Friday, October 29, 2004

Stating the obvious: JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT

And how I will vote this Election Day.

My votes are just that, my votes. I may not be able to convincingly argue for or against a particular issue. That, of course, won't stop me from telling you what I intend to do.

I am writing Friday night; we had the reappearance of Osama earlier today, I guess he was sick of Bush and Kerry getting all of the face time. I am currently waiting for info on my Vegas trip. Pondering what we as Americans are capable of doing to each other over our political beliefs. Wondering if I will be shot in Vegas, and will it be because I am getting out the vote? Or because someone misunderstands my inquiry about "green?"

WHAT'S UP with the moderated message of Bin Laden? I would have expected more virulent anti-American rhetoric. Who is helped/hurt by this message? I think it cuts both ways. His reappearance helps and hurts both candidates. I wonder if that has something to do with Bin Laden's unusually conciliatory video.

Dr. Evil and Bigfoot will be announcing their endorsements shortly.

I am just going right down the ballot.

President and Vice President:
John Kerry and John Edwards

You can go back and look at earlier entries for deeper insight into why I am voting for Kerry, this is already going to be a very long entry. John Kerry is an American hero a couple of times over in my humble opinion. His record speaks very directly to my own values, and his stance towards Iraq & Afghanistan I think is the only way this country can possibly go. Then there's the conduct of the current occupant of the White House. I will leave that to the news.

A shockingly honest Conservative endorsement for Kerry:

US Senator:
Barbara Boxer

US Representative:
Jane Harman

Member of the State Assembly:
Mike Gordon


Office 18: Pat Campbell

Office 29: Lori Jones

Office 52: John C. Gutierrez

Office 53: David Lopez

Office 69: Donna Groman

State Measures: Here's where the fun starts.

Measure 1A: Yes, AND NO ON 65
This will protect local tax dollars.

59: Yes. Sunshine measure.

60: Yes

60A: Yes

61: Yes. Builds up children's hospitals, and plunges us into more debt.

62: No

63: YES! A chance to improve our Mental Health Care Facilities and stick it to the rich at the same time.

64: NO! FUCK NO! Unless you want to limit your own ability to sue a business for damages.

65: NO! And yes on 1A. Even the people behind this one suggest a "No" vote.

66: This was an exceedingly tough call. I had to weigh the chance to fix an overly punitive measure versus letting people out of jail. If this fails, "3 Strikes" may never be corrected. If it passes, it might put potentially dangerous criminals on the street. I live with the threat of earthquakes everyday, plus they will be making sentences longer for child molesters, so I voted for freedom! Yes. I suggest you get more information, to make a very informed choice. I am weighing this issue even at this moment.

67: Raise cell phone bills to improve emergency medical facilities (we've lost seven in last year, with more closures on the way)? YES.

68: Would extend gambling to non-Indian property: NO.

69: No. Government collect DNA samples? Sound familiar? Sounds like a great crime-fighting idea, but if you are innocent you might not be able to get your sample back...and then they'll give it to Mark Fuhrman. And yer screwed!

70: No. 99 years is too long.

71: YES. I'll gladly put my children and the poor into more debt if it means bringing the state of the art of stem cell research to California. We benefit from the research itself, and we attract the top minds in the world to us. And I heard Bill Clinton say that it will bring Christopher Reeve back to life.

72: I'm voting yes. We have so many needs in terms of health care, that this proposition will get slapped like a band-aid onto the bleeding wound that it has become. It doesn't do enough, but it's something. It doesn't impact businesses with more than 50 employees until 2007.

County measure A: Voting no, but you may want to research the issue more deeply. It reminds me of someone charging a pizza because they have no money. This type of stuff shouldn't be addressed in this manner.

Water replenishment district: Robert E. Katherman (a toss-up).

Thanks for tuning in, I hope it helped, or at least provided something for the mind to chew on...

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Beware the October Surprise!

Click the link, to be prepared.

