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Miscellaneous Thoughts (a.k.a. The Ranting Corner)
Friday, 16 July 2004
Weighed Down
I know I should have tried to write before now, but this whole week I?ve been feeling very weighed down. I?ve been feeling weighed down by the impending election and all the mud slinging we?re in for. Weighed down by the potential for an election postponement. Weighed down by the heightened ?chatter? which seems to be enabling the possibility for an election postponement. Weighed down by Iraq and all the loss of life. Weighed down by the report that confirms there was no link between bin Ladin and Saddam. Weighed down by the fact some people actually needed the report before they would believe it. Weighed down by our ?president?s? continued belief that there WAS a link.

It?s all enough to make me want to go to sleep forever. Why are people such sheep? Why do we allow ourselves to be led around like this? How can we have so little self-respect? I just don?t understand. And it makes me feel sad and helpless.

Before I sign off, I thought I?d share another interesting forward.

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today:

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a ?we can't find Bin Laden? diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Feel free to pass this on. If you don't send it to at least 10 other people, we're likely to be stuck with Bush for 4 more years.

Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:25 PM EDT
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Monday, 12 July 2004
Hail to the Thief
Well, I didn?t really believe it could happen, but Barce called it. They want to postpone the elections. My favorite part of this article?

?[Tom] Ridge's department last week asked the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to analyze what legal steps would be needed to permit the postponement of the election were an attack to take place. Justice was specifically asked to review a recent letter to Ridge from DeForest B. Soaries Jr., chairman of the newly created U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Soaries noted that, while a primary election in New York on September 11, 2001, was quickly suspended by that state's Board of Elections after the attacks that morning, "the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election." Soaries, a Bush appointee who two years ago was an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Congress, wants Ridge to seek emergency legislation from Congress empowering his agency to make such a call. Homeland officials say that as drastic as such proposals sound, they are taking them seriously?along with other possible contingency plans in the event of an election-eve or Election Day attack. "We are reviewing the issue to determine what steps need to be taken to secure the election," says Brian Roehrkasse, a Homeland spokesman.?

Just as they ?secured the election? last time, right? So the election could be postponed midway should an attack occur. I bet that?d make the votes awfully hard to count, right? And if, say, the initial tallies indicate that Kerry is in the lead, they could presumably just toss ?em right out. America is under attack ? who needs an election?

Bunch of lying, stealing, cheating bastards. Can?t win honestly? Then win anyway you can.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:35 PM EDT
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Sunday, 11 July 2004
Factual Evidence
The media attack on Michael Moore seems to have subsided for the moment, but just for kicks, I thought I'd post some factual evidence for the movie. Because there's so much I'm not going to do it all at once, but to start I thought we could look at the 2000 Election to demonstrate exactly why EVERYONE needs to vote this year.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Fox was the first network to call Florida for Bush. Before that, some other networks had called Florida for Gore, and they changed after Fox called it for Bush.

**?With information provided from the Voter News Service, NBC was the first network to project Gore the winner in Florida at 7:48 pm. At 7:50 pm ,CNN and CBS project Gore the winner in Florida as well.? By 8:02 pm , all five networks and the Associated Press had called Gore the winner in Florida. Even the VNS called Gore the winner at 7:52 pm.At 2:16 am, Fox calls Floridafor Bush, NBC follows at 2:16 am. ABC is the last network to call the Florida for Bush, at 2:20 am, while AP and VNS never call Florida for Bush. CNN

** Ten minutes after the top of the hour, network excitement was again beginning to build. At 2:16 a.m., the call was made: Fox News Channel, with Bush's first cousin John Ellis running its election desk, was the first to project Florida -- and the presidency -- for the Texas governor. Within minutes, the other networks followed suit. "George Bush, Governor of Texas will become the 43rd President of the United States," CNN's Bernard Shaw announced atop a graphic montage of a smiling Bush. "At 18 minutes past two o'clock Eastern time, CNN declares that George Walker Bush has won Florida's 25 electoral votes and this should put him over the top." PBS

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: The man who was in charge of the decision desk at FOX on election night was Bush?s first cousin, John Ellis.

