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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

More Firings 

While I wholeheartedly support the firing/resignation/whatever-who-cares-so-long-as-he's-gone of Butch Davis, I can't say the same about ND's decision to fire Ty Willingham. This was only his third year. Doesn't a college coach deserve the change to bring at least 2 or 3 recruiting classes past their redshirt years?
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Butch Gone! 

YES!
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Greatest...Thing...Ever 

Harvard Sucks
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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Barry Pepper 

Is it just me, or does Barry Pepper only star in movies with numbers as titles?
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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Santorum 

Apparently, they don't teach enough about the dangers of man-on-dog marriage in public schools these days:
Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife will immediately begin home-schooling their five school-age children after drawing criticism from Democrats for sending them to an Internet-based school paid for by taxpayers, a newspaper reported.
I just want to point out how strange this is, mainly because it's really, really strange for Catholics to home-school. Although it should be noted that he's doing this mainly to avoid a scandal involving his buying of a cheap house somewhere in Pennsylvania simply to avail himself of some law that allows taxpayers to send their kids to that internet school for free. Although I don't understand why he doesn't send his kids to some suitably conservative Catholic school in Virginia, where he lives in a $775k home. Presumably he could afford the what, $3-5,000/yr tuition for Catholic school? Although he does have a zillion kids.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Carson Palmer 

Before you decree that he's a bust, keep in mind that for the third week in a row, the Bengals will be facing the number one defense in the country. And check out the other defenses he's had to play against. Just saying.

The only game they've really looked bad in was, unfortunately, against the Browns.
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There's Going to be Some Pissed Off Kids on December 25th 

Bill O'Reilly is supporting two projects this holiday season. One of them is not like the other.
Also -- and this isn't ridiculous -- more than a million people have gone so far to the Wounded Warrior Project for information. You remember last week I told you and then Tony Snow told you on Friday that this is the most worthy of causes, helping soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan readjust to civilian life here in America.

We have two projects this holiday season: helping the Wounded Warriors and getting "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" to as many children as we can because it will help them immediately. Parents and grandparents, please take note. So you can get information about both the Wounded Warrior Project and "The Kids" book on billoreilly.com.
So one of his projects is to help soldiers. The other is to sell as many copies of his book as possible. Awesome.

(FYI, Goldberg, December 25th is a reference to the Christian holiday of "Christmas", which traditionally involves an exchange of gifts.)

(Read a hilarious review of The O'Reilly Factor for Kids here.)
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Monday, November 15, 2004

Forced Pregnancy 

I want to make a change to my list of basic Democratic principles from the other day. I want to change "keep abortion safe, legal and rare" to "the Democratic party opposes any effort by the government to force women to give birth."

Why do we let the other side define the abortion debate? (Pro-life vs. Pro-choice.) I think this hides the real issue, and lures many "pro-choice" voters into a false sense of security about what it is that George Bush actually wants to do. The Republican platform quite explicitly favors a Constitutional amendment that extends the rights of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to unborn children. More realistically and more immediately, the Republicans will soon appoint Supreme Court justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and hand the issue of abortion over to the states.

Take a moment to envision the type of world your friends who are Republican have just voted in favor of. What will happen to pregnant woman? If the authorities learn that a woman in her first trimester is thinking of having an abortion, will she be put in jail until she gives birth? Will women be handcuffed to hospital beds for months so that they cannot harm the fetus inside their body? Will they have to be fed through an IV so that their hands are never free to touch their stomach?

How exactly will this work? Why did so many women vote to grant this authority over their own bodies to George Bush? Why do Republicans want women to endure forced pregnancy?

And if the GOP sees its platform enacted, and a fetus is granted the same rights as a person, what is the justification for a rape or incest exception? And will the morning after pill be similarly illegal? What if a rape victim goes to the police and indicates that she is thinking of taking the morning after pill? Will she have to be detained until it is known for sure that is she is not pregnant? If she is pregnant, and the police still suspect that she may have an abortion, how will the rights of these two equal individuals be protected? Will two lawyers be brought in - one for the woman and one for the fetus? What standard will the male prosecutor have to meet so that the male police officers can detain the female until she gives birth?

