Friday, April 23, 2004

Will freedom be curtailed?

It is very interesting that Congress is so worried about how they will continue in the wake of another serious attack: ["House OKs Speedy Elections if Attacked"]. And then there is this: ["Red alert? Stay home, await word"]. Hmm. How about this line:
"A red alert would also tear away virtually all personal freedoms to move about and associate."
Is there an "October Surprise" coming? Is Gen. Tommy Franks Constitution-ceding nuclear attack coming? No one really knows.
But what we do know is that the FBI can't keep up with the secret surveillance warrants requests: ["FBI said buried by security demands"]. Americans are being spied on so often now that they can't keep up with the demand for warrants! Isn't this shocking?
Lastly, I find it so hilarious that the rightwingers are calling anyone who might even suggest worrying about these actions "Black Helicopter Democrats." Unfortunately, some of the things they said about the Clintons during their reign are still fresh in my mind. Nothing that is being said now is any more offensive than what was said then. And frankly, what the "Black Helicopter" crowd said then and what they say now are still very relevant. Freedom is more than the ability to go shopping at WalMart or watch "Entertainment Tonight."
Freedom is about being left alone, being able to read what you want, being able to say what you want, being able to preach or pray what you want, being able to assemble whenever and wherever you want, being able to believe what you want. Freedom - not a controlled consumer slave state - is the American way. There should be no fear of freedom ... and that is exactly what the people currently in control fear.

Why are people still giving to Dean?

John Kerry has been unable to get his campaign kicked into gear despite clinching the nomination last month [Dennis Kucinich is still campaigning - as if the thing hasn't been won yet - showing that he might be a bit of a crackpot after all]. While watching Kerry, I still can't help but think that he isn't the Democrats' best choice. Sure, he is breaking Democratic fund-raising records. He did in Boston last week and then again in New York City, with thousands of people holding checks while lined up outside the doors. But he is also losing the youth vote: ["The Vanishing Kerry Youth Vote"]. However, people are still throwing money at Howard Dean too: ["Contributions still flowing into Dean's campaign coffers"]. This is shocking. Now, a call did go out to help pay the leftover bills - which was strange since Dean blew through over $40 million. But still giving millions? This is amazing!
And the VP choice is still looming over Kerry. Pick your own here: ["Veep-O-matic 2004"]. A lot of the activists have been waiting to see who Kerry will pick. But some are worried about the Clinton influence on Kerry: ["What am I doing indoors?"]. It also seems like everyone speaking for Kerry on the talking head shows is a former Clintonite, from limited foreign policy Jamie Rubin, to Wall Street gambler Robert Rubin, the manufacturing jobs-destroyer Mickey Kantor, economic advisor Gene Sperling, on down. While this may be good thing for former Clinton supporters, it isn't good if you are a candidate trying to bring in the volatile swing voters needed to win the White House. At the same time, CNN's Carlos Watson noted recently that Kerry's campaign lacks diversity: ["Kerry's inner circle lacks color"]. In the end this won't matter since most blacks march in lockstep with the Democrats despite efforts by the GOP to bring them into the fold.

Why has it taken so long to see the body bags?

Over the last few days, pictures of the flag-draped caskets of dead soldiers have been posted on the Web. We have Tami Silicio to thank for these pictures and she has subsequently been fired: ["Woman loses her job over coffins photo"]. Her family sees her as a heroine: ["Family sees photographer as 'mom to fallen boys'"]. Drudge has more posted here: ["Dover"].

Does Nader still matter?

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is safely embedded in the low single digits in national campaign polls in his campaign but state by state numbers show he could still be a factor. In most states, Nader is taking more potential votes from Kerry than Bush, in the two to one range ["The Nader effect"]. However, Nader is taking votes from Bush, just as he said he would. Recent polls in New Hampshire and West Virginia show this reality. In N.H., it doesn't help Kerry. In W.V., it does. It is still early but down the road this may matter. Nader and Kerry are supposed to be meeting soon. Nader has three times the money he had at this point in 2000 ["Big-Bucks Nader Mocks 'Liberal Intelligentsia,' Goes on Taxpayers' Dole"] - a shocking revelation considering the "anybody but Bush" thing going around like a bad flu virus.
But beyond polls, younger voters, and money, here is why Nader still matters - he is talking about infrastructure: ["Fifth Grade Students at a Crumbling Chicago Elementary School Challenge Political Indifference"] ... he is warning people about the draft: ["Nader's draft talk sends chill"] ... he is calling for the troops to be brought home: ["Withdraw U.S. troops"] ...