Third Party & Independents

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger
July 2003 Archives

July 30, 2003

Bush takes Blame for Uranium Lie

It's official, George W. Bush finally stopped acting like his Enron and Worldcom buddies in hiding behind his middle managers (CIA, Powell, Rice) and said of the growing scandal surrounding NigerGate/YellowCakeGate/WhateverGate that "I take personal responsibility for everything I say, absolutely." This is the president's last press conference before he goes on a month-long vacation in Crawford, TX. My prediction is that the echo chambers of the Right will proclaim "so what" or "Saddam is no longer in power, gurgle smooch". While the echo chambers of the Left will scream "see? impeach him". This is one instance when I have to agree whole-heartedly with the Left. Bush lied to us, just as William Jefferson Clinton did, and they both got caught. I'll be happy when we can remove this new stain on democracy from the White House.

Stories are currently circulating from all major media outlets on this:

MSNBC: Bush takes blame for nuclear claim
WashingtonPost: Bush Takes Reponsibility for Iraq Claims
Reuters: Bush Accepts Blame for African Uranium Charge
CNN: Bush: 'On the hunt' for Saddam (article on whole press conference)
FoxNews: Bush: We're Hunting Down Saddam Hussein (quote ommitted, overview blurb in place, how's that for fair and balanced)
Google News: Complete list of relevant articles

Americans: Free Yourselves from the Two Party Death Grip

By Chuck Baldwin

It's time to say it: the two major parties hold a death grip on the American people! Instead of representing the people, both parties are bought and paid for by special interest groups. Neither party pays any attention to the U.S. Constitution but are largely marching in lock-step toward bigger and bigger government. Both Republicans and Democrats eagerly sacrifice what's good for the country with what's good for the party. As they now exist, neither major party deserves the support of patriotic Americans.

Furthermore, blind allegiance to the two major parties has created a "lesser of two evils" mindset that has warped the thinking and perverted the values of otherwise good people. What people would never accept in any other venue of society, they gladly and willingly accept from their chosen party's candidates.

» Continue reading "Americans: Free Yourselves from the Two Party Death Grip"

July 29, 2003

Grumbles from the Enlisted Military

It seems that the current crop of legislators and White House administration missed the rah rah party boat on supporting the troops. In fact, while troops are busy dying in Iraq, the nefarious group is ensuring that those who don't come home in bodybags will come home to a veteran's benefits program that is amputated at the knees or higher. Older veterans are voicing their outrage at cut-backs and at an administration they say are liars and "are gutless party lapdogs who listen to what puts money in their own pockets or what will get them re-elected". Response was weak as one spokesperson said "The cost is exorbitant. And we are dealing with a limited budget". The good news is that one retired officer interviewed will vote for Bush anyways. Then again no one claimed officers had the rough end of military service.

Spouses of deployed military men are also in an uproar and are being told to shut their pieholes because hey, "loose lip sink ships". Many are angered that the promise of a quick war and a short deployment is coming unraveled at the seams and a longer occupation of Iraq is inevitable. One wife of a Maj. Gen. was praised for keeping the clucking coop in line with military patriotism. Well hey, it's not like her husband is going to be running around with a M-16 anytime soon, so what does she have to worry about?

» Continue reading "Grumbles from the Enlisted Military"

July 26, 2003

In Search Democratic Party Leadership

I have been stymied by the Democratic Party’s lack of leadership and coherent platform. And as Bush’s “war-chest” grows daily, time marches on, and the Presidential election draws ever closer, there is still no clear democratic front-runner. It would seem I am not alone in my dismay over the Democrat’s disarray. If they do not get it together soon, they will have no one the blame—this time—for their failure to retake the White House, but the Party membership. Indeed the only embarrassment this election cycle is the Party itself.