I don't know if abortion is right or wrong; I suspect it may be wrong. (Actually, Instapundit has a fascinating post on the moral issue; and I don't know why it is that I support abortion rights yet become so angry at a mother when I see a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.) I am glad that pro-life people provide information about the consequences of and the alternatives to abortion. But I am not so presumptuous nor so confidence in my own standards of right and wrong so as to force this choice on others; especially when it is a choice that I will never have to make.

Nothing I have said above is crazy; it seems to me to flow as a natural consequence from granting a fetus Constitutional rights. If Roe is overturned - and if enough justices retire then that is a very real possibility - abortion will be illegal in many states.

The above seems like a horrifying world to me; I wonder how many people actually want it. I wonder how many so-called "pro life" people have actually thought about it. I wonder why it is that so many "pro choice" people feel that electing Bush is worth the price of forced pregnancy. Perhaps it is because Democrats have not stated their case strongly enough. We think the choice belongs to a woman; Republicans support forced pregnancy.



(One thing about the above: we made need a better term than "forced pregnancy", only because this is a term used by human rights organizations to define incidents of systematic rape and subsequent pregnancy. It's really not fair, and would be counterproductive, to use the same term to define the Republican party's position on abortion - although making abortion illegal even in cases of rape comes pretty close.)
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More to Come 

I plan on posting more on this phenomenon later this week. Well, it's more of an "idea" than a "phenomenon." Well, really it's...oh, nevermind. Just hope that I actually make good on this drunken boast.
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Sunday, November 14, 2004

Beef? 

Chris Collingsworth, 3:50 CST, Sunday, November 14, 2004: "There was a whole lotta beef in the backfield that time."

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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Overstatement of the Century 

"Few relationships in life are more important than the one between you and your Michelin tires."

--Michelin Truck Tires Commercial
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Faces of the Fallen 

I'm sure some wingers will think this is unpatriotic (remember the Ted Koppel thing), but via Josh Marshall, I see the Washington Post has a "Faces of the Fallen" website. It's pretty damn horrific. I remember in September a touring exhibit came to Chicago. It was on Federal Plaza, and had a pair of boots for every dead soldier from Iraq. It was the most terrible thing I've ever seen. This website isn't quite as shocking, but it's worth mulling over. All these people should be alive today. And for what? Now we're (re?)taking Fallujah, and I see an article headlined "Gunman roam Mosul." I don't know what else to say.
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Friday, November 12, 2004

A Vast Wasteland 

To paraphrase an colleague of mine - Newt Minnow - what a vast wasteland of idiocy cable television news is.

I am sitting on the couch flipping channels and saw two things:

(1) On Keith Olbermann's show, he apparently has a weekly segment wherein he interviews Nick and Amy about last week's The Apprentice. I'm all for entertainment news to take our minds off our troubles, but are you telling me that with, you know, a war going on the best use MSNBC has for this prime time segment is a ten minute ad for a reality show? What a fucking joke.

(2) Can someone explain to me how it is that we live in a country where Mark Fuhrman gets to be some kind of expert on stuff? I saw him - where else? - on Fox News and I've seen him before. The man's claim to fame is (1) fucking up a murder investigation so that a guilty man was allowed to go free and (2) being racist. Is he some sort of a folk hero or something?

I am dumber for having spent 2 minutes watching cable news tonight.
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Open Thread 

Chat away.
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Random 

Here is what the Democratic party should stand for:

(1) Old people shouldn't live in poverty, so we should make sure Social Security is strong.

(2) Everyone should have access to some sort of health care in America.

(3) We need to take care of the environment so we don't die and so we have woods to hike and hunt in.