**?John Ellis, a first cousin of George W. Bush, ran the network's ?decision desk? during the 2000 election, and Fox was the first to name Bush the winner. Earlier, Ellis had made six phone calls to Cousin Bush during the vote-counting.? William O?Rourke, ?Talk Radio Key to GOP Victory,? Chicago Sun-Times, December 3, 2002.

**A Fox News consultant, John Ellis, who made judgments about presidential ?calls? on Election Night admits he was in touch with George W. Bush and FL Gov. Jeb Bush by telephone several times during the night, but denies breaking any rules.CNN, November 14, 2000.

**John Ellis, the Fox consultant who called Florida early for George Bush, had to stop writing about the campaign for the Boston Globe because of family ?loyalty? to Bush. November 14, 2000 CBS News.

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: ?Make sure the chairman of your campaign is also the vote countin? woman and that her state has hired a company that?s gonna knock voters off the rolls who aren?t likely to vote for you. You can usually tell them by the color of their skin.?

**?The vote total was certified by Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, head of the Bush campaign in Florida, on behalf of Gov. Jeb Bush, the candidate's brother.? Mark Zoller Seitz, ?Bush Team Conveyed an Air of Legitimacy,? San Diego Union-Tribune, December 16, 2000.

**The Florida Department of State awarded a $4 million contract to the Boca Raton-based Database Technologies Inc. (subsidiary of ChoicePoint). They were tasked with finding improperly registered voters in the state?s database, but mistakes were rampant. ?At one point, the list included as felons 8,000 former Texas residents who had been convicted of misdemeanors.? St. Petersburg Times (Florida), December 21, 2003.

**Database Technologies, a subsidiary of ChoicePoint, ?was responsible for bungling an overhaul of Florida?s voter registration records, with the result that thousands of people, disproportionately black, were disenfranchised in the 2000 election. Had they been able to vote, they might have swung the state, and thus the presidency, for Al Gore, who lost in Florida. Oliver Burkeman, Jo Tuckman, ?Firm in Florida Election Fiasco Earns Millions from Files on Foreigners,? The Guardian, May 5, 2003. See also, Atlanta-Journal-Constitution, May 28, 2001.

**In 1997, Rick Rozar, the late head of the company bought by ChoicePoint, donated $100,000 to the Republican National Committee. Melanie Eversley, ?Atlanta-Based Company Says Errors in Felon Purge Not Its Fault,? Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 28, 2001. Frank Borman of Database Technologies Inc. has donated extensively to New Mexico Republicans, as well as to the Presidential campaign of George W. Bush., ?Frank Borman.?

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: Gore got the most votes in 2000.

**[A]consortium [Tribune Co., owner of the Times; Associated Press; CNN; the New York Times; the Palm Beach Post; the St. Petersburg Times; the Wall Street Journal; and the Washington Post] hired the NORC [National Opinion Research Center, a nonpartisan research organization affiliated with the University of Chicago] to view each untallied ballot and gather information about how it was marked. The media organizations then used computers to sort and tabulate votes, based on varying scenarios that had been raised during the post-election scramble in Florida. Under any standard that tabulated all disputed votes statewide, Mr. Gore erased Mr. Bush's advantage and emerged with a tiny lead that ranged from 42 to 171 votes. Donald Lambro, ?Recount Provides No Firm Answers,? Washington Times, November 12, 2001.

**?The review found that the result would have been different if every canvassing board in every county had examined every undervote, a situation that no election or court authority had ordered. Gore had called for such a statewide manual recount if Bush would agree, but Bush rejected the idea and there was no mechanism in place to conduct one.? Martin Merzer, ?Review of Ballots Finds Bush's Win Would Have Endured Manual Recount,? Miami Herald, April 4, 2001.

