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Miscellaneous Thoughts (a.k.a. The Ranting Corner)
Wednesday, 24 November 2004
Another Letter to the Red States
This was written by a New Yorker who wanted to explain why she voted for Kerry.

~~


I am writing this letter to the people in the red states in the middle of the country -- the people who voted for George W. Bush. I am writing this
letter because I don't think we know each other.

So I'll make an introduction. I am a New Yorker who voted for John Kerry. I used to live in California, and if I still lived there, I would vote for Kerry. I used to live in Washington, DC, and if I still lived there, I would vote for Kerry. Kerry won in all three of those regions.

Maybe you want to know more about me. Or maybe not; maybe you think you know me already. You think I am some anti-American anarchist because I dislike George W. Bush. You think that I am immoral and anti-family, because I support women's reproductive freedom and gay rights. You think that I am dangerous, and even evil, because I do not abide by your religious beliefs.

Maybe you are content to think that, to write me off as a ?liberal? - - the dreaded ?L? word - - and rejoice that your candidate has triumphed over evil, immoral, anti-American, anti-family people like me. but maybe you are still curious. So here goes: this is who I am.

I am a New Yorker. I was here, in my apartment downtown, on September 11th. I watched the Towers burn from the roof of my building. I went inside so that I couldn't see them when they fell. I had friends who were inside. I have a friend who still has nightmares about watching people jump and fall from the Towers. He will never be the same. How many people like him do you know? People that can't sit in a restaurant without plotting an escape route, in case it blows up?

I am a worker. I work across the street from the Citigroup Center, which the government told us is a ?target? of terrorism. Later, we found out they were
relaying very old information, but it was already too late. They had given me bad dreams again. The subway stop near my office was crowded with bomb-sniffing dogs, policemen in heavy protective gear, soldiers. Now, every time I enter or exit my office, all of my possessions are X-rayed to make sure I don't have any weapons. How often are you stopped by a soldier with a bomb-sniffing dog outside your office?

I am a neighbor. I have a neighbor who is a 9/11 widow. She has two children. My husband does odd jobs for her now, like building bookshelves. Things her husband should do. He uses her husband's tools, and the two little girls tell him, ?Those are our daddy's tools.? How many 9/11 widows and orphans do you know? How often do you fill in for their dead loved ones?

I am a taxpayer. I worked my butt off to get where I did, and so did my parents. My parents saved and borrowed and sent me to college. I worked my way through graduate school. I won a full tuition scholarship to law school. All for the privilege of working 2,600 hours last year. That works out to a 50 hour week, every week, without any vacation days at all. I get to work by 9 am and rarely leave before 9 p.m. I eat dinner at my office much more often than I eat dinner at home. My husband and I paid over $70,000 in federal income tax last year. At some point in the future, we will have to pay much more - - once this country faces its deficit and the impossible burden of Social Security. In fact, the areas of the country that supported Kerry - - New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts - - they are the financial centers of the nation. They are the tax base of this country. How much did you pay, Kansas? How much did you contribute to this government you support, Alabama? How much of this war in Iraq did you
pay for?

I am a liberal. The funny part is, liberals have this reputation for living in Never-Neverland, being idealists, not being sensible. But let me tell you how I see the world: I see America as one nation in a world of nations. Therefore, I think we should try to get along with other nations. I see that gay people exist. Therefore, I think they should be allowed to exist, and be treated the same as other people. I see ways in which women are not allowed to control their own bodies. Therefore, I think we should give women more control over their bodies. I see that people have awful diseases.

Therefore, I think we should enable scientists to try to cure them. I see that we have a Constitution. Therefore, I think it should be upheld. I see that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Therefore, I think that Iraq was not an imminent danger to me. It seems so pragmatic to me. How do you see the world? Do you really think voting against gay marriage will keep people from being gay? Would you really prefer that people continue to die from Parkinson's disease? Do you really not care about the Constitutional rights of political detainees? Would you really have supported the war if you knew the truth, or would you have wanted to spend more of our money on health care, job training, terrorism preparedness?

