Third Party & Independents

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger
March 2004 Archives

March 27, 2004

Hypocrisy Run Amok

It has been a wild week in Washington capped by Richard Clarke’s dramatic testimony before the 9/11 commission. His revelations have been devastating to the Bush Administration and they threaten to take 9/11 away from Bush as a campaign issue which would all but doom his chances in 2004. The Karl Rove smear machine wasted no time in going after Clarke but those efforts seemed strangely ineffective against the only government official, Republican or Democrat, who had the courage to take responsibility for 9/11 and apologize to the families of the victims and to the nation as a whole. Character is an amazing thing and if the Bush Administration had any they might have been in a better position to deal with this latest threat.

» Continue reading "Hypocrisy Run Amok"

Posted by William Flynn at 4:34 PM

March 26, 2004

Is it too late for an energy policy?

Thirty odd years ago OPEC slapped us around and made the U.S.A. look like an impotent giant. Now, here we are in the 21st-century with gas approaching 2 dollars a gallon and for all practical purposes we have not addressed the issue.

» Continue reading "Is it too late for an energy policy?"

Posted by at 7:13 PM

March 24, 2004

Voting for the lesser evil, is still evil

To save America, Green Party members and Independents are again called upon to sacrifice our own voice to support the Democrats' nominee for president. As the “anyone but Bush” crowd likes to point out, the only real option in 2004 is to vote for Kerry--given that Nader (or any other progressive) is not going to win--and that Kerry, however undesirable, is preferable to Bush. Progressive Democrats in particular point out that anyone who does not understand this “basic principle” is strategically unsophisticated, irresponsible, and even destructive.

This type of thinking, however, illustrates one of the fundamental flaws of the left; i.e. our inability to articulate a vision of the future and what steps we need to take to get there. Instead, our political orientation is heavily geared toward the short term, with our highest goal set on throwing out the latest despot in the Oval Office. More often than not, we find ourselves in a defensive holding pattern, devoting little thought to the long-term implications of our actions.

» Continue reading "Voting for the lesser evil, is still evil"

Posted by Forrest Hill at 11:18 AM

More Warnings About Medicare: Insolvency Likely by 2019

And the economic news just keeps getting worse and worse, under the stewardship of Bush Jr. Seems the new Medicare law will not cure all senior health care ills as the Republicans would have us believe. And with each passing day the law once hailed as the savior of seniors and the disabled, is nothing more then a prescription for disaster, one which might leave the Medicare trust fund drained of reserves by 2019, some seven years earlier then expected.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and in his annual report on the Medicare Trust Fund stated that increased health care cost—which has to include prescription drugs—and decreasing revenues (tax cuts), are the primary motivators behind the revised forecast. He went on to predict that changes to the program called for under the new Medicare law will help slow the growth in spending, however, this predicated on seniors enrolling in managed-care programs.

» Continue reading "More Warnings About Medicare: Insolvency Likely by 2019"

Quickie

Those who believe that our nation's war on terror has made us more vulnerable, and made us a bigger target, would do well to read this mornings article on statements issued by Hamas' new leader. After their leadership issued veiled threats against the United States, Abdel Aziz Rantisi has made a point to state unequivocally that their only target is Israel.

Why would he backtrack so quickly, even while anger over the death of Ahmed Yassin is still high? I would think even President Bush's biggest haters know in their hearts, even if they won't admit it, that the reason is, quite simply, our leaders have shown the world that we mean business. Hamas sees what we have done to the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the Baathists, and they know they would be next if we perceive them as a threat.

Posted by Rob B. at 9:22 AM

March 23, 2004

Presidential Politics, it's "FANtastic!"

Jesse "The Body" Ventura, former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler has all but thrown his hat in the ring for the 2008 presidential election. Ventura said yesterday, "It's time to put a wrestler in the White House."

Ventura also announced that his intended running mate is former NBA superstar Charles Barkley. Barkley has expressed interest in holding elected office previously, including rumors he might run for governor of Alabama.

Do they stand a shot in 2008? Did anyone think Ventura could be elected governor before he won, or that action star Arnold Schwarzenegger could become governor of California? What could this ticket do to the race?

Posted by blipsman at 7:09 PM

Is Killing a Terrorist Wrong?