**See also, the following article by one of the Washington Post journalists who ran the consortium recount. The relevant point is made in Table I of the article.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 1:14 PM EDT
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U.S. Warns of al Qaeda Terror Plot
This was a headline in Friday?s Star Ledger

Assuming that they?re referring to an ?attack? that will happen close to the November elections, there are two ways this could go.

If it doesn?t happen, Bush can come out and say, ?See? We?ve been on top of these mofos and we stopped ?em ? THIS TIME. Re-elect us so that we can continue to keep you safe.?

If there is an attack, the Bushies can say, ?See? We told you this was a possibility. We need to band together for the love of our country and fight the good fight. If you don?t re-elect us then it?ll all go right to hell. We?re the only ones who know what?s going on in the intelligence community. We weren?t able to stop this one, but together, we can stop the next one!?

I?m thinking Bushco will go with the former because there?ll be less loss of life which is always unpopular, but if they do go with the latter, then they can re-impose the draft and invade Iran, which I believe is next in line. All these rumblings about its nuclear weapons do not bode well.

Either way, it?s bad, bad news.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 11:42 AM EDT
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Friday, 9 July 2004
Silly Wabbit
Last night after a glass and a half of wine I accidently posted on my lovely husband's blog. You read that right. I meant to post on my blog but as we're both members of the angelfire community I didn't really notice who I was logged in as and just posted away. Here's the post that was meant for you, dear readers (you can also find it at his site if you're so inclined):

It didn?t take long for Bushco (? Barce) to start attacking KerryEdwards04. I love this quote: ?The people in the south know that the Senator from Massachusetts does not share their values.? Which values would those be? The screw-the-environment value? Or the billionaire-tax-cut value? Or, wait, I bet it?s the let-corporate-America-do-whatever-it-wants-while-the-rest-of-the-country-endures-the-first-jobless-recovery-in-history value? No, no, no! I bet it's the let's-invade-Iraq-and-see-where-it-goes value!


Also, my new hubby came up with a brilliant little something today. Around our house the distinguished Vice President is now known as Darth Cheney. ?He could be president.? Unless of course he already is. Since the day they took office. Wait. Since the day they were given the office.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:40 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 6 July 2004
Clintonians Unite!
No internet at work today. Grrr!

John Kerry picked John Edwards. Yay!

And something arrived in my inbox today. I cannot verify anything (although I'm sure I could if I looked hard enough for the info), but it probably won't change anyone's mind anyway. People are so polarized under Bush that opinions aren't likely to change. This is for the Dems out there.

Just for the record, under Richard Clarke's leadership as Czar of COunterterrorism:

CLINTON Developed the nation's first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator of anti-terrorist efforts.

CLINTON Stopped cold the Al Qaeda millennium hijacking and bombing plots.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to kill the Pope.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Boston airport.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge.

CLINTON Stopped cold the planned attack to blow up the US Embassy in Albania.

-- Tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).

-- Brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.

-- Did not blame Bush I administration for first World Trade Center bombing even though it occurred 38 days after Bush left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively -- and successfully -- to stop future terrorist attacks.

--Named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.

-Clinton sent legislation to Congress to TIGHTEN AIRPORT SECURITY. (Remember, this is before 9/11) The legislation was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines.

-Clinton sent legislation to Congress to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF TERRORIST FUNDING. It was defeated by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.

-Clinton sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for BETTER TRACKING OF EXPLOSIVES USED BY TERRORISTS. It was defeated by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.

-Clinton increased the military budget by an average of 14 per cent, reversing the trend under Bush I.

-Clinton tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.

-Clinton detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries.

-Clinton created national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.

-Of Clinton's efforts says Robert Oakley, Reagan Ambassador for Counterterrorism: "Overall, I give them very high marks" and "The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama."

-Paul Bremer, current Civilian Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley as he believed the Clinton Administration had "correctly focused on bin Laden."

-Barton Gellman in the Washington Post put it best, "By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him" and was the "first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort"

Yes, he had a zipper problem. So what? So did Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Harding, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. Get over it!

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:44 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 8:45 PM EDT
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The Lovely Three-Day Weekend
This weekend was awesome. We had some friends over for a barbeque and it was a long day of sun, food, drinks and fun. Sunday we recovered.

