Monday, November 29, 2004

Thanksgiving Tradition

So you may have noticed I took some time away from blogging to enjoy a few days of American leisure for this time of year.

Thursday was of course Thanksgiving and of course the tradition dinner at family complete with the traditional lousy football game from Detroit. The Lions got trounced by about 40 points, I lost count the game was so uninteresting. The Detroit Lions have become the NFL traditional also-ran, never winning enough to get fans here in Detroit excited, yet they still amazingly attend games. The Lions last won the football championship back in 1957, so I've never witnessed the Lions win it all. And somehow I don't suspect I will before I die.

The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional first day of Christmas shopping, a day I've traditionally tried to avoid participating in. But I got dragged down to a few stores this year. The traffic was the traditional backed-up mess and parking was traditionally full. I ended up in a few traditional check-out lines, but all in all it wasn't the worst experience I've ever had. I kept up a good patter of mischief and humor to make the time more interesting.

Over the weekend I succumbed to helping put up outdoor Christmas lights. Now this is one tradition I nearly abhor. I have no problem viewing OTHER peoples light displays, but standing out in the cold trying to unravel cords and get everything attached correctly can drive me traditionally batty. Our house has no shrubs or trees in the front yard, so all the lighted amusements go into the ground. At night it looked fairly good, but in the day all the cords stretched across the yard look funky, if you ask me.

And then the most depressing amusement from all the electrical display is watching the power meter spin faster. I've tried arguing that all this electrical usage is bad for our society as well as our bank account, but to no avail. You see my woman is a Christmas traditionalist, at least as traditions go for the baby boomer generation. I've tried convincing her that Jesus didn't have electric, the manger was powerless. Well I guess I'm just a tradionalist as well, because as any man knows if the woman wants something badly then it's better just to help and keep the peace.

I did offer an alternative electrical yard idea that didn't go over too well. Lighted terrorists display. That was met with a stern look, so I suggested lighted yard aliens which to me would seem more like something that should be all lighted up, sort of like Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. With that idea rejected, I was certain I should just shut up. This is another holiday tradition, that when my strange humor starts getting old, it is time to be nice.

The next tradition for this time of year is the annual first day of snow. Most people around here look forward to winter and snow, I pray for temporary global warming or as Republicans call it, global climate change. To me snow in the city is just a plain nusaince. It slows traffic, road salt starts crusting on the car, and the car gets that black ice sludge chunk hanging behind the wheel wells. And the sides of roads get that car exhaust colored black snow, simply beautiful. These are northern traditions in cities and I could do without them.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
some call that snow delightful,
but in the city it's time to go,
when it snows, when it snows, when it snows!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hunting The Hunters?

Another big story in the media in the last few days is the incident in Wisconsin of six people killed in an arguement over a tree hunting blind.
A Hmong immigrant suspected of killing six fellow deer hunters in the Wisconsin woods told investigators that he opened fire after they took a shot at him first and yelled racial slurs, according to court papers filed Tuesday. Vang's description of events differs sharply from the one authorities provided the day before, based on survivors' testimony, which described the rampage as an unprovoked attack. Sawyer County Sheriff James Meier said Monday that Vang inexplicably turned on the hunting party and began shooting after being told to leave the property. One witness, Lauren Hesebeck, who was wounded in the shootings, said a member of the hunting party shot at Vang only after he started firing at them, according to court documents.

According to Vang's story, he got lost while hunting on public land and ended up in the vacant tree stand -- a raised platform used by hunters to see deer and shoot down at them. Vang told investigators he did not realize he was on private property. Willers approached, asking why Vang was there and pointing out he was on private property. Vang said he told Willers he had not seen any "no trespassing" signs, climbed down from the stand and started to walk away.

Vang said he heard Willers call on a walkie-talkie, and five or six men on all-terrain vehicles approached a few moments later. Vang said the group surrounded him, and some used racial slurs. He said that he was told to get off the property, and as he started walking away, he turned back and saw Willers point a gun at him from about 100 feet away. He told investigators he immediately dropped to a crouch and Willers shot at him, the bullet hitting the ground 30 to 40 feet behind Vang.

Vang said he removed the scope from his rifle and began firing, continuing to shoot as the group scattered. He said one victim, Joey Crotteau, tried to run, but Vang chased him, got within 20 feet and shot him in the back. Crotteau, 20, was killed. Willers was wounded. Vang said as he began to run, an ATV with two people drove past and he fired three or four times, causing both people to fall off the machine. He said that he looked up the trail, saw that one of the men was standing, yelled, "You're not dead yet?" and fired in the man's direction. Vang said he then ran away.

I've never understood hunting much. We live in a modern society with supermarkets teeming with meat. If deer meat was tasty humans would have domesticated deer long ago and deer meat would sit wrapped right next to sheep, cow and pig in the meat section. So it must be the "thrill" of the kill that motivates the "sport" of hunting. Somehow in Wisconsin that thrill got way out of control.

I'm an advocate for the control of guns. I don't buy into the NRA's "guns don't kill people, people kill people" sing song rhetoric. There are six dead people in Wisconsin that might now argue (if they could) that guns had alot to do with their death. Further the NRA's reason for advocating gun ownership "to defend oneself" sure didn't seem to have any effect in Wisconsin.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I read this amendment every once in awhile, and just don't see where hunting is applicable. Does hunting provide for the security of a free State? Are hunters part of a "well regulated Militia" or for that matter are any gun owners? Where is "defending oneself" in the Second Amendment? The only defending allowed in the Second Amendment is the security of a free State, what gun owner is really doing that? And besides do hunters even defend themselves from wild animals these days anyway?

Hunting is becoming a farce. Nary a soul hunts because they have no choice for putting food on the table. Just examine any hunting publication and see all the expensive equipment available for "providing food for the table" and the fallacy of poor people needing to hunt becomes trashed. Hunting has become a blood sport and at times a ludricrous one at that. The idea that releasing caged animals to immediately be slaughtered is hardly sporting, I could do that with my cat in my back yard. And the extent of all the trickery used in attracting game in the woods so that weekend hunters can get their kill without losing time from work is hardly sporting.

Sure there are still true sportsmen, but hunting like most of American life is made to be quick and easy on a weekend vacation. I personally know a few guys whose routine is to rent a cabin, hit a strip joint, get drunk, wake early with the hangover and get out to the deer blind for a few more drinks and maybe what they supposedly are there for, a kill to brag about at work. Sure this is not typical of all hunters, but these are the type that are multiplying. And these are the type who don't understand the danger they are.

The Wisconsin incident is an abberation to be sure, but not a surprise. In Michigan for instance from 1990 to 2000, there were 46 deaths and 528 injuries due to hunting. Michigan like Wisconsin also has had a hunting homicide or two in recent history. I suppose there are risks in life for just about anything. So if these modern hunters want to end up being killed rather than actually hunting that's up to them I guess. I personally decided long ago, count me out, I've got better things to do.

Basketball Brawl Fallout

I'm not happy to say it, but I have become quite cynical about sports and I used to love sports. First I should qualify my cynicism by stating that there are certainly many professional athletes that play mainly for the fun of it and exhibit proper conduct. Tashawn Prince of the Detroit Pistons for instance was the only player from both teams who stayed on the bench in the initial pushing match. There are plenty of players that are just trying to make a living for their family as we all must do in our society.

But yes I am cynical. I grew up in the days before free agents. I certainly was all for players having a union and gaining some worker power. But in the ensuing years we've seen a degenerative effect on pro sports. Free agency has loosened the hometown feel of sport franchises with players moving on after a couple of years. Franchises themselves have become free agents with teams moving on to other cities if offered a better stadium/arena deal.

In the last few decades we've seen the marketing of sports explode, thus the sense of exploitation of players and the individual sport itself. The vast amounts of money coming in creates a false sense of importance to the sports, afterall these are just games. It has made every foul, wild pitch, missed field goal, wasted time-out, penalty, more important than ever because it can cost money.

The franchise owners want their team in the playoffs for more attendance paydays and hopefully their personally glory of winning it all. The players want their statistics to look better for later when it's time to negotiate their contract and of course the media limelight if they are the champion team.

TV and the media want drama to attract more viewers for higher ratings points and sell more newspapers. You can bet ESPN had higher ratings for its Sports Center highlight show in the next days after the Piston/Pacer game. And the highlights of the rumble are still playing on and will likely be a part of the promotional set-up when the two teams meet on Christmas in Indianapolis.

Here in Detroit four days after the game the front page lead stories are still about what happened. Todays headline story in the Detroit Free Press, IF HE THREW THE CUP, IT WASN'T FAN'S FIRST OFFENSE, which goes on to tell of the suspect bribing a police officer with Piston tickets to avoid a traffic citation, and having various problems involving stalking and assault on past girlfriends.

And Ron Artest was on NBC's Today show apologizing and then hawking his CD. The infamous cup was briefly being sold on E-Bay. Oh yes, there is money to be made in the wake of the publicity. I'm sure a few of the fans that were giving a beating for no reason will be filing lawsuits against some of the Indianapolis Pacers players or the Palace Arena for not having better security.

Further scutiny of the tapes have found that another Pacer (back-up center David Harrison) who was not suspended had thrown two punches at spectators as he left the arena. He may be charged by local police, and the NBA might add him to the list as well. Local police are starting to track down some of the people in the crowd responsible for throwing things.

