Thursday, November 04, 2004


Turning out to Vote

Some may think the Republicans won a mandate, but I would beg to differ. What really happened was that they had a better Get out the Vote Machine with a solid backbone of fervent evangelical Christians. Democratic turnout in important Florida counties was less than when Al Gore ran, particularly in Dade and Broward. On the other hand, The Youth Vote did after all materialize "Now that some of the smoke has cleared and the data has been crunched, it's clear that 2004 was, in fact, an amazing year for young voter participation. Whereas only 42 percent of 18-29 year-olds had voted in 2000, a whopping 51 percent showed up at the polls this year, making for a 9-point increase. The catch? Everyone else came out in record numbers too." .... "According to CIRCLE, youth turnout was especially high – often as high as 64 percent – in some battleground states. In addition, young voters favored Kerry by a 10 percent margin over George Bush nationally, while in many key states it was even higher. In Pennsylvania, for instance, 32 percent more youth voted for John Kerry than did for Bush."

But Dems should not give up - one mustn't forget that it is particulary difficult to upset a sitting president during wartime. It's never been done. How you overcome peoples beliefs on abortion, guns and other conservative issues, without giving up what you believe in, remains a difficult question for the Democratic party.

Tom Friedman in the Times today remarked "We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.

Is it a country that does not intrude into people's sexual preferences and the marriage unions they want to make? Is it a country that allows a woman to have control over her body? Is it a country where the line between church and state bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be inviolate? Is it a country where religion doesn't trump science? And, most important, is it a country whose president mobilizes its deep moral energies to unite us - instead of dividing us from one another and from the world?

At one level this election was about nothing. None of the real problems facing the nation were really discussed. But at another level, without warning, it actually became about everything. Partly that happened because so many Supreme Court seats are at stake, and partly because Mr. Bush's base is pushing so hard to legislate social issues and extend the boundaries of religion that it felt as if we were rewriting the Constitution, not electing a president. I felt as if I registered to vote, but when I showed up the Constitutional Convention broke out.

Maureen Dowd writes : " W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."

The president says he's "humbled" and wants to reach out to the whole country. What humbug. The Bushes are always gracious until they don't get their way. If W. didn't reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed, why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a "broad, nationwide victory"?

Here are some of our bright and shining new faces in the Congress:

Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions and warned that "the gay agenda" would undermine the country. He also characterized his race as a choice between "good and evil" and said he had heard there was "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma schools.

Jim DeMint, the new senator from South Carolina, said during his campaign that he supported a state G.O.P. platform plank banning gays from teaching in public schools. He explained, "I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend should be hired to teach my third-grade children."

John Thune, who toppled Tom Daschle, is an anti-abortion Christian conservative - or "servant leader," as he was hailed in a campaign ad - who supports constitutional amendments banning flag burning and gay marriage.

A German friend of mine wrote me to today offering me space in her small apartment should I wish to move. Now where are those Lederhosen?

Meanwhile the markets are enjoying triple digit gains for the 2nd day in a row. We'll see how long they like George's policies. If he can produce and create jobs and cut down on outsourcing and trim the deficit, I'll take my hat off to him, but I'm not counting on that. So enjoy your profits now.

It will be nice to get these days behind us and I can go back to talking about computers, photography, health issues,etc. :) 2 years of political debate has pooped this boy out.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Final Score:

Evangelicals - 1
Science (Rational Thought) - 0

What can I say? Once again we have elected the non-reading President - absolutely astonishing that in such critical times, we would elect someone who has to have his news delivered to him.

Bin Laden must be dancing in the streets. His recruitment rolls have probably just jumped a good 50%. 51% of Americans have equated the bluff of "standing up to them" with strength - they're blind to the fact that it increases hatred for us. Think this country can go it alone in the world? Think again. Do you like tossing billions and billions into Iraq yearly with no help from others? Well - get used to it.

To my friends in Europe - my sincere apologies - 51% of us are idiots. The other 49% are headed your way.

From David Corn's blog - "There was a clear difference between the two candidates. They disagreed on many basic issues. But--perhaps more importantly--they represented vastly different ways of engaging the world. One has adopted an ask-no-questions, nevermind-the- nuances, don't-look-back, tough-guy style of leadership. The other promised to consider and reach out before leaping. One said--practically boasted--that he read no newspapers. The other came across as a man who absorbed much information before rendering a decision. The voters chose the wrong man.

Are the Democrats not in tune with America? Why can't they make the poor of this country realize that they have just voted for more billionaires' tax cuts? Do we need to pander to the Religious Right just to get their vote? The heartland of the country has once again shot themselves in the foot, thinking that "morals" (note the quotes, as GW has no morals) is the only issue. Yet I ask these folks - how moral is it to kill 100,000 Iraqis in an unjustified war? How moral is it to deny people the right to marry whom they want? How moral is it to turn down the Brady Bill? How moral is it to drill for oil in some of the few remaining unspoiled areas when the results will help us only a few years? How moral is it to give fat cats huge tax cuts while the hard working lower and middle classes get paltry little sums. The fat cat gets a $100,000 tax break and the little guy gets $1000 . Yeh, that seems fair. We run up massive deficits only because you want to make your rich friends richer? That's morality? Those are not my moral values.

