Democrats & Liberals Archives

Hand to hand combat in the Christmas War

Historically the holiday season has been one in which Americans embrace peace on Earth and good will toward men. Peace and good will have become the latest casualty of the righwing radio war on America…via their war on Christmas.

Enter Wil Wheaton… actor cum Vegas poker celeb:

This year we had our dinner a few weeks early, and it looked as though it would be a typical family gathering. But that all changed when I walked through the living room on my way to get some eggnog. I asked my younger sister, who was flipping through the channels on the television, what she was looking for.

"I'm trying to find Court TV," she said.

"Why?" I said.

"Because the governor is supposed to announce whether he is granting clemency for Tookie Williams at 3 p.m.," she said.

I was surprised to hear she cared, because my sister has always been pretty nonpolitical. "I don't think he will grant clemency ...," I began to say. But before I could add, "because he's going to try to win back his hardcore base with this," she spat at me, "He'd better not!"

My sister was a death-penalty proponent? That was news to me. I didn't want to upset the family gathering, so I decided to just let this one go.

>"OK," I said, "I guess we'd better not talk about this."

But just then, my father walked into the room.

"Wil thinks Tookie Williams shouldn't be executed," she said.

Oh boy.

"What?" My dad said. Not to my sister, to me.

Here we go.

"Well," I said, "I don't believe in the death penalty, so ..."

You know those optical illusion drawings, where you're looking at a smiling man, then suddenly he's become a werewolf? Faster than you could say "Fox News," my dad was screaming at me, Bill O'Reilly-style.

"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth! He killed four ..." -- he stabbed at the air with four fingers on his left hand -- "four people in cold blood and deserves! to! die!"

I briefly made eye contact with my stepson, Nolan, who sat just behind my father on my parents' couch. His face flushed and he quickly looked away. My sister had stopped her channel surfing on a shopping network, and he looked awfully interested in putting a sapphire ring on easy-pay. While my dad continued to scream about biblical vengeance, I went into shock. Just minutes earlier, we'd stood together outside on the deck and laughed with each other as he congratulated me for a great finish I'd had the previous day at a poker tournament in Las Vegas. In fact, I'd cut my trip short, specifically so I wouldn't miss the family Christmas.

What a difference five minutes makes. While he screamed at me, I wanted to ask, "Who are you, and what have you done with the man who raised me to be tolerant, patient, peaceful and charitable?" Instead, I said, as calmly as I could, "Dad, I just don't believe in the death penalty. It is unevenly applied to poor people, and clearly doesn't work as a deterrent."

"It doesn't work as a deterrent because they allow these scum to stay alive for 25 years before they give them what they deserve!" I hadn't seen my dad this angry since I was a sophomore in high school and my friends and I woke up my mom after midnight one night because we got a little worked up in a Nintendo game of "Blades of Steel."

"Dad," I said, "living in prison for 25 years isn't anything to be happy about ..."

"Like hell it isn't!" he bellowed. "They get satellite television, and weights, and free meals, and jobs, and a library ..."

"And raped, and beaten by guards, and sold as slaves by prison gangs," I said. "That really sounds good to you? Because it sounds like a pretty lousy life for violent criminals, which is exactly what they deserve."

He violently shook his head at me and drew a deep breath. "The victims' families get to watch that animal die! If they don't get to watch him die, how can they get the closure they deserve?" Before I could reply, and he could launch into another round of talking points, I was unintentionally saved by my brother, who called our dad to come outside and help him with the turkey on the barbecue.

Wil could be taking a page out of my family's own notebook.

We avoid political discussion among our family members like it was the black plague. Nothing squelches a happy family gathering faster than a discussion of the war in Iraq or the conservative vs liberal political landscape.

I also share his frustration at the way many of our elders have enveloped themselves in rightwing talk radio and Fox News. They've abdicated their responsibility as thinking beings...mired in propaganda and one-sided babble.

Its slowly starting to turn. Air America and liberal political books have worked to dent the rightwing echo chamber. Every once in a while, the Democrats have a spark of courage (which they showed consistently this last session..thwarting much of Bush's top tier legislative agenda). But there's a long way to go.

Mostly, I relate to Wil's alarm at the way these self-anointed pundits have further polarized us as a nation. Its almost to the point where we can't have a substantive and serious discussion among ourselves as a people. This is a dangerous turn in American history. If we can't have sober discourse about what's happening in our nation, then will most certainly go the way of Rome.

Perhaps this so called War on Christmas that O'Reilly and his ilk have contrived, and so many Americans seem to be rejecting as silly propaganda is the worm that will turn this thing around.

Posted by Carla Ryan at December 24, 2005 6:16 PM
Comments
Comment #107180

I also share his frustration at the way many of our elders have enveloped themselves in rightwing leftwing talk radio and Fox CNN News. They’ve abdicated their responsibility as thinking beings…mired in propaganda and one-sided babble.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 24, 2005 6:41 PM
Comment #107184

Ron-
Try confronting such charges with actual evidence that it’s not true. This Vice Versa argument may work to worry some of the weak-minded about whether they’re any better than you, but you concede your bias and your dependency on Republican talking points almost by default.

Maybe you could learn the difference between deriving your opinions from material in the media, and taking on those opinions wholesale the way Republicans do with Bill “Talking Points” O’Reilly. The mainstream media is much more saturated with Republican talking points than Liberal ones. The difference is, the Liberals of America have a culture that emphasizes internal conception of opinions over external reception of them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 24, 2005 7:02 PM
Comment #107194

Stephen Daugherty
I’m NOT Republican. They’re nothing more than Liberials trying to convence people they’re Conservitives. I DONOT listen to gab radio of any kind. So I would say I’m NOT dependent on Republican ‘talking points’
You sure as hell aint watched ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN have you?

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 24, 2005 7:32 PM
Comment #107197

There is no war against Christmas, there is a never ending war against Tolerance. This whole family political squabbling at Christmas has been present for decades, even longer in those families that don’t declare such issues off limits.

I grew up with one side of the family being very Libertarian versus the other side being Union Democrats. I’m going to be 46 years old, and most of the arguments that happened from my earliest memories had been on going for years before. The fact that people within families share different religions, different political views and different views on topics such as the death penalty has nothing to do with Fox News nor is it anything new. Unless my family was somehow this miracle group, which given my life experience with other people? My family was the norm then and is the norm now.

I’m just as equally tired of the Right telling me what I “should” believe in as I am the Left telling me what I “should” believe in. Neither one has the market on the truth, just their verson of an agenda they want to promote. This whole war on Christmas was fabricated by both sides. Both the extreme right and the extreme left are having their own individual field days trying to convince us how “bad” the other side is. For every person you have complaining about not being able to say “Merry Christmas” on the blogosphere you can find another one who is “insulted” that someone dares to say “Merry Christmas to them. The sooner we as Americans stop making “wars” were there are none? The sooner we can go back to the way it was before all of this nonsense….

Families arguing over politics, over who made the best pie and why Uncle Fred is always drunk…

Oh and?

Merry Christmas!

:-)

Posted by: Lisa Renee at December 24, 2005 7:37 PM
Comment #107207

Merry Christmas to Everyone,

It is Christmas Eve and I want to wish everyone a good cheer.

I also want to tell a quick story. A woman I met was a Christian from Lebanon. Can you imagine being a Christian from a Muslim country?

As we sit down with our children and loved ones… maybe we need to stop and think about the larger picture.

We, in America, have people that are upset because there are those that do not want the government to participate in a religous ceremony, rite, or holiday.

One of the most cited arguments is that we are a Christian nation and it is only right to honor that. We are the majority and we are tired of having to consider the “feelings” of the minority.

When this is used as a justifcation for government involvement please stop and think about this argument being accepted by other nations…

Nations where Christians really are being censored and persecuted… not ignored. Countried where churches are not given tax free status and member of the church can worship any way they choose.

We wish to spread our way of life as an example to the rest of the world. We may have different ways we wish this could be done… but ultimately, we believe that we have something that is special… something that really allows a person to achieve the best that our society can provide because of the way it was created and maintained by those before us.

We should set by example. The example of law, respect of the minorities because they are Americam citizens first and worthy of it. We should make sure that each person is allowed to practice his religion without regard as to whether or not it is condoned, approved, supported or participated in by the government.

We should set an example to those with divided populations, Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindu that if people obey and honor the rule of law in the public aspects of life then they may worship any way they choose without fear.

With that, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and if this made any sense to anyone then I am glad. I know for me, it makes me understand my personal realtionship with God and the wonder of the nation we live in!

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 8:00 PM
Comment #107218

Feliz Navidad to all…

Posted by: dennis at December 24, 2005 8:54 PM
Comment #107221

Intollerance is one of the unintended consiquenses of our current fear driver society. Perhaps the day is soon to come when reason and cooperation again become acceptable.