But back to the bigger picture, I still have this main feeling that money has much to do with sports becoming something ugly. I remember back before free agency Detroit Tiger Al Kaline actually turned down a raise citing his previous season as not worthy of a raise. Todays equivalent of that story is the recent signing by the Detroit Tigers of free agent relief pitcher Troy Percival who turned down better offers. Yet, his two-year, $12 million contract is nothing to cry about as far as less money and in only two years he can do it all over again.

Now as I stated earier I generally am in favor of free agency. I understand the limited amount of years that athletes are able to perform and the need to financially prepare for the future after sports. I also understand that the non-stars and back-ups without strong unions would have a very difficult time feeding their family, these are the players I'm most sympathetic to. But the star players sign one big contract and are set for life. Even the top rookies draftees become millionaires before playing one single pro game.

In contrast I think of the steak cooks at a Logan's Roadhouse franchise that toil behind glass so that customers can watch them work. They are made to be "entertainment" for the patrons and don't make millions. Teachers, police, scientists, paramedics, and so many other occupations are so much more important to our society yet certainly don't receive even close to the compensation of star athletes and entertainers. You have to look to the top of the business world of CEOs and corporate executives to find the lavish paydays to match star athletes and their importance is as well debatable.

I wonder that if this basketbrawl game is possibly a breaking point for a much neeeded intense examination of the role of professional sports in our society. But then again it may just bring in more fans as it may turn off. And the scads of corporate scandal has done nothing to bring down CEO compensation, so I doubt that much will change in sports.

I've always felt that sports is the male equivalent of women's soap operas and daytime talk shows. Sports is something for men to gossip about and analyze to death. I'm as guilty as any man in being a sports gossip, but I do find that I've curtailed it in last decade and my cynicism about sports has been the reason.

My disenchantment with sports (and the corporate world as well) is certainly rooted in my passing years. I am old enough to remember a time when sports was more innocent, less media driven, having a big ego was considered wrong, that there was more loyalty by fans to their teams (fair weather fans are more numerous) and players to their team and city, and team owners were less of the story. Maybe someday the pendulum will swing back and sports will exhibit some changes for the better. Or maybe not, the genie is out of the bottle and time marches on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

More Election Fraud

"A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."
SENATOR RICHARD G. LUGAR, on the Ukraine elections.

I had to do a double take at the above quote because I thought he was talking about the United States elections. But no, it was elections in the Ukraine that are seriously questioned by the people of that country and apparently at least one senator in this country.

News out of the Ukraine is that 200,000 people and more have taken to the streets in bitter cold to protest their elections. It's too bad Americans don't have that angry drive to do the same. Two hundred thousand in a country the size of the Ukraine would be more like 1 or 2 million people in this country, and that is the size of the protest on the first day, it could grow.

Judging by the Internet websites detailing the various frauds and questionable election tabulations I would bet that millions of Americans would love to assemble together and protest our election. But America being such a large acreage of a nation tends to dampen the ability of making protests large enough to get noticed. Travel and timing of an event make it difficult for a huge mass crowd to quickly assemble. And many small protests throughout the country usually doesn't get enough of the media's attention.

There have been some small protests about our election in several states. I would bet few people even know that. So the news about the Ukraine protests about a fraudulent election makes it into the American national media, but not the protests IN America about our own election. Something is wrong about this picture.

Denver, CO protests of our election...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Pacers Pistons Rumble

By now most people interested in sports have seen the footage of the end of the Indianapolis Pacers/Detroit Pistons game from Friday night. Most have seen Pacers player Ron Artest fly into the stands to start beating on several fans in reaction to a cup that was thrown at him. Most have seen the reaction of the fans who also got out of control. Most have seen later in the sequence of events when Artest and Jermaine O'Neal back on the court by now both cold cock a fan. And most saw the fans rain drinks, popcorn and other foods onto these same Pacers when they were leaving the arena returning to the locker room.

Some of the reaction by the media was to quickly blame Detroit. I have lived most of my life in the Detroit area and get quite annoyed by the reputation the city has across the country. The Detroit area is basically just like any other metropolis, violence is part of the lifestyle and Detroit is no different than New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. What is sad is the statement I just made, "violence is part of the lifestyle." But what does Detroit have in common with the other cities I mentioned besides being big metro cities? They are in America. You see, violence is part of the lifestyle of America. The United States is one big angry country and we tend to act on that anger in violent ways.

We also are a driven country, driven by the greed for money and success. We are taught to be this way. We are taugh in school and TV advertising that we can be whatever we want to be, that if we work hard enough we will achieve individual success. We are NOT taught that we might not be what we dream about, that we might not be successful, that others will gain what they want but not everyone will. We are not taught that success is actually very elusive and being rich is even more rare. We are also taught that in competition (sports, business, any type of competition) "winning is everything" and "losing is for losers."

In that near riot of a basketball game, the media has been blaming various elements. The referees, the didn't get control of the situation after the hard foul by Artest and the bad reaction of Piston Ben Wallace who pushed Artest with two hands. The security, for not preventing the players from going into the stands or not stopping the fans from throwing things. Ron Artest and the other players for breaking NBA rules and entering into the stands to retaliate. The coaches, for not controlling their players. The sale of alcohol, for contributing to poor fan behavior.

I could place blame in a little of each of those things, but I blame America and our self serving attitudes. In pro sports it has become mostly about money, making lots of it. The players and owners are millionaires and act the part of egotistical, better than anyone, brats. The fans pay big fees these days just to attend a game, just for the "delight" of being in close proximity to the players. The media makes big bucks broadcasting the games of these pampered egomaniacs playing for business multi-millionaires who were athletic wannabees but couldn'tbees.

Pro sports has become just another money grubbing business, but even worse a business that allows another business of poor repute to thrive, gambling. Every game has millions and even billions of dollars riding on it. America has more gambling going on than ever in its history and sports gambling is one of the biggest contributers to the totals.

Ron Artest was suspended for the rest of the season (73 games) and lost $4,994,737 in salary. Jermaine O'Neal was suspended 25 games and lost $4,106,250 in salary. The Pacer suspensions will end up costing the franchise money as well. Without these star players participating in games they will end up losing more games and thus probably some paying fans. The season will more than likely not be as successful because they will have trouble placing themselves in a good spot for the playoffs, which is more dollars for the franchise. The more playoff series that a franchise participates in the more money they make.

Further we can blame the NBA for a money grubbing feature. They like to have those high priced courtside seats. The NBA has never cared whether those seats are so close to the court that players routinely go flying into them attempting to save the ball from going out of bounds. The NBA cares more about the dollars earned from those courtside seats than whether a player or fan gets seriously hurt when the game actually enters into the crowd. Dollar signs are just too important.

The basketbrawl was no surprise to me, it is bound to happen in America. Just the next day a big fight broke out at the South Carolina/Clemson football game that involved a mass of players from both teams. The sixth game of the Red Sox/Yankees baseball series this past October had New York fans throwing baseballs onto the field. I can remember the snowball football game in New York when Giants fans hurled snowballs at players throughout the game. The opposing teams (San Diego Chargers) equipment manager was knocked unconscious by an iceball. Earlier this year a baseball fan was bloodied by a chair thrown by Anaheim Angels relief picher Frank Francisco. Two years ago a father and his son leaped onto the field at a baseball game and assaulted the first base coach of the Kansas City Royals. This list could go on.

The best explaination I can come up with is simply, this is America. The country of greed and violence. The land of money and fierce competition. The selfish, covetous, bitter, hateful, savagery that Americans can exhibit from sea to shining sea. I don't watch sports much anymore and haven't attended a sporting event in years. I just don't care about millionaires that are paid by multi-millionaires playing in front of drunk worshippers of false idols while the gamblers play on. Sure there is some good in sports, but the bad stands out way too much these days.

And ps...Professional hockey can stay on strike forever. Millionaire players striking millionaire owners, who cares who wins.


Tom Delay, De Lawless

So now it is quite evident what a bunch of selfserving hypocrites the Republicans in Congress really are. Last Wednesday these two-faced immoral band of bastards changed a rule that would have forced Tom Delay to give up his leadership position if he were to be indicted. A little history about Tom Delay and his new rule (from various news sources).
The Republicans created the rule themselves back in 1993, modeling it after a similar Democratic caucus rule, in a feeble attempt to embarrass powerful Democrats like then-Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois. He eventually was convicted of mail fraud

There is no indication that DeLay, a 57-year-old Texan, will be indicted in connection with a Travis County, Texas, campaign finance investigation. The grand jury is probing alleged irregularities in 2002 state legislative races. Republican victories in those contests enabled DeLay ultimately to win support for a congressional redistricting plan that resulted in the GOP's gain of five House seats in Texas in this month's elections. In September, the grand jury indicted three political operatives associated with DeLay and eight companies, alleging campaign finance violations related to corporate money spent in the 2002 legislative races. The corporate donations were made to Texans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee created with help from DeLay.

For months, outraged Democrats called for the resignation of DeLay citing a "disturbing pattern of corruption," and those calls increased after DeLay's censure last month by a House ethics panel for improper activities and abuse of power.
DeLay, who as House Majority Leader is the number-two member in the chamber, was rebuked last month for taking part in a golf fundraiser in June 2002 with officials from a large energy company while key energy legislation was being debated in Congress.