GOP's Nasty Undemocratic Power Play

A decade after winning back the House of Representatives under the first Clinton Administration by promising brighter tomorrows and a “Contract with America,” the GOP has failed to deliver promised reforms. Is anyone surprised? Now that they are in power in the House, they seemed to have torn up the contract, (I wonder if we the American people, can sue them from breech of same?), and taken on decidedly unsavory tactics in a bid to exclude Democrats from all crucial decisions.

The GOP is fast becoming the party which represents a fringe of the American population, a party where neo-conservatism seems to flourish under the light the new American Imperialism, and where minorities (but only the darker ones), middle-class, and lower class Americans need not apply.

July 25, 2003

Reader Mail: California After The Recall

Jason Lauborough sent me an email about the recall in progress with some very insightful thoughts on what the outcome could be. He speculates that Democrats are withdrawing support en mass and will end up hurting themselves if they don't come forward with an alternate candidate. Several Republicans have already placed their names in the hat, and from out in left field, Peter Camejo of the Green Party has announced his candidacy again (he previously ran against Gray Davis).

While I'm not going to lend my personal support due to his obvious socialist agenda, Jason points out that so far he is the only candidate in the leftist spectrum. This is based on speculation that Arnold Schwarzenegger will not run at all and that out of dislike for Republicans more than on issues, people would vote for a Green candidate. I have included Jason's email below with links to the candidates' sites.

» Continue reading "Reader Mail: California After The Recall"

Ambush's on American Forces Continue Apace...

It would seem that the Iraqi resistance didn’t receive the fax, or email from Rumsfeld that they were suppose to stop ambushing American soldiers now that Uday and Qusay Hussein have been terminated with extreme prejudice. Three more American soldiers from 101st Airborne Division, died overnight in an attack on their convoy at approximately 2:30am (I thought we owned the night). Hopefully, the next week will see the cessation of attacks upon our soldiers as the fax lines are restored and emails finally get through!

July 24, 2003

President to Push Extending Ban on Assault Weapons

There are a few stories floating around the controversial assault weapon ban that is set to expire September 2004 (which makes it a hot-button issue for the 2004 presidential campaign). An article at the Washington Post details how Democrats are shunning further gun control issues and are turning heel on many issues, such as protecting stores and manufacturers from liability, certainly a tort reform for the industry. The WashPost article also mentioned that Bush would likely support extending the assault weapon ban: "The president has announced that he supports the assault ban, and it would be helpful if he used his good offices to do that" said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

The Libertarian Party, which is traditionally a hard-liner on second amendment rights, has also picked up on the sunset provision and has their own story: Bush gun control plan is threat to homeland security. Some examples for lessened gun control appear over the top: "Fortunately, terrorists carrying semi-automatic rifles haven't yet stormed a shopping mall, an office park or a busy urban area, but they could," Neale said. "If that happens, shouldn't their victims be able to shoot back with the same weapons the terrorists are using?". However, an important point was made: "According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, assault weapons are used in less than 1 percent of violent crimes, and the FBI admits that far more people are killed every year by knives and blunt objects than by any kind of rifle, including an 'assault rifle,' " he said. "So banning assault weapons to protect public safety makes as much sense as banning knives and baseball bats."

A Modicum of Sanity Returns to the House

Could sanity be returning to the House? Say it isn’t so; the interest of the American people put before those of special interests? The House voted 400 to 21yesterday to block earlier imposed rules from the FCC that would have allowed the countries largest broadcasting concerns to snap up more television stations, setting up a potential showdown with the White House.

July 23, 2003

Nader and the Patriot Act?

Should the Patriot Act be considered a direct consequence of 2.8 million people voting for Nader in 2000? According to a Viveca Novack article on the Green Party , that's what a provocative reporter asked at a national Green Party meeting.

» Continue reading "Nader and the Patriot Act?"

Posted by rjnagle at 1:42 PM

President George W.

by Charley Reese

President George W. Bush is more and more resembling Bill Clinton. He's just as eager as Clinton was to avoid responsibility and accountability, and he's just as fond of parsing the English language to confuse the issues.