Posted by: ncpaulus at December 24, 2005 9:15 PM
Comment #107224

I’m wiccan, but when someone says merry christmas to me, i dont’ take offence at all. They are just wanting me to be happy on that holiday, i wish them a merry christmas right back. I work in technical support, and never once have i said back to them “I don’t celebrate christmas, and i’m offended.” there’s no reason TO be offended. … so happy hanukkah, merry christmas, merry yuletide, happy kwanza, and for anybody i missed happy holidays!

Posted by: MagikJester at December 24, 2005 9:38 PM
Comment #107227

I’m just as equally tired of the Right telling me what I “should” believe in as I am the Left telling me what I “should” believe in. Neither one has the market on the truth, just their verson of an agenda they want to promote. This whole war on Christmas was fabricated by both sides.

I’m not sure the “market on truth” is as polar as claimed above. I get tired of anyone who tells me what I must believe..including those in the alleged “middle/center” or the “nonparty” folks who claim that they have the line on truth. There’s plenty of arrogance to go around.

I also think its false that “both sides” have fabricated a “war on Christmas”. That “war” has come pretty much exclusively from right wing radio and right wing talking points. There are some unfortunate things that may come from the political left..but the “war on Christmas” isn’t one of them.

Posted by: carla at December 24, 2005 10:01 PM
Comment #107233

Ron Brown-
Can you tell me that your comment would not look out of place coming from a Republican? Maybe you’re a moderate Republican, and you just don’t like the label.

Question: Are you a former Republican, Former Democrat, or a lifelong independent?

Of course, Moderate Republican is a less and less applicable label, more and more, as people are excluded from the party by means of more restrictive definitions of what a Republican is. It’s called the majority party, but only thirty percent of the country identifies itself as Conservative. How do they maintain a majority then?

Moderates and Independents. The people without strong identification, but not necessarily without a set of beliefs that can be marketed to, or into whom beliefs can be marketed.

The unfortunate thing here is that without true independence, it’s difficult to punish either party for its misdeeds. So don’t look at the marketing first, look at the news. That’s why I don’t like all this bias crap, because it essentially reduces one’s range of sources to those friendly to the people who need to be held accountable. How does that benefit anybody?

The powerful will abuse power, if left to themselves, because it is inevitable that somebody with ethical deficiencies will benefit from their power, and the others will feel the pressure to compete with them and their allies. If we are constantly giving a headstart to these people to run away from their responsiblities because their politics agree with us.

So why do you buy this notion of the liberal media? Is it the difference between their opinions and yours? That’s inevitable. The question, though, is what do you value? Agreement with your values, or the information you need to decide things for yourself. Perhaps in comparison to you, the media is liberal, but for many years, it was also something else: It was also based on a code of conduct that selected against those who advocated views instead of reporting facts. It’s one thing to have one’s opinion leak around the edges of the facts presented, it’s another to have one’s opinion interfere in the transmission of facts.

The FOXNews solution has been simply to mirror-image the perceived bias. If everything is wrong with liberal bias that they say is wrong with it, though, doesn’t that mean you’re repeating the error of the other side?

If power is the only value worth perpetuating, then the answer is yes. We get our day in the sun to distort and discard the truth as WE see fit. But if ethics, morals, and (god help us) the wish for competent management of society are your values, it’s a net loss. Whether conservative or liberal, members of media need to be bringing us the facts about what’s going on, not running interference for other interests.

So, the question to you, is how independent do you really wish to be?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 24, 2005 10:31 PM
Comment #107237

I think it’s a matter of perception Carla, most people tend to view their own group as the one not part of the problem. When you are neither, you tend to see it differently. I see just as many on the left demonstrate just as much intolerance as those on the right.

Generationally, it is nothing new for the older family members to preach their message and take issue with the younger bunch. Even back in the roaring 20’s when the older generation was shocked and appalled by the behavior of those *gasp* “Flappers”…

We were also told endless tales of how life was harder for them and how they walked miles to school in the snow, etc., etc.,

So I’m sorry if we disagree on how much of an issue this is. I feel it’s nothing new except for the fact so many seem to be making it news.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at December 24, 2005 11:15 PM
Comment #107250

a recent survey conducted by some professors (cant remember name but will find if needed) shows that currently 81 % of news reporters are liberal and that it specifically taints many of there storys with there own political views.after reading this it truly amazes me that so many try to blame fox news for at least attempting to have both views available for listeners ,perhaps thats why there the #1 rated news channel,perhaps if some of the other news channels did this they would increase overall viewership,?then you have CBS with dan rather using forged documents to attempt to change the outcome of a presidential election ,and the times releasing top secret information that al qaida can and will use to evade detection and again attack our country.

ever watch CNN >? to hear the news on this channel the united states is a totaly evil nation while the palistinian suicide bombers are simply misunderstood saints.And to acrually state theres no war on christmas ,,,,is simply not acknoldging the facts How many court cases have we scene regarding removal of nativity scenes from public grounds?and major retailers saying happy holidays instead of merry christmas ?

for decades the press has been controled by liberal elititists who feel they know whats good for america ,Jane fonda walter cronkite and john kerry helped turn america against the war in vietnam leading to my fellow veterens being spit upon and called baby killers,in case youve forgotten the lead photo that CBS and walter cronkite used to incite outrage and eventually turn public opinion was of a north vietnamese in civilian attire as he was executed ,(which by the way was legal according to the genava convention).The main point is the news that we all get should be simply that NEWS.Facts of what occured and if opinions are offered both sides of an issue should be covered ,which is why Fox news is the highest rated news channel.Liberals can whine and cry and complain but as far as im concerned its the only news channel to give detailed reports that attempt to show all sides .thae last 40 years the liberal media has espoused its homosexual anti christ anti america agenda ,no drilling for oil no nuke plants always protest and use anyway possible to stop any and all energy sources needed to protect our people,then turn around and claim its the exact opisit however primarily because of the internet and 24 hour news channels americans are becoming a lot more educated and the old song and dance and fabrications of the liberals are no longer working ,and no longer being in power is stopping them from judicially forcing thier views on the rest of us .sorry so long and ill take the chance of affending you by saying peace on earth and Merry christmas for to day is the birthday of our savior christ the lord ,Merry christmas to all.

Posted by: Rylee at December 25, 2005 12:09 AM
Comment #107252

CARLA,

What’s this assertion that all democrats are anti-death penalty? We aren’t.

Toookie Williams killed a convenient store clerk and an immigrant family of three living in a motel execution style. NOW if the victims had been black or Tookie had been white, we would have told him to cram those kiddie books up his a**, and you know it too. Would the black community have been so interested in him if he were white and his victims themselves were people of color? A black store clerk or a black family in a motel room? See the difference?

I will bring this up at the Christmas dining table and if all goes well (again) I’ll wind up on the January sixth episode of cops.

Posted by: Novenge at December 25, 2005 12:32 AM
Comment #107254

I think it’s a matter of perception Carla, most people tend to view their own group as the one not part of the problem. When you are neither, you tend to see it differently. I see just as many on the left demonstrate just as much intolerance as those on the right.

Intolerance comes from many quarters. And certainly not just those on the political poles. For this particular issue however, the intolerance is heavy on the right. I know very few on the left who begrudge anyone saying “Merry Christmas”…or whatever holiday greeting suits their fancy. It’s far and away those on the right who’ve made this ruckus.

Generationally, it is nothing new for the older family members to preach their message and take issue with the younger bunch. Even back in the roaring 20’s when the older generation was shocked and appalled by the behavior of those *gasp* “Flappers”…

Indeed. I’m not assering otherwise. Neither is Wheaton. If you read his piece in total he awknowledges just that, in fact. But we are now more divided than any time in recent memory. Individuals like O’Reilly and Hannity (and yes, Michael Moore) have served to push us further away from one another. Often making it virtually impossible for us to have discourse.

What’s this assertion that all democrats are anti-death penalty? We aren’t.

I never said that all Democrats are anti-death penalty. Neither did Wheaton. He spoke only for himself, as far as I can tell. I never mentioned the death penalty in my part of this post.


Posted by: carla at December 25, 2005 12:56 AM
Comment #107263

Ron Brown:

You talk like a Republican. You walk like a Republican. You look like a Republican.

You’re a Republican.

Posted by: Aldous at December 25, 2005 2:48 AM
Comment #107264

Carla, I did read his piece in total. Even took the time to view the ad to get the free pass to Salon.

Yet I still believe he wasn’t being realistic as to how things were before and his attempt to assume Fox and the right wingers were somehow responsible for his family having a different opinon than him.

The death penality as abortion and other topics are hot button ones everywhere so to expect them to not be one within a family? Not very realistic. I’d suggest he was obviously not aware of his family’s feelings since I seriously doubt they magically changed. Despite his attempted connection to Fox, there was and is no evidence that his father somehow magically transformed into this pro-death penalty monster…..Yet to blame Fox creates situations like this, where you post about it. Logic dictates his father and his sister were probably pro-death penalty way before Tookie, yet Wheaten never bothered to discuss it with them.