He was also reprimanded for improperly encouraging federal officials in May 2003 to track down Texas State House Democrats who had fled to Oklahoma to avoid a Draconian redistricting plan he had devised. And in October, he was admonished for trying to improperly influence the vote of a fellow Republican during a key congressional vote in 2003.

This new rule change is obviously an attempt to save face for Tom Delay in case he is indicted back in Texas. The Republicans do this despite the three recent problems that Tom Delay was cited for already. You would think they would be doing just the opposite and trying to distance themselves from this man who is showing his disrespect for rules and laws. So it is quite clear that these conservatives are full of shit, where's the morality they like to talk about?

Maybe we should be looking at Tom Delay and start considering him an example for how all Americans should live their lives. It's time we just say screw the laws and start breaking them. Rules? Why follow them, they are made to be broken. And when we see others break the law, let's protect them from arrest. I'm so glad the conservatives have set me free. Screw the morality of following laws and rules, we have the conservatives to lead by example.

Next time I see a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on a vehicle I just may consider cutting that car off in traffic and signaling with my middle finger, afterall the conservatives don't give a rats ass about rules and laws, so why should I? Maybe it's their God they talk about so much that blesses their disregard for following rules. I must be praying to the wrong God, theirs is so much more lenient. The conservatives' God has no problem with hypocrisy and corruption, how lucky they are.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Clinton Library

I have to comment on the ceremony for the opening of the Clinton Presidential Library and how bizarre it seemed. So soon after the election with the former presidential guests of Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush on hand with President Bush.

Other guests included Al Gore and John Kerry. Add in Bill Clinton's wife Senator Hillary Clinton the whole show seemed like a bunch of former warriors breaking bread. Some of the video showed Clinton leaning across to the President and having a long conversation with Hillary in the middle listening in and everyone holding umbrellas in the rain.

Consider the old political wars these people have been involved in. Going back to 1992 Bill Clinton beat incumbent President George H. W. Bush. Clinton served his eight years and his vice president Al Gore ended up losing the 2000 election (but winning the popular vote) to George W. Bush. This past election another guest John Kerry loses (but wait, there is going to be a recount in Ohio) to Bush. Sitting just a seat away from Bush is Hillary who is suspected of being interested in running in 2008 (as John Kerry might as well).

I was briefly surprised when the current president spoke and dolloped out the compliments but almost had another malapropism. He said that Clinton as president worked hard at his job (and I wondered if he meant "blow"). Bush 41 and Carter also were complimentary and threw in a few jokes.

The entertainment was varied but the most memorial was Bono and Edge of U2 following President Bush's speech. First they sang a rendering of the Beatles' "Rain" throwing in a line about "getting four presidents out of bed." They followed that with my favorite U2 song, "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."

It's strange how ex-presidents only get together for presidential library openings and when a former president dies. I think they should get together once a year in some old stank tavern and get rolling drunk with the scores of Secret Service agents that protect these guys looking on. Just think of the fits of laughter and slurred speech debates on differences of opinion.

H. W. Bush; You beat da panshts off me in '92.
Clinton; Pants off? You rereadin' the Shstarr Report again?
Carter; I had lust in my heart. I think I shaid that once.
Dubya Bush; OK, I'll have a beer. By the way did you hear, I'm the President! Na, na, na, na, naya.

The Bush Blues?

In the last couple of weeks I have just not been the same. Something is amiss.

I've been alternatingly drunk, suicidal, checking out Canada on the Internet, talking in tongues, gassy, frothing at the mouth, comatose, gnawing on huge chunks of moldy cheese, weak kneed, refusing to bathe, given to moments of just staring into blank space for hours at a time, sweaty, having loss of hearing, unexplained itching, attempting to revolve my head like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, pacing in circles, nail biting, yanking my armpit hair out, talking in my sleep, fidgeting, screaming "I hate Republicans" out my car window, blinking at an exact rate of speed, drooling, chain smoking shredded political yard signs, having odd muscle contractions, and stopping at green lights for no apparent reason.

Between all that I've had hallucinations about elephants preaching the gospel, erratic hiccups, a tendency to nudge thin air, blurting out "What's the matter with Kansas? What's the matter with slightly more than half the country?!", strange urges to spit straight up into the air, eccentric bowel movements, twirling of the eyes, feelings of loss due to the lack of nasty political mailings and TV advertising, the cold shakes, oily flatulence, a fear of traveling to red states, repeated crossing of my big toe over the second toe, a recurrent nightmare where George Bush dies in office and Dick Cheney becomes president and names Jerry Falwell as vice president and then Cheney begins a greasy fats diet, and occasional stiff joints.

Intermingled with a nervous tick of my right ear lobe, frozen sweats, a strange feeling that I should become a conservative after watching a few minutes of FOX News as if I'm hypnotized, a desire to blow bubbles with my saliva, blurred vision, an odd daydream of rewriting my own version of the Constitution in crayons, runny nose, carpal tunnel syndrome of the ankle, fits of rage where I burn the Confederate flag, flaky skin of a small patch on the left side of my scalp from unconsciously scratching there, discolored ear wax, making of crank phone calls to the Republican National Committee headquarters asking "Does Karl Rove work with monkeys?" and "Can George Bush come out and play?", increased cracking of knuckles, gnashing of teeth, and spells of stuptifying befuddlement.

I just can't seem to figure out why all this is happening to me in the last couple of weeks. Some event that was enormously catastrophic must have transpired to affect me in such ways. I'm at a loss in understanding, but I seem to need to bash Bush for four more years on my blog.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Ohio Set For Recount of Election

Here is the entire article from Cheers to the Green Party and David Cobb for stepping up and doing what the Democrats and John Kerry should have done themselves. So which political party has the most intestinal fortitude? I think the answer is clear.

 Recount in Ohio a Sure Thing
    t r u t h o u t | Press Release

    Monday 15 November 2004

Green Party Campaign Raises $150,000 in 4 Days, Shifts Gears to Phase II

    WASHINGTON -- November 15 -- There will be a recount of the presidential vote in Ohio.

    On Thursday, David Cobb, the Green Party’s 2004 presidential candidate, announced his intention to seek a recount of the vote in Ohio. Since the required fee for a statewide recount is $113,600, the only question was whether that money could be raised in time to meet the filing deadline. That question has been answered.

    “Thanks to the thousands of people who have contributed to this effort, we can say with certainty that there will be a recount in Ohio,” said Blair Bobier, Media Director for the Cobb-LaMarche campaign.

    “The grassroots support for the recount has been astounding. The donations have come in fast and furiously, with the vast majority in the $10-$50 range, allowing us to meet our goal for the first phase of the recount effort in only four days,” said Bobier.

    Bobier said the campaign is still raising money for the next phase of the recount effort which will be recruiting, training and mobilizing volunteers to monitor the actual recount.

    The Ohio presidential election was marred by numerous press and independent reports of mis-marked and discarded ballots, problems with electronic voting machines and the targeted disenfranchisement of African American voters. A number of citizens’ groups and voting rights organizations are holding the second of two hearings today in Columbus, Ohio, to take testimony from voters, poll watchers and election experts about problems with the Ohio vote. The hearing, from 6-9 p.m., will be held at the Courthouse, meeting room A, 373 S. High St., in Columbus. The Cobb-LaMarche campaign will be represented at the hearing by campaign manager Lynne Serpe.

    A demand for a recount in Ohio can only be filed by a presidential candidate who was either a certified write-in candidate or on the ballot in that state. Both Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik will be demanding a recount. No other candidate has stated an intention to seek a recount and no other citizen or organization would have legal standing to do so in Ohio. The Cobb-LaMarche campaign is still exploring the possibility of seeking recounts in other states but no decision has been made yet.

The Iraq War, War Crimes Within A War Crime

The latest video from Fallujah, Iraq is not pretty by any means. I've seen it several times now and even though the video is edited for gore, it still is dramatic. This is how yahoo-news reports the video footage.  
The dramatic footage was taken Saturday by pool correspondent Kevin Sites of NBC television, who said three other prisoners wounded a day earlier in the mosque had also apparently been shot the next day by the Marines. The incident played out as the Marines 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, returned to the unidentified Fallujah mosque Saturday. Sites was embedded with the unit.

Sites reported that a different Marine unit had come under fire from the mosque on Friday. Those Marines stormed the building, killing 10 men and wounding five, Sites said. The Marines said the fighters in the mosque had been armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 rifles. The Marines had treated the wounded, he reported, left them behind and continued on Friday with their drive to retake the city from insurgents who have been battling U.S.-led occupation forces in Iraq (news - web sites) with increasing ferocity and violence in recent months.

The same five men were still in the mosque on Saturday, Sites reported. On the video, as the camera moved into the mosque during the Saturday incident, a Marine can be heard shouting obscenities in the background, yelling that one of the men was only pretending to be dead. "He's (expletive) faking he's dead!"

"Yeah, he's breathing," another Marine is heard saying. "He's faking he's (expletive) dead!" the first Marine says.

The video then showed a Marine raising his rifle toward a prisoner lying on the floor of the mosque. The video shown by NBC and provided to the network pool was blacked out at that point and did not show the bullet hitting the man. But a rifle shot could be heard. "He's dead now," a Marine is heard saying.

