, other than the value of "manning up" and "going all in" (I’m not making this stuff up) with stunts like McCain’s little economic crisis bombing run, a sortie in which he managed to crash the sixth aircraft of his career? Now this – this – is the part I really like. Back in 2004, Bush, the only complacent guy in the room, calmly told Schmidt that he shouldn’t worry that the boss’s campaign appeared at the time to be falling apart. Why? Because, Bush averred, voters have an "accidental genius" by which they can sniff out the true character of a candidate!


Amazing. Of course, W (and who knew that was short for Wise One?) didn’t mention the part about how swift boating the shit out of your opponent, or disenfranchising droves of African American and student voters can also help to put you over the top when that good old voter intuition occasionally goes AWOL – like in 2000 and 2004 – just as W himself did for a couple of years when he was in the National Guard. And then of course there’s always that little Supreme Court trick, too, when things get really difficult.


This is the guru to the guru who is running the McCain campaign? Okay. Well that certainly explains a thing or two.


One thing we’ve clearly learned from the Cringe Decade’s nightmare of unmitigated regressive rule is just how incompetent these clowns truly are. It was clear to most folks – at least those still registering some measurable amount of synaptic activity on the monitors – that the right was, of course, lying absurdly about Iraq, about taxes, about Social Security, about prescription drug benefits, and about much, much more.


And some people have even caught on to the deeper lie of the entire regressive movement – that it is not simply a misguided ideology whose policy prescriptions were disastrous, but rather that it is actually a deeply pernicious kleptocratic treason conspiracy hiding behind a rag-tag improvisation of ideological hodge-podge (such as, for example, the exquisitely appropriately named Laffer Curve), designed for the sole purpose of pretending to link whatever present conditions might exist to whatever predetermined policy outcome was long ago decided upon.


Clearly, for example, the administration made the decision to invade Iraq first, then went looking for justifications that could be used to market the war later. Paul Wolfowitz even admitted this in his "bureaucratic reasons" explanation for how they all agreed on WMD as the fear factor they’d use to sell the war. Another classic example came from Bush’s advocacy, as a candidate during flush times in 2000, of massive tax cuts. By the time he got to the White House, however, the economy was headed in a recessionary direction, and yet he was still advocating the same remedy for the polar opposite economic condition.


It was as if the guy had read the first three chapters of John Maynard Keynes in his college macro class, but never bothered to get to the rest.


Much more likely, of course, was that he had been too drunk to read any of it, and wouldn’t have been so inclined, anyhow, had he somehow miraculously sobered up for a day or two.


I mean, why study when you can be practicing your cheerleading routines instead? And anyhow, who needs that academic nonsense, anyhow, either at Yale or in the Oval Office?


The economic theory mumbo-jumbo was for Rove to figure out in order to direct the marketing roll-out, just as if it were some sort of plastic Thanksgiving photo-op turkey for the troops. Bush already knew the policy choice in advance, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to let some pointy-headed ivory tower ideas or the cold, hard evidence from centuries of real-world experience dissuade him.


I mean, what would be the point of a Bush presidency, anyhow, if it wasn’t to hoover up every shred of wealth from the public commons, nailed down or (preferably) not? To govern in the public interest, perhaps? Pshaw! Yeah, right. That’s a good one, dude.


But even Americans who thought regressives clearly to be liars or thieves might still have believed that they were highly competent, especially if you’d had your brain Luntz-framed long enough to believe that MBA CEO types are tough, skilled, administrative whiz-bangs (you know, like the guys at Lehman Brothers, AIG, General Motors, etc.). It was easy to mistake that sometimes, because normally they’re very good at marketing and at winning elections.


But this year, the right can’t even begin to get that right. The McCain-Palin campaign is a pathetic thing to see these days. Such as it is, even. There hardly seems to be a single campaign anymore, as a candidate so stiff he makes Bob Dole (even the 1996 version) look like James Dean by comparison lurches from embarrassing attack to awkward teleprompter-read, even-more-embarrassing, attack.


My friends. There hardly seems to be a single campaign anymore, as insiders scramble to save their reputations, leaking stories claiming that they were off smoking a cigarette somewhere when the campaign debacle hit. And there hardly seems to be a single campaign anymore, as every day McCain’s running mate goes increasingly more native, leaving the reservation to begin her presidential campaign for 2012.