Same as this supposed hand to hand combat about Christmas…it’s in the eyes of those who want to believe it is so rather than those who see it differently.

I’ve made it a point to say “Merry Christmas” to every single person I have come across in the past two weeks. Perhaps my little corner of Ohio is some area of Christmas bliss, yet not one person has responded in a negative. The two responses have been “Merry Christmas” or “You too”. There is no war against Christmas here, despite the attempts to create one. Yet that won’t stop my elderly relatives from railing about how this generation is not what they were…..or me from smiling rather than creating a huge political discussion at Christmas. I already know they won’t agree with me. So I prefer to focus on what is important, what the true meaning of Christmas is, and it is not politics…..


Posted by: Lisa Renee at December 25, 2005 2:55 AM
Comment #107316

Hi All,

Since it is now Christmas I wanted to wish you all Merry Christmas.

I am not surprised that my message above was completely ignored. Most people, when wanting to make their point, will often miss (what I see is) the larger issue.

Some may argue that Christianity does not necessairly incorporate a political governmental aspect. I believe that it is a predominantly personal one but will accept a more political interpretation.

Even the most radical Christians today would be what we might call “sane” (not tying bombs to themselves and blowing up people). For the most part, a Christian may not agree with a law or with what society (or a news program) portrays-represents, but they will not act out in a violent manner. (Someone may give me a particular example or two and I will again say that in the interest of making a point the person may be missing my message.)

Isalm is a personal religion and it is also a religion of societial governement with proscribed punishments for behaviors. I am very much aware of the great achievements of Islam in history and all their accomplishments.

In America, I would have to say that the majorty of Liberals and Democrats couldn’t care less what department stores place in the advertisents leading up to December 25th. Nor do they care about the greetings from people or what type of card they might get in the mail.

I believe that this is a “much ado about nothing.”

Why? Because, Liberals and Democrats understand clearly the difference between the individual and the government. Our concern is that the Government (captial G and little g) does not support or endorse a religion. This is within the Constitution and it seems to make a lot of sense as I will point out.

The only time I know of a Liberal or Democrat (there are always exceptions to every rule and their are people that there is just no accounting for) speaking out was when this was in danger of being violated. By the Government.

If by ignoring (or wishing not to participate as the Government of All the people) a person’s religion or holiday is considered persecution or censorship then please try to find another description.

Our Constitution is the bedrock of our society. Some may talk about its values and their source and how they represent Christian values. Again… not on point. At least not for my argument.

We cannot hope that the rest of the world will adopt a democratic society based on the rule of law and the respecting of a person’s rights if we continue to demand preferrence of the dominant religion in America.

Even in the areas that have attempted to introduce democratic forms of government such as Egypt, Afganistan, Algeria and now Iraq it was the radical (in my view) Islamic parties that won or were winning before elections were cancelled. In Algeria the elections were cancelled because the radicals were winning and would have created a radical Islamic state.

The only exception to this is Turkey. And Attaturk did this only by bloody force and with a Constitution which specifically mandates the Army to take over the government if a non secular party appears to be in the position to win an election or the government violates the secular nature of the government.

It will be very difficult for democracy and Islam to coexist. Only through the most strict adherence to the law and the separation of Church and State might this be done. If it can be done, then the Christian brothers and sisters may have a chance for a peaceful existance without real censorship and persectution.

Again, we might argue that because we are the majority in America it should reflect our values and participate in our holidays… but look at where the world is and where we would like it to go. Whether because you want to see the rest of the world enjoy the wonderful liberties we enjoy or we just want them to be happy so they stop blowing themselves and us up.

There are Christians outside of the United States. I know this is obvious but it is not always at the front of our thoughts when issues are debated.

In a larger sense, we need to pause and think about the ramifications and about tomorrow. Do we get the manger into the town square (which really does nothing for my relationship between myself and God) or do we think about the Christian minorities that really are persectured and unable to freely practice their religion and participate in their own government because of their religion?

The fly on the wall is driving us crazy while the elephant in our living room is ignored.

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 25, 2005 9:38 AM
Comment #107345

Amazing on Christmas Eve I spent the day wathing NFL footabll. As many know Fox is one of the networks that carries the games. I found it odd that when they would go to commercal the panel with the score and time remain was decked out in a festive holiday that read none other than “Happy Holidays”. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I mean it had to be a mistake the very network that O’liely and hannity work for is taking part in the war on christmas. I looked agin later and the graphic changed from happy holidays to seasons greetings, another salvo fired in the war on christmas. This is just further proof of 1 of 2 things. 1) o’liley and hannity and the rest of the fox cronies made the war on christas up to change the subject in an attempt to change the subject. or 2) O’liley and hannity have no integrety which is proven in the fact that they work for a network that is “destroying” christmas.

Personally I think it is c) a+b No war and no guts!


Happy Hanukkah!

And a merry war on christmas

Posted by: jeff Gannon at December 25, 2005 12:22 PM
Comment #107362

Some might think this is lame or childish, given the source, but please give it a chance and read the words and see if you still feel that way. I think it is a very powerful song which touches on the real meaning of Christmas and completely rebuts the concept of a war on Christmas. By the way, Merry Christmas everyone.

“The Christmas Wish”
by John Denver & The Muppets
on “A Christmas Together”
written by D. Wheetman

Kermit: I don’t know if you believe in Christmas
Or if you have presents underneath the Christmas tree
But if you believe in love
That will be more than enough
For you to come and celebrate with me

For I have held the precious gift that love brings
Even though I never saw a Christmas star
I know there is a light
I have felt it burn inside
And I have seen it shining from afar

All: Christmas is the time to come together
A time to put all differences aside

Kermit: And I reach out my hand
To the family of Man

All: To share the joy I feel at Christmas time

Kermit: For the truth that binds us all together
I would like to say a simple prayer
That at this special time
You will have true peace of mind
And love to last throughout the coming year

(flute solo)

And if you believe in love
That will be more than enough
For peace to last throughout the coming year

All: And peace on earth will last throughout the year

Posted by: Jarandhel at December 25, 2005 1:40 PM
Comment #107363

Carla,

What I have read of your post, it says to me that Will Wheaton’s dad was a pretty wise old bird. Why?

It seems to me that Will Wheaton’s dad put aside his own political beliefs to raise Will to believe whatever he would believe. Not what he himself wanted Will to believe. He did not express his true political beliefs until Will was an adult and had formed his own opinions.

Perhaps in this situation, Will should have spent more time (as an adult) with his dad.

Also, there is another thing that I personally practice. At a family or social gathering, there are two subjects that I don’t enguage in.

1.) Politics.
2.) Religion.

Sure, it limits the conversation to how Aunt Mary burned the pumpkin pie two years ago…and how the wife and kids are…but it’s a whole lot better than the alternative.

Jeff,

WHAT? The network that’s supposed to be ultra-right wing-radical-lunatic fringe-fundamental shows a little tolerance? Hmmmm. Shocking, no?

Tookie Williams.

Now that’s a subject.

Sure, he killed 4 people. He killed a white guy because he had white skin. He killed an entire family. Why? Because he was young and stupid? It really doesn’t matter. They are dead…and now he is too.

Was it wrong to kill Tookie because he killed those four people?

Yes. It was absolutely wrong. I could have lived with the “life in prison” sentence for those crimes.

But I think he should have been killed for another crime. The crime of founding a viscious gang that is responsable for murdering HUNDREDS of people. Hundreds of people that would be alive today if it weren’t for his Crips.

Whether it was putting a pistol to someone’s head and pulling the trigger or someone ending up dead in the middle of the street because some Crip sold them cocaine, chrystal meth, crack or herion or whatever…hundreds, perhaps thousands, have died because of what Tookie created.

Let’s use an analogy that the far left likes to trot out now and then.

Adolph Hitler formed a “gang”…Nazis. His “gang” killed millions of Jews (also gypsies, Russians and mentally handicapped people…but those aren’t discussed as much). Did he actually kill any one of them? With his own hands? Maybe, but probably not. But when the war was over, we wanted to put him on trial in Nuremburg for what his “gang” did.

We wanted to hang him by the neck until dead for what his “gang” did.

So, is Tookie, really, any different?

His “gang” killed hundreds…maybe thousands…with knives, guns and drugs…many simply for having the wrong color of skin. Shouldn’t he be held responsable for what his “gang” did?

Posted by: Jim T at December 25, 2005 2:02 PM
Comment #107367

I had to stop myself from a war in the family yesterday. We were at my wife’s mother’s house, and a lot of friends and family were over. At some point, my wife’s 16-year old cousin started talking about her hardest homework, a project in which she chose to support Intelligent Design. She even talked about having a cover page with a picture of Charles Darwin with a big red X over it.

If anyone has looked at the Intelligent Design debates on WB lately, you’ll know I’m directly in the opposite camp from the teenager. However, I bit my tongue. I knew that no good would come from trying to change her mind; I see here only once or twice a year, so I have neither the background with her or the credibility to make a difference. Plus, it would be starting a fight on Christmas Eve.