Please note, for example, that the Bush administration now talks about weapons "programs." Well, of course, 15 years ago Iraq had programs to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The United States even assisted in some degree. But we didn't go to war because Iraq had programs 15 years ago, we went to war because Iraq allegedly had "stockpiles" of chemical and biological weapons ready to deploy and use and was actively pursuing nuclear weapons.

» Continue reading "George W. is more and more resembling Bill Clinton"

Advice to Gephardt: Don't Try to be Howard Dean

Gephardt geared up his anti-Bush rhetoric yesterday using hyperbole like "chest-beating unilateralism" when criticizing the President's handling of the Iraq war. This is no doubt a response to recent polls showing Howard Dean, the current champion of anti-Bush rhetoric, on Gephardt's heals with 10% of respondents’ support to Gephardt's 12%. Gephardt is trying to beat Dean at his own game and I am sure some other candidates are considering the same strategy...unfortunately it’s a horrible idea.

» Continue reading "Advice to Gephardt: Don't Try to be Howard Dean"

Testing, is this conspiracy on?

Just when you think the Democrats have the upper hand in the "look who's got morals now?" game, Assembly Democrats held a closed door meeting today to discuss their intention of prolonging California's budget crisis for political gain. Also discussed were plans of slowing progress on the budget as a means of increasing pressure on Republicans.

I know this, because Tyler knows this; and so does anyone else who happened to be listening to any of the 500 squawk boxes left on at the Capitol, where the conspiracy meeting was clearly broadcast.

» Continue reading "Testing, is this conspiracy on?"

Posted by Beau Wade at 12:24 AM

July 22, 2003

TIA Refuses to Die

The secretive TIA (Total Terrorism Information Awareness) program is against the ropes this week as the Senate sought to remove all future funding to the agency. The Bush Administration lashed out against critics of the program and threatened to veto any defense bill that included the amendment to cut funding to the clandestine DARPA program, stating that it strips the government of "an important potential tool in the war on terrorism."

The amendment would cut future spending unless repealed: "No funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense, whether to an element of [DARPA] or any other element...of the federal government, may be obligated or expended on research and development of the Terrorism Information Awareness program."

American Moral Leadership Takes Another Hit as Liberia Sinks Deeper into War

While hundreds, perhaps, thousands continue to die, in Liberia and humanitarian crisis looms like a dark cloud over a weary, war-torn country and her beleaguered people, the Bush Administration continues to sit on its hand and do next to nothing. Citing the need to “protect our people,” however Bush did sent in 41 Marines to shore up the American Embassy in the besieged capital city Monrovia. “Protect our people;” as if Americans were the only people worth protecting!

Despite repeated pleas from the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and several West African nations for the U.S. to do something, Bush seems determined to do nothing at all despite his pledge in a recent visit to Africa, work more closely with the nations of the continent. Are we losing our moral authority here? And are we (the U.S.), once again under a Republican Administration sending a message that when whites are in peril we will act, but when blacks are at risk, no matter the circumstance we will not get involved despite the overwhelming sentiment around the world that we should? West African nations are pleading for U.S. leadership and yet we balk, why?

July 21, 2003

American Hero. Who's Listening?

Senator Jim Jeffords, Independent of Vermont, speaks his mind on the second anniversary of coming to his senses and leaving the GOP

Senator Jeffords asks the question many of us are also wondering about, "Does he think we don't notice?"

Posted by grover at 11:40 AM

July 18, 2003

Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Feature Map of Iraqi Oilfields

March 2001, before the domestic terrorism, before Iraq was engrained in the national conscious, before the terms "pre-emptive invasion" and "shock and awe" were a part of the American lexicon, Vice President Dick Cheney and a team of energy executives were determining the state of Iraq's primary resource and what foreign corporations would need to be appeased in order for US control of them. "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.", an innocuos enough term included foreign companies that had current or future contracts with the Iraq regime. These two lists (p1, p2 [pdf]) of foreign contractors is eerily similar to those countries that are part of the "Coalition of the Willing".

