Thursday, September 30, 2004

Crawford, Texas Newspaper Endorses Kerry

The presidential debates begin tonight. The current American president is good at the debates because he is stupid and Americans love stupid people. In a culture where television is king and intellect is the enemy, men such as the current American president can lie, cheat and steal with impunity, while those who present logical and learned arguments are treated with disdain. It is therefore refreshing to see some who might gain from a re-election of this regime, speak-up about the horrible job done by this man. Today, I offer you the presidential endorsement of The Iconoclast, this president's hometown newspaper:

Kerry Will Restore American Dignity
2004 Iconoclast Presidential Endorsement

Few Americans would have voted for George W. Bush four years ago if he had promised that, as President, he would:

  • Empty the Social Security trust fund by $507 billion to help offset fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time slash Social Security benefits.
  • Cut Medicare by 17 percent and reduce veterans' benefits and military pay.
  • Eliminate overtime pay for millions of Americans and raise oil prices by 50 percent.
  • Give tax cuts to businesses that sent American jobs overseas, and, in fact, by policy encourage their departure.
  • Give away billions of tax dollars in government contracts without competitive bids.
  • Involve this country in a deadly and highly questionable war, and
  • Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficit in the history of the United States, creating a debt in just four years that will take generations to repay.

These were elements of a hidden agenda that surfaced only after he took office. The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda.

Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry, based not only on the things that Bush has delivered, but also on the vision of a return to normality that Kerry says our country needs.

Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq.

President Bush has announced plans to change the Social Security system as we know it by privatizing it, which when considering all the tangents related to such a change, would put the entire economy in a dramatic tailspin.

The Social Security Trust Fund actually lends money to the rest of the government in exchange for government bonds, which is how the system must work by law, but how do you later repay Social Security while you are running a huge deficit? It's impossible, without raising taxes sometime in the future or becoming fiscally responsible now. Social Security money is being used to escalate our deficit and, at the same time, mask a much larger government deficit, instead of paying down the national debt, which would be a proper use, to guarantee a future gain.

Privatization is problematic in that it would subject Social Security to the ups, downs, and outright crashes of the Stock Market. It would take millions in brokerage fees and commissions out of the system, and, unless we have assurance that the Ivan Boeskys and Ken Lays of the world will be caught and punished as a deterrent, subject both the Market and the Social Security Fund to fraud and market manipulation, not to mention devastate and ruin multitudes of American families that would find their lives lost to starvation, shame, and isolation.

Kerry wants to keep Social Security, which each of us already owns. He says that the program is manageable, since it is projected to be solvent through 2042, with use of its trust funds. This would give ample time to strengthen the economy, reduce the budget deficit the Bush administration has created, and, therefore, bolster the program as needed to fit ever-changing demographics.

Our senior citizens depend upon Social Security. Bush's answer is radical and uncalled for, and would result in chaos as Americans have never experienced. Do we really want to risk the future of Social Security on Bush by spinning the wheel of uncertainty?
In those dark hours after the World Trade Center attacks, Americans rallied together with a new sense of patriotism. We were ready to follow Bush's lead through any travail.

He let us down.

When he finally emerged from his hide-outs on remote military bases well after the first crucial hours following the attack, he gave sound-bytes instead of solutions.

He did not trust us to be ready to sacrifice, build up our public and private security infrastructure, or cut down on our energy use to put economic pressure on the enemy in all the nations where he hides. He merely told us to shop, spend, and pretend nothing was wrong.

Rather than using the billions of dollars expended on the invasion of Iraq to shore up our boundaries and go after Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Arabian terrorists, the funds were used to initiate a war with what Bush called a more immediate menace, Saddam Hussein, in oil-rich Iraq. After all, Bush said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction trained on America. We believed him, just as we believed it when he reported that Iraq was the heart of terrorism. We trusted him.

The Iconoclast, the President's hometown newspaper, took Bush on his word and editorialized in favor of the invasion. The newspaper's publisher promoted Bush and the invasion of Iraq to Londoners in a BBC interview during the time that the administration was wooing the support of Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Again, he let us down.

We presumed the President had solid proof of the existence of these weapons, what and where they were, even as the search continued. Otherwise, our troops would be in much greater danger and the premise for a hurried-up invasion would be moot, allowing more time to solicit assistance from our allies.

Instead we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda.

Now he argues unconvincingly that Iraq was providing safe harbor to terrorists, his new key justification for the invasion. It is like arguing that America provided safe harbor to terrorists leading to 9/11.

Once and for all, George Bush was President of the United States on that day. No one else. He had been President nine months, he had been officially warned of just such an attack a full month before it happened. As President, ultimately he and only he was responsible for our failure to avert those attacks.

We should expect that a sitting President would vacation less, if at all, and instead tend to the business of running the country, especially if he is, as he likes to boast, a "wartime president." America is in service 365 days a year. We don't need a part-time President who does not show up for duty as Commander-In-Chief until he is forced to, and who is in a constant state of blameless denial when things don't get done.

What has evolved from the virtual go-it-alone conquest of Iraq is more gruesome than a stain on a White House intern's dress. America's reputation and influence in the world has diminished, leaving us with brute force as our most persuasive voice.

Iraq is now a quagmire: no WMDs, no substantive link between Saddam and Osama, and no workable plan for the withdrawal of our troops. We are asked to go along on faith. But remember, blind patriotism can be a dangerous thing and "spin" will not bring back to life a dead soldier; certainly not a thousand of them.

Kerry has remained true to his vote granting the President the authority to use the threat of war to intimidate Saddam Hussein into allowing weapons inspections. He believes President Bush rushed into war before the inspectors finished their jobs.