All this might seem ungracious, but that’s only because, in fact, it is. It sure ain’t surprising, though. Any movement that builds its core ideology around the worship of an infantilist, developmentally-stunted, self-aggrandizement will inevitably wind up eating its young. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And it’s no longer even a matter of when, but now.


Politics is rife with ironies, and perhaps never so much as this particular cycle. In many ways, John McCain should actually be winning this race, notwithstanding his daily acts of circus buffoonery and his decision to place his campaign in the hands of someone so sharp he regards George W. Bush as a profound political sage. The public is really nervous these days, and a well-known and well-trusted leader with that m-word (I can’t possibly hear it one more time) brand could really have made a case for being the sort of steady rock people crave in a crisis like the current economic meltdown. A different McCain might really have taken this in a run-away.


But not this one. Obama has shrewdly tied McCain to Bush, but that isn’t really McCain’s problem. Rather, it’s his being joined at the hip to Bushism, which is at its core Republicanism, which is at its core regressivism. That’s McCain’s problem.


The irony here is that, while McCain has proven to be a scary monster at many junctures of his life and career, I don’t think he is at heart really a regressive in the mold of, say, Dick Cheney or Mitch McConnell. In fact, having been savaged in 2000 by the ‘agents of intolerance’ inside and outside of the Bush campaign, he actually really hated the SOBs, and with good cause.


But McCain wanted – more than anything and for the entirety of his life – to be president, and he made a calculation that his best strategy for getting there was to make nice to the radical right, support Bush for eight years, and then run again as the heir apparent in 2008. What he evidently didn’t consider in this sell-off of his principles to the lowest bidder was the possibility that he was hitching himself to a wagon that was headed over a cliff. Into a bottomless pit. Located on an imploding black hole star.


George W. Bush is a human wrecking machine of historical proportions, second only to the likes of Hitler, Stalin or Mao (yet another way in which Bush is a two-bit hack – he couldn’t even do genocide right). The good senator was only one of Bush’s many victims, though McCain perhaps alone among them has the dubious honor of having been diddled by the Boy King not once, but twice.


Among the great ironies of this election is that had McCain adopted another strategy, he might have had a pretty good shot at the presidency. One possibility would have been to renounce the GOP and become a Democrat. He could certainly have argued, with a straight face, that he wasn’t leaving the Republican Party, but that the Republican Party had left him.


He might even have captured the Democratic nomination, and almost certainly would have destroyed a Mitt Romney or a Rudy Giuliani in the general election had he done so. Perhaps even more plausibly, he could have become an independent and run a third party campaign for president. McCain – like, say, Colin Powell – was one of the few Americans with the stature and reputation sufficient to pull that off, and it would in fact have suited his politics and temperament much better to have done so.


Instead, he tied himself to Bush, while Bush tied himself to the cement shoes of regressive politics and jumped off the bridge, taking down his own party and his party’s presidential nominee with him (not to mention a million Iraqis, 4,200 Americans, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Bar, Poppy and Jeb, along with many, many more folks foolish enough to allow themselves within his orbit). It’s truly astonishing if you think about it. This little twirp’s need to redeem himself after a lifetime of failure and insecurity has produced destruction of galactic proportions.


In any case, McCain made the wrong choice, put ambition first, above all else (including, with the Palin pick, above country), and gambled that Bush wouldn’t wreck the GOP brand before November 2008. Oops. By going to bed with the likes of George Bush, McCain definitely owns his own fate. And there’s more than a little delight in watching a practitioner of these debauched politics destroy himself. He’s stuck with a base that loves Bush and Bushism, all while trying to attract independents who are ready to hurl at the prospect of either.


Every independent vote McCain might acquire – however implausibly, given his voting record (but then this is America, so anything can be sold) – by dissing Bush, means a Republican voter disenchanted. Likewise, every play to keep the base happy with some inane red meat about socialism or terrorism only simultaneously alienates still sentient Americans in the middle. The Palin selection epitomizes this dynamic. Whatever else he thought she might bring to the table (corruption charges, perhaps? shocking idiocy? disloyalty to the guy who made her?), part of the rationale for her selection was to do something John McCain was unable to do himself – namely, to get Republicans interested in the 2008 Republican presidential ticket.


