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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Kerry's Convention Speech

I’ll admit that Kerry gave a great speech. I particularly liked his mention of the $200,000 figure, which can be used as a convenient dividing line between the rich and the middle class. If people tell you they’re Republican, ask them if they make over $200,000 a year. If the answer is no, then tell them they are not voting in their own best interests, and that they have no business being Republican. They may get trickled upon, but not in the form of money.

I’m still voting for Nader, of course, and you should too. Kerry did not talk about getting our troops out of Iraq in six months, repealing the Patriot Act, same-sex marriage rights, repealing the Taft-Hartley Act, or Instant Runoff Voting. Nader supports all those things.

At the 1992 convention, Clinton said a lot of good things, but then he got elected, and we never got universal health care, we never got the full peace dividend, and we never got reduced auto emissions. Jerry Brown told you it would be so. Kerry may be better than Clinton to the extent that, thanks to Dean, he’s able to raise money in small contributions over the Internet. To get the real thing, however, you need to vote for Nader. Elect Kerry, and I think you’ll be hearing "I told you so" quite often from the Nader camp.

"The Mystery of the 2004 Elections" by Peter Camejo, Nader’s running mate:

Thursday, July 29, 2004

“Amish in the City” and Gas Prices

I took a break from the Dem convention to watch the latest reality TV show, "Amish in the City," where five Amish young adults stay with six city counterparts in LA to see how they like it. So far I think I like the Amish kids better than the city kids, who are sometimes mean and arrogant.

Then today I heard that oil has hit a record $43 a barrel. As the price continues to increase in the coming decades, we may learn a thing or two from the Amish. Getting by without fossil fuels could be an important survival skill. For more background on this topic, see my October 2003 book review of "The Party’s Over" by Richard Heinberg.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

9/11 experiment

I’d like to see an experiment with three or four full-size columns, one or two floors high, using the same type of bracing used in the towers. With a tremendous amount of weight up top, expose some sort of a super blowtorch to each column. Knowing that it takes a long time to heat the steel, I would expect the collapse to be asymmetric every time.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Sounds logical to me

I wish the 9/11 Commission would explore this line of reasoning…

Given that:

A)  The WTC towers fell straight down;
B)  For a building to fall straight down, its steel supports must be destroyed symmetrically (http://science.howstuffworks.com/building-implosion1.htm);
C)  The temperature needed to melt steel is much higher than the temperature needed for a person to survive;
D)  Some people survived from above the point of impact, escaping down an intact stairwell (http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2002-09-02-choices-usat_x.htm);

…then the heat applied to the steel supports could not have been symmetric, therefore, the WTC towers were not brought down by burning jet fuel.

More info: http://911research.wtc7.net/index.html

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Edwards indoctrinated

Before Kerry selected Edwards, I thought Edwards might be too liberal for Kerry because he was a trial lawyer, and because he was not a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Now, it turns out, Edwards is attending a meeting of the Bilderberg Group, a secretive elite group similar to the CFR.  Both groups have ties to David Rockefeller.
Also in the news, Kerry told the Wall Street Journal Thursday he would keep troops in Iraq throughout his first term in office, and Democratic presidentical candidate Dennis Kucinich has given up on efforts to get a platform plank to set a timetable to get U.S. troops out of Iraq.

Cynical speculation

The latest poll by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press shows that Kerry's lead over Bush in Minnesota has slipped from 3 points to 1 point since May.  I sure hope it's not because of Kerry's new commercial on energy independence (which I have to admit is the best of his I've seen, whether or not I believe he'd make good on it).  It may be cynical speculation on my part, but there might be a lot of swing voters who still don't want to part with their SUV's, and aren't looking far enough ahead to see the consequences.  Then again, the results might just be fluctuations within the margin of error.  Nader is holding steady at 2% in MN. 

Friday, July 16, 2004

First Daughters' Debate

I listened to Kerry’s daughter Vanessa on the Al Franken Show today.  She and her sister Alexandra should challenge their counterparts Jenna and Barbara Bush to a debate, and then taunt them if they refuse.  Nader doesn’t have any kids, so I won’t demand that they be included.  Don’t say I didn’t do anything to help the Kerry campaign!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Kerry's bump: Edwards or Fahrenheit?

Pundits have been analyzing Kerry's bump in the polls after choosing John Edwards. I wonder if any of that bump can be attributed to Fahrenheit 9/11. Undecideds may have waited a while to see the movie.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Polls and the Nader-Dean debate

The lastest poll I saw had Nader at about 4%. I was talking with somebody today who said he would vote for Nader if he reaches 30%. That got me to thinking, Nader would probably do much better if the poll question was rephrased. Something like, “If you could personally select the President of the United States, who would be your first choice, your second choice, your third choice, and so on?”