Kerry also voted against President Bush's $87 billion for troop funding because the bill promoted poor policy in Iraq, privileged Halliburton and other corporate friends of the Bush administration to profiteer from the war, and forced debt upon future generations of Americans. Kerry's four-point plan for Iraq is realistic, wise, strong, and correct. With the help from our European and Middle Eastern allies, his plan is to train Iraqi security forces, involve Iraqis in their rebuilding and constitution-writing processes, forgive Iraq's multi-billion dollar debts, and convene a regional conference with Iraq's neighbors in order to secure a pledge of respect for Iraq's borders and non-interference in Iraq's internal affairs.

The publishers of the Iconoclast differ with Bush on other issues, including the denial of stem cell research, shortchanging veterans' entitlements, cutting school programs and grants, dictating what our children learn through a thought-controlling "test" from Washington rather than allowing local school boards and parents to decide how young people should be taught, ignoring the environment, and creating extraneous language in the Patriot Act that removes some of the very freedoms that our founding fathers and generations of soldiers fought so hard to preserve.

We are concerned about the vast exportation of jobs to other countries, due in large part to policies carried out by Bush appointees. Funds previously geared at retention of small companies are being given to larger concerns, such as Halliburton, companies with strong ties to oil and gas. Job training has been cut every year that Bush has resided at the White House.

Then there is his resolve to inadequately finance Homeland Security and to cut the Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS) by 94 percent, to reduce money for rural development, to slash appropriations for the Small Business Administration, and to under-fund veterans' programs.

Likewise troubling is that President Bush fought against the creation of the 9/11 Commission and is yet to embrace its recommendations.

Vice President Cheney's Halliburton has been awarded multi-billion-dollar contracts without undergoing any meaningful bid process - an enormous conflict of interest - plus the company has been significantly raiding the funds of Export-Import Bank of America, reducing investment that could have gone toward small business trade.

When examined based on all the facts, Kerry's voting record is enviable and echoes that of many Bush allies who are aghast at how the Bush administration has destroyed the American economy. Compared to Bush on economic issues, Kerry would be an arch-conservative, providing for Americans first. He has what it takes to right our wronged economy.

The re-election of George W. Bush would be a mandate to continue on our present course of chaos. We cannot afford to double the debt that we already have. We need to be moving in the opposite direction.

John Kerry has 30 years of experience looking out for the American people and can navigate our country back to prosperity and re-instill in America the dignity she so craves and deserves. He has served us well as a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and has had a successful career as a district attorney, lieutenant governor, and senator.

Kerry has a positive vision for America, plus the proven intelligence, good sense, and guts to make it happen.

That's why The Iconoclast urges Texans not to rate the candidate by his hometown or even his political party, but instead by where he intends to take the country.

The Iconoclast wholeheartedly endorses John Kerry.

The Lone Star Iconoclast endorses John Kerry.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"The Unfeeling President" by E.L. Doctorow

I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life . . . they come to his desk as a political liability, which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends.

A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over he world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally, the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail. How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

This piece originally appeared in the East Hampton Star, September 9, 2004, and is reprinted here without permission.

God Bless You, Mr. Doctrow!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

He Said What?

The Kerry Campaign has a new television ad showing the current American president explaining something about things looking better in Iraq than they do here in the United States. His remarks make no sense, though, as usual. He rarely makes any sense. He is usually lying. His lies are costly and dangerous. He is a bad man.

Check out the "Right Track" video clip here:
Kerry TV Ads

Monday, September 27, 2004

God vs Bush

Packet Storm is a little bit of geek heaven. The humor page is loaded with geek-humor that is all in good fun. Now and then they post a non-computer-related piece, and this one is totally worth the time.

Since the GIF is rather large, it doesn't render well in your browser. I recommend you right-click on the link below and choose "Save Target As..." to view the image directly from your machine.


Thanks to Richard for sending this along!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Row Boat Veterans For Truth

We like to think that each current Presidential election is worse than all the others that preceded it. Sadly, there is a history of negativity in presidential campaigning, going all the way back to the beginning.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

"I was a Navy lieutenant serving on a river patrol boat in Vietnam . . . "

August 24, 2004

I was a Navy lieutenant serving on a river patrol boat in Vietnam two months after John Kerry was a Navy lieutenant serving on a swift boat in Vietnam. I am very disappointed in the recent controversy surrounding Kerry's service.

Those of us who patrolled the rivers and canals in Vietnam knew the risks. For every Navy Seal killed there, five river patrol crewmen died. The casualty rate in the river patrol forces averaged nearly 60 percent. No one volunteered for this duty in order to fill in his political resume or to obtain a photo-op. No one volunteered for this duty to serve less than honorably.

It is very difficult to reconstruct a firefight immediately afterward. Now we are trying to analyze one that took place 35 years ago. I find it ironic our last two presidents deliberately avoided military service in Vietnam. Now we have a presidential candidate who did serve in combat and we are debating how honorably. John Kerry served ''on the river.'' That alone has earned my respect.

The Vietnam War was divisive enough. Thirty-five years later, those of us who served there should not continue this divisiveness. Many Americans at the time did not salute the war or those who fought it. Maybe now it is time to salute one who was there.

Joseph T. Petro

Bush is a wanker who has destroyed our nation's morale, economy, and reputation. We can defeat him in November. VOTE!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Joke - Payments

A backpacker in Colorado walks into a bar and orders a beer from the barmaid. She recognizes his Boston accent and they begin chatting.

Over the course of the night they get to know each other quite well. At the end of her shift he asks if she wants to come back to his place for sex. Although she is attracted to him, she declines.

He then offers her $200. Since she is low on funds, she agrees.

The next night he returns and orders another beer. Later in the evening, he offers her another $200 for sex. She happily agrees.

This goes on for five nights. On the sixth night the backpacker comes in, orders a beer and sits in the corner.

Hoping to earn more cash in another night of passion, the waitress pulls up a seat, and asks him where's he's from.

"Boston," the backpacker replies.

"So am I! What part of Boston?" she asks.

"Dorchester," he replies.