So, I bit my tongue.

No war this Christmas in the house.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 25, 2005 2:22 PM
Comment #107391

Stephen Daugherty

Question: Are you a former Republican, Former Democrat, or a lifelong independent?

I was raised being taught Republican idealology. I’ve never been a member of the party and quit calling myself a Republican in 1970 because they were too liberial. And they’re even worse now. The only Republican President in my life time that was even close to being conservitive was Reagan.
Sense you have read my post I don’t know why you’d think I’m moderate.

So why do you buy this notion of the liberal media?

It’s not a notion. It’s fact. Just watch how they cover the news. They NEVER have a positive story about Conservitives. And they NEVER have a negitive story about Liberials. And from what little I’ve seen of Fox News they’re just as bad the other way around.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 25, 2005 7:06 PM
Comment #107392

Ron Brown:

You talk like a Republican. You walk like a Republican. You look like a Republican.

You’re a Republican.

Posted by: Aldous at December 25, 2005 02:48 AM

This is why I like to read what you post. It’s always good for a laugh.

You talk like a Democrat. You walk like a Democrat. You look like a Democrat.

Dose that make you a Democrat? In you case I’m not so sure.

Anyway, how do you know what I look like? You’ve never seen me.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 25, 2005 7:11 PM
Comment #107397

It seems unfortunate that all of the above posts claims that the other party controls the media and that the other is wrong in its reporting on the other party.

Its obvious that neither side has the common sense to realize that they don’t need Fox or CNN to know what is wrong in todays society.

Our jobs are being outsourced to foriegn countries because it is cheaper to manufacture goods and it is far cheaper for IT work than in the US. Eventually these companies will realize that management positions will be outsourced because all you need is access to the database which you can have from anywhere.

The treasury has been raped by politicians and corporations with ties to these politicians.

The poor are victimized by the rich and powerful which is condoned by this administration. We burden the poor and middle class so that the top 5 percent don’t have to pay taxes. The greed is so rampant that the Eminent Domain Law has been twisted so that anyones property can be seized for commercial development (but not in rich neighborhoods).

People are starving and homeless but governors and mayors want to build stadiums and arenas instead of low and middle income housing. The MTA in New York ran a billion dollar surplus but the governor and mayor are calling the striking transit workers criminals and selfish because they want to earn a living wage and not have their pensions reduced.

The cost of living is skyrocketing and wages are going down. In New York the cost of living has gone up an average of 5 percent a year over the last ten years and the City offers its workers 0 percent, 0 percent, 3 percent, 2 percent, and 1 percent in wage increase. That means the cost of living increased 25 percent over 5 years and workers are offered 6 percent over that same period.

The Mayor of New York touted the drop in crime over the past 5 years but the new police contract reduced the starting salary for police officers from $38,700. to $25,100. Academy cadets are withdrawing their applications by the hundreds. What will the crime rate be 5 years from today?

We’ve spent enough money on the war with Iraq to have put wind farms and solar power plants in every state. BTW the by product of wind power is hydrogen… which could run all these gas guzzling SUVs on hydrogen fuel cells. So why are we sending our troops to die for oil.

I don’t need Fox or CNN to tell me the state this country is in or the direction it is heading in.

Posted by: Pat at December 25, 2005 7:54 PM
Comment #107398

“I also share his frustration at the way many of our elders have enveloped themselves in rightwing leftwing talk radio and Fox CNN News. They’ve abdicated their responsibility as thinking beings…mired in propaganda and one-sided babble.”

Posted by: Ron Brown

Wow! I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard or long in quite a while…

Whew! Let me catch my breath a moment…

Dude, did you drink too much Boonesfarm last night, or what?

Sometimes, for pure comic/horror/fantasy entertainment, I turn on Fox News. What strikes me most interesting about Fox, and, well, the right wing in general, is that they can utter falsehoods with complete sincerity on their faces… I mean, not to say there is anything wrong with a little ‘bluffing’ once in a while, but to bold face lie/deceive/manipulate fundamentally important aspects of the news, well - it’s shameful.

And these people call themselves Christians…

Boy are they in for a big surprise when they shuffle off to the ‘pearly gates.’

LOL

Posted by: MJ Shaw at December 25, 2005 8:04 PM
Comment #107417

Ron Brown-
Maybe my first guess was closer than my second, especially considering the extent to which the Republican Party has skewed to the Right.

Given your own position, I doubt there’s much the media could do to prove itself not to be liberal. It reflects something of the consensus of American politics, which would be to your left.

As for never having a negative story about liberals? Apparently, you weren’t around for Whitewater or Monicagate.

As for bad publicity, I don’t see much of it on either side. The media isn’t focused on it. (it should be.) Frankly, I’d like to know more about it, but it seems like only the Republican’s over-the-top corruption is registering, and that barely at all. As for my own party, It’s my personal opinion that we have more than our share of people who have done much what the Republicans have, and general culture of corruption everywhere.

What I’d seek to do is draw in a new generation of Democrats, to remember what it once meant to be liberal, before everybody got strangled by their fear of being demonized by the Republicans. Hell, one of the reasons I started writing here was that I was sick and tired of having the other party bash us silly on crap we should be sticking up for ourselves on.

There’s this principle in biology called the Panda Principle, and what it essentially says, is that if an adaptation is well established enough, then 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t matter whether the alternative is better, it will remain dominant. The only way for the other adaptation to do better is to be much more competitive, or be competing on a field cleared by other means.

I suggest to any Democrat reading this, any candidate, or any person wanting to be a candidate the following: Be proud, be eloquent, and know why you are a Democrat, and what you stand for. Our problem isn’t a lack of workable ideas, our problem is an excess of that certain kind of “realism” that we call the lack of courage to fight the culture of corruption.

I think the current Republican majority was only this corruption coming out of the closet, operating in the open where once it had to take place behind closed doors. We’re too concerned about feeding the system we use to elect people, not concerned enough that the current system just serves to elect the kind of people who know how to feed such a system, attracting and pleasing the donor.

Rylee-
Whining. Day in and day out I hear nothing but whining. People talking about how it so unfair for the media to be saying this or that, for them not to be offering positive coverage of your efforts, agendas, and policies at every turn. I here you all complain about how it so unfair for somebody to get investigated when evidence comes around that they’ve accepted bribes, laundered money, leaked a CIA agent’s Classified intelligence, or (can you believe it?) spied on thousands without warrants. This is some pretty nasty shit, and you’re expecting to be mollycoddled!

Good Grief! Meanwhile, the Democrats have basically been demanding accountability left and right, standing up for our national security, standing up for a War on Terror waged right, standing up for our citizen’s rights, and for the conservation of the values that our country has been built on. Whining? Whining is talking about how unfair your treatment is, when your party is fumbling the ball constantly. If the party had any real spine or brains, it would have headed this crap off long ago.

Jim T.-
He should be held responsible for what he did, and he should have died in prison.

To be quite honest, you should look at gangsta culture and observe the following: Death Row is glorified. It’s fricking Valhalla. Wearing your pants off your butt is supposed to imitate suicide watch, where they take your belt to keep you from hanging yourself. There’s a whole record label called Death Row.

Throughout history, whenever people have been presented with the spectre of death, it has always been the rebel’s and the criminal’s response to defy death, and defy the authorities. Going to death row for some of these people is a mark of their successful defiance of the system. Once they’re on death row, what more can the authorities on high do? They’re already going to kill them.

As for who’s responsible, I’m going to suggest something radical: the Gang Members themselves. Nuremberg didn’t accept the argument that it was all Hitler’s fault, that everybody else was just caught up. That’s why so many of those Nazis ended up hanged.

Let each person suffer for their own crimes. Tookie should have suffered for his crimes for the remainder of his natural life. But only for his crimes. I doubt anybody else felt the sting of the needle, among the gangs of this nation’s cities.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 25, 2005 10:30 PM
Comment #107494

Rylee,

I never got into the “this channel is this…” or “this channel is that…” unil the start of hostitlities in March 2003. What I heard made my heart break…

Conniferred speaking heads sneering and speaking of how disgusting it was that there were a few protestors speaking out about the war. They were wondering where the police were to shut down this dispicible display of unpatriotic behavior. “Didn’t these people undestand that our young men were at war!”

These talking heads are able to speak specifically because our young men have died so popular and unpopular speech was protected.

They were being well paid and respected by many specifically because of the sacrafice that OTHERS made while they were getting their teeth straightend, their speech impediments coached away, their hair brushed and their rightous face practiced in the mirror.

Do we believe in freedom of speech? Is that popular speech only? All speech? Does popular speech require a lot of protection? Or, does unpopular speech especialy require protection?

Our country is GREAT. Not because of one party or the other. Pleeeeeeeaaaaase. No one should be so self-centered! It is great because a person is able to speak according to his/her conscience.

Our soldiers are currently dying to bring to Iraq a form of government we believe is special enough that it is worth dying for (regardless of original reasons which are questionable but varied). One of these principles is that someday an Iraqi may speak an upopular idea and not be killed or tortured.