The papers, which were requested by Judicial Watch in April 2001 under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), had to be fought over in court and have only recently been released. For those who have claimed that the Iraq War was really about oil, this may not be the smoking gun, but it's as close as it comes for now.

Freedom or Fear

Why should the US be any different from Lebanon, Israel, Ireland, and other countries suffering from terror attacks? Could the real goal of terrorists be to cause the US to give up its freedom and live in fear like their own populations?

If that's the case, "they" have already won.

» Continue reading "Freedom or Fear"

Posted by grover at 8:52 AM

July 17, 2003

Swapping Illegal MP3s Could Become Felony

In an obtuse reply to the problem of file-swapping and music/movie pirating, Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.) have introduced a new bill that could send law-breakers to federal prison for 5 years and a $10,000 fine per offense. Also included in the bill, called the Author, Consumer and Computer Owner Protection and Security Act of 2003, or ACCOPS [PDF], was a similar penalty for domain owners that "knowingly and with intent to defraud provides material and misleading false contact information to [...] in registering a domain name".

One argument that may make the bill unconstitutional is it's overt heavy-handedness is the 8th amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted". One could argue that imposing a $10,000 fine plus prison time for theft of a $1.50 song ($15 avg cd price / 10 avg # songs) is tantamount to cruel punishment.

July 16, 2003

Re: Manipulating Facts

Joe Stump wrote:

There are stories of agencies not publishing standard reports on layoffs, wages, etc. until being threatened with lawsuits, unfavorable studies disappearing from websites, and punishing economic officials who fall out of line.

Not to defend Bush, but we have to be careful not to demonize him undeservingly. A president firing a cabinet member who fundamentaly disagrees with his stated policy is not a crime ... its politics. I also think it might be a little much to suggest that one report being pulled from a website is conspiracy. As long as no pressure is being put on private or independent financial analysts to fudge their own findings.

An Age Of Lies

by Michael Rivero - 7/14/03

The latest joke making the rounds on the internet is that truth has become so valuable that the government has embarked on a conservation program.

Lying is something we normally take very seriously. Certainly we ourselves are exhorted by schools and clergy to always be truthful. We demand truthfulness of those around us and those we employ, and while we may wink tolerantly at the "white" lie, most of us realize that society as a whole cannot function smoothly without a certain assurance of honesty. We therefore punish children who lie. We fire employees who lie. We choose to not associate with, listen to, or trust people who lie. We are most demanding for the truth in the matter of commerce. We demand that products and services we spend our hard-earned money on function exactly as promised by the salesperson. We generally tolerate nothing less.

» Continue reading "An Age Of Lies"

Manipulating the Facts

No not those facts, but the administration's ability to manipulate economic facts and data.

There are stories of agencies not publishing standard reports on layoffs, wages, etc. until being threatened with lawsuits, unfavorable studies disappearing from websites, and punishing economic officials who fall out of line.

[...] the administration has punished economic officials who didn't follow the company line. Treasury Secretary O'Neill left the administration after, among other fits of candor, he expressed skepticism about economic figures the White House had released and suggested that the tax cut could be better used to buttress Social Security.
[...] a study predicting mediocre job growth from Bush's proposed $674 billion economic stimulus plan disappeared from the Council of Economic Advisers' Web site. The study forecast an average increase of only 170,000 jobs—0.1 percent of the workforce—every year through 2007. The study was pulled just after a major Jan. 7 Bush budget speech to the Economic Club of Chicago.

Certainly disturbing to think that this entire administration has been manipulating entire agencies to produce figures, reports and statistics that are in line with the administrations ideals.

Posted by joestump at 10:59 AM

July 15, 2003

COME INTO THE LIGHT

Now here's a third party we don't hear too much about.

Does this fit into 9thwave's definition of a wholistic presidency?

Ommmmmmmmm.