(4) Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.

(5) We shouldn't go to war unless the goals are clear and we can win OR we are under a direct and imminent threat.

(6) We shouldn't make other countries angry at us unless it's absolutely necessary to protect our own interests.

(7) The government shouldn't spend money it doesn't have.

(8) Rich people should pay more taxes than poor people.

(9) The government should leave guns in the country alone, because they are good and are used for hunting.

(10) The government should regulate gun ownership in big cities, because they are bad and are used to kill cops.

(11) Gay people are not a threat to anyone; if a state wants to let them have civil unions we should let them.

(12) Big corporations should not get special tax breaks.

(13) Congress should not listen to corporate lobbyists more than it listens to average Americans.

(14) The government needs to make sure that the Homeland is secure.

In general, the government should make sure we're respected and feared abroad, should enforce reasonable laws that make sure we all get along, should make sure our constitutional rights are protected, should makes sure nobody is starving to death or dying when they shouldn't be, should provide the same basic services it's provided for years, and should otherwise leave us the hell alone.

Put more simply:

(1) Protect the Homeland.

(2) Protect the environment.

(3) Go to war as a last resort.

(4) Protect Social Security.

(5) Support better Health Care.

(6) Keep abortion safe, legal and rare.

(7) Gun rights are for hunters, not for killers.

(8) The rich should pay their fair share.

(9) Working people deserve an equal voice in government

(10) Balance the budget.

This is my first attempt at crafting a simple message that could win. Let me know if you have any thoughts.
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Tragedy 

My blackberry has broken.
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Dicks 

Hmm, I didn't realize that because he's a big dick that meant that he has a big dick. In fact, I would have thought it would be small, which is why he feels the need to send troops to die to make himself feel all big and tough (basically, the same reason jk drives a big honkin' SUV).
A newspaper photo of Vice President Dick Cheney at a Wisconsin campaign stop is causing quite a stir. Milwaukee Magazine has seen it: "Let's just say the snugness of Cheney's pants left little to the imagination, and we're not talking about his waistline."

"Want to see the picture for yourself? Catch it while you can at your public library’s periodical desk because chagrined Journal Sentinel officials are not in a sharing mood. The paper denied our request to reprint the copyrighted photo, saying it had decided not to release the image to the public."
If anyone feels like finding that picture, scanning it in, and sending it to me, please, please do!
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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sex = the Holocaust 

Grover Norquist compares progressive taxation to the holocaust, yet he's still welcome in conservative circles.

Now, today, some moron conservative compares Alfred Kinsey, the subject of a new movie starring Liam Neeson, to Dr. Mengele: "Instead of being lionized, Kinsey's proper place is with Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele or your average Hollywood horror flick mad scientist," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women of America's Culture & Family Institute.

What an asshole. And why is a guy the head of something that is part of the Concerned Women of America?
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More on Alberto "Ghraib" Gonzales 

Joe Biden said this:
"I think [Gonzales is] a pretty solid guy...If you had said to me six months ago I can have Gonzales or Ashcroft, it wouldn't have been a hard choice."
An acqaintance of mine wrote this to the senior senator for Delaware:
I was extremely disappointed by the positive comments you made about President Bush's nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Judge Gonzales' position on the use of torture, the applicability of the Geneva Convention, and his close ties to Halliburton and Enron raise serious questions about his fitness to be Attorney General. I am mystified as to why you would endorse his nomination prior to even holding hearings where you can delve into his explanation of his positions on these issues. While I agree with you that Mr. Ashcroft was an unfortunate Attorney General, I would not be so quick to rejoice at his potential replacement. I admired your leading role against President Reagan's nomination of Judge Bork to the Supreme Court, and would have expected you to similarly hold President Bush accountable for his choice of Mr. Gonzales. Unfortunately you have greatly undermined your ability to do so by your comments, and I am sincerely disappointed by your actions. In the wake of this election, the only people who can defend the 48% of us who voted for Senator Kerry are respected leaders in the Senate such as yourself, but your comments leave me thinking that you may not be up to the task. Please reconsider your position and the importance of your role and defend our interests with the vigor that I know you are capable of.

