Monday, November 29, 2004

Start the fight for 08 now!

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I still think Wes Clark would make a great president.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Backstage at the Mark Taper Forum today, during Rehersals for The School for Scandal, I talked with veteran actor John Cunningham who's reading American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush by Kevin Phillips. He said it's making him feel better by putting the Bush "win" in a historical perspective. He recommends we not go crazy, since in 23 months or so we have to get back to work creating a center-left coalition that can win.

I agreed, pointing out that we need to clear through the Republican lies and cheating to win the votes of the vast majority of Americans who feel we need more environmental protection, not less; who feel we need to protect a woman's right to choose, not erode it; who feel we need sane arms control, constructive diplomacy, and to protect worker rights. Mr. Cunningham seemed very knowledgeable of history, and I pointed out to him what I heard on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman this morning, from a European Green Party member who basically said the re-election of Bush is helping them (gee, glad we could help). He said we should look at European history of Dynasty (as Phillips points out in his book, and realize that we, here in a country that was designed to not have Tudors or other political dynasties, have exactly that (considering that Clinton was a bit of an aberation). Maybe this kind of historical perspective, realizing that they've perpetuated a Dynasty, will jolt the "What's the Matter with Kansas" voters out of their Republican induced stupor.

Monday, November 15, 2004

With God on Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush's White House by Esther Kaplan

Evangelical Environmental Network

Here's the kind of group my left-leaning Christian friends need to help. If we could spread the word of this group, at least we might have a chance of convincing evangelicals that destruction of the environment is not something of which Jesus would approve. If we can't beat Republicans, maybe we could at least try to force them to be more responsible about the environment.
Christian-right views are swaying politicians and threatening the environment | By Glenn Scherer | Grist Magazine | Main Dish | 27 Oct 2004: "'God gave us these things to use. After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back."—Secretary of the Interior James Watt, 1981

Joe Bageant: The Covert Kingdom

After reading this, I've been trying to find out if there are any Christian groups trying to teach the rest of their flock that John was certifiably crazy when he wrote Revelations, or that many didn't want to include it in the New Testament. Or, maybe there are other, simpler, more peaceful interpretations of Revelations that Christians should be teaching each other. We have four years to try to teach these doomsayers the error of their ways. How they can throw out the overwhelming amount of peace, love, and help for the poor in the New Testament for one chapter of lakes of fire and killing Jews is a complete mystery to me, and frankly, one of the reasons I hate religion. But maybe some of my "Christian" friends can help me help these people.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Recount Ohio Now!

Even if it won't put Kerry in the White House (only two letters from Whore House), if it gives Karl Rove agita, I'm for it.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."—H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Republican Strategy: avoid the issues and lie about the other guy

Here's part of a letter to one of my union "brothers" who voted for Bush. We've been going at it for a few days now, and he still refuses to talk issues. I think that pretty much sums up the Republican campaign tactic. Lie about the other guy, and don't talk issues.

The really sad thing here is that you, like many Americans, vote against your economic interests. For instance, on election day, the Republican party paid for a phone message where a woman acted like she was from the Democrats and she was saying please get out and vote for Kerry so we can make gay marriage legal. Now how can voters make an informed choice when the Republicans lie like that? How can a voter like you, who's lost his health care, choose a candidate when one side lies? Republicans sent out a mailer claiming Kerry wanted to ban the Bible! How can a voter choose between candidates when one side lies like that, and refuses to debate the real issues.

On health care, Bush said he's making it more affordable. That's a lie. But people like you are convinced for some reason that Kerry wanted to take your guns (a lie), make gay marriage legal (a lie), raise taxes on the middle class (a lie), and give veto power to the world on our security (a lie). How on earth can we have a fair election, based on issues, when Republicans have to lie like that to get elected? How can we ever expect working people like you to vote for someone who cares about them, when the people who want to screw you lie to you and you believe it?
The one thing that really pissed some people off is me saying, hey, anger works for them, let's try it! Coulter has suggested killing liberals. So, I had a better argument. I said I hoped that Bush voters got cancer.
I hope that anyone who voted for Bush, who thinks that stopping assisted suicide and medicinal marijuana are good ideas, should have to die of cancer in pain without pot or the option of going peacefully... George Bush actually had cancer patients at medicinal marijuana clubs arrested. What do you think should be the Karma Bush should receive for that kind of sick behavior? You call me sick for wishing on Republicans that which they wish upon the sick and helpless? Please! I'm only hoping that they get to see, before they die, how horrible the situation they put others in actually is.
I think doing hate is bad, but they do it and it works for them. So, I think at least some of us on the left should do it, provided we always do it better than them. I really hate people that would wish such pain and suffering on people. I don't want to wish it on anyone. That's the point. I think people dying of cancer, or any horrible disease, should have the right to kill themselves peacefully with a doctor's help, without having their insurance not pay out because it was a suicide instead of a horrible death from the disease. They should be able to use marijuana as a medicine. But when there are people who support Bush and Ashcroft for stopping assisted suicide and smoking pot as medicine, I think it would be fitting that those people have to suffer that which they have caused others to suffer. Eye for an eye, right?
Stem cells, for example. I hope that every person who thinks that using a clump of cells to cure horrible diseases is killing babies gets one of those diseases themselves. That would be fitting, wouldn't it? I wonder how GW Bush would feel about stem cell research if he was stuck in a wheel chair, or if he had Parkinson's. I wonder how George Bush would feel about smoking pot after Chemo.
Just one thought on the future of the Democratic Party. We need to seriously look at straight-talkers like Howard Dean. We need to, as Dean did, give up a wedge issue they beat us on: Guns. Take the Dean position on Guns. Then you can hold Wisconsin and win Ohio. We need a guy who will point out the lies from the other side. Come right out and say, hey, that's a lie. Al Franken does this beautifully. Don't be afraid of it. Paul Wellstone had conservatives vote for him. We should study how he did it. Arianna has a good point today about swinging for the fences with a big, detailed plan. Senator Schumer from New York said that too, on the Daily Show. But that won't even work when the other side lies about you and gets away with it. If the press won't call Republicans for lying, then our candidate should. That'll make the news!