The shooting is shown so quickly that it is impossible to tell whether the body was moving before the shot. The only movement which can be seen is the body flinching at the moment the bullet hits. The camera then shows two Americans pointing weapons at another Iraqi lying motionless. But one of the Marines steps back as the man stretches out his hand, motioning that he is alive. The other Marine stands his ground, but neither of them fires.

The blacked out portion of the videotape, provided later to Associated Press Television News and other members of the network pool, showed the bullet striking the man in the upper body, possibly the head. His blood splatters on the wall behind him and his body goes limp.

Sites reported a Marine in the same unit had been killed just a day earlier when he tended to the booby-trapped dead body of an insurgent. NBC reported that the Marine seen shooting the wounded Iraqi had himself been shot in the face the day before, but quickly returned to duty.
I'm not going to attempt to unravel whether this will be considered a war crime in itself. In my mind the whole war has been a war crime and our soldiers have been put into the position of making difficult decisions in the heat of battle. This incident is probably not isolated, these type of things can happen in a war zone. Not every movement of our soldiers is captured on video and it can't really be argued that these soldiers were acting with restraint because of the active press coverage.

Other war crimes have been committed by the United States in carrying out this illegal war. For instance, in the battle for Fallujah the water was cut off from the civilians that reside in the city, this is in violation of the Geneva Convention. Food and medical supplies were also blocked from entering Fallujah, again in violation of the Geneva Convention. And this is not the only city in Iraq that these measures were taken.

And let's not forget Abu Ghraib, where torture was committed on prisoners and detainees, most of whom were not even part of the Iraqi resistance. We know this because so many of the inmates at Abu Ghraib have been released. In fact when Donald Rumsfeld visited the prisoner of war camp nearly 300 detainees were released the next day.

Napalm has been used by the United States on the very first day of the war and at times up to today. As well cluster bomblets were dropped during the first month of the war. The use of naplam as a weapon has been banned by nearly every other country in the world except the United States. Cluster bombs have been criticized by much of the world for the last decade as so many of the bomblets remain unexploded and children are the usual fatalities.

The major problems have been the result of the leadership decisions in a war that was justified with false information and lies and that misinformation was presented to the United Nations as justification. The idea of preemptive war in the case of the Iraq War could be called illegal as the United States was in no danger of attack from Iraq. The Iraq War is a war crime and it is no surprise that war crimes within the war crime keep occuring.

The warmongers of the right would easily pass off anything that happens in Iraq with some such expression like "war is hell" but let's make one thing perfectly clear, Iraq has NEVER attacked the United States. President Bush made the determination to attack another country without any threat by that country to us. Plenty of voices prior to the war were poking holes in every piece of evidence (shadowy pieces that they were) presented concerning weapons of mass destruction. Those voices were correct, and as well show that if they had been listened to a preemptive war was completely unnecessary.

This preemptive war was illegal. Thus the United States as long as it continues to engage in this war must live up to every Geneva Convention to the letter of the law. Whatever mistakes made by the soldiers are really to be answered to by the leadership that decided to make war and wage it. That would be President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A war crime commited by a soldier is a war crime approved by Rumsfeld and Bush. They are the ultimate war criminals in this war crime war.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The White House Resigned Today

It sure feels like the White House itself resigned today, but it turns out that it was only four cabinet members. The biggest name was Secretary of State Colin Powell. He was joined by Education Secretary Rod Paige, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. These four resignations came on the heels of two others from last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans.

And we shouldn't forget the two resignations from the CIA last week, Deputy Director John McLaughlin and Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's search for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, also known as "Anonymous" from his pen name for the book "Imperial Hubris." Steven Kappes the CIA's deputy director for operations is also reported to have submitted his resignation.

You have to wonder at all the ship jumping. Many of these people had some taint over the four years. Ashcroft has been under fire from the public for his unabashed faith in The Patriot Act and his complete blank on terrorists convictions. Rod Paige put his foot in his mouth for calling the teachers union (the NEA) "terrorists" and had to apologize for that. Abraham ran the Energy Department that had essentially no energy policy and had to deal with the political fallout of the big blackout.

But Colin Powell was of course the most well known of the resignations. Considered one of the few moderates in the Bush White House, he had a good deal of respect from many Americans until he gave his speech to the UN on the matter of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

For those Americans who weren't sure what to believe as to WMDs prior to the war, Powell's speech convinced many that there must be some fire behind the smoke. Powell had been ordered by President Bush to give the speech but he was given bad information which in essence made his speech nothing but smoke and mirrors, no fire. Even at the time he refused to use the evidence of the forged document that was suppose to prove Saddam Hussein was trying to purchase uranium yellow cake from Niger. It was reported that behind the scenes Powell lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring, "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."

The UN speech would have to be Colin Powell's defining moment during his time in the Dubya White House. It was Powell that convinced many in the media and the public that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction when it has now been shown that his entire speech was nothing but telling of rumors.

It now should be interesting to see how many other Bush Administration officials will bail out while the bailing is good. Certainly I won't be sad at most of these resignations except now I have to wonder who they will be replaced with. We could get candidates that are even worse. This is now a lame duck administration so I guess we will see a bunch of lame ducks in the cabinet. Maybe it would be good just to leave the jobs vacant until 2008, that seems a heck of a lot safer than filling in the jobs with lame duck conservative right wingers.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

TV Interrupted

Time to juxtopose two recent newsbreaks into regular network programming.

CBS REPORTEDLY FIRES PRODUCER OVER ARAFAT REPORT. CBS News has fired the producer responsible for interrupting the last five minutes of a hit crime drama on Wednesday with a special report on Yasir Arafat's death, a source at the network said. News of the dismissal came out a day after CBS apologized to viewers for breaking into the show, "C.S.I.: N.Y." The network, owned by Viacom, declined to comment on a report of the dismissal on the Web site of a trade publication, Broadcasting & Cable. A network source confirmed it and said the producer had failed to follow standard procedures that require a senior CBS News executive to be consulted before interrupting regular programming. The source said the producer disregarded explicit advance instructions that Mr. Arafat's death, if it occurred in prime time, was to be reported with a news "crawl" at the bottom of the screen. (Reuters)

Saturday afternoon while I'm watching the Northwestern vs Michigan football game on ABC the game was interrupted by a news break. The news was to explain that Vice President Dick Cheney had some shortness of breath and that he was taken to the hospital and was found to be OK. The break reported that he did not have a heart attack or any heart problem that the shortness of beath was due to a cold.

So, now I'm wondering if the ABC producer will lose their job over a newsbreak to report a cold of our Vice President, in contrast to the CBS newsbreak that reported the death of the leader of the Palestinians. Maybe ABC and CBS need to get their own 24 hour cable news channel where they can report these things without interrupting entertainment with stories that won't change the lives of those watching the entertainment.

I pay plenty of attention to the news so I think that I should be able to flee the news occasionally and enjoy a football game once in awhile and Dick Cheney's cold doesn't change my life. Further when the networks interrupt commercials rather than the programming then I'll know the newsbreak was really important, but you know they won't do that unless the news is something like another 9/11.

So again I suggest that ABC and CBS start their own 24 hour cable news channel. Maybe one of them can bias toward the left as a response to FOX News. The networks also must face the fact that far too many people in this country care nothing about news and get upset when the entertainment is interrupted. We've heard alot of noise about the record turnout of voters this past election, but ignored is that 40% of eligible Americans did not vote. Four out ten Americans didn't care about politics and who would be president. I doubt these people care much about whether Dick Cheney had a cold or even knew who he was. I doubt those 40% had any interest in Arafat's death and wondered why they had to hear about it.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I'm a Conspiracy Theorist

Many of the big newpapers in the country have called the effort to delve into the vote counting from the recent election as an Internet conspiracy theory or rumors from the blogosphere. The fact that there were certainly mistakes made due to the use of electronic voting doesn't seem to make a difference to the mainstream press. The fact that voting patterns in Florida in particular were against the grain enough to raise eyebrows, is reason for those who raised their eyebrows to be insinuated as crazy by the old school print media.

So since I'm one of those who distrust our voting system (now and prior to the election as well) and want an investigation to verify whether the votes were counted properly apparently makes me a conspiracy theorist. I guess the fact that for many years I worked as a quality inspector in manufactoring and learned first hand how machines both mechanical and computer based make many mistakes doesn't qualify me to question the reliabilty of voting equipment. The fact that any Microsoft programming is constantly under attack from hackers creating viruses leading me not to trust that Windows don't break is reason to think of me and others as the lunatic fringe.

The knowledge of the lies of politicians (from both political parties) that is part and parcel of modern day politics that gives me enough pause to wonder if cheating of the voting process is a possibility must make me an untrusting simpleton. The accumulated evidence of many examples throughout our country's election history of actual, factual, genuine, verifiable, authentic FRAUD apparently should not influence my feelings toward whether THIS election had fraudulent actions as well, at least according to the "experts" within our newspaper media with their falling subscriptions.

Has it come to this, that all ideas and thoughts that don't agree with the mainstream media is waved away as conspiracy theory? Do the power printers like the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune think they are so high and mighty that once they deem a story to be over (this past election) and they have moved on to the next stories that no one is suppose to question whether the story really is over? Are they getting a little bothered that the rumors of the blogosphere have been rechecking their work and finding that their work has come up lacking at times? And finally, why should we have as much trust for anything the mainstream media tells us when they were so poor in investigating the claims of the Bush Administration during the run-up to the Iraq War? I might have plenty of feelings that that was a conspiracy and not just a theory, a conspiracy of stupidity.