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Gonzalez 

I sent this, written by Yale law prof Jack Balkin, on to Senator Dick Durbin. I'm sure I'll get a nice form letter in repsonse:
Gonzales is not a doctrinaire conservative. He is a loyal servant and friend to the President. He is a team player. It is unclear what his deepest moral convictions are. But however fine a fellow he is, he has done something that is, in my mind, inexcusable. He commissioned and put his name on a series of despicable legal memos that justified torture and prisoner abuse and that tried to avoid America's obligations under international law. In ordinary times, this would in itself be disqualifying. But, alas, these are not ordinary times.

It is time for those who think the Bush Administration has gone too far to stand up to the President, to make the legal case against his Administration's policies and appointments. For years conservatives railed against judicial activism. It is time for liberals to start railing against government officials-- including judges-- who show disrespect for basic Rule of Law values, who flout basic protections of American constitutional law and international human rights law, and who seek to concentate ever greater power in an unaccountable executive.

Even if (and especially if) Gonzales is confirmed, it is vitally important to make these points loudly and often. Liberals must stand for something other than the correctness of Roe v. Wade. There are important constitutional, legal and democratic values at stake in the next four years. They have been repeatedly sacrificed by this Administation, in its fetish for secrecy and unaccountability and its endless thirst for unreviewable power. And the President seems to have taken from his victory at the polls the belief that he is entitled to seize even more power and cut even more corners. It is important to begin making the case before the American people that our Constitution, our democracy, and the Rule of Law itself have been placed in jeopardy-- not by the decisions of activist judges in Massachusetts, but by overweening and ambitious members of the Bush Administration-- and that the legal and constitutional values we hold dear must be preserved and defended vigorously or they will slowly but surely be dissipated. Daring to ask why a former judge who has defended the President's right to torture and mistreat prisoners in violation of international law should be made the nation's chief law enforcement officer is a good place to start.
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And They Say We Are The Arrogant Elitists??? 

This is the letter, in full, that Bob Jones, III sent Dubya upon his reelection (or re-anointment in this case):
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The media tells us that you have received the largest number of popular votes of any president in America's history. Congratulations!

In your re-election, God has graciously granted America—though she doesn't deserve it—a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. You have been given a mandate. We the people expect your voice to be like the clear and certain sound of a trumpet. Because you seek the Lord daily, we who know the Lord will follow that kind of voice eagerly.

Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you.

Had your opponent won, I would have still given thanks, because the Bible says I must (I Thessalonians 5:18). It would have been hard, but because the Lord lifts up whom He will and pulls down whom He will, I would have done it. It is easy to rejoice today, because Christ has allowed you to be His servant in this nation for another presidential term. Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by biblical norm regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government. You have four years—a brief time only—to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God.

Christ said, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour” (John 12:26).

The student body, faculty, and staff at Bob Jones University commit ourselves to pray for you—that you would do right and honor the Savior. Pull out all the stops and make a difference. If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them. Conservative Americans would love to see one president who doesn't care whether he is liked, but cares infinitely that he does right.

Best wishes.

Sincerely your friend,

Bob Jones III
President

BJIII:lw

PS: A few moments ago I read this letter to the students in Chapel. They applauded loudly their approval.

When I told them that Tom Daschle was no longer the minority leader of the Senate, they cheered again.

On occasion, Christians have not agreed with things you said during your first term. Nonetheless, we could not be more thankful that God has given you four more years to serve Him in the White House, never taking off your Christian faith and laying it aside as a man takes off a jacket, but living, speaking, and making decisions as one who knows the Bible to be eternally true.
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Censoring Private Ryan 

Good work, Republicans. The party of small government and personal responsibility now prevents Americans from watching Saving Private Ryan on Veterans' Day. That's right - some ABC stations are refusing to air the movie tonight for fear that the violence and profanity could lead to FCC fines.