Imagine if tomorrow Osama Bin Laden was killed by a targeted attacked in the hills of Afghanistan. Could you imagine that the following would be the world’s reaction:

"What happened was more brutal than anyone can imagine and it doesn't make sense. We condemn this aggression..." (Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president)

"I do condemn the targeted assassination... Such actions are not only contrary to international law, they do not do anything to help search for a peaceful solution. I appeal to all in the region to remain calm and avoid escalation in tensions." (Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary general)

» Continue reading "Is Killing a Terrorist Wrong?"

March 22, 2004

Coming out of the woodwork

Like rats jumping off a burning ship, an election year must seem to be a nice cleansing moment for Washington D.C., with their own version of the ship-board vermin leaving town to write books and blast whoever is currently in power, such as Clinton and Bush terror advisor Richard Clarke has recently done. The real trick for America is trying to tell just who the heck is telling the truth, and who doesn't mind playing hard and fast with the truth in order to sell books. While not at all easy, little clues will appear that often put us in the right direction.

» Continue reading "Coming out of the woodwork"

Posted by Rob B. at 9:33 AM

March 21, 2004

Could 9/11 have been prevented if Bush had paid attention to intelligence?

Well the mud just keeps getting deeper and deeper in front of the White House this election season, and the lies become more and more pervasive and despicable in their scope. Now comes compelling evidence that had the Bush Administration listen to the intelligence being presented, there is a more then even chance that 9/11 could have been prevented.

For anyone that missed it, 60 Minutes held an interview with Richard Clark the Bush Administration's former counter-terrorism coordinator. He stated:

“[f]rankly, I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism," Clarke said during the 60 Minutes interview. "He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know."

» Continue reading "Could 9/11 have been prevented if Bush had paid attention to intelligence?"

March 20, 2004

An ACLU Resurgence?

The ACLU was once the pillar of non-partisan protection of constitutional rights in America- it would defend any person, no matter how much they disagreed with their views, if their constitutional liberties were in danger. I used to want to even want to work for the ACLU (I even called them once to volunteer but could not get hours that jived with my job). Sadly, the ACLU came under control of more leftist types, and started having a much more left-wing agenda- refusing to come out strongly against speech codes on campuses (because it did not want to anger minority groups), refusing to defend the free speech rights of anti-abortion protestors, ect. Many, including myself, who once admired the ACLU despite our disagreement with them on key issues (like abortion), have been dismayed there is no group that now fills the shoes of an even-handed proponent of civil liberties for all people, no matter their political ideology.

» Continue reading "An ACLU Resurgence?"

March 19, 2004

What Price Unilateral Free Trade?

Question: is the sole purpose of humankind to consume goods? And if so, to what end? How much stuff can you accumulate before it’s too much? How far do you chase prices downward before the interest of societal preservation takes hold? How much profit is too much, or is there such an idea in the free-market mindset?

A fellow WatchBLOG editor bade us all to read a paper written by Milton and Rose Friedman The Case for Free Trade, and I am stunned by the near-sidedness of their collective viewpoint. This paper is totally divorced of common sense and the real world understanding, or values that would make it germane to the realities of today.

» Continue reading "What Price Unilateral Free Trade?"

Free trade: Is it ever a bad Idea?

First off, I am not an economist. On the other hand I am not an idiot either. I have worked for decades in the physical science field and can smell bad logic a mile away.

» Continue reading "Free trade: Is it ever a bad Idea?"

Posted by at 11:06 AM

Terrorists and Tantrums

Simple Lesson: When a child gets their way every time they throw a tantrum, the kid will continue to throw tantrums every time they do not like what’s going on.

Lesson Application: When you let terrorist groups think they can have you make policy changes to bribe them into not attacking your nation, they will continue to threaten your country when they do not like what you are doing.

» Continue reading "Terrorists and Tantrums"

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at 12:34 AM

March 18, 2004

Statement of Peace and Freedom Party Presidential Candidate Leonard Peltier

[Posted in the interest of equal time - no matter what the Green Party does, there WILL be an alternative for progressive voters on the fall 2004 California Presidential election ballot.

See the Leonard Peltier California Yahoo Group for more information about the campaign and Free Leonard Peltier for more information about the candidate. -Thomas]

» Continue reading "Statement of Peace and Freedom Party Presidential Candidate Leonard Peltier"

Posted by at 3:10 AM

Terry Baum - first "write-in" candidate to qualify for general election ballot since 1968.

Terry Baum will be running for Congress against Democrat Nancy Pelosi on the Green Party ballot line - after waging California's first successful "write-in" campaign in the last thirty years. 1,651 members of the Green Party "wrote in" a vote for Terry in the March 2nd, 2004 primary election - 46 more than were needed to qualify for a line on the November ballot. The last folks to do that were Huey Newton and the Black Panthers in 1968 on the Peace and Freedom Party ballot line, so that tells you a bit about how difficult it is to qualify for the ballot this way.

