Friday, November 12, 2004
This blogger is taking a break. For the next few weeks Days will be on hiatus, taking a much-needed break from an unhealthy obsession with cable news and gossip pages. During Thanksgiving week, I will be making a daring dash deep into the heart of Red America, visiting South Carolina and Georgia. Upon my return, I will no doubt have a story or two to tell about how the other 51% lives. Either that, or I'll come back a born-again, tobacco-spitting, gun-toting, bible-thumping conservative convert. If I quote scripture in my first entry, somebody please put me out of my misery and shut this blog down.
Look out Red America, here comes Days. I'll try and be a bit more diplomatic than this while I'm in your backyard.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
I promise, I've tried to avoid doing this, I really have. But the liberal half of the blogosphere is erupting with stories of voter fraud, suppression and other election night shenanigans. To be honest, I was actually relieved when Kerry conceded quickly last week, glad not to have to suffer through another endless, not-made-for-TV recount saga. But in the past week an ever-growing fountain of eyebrow-raising stories have compelled me to throw my 2-cents in.
My point is not to stir up the left-leaning conspiracy theorists into a wild frothy fervor, that's already been done. Nor is it to whine about or claim that the Democrats we're robbed, not directly anyway. My point is this: Why the hell have we not been able to figure this out?? Since the vote count debacle of 2000, a reasonable person would think that those responsible would spend a lot of time, energy and money on fixing vote inconsistencies and flawed counting practices. But the confusion surrounding this election make it clear that they haven't. Of course, maybe those responsible for fixing the problems aren't interested in fixing them at all, but that leads us down the Mulder trail again.
Why hasn't this been fixed? Why are voting standards so varied from state to state, county to county? Why do people have to wait in line until 4 am in a freezing Ohio ran just to cast their votes? How is it that we have the technology to launch billionaires into space in the morning and bring them back that same afternoon and yet we still vote as though we were Fred and Wilma Flintstone? (of course, in those days I don't think Wilma was allowed to vote) Why can't we simply trust that our elections are being conducting fairly?
The answer to all these problems seems simple to me. For national elections, why don't we have a national voting standard? It seems only logical to me. Why don't all US citizens vote the same way, across the board? It seems as though it would make things a whole lot easier and it would, for the most part, eliminate all of this conspiracy nonsense. Of course, it would also eliminate the ability to manipulate an election, so maybe neither side is interested in fixing the system. But in my opinion, democracy is failing if it doesn't get fixed.
And now, just for fun, a sampling of election fraud stories:
- Evidence Mounts That The Vote May Have Been Hacked
- Greg Palast: Kerry won. Here are the facts.
- Fuzzy Math? States with E-Voting Show Wonky Numbers
- David Corn: A Stolen Election?
- The Incredible Reverse-Count Voting Machine!
- BlackBoxVoting.com: Bev Harris is Crazy!
- Bob Fitrakis: Did Kerry Concede to Soon?
- A Wikipedia round-up
- Bush's Incredible Vote Tallies
- Keith Olberman at MSNBC, the only mainstream media voice to lend credence to the fraud story... that is, if you consider MSNBC to be mainstream.
- Perhaps the oddest story of election hijinks has to be this one out of Warren County, Ohio, where officials locked down the vote count from public eyes (reporters, inspectors, etc.) due to an unspecified but "serious" terrorist threat. Of course, this was the only county in the nation to do so. Surely, al Qaeda was targeting that holy grail of all terrorist targets: The Dude Ranch in Morrow, Ohio.
- And if all that isn't enough to convince you, check out this video of Sen. Peter King, (R) NY, shot about month before the election.
"As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?" - Tammany Hall boss William Tweed.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
... the election is over.
U.S. Lowers Terror Threat Level for Financial SectorThey could've at least waited a week so that it didn't seem so obvious. Sheesh.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has lowered the terror threat level for the financial services sector in New York City, northern New Jersey and Washington, the Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday.
Homeland Security: Official Statement
As much as I'm relieved to see attorney general John Ashcroft, a man who was rewarded with his cabinet position after losing a Senate race to a dead man, resign his postion, I don't have much hope that his replacement, whomever it turns out to be, will restore rational thought to the post... these are, after all, Republicans we're talking about.
But I was certainly comforted by the words the departing Ashhole used in his resignation letter to the president:
“The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved."Well, thank god we don't have to worry about crime and terror anymore, now we can focus on booting all 'dem fancy-pants gays out of the country!