Just in case the newspapers that think I'm a conspiracy theorist are reading this blog, let me make some things clear. I'm a skeptic, I don't trust everything flashed before my eyes on TV news in the precious few minutes not devoted to commercials or the lines of words squeezed between the pages of advertising. I'm a realist, I fully understand that past actions tend to be copied, such as voter fraud. I'm a student of human nature, people seeking to hold power will do some awful things in the quest to hold that power. And finally I'm not one of the few who fit into the elite category, I have full rights to not trust those in power in this country as they don't reveal much about their motivations and insider wheelings and dealings.

I will continue to call for an investigation into the election and whether there was fraud or irregularities. I want it full known if voter disenfranchisement occurred. As a former quality control worker, I know that auditing almost always finds mistakes. I know that mistakes were made just by some of the reports that the media did report, and I'm betting that many more happened as well. This is our election process, it should be law that every election is audited. Election is the start of democracy, if there are problems at the beginning of the democracy process then as democracy continues down its production line those problems become bigger mistakes (like allowing cheaters to win elections and to then cheat and lie while they hold office). If I can't trust elections, can I trust democracy?

I ask a few final questions. Why should the media be afraid to investigate our election process? Why would the media call those of us who want an audit of the election, conspiracy theorists? Do they just not want to cover an investigation, is it laziness?

The Consortium News rebuts the Washington Post for the sloppy story they did that also called anyone who questions the election process of 2004 conspiracy theorists.

Friday, November 12, 2004

FOX Movie Reviews

A few weeks ago I rented a couple of DVDs that were FOX News related.

The first one was called "Outfoxed" and I give the flick two thumbs up and a big toe up as well. I had been wanting to see this documentary for some time now at the theater, but I just didn't see it playing anywhere. It probably was at some of the independent theaters but I must have missed it. Anyway, it is a splicing together of months of FOX News that showed how biased to the right that station really is. I don't watch FOX except for maybe 10 to 15 minutes a week. I stop by and confirm my worst fears and move on to C-SPAN or something.

So I was surprised at how viscious some of the talking heads on FOX can be. I was downright angry at a clip of Bill O'Reilly lambasting a son of a man who died in the towers of 9/11. A funny but sad section of the film showed repeated statements of many different pundits spouting an almost exact conservative talking point. Jon Stewart ran a similar bit on The Daily Show. The talking points that are repeated ad nasuem on all the cable news channels by the conservatives reminds me how propagandistic these cons are. If you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it, some Nazi had said, Goebbels?

Anyway, I recommend renting "Outfoxed" but I think you should stay away from "The Day After Tomorrow." This is the movie about global warming. A special effects bondoogle with an unlikely theory that global warming happens in about three days. And as most blockbuster disaster films it seems to only affect about eleven people, the paid stars of the movie. I found myself laughing at the most serious parts of the film rather than be scared as I think was the intent.

The most humorous sections of the movie were the product placement of FOX TV outlets. Every time there was a need for reporters or TV involvement, there was the FOX logo for whatever city was in the scene. I actually cheered at one point. There was this reporter (FOX of course) that was live on the street during some disaster (I believe it was the triple hurricanes in Los Angeles) screaming his report back to the viewers when along comes a big truck flying along the street and smashes the reporter and carries him away out of the scene. I had to cheer, I had become sick of the product placement. And the end which I won't give away in case you might be interested in renting it, was typical disaster movie lame.

The Day After Tomorrow....stinko

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Values Election?

There has been much talk of why voters picked Bush this year and many have been citing the exit polling that resulted in the top issue at 22% that values was the most important issue. I might mention here that exit polls had predicted Kerry would win and many are finding fault with that part of the exit polls, but on the other hand giving large credence and analysis to the values question. Go figure.

Now we have a post election poll that might shed some new light on the most important issues this year. A Zogby International poll found that 33 percent of voters said the nation's most urgent moral problem was "greed and materialism" and 31 percent said it was "poverty and economic justice." Sixteen percent cited abortion, and 12 percent named same-sex marriage.

The poll found that 42 percent of voters cited the war in Iraq as the "moral issue" that most influenced their choice of candidates, while 13 percent cited abortion and 9 percent same-sex marriage. Asked to name the greatest threat to marriage, 31 percent said "infidelity," 25 percent cited "rising financial burdens" and 22 percent named same-sex marriage.

This poll seems more in tune with how I feel except the same-sex marraige threat to marraige. I guess I don't see how a gay marraige as any influence on my "normal" marraige and how it threatens it.

I certainly have a problem with greed and materialism, it is why I have a resounding distrust of corporate America. And I certainly have an empathy toward those who are in poverty and experience economic injustice, I'm closer to that side of the economic fence. I fit right in with the 42% that cited the Iraq War as a moral issue that influenced my choice. I've been against that war since before it was launched for exactly that reason, the morality of killing in a war that I didn't see a just cause of any sort.

I've wondered if we have put too much emphasis on that exit poll and the ambiguous answer of values. I wondered whose values, what values, and the need to define values. I'm guessing that we have many more months of thinking this election over and what it really meant. I think our hindsight is going to have to be from farther in the future. We need more data and discussion, that seems obvious.

Veterans Day Out, Not Off

Today is Veterans Day and I hadn't realized it. And I should well know this day as I have served in the military, I'm one of those that this day commemorates. Yet, I didn't notice the day and tried to go to the bank, closed. When I returned, no mail. Of course government offices would have been closed.

But the rest of American society runs on unimpeded by nary a thought toward those who wore the uniforms of our armed services. I can understand why government workers get the day off, many toil in obsurity to provide us with needed services, but banks workers? I'm not sure of the relationship.

Commercial America works on, I have to show up for work tonight. My corporation doesn't give a wit about whether I served my country. I won't even get a tip of the hat, a word of acknowledgement, a quick thanks, or even a longer break. My service and so mnay other American's service will be absolutely ignored by corporate America. Besides government workers only bank workers get any feeling that this day is important and many of them aren't even veterans.

I don't understand this lack of respect for veterans from corporations and the business world. Without veterans fighting for American freedom, corporate behemoths might not even exist. But they won't close or operate with less workers by giving veterans the day off. Nope, the all mighty dollar is just too important to chase after to slow our commercialism down.

When I was stationed in Germany I was struck by how many holidays and days off German workers had. It sometimes seemed like a weekly day off, at least to an American who knew back home that special work days off were so infrequent. They even commemorate today, the end of World War I. They have a special name for it, I can't recall it, but they well know of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month as what we originally called Armistice Day.

Woodrow Wilson originally signed into law that today we would remember the veterans of World War I. In 1937 the day was expanded to include all that had served in the military whether in peacetime or war. Later for a time it was placed on the second Monday in November, but it returned to the 11th day of November no matter what day of the week it fell on.

In the last few years we've been hearing alot of vague talk about patriotism. People use the word but don't really seem to understand it or put it into practice. I suppose flying an American flag is expressing patriotism. But I wonder at the lack of patriotism expressed by corporate America towards veterans on this day shouldn't be more deeply considered.

It seems as if commercial banks can slow the flow of money all across the country on this day, why is it not possible to slow the flow of retail and manufacturing? Maybe the business world has been taking their cues from the leaders of this country when they don't really want us to have an extra day off. I can remember after 9/11 President Bush didn't ask us to sacrifice anything, in fact he asked us to continue to shop. It might not have been a bad idea to call for a national day of mourning a week or two afterwards, complete with time away from the job.

To me patriotism and corporatism don't really go together anymore. Americans work more days than any other country in the capitalist world. We work longer hours as well. Even holidays are now becoming regular work days. My company, a retail corporate bakery, is experimenting this year with opening on Thanksgiving and Christmas at select locations, the only two special days off we have. So I imagine getting Veterans Day off is fairly low on their agenda. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Easter, no day stands in their way of making a buck, despite the fact that these days tend to be very low business.

I guess we can continue to erode our culture by making no day important unless it is to sell something. We see how business gears up for special days to sell even more stuff. Halloween is becoming a big sales holiday, starting to compete with days like Independence Day and Easter. We even have made-up days, like Sweetest Day, in order to sell more stuff like flowers, candy and greeting cards. Along with increased sales we also get increased stress. We end up working more hours in order to be able to afford more things to give away which we have mostly stopped putting much effort into the gift except to run to the local mall, thus we have less time to put some effort into the gift.

I'm all for holidays, but we need the time off to enjoy them, to reflect on them. How many Americans will really care that today is Veterans Day? What kind of thanks will veterans really get today? Personally, I would like the day off, but I won't get that. Heck, I'm tired, I work hard in my current job as I did when I was in the Army. Why has our society arrived at the point that business can't say "take a day off, it's for you" on a day like today?

Action Alert, 2004 Vote Counting Irregularities

In my last few posts, I brought up the voting irregularites and the call for an investigation by three members of the House of Representatives. I also called for an online petition.