Monday, November 01, 2004

"Strap him with an AK-47
Let him go fight his own war
Let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil
We got our own battles to fight on our own soil
No more psychological warfare to trick us into thinkin' we ain't loyal"—Eminem

18 to 29 year olds are going to decide this election. If they vote in large numbers, Kerry wins. On that note, I encourage you all to see Eminem's video, Mosh. I can't stand all the corny appeals by stars to get kids to vote. They seem so staged and stale. This is a fresh message that challenges his peers to think. This is an anthem Eminem's fans will be singing while they wait in line to vote. They'll be humming it in the booth. And they'll be playing it loud in the streets on Tuesday night.
While I believe the environment is the biggest reason to vote for Kerry, it seems it is going to come down to the war. I've spoken to Bush voters who seethe over Kerry's anti-war stance when he came back from Viet Nam. I say they're a lost cause, but I like to remind them that they're saying that Kerry did then what they claim he never did, which is take a principled stand on an issue. He was against the war he had volunteered to serve in, and he said so. Bush was for a war--and a draft--he dodged, and still won't say anything about it. Who's the political opportunist on this issue? That usually shuts them up.

Then I ask about the WMD and they try to change the subject. Then I ask about civilian deaths and the fact that we seem to be killing more Iraqis per year than Saddam was killing when we took over. They say it's a lie. Or that some casualties are unavoidable in war. Or that we should just nuke all those Muslims. Then I ask, well, if we should go get bad guys, then I guess you were for our war in Bosnia and Kosovo? Some were, some say it was a Clinton wag the dog, which I just have to laugh at. Then I ask who the next evil dictator we're going to attack is? They say, whoever threatens us (like Saddam did?). And then I get them with the dagger for any "conservative." I ask them what we should spend on this global, neo-con military adventure ridding the world of evil? How should we pay for it? This is a tough one for conservatives. The quick answer is well, we have to pay for it somehow, because if we don't we'll all be dead and it won't matter.

To this I answer, despite my best attempts to show that liberals are much better, calmer debaters who are most interested in facts, with a hearty BULLSHIT! This is the same argument that was used about Vietnam. The domino theory. If we didn't stop them we'd all become communists. Well, we're still speaking English, aren't we? We lost that war, and we're still here, free, with a right wing fascist president threatening our civil rights more than Ho Chi Min ever did.

And I get right in their faces when I say this, because they know they were wrong about Nam. They know it was a bad war, and they know it took balls for Kerry, an officer, to come back here and say so.

But ultimately, conservatives are most worried about money. So, I hit them with this:


I check it out daily, so I'm armed with the latest number. I also try to keep up with the number of US casualties (over 1100 dead and over 8000 wounded). I ask these NASCAR nut cases how much would be too much? How many dead would be too many? Is there some limit, some point where you say, "That's it, no evil dictator is worth that much," no matter how much American companies make selling off the country's resources?

They say you can't put a price on freedom. I say, "Like losing in Vietnam would mean the communists would rule the world? Like Saddam was a threat with nukes that could reach us, with drones, and chemical weapons, anthrax, bla bla bla?" What if we put such a burden on the future of this country fighting these neo-con wars that we bankrupt future generations to the point that they can't fight a REAL war when they need to? What if we ignore the environment, social security, and health care to the point that the biggest threat to Americans is from Republicans who want more of them in poverty, stuck competing with green card immigrants for minimum wage jobs, or going to emergency rooms for health care?

In short, this obsessive focus on offense is detrimental. The BS line about fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here? I laugh loudly in their face when they say that. What on earth makes them think a faceless terror group couldn't attack us everywhere? After all, they've been recruiting at record levels! They have plenty of willing martyrs thanks to Bush.

In short, this election is a brainer. Because the no-brainers are voting for Bush.