Now, if ever there was a movie that deserved to be censored it's Saving Private Ryan - not because it's violent and profane but because it's stupid and boring. Of course, no movie deserves to be censored, because some of us respect people enough to make up their own minds about things.

But seriously, if you voted for George Bush because you think the government should interfere with peoples' affairs as little as possible, well, you made a serious error in judgment.

GOLDBERG UPDATE: And also be aware that Tom Coburn, the new Senator from Oklahoma who thinks we should have the death penalty for abortionists, said this in 1997:
Coburn said NBC had taken network television "to an all-time low, with full-frontal nudity, violence and profanity" by airing the movie. He said the broadcast should outrage parents and "decent-minded individuals everywhere."
What prompted this? NBC's showing of Schindler's List.
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Veterans' Day 

just a reminder that today is Veteran's Day.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

No Dean 

Just for the record, I think this Howard Dean for DNC chair talk is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Nothing would convince voters that Democrats are out of touch Northeastern liberals more than appointing a man most of them think is an out of touch Northeastern liberal as head of the Democratic party. Also, they think he's fucking crazy. This isn't fair, and I think Dean can repair his image and be, once again, the most qualified nominee in 2008, but he cannot repair his own image and lead the party at the same time (especially when much of the damage to his image was caused by members of that same party).

I do think Howard Dean will play an important role for the Democrats and this country in the future. But this is not the time nor the place.

I don't think who the leader of either the RNC or the DNC is at a given time changes the minds of many voters. But can you name a single group of voters who might be more likely to consider the Democrats because Howard Dean is put in charge? Because I could name about ten groups of voters who would take us less seriously.
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Time to go back to hating The New Republic 

This is grand, coming from the editorial board who endorsed Joe Lieberman for the Democratic nomination:
Our reaction to [Kerry's desire to remain influential] is ... how to put it? Well, here goes: No. Please. Stop.

If the election results somehow failed to make this clear, we'd like to remind Senator Kerry that he is not an effective communicator. He tends to blather on, circling round and round his point without coming close to it. He regularly utters phrases --"global test," "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it"--that play directly into his opponents' hands. And he projects the image of an out-of-touch patrician that is precisely the opposite of what the Democratic Party needs.


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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Blog B. Blog 

Which name is worse: Gregg Easterbrook's blog from last year in The New Republic, "Easterblog," or Keith Olbermann's MSNBC blog, "Bloggermann?"
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Friday, November 05, 2004

Some Very Good News 

I talked to my mom today, and learned that at least one good thing came out of this election. My hometown of Cincinnati is usually, how shall I say, not on the cutting edge of social issues. (Mark Twain said that if the world ever ended he would want to be Cincinnati, because it would happen ten years later.)

Several years ago Cincinnatians approved a horrible ballot measure known as Issue 3, which basically prevented the government from explicitly protecting homosexuals from discrimination. (Basically, "sexual orientation" could not be included on the list of categories that a person could not be rejected for public housing because of.) Well, the voters of Cincinnati finally overturned it - and it seems that the results came as somewhat of a surprise. (Note that this time a vote for Issue 3 meant overturning the previous one.)
Equally surprising was Issue 3's passage, political observers agreed. Opponents spent at least $535,000 on TV commercials urging its defeat, and tried to connect the repeal with the passage of a popular Ohio amendment banning gay marriage.

Issue 3's victory occurred despite an attempt by opponents to galvanize the African-American community against the repeal.

Council Member David Crowley was impressed that door-to-door canvassing by hundreds of volunteers was able to sway the result.

"It's like pulling an abscessed tooth off of the city," Crowley said.
Good for Cincinnati. Good for the African American community of Cincinnati for not responding to the horrible discrimination it faces every day by engaging in discrimination of its own. I haven't felt this proud to be from Cincinnati for a long time.