Posted by grover at 12:29 PM

The War on Terrorism

Does the war on terror include shutting down the School of the Americas? For decades, the SOA has been the training center for the military leaders of right wing dictatorships throughout the world, but primarily in South and Central America. Graduates are known for their brutality and terror inducing tactics, particularly aggressively targeting innocent civilians to make examples of them. If we are serious about fighting terrorism, we should start by stopping funding for it.

» Continue reading "The War on Terrorism"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 11:27 AM

Fleischer gone, celebrates with yellow cake

Ari Fleischer, the ignoble wall of half-truths, deflections and turn-arounds who has served as the White House press secretary and after his 300th briefing, officially called it quits. His replacement is Scott McClellan. With the recent growing scandal surrounding WMDs and yellow-cake uranium, the adieu was not a triumphant cake walk as he would have liked, with reporters asking some critical questions:

"Why don't you simply retract and withdraw the statement?"
"What's the burden of proof here?"
"If there's so much uncertainty about this information . . . why go through all these hoops to include it?"
"You're trying to have it both ways."
Fleischer's reponse? "I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are." That's certainly an apt decription of America's new style of justice.

At the end of the briefing: "Bob Deans of Cox News Service rose to say that he had brought Fleischer a cake. 'We've received assurances that it's not yellow cake,' Deans said. 'But that doesn't prove that it's not yellow cake.'"

Well Ari, I guess you can't eat your yellow cake and have it too.

July 14, 2003

'darn good evidence'

Evidently, President Bush doesn't understand the definition of "good". He recently said that "I think the intelligence I get is darn good intelligence [...]" Are you kidding? Besides the fact that he has been caught in a lie, I wonder what makes him think his "intelligence" was so "darn good." You say the CIA screwed up, I say the White House leaned on the CIA and ended up with a great scape goat. The proof is right in front of us.

You want proof that the CIA very likely told the President that the uranium statement was shakey? Just look to his Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who didn't use such allegations in his UN speech.

[Colin Powell] said Thursday that he had reservations about the information used in the speech and thus did not use it Feb. 5 in a speech to the U.N. Security Council in which he offered a detailed catalogue of alleged Iraqi transgressions.
» Continue reading "'darn good evidence'"

Posted by joestump at 6:28 PM

July 12, 2003

Plogging for President?

In a truly surreal twist, Lawrence Lessig has handed his cyberlaw blog over to presidential candidate Howard Dean for a week . Dean's motives are not too hard to figure out. Dean's strong point is his eloquence, (contrast that with Bush's lack of eloquence, which inspired Mark Crispin Miller to write a book about it ). Clearly he is fond of using technology and alternative methods of reaching voters. If I were plogging for president, what would I plog about?

» Continue reading "Plogging for President?"

Posted by rjnagle at 6:16 PM

Case not Closed. Not Moving On.

Counterpunch's David Lindorff has a scathing editorial on how we should all deal with problems in our life: New White House Slogan: "Case Closed. Just Move On.". Tell everyone that you've moved on and forgotten about matters and so should they. This tongue-in-cheek piece covers a gambit issues of morality that should shed light on why the case of WMDs (W's Mass Deception[s]) is not closed and why we are not moving on.

July 11, 2003

Bush's Trade Protectionism and Election Strategy

One of the most cynical (and justly derided) executive decisions of the Bush administration was the imposition of "safeguard duties" on European steel imports. Republicans generally have a free trade agenda, but this stood out as a curious exception, presumably because steel-producing states were vital to Bush's 2000 election victory.

Now that WTO has ruled against the US , the EU is preparing $2.2 billion of retaliatory duties on US imports of footwear, fruit and vegetables. The EU targeted duties against industries in key tossup states like Florida--yes, Europe understands the US electoral system all too well.