"That's amazing," she says, "so am I! What street?"

"Washington Street, he replies.

"This is unbelievable," she says. "What number?"

"Number 205."

"You are not going to believe this but I'm from number 202 and my parents still live there!"

"Yes, I know," the man replies. "Your father gave me $1,000 and asked me to deliver it to you."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Urban Legend: Neil Armstrong

On July 20, 1969, as Apollo Mission Astronaut Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he proclaimed: "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." Several remarks followed, including the usual technical banter between him, the other astronauts, and Mission Control. Before he re-entered the lander, he said "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."

Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning a rival Soviet Cosmonaut or other astronaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.

Over the years, many people questioned him as to what the "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky" statement meant and Armstrong just smiled, refusing to answer.

On July 5, 1999, following a speech, a reporter brought up the 30-year-old question to Armstrong. Since Mr. Gorsky had died Armstrong felt he could answer the question.

When he was a kid, Armstrong was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of his neighbors' bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As collected the ball, Mrs. Gorsky shouted, "Oral sex? You want oral sex? You'll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!"

This is a very funny story, but it is untrue. It is the stuff legends are made of. It is debunked at snopes:

Monday, September 20, 2004

Outsourcing Jobs

by Staff Reporter Melynda Jill
Washington D.C.

Congress today announced that the Office of President of the United States will be outsourced to overseas as of June 30, the end of this fiscal year. The move is being made to save $400K a year in salary, a record $521 Billion in deficit expenditures and related overhead.

"The cost savings will be quite significant," says Congressman Adam Smith (R-Wash), who, with the aid of the Congress research arm, the General Accounting Office has studied outsourcing of American jobs extensively. We simply can no longer afford this level of outlay and remain competitive on the world stage," Congressman Smith said. Exporting American jobs has been a popular trend lately, ironically at the urging of President Bush.

Mr. Bush was informed by email this morning of the termination of his position. He will receive health coverage, expenses and salary until his final day of employment. After that, with a two week waiting period, he will then be eligible for 240 dollars a week from unemployment insurance for 13 weeks.

Unfortunately, he will not be able to receive state Medicaid health insurance coverage as his unemployment benefits are over the required limit. "I'm in shock," Mr. Bush stated. "I thought for sure I'd have some job security around this here place. I have no idea what I'll do now," he further lamented.

Preparations have been underway for some time for the job move. Sanji Gurvinder Singh of Indus Teleservices, Mumbai, India, will be assuming the Office of President of the United States as of July 1. Mr. Singh was born in the United States while his parents were here on student visas, thus making him eligible for the position. He will receive a salary of $320 a month but with no health coverage or other benefits.

Due to the time difference between the US and India, Mr. Singh will be working primarily at night, when offices of the US Government will be open. "I am excited to serve in this position," Mr. Singh stated in an exclusive interview. "Working nights will let me keep my day job at the American Express call center. I always knew I could be President someday."

Congress stressed patience when calling Mr. Singh as he may not be fully aware of all the issues involved with his new position. A Congressional Spokesperson noted that Mr. Singh has been given a script tree to follow which will allow him to respond to most topics of concern. The Spokesperson further noted that "additional savings will be realized as these scripting tools have already been used previously by Mr. Bush here in the US. Such scripts will enable Mr. Singh to provide an answer without having to fully understand the issue itself."

Congress continues to explore other outsourcing possibilities including that of Vice-president and most Cabinet positions.

(Thanks to Jendi for sending this along!)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Support Your Candidate!

There are less than two months until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States.

The man elected will be the president of all Americans, not just the Democrats or the Republicans.

To show our solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice. It's time that we all came together, Democrats and Republicans alike.

So show your patriotism this Saturday.

If you support the policies and character of John Kerry, please drive with your headlights on during the day.

If you support the incumbent, please drive with your headlights off at night.

Thanks to Henry for sending this along!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Carlos Santana on President Bush

Aug 27, 10:12 am ET

"He doesn't represent the heart of America. He represents another part of the anatomy but not the heart."

- Guitarist Carlos Santana on President Bush in a Billboard interview.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Joke - Parrots . . .

A woman approaches her priest and tells him: "Father, I have a problem. I have two female talking parrots, but they only know how to say one thing."

"What do they say?" the priest inquires.

"They only know how to say, 'Hi, we're prostitutes. Want to have some fun?'"

"That's terrible!" the priest exclaims. "But I have a solution to your problem. Bring your two female parrots over to my house and I will put them with my two male parrots, whom I have taught to pray and read the Bible. My parrots will teach your parrots to stop saying that terrible phrase and your female parrots will learn to praise and worship."

"Thank you!" the woman exclaims.

The next day the woman brings her female parrots to the priest's house. His two male parrots are holding beads and praying.

When the lady puts her two female parrots in the cage with the two male parrots, her two say: "Hi! We're prostitutes. Want to have some fun?"

At which one male parrot looks at the other and shouts: "Put the beads away! Our prayers have been answered!"

(and a no-joke Capleton follow-up)

Good news on the Capleton front!

Capleton has been dropped from the San Francisco Reggae In The Park Festival!

And the sponsor of the Boston festival, WCVB-TV, is surprised to learn about Capleton's lyrics.

Please write to WCVB-TV at their Contact Page and ask them to push for cancellation of Capleton's performance!

We need to keep pressure on other promoters to dump this Jamaican hate-mongerer, and send him the message that his violent prejudices have no place in the USA!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A Jamaican Message of Hate

A reggae artist by the name of Capleton will perform a show at BBKings in New York City tonight, Tuesday, September 14, 2004. He is part of a "One Love" reggae tour.

Love is not a word that Capleton should be allowed to use in his promotions!

Capleton part of a klan of Jamaican artists on the VP Records label that write and record songs glorifying violence against lesbians and gay men. Capleton and his klan have gotten so bad in their virulent homophobia that venues throughout Europe refuse to allow them to perform, and festival sponsors are threatening to pull endorsements.