Some want to believe that these types of rights are only appropriate when there is no threat.

There will always be some threat. There will always be our young men in harm’s way (I was one of them for 10 years and am now a disabled vet).

Who will determine when the threat is insignificant enough to allow us to once again have these rights? The Republicans when they are in power? The Democrats when they are in power? (I am a Democrat).

IF a politican or a political party does something wrong/questionable then it is News (capital N). If a party or a politican does what they are supposed to do then does this require news (little n) being reported? Depends on the news worthiness I would guess.

To report ALL that a party (either party) does is propoganda and that belongs to the responsibility of the party to get the word out… not the news organiztions.

Initial reactions, gut feelings and making significant changes should never be done in the heat of the moment. Passionate actions of the moment almost always lead to cringes of embarassment later.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 10:26 AM
Comment #107509

I take great offence! Great offence that you would call Wil Wheaton a Vegas poker celeb.

As an avid poker player, I take great offense at that. Wil Wheaton may be a celebrity. He may play poker in Vegas. He is not a Vegas poker celeb.

Posted by: Burt at December 26, 2005 10:52 AM
Comment #107519

Burt,

Is that the same as all cocker spaniels may be dogs, but not all dogs are cocker spaniels? (Grin).

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 11:30 AM
Comment #107521

Out of curiousity, how many people believe Darren when he says that he saw television announcers sneering disgustedly at protesters and wondering aloud when police were going to shut down this dispicible (sic) display of unpatriotic behavior?

Posted by: sanger at December 26, 2005 11:37 AM
Comment #107522

Darren 7160
as stunning as it may be ,seems i may have actually located a democrat that is capable of discussing real issues and has actually served our country in our armed forces ,as an injured vet i truly wonder your own opinion regarding Iraq ?
Do you feel President Bush Lied to the american people regarding weapons of mass destruction,?

Do you feel that the current NSA surveliance of incoming calls should be continued ,?

Do you believe that our nations mass media and for that matter higher learning facilities nation wide are dominated by ultra liberals attempting to instill thier own beliefs on others ,espeally impressionable young people who if they attempt to buck a professors own views risk being failed by that same professor,,?

Do you feel that fox news on a regular basis attempts to show both sides of a story while in the end showing both patritism and support for americas values ?…

Do you feel that liberals over the last 25 years have slowed, stopped and over regulated our fuel reserves and ability to manage the nations energy needs ,(point in case 103 nuclear facilitys currently producing 20% of overall power needs by the US while not one new plant has been built in us in over 20 years )and or stopping the abilty to harvest mass amounts of new oil in alaska ?and or having many different types of mixtures needed for clean air act while no new refinerys have been built in over 20 years?

While serving I ran entire training program for 2 seperate units of over 500 in all aspects of chemical nuclear and biological war,with a secret securty clearance and viewing what can happen when these kinds of weapons are used on prepared troops ,and not locating virtually any of the stockpiles that were inventoried by un weapons inspectors as late as 1995 with at least one of the 155 binary chemical howitzer shells (of 795 counted) used in an ied attack in may of 2004 ,Lucily the insurgants did not take apart and try to re-engineer a proper way to mix and disburse these chemicals ,do you truly believe that these weapons are no longer there?or that they were hidden preior to the invasion for use at a later date ?…

Do you believe that president bush won the 2000 election ?

Have a great day and i look forward to hearing your views on these questions.

Posted by: Rylee at December 26, 2005 11:49 AM
Comment #107523

sanger,

I specifically recall it. You may doubt it… no problemeno! I just love your focus on one aspect to disgrard the intent of the message.

Unfortunatetly that is so old. Sorry guy… not gonna bite.

Read the rest of the message… besides my chartariztion of a sneer which you may characterize as patriotic zeal… do you wish to debate or split hairs in an attempt to:

a) Gain cheerleaders?
b) Intimidate as to quiet oppostion?
c) Audition for the replacement of Rush?

Thank you very much sir for your serious contemplation of serious issues. With a bit of drawing ability you might be able to sell polical cartoons that trivialize an issue down to one or two panels on the Op-ed page.

Appriate your contribution!

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 11:51 AM
Comment #107527

Darren, for somebody who isn’t going to bite, you have quite a lot to say, eh?

I haven’t even disagreed with your opinion, much less dismissed it. All I’m saying is that I don’t believe you when you “remember” television announcers calling for police to arrest peaceful protesters after the Iraq invasion.

We’ve just seen entirely much baseless Chicken Little “my civil liberties are falling” rhetoric around here lately to take seriously something that a psychologist would instantly recognize as a false memory.

If one were to channel-surf and see newsmen calling for the iron-fisted suppression of protests, it would fit nicely, wouldn’t it, with the thesis that America is a fascist state?

Ergo and behold! Those who WANT to call America a fascist state start remembering just that.

Sorry, but no.

Posted by: sanger at December 26, 2005 12:23 PM
Comment #107529

ITS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU LINK TOOKIE WILLIAMS WITH THE WAR ON CHRISTAMAS.ITS SAD ABOUT TOOKIE BUT EVEN MORE SAD FOR HIS VICTOMS FAMILIES WHOM WERE CHETED OUT THERE FUTURES FOR THEY HAD NONE AND YOU DONT HAVE TO BE A CONSERVATIVE TO BELEVE IN CHRISTMAS OR ANY HOLIDAY AND YOU CAN STILL BE A LIBERAL AND SAPORT OUR KIDS IN THE MILATARY BUT LEAKING INFO THATS OVER A YEAR OLD TO SELL BOOKS AND TELLING THE TERORIST WHATS UP JUST FOR POLITICAL GAIN STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN VALARIE PLAM WASNT AN UNDERCOVER AGENT SHE HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF BEING MARRIED TO AN IDOT NAMED WILSON (DENNIS THE MENICE)WHILE YOU SIT AND LISTEN TO IRANS RULER STATE THAT THE HOLICOST NEVER HAPPENED THERE ARE A MILLION COMEBACKS TO WHAT I JUST TYPED IN HERE AND ALSO REMEMBER ANOTHER AMERICAN WILL DIE WHILE YOU SIT AND ARGUE OVER TOOKIE WILLIAMS AND THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS

Posted by: AL STEPHENS at December 26, 2005 12:29 PM
Comment #107533

Rylee,

If I recall, no one asked my through my enlistment of my oath of service what political party I was a member of. Impressions or feelings aside, I did spend 10 years in the military and everyone I knew supported our Constitution and our being a Nation of Laws, which is the proper role for a military in my opinion.

The oath did mention defending the Constitution obeying all lawfull orders. To me, this is significant. It did not ask me to agree with the laws that were convenient or popular… it asked me to obey them.

The legislature is responsible for making law. Not the executive branch and not the military.

As with God, patriotism is not limited to one particular party.

As to the afore mentioned things about me… I do not know if you are attempting to be serious or not… I was also close to being a victim of terrorism (The Novemeber 17th group) when a bomb placed in my car failed to go off in the early 1980s while I was stationed in Greece. There, but for the grace of God…

“Do you feel President Bush Lied to the american people regarding weapons of mass destruction,?”

Yes. Contrary to conflicting information, the evidence that supported the justification for war was given more weight. Intentional? Unintentional? Who knows? Were the weapons there?
Sir, was there or was there not conflicting evidence as to the WMD stauts of Iraq?

“o you feel that the current NSA surveliance of incoming calls should be continued ,?”

I belive that they NSA should do whatever is within their capabilities and within the law.

We are a nation of laws. IF the laws do not give us the tools we need then we must change the law… not go around it. That should not be a liberal idea… I believe that should be everyone’s idea.

FISA should be sufficient to meet the needs since it was designed to do this. If it isn’t… then a new law needs to be created. That, in the past 4 years, the President did not ask to enact a better law then it must be good enough? Or, expedience (over 4 years!) dictitated that there wasn’t time.

“Do you believe that our nations mass media and for that matter higher learning facilities nation wide are dominated by ultra liberals attempting to instill thier own beliefs on others ,espeally impressionable young people who if they attempt to buck a professors own views risk being failed by that same professor,,?”

As a teacher, I can tell you that there is no political litmus test for this career.

Possibly some of the issues within an educational major are of more interest to a person with a liberal viewpoint? So… a liberal may major in a certain field that reflects his beliefs and values while a person that believes and values, say money, would go for a business or economic degree?

Since there are conservatives (even if a minority) in the fields you mentioned, I would have to say that there are not barriers or policies or conspiracies to keep them out.

I also have a business degree as well as my being a democrat, veteran, almost-victim of a terrorist’s bomb as well as an educator. I do not see any of them being mutually exclusive.


“Do you feel that fox news on a regular basis attempts to show both sides of a story while in the end showing both patritism and support for americas values ?…”

No.