» Continue reading "Bush's Trade Protectionism and Election Strategy"

Posted by rjnagle at 2:38 PM

July 10, 2003

Green Party: Living in a Fantasy World

Representatives of the Green Party, ISwitched.org sent out a press release today "Billionaire investor Warren Buffett for President? Some Green Party voters say "Yes"!". At first glance, I was amazed that a party that endorses nationalized health care would get support from Warren Buffet. However upon reading closer, it appears that the Green Party has no viable candidates and is hoping only to throw big names into the debate and show that they would support them if they ran. Such other notables as Oprah Winfrey (next week: "Dictators who round up dissidents and the countries who love them") and Susan Sarandon (hey who needs the 2nd amendment?).

So why did they headline Warren Buffet? I admire the man, but not for the same reasons that they cite: "modest lifestyle and attacks on excessive executive compensation" and "ability to self-finance a competitive campaign for President". My impression is that they think he'll bend to the meager weight of the Green Party in a bid to run, that he would turn on his heels on such issues as nationalized healthcare and gun control when he has stated in the past that "Government can't deliver a free lunch to the country as a whole. It can, however, determine who pays for lunch." (excerpt from Dividend Voodoo).

The Green Party is deluded and appears to be casting a wide net in the hopes that they will catch a viable candidate other than Ralph Nader, who has already capitalized (books, speaking tours, etc.) on his run in 2000 and appears to be going nowhere.

Televangelist Pat Robertson Supports Liberia Tyrant

Pat Robertson, of "The 700 Club" infamy, supports a bloodthirsty Liberian despot and derided president Bush for not being Christian enough to support Liberian president Taylor. What could have caused such close Christian sentiments between this tyrant and Robertson? A qualifier would be that in February 2002, Taylor declared a national holiday and, according to news reports on Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, prostrated himself on the stage, saying: "I am not your president. Jesus is!" But as with all politics, Christian oriented or not, the focus usually rests on the money trail, and Robertson is familiar with it's landscape.

Robertson has a rich history with Taylor, including illegal investments in the country's gold mining dating back to April 1999 (the contracts were not approved by Liberia's congress per the country's constitution). All diamond and gold exports have been sanctioned by UN countries since January of 2003; Taylor has been indicted by a United Nations-established tribunal for allegedly backing militias - funded largely by the sale of diamonds - that raped and maimed civilians during the civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Hey Pat, you have some egg on your face. And blood on your hands.

July 9, 2003

Take over television and radio station

Michael Savage was fired from MSNBC for saying what he has said dozens of times before. He told a gay person that he hoped they got AIDS and died. Now, this is not a shocking statement coming from someone like him. It's every day conversation. Savage has made a career of being more extreme than Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, David Duke, Richard Mellon Scaife, or any other right wing extremist you can think of. MSNBC hired him with the express intent of out-Foxing Fox, e.g. being more far right and outrageous than Fox. And when they get what they want they fire the guy?

» Continue reading "Take over television and radio station"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 7:20 AM

July 8, 2003

Electronic Vote Tampering?

New Zealand's Scoop has a series of stories on how insecure and easily manipulated the electronic U.S. election process is, through the use of the dominant Diebold voting ballots. While one story deals explicitly with the ease that a potential fraud could be perpetrated (with pictures and very easy to understand), another article on the same topic deals more with the implications of the security and lack-thereof throughout the Diebold company and their voting software. Scoop contends that, if applied, this electoral scandal could be "bigger than Watergate".

Ongoing information and sources can be found at Black Box Voting, the website that investigated this security problem.

July 7, 2003

The Carlyle Group, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr.: scandalous conflicts of interest

I humbly present to you the avid reader a scandalous video documentary (realvideo format) about the origins of The Carlyle Group, it's connections with Saudi Arabia, George Bush Sr., George Bush Jr., the Bin Laden family and various other former politicians. The first 1:47 is in Dutch, however the rest is in English.

This is undeniably the most unpalatable and egregious conflict of interest I have ever born witness to in our government and can only express my distaste and revulsion by proffering this warning by the late President Eisenhower:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

July 5, 2003

The Fifth Of July

Frank Rich's piece on the patriotic hypocrisy of the Right.

Wrap yourself in the flag, why don't ya?

'Nuff said.