And so it did, but it has cost him dearly with just about every other voter, who look upon Palin with dropped-jaw astonishment, and McCain with deeply flawed judgment.


Meanwhile, nowadays George Bush is almost nowhere to be found. He is irrelevant to any policy discussions, and if he is even remotely semi-conscious, would count himself lucky to be off the radar screen of a country and a world filled with an anger and anxiety that is the direct product of his destructive policies.


When right-wing commentator – and former press secretary for Newt Gingrich – Tony Blankley describes a Republican leader by noting that "The existing American president is a failed thing", you know it’s all very, very far gone down the tubes. But notice how they all adored Bush when he was flying high. The current state of the Republican Party isn’t just the product of a one-man demolition derby. This has been a carcinogenic genetic mutation masquerading as a mass ideology, and it’s had a lot of adherents.


The great farce of the GOP, which soon became the tragedy of the nation and the world, was to actually govern. They would have been so much better off to retain their natural role as carping cranks, spreading disinformation at every turn, making up scandals for the other guys, proliferating and hiding their own, occasionally impeaching presidents. But they made the mistake of actually seizing power, after which an entire world could see what they’re really about, the destructiveness of their policies, their breathtaking arrogance, as well as their astonishing incompetence at providing for the basic functions of governance.


I suppose we can’t entirely blame them for their own self-destruction. I mean, who knew that imploding economies, drowning cities, oceans of debt, disastrous wars based on lies, alienation of centuries-old allies, dismantling of Social Security, falling worker salaries, rising costs, diminishing healthcare, a massive terrorist attack while the president was on vacation, the national shame of torture, or catastrophic environmental disaster – who knew these would be unpopular policies?


The regressive movement – so deluded that they still like to think of themselves as conservatives – is on death watch now, and yet it doesn’t know it, nor does it remotely begin to understand why. But the reasons – both proximate and distant – are plain enough to see. The immediate problem is that they ran a pathetic candidate against a great candidate. More importantly, they ran a slimy, Rovian campaign against a guy who knew how to fight back, and also had the guts to do so, and they presented it all to a national electorate that is frightened enough to no longer be willing to indulge foolery anymore. The proof of this is that John McCain might actually have the best night of any Republican candidate on Tuesday, as Democrats massively increase their majorities in both the House and the Senate, perhaps even gaining a filibuster-proof 60-seat Senate majority, perhaps even giving Senate Minority Leader and major scuzzbucket Mitch McConnnell (from Kentucky no less!) his walking papers.


And, as if that weren’t proof enough, this comes after a similar blow-out in 2006, when the GOP got a "thumpin’", and lost control of both houses of Congress. And, to top it all off, voters don’t even particularly like Democrats, and they sure don’t like the current Congress, which is controlled by Democrats. It’s rare for an American political party to get stomped two elections in a row, let alone by a generally disliked alternative party. You have to be screwing up really badly to do that, in a collective effort sort of way.


Which, of course, is exactly what we’re talking about. Only regressives don’t know it. They think their policies and attitudes are popular in America. They think George W. Bush’s problem was that he wasn’t regressive enough. If only he had invaded Iran as well as Iraq! If only he had deregulated Wall Street even more. If only he had encouraged more oil consumption and more carbon emissions.


If only he had eliminated abortion rights. If only he had cut wealthy Americans’ tax liabilities down to zero, shifting those burdens to the middle class. If only he had done to all of us what he did to Terri Schiavo’s family.


If only he had eliminated all government spending on popular programs. If only he had privatized Social Security and let Wall Street handle it. If only he had wasted even more Iraqis and more American GIs. If only he had let Osama bin Laden roam even freer, even longer.


If only he had quadrupled the national debt, instead of merely doubling it. If only Exxon/Mobil had made even more than their all-time corporate record-breaking earnings, while the rest of us were unable to buy enough gas to get to work.


If only Bush could have appointed more regressive justices to the federal bench, where they could find that we have no constitutional right to privacy, and who would make sure that corporate and presidential power trump the people’s and the people’s representatives’ at every turn.