Essentially, that’s what Instant Runoff Voting asks you.

I enjoyed the debate yesterday between Ralph Nader and Howard Dean, who was there to cover Kerry’s left flank. I was encouraged that they both support Instant Runoff Voting. Now, as Nader said, we need to hear Kerry talk about it. Dean said Kerry is our best chance at reforms like IRV, but to that I would say the Democrats have had their chance and our trust has run out. A third-party President and Congress are our best chance to get reforms like IRV.

Aside from a few technicalities like Initiative and Referendum, Dean did not have a problem with Nader on the issues. His main concern is the fear of re-electing Bush. Nader, for his part, had a chance to list his many differences with Kerry, a point he made “abundantly clear.”

In attendance at the debate was John Anderson, a third-party candidate for President in 1980. He was the first presidential candidate I voted for, and, come to think of it, I’ve voted for third-party candidates in four of the last six elections.

Nader needs 15% to get into the debates with Bush and Kerry. If everybody waits for everybody else, we’ll never get there. That’s why I’m staying planted, and I’m willing to wait as long as it takes for y’all to join us. Before we can get to 30%, we need to get to 15%, and before we can get to 15%, we need a steady base of supporters at 4%.

Wall Street Week: A glimpse at the dark side of the force

If you don’t think Washington is corporate-occupied territory, you should have seen “Wall Street Week with Fortune” on PBS last night. On it was Michael Baroody, criticizing John Edwards, who took on powerful corporations as a trial lawyer. “Asbestos litigation all by itself poses a $250 billion drag on the ability of American manufacturers to fully compete and to grow as they ought to be growing in these dynamic economic times,” Baroody said.

On the other side was Gene Sperling, acting as an apologist to conservatives for Edwards. “He's an enormously reasonable pragmatic guy who has supported pro-growth efforts, pro-savings, pro-wealth creation…He never, and I repeat, never filed a single class action suit…And as a Senator, he has put forward a three-strikes-and-you're-out proposal that has said a lawyer who brings three frivolous suits should not be able to file a case for 10 years.”

Greg Valliere of Charles Schwab attacked Edwards for opposing NAFTA. Sperling then defended Edwards: “Did they mention that he voted for the China trade agreement? Did they mention that he voted for Senate passage of fast track initiative for President Bush…”

When wealthy investors are the audience, the conversation really takes on a different tone. It shows the delicate balancing act the Kerry-Edwards ticket must perform, between the powerful corporations and the rest of us.


Class Warfare – Who initiated it?

Whenever progressives call out for economic reforms like raising the minimum wage, or asking the deadbeat rich to pay their fair share, the right-wingers accuse them of “Class Warfare.” Excuse me – who initiated this Class Warfare? Certainly not the average person who minds his or her own business, plays fair, and works hard to pay the bills. It’s the deadbeat rich who paid off the politicians to change the laws to increase their riches. The Enrons, the oil companies, and the pharmaceutical companies are active combatants when it comes to grabbing power. If that isn’t Class Warfare, I don’t know what is.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Negative campaigning is bad when it consists of personal attacks. Respectful differentiation, however, is an important part of political discourse.


(Paraphrasing Mike Ruppert): In Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard", he said it would take something on the scale of Pearl Harbor to get the U.S. public to support a war in the energy-rich Middle East.


Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the USA" can take on a whole new meaning if we change the words "men who died" to "activists".


I can understand the fascination with space exploration, I'm intrigued by it, too. However, I think the wiser scientific pursuit would be to build a million wind turbines.


The term "comfort food" makes me somewhat uncomfortable, when an animal has to go through considerable discomfort to make it possible!


Many people like to vote for who they think will win, like picking the winner of a horse race. If everybody does that, and the totality of the electorate gets behind the winner, is the result not totalitarian?


It's true, we have the proven power to swing elections. Democrats better find out why we left!


If the Democrats were serious about fixing the spoiler problem, they would introduce and pass Instant Runoff Voting, allowing people to rank the candidates instead of voting just for one. The Democrats’ inaction on this issue is proof that they can't be trusted.


The deadbeat rich are always looking for ways to weasel out of their taxes.


"It takes about a gallon of ethanol to make . . . a gallon of ethanol."
"Hydrogen fuel cells store energy, but they don't create it."

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Here's a cool site with videos of buildings being demolished!


Like a tree, a building will fall in the direction of the side where its support is removed. To get a building to fall straight down, engineers carefully place and time explosives to detonate the center columns first, or they detonate the outside edges to fall toward the center. According to the science site below, this feat requires such skill that only a handful of demolition companies in the world will attempt it!


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Quote from Fahrenheit 9/11...modified

Quote from Fahrenheit 9/11...modified:

"You can make people do anything if they're afraid...even vote for John Kerry!"