Yesterday we saw a great movie ? ?Supersize Me?. After reading Fast Food Nation I don?t eat fast food anyway, but this movie reinforced the knowledge that it?s beyond awful.

Here?s the premise: a guy named Morgan decides to eat nothing but McDonalds for thirty days straight, three meals a day. His decision is partly based on genuine curiosity and partly because of the recent lawsuits against fast food companies, which alleged that the companies were responsible for their consumers? poor health and/or obesity.

By the end of the thirty days, Morgan had gained seventeen pounds, lost his sex drive, was moody and depressed unless he was eating the food, developed chest pains, felt exhausted all the time, gave himself high cholesterol, hypertension, and almost experienced liver failure.

Did you hear that? Liver. Failure. At one point his doctor told him that his liver was like that of an alcoholic. Keep in mind that he was given a plethora of medical exams prior to the experiment and his liver was found to be in tip-top shape along with everything else.

Don?t get me wrong, though. I?m not suggesting that fast food companies are responsible for the poor health of their consumers. Personal responsibility must come in to play at some point. However, I do think it?s high time that someone, anyone, really exposed all the effects of fast food on the body.

I never would have guessed that it would be so bad. But at the same time, I never would have tried the experiment.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:51 AM EDT
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Friday, 2 July 2004
And Speaking of Laying the Smacketh Down
The Cos has something to say.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 11:53 AM EDT
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Thursday, 1 July 2004
Hey Y'all
I haven?t written much in the last few days because I?ve been feeling a little overwhelmed what with all the crap going on in the world. Also, I found myself getting really political in this space and that was never my intent. I?m here to rant and rave about stuff going on, but the problem with most news is that it makes me want to cry and sleep. Yes. News is depressing. Who knew?

Anyway, I?m going to try to get past all that noise and just go back to commenting the little things. Before I do, though, I?d just like to say thanks to the Supreme Court who yesterday laid the smackdown on BushCo (? Barce). Awww, yeah.

And now, the trip. Here are the highlights:
We got run off the road in Wisconsin by a guy who decided to join us in our lane without looking first.
I got pulled over on our way back home for doing 85 in a 65. Everyone else was doing it, too, though and I gave him my PBA card and he let me walk. Yay!
We met my third cousin Ron who works for NASA and we had an awesome time hanging out with him. Check out this to see what he?s been up to lately.
We heard ? I kid you not ? Christian Rap on a Midwestern radio station.
I wrote a letter of complaint to the Best Western Hotel in Elkhart, IN for having the worst ?expanded? continental breakfast I?ve ever seen.
The church recognized our marriage.
I wore the dress again but half way through the reception I put on jeans and a Hawaiian shirt. Both outfits were a big hit.

I think that?s it. As I think of more I?ll post. We got home at about midnight on Sunday and had Monday and Tuesday off to rest up and get stuff done. This is what we did:
Grocery shopping
Saw Fahrenheit 9/11 (see below for my thoughts)
Bought me a new car (2003 Hyundai Elantra). I highly recommend using Enterprise Car Sales for your next car purchase. I never even knew that they sold cars but they do. After a year or two of renting, they sell the cars they don?t need anymore at below blue book value and you know you?re getting something that?s been cared for really well.
Watched the movie Japanese Story with Toni Colette. It was awesome! But a little depressing. Watch with caution.

And that?s about it.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:25 PM EDT
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Monday, 28 June 2004
Well, we're back.

The trip was good and we got home safely. I'm too tired to post more. Instead, here's a picture of the after party on June 5th.

Also, we saw Fahrenheit 9/11. It was intense and it made me really sad. But I think everyone should see it.

I know that a lot of people are saying that Michael Moore's a traitor but honestly, I didn't get that from the movie at all. It was just...footage. I would absolutely see a rebuttal documentary produced by a conservative but I think that the facts speak for themselves.

Go see it and tell me I'm wrong.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 10:37 PM EDT
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