I am an American. I have an American flag flying outside my home. I love my home more than anything. I love that I grew up right outside New York City. I first went to the Statue of Liberty with my 5th grade class, and my mom and dad took me to the Empire State Building when I was 8. I love taking the subway to Yankee Stadium. I loved living in Washington DC and going on dates to the Lincoln Memorial. It is because I love this country so much that I argue with my political opponents as much I do.

I am not safe. I never feel safe. My in-laws live in a small town in Ohio,and that town has received more federal funding, per capita, for terrorism preparedness than New York City has. I take subways and buses every day. I work in a skyscraper across the street from a ?target.? I have emergency supplies and a spare pair of sneakers in my desk, in case something happens while I'm at work. Do you? How many times a month do you worry that your subway is going to blow up? When you hear sirens on the street, do you run to the window to make sure everything is okay? When you hear an airplane, do you flinch? Do you dread beautiful, blue-skied September days? I don't know a single New Yorker who
doesn't spend the month of September on tip-toes, superstitiously praying for rain so we don't have to relive that beautiful, blue-skied day.

I am lonely. I feel that we, as a nation, have alienated all our friends and further provoked our enemies. I feel unprotected. Most of all I feel alienated from my fellow citizens, because I don't understand what you are thinking. You voted for a man who started a war in Iraq for no reason, against the wishes of the entire world. You voted for a man whose lack of foresight and inability to plan has led to massive insurgencies in Iraq, where weapons are disappearing into the hands of terrorists. You voted for a man who let Osama Bin Laden escape into the hills of Afghanistan so that he could start that war in Iraq. You voted for a man who doesn't want to let people love who they want to love; doesn't want to let doctors cure their patients; doesn't want to let women rule their destinies. I don't understand why you voted for this man. For me, it is not enough that he is personable; it is not enough that he seems like one of the guys. Why did you vote for him? Why did you elect a man that lied to us in order to persuade us to go to war? (Ten years ago you were incensed when our president lied about his sex life; you thought it was an impeachable offense.) Why did you elect a leader who thinks that strength cannot include diplomacy or international cooperation? Why did you elect a man who did nothing except run away and hide on September 11?

Most of all, I am terrified. I mean daily, I am afraid that I will not survive this. I am afraid that I will lose my husband, that I will never have children, that I will never grow old and watch the sunset in a backyard of my own. I am afraid that my career -- which should end with a triumphant and good-natured roast at a retirement party in 2035 -- will be cut short by an attack on me and my colleagues, as we sit sending emails and making phone calls one ordinary afternoon. Is your life at stake? Are you terrified?

I don't think you are. I don't think you realize what you have done. And if anything happens to me or the people I love, I blame you. I wanted you to know
that.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:25 PM EST
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Thursday, 18 November 2004
Yikes!
Mood:  chillin'
Can someone please get this poor girl a donut? Or maybe a milkshake? She used to be voluptuous. Now she's just frightening. Who would have thought that little Wednesday Addams would grow up to be so friggin' scary!

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:49 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 18 November 2004 2:51 PM EST
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Monday, 8 November 2004
An open letter to the Red-State victors
From The Register

With hard work and superb organization, you have triumphed over John Kerry and the forces of Blue-state paternalism. Congratulations. The multinational corporations that hold you in bondage remain free to profit off your sweat nearly tax free, while their overpaid senior execs continue to pay a pittance in personal income tax.

Your primary and secondary schools will continue to turn out third-rate pupils with limited opportunities, while you enjoy the satisfaction of making it on your own without health care when a catastrophic illness bankrupts your family.

Your agricultural universities will continue issuing Ph.D.s in football, and bogus Protestant Evangelical and Fundamentalist theology, and how to jerk off a bull safely. Your children will learn to borrow enough money to erect chicken houses so that they, like you, can take custody -- not possession, but custody -- of Tyson's chicks, feed them, rear them, assume losses from those that fail to thrive, and in the end earn just enough money to service their endless debt, and realize a profit of perhaps $12K a year. Your bank thanks you; Tyson thanks you; George W. Bush thanks you; and I thank you.

You can continue sending your sons to die in Iraq on a fool's errand. When you bury them, you can console yourselves with Bush's platitudes about their heroic mission to defend America from weapons of mass destruction.

You can savor the deficit spending that stimulates commerce today, but will cripple the US economy in ten or fifteen years' time when the bills come due with interest. Perhaps a Democrat will be in office at that time, who can be blamed for W's delayed economic fiasco.