Now that Capleton and his klan have started recent tours of the United States, gay rights groups in England are calling on Americans to speak-out against them.

Many of Capleton's supporters, including club owners and public relations people, are hiding behing the Freedom-of-Speech mantle, insisting that it is just an opinion of his and he has the right to express it. This is NOT a free-speech issue, nor is this a censorship issue.

In America it is a crime to advocate murder or violence against anybody. Capleton sings and brags about hating and hurting homosexuals, and calls on others to incite violent attacks on homosexuals. This is outrageous and criminal. People like Capleton and his klan are criminals, not artists. This is not a freedom-of-speech issue, this is an issue of crime and violence.

Below is the list of venues where Capleton will appear on this US Tour. If one of these is in your area, please consider calling and asking them if they know about Capleton's homophobic lyrics and ask if they support his right to sing those songs of hate from their stage.

Also below is a sampling of Capleton’s lyrics along with simple translations to the vernacular. These lyrics are not presented out of context. Viewing an entire list of his lyrics will show you that the spirit of hate is rampant.

Please contact BBKings TODAY and tell them you are opposed to them providing a stage for inciting hate and violence towards homosexuals.

To contact BBKings:

By Phone:

By internet:

I hope you will take a moment to make the call or send the message. When we remain silent, we give our tacit approval. If we do not contact BBKings and other venues, they do not know we disapprove.

This klan of hateful reggae performers includes:

Beenie Man (Anthony Moses Davis)
Bounty Killer (Rodney Price)
Buju Banton (Mark Myrie)
Capleton (Clifton George)
Elephant Man (O'Neil Bryan)
Sizzla (Miguel Orlando Collins)
T.O.K. (Alistaire McCalla, Roshaun Clarke, Craig Patrick, Anthony Thompson, Xavier Davidson)
Vybz Kartel (Adidja Palmer)

Please boycott their products and speak-out against them. Any internet search for their lyrics will show not a spirit of One Love, but profitrering from hate and violence intertwined with trendy cliches about freedom. Even if one of them can deny homophobia, they are complicit until they speak-out against this hatred.

This is the message I sent to BBKings:

I am disheartened to see that BB Kings is hosting a CAPLETON show on 14 SEP.

Capleton's message is one of hate and intolerance. His homophobic lyrics might have a place in a repressive and hostile Jamaican culture, but they have no place in America, especially in New York City.

Have you listened to Capleton's songs? Do you know what message he preaches?

If he sang about black people the way he sings about homosexuals would you allow him to perform at BB Kings?

To allow Capleton to use your stage for your own profit is to profit from the continued harassment, discrimination and murder of homosexuals in America.

I would like to know your position on this controversial artist and why you are letting him use your venue to spread a message of hate, violence and intolerance.

This is the reply I received, which I allowed them to sanitize for publication:

If we here at B.B.King's thought for even a minute that any of our artists stood for ideals as appalling as those that discriminated against homosexuality please know that we would at least think heavily upon our decision of having them perform here- B.B. King Blues Club is a venue made up of individuals that represent a myriad of personalities, tastes and preferences- all of which we embrace. No one here, including the booking agent, is aware of Capleton being anti-gay. Perhaps you are thinking of another artist (I do know that as of late much controversy has developed in regards to Beanie Man's anti-gay statements and lyrics)...In any case, B.B. King's tends to take an appropriate position as regards hosting different artists that have different beliefs- by "appropriate" I mean to say that B.B. King's does not necessarily support every sentiment expressed by each of its performing artists but as a non-partisan venue we do give way to artists even if they do have different beliefs than our own. Richard, in all honesty, if we thought that any artist was due to convey anti- anyone sentiments from our stage, we would not book that artist. The Capleton show, however, is already booked (again, without any knowledge of his anti- gay stance) and we therefore are obligated to feature his performance (tickets have been sold, flights have been made, production schedules finalized, etc). Please do note though that B. B. King's expects nothing else that night but great reggae music, great food and great service. Of course, at anytime, feel free to contact me directly with any additional concerns you might have.
From all of us here we wish you and yours a wonderful day.

This is the reply I sent back:

Dear (BBKings):

Thank you for taking the time to respond to me.

I understand and accept that you do not think that Capleton will sing homophobic songs from the stage at BBKings; but that doesn't mean he does not sing songs that advocate violence against homosexuals.

This is the issue that concerns me: BBKings is OK with paying him as long as he doesn't sing those particular songs, but in BBKings opinion he has the freedom of speech to sing whatever he wants elsewhere.

I think this position is hypocritical at best, and promotes violence against homosexuals at worst. (Even if you don't intend it.)

Beenie Man is taking the heat right now, but gay groups in Europe are urging Americans to speak-out against the homophobia in the songs of all the VP Records stable of artists.

Some of Capleton's lyrics are listed below. I have not posted the entire lyric of each song, but I assure you there is no way these lines are taken out of context in anyway. These are references to gay men and lesbians, and the lyrics specifically call for violence against them.

I hope that BBKings will consider taking some public position on this issue beyond the 'freedom of speech' stance that is so often put forth when discussing homophobia in American culture. I repeat what I said in our phone call and my previous email: if he was calling for violence against people of color you would not give him a voice on your stage. I challenge you to apply the same test to homophobia that you apply to racism.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Next, I contacted The Atlantic Connection, in Martha's Vineyard:

Dear Altantic Connection staff:

I see from a concert tour list that you are renting your stage to Capleton, on Thursday, September 16, 2004.

Capleton is one of a number of Jamaican artists on the VP Records label that has written and recorded songs that call for violence against lesbians and gay men. Capleton and his cohorts have gotten so virulent in their hatred of their fellow human beings that venues and sponsors around the world are refusing to be affiliated with them. Capleton and his cohorts are touring the United States and human rights groups are calling on Americans to speak-out against them.