If only there could have been more jobs lost on his watch. If only we could have seen wages fall lower. If only the country could have had its wealth more polarized so we could better emulate rotten banana republics. If only we could have been more divided politically. If only we could have made the world hate us more. If only more of our cities could have drowned. If only we could have hurtled toward planetary destruction even faster.


Hah-hah, right? Guess, what? It’s only partly a joke. Most regressives earnestly believe in most of the items on the above wish list, and earnestly believe that they represent majority opinion in America. Seriously. I’m. Not. Kidding.


Fortunately, in this there is great hope for this country’s recovery. For as regressives meet to lick their wounds – and I know of three such immediate post-election major summonings to the Council of Darkness already scheduled – they will be as oblivious to the cause of their demise as were their ancestors, the dinosaurs. Which means they will also be oblivious to any meaningful solution. Which, by definition, they would necessarily have to be anyhow, since the only real solution for them would be to pack up their bags, join the ACLU, and become liberals.


I mean that quite seriously (and we are, in fact, already beginning to see the leading edge of that coming stampede), because, at the end of the day, the fundamental flaw of regressivism is regressivism itself. Their ideas – now explored in total, now fully tested in practice – don’t work, and therefore aren’t popular. They never were, in fact, popular, but a healthy dose of marketing genius applied to a narcissistic, selfish and willfully ignorant electorate was nevertheless enough to put regressives over the top time and again, starting with Reagan. Now, even that old black magic has ceased to work.


Thus, the real explanation for the regressive rout we are witnessing runs deeper than George W. Bush, and in fact goes to his very electoral success. People have seen what it means to put these criminals in charge and – despite the fact that the public actually doesn’t know the half of it yet – they don’t like what they see.


Likewise, the explanation for the regressive train wreck also certainly goes deeper than the pathetic figure of John McCain. But, in so many ways – stylistically and ethically, even more than politically – the McCain of 2008 has become the very living embodiment of the moral cancer hiding behind the sham ideology of free markets, strong national defense and obsessive sexual regulation. And he is being received accordingly.


A recent New York Times article described the senator’s sentiments in the wake of his loss in 2000 to that scion of darkness – the ultimate child of privilege, history’s all-time greatest legacy admittee to life – the guy who employed Rovian scorched earth techniques to take out not only a war hero opponent, but also a member of his own party.


Despite this humiliating defeat at the hands of a patently inferior being, McCain could still hold his head high. "After his loss, he professed himself grateful, at the age of 65, for what might be left of his time. ‘I did not get to be president of the United States. And I doubt I shall have reason or opportunity to try again,’ he wrote, but added, ‘I might yet become the man I always wanted to be.’"


Sadly, McCain was wrong on both predictions.


He did have the reason and opportunity to try again, and he seized them vigorously – though from the perspective of his honor and his legacy in history he would have been better off not to.


Because he also didn’t become the man that he, or anyone else, would want to be. Instead, he hired the very same assassination team used against him in the 2000 election, and he employed their very same techniques against a decent and honorable opponent, whose great crime was peddling hope and justice to a battered and morally hungry American electorate.


And thus, instead of raising his party and country from the gutter of Bushism, John McCain dove down into it himself, with a literal and figurative vengeance.


He didn’t become the man he always wanted to be. Instead, he became George W. Bush.


Whoever wanted to be that?


Not even George W. Bush.




David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles (dmg@regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. His website is www.regressiveantidote.net.


America's Enduring Culture of Hate

by Mary Shaw   


This is 2008. The 21st Century. The Age of Aquarius. Harmony and understanding. Racial segregation went out the window more than four decades ago. Mixed-race couples are seen everywhere, along with their strikingly beautiful offspring. Same-sex marriage is now permitted in some states. It actually seems on some level as though some social progress has been made. 

But then you pick up a newspaper, and the truth hits you in the face like duckshot from Dick Cheney's gun. 

Hate and intolerance are alive and thriving, and in fact seem especially pronounced during this high-stakes election campaign season. 

