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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Cut and Run

The common wisdom seems to be that we can’t "cut and run" from Iraq. Why not? How can the situation there get any worse than it already is? Massacres, you say? A return to oppression?

Here’s what I propose (I’m not speaking for Nader here): 1) Extract Hussein and send him to the Hague. 2) Withdraw our ground troops. 3) Divide the country into three parts, Kurdistan, Sunnistan, and Shiistan. 4) Make friends among freedom-loving people to gather intelligence. 5) Bomb any forces that try to attack, massacre, or oppress.

The real reason we can’t "cut and run" is because we need the oil for our SUV’s. Heaven help us.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Our Shameful Debate Sham

Just like in the beer commercial, our presidential debates have become "a travesty, a sham, and a mockery." "NOW with Bill Moyers" on PBS ran an excellent show Friday, detailing how the Republicans and Democrats dumped the League of Women Voters so they could stage long commercials. The candidates can no longer question each other directly. Audience members can’t ask follow-up questions, the questions are screened in advance, and the answers are rehearsed. After Perot’s appearance in 1992, the establishment parties don’t want to take any chances. The debates now have a high 15% threshold for third-party participation. They are rigged to minimize mistakes, and to keep the truth at bay.

I’m so glad I’m not associated with this broken system!


Ventura’s squandered years

Looking back at recent years, I now think that Jesse Ventura’s term as governor of Minnesota was a real setback for third party politics in Minnesota. Many voters gave it a chance, didn’t see results, and are now afraid to go back.

He was good on some things, like his support of a rail line to St. Cloud (saves oil) and his opposition to a new taxpayer-funded sports stadium. Other things he did I disagreed with, like discontinuing emissions testing, and trade with China that provides cheaper goods but lowers working conditions for everybody.

He was fond of blaming the Republicans, Democrats, and particularly the media, who usually deserve it. But he didn’t help matters with stints as an XFL announcer and wrestling referee, closing down the governor’s mansion, and shady dealings documented in the book "Always Cheat" by Leslie Davis. Whenever his poll numbers were about recovered, he would say something stupid like "Religion is for weak-minded people" or "you haven’t hunted until you’ve hunted man."

He was elected as a member of Perot’s Reform party, and changed it to the Independence Party. This year, the Independence Party is struggling to stay on the ballot after Republican Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer and Democrat Attorney General Mike Hatch said they didn’t get enough votes in the primary.

One thing that really hurt was when Ventura bragged that the establishment parties never should have let him into the debates. The establishment parties aren’t stupid, and they will make it difficult for third parties, which is the subject of my next post.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Are you part of the problem?

If you’re not against the establishment, then you’re for it, and you’re part of the problem. Twelve short years ago, nearly 1 out of 5 voters chose a third party candidate in Ross Perot. Now the establishment parties demonize third parties. Thank goodness the courts are more firmly grounded in the American traditions of fairness and free speech. In state after state, Democrats are coming up on the wrong side of the law, as Nader gains ballot access. In Oregon, The Court found that Bill Bradbury, the Democratic Secretary of State, made up "novel" rules for the purpose of applying them to the Nader Campaign. See the Ballot Access Update at http://www.votenader.org/ and http://naderoregon.org/.

VP as Attack Dog?

Every story about Edwards lately seems to be about he’s not an "attack dog" like Cheney, and how the traditional role of the Vice Presidential candidate is as "attack dog". Is this indeed the case? Looking back at past veeps -- Gore, Quayle, GHW Bush, Mondale, Rockefeller, Ford, Agnew, Humphrey, LBJ, Nixon -- I don’t recall this as a prominent theme.

Kerry did give a good attacking speech this week on Bush’s failed war in Iraq. I heard it on NPR, not sure if the establishment media picked it up.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Music and passion were always the fashion

Ralph Nader is sometimes criticized for his rumpled hair and suit, but one thing he has going for him is that he bears a slight resemblance to Barry Manilow. Manilow was on Oprah this week, and the women in the audience absolutely went crazy for him. Just as Manilow’s music touches the hearts of his fans, Nader’s message has a similar effect on his supporters, though in a political way. I was privileged to see him speak last night at Macalester College and at the University of Minnesota, and he was great!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Kerry campaign “not playing to win”

Ed Schultz, the widely syndicated liberal talk show host, has been a staunch supporter of John Kerry. That’s why I was shocked today to hear him say that the Kerry campaign’s radio and media strategy is so poor, it’s as if they don’t want to win. I do recall Schultz interviewing Kerry earlier this year, and Schultz being unsatisfied with Kerry’s response to the voting machine scandal -- that they "have a team of lawyers working on it." Lately, Schultz has not been able to get any interviews with the candidate.

This theory of "not playing to win" would fit nicely with the intriguing conspiracy theory that both establishment parties take orders from elite groups like the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, led by the likes of David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski. See my July 20 post "Edwards indoctrinated" and my October 24, 2003 book review of "The Grand Chessboard."

Maybe Kerry will come out swinging during the debates...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I hope you get this flyer

I’d like to urge all of you to contribute to the campaign of Green Party candidate Becki Smith, who is running for state legislature in the district that includes the University of Minnesota. Her Democrat opponent, Phyllis Kahn, was caught this year stealing distributed literature from the Republican opponent of a fellow Democrat. I think Becki’s campaign slogan should be "I hope you get this flyer!"

Flip-flop charge unfair

While I support Nader, not Kerry, I agree that the Republican charges of Kerry flip-flopping look to be unfair oversimplifications. After voting for initial Iraq funding, Kerry voted against additional funding because he wanted the rich ($200,000+/yr.) to pay for it. There was an interesting commentary on it in this morning’s StarTribune.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Gingrich admits it’s an oil war

MR. BUCHANAN: …In my judgment, Chris, this one-sided support for Sharon, the refusal to condemn that wall snaking through the West Bank, the agreement to support Sharon's claim to virtually half of the West Bank, this has caused enormous hostility and animosity and hatred for this country in that part of the world, not just among the Palestinians. And if we want to drain off some of this hatred, this venom against us, we have got to adopt a more evenhanded policy here…
…This is the fundamental point. Are they attacking us because of who we are and what they believe or are they attacking us because of what we do? I believe it is our policies, not our principles that are causing these attacks. Osama bin Laden wasn't sitting in some cave in Afghanistan and stumble on the Bill of Rights and go bananas…

MR. GINGRICH: …what Pat said is true but people have to listen carefully to what he said. He said basically if we would pull out of the biggest oil region on the planet, allow people like bin Laden to dominate the oil supply of the entire industrial world…
…Try to describe a world in which for the last 35 or 40 years, the U.S. has not provided stability for world's oil supply and you're describing a world where you have $200 or $300 a barrel gasoline…


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Republicans milking 9/11

The Republicans, at their convention, sure are milking 9/11 for all it’s worth. This as a recent poll says half of New York City believes the U.S. government knew we were going to be attacked and "consciously failed" to act.

Bush vs. Kerry Bling Off

I’m so glad I’m voting for a humble servant. Kerry wears custom ties costing tens of thousands of dollars. Nader would never indulge in such an extravagance. VH1 Bush vs. Kerry Bling Off