This is NOT a censorship issue. In America it is a crime to advocate murder or violence against anybody. Capleton sings and brags about hating and hurting homosexuals, and calls on others to incite violent attacks on homosexuals. This is outrageous and unAmerican. People like Capleton and his cohorts are criminals, not artists. This is not a freedom-of-speech issue, this is an issue of crime and violence.

Below are a sampling of Capleton’s lyrics along with translations into the American vernacular. These lyrics are not presented out of context, they represent a horribly violent attitude that has no place in the United States.

I know it is unlikely that you would do anything to stop this show, but I hope you will read the lyrics of Capleton’s songs and confront the artist about what he intends to do with your stage. I am opposed to you providing a stage for inciting hate and violence towards homosexuals, and I also know that you are in this for the money, not the love. I am not asking you to be spokespeople for gay rights, but please read the lyrics of Capleton’s songs and please consider confronting the artist about his message of violence and hate.

If he was singing these lyrics about people of color or women, would you grant him a voice at your venue?

Thank you for your time and consideration.


I received this reply:

1st amendment right to free speech. Accept it. Please do not e-mail again."

Since Atlantic Connection is so dismissive of this issue, please write them at this address and demand they explain themselves: Send e-mail to at Atlantic Connection

At least BBKings had the decency to engage in a dialogue, even if they exposed themselves as more concerned with profit than the safety of fellow Americans and the protection of our Constitution from outsiders who would make a mockery of our Bill of Rights.

Please speak-up about this issue. If we continue to let people hide behind the Bill of Rights while they call for the murder of American citizens, we will see a future filled not with love and harmony, but discord, violence and death.

Capleton Lyric samples:

"Bun Out Di Chi Chi"
Bun out ah chi chi, Blood out ah chi chi
 (Burn out a queer, Blood out a queer)
Batty dem ah fuck and ah suck too much pussy
 (Queers are fucking and sucking too much pussy)
 /In Jamaica, pussy can refer to oral sex in general, which is also considered sodomy/
Blood out ah chi chi, Blood out ah shitty
 (Blood out a queer, Blood out a shit (fucker)
 /Blood out: as in chop, cut, stab, this is a particularly violent expression/

Sadomite and batty man mi shot up...Whoa
(Sodomite and queer man, I shoot up)

"Give Har"
Shoulda know seh Capleton bun battyman
  (You should know that Capleton burns queers)
Dem same fire apply to di lesbian
 (The same fire applies to lesbians)
Seh mi bun everything from mi know seh dem gay
 (Say, I burn everything as long as I know that they’re gay)
All boogaman and sodemites fi get killed
 (All queers and sodomites should be killed)

"Hang Dem Up"
Yow...String dem up and hang dem up alive
 (String them up and hang them up alive)
Bare batty man come round yah
 (All queers who come around here)
Dis mamma earth sey none can survive
 (This mama earth says none can survive)

Some Links:

Outrage! message board entry

Q-Online list of lyrics

UK Blackout website article

Chicago Independent Media Center article

Party Spress Message Board thread

Toronto Star article

New York Times article (may require registration)

Jamaica Observer article

Monday, September 13, 2004

I Want These MP3s. Can You Send Them To Me?

I used to shop the online music providers for obscure single songs I miss from the past. Of course, they carry very little out of the mainstream and they have made it a crime for us to share music with one another. Still, I would like to have MP3 versions of these songs. Some I can't find online, others I would never pay money for because I have purchased them so many times already (I can't count how many times I have purchased "96 Tears" since 1967!).

Do you have these? Will you share? Will you send them to me? I have bought each of these songs in some format over the past forty years, and I would be willing to buy digital versions of them, if they were available in a usuable format (not MP4/AAC)!

Peruse the list and giggle at the memories!

Everybody's Boring - Pearl Harbor & The Explosions
To Sir With Love - Lou Miami & The Kozmetix
Academy Fight Song - Mission of Burma
Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend - Emmylou Harris
Johnny Are You Queer? - Josie Cotton
Kung-Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
Georgy Girl - The Seekers
To Sir With Love (Film Soundtrack Version) - Lulu
Hey Joe - Patti Smith
Enola Gay - Orchestral Maneouvres In The Dark
Do You Know The Way To San Jose - Dionne Warwick
Jackie Wilson Said - Van Morrison
White Lines - Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
American Fun - The Stompers
Oh Bondage Up Yours - X-Ray Spex
Happiness Is A Warm Gun - The Beatles
96 Tears - ? and The Mysterians
Money - Flying Lizards
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Christine (fast and/or slow versions) - Garland Jeffreys
Hey D.J. - Worlds Famous Supreme Team
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix Experience
Buffalo Love - Malcolm McLaren
My Generation - The Who
Grazing In The Grass - Friends Of Distinction
D'yer Maker - Led Zepplin
Gloria - Them
Skin And Bone - The Kinks
On Broadway - Lou Rawls
Little Red Corvette - Prince
Bella Lagosi's Dead - Bauhaus
Burnin Love - Elvis Presley
Ode To Billie Joe - Bobbie Gentry
Walk On By - The Stranglers
Turn The Beat Around - Vickie Sue Robinson
Shame, Shame, Shame - Shirley & Co.
Piss Factory - Patti Smith
Schock den Affen - Peter Gabriel
Go - Tones On Tails
The Harder They Come (Acapella) - Donnie Calvin/Rocker's Revenge
Every Beat You Hear - Otis Ligget
Harper Valley P.T.A. - Jeanne C. Riley
Sex Dwarf - Soft Cell
Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum
Immigrant Song - Led Zepplin
Angel From Montgomrey - Bonnie Raitt
Then He Kissed Me - Hollywood Brats
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley

I am also always interested in hearing new songs from new artists who have not yet signed to corporate labels. Are you an artist with your own MP3s to share? Can I have a copy?