We've become accustomed to hearing the hateful outbursts at McCain-Palin rallies. When Barack Obama's name is mentioned, a member of the crowd screams "Kill him!", or "Bomb Obama!". Then there's the Monkey Man and his "Little Hussein". And these things all happened here in Pennsylvania alone -- north of the Mason-Dixon Line! 

But a black presidential candidate with a strange name isn't the only thing that has the right-wing extremists in a tizzy. There is also California's Proposition 8 which, if passed, would ban same-sex marriage in that state. In other words, it would write discrimination into California's Constitution. In other words, "all men are created equal" -- except for the gays and the lesbians. 

And if they constitutionally take rights away from gays and lesbians today, what group is next? 

But I digress, so let's get back to the subject of homophobia. 

It's been 10 years since the brutal murder of gay student Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, but society has apparently not grown any more enlightened since then. In fact, according to the FBI, while hate crime incidents in general decreased by 1 percent in 2007 from the previous year, hate crimes linked to prejudice based on sexual orientation had actually increased by about 6 percent! 

I believe that hate and intolerance are primarily fueled by ignorance and fear. Therefore, only by addressing the underlying myths and fears that lead to irrational hate and distrust can we hope to progress as a society. 

But, sadly, there is no time for all that between now and November 4th. Besides, some people just will not listen, and will not learn.



Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views appear regularly in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Note that the ideas expressed here are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Amnesty International or any other organization with which she may be associated.


As Election Day Closes In I'm Getting Tired, Frustrated And Maybe Just A Little Bit Frightened.

by PeterJ   

The closer we come to the election the more junk I find stuffed in my mailbox. I look at it, I even read it. I've always read or investigated both sides of the political demography. I'm always afraid that I may, some day, open my mouth and sound like most republicans of late do. Now, I don't intend this as a castigation nor am I looking to insult. I'm simply making an un-biased observation based on the facts presented to me, some through my mailbox, some through social intercourse, some through the media and advertising.


I am not a democrat, nor am I republican. I have no political affiliation or preference at all as I find them all to be full of shyt, saying whatever it takes to win, no matter the cost or cause.Now, with this election closing in, I've made my decision, as I figure anyone who has a brain and cares enough to properly pay attention has. If you haven't made up your mind yet then you don't deserve to vote, for you either are not willing to dedicate the time to research the truth, which is quite simple, or you don't have the necessary mental capacity to make such an important decision.


Most democrats I hear and speak with are optimistic about the future. They are unhappy and some, like myself, furious at the Bush administration for obvious reasons to anyone with eyes, ears and a functioning brain. I'm sincerely trying to be as unbiased as is possible under the circumstances but understand, it's not my fault, nor is it my responsibility to make certain people sound more intelligent than they themselves actually are or act. Having said that, what I find that most republicans sound like in conversation or in their own written word are people who are too belligerent or ignorant to pay attention to any of the facts put out to them and to my absolute dismay, racists. How did I come to this conclusion?


( see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcGFPR6H6aE   it explains a lot)  What do you say to a person when in conversation about the election they ask the rhetorical question "just who is Barack Obama?"  I want to respond with "are you just stupid or have you been so successfully brainwashed that's all you've got?" But, they usually immediately follow it with "He's a Muslim, that's who." so who can argue with such logic?


"No he's not!"  "Yes, he is!".   "No, he's not".  "Yes he is!"   Ok,, why,,, why do you say he's a Muslim?  "Because McCain said it in a speech."  I'm done.      


In some other cases, some people will either be more honest about the race issue or will unintentionally blurt out "besides, I ain't votin for no nigger."  The first time I heard that one I honestly did not see it coming and it floored me. It bothered me very much because it was someone I love who said it. All I could respond with was "Aww, C'mon. Really?" There was no point in arguing that mentality and because of who it was I tried to talk about it but you can't discuss logic with racism though the person did promise me not to vote.


Finally, the pamphlets in my mailbox. Democrats, in their pamphlets, generally outline plans for whatever interest they have chosen without mention of other parties. I like that even though I don't find much else about democrats that I care for. Republicans, on the other hand, regularly defile their opponents. I received one today which was almost comical. It was from McCain and he was espousing his views on Obama the socialist. He was telling me that I needed to protect my gun rights. How ironic. A member of the party who has done more to steal away our constitutional rights than anyone in history telling me that I must protect my rights. My gun rights of all things. The ones I'll probably need the most if he were to get in office.