This was an incredible organizational feat by the SF Green Party: qualification via "write-in" requires that 10% of the registered voters in your party show up at the ballot booth and write your name in - not an easy process at all in a low turn out election. Especially one that offered Greens no high profile candidate in the Presidential nomination contest (apologies to Camejo, but he's still not in Nader's league in terms of name recognition). It shows both the depth of dissatisfaction with Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party's support for the war in Iraq (Baum's primary focus is opposition to the war in Iraq - her slogan is "Baum for Peace"), and the growing strength of the Green Party at the grassroots.

» Continue reading "Terry Baum - first "write-in" candidate to qualify for general election ballot since 1968."

Posted by at 2:15 AM

March 17, 2004

Some Sanity about Outsourcing

There is no issue that has frustrated me as much in his election cycle as the so-called outsourcing “crisis” the democrats have all been harping about. These politicians have picked up on America’s anxiety about jobs and have turned it into disingenuous rhetoric which, if taken seriously, will take our country and the lives of poor people around the world in the wrong direction. All of a sudden John Kerry, whose chief merit as a politician was his support for free trade, has now turned into a so-called “fair trader”, decrying the outsourcing of American jobs. This is a dangerous and economically illiterate trend- but why does it always keep happening?

» Continue reading "Some Sanity about Outsourcing"

Spanish Lullaby

I’ve been away on business and during that time had been relegated to getting my news from the USA Today that was delivered to my hotel room each morning and the 15 second sound bites that seem to have all but taken over the evening news. Like the rest of the world I was very saddened by the tragedy that has recently befallen the people of Spain and truly the people of the world. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. The events of 3/11 are but another sad reminder of how far we still have to go to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and an even sadder reminder of how ineffectual that effort has been so far.

» Continue reading "Spanish Lullaby"

Posted by William Flynn at 7:11 PM

March 15, 2004

Bush/Kerry = Lincoln/Douglas?

Recently John Kerry challenged George W. Bush to a series of monthly debates. He made this challenge in Quincy, Illinois with the goal of recalling the famous Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debates of 1858. While I think its an important civic exercise to have the sort of televised debates that we have become accustomed to in the TV era, this reference to the Lincoln-Douglas debates illustrates exactly why presidential debates today are rather meaningless in terms of real engagement of the issues.

» Continue reading "Bush/Kerry = Lincoln/Douglas?"

Laci and Conner's Bill

U.S. Senate Will Vote on Unborn Victims Bill With No Filibuster

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) Members of the U.S. Senate have agreed to have a debate and vote on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act as early as the week of March 22. The Senate has never before voted on this legislation, that would allow prosecutors to hold criminals accountable when they kill or injure an unborn child as a result of an attack on a pregnant woman. One of the biggest hurdles the bill has faced has been the threat of a filibuster by certain Democratic senators, which would force supporters to find 60 votes to pass the legislation. Without the filibuster concern, a simply majority can pass the bill, turn back a substitute bill and send the legislation to President Bush, who has been pressuring Congress for years to send this bill to him.

» Continue reading "Laci and Conner's Bill"

Posted by JasonTromm at 2:16 PM

March 12, 2004

Politicians say the darndest things.

When I was a kid and got into a fight, the excuse "He started it" never really won me any points on getting out of trouble. Apparently, it's one of those many hypocritical lessons we learn as a child that is very useful as an adult, especially if you happen to be a politician in today's political climate.

» Continue reading "Politicians say the darndest things."

Posted by Beau Wade at 3:29 PM

March 11, 2004

Bush Pulls Plug on Manufacturing Czar at Last Moment

Talk about egg on your face (boy it looks good). Just hours before the Bush Administration was set to announce the nomination of its long awaited manufacturing Czar, or the new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services the Kerry Campaign revealed that the nominee, one Anthony F. Raimondo, chairman and chief executive of Behlen Manufacturing Co. of Columbus, NE had himself shipped U.S. jobs overseas to China. It seems Raimondo’s company laid off some 75 U.S. workers in 2002, four months after publicizing plans to build a 3 million dollar 150,000 sq foot factory in northwest China, which employees 180 people.