You can continue believing, as Republican Party brainwashing has persuaded you, that we, your neighbors, are your enemies. You can believe that we have no morals; that we pimp out our teenage daughters for Internet porn; that we eat babies; that we are all gay; that we are cowards on the battlefield; and that we want to run your lives and give you AIDS.

Here's a clue: we are not your enemies; we are your countrymen. Your enemies are the greedy multinationals that the Republican Party bends over backwards to accommodate. Incidentally, most of them are based in Blue states, as are their Republican owners and major shareholders.

Here in the Blue States, Democrats and Republicans alike generate the lion's share of America's wealth, although it is you Reds who provide the lion's share of the stoop labor. You are our Mexicans, so to speak. We could not have accomplished the economic miracle that is America without your willing capitulation to a system that lies to you and fucks you over at every turn.

Look at economic output and educational achievement on a state-by-state basis: it's painfully evident that we Blues are immensely more productive and better educated than you Reds. We have lots more money. We live longer. We eat better. We work less. We fuck more. We do cocaine and smoke fine Canadian buds, not the homebrew crank and cheap Mexican headache reefer you guys are stuck with. We drink French wine and Stoli martinis, not Budweiser. Our children rarely bother us: we've got them on Ritalin and Prozac. Our teeth are straighter and whiter, our necks longer, and our fingernails cleaner. And many of us are the Republican elite who have just punked you.

It's good to be a Blue, regardless of which party you join.

Understandably, you resent us, so you've fabricated an imaginary measure of superiority: Christian "values." Yet you talk about values the way a pre-teen girl talks about "love" in fan letters to Ashton Kutcher. You recycle quasi-religious platitudes and received slogans. You know nothing of moral theology, a rigorous philosophical pursuit that hardly exists outside the Catholic Church and its elite universities. You make of the Bible what you will; you attend prayer meetings with other semi-literates, where you reinforce each other's sloppy understandings of the text, and combine them with half-digested bits of old-timey Hallmark-card "wisdom." And when you spout gibberish, you call it "speaking in tongues." You actually fancy that you're saints, you silly, narcissistic creatures.

Nevertheless, you are fellow Americans. The Blue Republican elite encouraged you to vote for George W Bush, because they quite simply own him, and they know that his administration will make policies that help them, even if hurt you. We Blue Democrats voted for John Kerry because we believed he would minister to your needs better than Bush. A President Kerry would have shared some of our wealth with you, assured your health care, raised the minimum wage, and checked the rapacious greed of the multinationals that hold you in thrall.

President Kerry would have helped us to help you, which is all that we ask. It pains us to see you in wage slavery. It pains us to see you so ignorant and uneducated, and so eager to place yourselves in bondage. Yes, we live better; but we wish you to live better too, even if it means sacrifice on our part.

What we wanted for you would have been far better than that which you, in your ignorant pride, demanded for yourselves. Oh, you defeated us all right, but only to your detriment.

We Blues will come out of the Bush era no worse for wear, although you Reds will come out very much diminished, deeper in debt, and less able to improve your circumstances by your own powers. But because you wish to be flattered more than helped, you will be grateful for your ass fucking from the Blue-state Republican elite that is laughing behind your backs today.

We did not wish it so. We honestly did want to help.

On 2 November, you thanked us by electing a shrewd, manipulative handmaiden to corporate America who panders to you while ruthlessly exploiting your ignorance and weakness for the benefit of his patrons in the national plutocracy. There is nothing we can do about that. You won fair and square.

We should let you rot. We should secede and leave you to fend for yourselves. Then you will see firsthand just how dependent you are. We are sick of fighting for you by fighting against you. Perhaps, when you see how dreary your lives have become without us, you will finally develop the spine to fight for your basic, human rights. And then we will gladly confront the plutocracy alongside you. We need your help to defeat the Blue Republicans, who, I assure you, are just as decadent as we are, though often richer.

But until you finally learn to respect yourselves, we can't respect you, and we therefore can't be bothered to give a rat's ass about you.

