Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The President Who Cried Wolf

You have to hand it to them. The Bush administration is masterful at manipulation and fear-mongering. But this time, Americans are not buying it. And opportunistic speeches by George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld highlight the administration's moral and political bankruptcy.

In his important article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, John Mueller asks how "omnipresent" the enemy really is. His conclusion is that, despite the horrific 9-11 attacks,the current risk here in the US is often vastly overstated. Though any one of us is unlikely to die in a terrorist attack, unfortunately, it's always possible that a future attack could happen. There certainly isn't a zero risk of future attacks, but how likely, really, is one now? Dick Cheney operates on what some call the 1% solution, that is, if a problem has a 1% risk, we must do everything to stop it. Sometimes the supposed cure is worse than the disease. Five problems arise with Cheney's approach. First the danger is far, far less. Second, Cheney presumes a blank check. Third, regardless of the extent of the risk, Cheney and his boss have not made things any better. Fourth, the extent of the risk is being inflated for political purposes. And fifth, tne so-called war against "terror" isn't about protecting Americans. You can jump to the Foreign Affairs article here.

They nearly had me that first day of the recent London scare. I was sidelined with a terrible, nauseating headache that day, but I was periodically unable to resist checking as news of the day unfolded. I too was a bit frightened. Of course, there was no risk that the current plot was to happen inside the US. But it wasn't till the next day, that questions began forming. And CNN was only too happy to oblige with its scary music and "Terror" captions. The following Monday the whole CNN day was devoted to trying to scare the beejeebers out of Americans.

Meanwhile we learned that Bush pressed Tony Blair to reveal this plot prematurely, possibly even jeopardizing whatever case there was against the arrestees. Why? Why that particular week? Was it because Bush's polls were in freefall? Why now? Was it because Bush's popularity was again plummetting and a critical mass (62%) of the American electorate disapprove of Bush's running the country? Or is it that a majority now think we shouldn't have gone into Iraq in the first place? Joe Lieberman's losing CT indicated the nation had soured on Bush's false linkage of Iraq with the war on terrorism. I should add that though Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, hadn't threatened us, and played no meaninglful part in terrorism against the US, Iraq is now, because of Bush's belligerance, a fertile breeding ground for those opposed to America's war of aggression. Wrongful, needless "preemption" has a way of doing that.

Bush feigns that they (terrorists) hate our freedom. He never misses an opportunity to say that it's all about "freedom." But, as linguist George Lakoff shows, when Bush speaks of freedom and the rest of us do, we are not talking about the same thing. Bush hopes we don't notice. We mean Constitutional liberty and the ability to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Bush means freedom of corporations to do whatever they want. For Bush, the "freedom" is for markets, not people. Halliburton and other crony firms must make more.

A few weeks ago, only the rare voice posed any questions about the flawed logic, facts and claims of the GOP in the face of heightened terrorism warnings. Were the threats as significant as we were told? Is now everyone a supposed "terrorist" and everything a "weapon of terrorists?" Even hair gel (which we can no longer pack)? Lip gloss? Few questioned the absurdity.

What was the evidence? How far "along" were these people in the "planning process?" We now know the plot was not imminent. There were no devices, no passports (essential to get on planes), no airline tickets, no suspicious chemicals, nothing. After a year of surveillance? Doesn't this strike anyone as a bit odd? Well, yes it does. Finally, journalists, columnists and some bloggers began to say so. Why did the Bush administration rush to announce this "threat," even sacrificing the "case"?

Keith Olberman has chronicled how BUSHCO created ten curious coincidences when embarrassing news was silenced with a "terrorist" warning. Read it here. Have they never heard the tale of the boy who cried wolf? And just last night, Olberman gave the commentary of a lifetime, standing up to the administration and its authoritarian tendencies.

I should have been more skeptical. But we all want our country to be safe and keep us safe. We also hope it's leaders are honest in doing so. But they aren't. Bush and Blair have brilliantly managed to convince two populations to see the enemy everywhere. We should all "be afraid." All the time. Your and my chances of dying in a vehicle or from the myriad of illnesses that can befall us is so much greater than any terrorist threat. And yet we are all expected to be afraid all the time (and, of course, behave like the drones that the administration wants us to be).