“Do you feel that liberals over the last 25 years have slowed, stopped and over regulated our fuel reserves and ability to manage the nations energy needs ,(point in case 103 nuclear facilitys currently producing 20% of overall power needs by the US while not one new plant has been built in us in over 20 years )and or stopping the abilty to harvest mass amounts of new oil in alaska ?and or having many different types of mixtures needed for clean air act while no new refinerys have been built in over 20 years?”

Yes. I do believe that we have been trying to limit our dependency on a finite resource.

Sir, 3 Mile Island. Radio-active waste we have no idea of how to really dispose of safely. Bophol. Love canal. CAFE regulations at the attempt to make us less dependant on outside energy. Exxon Valdeze. 6 ton SUVs.

Mass amounts of oil is relative and even if there were 200 years of oil at current consumption… it is like an empty shelf… it will get filled and we will increase consumption if it is found.

We find an incredible amount of oil and instead of considering ourselves lucky that we have extended our finite resources out a bit we decide to ignore the finite aspect and increse our consumption.

With the influence of the oil companies… how hard did they really try to increase refinery capacity? More capacity could mean more gas which could mean less profit. You know, the ECON classes that the Republicans are probably more represented in than the liberals.

Is there a reason that oil companies MAY pay lip service to wanting more capacity while secretely not wanting it so scarcity can helo them keep their profits up?

Conspircay theory? Conservatives also seem to believe there is a conspriacy of liberals wanting to undermine America. Fair is fair.

Why wasn’t OUR energy policy researched and discussed by Cheney openly? Why the insistance in secrecy?

As a conservative who believes in the government staying out of affairs as much as possible, do you support public policy being kept from the American people?

If they cannot even be open about public policy why should we trust them with our Bill of Rights?

It could be argued that one position looks to responsbily manage what we have while working towards doing what we can to decrease an ever increasing demand for oil.

The other side may be argued that as long as we can find some somewhere we are entitled to use it all up today.

This is an eclosed system here on earth. What we have is what we will be able to use in the future. Is it best to find it all and use it today or is it best to conserve it and avoid the inevitable?

As to the chemical weapons..

I took the NBC training and am aware of the nature of the beast.

N. Korea, Pakistan, India, Iran very soon if not today, are capable of having the same nightmare you are describing. Do we go to war with all of them? Are their limits we have militarily that preclude us from doing this? If there might be other means to do this should we not try to use them?

Why is it that because a liberal wants to abide by the Constitution and law we are considered un-American, un-patriotic, naieve, childish, were not devestated by the actions on 9-11…

“Do you believe that president bush won the 2000 election ?”

No. But we were never given the chance to find out for sure, were we?

Rylee, would you consider the marign that the President won in the last election to be a Mandate? Careful now… Clinton won by a larger margin and we listed to years of people saying Clinton did NOT have a Mandate.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 12:40 PM
Comment #107534

Sangar,

My point exactly… you do not want to argue the intent of my message… just the charcatization of the newscasters I saw.

So, either you are familiar with the episode I saw and want to discuss that characterization…
or
You did not see it, but believe that you know what I saw…

We could discuss the role of the Press (to include media such as TV news)…

Is it there role to support patriotism at all? Or to report the news. Newspapers attempt (in varous degress of success) to limit views on such things as Patriotism to the Op-ed pieces so there is a clear line between news and their opinion.

One of the foundations of a free press is that it can be critical of the prevailing party in power and the government in general and provide the transparency that is needed in a democratic society.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 12:46 PM
Comment #107554

1992 election results
On November 3, Bill Clinton won election as the 42nd President of the United States by a wide margin in the U.S. Electoral College, despite receiving only 43 percent of the popular vote. It was the first time since 1968 that a candidate won the White House with under 50 percent of the popular vote.
Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote Electoral Vote Running Mate Running Mate’s
Home State Running Mate’s
Electoral Vote
Count Percentage
William Jefferson Clinton Democratic, Liberal (NY) Arkansas 44,909,806 43.0% 370 Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Tennessee 370
George Herbert Walker Bush Republican, Conservative (NY), Right To Life (NY) Texas 39,104,550 37.4% 168 James Danforth Quayle III Indiana 168
Henry Ross Perot (none) Texas 19,743,821 18.9% 0 James Bond Stockdale California

1996 election

In the end, Clinton won a decisive victory over Senator Dole. Ross Perot won less than half as many votes as he had in 1992, but it was enough to keep President Clinton from receiving an absolute majority of votes. This would make Clinton the first two-term president since Woodrow Wilson to win both of his elections with under 50 percent of the national popular vote.

Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote Electoral Vote Running Mate Running Mate’s
Home State Running Mate’s
Electoral Vote
Count Percentage
William Jefferson Clinton Democratic, Liberal (NY) Arkansas 47,400,125 49.2% 379 Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Tennessee 379
Robert Joseph Dole Republican, Conservative (NY) Kansas 39,198,755 40.7% 159 Jack French Kemp Maryland 159
Henry Ross Perot Reform Texas 8,085,402 8.4% 0 Patrick Jeffrey Choate(a) District of Columbia

2000 election results
Vice President Al Gore came in second in the electoral vote even though he received 543,816 more popular votes than Bush. Such a close national contest contributed to the controversy of the election. This was the first time since 1888 that a candidate who clearly did not receive a plurality of the popular vote received a majority of the Electoral College. (Due to the unusual ballot in Alabama in 1960, it is unclear how much of the popular vote in that state can be attributed to Kennedy and hence whether Kennedy beat Nixon in the popular vote.)

Gore failed to win the popular vote in his home state of Tennessee. Had he won Tennessee, he could have won the election without Florida. Gore was the first major party presidential candidate to have lost his home state since George McGovern lost South Dakota in 1972.


Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote Electoral Vote Running Mate Running Mate’s
Home State Running Mate’s
Electoral Vote
Count Percentage
George W. Bush Republican Texas 50,460,110 47.9% 271 Dick Cheney Wyoming 271
Al Gore Democratic Tennessee 51,003,926 48.4% 266 Joe Lieberman Connecticut

2004 election results

The members of the Electoral College formally voted on December 13, 2004. On January 6, 2005, when Congress met for the official counting of the electoral votes, Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Senator Barbara Boxer made an official objection to the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes. As a result, the House and Senate separately debated the inclusion of Ohio’s votes. Within four hours of the objection, however, the last effective challenge to the election results ended, when the Senate voted 74–1 [9] and the House voted 267–31 [10] to reject the challenge to Ohio’s votes. The counting process is detailed in the United States Code (specifically 3 USC §§ 15, 16, 17, and 18).

In the final accepted count, Bush received 286 electoral votes, and Kerry received 251. One vote went to Kerry’s running mate, John Edwards, when one of the electors pledged to Kerry voted for John Ewards (sic) instead. It was the first time in U.S. history that an elector had voted the same person for president and vice president. For Vice President, 286 votes went to Bush’s running mate, Dick Cheney, and 252 to Edwards.

Even if Congress had voted to reject Ohio’s 20 electoral votes, the outcome would have been the same. With 518 valid votes cast (instead of 538), the majority necessary for election by the Electoral College under the Twelfth Amendment would have been 260 votes, which Bush and Cheney, each with 266, would have reached. If Ohio’s votes had been deemed to have been cast, but not counted, so that no candidate had a majority, Bush and Cheney would have almost certainly been chosen by the House and Senate, respectively, under the Twelfth Amendment’s procedures. Only a complete reversal of Ohio’s vote count and a new certification for Kerry could have changed the result.


Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote Electoral Vote Running Mate Running Mate’s
Home State Running Mate’s
Electoral Vote
Count Percentage
George W. Bush Republican(a) Texas 62,040,610 50.7% 286 Richard B. Cheney Wyoming 286
John F. Kerry Democratic(b) Massachusetts 59,028,111 48.3% 251 John R. Edwards North Carolina 252
John R. Edwards Democratic North Carolina —(c) —(c) 1
Ralph Nader Independent, Reform Connecticut 463,653 0.4% 0 Peter Miguel Camejo California

darren7160
as you can see when first elected president clinton recieved only 43% of the vote and you did not hear republicans stating it was an illegal election either ,the democratic party as a whole takes the truth and twists it to fit thier agenda ,all the while decieving the vast majority of its party faithful ,however if you look around the facts are available for those who truly want to be an informed eloectorite.

now that you have the numbers to look at and evaluate do you still feel clinton had more votes than bush >?at least he had a mojority un like president clinton who never accomplished that feat.

next
a simple no to answer regarding fox news ,have you taken the time to listen and make your own desisions ?or simply repeating what many democratic speakers say?i watch CNN Fox MSNBC NBC ABC CBS ab=nd balance what i learn form all if you take the time it can be truly amazzing what you hear about the same story on different networks,try it youll become far more critical of most of the networks abilitys and specific slants on certain news storys ,including CBS forged documents that was an attept to change the outcome of a presidential election

Again a case where completly false information was released and used in an attempt to change the outcome of an election.\

more answers to come …

Posted by: Rylee at December 26, 2005 1:30 PM
Comment #107561

Darren7160 said
As to the chemical weapons..