So let us secede, Blue America and Red America. We can handle the Blue state Republicans, so long as we don't have a lot of ignorant Red state lemmings frustrating our efforts and screwing themselves in the bargain. Secession will enable us both to live as we have chosen without the other's interference. We will prosper, and you will get a clue.

But do stay in touch after the borders slam shut. When you finally tire of living on the modern, corporate plantations of Cargill, Tyson, ConAgra and Smithfield; when you tire of shopping at Wal-Mart and sending your daughters to sling hash at Denny's in hopes that they'll meet the nicer sort of truck driver; when you tire of sneaking into Blue America as illegal white-trash wetbacks eager for casual work dusting our parlors; and when, like men, you finally rise up in rebellion against this immoral usury -- then, and only then, let us talk.

We'll gladly get your backs. But first you must grow the brains and the balls needed to profit from our help. ?

For more, visit here.

~~

This would be so perfect if it weren't for the troubling bits of news that have begun to float out into the mainstream. Homeland Security lockdown in Ohio...the night of the election...during the counting...so that all the media was taken from the building leaving no witnesses...could it be? Have they done it again? Would anyone be surprised? Would anyone care?

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:47 PM EST
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Sunday, 7 November 2004
5,000 Years of History
I just heard Karl Rove say that gay marriage goes against 5,000 years of world history. Just for fun, I went online and found a pretty sizable list of famous gays and lesbians in history (along with references for those of you who might find this hard to believe).

What does this list have to do with 5,000 years of history where gay marriage wasn?t a factor? How about this: Just because the legal representation of marriage wasn?t allowed to some of these people, does not mean that they didn?t have stable, committed and loving relationships with people of the same sex. So, basically we?re denying this right simply because it?s never been done before.

When the first heart surgery was done did people say, ?Wow, that goes against every piece of medical history out there. Bad idea.? I think not.

I guess being moral is all about telling people who are different from the majority, ?Hey. Fuck off.?


Famous Gays and Lesbians in History
1.Sappho (600 B.C.) Greek Poetess
2.Socrates (470-399 B.C.) Greek Teacher and Philosopher
3.Plato (427-347 B.C.) Greek Teacher and Philosopher
4.Alexander The Great (356-323 B.C.) Macedonian King and Military Leader
5.Wu (140-87 B.C.) Chinese Emperor
6.Hadrian (76-138 A.D.) Roman Emperor
7.Richard the Lion Hearted (1157-1199) English King and Crusader
8.Edward II (1254-1327) English King
9.Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Italian Renaissance Artist, Teacher, Scientist and Inventor
10.Michelangelo (1475-1564) Italian Renaissance Artist and Sculptor
11.Montezuma II (1480-1520) Aztec Emperor
12.Julius III (1487-1555) Catholic Pope
13.Ieyasu Tokugawa (1542-1616) Japanese Shogun and founder of the Edo Shogunate
14.Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) British Statesman and Writer
15.Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) English dramatist and poet
16.Christina (1626-1689) Swedish Queen
17.Peter the Great (1672-1725) Russian Czar
18.Frederick the Great (1712-1786) Prussian King and Military Leader
19.Madame de Stael (1766-1817) French Writer and Intellectual
20.Lord Byron (1788-1824) British Poet
21.Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) Danish Poet and Writer
22.Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) Euro-American Writer and Journalist
23.Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Euro-American Philosopher, Naturalist, and Peace Activist
24.Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Euro-American Poet
25.Herman Melville (1819-1891) Euro-American Writer
26.Chief Crazy Horse (Tashunca witco) (1849-1877) Oglala Sioux Chief
27.Peter I. Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Russian Composer
28.Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish Writer and Dramatist
29.Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) British Composer, Writer, and Activist
30.Marcel Proust (1871-1922) French Writer
31.Sergei Diaghileff (1872-1929) Russian Ballet Impresario
32.Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) British Writer
33.Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950) Russian Ballet Dancer
34.Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) British Author and Gay Rights Pioneer
35.Willa Cather (1873-1947) Euro-American Writer and Critic
36.Colette (1873-1954) French Writer and Actress
37.W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) British Writer and Dramatist
38.Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967) Euro-American Writer; Stein's Domestic Partner
39.Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) Euro-American Writer and Art Collector; Toklas' Domestic Partner
40.Bessie Smith (1894-1937) African-American Blues Singer and Entertainer
41.E.M. Forster (1879-1970) British Writer
42.Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) British Writer and Publisher
43.Ernst Rohm (1887-1933) German Nazi and SA Leader
44.T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) (1888-1935) British Soldier
45.Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) French Writer and Filmmaker
46.John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British Economist and Nobel Prize Winner
47.Cole Porter (1893-1964) Euro-American Composer
48.Bayard Rustin (1910-87) African-American Civil Rights, Labor Rights, & Peace Activist/Leader
49.Alan Turing (1912-1954) British Mathematician and Computer Scientist
50.James Baldwin (1924-1987) African-American Writer and Civil Rights Activist
51.Truman Capote (1924-1984) Euro-American Author
52.Tennessee Williams (1914-1983) Euro-American Dramatist
53.Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987) Belgian-American Writer
54.Federico Garcia Lorca (1894-1936) Spanish Poet and Dramatist
55.Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) British Author
56.W.H. Auden (1907-1973) British Poet and Writer
57.Harvey Milk (1930-1978) Euro-American Politician
58.Audre Lorde (1934-1992) African-American Writer and Activist
59.Billie Jean King (1943 - ) Euro-American Tennis Champion and Activist
60.Martina Navratilova (1956- ) Czechoslovakian-American Tennis Champion and Activist
61.Andy Warhol (1930-1987) Euro-American Pop Artist
62.Frieda Kahlo (1907-1954) Mexican Artist and Activist
63.Gore Vidal (1925- ) Euro-American Writer
64.Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993) Russian dancer
65.Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) British Singer/songwriter/musician
66.Elton John (1947 - ) British Singer/songwriter/musican
67.Janis Ian (1951 - ) Euro-American Singer/songwriter/musician
68.Nathan Lane (1956 - ) Euro-American Actor
69.Ellen Degeneres (1958 - ) Euro-American Comedian/actor
70.Melissa Etheridge (1961 - ) Euro-American Singer/songwriter/musician
71.k. d. lang (1961 - ) Canadian Singer/songwriter