My primary gripe with the current encoding is that I cannot convert a song from MP4/AAC to anything else.

This weekend I was preparing a Power Point slideshow of my daughter's first six months and when I have done this in the past I include a song from my library as background music. I then send it to our relatives out-of-state.

I purchased a copy of "You Are My Sunshine," by Jimmie Davis, from iTunes a few months back. I cannot use it in my slide show because the new MP4/AAC encoding will not allow me to convert it to WAV. I paid for this song! I own this copy of this song and I should be able to use it as the background music for a personal slide show I will share with my family!

The RIAA's crappy encoding in unfair! Our government is providing communist-style protection for the corporations and creating an unfair marketplace.

I implore you to purchase no music from online music providers nor major labels. Buy independent. Trade songs with your friends. If the US Government can provide socialism for the wealthy, we can practice it ourselves.


Send me your want list, too! Maybe I have a song you would like to have from my collection.


Friday, September 10, 2004

Truism: Iraqi Constitution

"They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's worked for over 200 years and hell, we're not using it anymore."


Origin seems to be television personality Jay Leno.
Thanks to Dave for sending it along.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Jimmy Carter Letter to Zell Miller

Originally published on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution
(Reprinted here without permission)
(Thanks to Karen for the tip!)

Letter to Zell Miller: "You Have Betrayed our Trust"
by Jimmy Carter

To Sen. Zell Miller:

You seem to have forgotten that loyal Democrats elected you as mayor [of Young Harris] and as state senator. Loyal Democrats, including members of my family and me, elected you as state senator, lieutenant governor and governor. It was a loyal Democrat, Lester Maddox, who assigned you to high positions in the state government when you were out of office. It was a loyal Democrat, Roy Barnes, who appointed you as U.S. senator when you were out of office. By your historically unprecedented disloyalty, you have betrayed our trust.

Great Georgia Democrats who served in the past, including Walter George, Richard Russell, Herman Talmadge and Sam Nunn, disagreed strongly with the policies of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and me, but they remained loyal to the party in which they gained their public office. Other Democrats, because of philosophical differences or the race issue, like Bo Callaway and Strom Thurmond, at least had the decency to become Republicans.

Everyone knows that you were chosen to speak at the Republican National Convention because of your being a "Democrat," and it's quite possible that your rabid speech damaged our party and paid the GOP some transient dividends.

Perhaps more troublesome of all is seeing you adopt an established and very effective Republican campaign technique of destroying the character of opponents by wild and false allegations. The Bush campaign's personal attacks on the character of John McCain in South Carolina in 2000 was a vivid example. The claim that war hero Max Cleland was a disloyal American and an ally of Osama bin Laden should have given you pause, but you have joined in this ploy by your bizarre claims that another war hero, John Kerry, would not defend the security of our nation except with spitballs. (This is the same man whom you described previously as "one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders -- and a good friend.")

I, myself, served in the Navy from 1942 to 1953, and, as president, greatly strengthened our military forces and protected our nation and its interests in every way. I don't believe this warrants your referring to me as a pacifist.

Zell, I have known you for 42 years and have, in the past, respected you as a trustworthy political leader and a personal friend. But now, there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, unilateral pre-emptive war over a strong nation united with others for peace, lies and obfuscation over the truth, and the political technique of personal character assassination as a way to win elections or to garner a few moments of applause. These are not the characteristics of great Democrats whose legacy you and I have inherited.

Sincerely, and with deepest regrets,
Jimmy Carter


Thank you President Carter for your continued service to humanity!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

World Cup Qualifier Tonight: Panama v USA

The Group Stage of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany has begun.

The World Cup is the premier international soccer competition and it takes place every four years in the even numbered year opposite the Summer Olympics.

The USA belongs to the Confederation of North, Central and Caribbean Association Football ("CONCACAF"). Each continent, or continental region, is granted a certain number of slots for the World Cup competition by the Federacion Internacional de Football Association ("FIFA"). CONCACAF receives 3.5 slots, which means that the top three teams in our qualifying competition are automatically invited to Germany to play, and the fourth place team enters an additional qualifying round.

The chart of each continent's allotment can be seen at the this site.

So, CONCACAF held its own preliminaries leading up to the current two stages of Group competition. See that chart here. And the USA made it through easily!

There are now three Groups of four teams each. The USA is in Group 1 and must play home and away matches against El Salvador, Panama, and Jamaica. First match was away to Jamaica and we played to a 1-1 draw. Last Saturday we beat El Salvador 2-0 in a cantankerous match at Foxboro, Massachusetts. Tonight we play at Panama City. We will then play three more matches in this group stage (versus Jamaica and Panama at home; then away to El Salvador).

Matches and Results can be found here.

At the conclusion of this round in November 2004, the two nations atop each of the three groups will advance to a Final Round group of six teams that will play from February to October 2005. The top three finishers in that final group will advance directly to Germany. The fourth-place finisher will compete in a home-and-away playoff against the fifth-place finisher of the Asian Football Confederation, for one of the last berths into the World Cup.

The USA is currently ranked 10th in the world. Some say that the standing is artificially inflated in hopes of securing more interest from United States citizens; but, that is too cynical even for me! There are 205 national teams registered with FIFA, so 10th out of 205 is damn impressive!

American soccer players now play in some of the world's most competitive leagues, including England and Germany. Our own MLS (Major League Soccer) is in its ninth season and getting better all the time. See MLS information here.

All players earn their living playing for a Club in a League; but, they return to their home nation to participate in international matches like the World Cup. Most leagues release their players for these international assignments, some leagues even suspend play for a week or two to accommodate the process. MLS, of course, does not do anything to accommodate international play, because it is an American sports league. Why would an American business enterprise ever ask its staff to do something for the honor of its nation (unless it involved killing strangers) when there are profits to be made (or lost).