At the same time, even as he admitted Iraq wasn't involved in 9-11, as recently as last week's press conference, Bush conflated the role of Zargawi and that of Sadam as a justification for the war. And he's still at it. In his interview with Brian Williams for MSNBC, airing last night and tonight, to justify the war in Iraq, Bush said, "We didn't start this." Each time he admits there is no link, he conflates the Sadam with 9-11 again. He hopes we either don't notice the sleight of hand, or are Rummy-confused.

Among the recent outpouring on the subject are authors such as James K. Galbraith (read it here), Craig Murray (here), Jason Leopold (here), Ken Silverstein (here), Larry Johnson (here) and Ray MCGovern (here).

Meanwhile, the Washington Post and other papers claim it's the Dems responsibility to come up with the plan to do better. Here's that link: I don't think so. The administration made the mess and needs to clean it up, if they are capable of that. There isn't a presidential race till 2008, at which time proposals are in order. To blame Dems, who control no body of the federal government is absurd. Why are not republicans demanding their own party does do better? Why do the media let them get away with it?

Moreover, the media has been an active accomplice in Bush's politicizing of terrorist warnings. It's another amazing sleight of hand to claim that the very president who ignored warnings and presided over the worst terrorism on US soil is the very person to keep us safe. But worse, the GOP spin was not only accepted as fact, it was embellished and regurgitated over and over. We were told, despite the utter lack of evidence, that this helps Bush and the Republicans because "Republicans keep us safer." For a detailed review of the insanity of this argument, read here.

Both assumptions (that this helps the GOP and that the GOP keeps us safer) can be easily refuted. Where was Bush keeping us safe on 9-11? He wouldn't even promptly halt his photo-op. Why did the Bush administration try to divert funding for bomb detection elsewhere than it's legislated purpose (AP, August 11, 2006)? Why lease ports to foreign entities? Why give equal consideration to low-risk small-scale potential targets and larger, higher ones? One must also ask, why this new London threat if we really are safer? The administration can't have it both ways, though it does mightily try. Americans are slowly figuring out that this is just one more mouthful of doublespeak. They are also seeing that it's not a viable solution to ratchet up the fear every time the triumvirate tell us to.

One of the biggest tragedies in what Bush is doing is that, if or when he really needs us to believe him, eventually 70% of Americans won't. Only the hard core of neo-con fanatics, who believe Bush is the Second Coming, or the means to it, will hang on in their dogged belief in him. And then there'll be those who follow because they are part of the gravy train: those contractors, including some academics, who's allegiance has been bought with fat contracts. They'd sell their countrymen out for thirty pieces of silver and then rail at others' patriotism. They need to come clean and do the right thing.

The Speech of a Lifetime: Better than Murrow

Note: Run, don't walk to this site for Keith Olbermann's remarks tonight. Here's what he had to say. Also remember to thank Keith.

"Feeling morally, intellectually confused?"
Commentary by Keith Olberman of MSNBC

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American. For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve."

Read the rest here.

Does Bush Really Read Camus? (Does a Chicken Have Lips?)

It's been hard to collect myself from laughing (ROTFL) every time Tony Better-than Ari-Snow takes to the microphone. First Ari tried to put eloquent words in Bush's mouth. The tapes of his press conferences should be viewed by anyone wanting to know what the definition of spin is. Now comes Tony Snow to, well, snow us with Bush's "reading list." The man reads one-two-page summaries. Give me a break. Here's more on the subject of Bush's brain from David Corn.

And here's a look at the brain via American Prospect. Read it here.

Rummy in Paradise: When All Else Fails, Trot Out the "Appeasement" Language.

In his recent attempt to label all war critics appeasers of fascism, Donald Rumsfeld continues to sink to new lows. 62% of Americans see through his propaganda and manipulative deceit, tell the truth, and speak out or answer pollsters. As Rummy would say, "My goodness."

Ironically, in his attack, he uses one of the very tendencies of fascism John Dean warns us of. In Conservatives Without Conscience, Dean summarizes research on the authoritarian personality and links tendencies of Rummy and friends to such authoritarian tendencies.

And sure enough, Rummy is only too happy to oblige. First it was Neo-McCarthyism. Now it's this absurd and outrageous claim that war critics are trying to appease "a new type of fascism." Read the article here.

So let's take a look at some characteristics of fascist regimes. Researcher/writer, Dr. Lawrence Britt has studied the common characteristics of fascist regimes and enumerated fourteen defining characteristics of fascism:
1. Powerful and continuing nationalism.
2. Disdain for the recognition of human rights.
3. Identifies scapegoats/enemies as a unifying cause.
4. Supremacy of the military.
5. Rampant sexism.
6. Controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security.
8. Religion and government are intertwined.
9. Corporate power is protected.
10. Labor power is suppressed.
11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.