References and Resources:
1.Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance & Homosexuality, U. of Chicago Press, 1980.
2.Cowan, Thomas. Gay Men & Women Who Enriched the World, Wm. Mulvey, Inc., CT, 1988.
3.D'Emilio, John. Sexual Politics, Sexual Community, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1983.
4.Demystifying Homosexuality: A Teaching Guide About Lesbians and Gay Men, Irvington Publishers, NY, 1984.
5.Duberman, Vincinus, Chauncey, eds. Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, Penguin, NY, 1990.
6.Grahn, Judy. Another Mother Tongue, Beacon Press, Boston, 1984.
7.Harbeck, Karen. Coming Out of the Classroom Closet, Haworth Press, Binghamton 1992.
8.Homophobia: Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation (a high school curriculum), 1991/94; GLAAD/LA, 8455 Beverly Blvd. #305, Los Angeles, CA 90048; 213-658-6775.
9.Katz, Jonathan. Gay American History, Avon Books, NY, 1976.
10.Russo, Vito. The Celluloid Closet, Harper & Row, 1987.
11.Rutledge, Leigh. The Gay Book of Lists, Alyson Publications, Boston, 1987.
12.Wallace, Wallace, and Wallechnisky. The People's Almanac Presents The Book of Lists, William Morrow, NY, 1977.
13.Williams, Walter. The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, Beacon Press, Boston, 1986.


Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 10:27 AM EST
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Saturday, 6 November 2004
Burning in Hell
Mood:  incredulous
Well, the people have spoken, and as Louis Black recently said, I won?t imitate them out of respect for the mentally disabled.

Apparently, the majority of people out there are gay-hating, gun-loving, war-mongering idiots. Being an East Coaster, this comes as a bit of a shock. As Jon Stewart noted, we who have the highest concentration of gays anywhere, and who were the most affected by terror, overwhelmingly voted for Kerry. How does one reconcile that?

I guess being moral means you?re for the illegal war in Iraq, the under-funding of No Child Left Behind so that there are millions of children left behind, the loss of medical care to veterans, the implementation of a flat tax so that the middle class can pay for the upper class, the increasing deficit, the decrease in women?s rights and all the rest.