What a douche.
The Ashcroft Legacy
"To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve.'' -- December 2001
In Other Words: "Civil Liberties are for pussies."
"Does this mean the Spirit of Jusitce can finally uncover her boob?"
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Colin Powell, in London today, said that the U.S. would pursue a more "agressive foreign policy" in Bush's second term. Apparently, the policy of the last four years has been a bit too timid for W's taste. I'm sure these are not comforting words for the rest of the world, not that 51% of this country gives a shit. Bearing this in mind, it seems only appropriate to draw attention to SorryEverybody.com, where hundreds of images similar to the ones below are being uploaded every day.
You can check out the entire gallery, or add your own apology, here.
And, uh, yeah, we really are sorry world... can we blue-staters still come visit?
I knew it, I just knew it! God is pissed...
Plague threat as millions of locusts swarm into CyprusSince the intial swarm, just before W. was re-elected, the locusts have spread to Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Mauritania, Syria and Israel. I think it might be time to check the Rapture Index... *gulp*
CYPRUS - Tens of millions of locusts have descended on Cyprus and the island now has less than 10 days to act before the invasion turns into a self-perpetuating plague.
Making Sense of the Ten Plagues.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Red Amercia? Blue America? Actually, it appears we're kinda purple... which means we're kinda gay, doesn't it? Jerry Falwell must be crying into his Tinky Winky doll right about now.
Full image here.
Speaking of maps, this one made the rounds shortly after the election...
I assume the capital of Jesusland is somewhere in Kansas, no? Or maybe Crawford.
More Fun With Maps! (thanks Ash)
Friday, November 05, 2004
Michael Moore weighs in with "17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists":
1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.Read the rest, plus his less funny but more poignant immediate reaction to the election outcome, at MichaelMoore.com.
6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava.
7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut.
9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't have to buy now.
12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.
Apparently, the Bush administration intends to tackle education reform during it's second term in the same manner they plan to reform the Middle East – with firepower.
"When the heavy gun in the left wing of an Air National Guard F-16 fighter jet fired Wednesday night it sent 25 20mm rounds smashing through the roof and zinging off the asphalt parking lot of the Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School."Can't wait to see what they do about social security – watch out Boca!
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Yesterday was a tough day, a depressing day. Today was a little better. I've regained my sanity a little, and I'm beginning to keep solid foods down again. I was kind of hoping Ashton Kutcher would show up on CNN and tell us that what happened Tuesday was nothing more than an elaborate hoax, that we'd all been royally Punk'd. But Ashton is nowhere to be found. And so, all the questioning, all the soul searching, all the what-the-fuck-happened? has begun. I can't be bothered to weigh in on the speculation about what the Democratic Party needs to do to right the ship because, frankly, I'm tired. This does not, however, mean that I'm giving up - not by a long shot. This also doesn't mean that I don't have a few theories as to what happened. In short, I'm blaming God.
Ok, that's a bit dramatic, but I truly think religion played a larger part in this election than in years past. We've heard a lot about what mattered most to voters as they headed to the polls on Tuesday, and surprisingly (to me at least), the overriding issue seems to have not been terrorism, not the mess in Iraq, not the failing economy, but rather, "values," specifically conservative values. Before I get into it, let me make clear that I have nothing against religion; I think it's a good thing. What I do have a problem with is people hijacking a religion to further their own agendas and ambition, and it is my contention that this is exactly what the Bush administration has done.
I remember in the days and weeks and months after 9/11, how quickly the country began to turn toward religion for answers. In my lifetime, I had never seen such a dramatic embrace of religious values, but it made sense. We'd seen hell-on-earth on our television screens, or, in the case of those of us here in New York, in our skies. People we're scared, they wanted answers. September 11, 2001 instilled so much fear and panic throughout the country, I think many people just threw up their hands to the heavens and said, "we don't understand this crazy world, please help us God!!" And then, along came Bush proclaiming to be hand-picked by the almighty himself to fight this war and lead this country. The people said, "Hallelujah! Bush talks to God, let him guide us!" And now, despite all the facts and all logic, they support the guy, unwilling to admit that, when the curtain is pulled back, the mighty Oz is nothing but a mere mortal, able to make mistakes just like the rest of us. If the people admitted that, they'd panic all over again, fearful of a scary world without clear and simple answers. And so, blind faith trumps fear of the unknown and Bush gets four more years. It's the only explanation for how a president whose policies are disapproved of by a majority of the population, can still win the popular vote.