I took the NBC training and am aware of the nature of the beast.

N. Korea, Pakistan, India, Iran very soon if not today, are capable of having the same nightmare you are describing. Do we go to war with all of them? Are their limits we have militarily that preclude us from doing this? If there might be other means to do this should we not try to use them?

well 1st off Pakistan and India both have nuclear weapons however both are currently allies of the US in the war on terror,however North korea who continually violated treatys made in 1994 with the clinton adminastration capping thier violations with the recent reprocessing of 8000 nuclear fuel rods enabling them to build as many as 6 small nuclear weapons ,or as they have done since the end of hostilitys in 1952/53 derived 80% of hard currency brought into the country by creating illegal weapons sytems then selling them to terrorist /rouge nations ,1 simple question for you do you feel north korea would be willing to sell one of thier newly made atomic weapons or some of the reprocessed nuclear material to Bin Laden and friends for an attack on the US ?perhaps thats why for the first time since the 50s the us has withdrawn most of our troops from seoul and moved them close to 30 miles from the line…
as to Iran with belicose statements currently being made by the new president and its own past actions ,along with content of speech made by president bush in january 2002 ,I personnaly believe that prior to end of 2006 there will be a new government in Iran ,or we will have to move militarily to remove them ,one primary reason is the continued support of russia and china to assist them in obtaining and operating multiple nuclear facialties ,first of these is due to go on line prior to end of 2006 and whether we do anything or not a can virtaully garuantee you that Isreal will not allow these sites to go on line.all nations you mentioned already have stockpiles of both bio and chem weapons ,and ill make another predition for you which is that if forced to move on Iran President bush will seek authority to take down syria as well ,can you imagine at the end of world war 2 what would have occured had we allowed the nazi party to stay in power in any other nation?….so why would we allow the bath party to remain in power thier ?….

Posted by: Rylee at December 26, 2005 1:53 PM
Comment #107564

Rylee,

Simply put… If I am reading your posted information correctly…

Some elections had more than the 2 candidates so if one of the candidates won with less than 50% of the vote then that is not a mandate.

If there were only 2 candidates and one gets 51% or more than that his a mandate?

Okay. Fair enough. If I am not reading it right is this central to our discussion on this particular subject? If my assessment is sufficient maybe we can move on?

My argument did not necessairly depend on the definition of a mandate or the margin of votes. I will conceed for this argument that the President won an overwhelming mandate and majority in each and every election.

He was clearly told by the voters that he was the one they wanted and that he would be able to do what he wanted to take America on the path that they believed he would lead them to.


Now, regadless of all other considerations… all others please, do you believe that:

It is the reponsibility of the media to advocate a political agenda. Sir, I am talking all varous combinations of parties and media…
Media for or against liberals
Media for or against conservatives

I will not condone or rationalize bad behavior on the part of my party, because I hold it to a higher standard and expect more from them because they do represent my beliefs.

As mentioned, I believe that the purpose of the media is to investigate and report the news. Op-eds are to present opinions.

When I was younger a local station had opinions they wished to present. The taped it and clearly labeled it and announced that this was their opinion.

Sir, I DO view other news channels all the time. I also use outside of America sources such as the BBC, Al-Jazzera, the London Times, The Christian Science Monitor as well as any particular link on GOOGLE NEWS that has an article I wish to read.

DO YOU believe that our government has a responsibilty to obey our laws?

DO YOU believe that if the laws are insufficient to meet the needs they need to create the law through the metods estabilished in the Constitution?

DO YOU believe that questions as to the legality of our governments actions should be ignored?

Expediency is one thing… 4 years of expediencey shows that there might be a problem. I am not saying that there is… there might be. Should this not be looked into because of political affiliation or by conducting our business in a democratic society we are giving aid to an enemy that wants to eliminate that same society?

Does all of this reflect on the Topic of this particular blog?

Do we sacrafice the principles we stand for in order to win a debate and have the government support Christmas because of a majority? A mandate? If so sir, then pleae look at my arguments for Christians in other nations that face real concerns about practicing their religion when they are a minority.

Principles that can be applied in a wider view than our town square. Abstracts that do not depend on a nativity scene in the public square.

Concern that by winning an argument we might lose something of greater worth… freedom for all people… not just those that agree with us.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 1:58 PM
Comment #107574

darren7160
ok so now we can move into the meat of the matter 1st and foremost i took same oath that you took and expect and demand all our elected officials stay with in the law while serving our interests in the congress senate and or whitehouse ,which is one of the reasons i was so outraged at president clintons performance while in office ,to me it truly had nothing to do with him obtaining sexual favors from a young intern what it had to do with was his insistance in continuing to lie about the issue in front of and before a federal judge ,this is where all can disern the true differences between the democrats who knowing that the president had commited perjury while they continued to defend and stop what should have occured which was his resignation and the instillation of mr gore as president and in hind sight this would have virtually assured him of re-election when the scandel occured during the nixon adminastration the proof was looked at and both partys republicans and dems insisted action be taken which is why Nixon resigned.tells me that when proof of illegal actions are supported by fact republicans will do the right thing ,however that can not be said of the elected democrats during this period.

Now ive scene various news supporting the NSA tapping into and attemoting to stop prior to an occurance another attack ,however i feel now that this program has become public the following actions should be taken ,which are as follows .
The senior members of both congress and the senate made up equally of democrats and republicans should be advised of entire program including all those monitered and info obtained however because of the nature of this highly classified info all should be sworn to secracy and if needed changes to the 1976 fisa bill such as monitering a cell call that originates in afganistan then is routed through a computer in pakistan to another in britian then another in the us and finally to a cell phone somewhere in the us this should be allowed ,for detection and apprehnsion of possible terrorist suspects however any addtional info obtained on americans regardless the crime must be thrown out and not admissable to any court and not allowed to be used for any further investagation of said indivual with out additional evidence obtained with out info obtained.,We must be very careful right now with the advances made in technoligy that if we do nothing will enable those whos only aim is to do harm to us the abilty to do so ,however multiple court cases indicate that the president had the authority to do what he has done .If it turns out that this was used to moniter Howard dean ,John Kerry or any political oppenants then i would agree he’s broken the law flagrintly and should be removed ,remember the 9-11 commision stated that the FISA act of 1978 resulting from the church commision directly tied the hands of many of our intelligence agencys to adiquitly protect us and i for one do not want a repeat of 9-11 ,,,will look and locate some relavent legal decisions that appear to give legal authority to the president for the NSA wire taps .

Posted by: Rylee at December 26, 2005 2:51 PM
Comment #107590

Rylee,

Sir, as I have mentioned enough times as to make it clear, and also to be sure I never get tripped up… I DID NOT support Predient Clinton and his lie. I did support Clinton as President but not his lie.

I could not get away from the fact that he lied. As I have made clear also, I want to hold my party up to the highest standard of behavior BECAUSE they are supposed to represent my beliefs.

Consistency to my beliefs is very important to me… more so than winning an argument or supporting a partisan view.

I could have debated the relevancy of the investigation into which the President did lie, but I focused on the fact that he did lie and it was necessary for him to face that fact. Period!

Often times we can look at investigations where the resulting charges have nothing to do with the original intent. For example, Liddy being charged with lying to a grand jury and not for releasing the name of a CIA agent (undercover or otherwise, that determination as to the agent’s status as determined by the CIA and not the husband regardless of what people want to call him).

My objection has always been to anyone that believes that the President should NOT be investigated IF there are indications that a law has been violated. Let the chips fall where they may.

Again, I am trying to be true to my beliefs. Some argue morality and whether it should be absolute or relative.

I would posit that any person arguing who says, “Yeah, but…” is going to argue from a relative morality… “Yeah, this President did this, but… this president did…”

If we agree that President Clinton got what was coming to him becuase of his lie, can we also agree that this should hold true in all circumstances? A lie is a lie? The integrity of the office demands it? Whether it is a lie or a violation of law also?

Therefore, to attempt to minimize, dramatize or stop an investigation that many of both party deems might be necessary is political. Who’s politics would depend on what view is given.

Even though I am a Democrat, I would love to see the Replublican party (of which not all are Conservatives) be just as concerned about the integrity of American law as the Democrats (of which not all are liberal). I believe they are. I do believe that a minority of “My country right or wrong!” are willing to accept wrong behavior which cannot be remedied if we continue to accept wrong behavior.

This is not, at least on my part, a bash on this President because of the history of the past President. One who makes it into that argument is now on the “relative morality” and can get lost in the nuances of politics 40, 20, 10 or 5 years ago and miss what is happening today.

Anyone characterizing Democrats or Republicans for not wanting the same good things for America are probably too intested in bashing the other side in an attempt to make a political gain.

The Bill of Rights is being protected by both parties anytime they question the government to justify its actions. Concern about abuse of one brach of government is the reason why we have the “checks and balances” designed into our system.