Does that ring a bell? If that doesn't give one pause, then maybe he or she should look for our nation's integrity and reputation either "north, south, east or west," where Rummy and his bosses have left them. Should Rumsfeld want to see a real appeaser (of fascism), he need only look in the mirror. And as Rumsfeld and Cheney ratchet up the coercive repressive rhetoric, they illustrate better than any of us can how truly weak they really are. If they have to stoop to this, then they are really desperate. As for Rummy, the man has no shame and its time for him to go.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Important Read: David Corn Deconstructs Bush

Bush's press conference was quite a show. Avid Corn deconstructs the doublespeak:

Or paste the link here:

Monday, August 21, 2006

George Felix Allen, Jr's, Enduring Racism

I have one question about George Felix Allen's racism. How did this man ever get elected to public office? And what does it say about us as a state that he has been elected?

George Allen, who likes to demonize Democrats, indeed anyone but his extreme right buddies, thinks its OK to sing to the "liberty" of Confederacy? That's pretty unAmerican.

In what Century and under what bizarre ethics does the man live? More importantly, how does Allen do it? How does he get elected in one office after another? His behavior is nothing new. But Virginians (and the media) have swept many of his excesses under the rug, or portrayed him as a reformed bigot. diarist, called "aes," wrote of George Felix Allen, Jr's history of racism, saying Allen has:
"a long history of interest in the Confederacy although he never lived in the South until he transferred from UCLA to the University of Virginia as a sophomore in college.

"aes" goes on:

The May 8, 2006[10] and the May 15, 2006[11] issues of The New Republic reported extensively on Allen's long association with the Confederate flag. The magazine reported that "[a]ccording to his colleagues, classmates, and published reports, Allen has either displayed the [Confederate] flag--on himself, his car, inside his home--or expressed his enthusiastic approval of the emblem from approximately 1967 to 2000." Allen wore a Confederate flag pin for his high school senior class photo. In high school, college, and law school, Allen adorned his vehicle with a Confederate flag. George Felix Allen was no Southern culture preservationist, intent on merely respecting ancestors. His ancestors weren't from here and Allen is a So. California transplant. This makes the Confederate symbols obviously about something other than historical preservation. He displayed a Confederate flag in his family's living room until 1992. In 1993, Allen's first statewide TV campaign ad for governor included a Confederate flag. In 2000, when a voter told Allen, "Long live the Confederate
flag!" Allen replied, "You got it!"

"aes" goes on to list more:
1) The "noose" controversy, 2) His opposition to the Rev. Martin L. King Jr. day, 3) His recognition of past segregationists, 4) The "macaca" incident, 5) And there will be more.
Notice Allen's feeble, phony attempt to persuade us he's reformed via his efforts toward an "apology" for slavery. How does Allen reconcile that with his continued insensitivity on race.

The questions I have concerning the Allen controversy go way beyond "should he say more?" There is nothing he can say. He's been outed once and for all. The whole world can see him for what he is: an obnoxious, anachronistic, Confederacy-worshipping boor. It's time to put honor back into this US Senate seat. Retire George Felix Allen, Jr. We owe that to our state and nation. Let's get out of the 19th Century and stick with the 21st. It's better late than never that this time the majority of voters will "just say no" to George Allen.

We Told You So....

Now even some GOPhers are agreeing: "Bush is an idiot." Check it out here.


The suspect has been captured! See here:


The suspect has been captured! See here:

Statement of the Governor on Blacksburg Unfolding Tragedy


~ On the death of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Cpl. Eric Sutphin ~

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine issued the following statement today on the shooting death of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Eric E. Sutphin, killed by an escaped inmate also suspected in the fatal shooting of a security guard at Montgomery County Regional Hospital this weekend.

“Corporal Eric Sutphin exemplified the highest traditions of law enforcement, and his 13-years of service with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department saw countless acts of courage and bravery.

“In 2003, Deputy Sutphin was recognized for his extraordinary bravery in pursuing and capturing the killer of a fellow police officer, despite being struck twice himself by the assailant’s bullets. For that act of heroism, he was awarded the Governor's Medal of Valor.

“Today, I extend the heartfelt condolences of an appreciative Commonwealth to Deputy Sutphin’s wife and daughters, his extended family, friends, and fellow officers.