I guess that means I?m not moral. Well, I can live with that. As the Christians would say, at least I?ll be in Heaven with Jesus when all y?all who voted for Bush are burning in hell with him.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:38 PM EST
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Tuesday, 2 November 2004
Our Illustrious (and hopefully soon to be ex) Leader
Such a remarkable resemblance....

Remember: vote early and vote often.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:02 PM EST
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Monday, 11 October 2004
Long Damn Time
Yeah, I know. It's been a while. Computer problems and a heavy workload add up to zero free time. I don't even check email at work anymore. I know! Crazy, right?

Anyway, I was reading this and thought of you, dear readers. Now I know we're not Afghanistan, but seriously? It's some scary shit.

From Slate:
"All three papers lead with Afghanistan's first presidential election yesterday, in which hundreds of thousands of Afghans turned out to vote despite long lines, inclement weather and the threat of violence from Taliban militants. But though the election remained largely peaceful, its legitimacy was immediately questioned by 15 candidates opposed to incumbent President--and expected winner--Hamid Karzai. The complaints centered on the official method for preventing repeat voting, where each voter has his or her thumb marked with indelible ink after the ballot is cast. The problem: "Many voters found they could erase [the ink] minutes after voting simply with water, and, if they had an extra card, vote again."

After brief consideration, United Nations and Afghan monitors decided not to suspend the voting, claiming that most of the problems had already been corrected. They did, however, pledge to fully investigate the complaints. The results could take weeks to tabulate anyway, since many of the polling places are in remote areas and, notably, most of the election workers are not fully trained--a condition which, according to an overseer quoted in the NYT, is "likely to buttress the case of critics who say the election was rushed to provide a foreign policy success to the Bush administration in advance of November's elections."

The papers note other reported shortcomings in Saturday's electoral process. There were, for instance, only 230 international monitors present at the polls, compared with 16,000 Afghan observers, "75 percent of whom were partisan political operatives" who may have attempted to influence voters (LAT). And only one-fifth of registered voters were given any instruction on what to do with their ballots. The NYT reports that at one mosque in Kabul, "poor, illiterate women, many with deeply damaged eyesight, struggled to understand how to mark their ballots, or even to discern among the candidate photos."

~~

I mean, does it get any better than this? I suppose it's better than a postponed election, right? Right?

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 5:52 PM EDT
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Monday, 27 September 2004
The Evil One's Re-Election Lies...
From FactCheck.org:

Kerry has never wavered from his support for giving Bush authority to use force in Iraq, nor has he changed his position that he, as President, would not have gone to war without greater international support. But a Bush ad released Sept. 27 takes many of Kerry's words out of context to make him appear to be alternately praising the war and condemning it.

Here we present this highly misleading ad, along with what Kerry actually said, in full context.

Kerry is shown saying it was "the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein." What's left out is that he prefaced that by saying Bush should have made greater use of diplomacy to accomplish that.

The quote is from May 3, 2003, at the first debate among Democratic presidential contenders, barely three weeks after the fall of Baghdad. The question was from ABC's George Stephanopoulos:

Q: And Senator Kerry, the first question goes to you. On March 19th, President Bush ordered General Tommy Franks to execute the invasion of Iraq. Was that the right decision at the right time?

Kerry: George, I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the President made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.

(Note: We have added the emphasis in these and the following quotes to draw attention to the context left out by the Bush ad.)

The full "right decision" quote is actually quite consistent with the next Kerry quote, "I don't believe the President took us to war as he should have," which is from an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC's "Hardball" program Jan. 6, 2004:

Q: Do you think you belong to that category of candidates who more or less are unhappy with this war, the way it's been fought, along with General Clark, along with Howard Dean and not necessarily in companionship politically on the issue of the war with people like Lieberman, Edwards and Gephardt? Are you one of the anti-war candidates?

Kerry: I am -- Yes, in the sense that I don't believe the president took us to war as he should have, yes, absolutely. Do I think this president violated his promises to America? Yes, I do, Chris.

Q: Let me...

Kerry: Was there a way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable? You bet there was, and we should have done it right.

When Kerry said "the winning of the war was brilliant" he wasn't praising Bush for waging the war, he was praising the military for the way they accomplished the mission. He also repeated his criticism of Bush for failing to better plan for what came next. This was also on "Hardball," May 19:

Q: All this terrorism. If you were president, how would you stop it?