Same with the freedom of the press. The 4th Estate if you will. An active press, that is free from government control, is vital to keeping our government responsible to us, the citizens.

We, who have these inalieable rights based upon our being Americans. Not based upon the popularity of our speech, political stand, religion or the number of people within our particular demographic group.

As with most things outside of the government, the press is free to do what it wants. In the case of broadcast news, what we hear, the depth of what we hear and the viewpoints they may express is based upon the bottom line. Marketshare and research determines a lot of what we hear and possibly the way we hear it.

This would be true of CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or your local independant tv station.

As consumers of the media, we vote each time we turn into a new broadcast, purchase a paper or visit a website. That is what should determine the success of each media…

Sir, I would love all media to use a clear line between news and opinion. I will not defend any “left-wing” publication who does not make this clear or who does act with integrety.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 4:19 PM
Comment #107613

Darren7160
again we agree ,for as i mentioned whethor president Bush was correct in not obtaining warrents for eavsdropping on communications lines I as you belive an investigation must be conducted…biggest question i have for any democrat capable of anwsering is this…with recent letter written by aides of Senator Dick durbin (Illinois) that encouraged Democrats currently on the senate Intelligence committee to look for any damaging info on this adminastration and then release this info to news organiztions (discretly) makes it a real problem for either the house or senate to hold an investagation ,thats why i believe in order to be involved in this and have access to this kind of information all of those involved should have to sign and acknowledge the secret nature of this and if any info is released all means needed to compell the group who recieved this to testifie,for this involves all of our securty,I find it very difficult to give democrats the benifit of the doubt that they will do what is good for the people of the US and not whats good for thier party and possible redemtion on election day.However with the minority leader Harry Ried stating that we have killed the patriot act ,had that not been extended and an attack had occured say in your home town ,what would your feelings have been then if later evidence concluded that the lack of the patriot act had hampered intelligence from stopping attack?…..that is what i have been trying to point out is that senior members of the democratic party seem far more interested in getting president Bush while not caring for overall security of we the people…
As a military soldier how did you feel when nancy Pelosi(Democratic minorty leader in the House ) agreed with congressman murtaths call for Immeadate withdrawal of all forces currently in Iraq?,If this were done by any adminastration dem or repub I would be at front of line calling for impeachment,for i do not want to see a repeat of vietnam when we left thousands who were then butchered by new incoming regime,and lets call an ace an ace if we pulled out of Iraq immeadatly what in gods name do we say to the familys of those who gave thier lifes in iraq?and what do we say to all of those who risked thier lifes to vote and create a better life for them selfs?

Posted by: Rylee at December 26, 2005 6:20 PM
Comment #107619

Stephen Daugherty

Maybe my first guess was closer than my second, especially considering the extent to which the Republican Party has skewed to the Right.

The Republican party hasnot skewed to the right. I has skewed to the left. And is STILL skewing to the left. Geroge Bush ISNOT a Conservitive. This is why I don’t see why the left hates him. He’s a Liberial just like yaall. Maybe not a radical Liberial. But Liberial, Just like the rest of them Republicans that call themselves Conservitive.
I wish there was a party that represented Conservitives. That would be the party of the people as they would put the people first.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 26, 2005 6:56 PM
Comment #107917

Rylee,
Please use spellcheck as your dribble is hard enough to read without the sixth grade spelling.

Posted by: Michael Mayes at December 27, 2005 9:29 AM
Comment #107945

Rylee,

As to politicans strategically or tacticly positioning themselves to take advantage of the errors of someone else, this really is politics, isn’t it? I do believe it is sad that instead of each party being able to stand on what it believes they look to find a way to exploit the problems of the other party. No defense.

As to my service and what I believe it stood for?
Please understand this was (and is) my own personal belief.

I believed I was serving to give any Congressman, any person the right to speak openly in debate. Congressman Murtha’s suggestions should be debated on the merits of his suggestion… should the troops be pulled back… not on patriotism or partisan politics.

My disagreement with Murtha (now remember, I am a Liberal Democrat) was that like Powell said, “You broke it, you bought it.”

I completely understand the problems associated with walking away now. I do not want to leave Iraq in its current situation! A person that disagrees with me I do not want to label… I want to honor that person’s opinion and maybe persuade through my arguments that we have to bite the bullet and take the casualities so the previous deaths were not in vain.

As an aside, regardless of you opinion of the fairness and legitimacy of polls… it is hard to say that you support staying the course while not agreeing with the President. It seems that wanting to stay the course is grouped in as an endorsement of the President’s policys leading up to and including the war as of today.

For me, it would be best if they asked:
1) Did you agree with the war and do you support it today?
2) Did you agree with the war and have stopped supporting it?
3) Did you disagree with the war and support it today?
4) Did you disagree with the war and still do not support it?

We may disagree with the wording, but my intent here is to separate the support of our troops and the rebuilding of Iraq with the support of the President. Because, to be fair, I believe you can support one without the other.

I also believe this would give a truer view of the changing persceptions of Americans than just simply tying acceptance of the war or the President together as of today.

I like to work with view and perceptions of people and for me, the best way is over time. That is why I collect old history textbooks. So I can view how our perceptions of the past can change.

Islam is more than a personal religion between the believer and God. It is also a social system that “could” (depending on the person’s understanding) preclude Islamic Fundamentalists from wishing to create a government that respects another interpretation of God’s will.

It is a mess and not solved easily. Debate should be encouraged in America because we believe in it, free speech is a fundamental right and because it shows to the world that debate over conflicting ideas can possibly be done without resorting to bloodshed.

I served believing that the marketplace of Ideas would win out because an Idea was judged on its merits, not on whether or not an idea was popular or belonged to a particular party.

When a party suggests an idea… are they doing it simply to define their point of view… or is it to be used to try to persuade the opposing party?

In other words, are we simply preaching to the choir? or are we looking to convince the oher party to accept our idea and make it work together. Are ideas used to separate us or to join us together as Americans?

I served with the belief that my government would give me the best equipment possible, that they would respect my service and possible sacrafice to carefully decide when it was appropriate to use military means. I really did know that there would be people that disagreed.

I grew up across the street from a small college during the Vietnam war and was very much aware that not all Americans would support military action. I had to do what I fealt was right… not what others fealt.

I knew that even when our declaration of war with Japan was passed it was not unanimous. The woman voting against the war (as she did in WWI) was consistent in her beliefs and I respected that.

I knew that what I did was not dependant on the acceptance of ALL of America. If it was… then why would I be doing this as a volunteer? Positions where all are in agreement do not require defending, do they? It is the ones that disagree. I am not stating specific tenets…. just the fact that disagreements should be protected.

Maybe I was naieve and full of everthing I thought was good about America when I joined, beucase the Idea that kept coming to my mind all the time was the (sorry about having to paraphrase it) “I do not agree with your opinion, but I will fight to the death your right to it.”

As I may have mentioned, terrorists do not really expect governments to fall and people to surrender right after they fly airplanes into buildings or strap a bomb onto themselves and blow up wedding receptions…

They understand that is is a long slow process. One speech limited. One civil right surrendered. One fearful surrender at a time.

Imagine a bully before you. He wants to make you change your view, lifestyle or something else. Do we cower before him and appease his demands to protect ourselves physically, regadless of what it does to our principles, our beliefs, our self respect?

Do we stand up and know that what we believe is independant of anything this person can do to us? That, even if damage is done physically, we still have our soul… our integrity… our respect. For after all, they attacked the physical but they could not attack that core of us which is only ours to surrender.

Rylee,
I do not believe that we are that far apart. I really don’t. We all want what is best for America. We all want to see Iraq become a democratic society where the rights of each person are treated equally regardless of religion or membership within a particular group.

Politicans are politicans. I do not condone bad behavior by them. I do try to keep my eye on the larger picture. One, as a whole, is closer to my belief of where I want America to go, on a large viewpoint, where the other does not.

As mentioned before… I do not want to get into the, “Yeah, buts…” where I cite the same behaviors from the other side of the aisle. I will just say that I do not like individual actions at times from either party but I wanted to serve so each was allowed to act in a boorish behavior if they wanted to.

I try (not always successfully) to respect the other party’s views and believe that they want what is best for America. We might just disagree with what is best.

This being said… I also agree that there are bad weapons out there that can do incredibly terrible things to us if used. I do want America to do whatever it can to protect me within the laws. IF laws need changing then do them. If there isn’t time, then use the Presidental pardon to prevent persecution of the person that shoots the terrorist in the leg to give up the location of the bomb.. or whatever.

I believe that Europe and Asia have been battling terrorists for many decades. They have been fairly successful using inteligence and police, nationally and internationally.

This will require cooperation with other countries. It will also require that we try to respect their societies laws even if we do not agree…. such as Germany releaseing the TWA 847 terrorist who killed an American serviceman after he served the 19 years and was parolled according to their laws.

It is really hard to ask for cooperation if we only agree to cooperate if we only agree to respect our own laws and values and not the ones of the other side.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 27, 2005 11:33 AM
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