“I also want to extend my condolences to the family of Montgomery County Regional Hospital security guard Derrick McFarland, fatally shot Sunday by the jail inmate who remains at large.

“We have deployed considerable Virginia State Police resources to the region in the ongoing manhunt for suspect William Morva. We are working with Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Whitt, and other law enforcement officials to provide whatever resources and assistances might be needed.

“I want to reassure the parents of Virginia Tech students that state, local, and campus law enforcement officers have taken extraordinary action to minimize the danger to students. I also want to assure Virginians that we are doing everything we can to ensure this suspect is apprehended and brought to justice.”

Armed Escapee Continues to Evade Police: Reactions

"The fact that the guy can blend in so well with campus students is kind of scary," said Josh Burnheimer, 20, a Virginia Tech junior from Ashburn, Virginia, "Everywhere you look there are police snipers on the roof."

Things are a bit surreal here in the Burg. It's not that often we experience risk of armed and dangerous persons. But it does happen. My earlier naive view that small town America is safer has long ago been put to rest though. Over the past twenty years, two female Virginia Tech students disappeared after accepting a ride with strangers. We have an occasional bank or convenience store robbery. Just last week two women were robbed at gunpoint in the downtown restaurant district. And a half dozen years ago or so a student was carjacked and killed only one block from my home. I haven't looked at small-town life the same ever since. We have had other frightening episodes on the trail system in the area. But nothing like today.

Here we sit. As I reported elsewhere, I got a robo-call from the Blacksburg PD this AM saying to stay inside with doors locked. "But I've got to get to work and teach today," said the husband. "Classes have been cancelled," I soon reported. Tech classes were slated to begin. Indeed early classes did begin. But eventually, classes for the rest of the day were cancelled. Blacksburg Transit has reported that all buses are in service transporting students away from the campus and downtown. Dorm students are locked in their dormrooms. Some faculty remain in their offices. Many are still at home.

But it's not the ordinary day off, not a day for a walk or a swim in the neighborhood pool. Lets hope and pray it's not a day for any more shootng deaths. We will already have two here, a hospital guard and also Sheriff's Deputy Erick Sutphin, local hero, now gunned down.

More later.

Virginia Tech Shuts Down: Alleged Armed Robber, Now Murderer Escapee, on Campus

A robo-call from the Blacksburg Police has asked residents to stay indoors with doors locked. WDBJ7 (check it out here) just reported that the Tech Campus is shutting down. The suspect has been seen on campus.

Sheriff Tommy Whitt has announced that Deputy Eric Sutphin was shot and killed in attempting to aprehend the suspect earlier today. Sutpin had previously been honored with a medal for his courageous previous aprehension of the murderer of Deputy Hilton a few years ago. This is a tremendous loss for our community.

The toll is now two dead and one injured in this ongoing episode. CNN has also just picked up the story.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Democratic BackChannels: Tough Love for Our Own Side of the Aisle

When my eyes caught the online headline yesterday that civil rights leader Andrew Young had stepped down from a WAL-MART job, it barely registered. I thought perhaps he decided that he shouldn't be affiliated with the company anymore. In my dreams. This morning's Roanoke Times (print edition) carried the wire service report with a different headline. It turns out that Young stepped aside from Working Families for WAL-MART, a pro-WAL-MART group, because of a racist assertion. Among the crazy things he spewed:

-- He said of mom and pop stores put out of business by WAL-MART: "Well, I think they should (close)..." (Hint: That's not why he stepped down.)

-- There's more: Andrew Young said: "But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us, selling us stale bread,and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. First it was the Jews, then it was the Koreans, and now it's the Arabs, very few black people own these stores." (NOTE: THESE ARE NOT MY WORDS BUT ANDREW YOUNG'S. THEY ARE OUTRAGEOUS, BUT I REPEAT THEM HERE TO SHOW WHAT HE REPORTEDLY SAID.)

Does this not bother you? What's going on here? No free passes for this stuff coming out of Dems mouths, please. Mr. Young is right about only one thing: stores in black neighborhoods often do often overcharge. However, attributing this to race is reprehensible. Fortunately, Mr. Young is not running for anything right now (hopefully never). Unfortunately, he may have lost his ability to defend against such prejudice. And that is a shame.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Essential Download: William Rivers Pitt's "Everything Old is New"

Not only is this an excellent article, but it also includes a link to a paper on Lebanon (written by the merry, clueless band of loonie neocons). This should bring chills to your spine. Read the paper and get the link here.