Kerry: Well, it's going to take some time to stop it, Chris, but we have an enormous amount of cooperation to build one other countries. I think the administration has not done enough of the hard work of diplomacy, reaching out to nations, building the kind of support network.

I think they clearly have dropped the ball with respect to the first month in the after -- winning the war. That winning of the war was brilliant and superb, and we all applaud our troops for doing what they did, but you've got to have the capacity to provide law and order on the streets and to provide the fundamentally services, and I believe American troops will be safer and America will pay less money if we have a broader coalition involved in that, including the United Nations.

When Kerry called Iraq "the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time" he was once again criticizing Bush for failing to get more international support before invading Iraq. He criticized Bush for what he called a "phony coalition" of allies:

Kerry (Sept 6, 2004): You've got about 500 troops here, 500 troops there, and it's American troops that are 90 percent of the combat casualties, and it's American taxpayers that are paying 90 percent of the cost of the war . . . It's the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Earlier that same day at another campaign appearance he repeated pretty much what he's said all along:

Kerry (Sept 6, 2004): "I would not have done just one thing differently than the president on Iraq, I would have done everything differently than the president on Iraq. I said this from the beginning of the debate to the walk up to the war. I said, 'Mr. President, don't rush to war, take the time to build a legitimate coalition and have a plan to win the peace."

Nine months of fruitless searching have gone by since Kerry said on Dec. 14, 2003 that weapons of mass destruction might yet be found in Iraq. But what's most misleading about the Bush ad's editing is that it takes that remark out of a long-winded -- but still consistent -- explanation of Kerry's overall position on Iraq:

The exchange was on Fox News Sunday, with host Chris Wallace:

Q: But isn't it, in a realistic political sense going to be a much harder case to make to voters when you have that extraordinary mug shot of Saddam Hussein...looking like he's been dragged into a police line-up?

Kerry: Absolutely not, because I voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. I knew we had to hold him accountable. There's never been a doubt about that. But I also know that if we had done this with a sufficient number of troops, if we had done this in a globalized way, if we had brought more people to the table, we might have caught Saddam Hussein sooner. We might have had less loss of life. We would be in a stronger position today with respect to what we're doing.

Look, again, I repeat, Chris, I have always said we may yet even find weapons of mass destruction. I don't know the answer to that. We will still have to do the job of rebuilding Iraq and resolving the problem between Shias and Sunnis and Kurds. There are still difficult steps ahead of us.

The question that Americans want to know is, what is the best way to proceed? Not what is the most lonely and single-track ideological way to proceed. I believe the best way to proceed is to bring other countries to the table, get some of our troops out of the target, begin to share the burden.

The final quote is the one in which the Bush ad takes its best shot. Kerry not only said it, he did it. He voted for an alternative resolution that would have approved $87 billion in emergency funds for troops and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it was conditioned on repealing much of Bush's tax cuts, and it failed 57-42. On the key, up-or-down vote on the $87 billion itself Kerry was only one of 12 senators in opposition, along with the man who later become his running mate, Sen. John Edwards.

It's not only Bush who criticizes Kerry's inconsistency on that vote. Rival Democratic presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, a senator who also had voted to give Bush authority to use force in Iraq, said: "I don't know how John Kerry and John Edwards can say they supported the war but then opposed the funding for the troops who went to fight the war that the resolution that they supported authorized." Lieberman spoke at a candidate debate in Detroit Oct. 26, 2003.

Another Democratic rival who criticized Kerry for that vote was Rep. Dick Gephardt, who said beforehand that he would support the $87 billion "because it is the only responsible course of action. We must not send an ambiguous message to our troops, and we must not send an uncertain message to our friends and enemies in Iraq."

But aside from the $87 billion matter, this Bush ad is a textbook example of how to mislead voters through selective editing.


Sources



"Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate Sponsored by ABC News," Federal News Service, 3 May 2003.

"Interview with John Kerry," MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews, 6 Jan 2004.

"Interview with John Kerry," MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews, 19 May 2004.

Lois Romano and Paul Farhi, "Kerry Attacks Bush on Handling of Iraq," The Washington Post 7 Sep 2004: A8.