Our national team is made-up of American players from all over the world, and the roster for tonight's match in Panama City is:

Player, Team, (League)
Kasey Keller, Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Jonny Walker, MetroStars (MLS)

Carlos Bocanegra, Fulham FC (ENG)
Steve Cherundolo, Hannover 96 (GER)
Bobby Convey, Reading FC (ENG)
Cory Gibbs, Dallas Burn (MLS)
Frankie Hejduk, Columbus Crew (MLS)
Oguchi Onyewu, Standard de Liege (BEL)
Eddie Pope, MetroStars (MLS)
Greg Vanney, SC Bastia (FRA)

DaMarcus Beasley, PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Landon Donovan, San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Cobi Jones, Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Eddie Lewis, Preston North End (ENG)
Clint Mathis, Hannover 96 (GER)
Claudio Reyna, Manchester City (ENG)
Kerry Zavagnin, Kansas City Wizards (ENG)

Conor Casey, FSV Mainz (GER)
Brian Ching, San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Brian McBride, Fulham FC (ENG)

England, Germany, Netherlands, and France produce some of the finest soccer and soccer players in the entire world (along with Brazil and Argentina, of course) and the presence of American players in those leagues speaks volumes about how good American soccer players are today.

How much do you know about American soccer players? That's what I thought.

Well, that roster of guys flew to Panama City yesterday to play at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez, tonight at 9 P.M. Eastern Time, and they are amazing athletes. You can watch the match live on Fox Sports World, or you can follow the MatchTracker at


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Joke - Getting Into Heaven

The Sunday School teacher asked his class: "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?"

"NO!" the children all answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?"

Again, the answer was, "NO!"

"Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my wife, would that get me into Heaven?" He asked them again.

Again, they all answered, "NO!"

"Well," he continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD!"

Monday, September 06, 2004

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

By John Gray
Cincinnati, Ohio
July, 2004
(originally published at TV News Lies)

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn't think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republicans would still be sitting in the dark.)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home. He turns on a radio talk show, the hosts keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn't tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.) Joe agrees, "We don't need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Thanks to Eve for sending this along!


Friday, September 03, 2004

Random Playlist

I have a somewhat varied and extensive music collection. Much of it is now stored on my PC and I use RealPlayer to manage it. I have been a Real user for a very long time, and I actually license the product, even though they get worse and worse by the day. No matter how bad Real is, they are much better than iTunes, which is the most hateful player and music management experience available.

I don't purchase digital music online anymore because it is encoded in a way I find objectionable. Real, Apple and Napster have become slimey tentacles of the RIAA. The RIAA does for the free market and capitalism what the Vatican did for European Jews in the 1930s: Nothing! The RIAA is one of those organizations working to build socialism for the rich while maintaining an almost cannibalistic free market for the middle-class.

Of all the jukeboxes available, I prefer Real and I use it to generate 80-minute playlists of random music from my library to burn to CD. I think it is a fun way to enjoy my music collection. Sometimes, though, the mix is odd.

I wonder if I will listen to this list twice? Would you?

Comme Moi - Edith Piaf
It Ain't Necessarily So - Ella & Louis
Siren Song - Brave Combo
Flesh And Blood - Roxy Music
(Dawning Of A) New Era - Specials
Jocko Homo - Devo
You Want It Back - Propellorheads
The Twilight Hour - The The
Lorelei - Tom Tom Club
Submission - Sex Pistols
Avenues And Alleyways - Rancid
Rolls Royce & Acid - Jack Nitzsche
Geisha Boys And Temple Girls - Heaven 17
You Can't Hurry Love - Supremes
Bernadette - Four Tops
All In Love Is Fair - Stevie Wonder
Love Is Stronger Than Justice - Sting
Heat Wave - Marilyn Monroe
Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody - Judy Garland

I mean, I think my taste is rather eclectic, but this might be a bit TOO eclectic!

Can a random mix include Edith Piaf AND Judy Garland and be considered random? Doesn't there seem to be something oddly UNrandom about that? I dunno. Why did no David Bowie song appear? No Stones. I dunno. It's unlikely I will listen to this mix twice because it includes Sting. I don't really like him; but Mrs. Mac is a big fan, so my library includes most of his work.

Do you use a digital jukebox on your computer? Do you use it to generate random playlists? Do you have one to share? Leave it in the Comments section below.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count (and more)

One way we honor the dead is to acknowledge their passing. A vague, but heart-felt celebration of a stranger's life becomes a communal event when it is published or broadcast. This is especially true in times of war when so many more people die than during peace time. There is something dramatic and comforting about the announcement, the proclamations, the processions, the services, the tears and sorrow, that makes the loss somehow palatable. War needs the salve of these celebrations of lives lost. It is normal to honor those who die in war.

The United States government refuses to publicly display and/or discuss war casualties from the war in Iraq. As if a refusal to announce them somehow negates them and makes the war more of a success.

This administration has launched an immoral war simply to acquire the oil reserves of Iraq for their own personal profit and they do not want us acknowledging its cost in human lives.

The Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count at thinks it is important to know the numbers.


12noon: (Let's give Hayes the Shaft!) And this just in from last night's GOP events . . .

Humble Hastert, Rowdy Rockers Share the Stage at the Avalon

At a Chelsea church converted into a nightclub called the Avalon, an audience of lobbyists and Hill aides last night chanted "Den-ny, Den-ny, Den-ny." Their hero: Publicly awkward and humble Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who quickly told the packed crowd to "Cut it out."

It was not a political rally after Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech, but rather a party honoring Hastert that was sponsored by the Recording Industry Association of America. Right after Isaac Hayes sang "Shaft," Hastert introduced the second musical act, Trace Adkins, as a "bipartisan" entertainer. According to Hastert, at least one of Adkins’ song is about the Democratic Party: "No Thinkin’ Thing."