Washington Post: Now Both the News Division and Editorial Staff Have Weighed In

Yesterday's revelation that George Felix Allen, Jr., has demeaned himself has now made it to the editorial page. Here's the article.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Washington Post Weighs in On Racist Remark by Allen

For coverage by the Washington Post, go here.

Curtains for George Felix Allen, Jr., Racist?

George Felix Allen, Jr., former owner of a lynch noose (hanging from a tree in his office), has done it again. Go to Not Larry Sabato for the story (Read it here). Here's more discussion here.

Even blogger "Too Conservative" says Allen gone too far. Read the commentary here.

Necessary Echo: Four Important Reads:

First, William Rivers Pitt registers another of his thoughtful and well-written commentaries, entitled "The Frightened." Read it here.

Next, Robert Parry gives another of his well-researched backgrounders, this time on how George W. Bush pushed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert into war. Read it here.

The third read is from from Diarist DarkSyde. The piece is entitled: Perspective: How I Learned to stop worrying and get a grip. Of course, the wrong-wing blogs have entered the fray, railing against this article. Read it here.

And one more: On fraudulent words and images, including the outrageous Chuck Roberts conflation of Ned Lamont with Osama Bin Laden (he called Lamont the AlQaeda candidate and pretended others are calling Lamont that. In fact it was Lieberman himself along with the totally discredited, unbelievable and foul-mouthed Vice President). Local wrong-wing bloggers have pumped up that linkage too. Read Huffington here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Question: Why Does the Government Allow Citizens' Personal Data on Employee or Contractor Laptops?

It's happened for the third time in a few weeks. A laptop containing sensitive and confidential data on citizens has been compromised. Read about it here.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Triumph of Literalism and Lunacy: Petty Complaints About the “Born Fighting” Metaphor

On and in my own personal conversations, I have been amazed to hear about the pettiness of some Democrats. These are the ones who get sidetracked on non-issues, but who don’t object (out loud, anyway) when a candidate enables Bush to lead an illicit war, use 9-11 as an excuse to declare a unitary presidency (who can trump the other branches of government), and destroy all the progressive achievements of the 20th Century. They’ll support any number of enablers, not because they agree with them, but because they’re “electable.” And the self-fulfilling prophesy continues ad infinitum. But they just can’t stand it when they see “Born Fighting” on a campaign sign. It’s the triumph of literalism and the trivial.

What is it with some women’s going so far as to register a complaint about Webb’s signs with the “Born fighting” metaphor? I’ve gotten them too! I’m not crazy about the slogan. However there are varying degrees of displeasure. I wouldn’t let it get in the way of either my understanding of where Jim Webb stands or how he’ll contribute to a better America. Nor would I take the absurd position to withhold support. I certainly wouldn’t get “wrapped around the axel” by it.

Some of the complainers see themselves as morally superior. They think people who spend their time trying to make a difference are “just so mean.” They erroneously think any one who dissents or uses strong language is “too aggressive,” even when strong language is more than called for. Those who courageously stand up when we most need them get a condescending finger pointing, while real evil is perpetuated in our names. However, others call politics the “art of the possible.” I believe it’s much more. It’s how we demonstrate patriotism; exercise our citizenship, as we are morally required to do; get things done; and assure that things either remain the same, or change. Surely, there needs to be some passion in that. Could these critics conjure up enough passion to write a letter to the editor about what's really wrong in our country? Or speak out? Do anything constructive to bring sanity back to Washisngton?

I am a feminist who’s not crazy about the slogan. But it, along with everything else, belongs in context, post-modernist deconstruction notwithstanding. I do agree that we should visit and revisit the words we chose, but do so without the sanctimony and shooting ourselves in the foot.

“Born Fighting” is the title of James Webb’s book. And though he has been a soldier, and, even a boxer in the past, he means “born fighting” as “fighting for the underdog, fighting for what’s right, fighting of a better America and a better way of leading it, and standing up when the going gets tough. One example is his support of mineworkers in Southwest Virginia some years back.

Language can indeed create its own reality though. We see evidence of it every day: Slogans like “you’re with us or against us;” profuse attacks on patriotism of patriotic dissent in the media, till they became endemic for a time; or assertions that it’s “World War III.” The latter is my idea of truly immoral, plunder-headed opinion leading that needs confronting. The neo-cons would bring the world down upon us for fun and profit. Where are these same opponents of the “Born fighting” metaphor? They’d quibble with a Webb sign, but not with the warmongering Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, or Bill O’Reilly? Another radical conservative pundit has repeatedly called for violence against liberals, including “assassination” of some Democratic leaders. Where is the outrage about that?

