Friday, December 17, 2004

Friday follies

1,240,000 citations for fraud

Yep. That’s how many citations that Google pulled up when I keyed in “2004 US presidential fraud.” Yikes. Now, it is true that a lot of the cites were from blogs, but there were many, many from mainstream media: CNN, New York Times, the UK’s Independent, etc., etc. I’m not linking them here, because you can just scoot over to Google and pull up the citations yourself.

Now I have said before that I am no conspiracy fan, but it just stands to reason that with as many people screaming (and they are screaming) that the fix was in, well, like the man said, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Know what I mean?
Red Rover
Those little tin guys on Mars are still chugging along, and this week sent back pix of clouds; more proof, if it were really needed, that there’s free water on the Red Planet.Now, if Bush were to do one Good Thing, he could follow through on his promise to send men to the place, we could establish a colony, and maybe Mankind would have a refuge, a seed store as it were, for after the Shrub starts the next nuclear war and irradiates the whole damn Earth.

If you’re interested in reading some speculative stuff about exploring the Red Plant, , the sf trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars), might give you an appreciation how the colonization of the 4th planet might play out. Stanley is a damn good writer and has some nifty insights into the political process as well.


History as fiction

Speaking of writers and political fiction, don’t forget to check out The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth, an alternative history of a fascist United States, and also Philip K. Dick's The Man In The High Castle, another fascist fantasy. This stuff hits close to home, as it were.

While we're on the subject, while checking the Google for the above citations, I noticed that there are over 14,900,000 entries for "alternative history." Seems to be a popular subject on the Web. I wonder if any of those alternative worlds postulate a Dem winning the last election. Gee, I wonder what it would be like ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

More on voter fraud

This is probably the most important issue facing the American people at the moment. While the mass media are crying out about voter fraud in the recent Ukranian elections, they have steadfastly refused to smell the rotten cheese here at home. Truthout is posting articles updating the situation vis a vis the suspected voter-machine manipulation in both Ohio and Florida. As noted in a post earlier, a software writer in Florida is being interrogated by the FBI and other interested groups. The Supreme Court of Ohio has put off hearing a petition from the Alliance for Democracy asking for a block and/or suspension of Ohio's Electoral College voting results. Others elsewhere, including the New York Times, are also semingly getting seriously interested in this story.

But don't hold your breath on this one, and don't think for a minute that it's going to change the identity of the Man in the White House come January. The Shrubbery have a death-grip on the elections commisssions in most states, and there's an end to it. However, we really need to pressure the media to stay on the story. Even through the Dems task still remains to reclaim their liberal heritage, and sell that to the American electorate, rather than take the DLC's terrible advice to move the party plank right and pander to corporate donors, this can be the turning point on the way to reclaiming our democracy.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Mistaken identity

I have been laboring under a misunderstanding as to my principles, according to a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times. Here I thought that liberalism meant, in part, getting the government off my back. According to this commentary piece by Thomas L. Krannawitter, vice president of the Claremont Institute and director of the institute's Lincoln Fellowship Program, I intend no such thing. Apparently, I and my fellow liberals are out to “replace limited, constitutional government with a regulatory-welfare state of unlimited powers. “

Wow! When did I ever say that? I thought the whole idea was to limit government powers. Granted, decent highways and maybe throw in some health insurance would be nice, but I ain't demanding them. Then again, "My way or the highway," sounds pretty good as a political philosophy, doesn't it?

This statement comes embedded in a piece about Supreme Court Justice Thomas and an argument that Thomas is a proponent of
strict-constructionist Constitutionalism. Yeah, fine, Thomas wants to keep the clock of time stopped dead in the 18th Century; what’s new about that? What is interesting to me is this chap Krannawitter’s take on liberalism. He quotes a 1920s “liberal political scientist,” Charles Merriam: the ‘“natural law and natural rights" of the founders had been discarded by intellectuals "with practical unanimity." Instead, "the state … is the creator of liberty." ‘

Hmm. Maybe to Stalinists or Leninists, but certainly not to me, and most certainly not to the present-day Democratic Party, Greens, or even radicals. Real radicals say stuff like "Down with the State!, and throw bombs as puntuation marks. In actual fact, Krannawitter is probably mis-reading or mis-quoting Merriam, a noted political scientist from the University of Chicago (my alma mater). Perhaps this is knee-jerking on the part of the above conservative writer, but it does give me pause for thought. You see, this guy probably hates fun-loving liberals, and is looking for a way to justify it. He found his reason in a dead poly sci’s writings, which certainly do not reflect the current political climate, or the ideological bent of the mainstream of America, as quoted.

Now, Krannawitter is being given op-ed space in the Sunday LA Times (as a member of the “liberal media”, the Times is obliged to carry conservative pieces on same. Wait. That doesn’t scan. Oh well), so I can assume that this conservative’s opinion and understanding of liberal views is pretty mainstream.

But he’s flat wrong, and that, my friends, is the problem. So bear this in mind when you try to have a rational discourse with a conservative: You think he thinks you’re you, but what he really thinks is that you’re not. In fact, he thinks you’re a Commie. He’s still reading 1920s poly sci and handouts from the American Family League.

My advice is to ignore them and get on with your life. These people are blockheads and you are wasting your time, energy and money trying to convince them otherwise. Do organize for change, keep on the get-out-the-vote trail, give money to Dean, whatever, but don't waste your time trying to argue with them. They're all idiots and won't listen to you anyway.