Posted by grover at 8:50 AM

July 3, 2003

Green Virtual Primary

On the spirit of the MoveOn.org, ISwitched.org has organized as well their own virtual primary, this time focusing on the Green candidates, and showing the potential of Instant Runoff Voting, according to their press release:

The ISwitched.Org Primary has three goals: highlighting actual and potential Green Party presidential candidates that were excluded from the MoveOn.org "virtual primary"; allowing Green Party members and sympathizers to demonstrate early support for particular candidates; and demonstrating the use of Instant Runoff Voting...

It is going to get some time to achieve some level of recognition here, but this virtual primary, along with the IRV system, will give a higher profile to the Greens, who are desperately battling against the media indifference and the Democrats' fear.
We have virtual primary on July 7th! Go now and vote!

Posted by Camilo at 2:05 PM

July 2, 2003

The Gulf Of Cynical

In the last year I have come this >< close to consider not voting. Close but not close enough. I'm still an idealist. Fortunately theres' still an undercurrent of it in Generation Y.

It warms my heart to see that at least some young people are still politically motivated. They are still interested in change and grass roots politics and not out for just a navel piercing and beer bongs. There are still idealists being born. They're still in the political trenches as much now as we were 31 years ago. My first presidential vote was for McGovern. The choices are not much different today. The names have changed, yet many of the issues are the same. Peace. Justice. Equality.

Yet, today many politicians are out of touch with young voters and aren't sure how, when or where to connect. The stats are telling, but only reflect voting pattens in general.

It looks like the Constitution Party isn't going to get much of the youth vote with it's stand on oral sex.

Posted by grover at 11:51 PM

Bush: "Bring them on!"

In an attempt to allay the fears that the U.S. was becoming entrenched in a traditional guerilla-style war in Iraq, Bush knocked down the walls of rational peace-initiatives by taunting Iraqis discontent with the US policy and occupation of Iraq to "Bring them on" (them presumably meaning more attacks), claiming that "We have the force necessary to deal with the situation." No word yet on how families of military servicemen will respond to this browbeating by the Bush Administration and their calls for more attacks on troops.

The persistent drumbeat of guerilla attacks has ended in casualties for 65 men and women in uniform, nearly half of the 138 U.S. casualties since the end of the Iraq War was declared. At the current rate, the number of peace-keeping casualties is expected to surpass the war deaths by early August.

Guns don't kill people, Gun manufacturers do

The Brady Center is filing yet another lawsuit against gun makers, only this one is causing commotion since the judge has allowed the case to proceed on "hypothetical facts". The case revolves around the inventory fiasco of a reseller, Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, that sold Bushmaster rifles, one of which eventually fell into the hands of the suspect D.C. snipers, John Malvo and John Muhammad. From the text of Judge Cuthbert's response to the claim:

"In the present case, assuming the facts and hypothetical facts presented by plaintiffs as true," he wrote [emphasis added], "Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., knew or should have known that Bull's Eye Shooter Supply was operating its store in a reckless or incompetent manner, creating an unreasonable risk of harm."

The case is a slippery legal slope, if the plaintiff wins, it would require gun manufacturers to closely scrutinize the inventory practices of resellers and to be accountable for every screw-up they make. Then again, that's exactly what the Brady Center is pushing for.

July 1, 2003

China readies for future U.S. fight

Though economic ties with China have been growing for the past ten years, the communist nation has been viewing the U.S. with an ever-increasing hostile stance. In the aftermath of the military and technological display of the first Gulf War, China poised itself to rival the acheivements of the US, and this latest Gulf War was not exception. China is already dissecting tactics and technology aspects of this war and is impressed, if not worried, that a future conflict with the U.S. may arise. The nation is readying itself to become more self-reliant in regards to it's growing energy needs and has not ruled out the option of supporting it's traditional ally N. Korea in the event of a U.S.-led regime change.

Political historians may recall that the U.S. has been leaking technology to the nation in exchange for political contributions and economic reliance.