More benignly, our own Democratic Congressman refers to our “Fighting 9th” Congressional District.” That’s OK, evidently. But a generally more diplomacy-oriented candidate even than Boucher can’t use the metaphor? Watch for GOPhers to play upon such pumped-up concerns. They’ve already begun trying to portray Webb as pugnacious, specifically to turn off women. But, if anything, Webb is the candidate of peace, diplomacy, a strong defense, but war only as a last resort. Webb will resist neo-con aggression and hegemony. Allen never knew a war he didn’t sink his teeth into. George Felix Allen, Jr. had a lynch noose in the Virginia governor’s office. Recall Allen’s claim that “we’re going to shove their (liberals’) teeth down their whiny throats.” Also, read the book by Felix’s sister to see what zero competence in the peacemaking department looks like. Then recall how James Webb opposes our widening militarism; how he’s brought healing good will to South East Asia, where he once served in war; and how even his ex-wife endorses him!!!!!!

Right now we hear a lot about “proportionality.” We could use a little of that in our decisions about candidates. Democrats allowed themselves to be convinced to abandon Howard Dean because the media maliciously used an engineered video clip (which eliminated the background noise of 3,000 cheering so loud, Dean had to shout to be heard). They believed the vicious ads by Dean’s own fellow Democratic candidates, who equated him with Osama Bin Laden. Democrats dumped Al Gore in 2003 because the media says “he’s too wooden.” Then they refused to consider him a viable candidate when he actually won the presidency. Were any of these trivialists to hear him now, they’d be impressed more than ever. But they are not listening. They let the media sink John Kerry with undue circulation of false charges against him. They lost war hero, Max Cleland to the Senate because ignorant voters listened to the malignant Saxby Chambliss, who equated Max Cleland to Osama Bin Laden. Yes words, and images out of context, or falsely fused, can create unspeakable mischief. Lest anyone think I’m taking just my own gender to task for trivializing, there’s more.

One of the most absurd reasons for voting against a candidate emerged when a man confronted me at the Democratic booth at the Steppin’ Out Festival in Blacksburg. I was a just a low-level local volunteer, who had a Webb-for-Senate t-shirt on. So the guy erroneously thought I was from the Webb campaign. He blamed me for the fact that one of Webb’s large signs was “still up.” The last time I checked, there was still a campaign on, and thus sings up, but he claimed it was a “stretch” to still have them up. The sign was placed on private property with permission of the owner. The guy was in-your-face mad that it wasn’t removed after the primary. And for that, he was going to vote for -–can you believe it —- George Felix Allen, Jr., you know, the guy who is so environmentally friendly (that would be sarcasm).

BTW I did have something to do with the small Webb signs placed only at the Blacksburg polling poling places on primary day. And they were removed, as required, by 8 PM primary night. I know that because my husband and I personally took every one of them down. That’s more prompt than the requirement! Meanwhile, the man would vote against his own best interests because of a bogus sign “issue.”
Whatever their issue, women and men who celebrate the trivial are part of the reason why constructive change doesn’t happen. We can create a new reality by changing who’s in Washington. Support people with an agenda focused on economic fairness, sound foreign policy, and justice for all. Pick one who doesn't buy into deceit of the populace. That’s all it would take.

James Webb may be behind in the polls, but he’s on the move. Previously, others with his candidate strength have moved to front-runner. For a time, it looked like Tim Kaine wouldn’t win, but he did. Ned Lamont is now ahead of Joe Lieberman. James Webb will gain more momentum too. But this race shouldn’t even be close. There’s a candidate, Allen, who stands for everything most Virginians and most American oppose, and then there’s James Webb, who is an outstanding Democrat and candidate. Allen’s voted 97% with the Bush agenda. His popularity should be more in sync with Bush’s puny approval rating. And anyone who gets mired in the petty and ridiculous, well, they are part of the problem as surely as George W. Bush and George Felix Allen, Jr., are.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Essential Download

Get your CD Drives ready and go to the website of the (Democratic) House Judiciary Staff. There, you find the newly released Constitution in Crisis, the full report of the Conyers Committee concerning 9-11, the Iraq War, Downing Street Memos and Constitutional abuses "justified" by the needless war against Iraq.

Jump to the link here.