» Continue reading "Bush Pulls Plug on Manufacturing Czar at Last Moment"

House of Bush, House of Saud

Craig Unger's new book is the result of his investigations into the thirty year relationship between the Bush family and the al-Saud family. I've found it interesting that in the late 80's and early 90's the Bush coterie emphasized the importance of their relationship with the Saud's and since 9-11 they've been denying that there's any real substance to the relationship.

This book highlights the incident immediately after 9-11 where many members of bin Laden's immediate family were allowed to leave the country without being questioned along with members of the Saud family. In what is promising to be a vicious election year, I'm surprisde that the media is making no effort to cover this story at all.

I would imagine that if Kerry (or Nader) had such a close relationship with a family that has been funding al Qaeda it would be front page news every single day. And if Kerry were smart he'd be asking questions about this constantly.

Posted by rev_matt_y at 1:18 PM

March 7, 2004

Green Party Presidential Candidates Overview

I received the item below via Owen Bradhurst, who runs an informational list for Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party members entitled "need-to-know". This list is a great source of inside information (amid a fair amount of "noise", as well). I'm reposting this item, because it is one of the most comprehensive overviews of the various candidates for Green Party presidential nomination that I've seen; even I wasn't aware that Dr. Johnathan Farley had declared that he was running for President:

NATIONAL: Dr. Jonathan Farley has announced his candidacy for the Green presidential nomination. On Monday, February 16, Dr. Farley participated in a Green presidential candidates' debate sponsored by the University of Minnesota College Greens, the Green Party of Minnesota, and the 5th Congressional District Greens at the University of Minnesota.

» Continue reading "Green Party Presidential Candidates Overview"

Posted by at 4:58 PM

March 6, 2004

The Death Penalty Issue

I watched “Dead Man Walking” for the first time tonight and it got me thinking about the death penalty. The death penalty will be an issue in the upcoming presidential election since John Kerry is the first presidential candidate (in the general election) since Mike Dukakis to oppose the death penalty, and it is one of the issue where Bush and Kerry are actually very different. I have to admit that the death penalty has never been an issue I have been passionate about either way, but I have always been curious as to why many people get so worked up against it. As far as I can tell, there are a couple of arguments they put forth:

» Continue reading "The Death Penalty Issue"

March 4, 2004

packing a lot into one sentence

For someone who votes Republican as much as I do, you'd think I'd have more nice things to say about their political skills. But I've always found them too timid to take on the Democrats. They've always let the other side dominate and define the issues, not to mention letting them demagogue those same issues. Their rhetorical skills have been too often dry and uninteresting, while the Democratic machine is well oiled, slick and ready to attack the Republicans for literally anything they try to do politically.
maybe that has finally changed...

» Continue reading "packing a lot into one sentence"

Posted by Rob B. at 9:34 AM

March 3, 2004

Gary Nolan wins California

Democrats weren't the only candidates on the ballots yesterday. Libertarian primaries were held in California, where frontrunner Gary Nolan locked in his lead against competitors. Nolan garnered 59%, Aaron Russo trailed at 25% and Michael Badnarik at 17%.

The Libertarian Party Presidential Nominating Convention takes place May 27–31, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia. Gary Nolan is expected to claim the nomination.

Posted by SoL at 1:19 PM

March 2, 2004

Live Super Tuesday Results; Edwards Out

12:44AM - I'm off. End score: Kerry 9, Dean 1. The Democratic primaries are officially over as far as most people are concerned (myself included). Now to see if a 3rd party candidate will emerge (Nader is being booed thus far). If not, this is going to be a Bush vs Kerry match-up in November. Anyways, I hope some of you enjoyed the semi-continuous coverage. I'll be sure to do it again on election night.

11:24PM - MSNBC just called California in favor of Kerry with a gargantuan 2% of precincts reporting. You would think they would have learned something from the 2000 elections, right? Selah.

11:05PM - In regard to my previous remark: CNN just called California in Kerry's favor with 0% reporting. Polls closed at 8PM PST (11PM EST).

» Continue reading "Live Super Tuesday Results; Edwards Out"

Posted by SoL at 8:32 PM

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Apparently the California Supreme Court has declared that Catholic Charities is required to provide birth control coverage to its employees. As I see it, thanks to this heavy-handed government intervention, the charity has three options- (1) violate the articles of their faith by providing contraception coverage; (2) cut off prescription drug coverage for all of its workers, thus escaping the scope of the law they were sued under; or (3) stop offering “counseling, low-income housing and immigration services to people of all faiths, without directly preaching Catholic values”, and then it can be classified as a religious employer under the statute’s exception.

» Continue reading "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"