First, the House members have increased to six signers. Second, there is a website that has set up an easy form email to send to your representative about this issue. I urgently request you click the link I provide that will take you straight to the email form created by

Additionally there is no reason why senators can't be urged to join in calling for an investigation. My sidebar has a link "E-Mail Congress" that will get you to your senators email contact. Simply paste in the following letter used at the WorkingForChange site. I added the first paragraph, cut that if you like.

Our most precious freedom in this country is the right to vote and it seems as if this recent election has once again called into question whether our country can even manage to provide us with a fair representation of that freedom. We are becoming a joke around the world, the so-called greatest democracy and we can't count votes properly.

I am writing to urge you to join your colleagues in the House, Representatives Conyers, Scott, Nadler, Watt, Wexler and Holt, in calling on the Government Accountability Office to immediately undertake an investigation of the efficacy of electronic voting machines.

Now that November 2 has come and gone, some disturbing reports of problems with electronic voting machines have surfaced. For example:
* In Columbus, Ohio, an electronic voting system reported that Bush received 4,258 votes while Kerry received 260 votes in a precinct where records show only 638 voters cast ballots;
* In North Carolina, a machine lost more than 4,500 votes due to a mistaken assumption about the memory capacity of a computer;
* In Youngstown, Ohio, and South Florida, numerous voters complained that when they tried to cast votes for Kerry, the machines instead recorded their votes for Bush.

All in all, more than 30,000 complaints have been gathered from across the country, and the Internet is heating up with rumors and innuendo that the results of the election were somehow tampered with. In the midst of such turmoil, it's crucial that an independent authoritative investigation be undertaken to sort this all out.

Please join your congressional colleagues in calling on the GAO to immediately investigate these incidents.

Please let me know how you intend to proceed on this issue.



Elections are the most important part of any democracy. We must continue to question any problems with our voting system and work to improve voting rights, access to the ballot, and honest counting of the ballot. If we can't trust the integrity of our voting system then we can't trust our democracy. Now is the best time to call for an investigation while the election is still fresh in the mind. It may or may not change the outcome of the 2004 election, but could indeed force changes for the next one.

WorkingForChange form email....

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Kerry Wins Ohio, If Investigated

Please read the entire article I link here. I could never do justice to the all the irregularities mentioned in the article. Ohio needs a recount, that is evident.

It is not too late to change our 2004 unofficial election results. There is a growing buzz in the political blogs about election fraud. Blogs can be the first step toward mainstream media reporting. Blogs can also organize a response. Let's get going on this as the electoral college doesn't vote until December 13th. has been sourcing news reports about articles of election irregularities and fraud, see them as well. We may need to produce an online petition (does anyone know of one?). We need to back the investigation called for by three House of Representative members (see my previous post). We need to email our representatives (particularily senators) copies of this letter and ask they sign on.

Take action, election fraud is too serious to ignore.

Is the Election Over?

For about a week I've been reluctant to bring up the subject of election fraud. In part because I wanted to see if the evidence had some validity and in part because you know a good portion of the population would simply respond with "Oh, No! Not another Florida 2000!"

Well, I'm ready to say it, indeed we have another Florida 2000. Based on a good anaylsis of Florida voter patterns this year on optical scanner systems Kerry may have won Florida. The data from the site I link is showing very unusual skewed results.

For instance in Liberty County on a scan system of ES & S it shows they only had 8% registered Republicans yet of the 3,021 votes cast 1,927 went for Bush. Nearly 2/3rd of the county voted Bush in a county that was 88% registered Democrat. That is highly suspicious. Going through the list at the site, you see these type of unusual voting patterns that are a remarkable switching of party to Bush in Democratic counties.

Lafayette County also ES & S, 83% registered Democrats, Kerry received only 845 votes out of 3,325.
Columbia County, Diebold system, only 31% registered Republican yet Bush more than doubled Kerry in votes 16,753 to 8,029.
Baker County, Sequoia system, 69% registered Democrat, Bush 7,738 to Kerry 2,180. Wow, extreme party switching.
Dixie County, Diebold system, 77% registered Democrat, Bush 4,433 to Kerry 1,959. The Republicans must have been whistling Dixie.

When added all up there are possibly hundreds of thousands of votes that appear to have been switched somewhere in the system. Exit polling in most of the country reflected actual votes, except in Florida and Ohio (another story). Exit polling and actual voting showed that Republicans voted Bush in very high percentages and as well Kerry amassed 80% to 90% registered Democrats except in Florida apparently.

Also see this article by Thom Hartmann at

Remember the election has not actually happened yet. The electoral college votes on December 13th, that is when the presidential election officially occurs. John Kerry has only conceded the popular vote to Bush, he is still eligible to be president if the electoral college declares him the winner. The Florida voting must be investigated and Ohio as well. In fact there is an attempt to have an investigation in the House of Representatives called by Robert Wexler (FL), Jerrold Nadler and John Conyers (MI).

We must join them in calling for an investigation. We must begin a campaign to push as many in congress as possible to make this an issue. Remember in 2000 no senator would back a resolution by house members to look into the Florida voter disenfranchisement. Remember Al Gore had to preside over the Senate as one House Representative after another called for just one senate member to sign onto the resolution, and not one did.

If there is voter fraud proven, this year it should not be swept under the rug as it was in 2000. How many election cycles do we have to go through before election fraud is legally acted on?

Here is the letter sent by the three members of the House of Representatives.
November 5, 2004

The Honorable David M. Walker
Comptroller General of the United States
U.S. General Accountability Office
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20548

Dear Mr. Walker:

We write with an urgent request that the Government Accountability Office immediately undertake an investigation of the efficacy of voting machines and new technologies used in the 2004 election, how election officials responded to difficulties they encountered and what we can do in the future to improve our election systems and administration.

In particular, we are extremely troubled by the following reports, which we would also request that you review and evaluate for us:

In Columbus, Ohio, an electronic voting system gave President Bush nearly 4,000 extra votes. "Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes," Associated Press, November 5.

An electronic tally of a South Florida gambling ballot initiative failed to record thousands of votes. "South Florida OKs Slot Machines Proposal," Id.

In one North Carolina county, more than 4,500 votes were lost because officials mistakenly believed a computer that stored ballots could hold more data that it did. "Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes," Id.

In San Francisco, a glitch occurred with voting machines software that resulted in some votes being left uncounted. Id.

In Florida, there was a substantial drop off in Democratic votes in proportion to voter registration in counties utilizing optical scan machines that was apparently not present in counties using other mechanisms.

The House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff has received numerous reports from Youngstown, Ohio that voters who attempted to cast a vote for John Kerry on electronic voting machines saw that their votes were instead recorded as votes for George W. Bush. In South Florida, Congressman Wexler's staff received numerous reports from voters in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties that they attempted to select John Kerry but George Bush appeared on the screen. CNN has reported that a dozen voters in six states, particularly Democrats in Florida, reported similar problems. This was among over one thousand such problems reported. "Touchscreen Voting Problems Reported," Associated Press, November 5.

Excessively long lines were a frequent problem throughout the nation in Democratic precincts, particularly in Florida and Ohio. In one Ohio voting precinct serving students from Kenyon College, some voters were required to wait more than eight hours to vote. "All Eyes on Ohio," Dan Lothian, CNN, November 3,

We are literally receiving additional reports every minute and will transmit additional information as it comes available. The essence of democracy is the confidence of the electorate in the accuracy of voting methods and the fairness of voting procedures. In 2000, that confidence suffered terribly, and we fear that such a blow to our democracy may have occurred in 2004.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this inquiry.


John Conyers, Jr.     Jerrold Nadler        Robert Wexler
Ranking Member      Ranking Member    Member of Congress
House Judiciary Subcommittee
Committee on the Constitution
We can certainly write, email, phone our representatives to back this investigation and we need one Senator to sign on.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Pros And Cons

There is one aspect that Republicans have been beating the Democrats at for some time now and that is the power of framing language. They have systematically and purposely used words and phrases that over time give people the impression that the conservative groups are the good guys. It can also be described as Orwellian doublespeak.

Take "moral majority" for example. The group that uses this phrase for their title by numbers doesn't even come close to being a majority, much less the title doesn't explain what is meant by moral. Further, by staking themselves to this phrase, it implies that all other people are the "immoral minority' and who would want to be associated with them?

The religious right. Again they create the illusion that the political opposite is the non-religious left. By constant repetition of the phrase, everyday people would feel impelled to accept their message because the phrase has a ring of "correctness." The conservatives have always had that added implication of the word "right" with the other definition of the word, meaning "correct."

This is a problem for the left as that word can have the connotation of being strange. Out in left field. Left handed can mean sinister. Left behind, meaning unwanted. Whomever created the political yardstick and put progressives on the left side and conservatives on the right, I would guess they had to be conservatives grabbing that advantage of the subconscious feelings of the two words, left and right.

We can see the use of language to promote political programs by the Bush Administration in the last four years. The Healthy Forest Initiative, putting a happy face on the program whether it deserved one or not. The Clear Skies Initiative, again making it sound like they are clearing all the pollution out of our atmosphere, but did they?

In the last decade or so and certainly by George Bush this past election, conservatives have used the word Liberal as an insult, namecalling any Democrat as a person to be feared. Bush called John Kerry "the most liberal senator" repeatedly as if that is something to be ashamed of.