Reasoned thought lost out in this election, blind faith won. Just like Islamic fundamentalists have hijacked the Muslim faith to further their fundamentalist agendas, the Bushites have hijacked Christianity to further theirs. To understand what I mean, just take a look at the completely unnecessary issue of gay marriage, which was introduced into the campaign by the Bush machine simply so Republicans could use it to tout their so-called 'value' system and get their conservative base to the polls. While P.Diddy and Jon Bon Jovi worked to energize the youth vote for the Dems, a good majority of priests, ministers and other clergy in the heartland were busy pumping up the Republican base by extolling the evils of 'gay marriage', often doing so at the behest of the White House.
But just because the Republicans hold up the 'values' mantle, it doesn't mean their interpretation of "core values" are in the best interest of the country. How does denying an entire group of Americans their basic civil rights because it makes some people 'uncomfortable' equal 'values'? How does bankrupting our children's future fit in with core Christian 'values'? How did making it easier for anyone to get their hands on high-powered assault weapons become a core 'value'? How does sending jobs to India instead of putting people back to work here at home translate into 'values'? How does limiting scientific progress that could lead to cures for a slew of deadly illnesses amount to solid 'values'? What kind of hypocritical 'value set' are they talking about when the life of an unborn child is valued more than that of an 18-year-old sent off to Iraq without the proper equipment or planning? I hate to say this, but to all you well-meaning people of faith: These folks are using you. Sorry, but you've been Punk'd.
Again, I'm not slamming religion, I'm slamming the way the Bush administration has hijacked religion and played on people's fears to push their ultra-conservative agenda. And now they claim to have a mandate to do it... I'm not sure how 51% translates into a mandate, but we're not living in a "reality-based community" anymore, we're living in BushWorld.
And so, I will continue to fight because I, a proud member of the reality-based community, don't want to live in BushWorld anymore. But of course, I'm nothing but a godless, valueless heathen from a blue-state, so why listen to me?
Errol Louis: The Red State Blues.
Richard Reeves: The Dangerous Mix.
William Saletan: How to start winning the red states. (Thanks AB)
Chen Chung-ho and the Lion's Den, a metaphor?
That liberal, cultural elitisit rag the New York Times offered up a liberal, cultural elitist account of how we liberal, culltural elitist New Yorkers are feeling in the aftermath of Tuesday's bloodbath by, of course, speaking with liberal, cultural elitist New Yorkers:
The wheels have already been set in motion to annex New York City to the French.
"Everybody seems to hate us these days," said Zito Joseph, a 63-year-old retired psychiatrist. "None of the people who are likely to be hit by a terrorist attack voted for Bush. But the heartland people seemed to be saying, 'We're not affected by it if there would be another terrorist attack.'
"I'm saddened by what I feel is the obtuseness and shortsightedness of a good part of the country - the heartland," Dr. Joseph said. "This kind of redneck, shoot-from-the-hip mentality and a very concrete interpretation of religion is prevalent in Bush country - in the heartland. New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realize we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what's going to injure masses of people is not good for us."
His friend, Ms. Cohn, a native of Wisconsin who deals in art, contended that New Yorkers were not as fooled by Mr. Bush's statements as other Americans might be. "New Yorkers are savvy," she said. "We have street smarts. Whereas people in the Midwest are more influenced by what their friends say. They're very 1950's. When I go back there, I feel I'm in a time warp."
"Do you know how I described New York to my European friends?" said Beverly Camhe, a film producer. "New York is an island off the coast of Europe."Careful Ms. Camhe, in the Bush regime, wrapping your arms around the heartland could get you shipped to Gitmo.
"What's different about New York City is it tends to bring people together and so we can't ignore each others' dreams and values and it creates a much more inclusive consciousness," she said. "When you're in a more isolated environment, you're more susceptible to some ideology that's imposed on you. If the heartland feels so alienated from us, then it behooves us to wrap our arms around the heartland."
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Even though 11 states voted for a homophobic, prehistoric ban against gay marriage, it appears America really does enjoy getting fucked in the ass.
Stupid, stupid country.
I guess I have to keep doing this for four more years now... dark Days ahead, dark Days indeed.
William Saletan: Simple Is As Simple Does
Sorry Puffy, but the youth apparently would rather Die than Vote.