October 24, 2004

I Vow

I never usually do this stuff, but with under 10 days to Election Day, I think it's decorous.

On November 2, I vow:

... to vote for the candidates I believe to be most responsible for our nation.
... to make an informed decision while casting my vote.
... to take five registered voters to the polls who wouldn't have normally voted.
... to ensure that all people are allowed to vote.
... to convince people that casting any vote is far better than casting no vote.
... to preserve the basic tenets of democracy upon which our nation is founded.
... to make full use of my right to vote.
... to exercise the promises made heretofore.

We have a democracy. Let's make good use of it.

October 19, 2004

Guns And Gasoline...

Holy crap, I need some coffee. And quick.

Okay. It's been a week since I last posted and the last debate was six days ago and I was fairly well schwilled during the final debate, so I'm not going to post any commentary.

It has been just over a week since the final show of the initially much-hyped but ultimately little-noticed "Vote For Change" tour sponsored by MoveOn.org PAC, and I thought that pulling a little piece of lyrics from a new Dave Matthews Band song entitled "Joyride" would be a suitable way to title today's entry.

Among social science circles, there is much debate as to whether or not your average Joe American really regards much of what these musicians have had to say, either simply on the message of the importance of voting or that of voting against Bush. As someone who considers himself to be at least a partially informed voter, I have reservations on anyone who will simply take lead from someone famous just because they have celebrity. It is incumbent upon the voter to make an effort to be informed about what is going on.

A recent poll conducted by Middle Tennessee State University found that of the voters they surveyed, 25% believed that President Bush was in favor of rolling back the tax cuts on those making $200k or more. Another 25% didn't know who was in favor, whether it was Bush or Kerry. And THAT is one of the hot-button issues that voters are in the dark about. So, I don't know... I have very mixed feelings on letting uninformed people vote. Like I said, I feel it is the voter's obligation to inform themselves on the issues... and it's not like that that is an entirely difficult thing to do. Pick up a newspaper. Log on to CNN or Yahoo, or hell, even FoxNews. Watch the news and not the same episode of Seinfeld that you've already seen fifteen times. It's easy, America, to become an informed voter. And it's your informed vote that controls the fate of the nation. Sure, this stuff that comes with politics sure isn't peachy, but it impacts YOU and I, each and every one of us.

That's it for now.

October 12, 2004

Monkey Wrench

I want to be a spin doctor. I really do. I'd love to take other people's words completely out of context and lie about what they meant. Let's take that dumbass who was on the Today show on behalf of the Bush campaign. John Kerry had been quoted in a New York Times Magazine interview this weekend saying that terrorism should not be the overriding concern of every American and that it should not keep every American afraid, but rather just some nuisance (or something to that effect.) I think he's right. People should not all be acting like some sort of collective Chicken Little, looking for the sky to fall with Osama's next breath.

And then... there's the Ragin' Cajun himself... James Carville. Yeah, he was also on Today. For once, I wasn't entirely irritated by him. However, he too relied on some ill-witted comment that Bush made about the war on terror being unwinnable. Well... I don't know. He professes himself to be a powerful leader, but when we have a leader who conveys that to his people, well... how powerful should we really think he is?

I just saw a Swift Boat Vets for Truth ad for the first time as I listened to the news as I typed. Ugh. God forbid someone admit that we did wrong. God forbid that... gasp... John Kerry tell the Congress the... gasp... TRUTH... about atrocities that did occur in Vietnam. Has everyone just conveniently forgotten My Lai? Hell, Abu Ghraib? We know our soldiers can do some very base things.

Makes me sick.


October 9, 2004

"Internets" And Things Of Debate

George W. Bush's disrespect of the English language knows no bounds... and President Bush's apparent anger at John Kerry assumed the better of the President in the 1st half of the debate, with visible discontent with the accusations being made by the Dem contender. Cutting off moderator Charles Gibson midquestion was undoubtedly a stupid move by the President. A sign of strength? Ehh... arrogance = strength? No.

From a P/R perspective, I think that the Pres was a mess for the 1st half, but shone through the 2nd half. His assertiveness, although covered with false statements - especially those regarding the Kyoto protocol and generally environmental issues, came to be much more effective than the previous debate. Will people even bother to read between the lines, though? No.

Looking at JFK from a P/R perspective, he was assertive, but he is always beating back the accusations that he is a flip-flopper. As a liberal who takes complicated stands on complicated issues, I can assure you that it's not so black and white.

From issues varying from the PATRIOT Act to economic recovery, I could only wish that things were cut and dry.

I agree with Senator Kerry that the PATRIOT Act needs to be looked over and there are things that need to be changed within it to protect our liberties, such as the fourth and fifth amendments, to protect us from the government. Bush also seems to believe that we can just fight terrorism by pumping money into the system and let things work themselves out. I can't believe a President would even allow such a laissez-faire appearance show itself... but there Bush goes again. As Senator Kerry said, we need to utilize every resource at our fingertips with what money we have already spent and spend as necessary after that. Bush used that bad "freedom and democracy rids terrorism" argument. 1995 and 1996 were too long ago to remember, I guess (Tim McVeigh and Olympic Park Bombing, respectively.)