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He's Back! 

Sully's going on about how Bush didn't win by pandering to anti-gay ignorance after all. Well, I guess it was nice to have him on our side when it actually mattered. Now he can go back to supporting Bush for three years and then feign shock when Bush does something to prove that perhaps he does not value the homosexual vote so much after all.
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Craig's List 

Check this out.
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What the Fuckity Fuck Fuck? 

Drudge posts a link to this as if it is a hilarious story, but it turns out that a voting machine gave Bush close to 4,000 extra votes. It turns out that in Gahanna, a suburb of Columbus (that has a high school that produced some damn fine theatre majors at Otterbein), Bush received five times more votes than there are voters in the precinct.

Now, I'm 98% sure that the Republicans did not commit open election fraud in order to win this election, but I sure would like to live in a country where I was 100% sure. After Florida, this isn't funny at all.
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Chimes of Freedom 

By Bob Dylan:
Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden as the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an' forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An' the poet an the painter far behind his rightful time
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

In the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an' blind, tolling for the mute
For the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an' cheated by pursuit
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Even though a clouds's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An' the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An' for each unharmfull, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Starry-eyed an' laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an' we watched with one last look
Spellbound an' swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.
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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Thank God for Alan Keyes 

He refuses to congratulate Obama. God I needed to find something to laugh at.
Keyes also said he did not congratulate Obama after the race was called, a tradition among politicians, because doing so would have been a "false gesture" because he believes Obama's views on issues like abortion are wicked.

"I'm supposed to make a call that represents the congratulations toward the triumph of that which I believe ultimately stands for and will stand for a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country," Keyes said. "I can't do this, and I will not make a false gesture."
On a serious note, if you believe abortion is murder, don't his comments make perfect sense? And yet, they sound insane.
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On the Other Hand 

Below, I quote this Newsweek press release and conclude that Kerry is a man that we should admire. Read that post, and the article.

On the other hand, the article also paints a picture of a man who completely lost control of his campaign early on, and gained control back too late.

And then there's this... I admit I ignored this terrible idea when it was being discussed. Apparently, Kerry was actual considering this. Had this happened, I certainly would have voted for Nader (or perhaps written in Dean). Why? Because I'm a Democrat - I don't vote for fucking Republicans who don't share my values.
The "Outlandish" McCain Offer. Kerry's courtship of Senator John McCain to be his running mate was longer-standing and more intense than previously reported. As far back as August 2003, Kerry had taken McCain to breakfast to sound him out to run on a unity ticket. McCain batted away the idea as not serious, but Kerry, after he wrapped up the nomination in March, went back after McCain a half-dozen more times. "To show just how sincere he was, he made an outlandish offer," Newsweek's Thomas reports. "If McCain said yes he would expand the role of vice president to include secretary of Defense and the overall control of foreign policy. McCain exclaimed, 'You're out of your mind. I don't even know if it's constitutional, and it certainly wouldn't sell.'" Kerry was thwarted and furious. "Why the f--- didn't he take it? After what the Bush people did to him...'"
Of course, this might not be true. But I'd just like to emphasize again what a stupid idea this was if is true. And, honestly, I seriously question the judgment of someone who would consider such an idea - to the point where I wonder if he was qualified to be President after all.
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Two Men 

Readers of this blog - or, rather, personal acquaintances who are sometimes forced to listen to me rant - know that I have a love-hate relationship with Bill Clinton. I will never really understand why Democrats regard his Presidency as a success, given that he did in two years what Ronald Reagan and George Bush could not do in twelve - namely, break four decades of Democratic control of the Senate.