YES, it is time to protect my rights!


That's why I will vote,, for Obama. Not because of his party affiliation or what any one else has to say about him but because of what I've learned about him by listening to his debates, looking up what I didn't know and ignoring obvious lies and bullsh*t which is being consistently spread by the republican party. Actually, I'm surprised and disappointed that the republicans, after eight years of the most obvious lies and malfeasance to such horrendous degrees, haven't disassociated themselves from this type of behavior. It, in itself, is despicable and obvious to anyone with intelligence.


 Their aligning themselves with the likes of McCain/Palin shows them to either be in league with the Bush regime or are seeking to change their party to a band of mindless ignoramuses with a mob mentality. Again, no insult intended, it just can't be ignored, nor dismissed. It is what it is.


Slander tactics are all that republicans have against Obama as everything which I've ever followed through with proved false and/or taken out of context. McCain has no other talking points in any of the debates except to directly lie and mis-state Obama's plans but he never has an answer or plan of his own. His whole demeanor is as transparent as Bush's and his designs are obviously directed to the betterment of the rich and corporate America. His affinity for the flawed Reaganomics "trickle down" theory is further proof that his interests lie with the "haves" and his choice of a vice-presidential bimbo who has become the laughing stock of 80% of the country show's just how out of touch he is with the intelligent men and women of this country who see through all of the republican propaganda meant to convince people who earn less than $50,000. a year that they can enjoy a life in this country and that they actually can afford health care, retirement and education for their children.


I am not a liberal, nor am I a Marxist, neither is Barack Obama. That's just more of the outright lies that republicans have become quite well known for in the past eight years. If you can't win an election, steal it. If you can't have a war, fabricate an attack to use as a catalyst. No one's life is safe with these type of politician in office.


If Obama was for taking away my guns I surely would not vote for him but nowhere in any records or statements does he state that he is for this type of gun control. Being in favor of making sure that guns are used exclusively for what they were meant for, hunting rifles for hunting animals,  defense weapons for the protection of one's person, home or family or match weapons for competition shooting is not "gun control".  I or any other honest person should not have a problem with this, however, I promise that I will use my weapons in self defense should anyone ever try to take them away from me.


In fact, in light of Bush's Patriot Act I would be more likely to have to use my weapons in self defense against a government gone awry than ever before.


Not being a member of any political party I am always with open mind in making choices and decisions and the party usually has very little to do with my choices. Unfortunately, in the past eight years, the republican party has made the ill-fated decision to align themselves with the likes of a traitor to his country who has been responsible for the deaths and mutilations of thousands of American soldiers and citizens alike, not to mention the hundreds of thousands innocent Iraqi citizens, the passing of the "Patriot Act", a so-called document meant to protect citizens in the event of an attack which actually takes away our rights to due process and places us in danger of arrest without representation to be secretly locked away and tortured for years if we are deemed "terrorist". This could be the scenario for our next "Revolutionary War", thanks to George W. Bush, Dictator in Chief.


I am so sorry that this faction of the republican party has been as successful as it has in recruiting followers of these traitors. They are very clever in ways of deception but they are not true republicans. There has always been a fringe element of the republican party who has been based in religion, race and social class. This is not what America is about. It is about freedom, freedom to practice, or not, whatever type of religion we want. It is all about the equality of the races, genders and classes.


I wish so much that we could all come together and see it that way but the only way that can happen is if we all truly involve ourselves in the politics of things such as elections. We cannot take the word of anyone when they are casting dispersions on another. We must check out resources and find the truth and when we find one who consistently lies about another without ever presenting a plan of his own which makes any sense we must vote them away. It's not complicated and if a candidate is consistently not clear and confusing in where he or she stands it is because of duplicity.


They're not lying if they don't make any sense. You may not rethink where you stand in this election but maybe in time, after all the cards are dealt, you will look back on this and you will see some sense in all of it. I hope we have the opportunity to find some positive after all of this. Firstly though, I hope for positive results from this election. Unfortunately, I keep having flashes of disaster, an assassination, a terror attack, martial law. 