President Bush claimed that importing drugs from Canada is not (would not be) safe. Sure, not safe for Pfizer and co, who are making a lot more than the American public by charging as much as they would like to for prescriptions, it seems. Bush made a ridiculous comment is regards to government sponsored health care... specifically, "Government sponsored health care leads to rationing." Dubious claim, at best.

John Kerry needs to stop citing his damn website when giving speeches or at debates. Not everyone has the internet, John.

Bush has yet to veto a spending bill from the Republican controlled Congress. Keep that in mind when you go to vote and think of fiscal responsibility.

Okay... done with the updating.


October 7, 2004

Off The Wall

Tonight, I will post something non-political. Well, actually... by the nature of what I am posting, it is inherently political, but the content will make an attempt to be non-partisan.

The chair of our polisci department, Dr. Charles Burke, had installed on to the computers in the cybercafé what is probably one of the most addictive games ever created... and, yes... more addictive than The Sims or Roller Coaster Tycoon. Who could have thought that that was possible? Well, find yourself a copy of The Political Machine. The Political Machine, a great release from Ubisoft, lets you manage a Presidential campaign against another candidate for forty-one weeks. Of course, it's not true-to-life time... but it's amazing. You can control advertisements on the radio, print, and television. You can hire lackeys to do dirty work and appear on the television circuit to boost your ratings.

But the ultimate goal, of course, is to win the electoral college vote. I've already won several times the electoral college vote, but was creamed in the popular vote (we're not talking losing it like Bush, either... but a wholesale ass-kicking.)

That's that... the game is like crack. You do it once... well... ya just can't stop. Except you can't have crack babies by playing the game. Which, I guess, is a good thing, really. (Apologies to any crack kids who may, perchance, ever read this.)

Now... something serious. Tomorrow night is the second of the debates, being done in a town hall format. I would expect President Bush to do better than he did last Thursday... which... yeah. He's just not quick on his feet, and he needs to work on that. Senator Kerry should do fairly well in this, though. His public speaking skills are so well-honed that he should "beat" President Bush, but hopefully, speaking from the President's point of view, not as handily as last Thursday night.

I wish that they'd allow any serious or relevant question to get asked, and not just filter through them and allow only certain questions be asked. That's stripping from the point of having any sort of debate at all. Let us just have these (x) questions be asked and keep that there, in spite of literally the millions of other things that could be asked. It's a damn shame.

With that being said... I'm definitely doing a drinking game and then posting tomorrow night. That should be interesting. Should be reasonably coherent, as well.

No more for tonight.


October 6, 2004

Smells Like Chicken

With 27 days between now and November 2, we can officially say that we are into the homestretch of this political season... of course some people have been saying this since July. The major conventions are now but (not so) fond memories and so are the primaries and caucuses of January and Super Tuesday.

Where did time go? Who are the Swift Boat Vets for Truth? Why did George W Bush look like he got sideswiped by Ted Kennedy's car at the first Presidential debate? And how do people still have faith in this man and his (in)ability to think on his feet? Does John Kerry really flip-flop or does his position lose meaning in his verbosity?

These will be the questions that will be confronted, among millions of others, by voters in the 27 days leading up to election day.

CNN is currently reporting that Iraq had no WMD but... that Saddam had the intent to make arms if sanctions were lifted. Iraq also worked to subvert the efforts of the oil for food programme that the UN had initiated, according to the report. Conservatives had that right, regarding Saddam subverting the programme. Concession made. There.

However... the report issued by the CIA will also expose nations and companies illicitly engaging in business with Iraq. The list should be interesting, especially given the nature of some of the charges made by Senator Edwards last night regarding Halliburton... and I'm not talking about no-bid contracts, either.

No perspective right now. That'd require thought... and... ugh... work. More later... maybe.


October 5, 2004

Thoughts on things of debate...

Well, I can say with certainty that Dick Cheney performed head and shoulders above President Bush tonight and that the President needs to review Thursday's tapes and tonight's tapes to make sure he doesn't make himself look like a fool again.

John Edwards held his ground, and did so well, against the VP tonight. I commend him for that, although I'll admit I felt letdown a bit after thinking that he'd just have the complete smackdown on the VP. I forgot how well the veep performs under these situations.

Nothing too new was debated on foreign policy and anything domestic was basically new ground, as the debate on Thursday was a foreign policy primer. Some interesting moments did occur when VP Cheney thanked Senator Edwards for effectively commending him and his family on their attitude to their openly homosexual daughter. I'll admit I have one soft spot for Cheney and that was when he came out and said that he thinks the entire gay marriage question is a states' rights issue. Not that I think it should be abolished, but that the federal government shouldn't be touching it (or any other government for that matter.) Aside from that, I don't much care for the VP.

I may post more tomorrow morning if I have more coherent thoughts.