Clinton is a political genius, but I'm not sure that he's a man with strong principles. Kerry, on the other hand, appears to be a man for whom some things actually are more important than being elected. Does anything capture the differences between these two men more than this story?
Clinton Advice Spurned. Looking for a way to pick up swing voters in the Red States, former President Bill Clinton, in a phone call with Kerry, urged the Senator to back local bans on gay marriage. Kerry respectfully listened, then told his aides, "I'm not going to ever do that."
It appears that Clinton was right politically. The inevitable march of history and progress will one day prove him to be wrong. Perhaps America isn't yet good enough for John Kerry.

Read the whole article. It's very interesting.
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My Only Election Comment... 

...is someone else's cartoon:

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Devastating News 

Dr. Vegas has been cancelled.
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Monday, November 01, 2004

Wisconsin 

Just to comment on Guthrie saying that I'm a major player in Wisconsin politics. Clearly, he's right. But anyway, it should be noted that I had a very lovely conversation with a lady who brought us soup in the County Democratic Party HQ up here. I asked her what she did and I thought she said she worked in the state AG's office. Only after I left did I learn that she was, in fact, the Attorney General of Wisconsin.
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Dumbest Argument Ever? 

I'm not sure, but I think that in this post John Derbyshire argues that the Bin Laden tape could hurt Bush, because in the tape Bin Laden appears so beaten that Americans will think the war on terror is over and will not feel the need to vote for Bush. That's right, even though the worst mass murderer in American history is still alive and free, Derbyshire thinks Bush's problem is that the war on terror has been too effective.

I think The Corner has gone collectively insane.
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Misc. Thoughts RE: Most Important Election of My Lifetime 

Although, there is a good chance that the next election could be even more important. As you know, Goldberg is in Wisconsin, where by all accounts he is now a major player in Wisconsin Democratic Politics. I have been out of town doing my part for democracy as well, if you define "doing my part for democracy" as reviewing documents for a large corporate client, which is how I define it.

(1) While I was out of town, I had dinner with a friend who is one of the smartest people I know (although she tends to vote Republican). She is genuinely undecided about who to vote for. That made me think about the way people talk about undecided voters; calling them stupid, etc. In fact, I believe I saw one of the network news anchors (not Dan Rather, because I never watch him) openly mock them after one of the debates. Well, there are plenty of good reasons not to support either one of these candidates; especially if you are a principled conservative who does not agree with the Republican party's stance on social issues and yet believe that the Democrat's approach to government is fundamentally misguided. For that matter, if you are committed anti-war activist who truly believes that war should only be a last resort and that we should pull out of Iraq immediately, there is not a candidate for you. This isn't necessarily bad; we do have a two-party system. But I could see how a person could be undecided, and the media shouldn't be mocking those people. In fact, anyone who is undecided is a shitload smarter than someone who has decided to vote for Bush.

(2) I just voted in-person absentee in Chicago. It took about 5 minutes. I talked briefly with one of the poll workers, who indicated that she had worked there for many years and had never seen in-house absentee turnout anywhere close to this. The election in Illinois was decided months ago. I don't know what this means, but we could be looking at amazingly high turnout in this election.

(3) I know we've said this many times before, but I just went through the training last night to be a poll watcher in Wisconsin. One party is mobilizing thousands of volunteers to assure that everyone who wants to vote is allowed to. One party is mobilizing thousands of volunteers in order prevent people from voting. That's just a fact, do with the information what you will.

(4) Prediction: I know I shouldn't say this, but given that nobody reads this blog it shouldn't depress turnout too much. It will all come down to Ohio, and Bush will win Ohio. Final electoral tally: 286-252; Bush. More people will break for the incumbent than usual, because we are at war and people will be more scared of change than anything else. Having said that, this could very well be even closer than 2000. So if for some odd reason you're reading this and haven't decided to vote, GET OFF YOUR ASS AND GO VOTE, and vote for Kerry, Edwards and a straight Democratic ticket. (Also, note that every prediction I've made about politics this year has been wrong. If we really see unprecedented turnout, who knows what could happen?)
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