As I watched Obama's info-mercial Wednesday night and listened to his message I had a déjà vu. It felt as though I was sitting in my living room with my Mother and Father listening to John Kennedy speak and for a moment I had a warm sense of security. Now I've not been the strongest advocate of Barack Obama, I was mostly concerned with keeping McCain and the Bush administration from the White House but after the months of following him and listening to his speeches and debates and checking out every dispersion cast upon him by the McCain camp I feel as though he is the first legitimate candidate we've had in many, many years and as such I've developed a degree of faith in him, something else I haven't had in years. I hope, for all of our sakes, that this faith is warranted.




I was born in 1951. I had the benefit of experiencing the naïveté of the 50', The Ozzie and Harriet years, when Dad went to work in a suit and tie and Mom stayed home in high heals and an apron. Yea, that was life for me. I lived in a predominantly Irish neighborhood in South Boston. My Grandmother and Grandfather came to America from Sicily in the early 1900's and finally settled in "Southie", opening one of the many corner markets, a grocery and butcher shop. They learned English and made sure that it was the first language of their 7 children, 3 sons, my father the oldest of all of the children and 4 daughters.


My Grandfather died with throat cancer in 1943, which brought my Father home from Panama, where he was stationed with the Army, to run the family business, as the others were still children. My Dad basically took on the role of Father to his brothers and sisters and along with my Grandmother, kept the family going. When my Father met my Mother he was 29 and she,20.They married in 1950 and when I was born in 51 they moved into the 3rd floor flat above the store where my Grandmother occupied the 2nd floor.


I had one great advantage while growing up in the 50s. My cousin Janet, who was several years my elder, kept me attuned to the music and the lifestyle of teens of the era.


I was also very sensitive to politics at a very young age. When Kennedy ran for president in 60 I actually helped campaign by passing out flyers and buttons at rallies. When he was murdered in 63, even at my young age, I felt a twinge of distrust of the government, as though something wasn't being said. That feeling stayed and amplified throughout every other assassination and demonstration and by the late 60s I was a full blown radical.


Not in the sense that I was for peace and love but that I was against war and propaganda. In 1970 I moved to Florida. I met a "hippie" girl, got married and had a beautiful daughter. I now had to support a family so I put aside (as much as I could) my nonconformist ways and worked hard to advance myself into a career position with a New York based car rental co. As time went on my "hippie" wife came to love the material world which for me was just a means of survival.


When the firm filed chapter 11 and sold all assets to another company (which turned out to be the largest car rental co. in the country)I lost my job. My no longer hippie wife divorced me, I filed bankruptcy, my house foreclosed and what was left went to her. I learned a great lesson in corporate loyalty and would never give myself over to a conglomerate again.


Losing my daughter was devastating and I turned back to my old ways of drinking and drugs. Although I was responsible and worked and paid bills I sank deeper into a dangerous lifestyle. This continued until the late 80s when I met my current wife, Cindy. She helped me change my ways and things were great until the late 90s when I began developing symptoms which dr.s had a difficult time diagnosing.


Through several years of excruciating pain, tests, scans and surgeries finally left me out of work and disabled with a multitude of problems. Now, I keep busy reading, writing, playing my guitar, taking care of my Lhasa Apso, Dusty, Cocker Spaniel named Lady, 19 yr old kitten, Chloe and my Green Cheek Conure named Sarge who is my constant companion.


My wife, Cindy, saved my life in many ways and I'll never figure out why she keeps me around. Most times I even annoy myself. I love her dearly. She's my life. We share interests in collecting US coins and stamps, an occasional game of pool(she always destroys me)and when we can afford it, which isn't often, travel. After all we've been through I feel fortunate for what we have and though we don't have much what infuriates me is that we are better off than 70% of the people in this country. Any person who is willing to work should be able to live a comfortable life in this country. Me?


As long as I have her I don't need much else, except maybe, to change the world.


BurrDeming said...

This blog is a good place to keep returning to. The note on racial messages is on target. And there is more.

The viral email I got earlier this week was especially notable for the false witness it contained and for the way it introduced, as is too usual these days, the issue of race.

So I wrote a reply posted here.


Good post.
Good site.