I have been wanting to do an "October Surprise" entry for about 2 months, and I can feel the pressure build with every day that goes by this month. This link, and others, is waaaaay ahead of me, and now I realize the possibility of an OS is probably a little reduced by how obvious it would appear. But, that's never stopped Karl "Win at any Cost" Rove.

What's an "October Surprise?" Well, if you still haven't figured it out, it refers to an upcoming event that will guarantee Dubya's re-election. The most obvious example would be the sudden capture of Osama Bin Laden. Finding his body would probably provide a similar effect. Some sort of terrorist attack could also provide Dubya the kind of jolt his candidacy needs. I live next to LAX, and I think about the opinion expressed that Al Qaeda never gives up on a target (LAX was the destination of the explosives found trying to be smuggled into Washington State from Vancouver, BC, by an Al Qaeda member in 1999) as I ponder what form the October Surprise will take.

I remember the term "October Surprise" being used in conjunction with the 1980 Presidential Election, when the Republicans are said to have reached a secret deal with the Iranians to prevent the release of the hostages being held in Iran until such a point as it would not impact the election. The truth of this event is unproven. The site you reach by clicking has more insight.

Here is another AWESOME October Surprise resource:

This administration rules through fear. They think we'll happily trade our freedom for our safety. They are right, we are a bunch of cowards. FREEDOM ISN'T FREE; I know it's a cliche, but it is also appropriate. "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety," a statement attributed to Benjamin Franklin, is most apt, and I concur wholeheartedly.

Freedom is not only not free, it is PRICELESS, and not easily aquired. We've NEVER gotten more freedom without a fight, and and its not easily reaquired once surrendered. It's the unifying American value. Bush says things like "Freedom is on the march," and "They hate us for our freedom." If we extend the Patriot Act, he'll be halting freedom in our own country, and at the same time, taking away some of the reasons they hate us. At last a pro-active approach! If our own freedom has been reduced by the terrorist attacks, does that mean that Al Qaeda has won or lost? If Bush wins, we will deserve what follows. Just think of how this administration will behave if they should actually, cleanly, win this election.

I will be in Las Vegas on Election Day, hoping to provide a surprise to the Republican power structure.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

A Political Nightmare

Or: TRS: Flip-Flopper

It's time for me to talk about the Ralph Nader factor.

If you click the link, you'll learn of the connection between funders of the Swift Boat Veterans & my former favorite presidential candidate, Ralph Nader.

I voted for Ralph in 1996, and again in 2000. I pestered a lot of you with e-mails encouraging you to consider voting for him. I still believe in what he tried to do, and I don't regret backing him back then for an instant. In fact, I was looking forward to his continued efforts to build the Green Party this year. Al Gore never won my vote. You can blame Nader for Gore's defeat, but Nader was one of many factors, the first of which is the fact that Gore failed to carry his home state: if he hadn't fallen so far out of touch with the people of Tennessee, the people that sent him to the Senate in the first place, he would be president today. And do you think that there were 600 or more Cuban Floridians still pissed off about Elian Gonzales? Remember him? Like I said, many factors, and most of them weren't actually INCREASING the level of political discussion in this country. When they counted all of the votes in Florida after the Supreme Court selected Bush, Gore had the most votes in the state! This isn't Nader's fault.

But, why am I not supporting him now? Well, obviously, I am a wishy-washy flip-flopper!

Actually, in a way, I do still support him. In the sense that I feel like he should be in the debates, and should be on the ballot. I know it might mean the difference between a Bush victory and a Kerry victory, but Nader's candidacy is legitimate. He raises some of the most valid questions being raised on the campaign trail. Do I want him on the ballot? I know it would eliminate some confusion if he wasn't, but yes, if he earns a place on the ballot, then he's earned a place on the ballot. Conversations to the contrary, to me, border on unAmerican! You can't extend democracy by limiting choice this way. Ever hear of a write-in candidate? We can vote for just about ANYBODY. Certain friends of mine acted as if my vote BELONGED to Al Gore in 2000! Sorry, it's gotta be earned.