I think it is time for Democrats to start using the language to their advantage instead of being "left behind" in the war of words. The first place to start is to begin to refer to themselves as "progressives" at every opportunity. Every Democrat that appears on the talking head TV shows should slip it in the conversation frequently. In fact ALL Democrats should be doing this even in casual conversation. Eventually the word progressive would replace the word liberal in common usage.

Once progressive is being used as a replacement word for liberal or Democrat then abreviated form starts becoming natural as well. Progressives would be pros and conservatives would be cons. Democrats would finally have the language advantage. We all like to think of the pros rather than the cons of any subject. Pros are the positive aspect of any idea or issue, cons are the negative connotation.

The abreviated form would become normal on television graphics and on the lips of TV hosts. "Coming up next after the break, the Pros and Cons on Social Security," Wolf Blitzer might say. This is not as dumb as it may seem, any advantage that can be derived out of language should be pursued by the left, oops, I mean progressives. The cons have been doing this for a long time and it is time for the pros to start catching up.

I've weighed the pros and cons of this idea and I see nothing wrong with becoming a pro. So Democrats should start right now and take back the language, don't be left behind, be progressive.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Post Election Poem

The election is over, and I'm a little bit mad,
Bush was the winner, I think we've been had.

In Ohio and Florida, the exit polls said,
that Kerry would win, those states were not red.

These states would be blue, was what we all thought,
but Bush turned the tables, and Kerry was caught.

The touch screen machines, were used en mass,
but did the votes count, did they total each pass?

We cant rant and rave, we can even wail,
for there is no proof, with no paper trail.

So now I will worry, and now I will fret,
there will be no uniting, on that you can bet.

Bush claims a mandate, he will rule like a king,
because the cons hold the power, and that's the thing.

Corporations will love it, they can sing and dance,
handouts galore, at every chance.

The country's in debt, Bush will cut taxes some more,
the rich will get richer, who cares 'bout the poor?

The Iraq War continues, more blunders await,
Bush keeps on killing, he loves oil and hate.

Another four years, this was my worst fear,
what can I do, 'cept cry in my beer.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Should I Leave The Country?

I find that a good representation of how people across this country think comes from a program on C-SPAN called Washington Journal which runs from 700am until 900am or later if the House of Representatives is not in session. They will usually start with a question for viewers to answer and then they take calls alternating between three phone lines set up for basically left, right and others. I've been watching this program for several years now and find you can take a pulse of everyday people across the country with that benefit of being able to seperate political sides.

This morning I was immediately slammed by the first caller from the right. He ended his Bush love-fest diatribe with strong advice to the left, "move out of the country." I can't begin to describe how angry this threat against the left makes me feel. And I hear this type of hate periodically from the C-SPAN callers on the right. It is that simple statement that truly stiffens my backbone to understand this part of the Republican Party is not interested in uniting.

I heard this "get out of America" garbage when I was vocally against the Iraq War as many in the entertainment industry heard as well. Remember the conservatives burned Dixie Chicks albums when they made one statement opposing the war? And so many of these stealers of the word "patriotic" are those fundementalist Christians that somehow equate war and hate with Jesus. They have the gall to want me to be born again and follow Jesus who never proposed war or hate, then they exhibit all types of hateful messages to those that won't agree with them.

I was brought up in a Christian church, I don't need to be born again and I lose respect for anyone who tells me Jesus is on the side of warmongers. Jesus didn't hate and wouldn't have been proud of all those frothing crazies burning record albums. Jesus would have simply said "blessed are the peacemakers..." But these born again types can't even remember some of Jesus' most famous words. As long as they tell me to shut up or to leave the country or to follow their hateful warmongering ways, they are telling me that they loath me. That is their message, hate the left because they don't agree with us and our screwed up notions about Jesus.

One day after the Kerry conceded the election, I turn on my television and hear the first caller from the right tell me to get out of the country. Oh, yeah, we can expect all kinds of uniting (high degree of sarcasm).

I do wish the Bush haters would back off from their abhorance of the man. It is his policies we don't like. We don't need to be like these conservative haters. They falsely use God and Jesus as the reason they are allowed to hate. I will strongly disagree with their ideas, but I won't stoop to hating them. I won't tell them to shut up or leave the country (although I can privately hope for those things I guess), no the answer is to help them find their way out of their propagandized ideals.

The left has to reteach to conservatives what Jesus was really about. But the left doesn't want to delve into the Bible because of their openness to freedom for all religions combined with secular state thinking. This recent election, Republicans were distributing campaign literature claiming Democrats wanted to ban the Bible. How untrue. What Democrats would like is for conservatives to actually read what Jesus said. Start with the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatutudes, the parables, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." And I might add, "...drop the first bomb."

Exit polling showed that the most important issue was morality, ahead of the Iraq War, terrorism, and the economy. You can bet that most of those who chose morality were from the religious right. Well I'm here to state that progressives care deeply about morality, we just haven't been able to communicate what we feel is immoral. Like poverty in the richest nation in the world, "blessed are the poor...". Or wars without reason, killing innocent people for what? Control of oil? Or not telling the truth as this administration has been practicing and as well the corporate world engaging in their deceptions of what is good for everyone in our economy.

I think this election has proven that the Republicans have cornered the market with their skewed version of morality. It is time for the left to stop shying away from using the word moral and then pound home the message of left morality. We on the left don't tell people to leave the country because they don't agree with us, we don't call the right unpatriotic. We already have the moral high ground, that really is our strength. I'm here to tell that C-Span caller that I'm here to stay, I'm not leaving the country. I'm staying because half of the country believes in the same morals as I do.

Untied States

No, I didn't misspell united. I feel the country is still untied. George Bush did not get some sort of landslide in this election. Look over the red and blue states and it is basically a repeat of 2000. The blue states are still the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the West Coast. The red states are still all the others. Some of the states that border the blue states were close calls and the Southwest is slowing edging Democratic. But the map was essentially unchanged from 2000.

That red/blue map has a look of being untied. The blues are on the two coasts with a flap of Upper Midwest. The reds are the middle and the south, the flyover states as they have been called. As a progressive I see the discontinuity of the blue states as not linking together, like an untied shoe. I could understand conservatives imagining the red states as stuck in the middle trying to push away the sides.

Despite John Kerry's concession speech and Bush's acceptance speech there will be no coming together, or reaching across the aisle, or uniting. That is just public rhetoric and/or wishful thinking. Prior to Bush's speech, VP Dick Cheney said what is on every Republican's mind, "it's a mandate." The Bush Administration ruled their first term as if they had a mandate, they didn't care if they lost the popular vote. And they don't care that they only won the popular vote by a couple of percentage points, they will govern as if the election never happened. Expect more of the same and then some.

If you are a conservative you just can't imagine the utter disappointment felt by so many on the left. We didn't love John Kerry, we abhore the policies of Bush Incorporated. Some downright hate Bush with the same passion many conservatives had for Bill Clinton. I personally won't go to the point of hate, but I know full well that Bush has no interest in any of my ideals. I would strongly suspect Bush would hate me and my midwest, working class, social caused, equality interested, liberal talk.

How many more tax cuts is he going to give my corporate lords in the next four years? My CEO last year cashed in over $30 million in stock options, while today I received a new health care plan that will cost me more money out of my meager paycheck. Come George Bush to my house and explain how you can reach out to me after reading my last sentence. You can bet the top execs at my company don't worry about where the extra bucks for healthcare is going to come from as my fellow workers and I must worry.

Bush visited Michigan many times during the election and gave no indication of how he is going to stop more manufacturing jobs from leaving my state. His campaign stops were simple riffs on Kerry and no plans for my state. I wonder if he had opened a paper to see the vast difference in the size of the job advertising section in comparison to when he was here in 2000. I'm sure he would never have noticed this downsizing in our newspapers, he is proud of the fact he doesn't like to read. Unite me on that Mr. President.

He did make a claim he would halve the deficit in the next four years (a deficit he created) but didn't say what magic wand he intends to use for this idea. That is going to take hard work and tough policies. Either he will have to raise taxes which he has said he won't do, or cut government programs to the bone that would have to affect even his conservative base. He won't do anything about the deficit because he can't face the hard work, he will leave it for the next president to suffer through.

This type of disingenuous promise is what the left simply can't stomach from Bush. Just another hypocritical pledge that the left can see through like windexed glass.

He had given a vague promise of changing the tax code. Judging from his first term the rich will get most of the changes as if they haven't found enough loopholes by now. I have to expect this as Bush made the following statement at a rally a few months back during the campaign, "Just remember, when you're talking about, oh, we're just going to run up the taxes on a certain number of people -- first of all, real rich people figure out how to dodge taxes." So naturally I have to expect his tax code changes will only help the "real rich" in not having to dodge taxes anymore, dodging will be legal.

I may be a lowly working class stiff, but unlike Bush, I like to read. I've investigated thoroughly the presidents words versus his deeds and for the most part they don't match up. How can I expect him to unite with me and my fellow thinkers when those words and deeds will be untied?

To me the country will not be united because of Bush. We are the Untied States of America for at least the next four years and probably well beyond that.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Democrat Silver Linings?

Whenever a sports team loses a game, the coaching staff usually reviews the events that led to defeat. The Democrats lost the election for the presidency as well as gave up more seats in the Senate and House of Representatives. This was almost an instant replay of 2000. For a sports coach it is like losing two straight close scoring games to the same team. For the coach it means that some changes need to be made, as well the Democrats have some soul searching to do. When you include the mid-term election defeats by Democrats you might call this an extended losing streak.