Calvin Woodward, "Kerry Slams 'Wrong War in the Wrong Place,'" The Associated Press , 6 Sep 2004.

Fox News Sunday, "Interview with John Kerry," 14 December 2003.

Adam Nagourney and Diane Cardwell, "Democrats in Debate Clash Over Iraq War," New York Times, 27 Oct 2003: A1.

Joe Klein, "Profiles in Convenience," Time magazine, 19 Oct 2003.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 7:26 PM EDT
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Sunday, 26 September 2004
Stuff
Now Playing: Visions and Miracles - The Cantigas de Santa Maria
It's been over a week, kids. My only explanation is that work has really picked up. I have early morning meetings and post-work events so that when I finally get home at night I fall into bed exhausted.

On the up side, I'll be getting my very own Palm Pilot shortly, thanks to the company. It's mostly so that the three of us will have all of our calendars in the same spot, but I am so looking forward to being able to store music and pictures in it.

Instead of posting just one political thought this morning, let's go through the headlines of the New York Times, shall we?

~~

Medicare Rules Set Off a Battle on Drug Choices
By ROBERT PEAR
A battle between insurers and drug companies could determine how many medicines will be available to beneficiaries.

~Wait! You mean the Medicare plan could be flawed? No way! But Bush was behind it! And he loves the seniors so!

~~

7 Iraqi Guard Applicants, 4 U.S. Marines and a Soldier Are Killed
By EDWARD WONG
The military also said it had conducted an airstrike in the volatile city of Falluja to kill militants holding a meeting.

~But Iraq is great! That's what Bush just told us. So whatever, New York Times. I mean, even Allawi - the PRIME MINISTER - says it's doing just fine and dandy.

~~

Al Qaeda Tries to Upset Afghan Vote
By CARLOTTA GALL
Al Qaeda is present along the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan and is encouraging Afghan insurgents to disrupt upcoming presidential elections.

~Al Who? Af-Where?

~~

Hurricane Jeanne Hits Florida
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Hurricane Jeanne sent wind and huge waves crashing ashore as it slammed into storm-weary Florida early Sunday.

~Does anyone else think that this is God trying to warn Floridians that another election f*ck up will be unacceptable?

~~

Court-Martial Expected in Abu Ghraib Case
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pfc. Lynndie R. England, who has come to symbolize the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, will face a court-martial, one of her lawyers said Friday.

~Seriously, bastards, Iraq is doing just great, okay? All of this liberal bias is just. . . liberal bias.

~~

A Big Increase of New Voters in Swing States
By FORD FESSENDEN
A registration campaign in Democratic areas has added tens of thousands of new voters to the rolls in Ohio and Florida.

~Thank f*cking God. Oh, wait. It won't matter because if any of those new voters in Florida are black they won't be allowed to vote anyway!

~~

That's all for now. Keep your heads down, don't make eye contact with the enemy and keep fighting the good fight. We may just make it out of this.


Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:27 AM EDT
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Thursday, 16 September 2004
Is Anyone Really Surprised By This Anymore? No? Okay, Then.
Now Playing: I Can't Say No - Oklahoma!
From the Center for American Progress:

VALID VOTERS STRUCK FROM ROLLS: Florida is one of only seven states in the union which denies former felons the right to vote, even after they've completed their sentences. In 2000, the state hired an outside contractor to implement a "felon list." Riddled with errors, this list struck thousands of innocent voters from the rolls.

Lessons have not been learned. This past May, the Florida Division of Elections quietly distributed a brand-new purge list for the upcoming election. The outgoing head of the division, Ed Kast, sent a memo to election supervisors on May 12, 2004, detailing how to keep the list out of the hands of advocacy groups that wanted to double check the names, "citing statutes about the privacy of voter registration information and the will of the legislature ? even though nothing in the law prevents the same information from going to political candidates to further their campaigns." Later that month, after CNN filed suit to gain access to the rolls, they found the new list wrongly included thousands of eligible voters and "heavily targeted African-Americans ? who traditionally vote Democrat ? while "virtually ignoring Hispanic voters" ? who, in Florida, are often more likely to check the box next to GOP names.


Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:46 PM EDT
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