But in '96 and '00, Nader was building the Green Party. It was about creating a GENUINE third political party in this country. If Nader represented the Green Party this year, I WOULD BE VOTING FOR HIM!

But, it appears that Nader's strategy has bitten him in the ass. All he can really do now is spoil a Kerry victory, and is not contributing to the discourse in a substantially constructive way. I rankled at suggestions in 2000 that his candidacy was about his ego, because it wasn't. We were party-building.

By abandoning the Greens, Nader shows that this largely IS about his ego. The worse thing about this is that he's undermining the issues he (and I) champion. His ideas are regularly held up to redicule, and Republicans are just licking their chops at any success he will enjoy, because they see it as insuring Bush's victory. Hence, the backers of the Swift Boat Veterans for... are providing Nader's campaign with cash.

I see this presumption as a fallacy. It may prove true, yes, but consider the following, if there's a large Nader turn-out:

A) Nader's voters are NOT strictly left-wingers. 40% of Nader's votes would have gone to Gore, but 20% would've gone to Bush, and the rest would not have voted at all.

B) If 80% of Nader's voters are left-wing, and 40% would not vote otherwise, the left stands to gain in ALL of the other elected offices, state and national! The Republicans could lose their hold on the Senate and Congress if there's a big enough Nader turn-out.

While Nader's campaign could help the Democrats, his candidacy does hurt John Kerry more than Dubya. But that isn't why I am voting for Kerry.

I'm voting for Kerry because he has earned my vote. I am also voting for him because I agree with almost everything he says, especially regarding the work we have to do in Afghanistan, and Iraq. That's if he has a chance to do ANYTHING about Iraq, as it may fall into chaos before he gets the chance to even takes his oath of office...

I'd talk more about JK, but I already have, and I have more yet to say. But, later.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Dodgers: done.

BIRGing time.

Baseball is one of my oldest passions. It began the day Steve Garvey came to my second grade class at Franklin Elementary; I would have to guestimate this to be in the winter of 1972/73. History tells me that he was at that time a young first baseman waiting for a chance to play every day for the Dodgers (Wes Parker casts a long shadow, still the only LA Dodger to hit for the cycle). Memory reminds me that he responded to that opportunity in 1974, by becoming the first write-in candidate to win an all star ballot; he was that All Star game's Most Valuable Player, and by being the National League's MVP that year. The Dodgers also appeared in the World Series that year, the first year where I followed the team at all...

So I start watching the Dodgers in 1974, and they make the World Series in '74, '77, and 1978. They lost to the A's in '74, and the Yankees beat them in 2 of the best series in memory in 1977 & '78.

With that kind of success, it isn't hard to understand how a fan could become spoiled.

So, I grow up, and fall away from baseball a little bit. I remember the Dodgers playing the Houston Astros in a one game playoff for the National League West. I don't remember the exact date, but the game was on the radio inside Hollywood Toy & Costume, that early October day, 1980.

What do the Dodgers do? They have an even MORE successful decade. They win the 1981 & 1988 World Series. Between these championships, I come back to a point where I am following them daily. They are considered among the most successful sports franchises of the 1980's. Kirk Gibson's home run in the 9th inning famously propelled the Dodgers into that championship, and provided a glimmer of light in an otherwise bleak time for me personally. Can you say "Warner Gardens Motel?"

Things have been rather dark since then. Dodgers went to the playoffs twice in the 1990's, & both times they were swept out (Cincinnati in '95 and At-fucking-lanta in '96), and nothing since!

Until this season. Let's see, the Dodgers last made the playoffs in 1996, Peter O'Malley's last year as owner of the team. Fucks, excuse me, Fox owns them through 2003...and they return to the playoffs in 2004. Hmmmnnn.

The Dodgers have 1 Adrian Beltre, the St. Louis Cardinals have 3. As a result, the Bums were crushed by the Cards, 3 games to one.

But, for the first time in years, "Wait 'til next year" has some meaning in it. It's nice to be able to say "Go Dodgers!" without an asterisk next to it.