I should make a note here that I don't oppose people being spiritual beings, as I am a believer in a spiritual being as well. I don't believe the Church is where I find this being, but I respect your belief if that is where you find him/her/it. I'm just disturbed that these evangelical beliefs are so dominating in many people's lives and are beginning to intrude in the political,business,and everyday spheres of this country where I for one don't want to see them. Apparently many do. However when people start asking me if I've been saved, that's going way too far. (especially when their actions make them out to be hypocrites). You are then in my space and I don't want you there.

I have often wondered what happens to people who are not Christians - do they just descend to some flaming hell because they believe in a different entity? Obviously Christians in this country think so, because they have to send missionaries out to convert these "savages" at every chance. I'm sure it never occurs to them that perhaps the way these people believe is just as good as the way they (the Christians) choose to believe. It's like trying to foist our brand of democracy on everyone else in the world. Sure, we have a free country (well, it was free about 4 years ago), but that doesn't mean our form of democracy is the only form that can exist. Iraq, for one, may need something entirely different. You ever watch the Apprentice on TV? What is the reaction of most of the other players, when one particular person dominates the discussion and pushes his plan through without input from the others or respect for their ideas? They all backstab the leader and hate his or her guts. Not much different from pushing yourself around in the world either, is it? And folks, in case you haven't noticed it, we seem to be on the short end of the stick when it comes to respect lately.

I find it interesting that the gay marriage amendment was smacked down overwhelmingly in 11 states. The message to Gays - "we'll let you on the bus, but move your ass to the back". Thank God , we Americans are not frightened by those who are different than "us". It probably explains why we have such an excellent understanding of the peoples of other countries. That piece of paper telling two people who are in love with each other that they can be married is certainly a horrendous danger to our "free" society. Red Alert! Red Alert! Marriages as we know them, will dissolve immediately! All families will turn into raging homosexuals! Yes, these are the positive messages the Republican Party is bringing us - such compassion. (not that Republicans are the only ones who are scared of this terrible menace).

And who said bodybuilders had no brains? Seems like Arnold's gang did the only smart thing - they voted for stem cell funding. Good for you Arnold - someone who votes on their convictions rather than pandering always to the party line.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Still Undecided? HELLO!

I've been watching the pundit shows this Sunday morning and I still find it rather amazing that there is such a thing as an "undecided" voter out there. I could understand that if both candidates were pulling towards more centrist themes, but that isn't the case, in particular on Bush's side of the fence. These two are like night and day - there isn't any "grey" here to ponder over. It strikes me that if you 're not sure yet, you've been living with your head in the sand. And being black and white should appeal to most voters in America, as most don't care for nuance - for most, it is a vote on social/culture values and most likely even more simply that that - do I like the cut of that one's jib or not? The average American is not a well-read, informed person, I hate to say. That's what happens when you've been fat and happy for too long.

Faith in the Workplace
The lead article in the NY Times Magazine this weekend is well worth a read. I was stunned reading this - I knew evangelical thinking was getting a serious foothold in this country, but to this extent, was even beyond my imagination. Personally, this makes me seriously wonder if another country might be the place to retire to. During and after the reading of this article, I kept having thoughts of the "Stepford wives". If you're an evangelical person, you will no doubt be delighted and apparently that means 43% of the population. If you're not and don't like "on the sleeve" religion, then this should creep you out. When I read this sort of thing, I keep wondering - what are people missing in their lives that they need to turn to something else to this extreme to provide them sustenance? What happened to working through issues yourself? To taking responsibility for one's own actions? Why dump it on God all the time? You're gonna wear the ol' boy out before I even get there! Are people really that miserable that this has to become their only all-encompassing joy in life? So much so, in fact, that they have to spend half their day proselytizing? If this is what turns you on, more power to you, but I gotta make sure I'm a long ways away, and if that means out of the country, so be it. I can only hope this is a fad, that over time will dwindle, or as the author of the article says in his final paragraphs, perhaps in their attempt to convert everyone, they will find that the very things they're trying to change, may become appealing to them and soften their attitudes and return them to reality, but I wouldn't hold my breath for that happening anytime soon. Have a look - if you don't you're missing the most important cultural issue of our times.

The Supreme Court Issue
George Will made the comment this morning that one huge issue in our country's future that is not being discussed enough in this country is the future election of Supreme Court Justices. John Kerry remarks on that in the Rolling Stone Interview - "I mean, the next president may appoint three or four justices to the Supreme Court. The rights of Americans may be affected for the rest of our lives by what happens on November 2nd: whether or not we're going to have equal opportunity; whether we fight against discrimination; whether we're going to have equal pay for women; whether we protect women's right to choose; whether we're going to have a country in which people can grow up and live out the full measure of citizenship." So, lest you've forgotten, we're not just voting on the War in Iraq - the Court Issue will have far reaching implications, most likely much more so than the war in Iraq.

A Kerry Win might be in the Stars

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Surveys in the United States may be showing the race for president as too close to call but top Indian astrologers say the planets have clearly made up their mind: John Kerry will win. Planets governing President George W. Bush are eclipsed and in an uncomfortable position, making his tenure controversial and his re-election bid unsuccessful, the soothsayers said on Friday, four days before the vote.