As we sit today, the Democrats are virtually leaderless. John Kerry returns to the Senate after running a decent race but is highly unlikely to be the 2008 candidate, he had his run. John Edwards is out of politics for now. Tom Daschle the Democrat minority leader in the Senate is probably done with a political career after losing his campiagn. Dick Gephardt retired after losing in the Democratic primary. There were Democrats hoping for positions in a Kerry Administration, like Wesley Clark or Howard Dean that are still sitting on the sidelines. Along with having Edwards as Vice President, Gephardt and campaign losers like Daschle would have had their careers saved by a Kerry win, ala John Ashcroft and Spencer Abraham as Bush appointees in 2000.

The Democrats will be looking at the senators and governors around the country to find new leaders to emerge to fill the open void. But it will take new ideas or new approaches to good old ideas to match up with this new leadership. It is time to think outside the proverbial box.

As I've complained ad nauseum the country has turned to the right and that has much to do with the Democratic Party succumbing to a corporate agenda in almost a copycat of the Republicans. The Democrats will continue to lose trying to out-republican the Republicans. The must return to the left. They must become progressive. They must stand up and be proud of the word liberal. Instead of cowering at the label of liberal everytime the conservatives spit the word out, Democrats must embrace it.

But they must as well redefine the liberal agenda by rejecting the corporate wallpapering of the party. Democrats can't have a heart and soul by imitating Republicans. They must understand that their true base of the working class is still waiting for the party to be proud of them and to truly defend them.

There is still a middle in this country that ultimately votes Republican over Republican-lite because they don't understand what the leaders of the Democratic Party are trying to message them with. The Democratic ideals seem to be something like "we're not as bad as Republicans." It feels so weak, instead they must have a theme of "we stand for what's right, no matter what!" and then deliver the ideas that will attract the people back to the party.

Let's try some thoughts. "We can't stomach the corporate domination of our society anymore and the greed of white collar crime must be attacked." Or how about, "We don't attack countries that are not a true threat to our nation, that is international bullyism."

The conservatives have taken on the long term battle on banning abortion as a civil right and a moral issue. Can't the Democrats make the same commitment to gay and lesbian marraige? Why are they defensive about an equality issue? The conservatives have gained little in their abortion battle over the last decade or so, the Democrats have to expect little progress for gay marraige in the short term, but perserverence and vocal support for the issue is a outwardly positive message.

In the coming days and weeks I plan to speak much more on this subject. I'm a progressive and proud of it and I want to be proud of a party that is committed to many of my ideals. If the Democrats can't see my (and other progressives) writings on the wall (and the web) the party is in trouble and may face a sort of purging of Republican-lites or defections to the Green Party. The Democratic Party is truly at a crossroads and they must choose a new path or possibly over time become like the Whigs and fall apart.

There are silver linings in this years loss. It is the time for reaching for new ideas that are in the basics of the old progressive ideas. The coach of the losing team finds the silver linings of a better game plan out of the previous defeats.

Bush Wins, Now What?

Just past 1130am this morning the news reported that John Kerry phoned George Bush to concede the election. Kerry will announce to the public his concession at around 100pm and Bush will speak publicly sometime this afternoon.

My question is, Now What? I ask this because George Bush didn't speak at all about what his agenda would be for a second term. He gave us no proposals, no intiatives, no plans, but you know darn well that he and his henchman (Dick Cheney, Carl Rove, Don Rumsfeld) have been deep in plans for months. And as Congress has been tipped even further to the right (more Republican wins) I have to be a tad scared at what these people are devising for our country. I can just picture them rubbing their hands together and erupting with devious laughter of "aha, ha, ha, he, he, he!"

The cable news shows have been speculating about how the Bush Administration will rule with a Republican majority in Congress but still a rather divided nation populationwise. They wonder whether Bush will work with Democrats. I don't expect any concillatory moves toward the Democrats behind the scenes. In public the Bush gang will act like they love the Democrats, but they will be pushing the conservative cause relentlessly.

The senate minority leader, Democrat Tom Daschle lost his election, so the Democrats will have to find a new leader in the senate. Kerry is still a senator, I wonder if the Democrats might consider taking a stand and choose him for their minority leader as a sign that they are not about to concede the agenda.

There is still the Iraq War that half the country now believes was a mistake to start. I have to believe that the Bushies might be willing to level that country to get their victory in order to be able to get the troops out before 2008. Those troops may be needed for other wars they have in their hidden agenda. I still don't think a draft is out of the question, no one suspects that the draftees would not be for actual fighting, but to fill in as support roles.

We can safely assume that corporations will have essentially a blank check to cash. We can expect more jobs heading out of the country. We can expect more damage to the environment. As John Kerry explained, "more of the same."

I have a bunch of worry about the Bush path. I wonder how soon these guys will reveal their intentions.

Election Blues

A few days ago I had predicted a John Kerry win and here we are and Kerry is hanging on by a thread called Ohio. I can't express how disappointed I am that George Bush is probably going to reside in the White House for another four years.

Watching the election returns all night I have wondered at the wisdom of Americans and how I'm beginning to feel like I'm becoming a minority (and I'm a white male) in this country. Have we really become a country that thinks it's OK to ravage another country (Iraq) without ANY evidence that they would attack us? Have we accepted that our federal government should be allowed to operate with high levels of secrecy from their own people? Has a person's (Bush) fake moral stance really fooled so many Americans?

Have Americans really decided that corporate control over our lives and a large influence over goverment is desired? Have the citizens of this country decided that running up huge debts is a good thing? Do people not understand that our national debt is financed by countries like China and Saudi Arabia that thus causes them to have undue influence over our dealings with these countries?

I can hardly believe that of 11 states that had ballot measures that defined marraige as between a man and a women that they all passed these measures. What do people fear? It is not like gays and lesbians are doing something horrible like killing each other, it is about love. We are such a homophobic country, besides being selfish in voting to not allow some simple rights, like being able to help their partner die without that person worrying about what happens to their property rights.

Was voting for Bush so much about abortion? Are these pro-lifers really thinking about what happens if abortion becomes illegal? Do they really want to start throwing women in jail for having an abortion? Are they ready for the old method of coat hangars and suicides? And they don't care so much about life that they support the death penalty (despite the evidence of innocent people being klled by the state) or the slaughter of innocent Iraqis virtually every day?

Is it really about terrorist fear? Osama bin Laden just proved he is still alive over three years after 9/11, Bush hasn't done anything about him that any doofus in office could have done. Fear of terrorism is so ridiculous, as if some poor lonely lady in the rural area of Ohio has a reason to fear something will happen in her neck of the woods. Was "vote for Bush, I'm scared" the motivation of his support?

I could on and on, yet I'm still feeling like I'm standing out of the mainstream of this country and I haven't moved my stance in years. It is the country that keeps moving away from me. I look at some of the other races around the country and wonder what is wrong with peoples brains. Case in point is Republican Jim Bunning for senator in Kentucky.

Bunning once compared opponent Dan Mongiardo's physical appearance to one of Saddam Hussein's sons, and claimed his wife wound up "black and blue" after an unsubstantiated encounter with Mongiardo's staffers at a political picnic. He also refused to participate in one debate and would only appear in another by camera and used a telepromter. Apparently all a Republican has to do to win in Kentucky is say your opponent looks like a terrorist.

As saddened as I am feeling in this early morning I just have to remember that the world didn't implode and that if Bush is declared the winner than we will just have to endure more degradation of our stature as a country. I also will certainly be motivated to fight on for my beliefs. On the other hand maybe we will have a miracle and Kerry will somehow be declared the winner, but I'm not holding my breathe. I will accept that it was not to be, but I don't have to be silent for the next four years unless dissent becomes illegal.

Election Math

As I sit at 430am in the morning the day after, the presidential race has yet to be called. At this point CNN has the numbers at Bush 254, Kerry 242. NBC has it Bush 249, Kerry 211. FOX totals Bush 269, Kerry 242. CBS calls it Bush 254, Kerry 242. ABC stands at Bush 254 Kerry 225.

It certainly appears that the networks were more nervous about making a difinitive call without solid numbers to back them up. But it looks like the Florida 2000, will be Ohio. It seems Ohio has plenty of provisional and overseas ballots still to count and beyond that the state didn't eliminate punch card ballots before the election as required by the Help America Voting Act (HAVA). At four in the morning only FOX has decided to include the Ohio electorial college votes in their total.

Bush could still win without Ohio by picking up enough state electorial college votes without Ohio at this point. Kerry must have Ohio to win. Ohio has stated that it may take 12 days to count all the votes due to the overseas ballots.

The late states at this hour with tight numbers and depending on the TV network are Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Ohio, and my home state Michigan. It is still possible for a tie at 269-269 but Kerry would need Ohio which probably won't be known for a number of days.

Neither candidate has declared victory or given a concession speech and are not likely to until the dust settles in the morning. Although the rumors are that Bush will declare victory and that would put Kerry in the position of desperately hoping for Ohio to turn in his direction.

The popular vote at this point is 51% for Bush and 48% for Kerry. So if Ohio does end up in Kerry's column than it would be a reversal of the 2000 election when Gore had the higher popular vote total but lost the electorial vote.

So here we are with another election with the math unfinished.