Adkins, a charismatic country-rock singer, then performed his lusty, hip swaying number which features lyrics including, "It’s a chemical, physical, emotional devotion/Passion that we can’t hold back."

Indeed, convention politics often makes for odd bedfellows. Two of the financial sponsors of the party at the Avalon, which also featured musical hooligan Kid Rock, were eBay and the National Rifle Association. All during the concert their logos flashed on a back wall.

Not that many years ago a lone party goer aimed to look cool by leaning against a wall and smoking a cigarette. Now people with no one to mingle with keep their head down and tap into their BlackBerrys. — Jill Barshay

Avalon used to be Limelight.

I used to like Isaac Hayes, but as my friend points out: "Isaac is a Scientologist! Now we know the supposedly "gay-owned" Avalon puts money before civil rights. . . . How republican! Jim"

I've never had any use for Kid Rock or his tedious girlfriend, so it's easy to dismiss them. But now we have to add Isaac Hayes to our boycott lists!

I think what Jim says about Avalon is important: since they are more interested in money than civil rights (shown by renting their space to a group of people committed to abridging the civil rights of homosexuals), we should not ever go there and spend money. If you are gay or lesbian, or have gay or lesbian friends, you should not go to Avalon ever again. It's really simple!

. . . and the moderation . . .

Today's Doonesbury, posted by Yahoo!, pointed out the Administration's moderation very tactfully:

(reprinted without permission)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Republicans Suppress Vote

This from the good folks at and America Coming Together. As always, the proof is in the footnotes!

Last month John Pappageorge, a Republican state representative in Michigan, told a journalist that the Republicans would do poorly if they failed to "suppress the Detroit vote." Detroit, of course, is 83% black.[1]

Democratic officials expressed their outrage, and Pappageorge eventually apologized for his words, but his statement spoke to a bigger truth: Republicans continue to actively suppress black and minority votes in order to win elections through intimidation, misinformation, and tampering with voter rolls and records. In 2000, the black voters who were not allowed to vote would have almost certainly swung the election in Al Gore's favor. And the practice continues: a recent report from the NAACP and the People for the American Way Foundation documents suppression tactics in use right now.[2]

The Republican Party's continued silence is shameful. We're joining with Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP*, Reverend Jesse Jackson, President of the Rainbow/Push Coalition*, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and others to demand that the Republican Party abandon these racist, unfair, and undemocratic tactics and condemn anyone in their ranks who uses them.

Many of the leaders above and other signers will personally deliver this petition to the Bush/Cheney campaign headquarters next month, so please sign today and ask your friends to sign.

Just last week, Bob Herbert of the New York Times wrote a column describing armed, plain-clothes officers from the Florida state police (which reports directly to Governor Jeb Bush) going into the homes of elderly black voters and interrogating them, supposedly as part of an investigation into voter fraud. While ostensibly random, several of those questioned were members of the Orlando League of Voters, a group that has been very successful in mobilizing the city's black vote. According to Herbert, this supposed "investigation" has resulted in a blanket of fear, leaving organizers afraid to work and voters afraid of contact with campaign workers.[3]

Four years ago, Florida election officials removed over 52,000 voters from the rolls under the guise of "cleansing" the list of felons. Over 90% of those purged were not guilty of any crime and 54% were African-American, a group which, in Florida, are likely to vote Democratic over 90% of the time.[4] The company that provided the purge list warned Florida officials that thousands of eligible voters would likely be disenfranchised in the process, but Katherine Harris, the Florida Secretary of State who also served as state campaign manager for George W. Bush, went forward with the purge anyway. The result was thousands of voters not allowed to vote in an election that was decided by just over 500 votes.

It's not just Florida. A joint report from People for the American Way Foundation and the NAACP "The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression in America Today" highlights recent attempts to suppress African-American and minority voting, documenting instances of the following:[5]

Challenges and threats against individual voters at the polls by armed private guards, off-duty law enforcement officers, local creditors, fake poll monitors, and poll workers and managers.

Signs posted at the polling place warning of penalties for "voter fraud" or "non-citizen" voting, or illegally urging support for a candidate.

Poll workers "helping" voters fill out their ballots, and instructing them on how to vote.

Criminal tampering with voter registration rolls and records.

Fliers and radio ads containing false information about where, when and how to vote, voter eligibility, and the false threat of penalties.

Internal memos from party officials in which the explicit goal of suppressing black voter turnout is outlined.

Here are a few other incidents highlighted in the report and elsewhere:

In 2003, in Pennsylvania, men with clipboards bearing official-looking insignias were reportedly dispatched to African American neighborhoods. Tom Lindenfeld, who ran a counter-intimidation campaign for Democratic candidate John Street, said there were 300 cars with the decals resembling such federal agencies as the DEA and ATF and that the men were asking prospective voters for identification. In a post-election poll of 1000 African-American voters, seven percent said they had encountered such efforts.

In 2002, in Louisiana, fliers were distributed in African American communities stating, "Vote!!! Bad Weather? No problem!!! If the weather is uncomfortable on election day [Saturday, December 7th], remember you can wait and cast your ballot on Tuesday, December 10th." In a separate incident, apparently targeting potential supporters of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Republican Party admitted to paying African American youths $75 to hold signs aloft on street corners in black neighborhoods that appeared to discourage African-Americans from voting.

Last month, in South Dakota, Native American voters were sent to the wrong polling places, and given misleading information about the ID they need to vote.[6]

Stopping eligible voters from voting is a basic affront to democracy. It is an outrage for any political party to condone or encourage the practice, especially given the history of African-Americans and other minorities being disenfranchised in our country. In the vast majority of these cases, Republicans are the perpetrators or it's a Republican candidate that stands to benefit.

-- James Rucker, Laura Dawn, and the rest of the MoveOn PAC team

(3 originally at:

(Thanks to Dave for sending this along!)