Entries Posted in "Politics"

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Polls Schmolls
November 18, 2004

Whatever*. I predicted this was going to happen. Newsweek reported last Friday:

...the exit polls didn’t tell the whole story. According to a new analysis of voter data, turnout among the under-30 set shot up 9 percent from 2000. The study, conducted by the University of Maryland’s Center for Information & Research on Civil Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), found that at least 20.9 million in the 18-29-year-old bracket voted, compared with only about 16 million in 2000. The exit polls didn’t register the increase because they show the percentage of young voters out of all voters. Since every age bracket voted in higher numbers than in 2000, the exit polls showed about equal youth shares of total voters for 2004 and 2000—not an accurate picture of the youth vote, experts say.
* Relative defintion of "Whatever": Quick, somebody give me a salary and title so I can get paid for my predictions.

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Know Your Rebels: Sheri Valera
November 18, 2004

Rebel: Sheri Valera

Age: 21

Why you should fear her: Not only was Sheri the youngest Florida delegate to the RNC, she was a 2nd place runner up in MTV's essay contest and has the accolades and positions that would lead to a life in politics. Sheri is also a powerhouse activist and firm Christian that has taken a hard stance against premarital sex and abortion amidst a notoriously subversive campus life. Countering even the "South Park Republican culture", Sheri's taken flack for her advocacy of purity in relationships and is saving her first kiss for her wedding day. Classy.

Representing: Port Charlotte, FL

Status: Senior Political Science Major at the University of Florida

Headed: A governmental office.

Achievements: Youngest Congressional Delegate for Florida to the 2004 Republican National Convention; Chair of the Florida College Republicans. Ronald Reagan Future Leaders Scholarship Recipient; Weekly Editorial Columnist for the Florida Independent Alligator; Second place finalist in the Stand-up and holla Essay Contest; Member of Christ Community and Riverbend Community Churches; a memberof Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society.

Interviews: New York Metro Magazine

Past rebels: Princella Smith

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Sorry Everybody
November 16, 2004

America is a peculiar place. As a country, we are usually atypical in our way of doing things. And I'll be the first to admit that many of those "things" are quite wonderful. Our "open marketplace of freedom" has long been the chip on our shoulder of cultural superiority. There is a reason why we are called "the land of opportunity". There is also a reason why people from other nations risk their lives to get here. Notwithstanding this reality, in all our "fabulousness" and "freedom", we have an uncanny propensity to exploit our liberties.

I am recently beset by what seems to be the extreme absence of the proper reverence and respect for the man we call our president. Our capacity to respect the office of the president isn't based on the countenance of one human being. If my ability to show respect for authority was based on amicability, I would surely be in jail right now, hauled off by some police officer I gave a piece of my mind. For if perfection was the rod against which we measured our Commander and Chief, we would surely be without a qualified leader for the task. What we must respect is the power and burden of the presidential mantle on behalf of an entire nation. It is not to be taken lightly, spoken of flippantly, or disregarded, no matter who is in office.

Freedom is a most beautiful thing. In fact, it is so beautiful that we as Americans often romanticize the idea of "freedom" to the point of extreme avoidance of (or un-consciousness from) the reality of what it really means to live in a free society. The "freedom" veil we live under is one that leads us to believe that America is a place where most anyone can presumptuously "do" whatever they choose and still get away with it. And unfortunately, these perceptions often ring true. Yet there is an unsettling haze of rebelliousness that has clouded the way we regard those authorities who have "charge" or "watch" over us. We have co-opted "freedom" as our right to be reckless. Today, that recklessness manifests itself in all matter of speech and hatred against a person who is inevitably our leader for the next four years.

On election day, writer James Lileks illustrated a profound truth when he recounted a teachable moment he had with his 4-year-old daughter post-voting:

"If John Kerry wins he won't be our president," Gnat said.

Ah, a teachable moment. No, honey. He will be our president. He will be the new president, and we will respect him.

"What does respek mean?"

Man, that is a good question. It means we treat him like a teacher or the pastor or a doctor. Someone we should listen to when they talk and someone who is important to everyone. Because he's the president, and we have to respect the job of president.

And here we have a simplistic sketch of something America lacks. It's one of our fundamental weaknesses: we don't respect authority. The illustration is no Rembrandt, but the concept is so simple, even a child can grasp it.

Continue reading "Sorry Everybody">>>

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Column's Up
November 7, 2004

Where Have All the Young Ones Gone?

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Excuse me while I commence to dry heaving (and laughing)
November 5, 2004

Someone just emailed me this closed Auction from ebay:

"As part of the "Vote or Die!" campaign, Sean "P.Diddy" Combs has offered the opportunity for one lucky bidder to join him on Election Day as he excersises his right to vote."
Some sucker took it for $255 $3061.11. Don't tell me it's hard to make money in America.

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The Recklessness of Sean Combs
November 5, 2004

Perhaps few recall Combs's early assertion that we needed to "Get Bush's [insert Biblical term for donkey] out of office". And soon after, commenced his bi-partisan "Vote or Die" and "Citizen Change" campaigns. Hogwash.

But apparently, Combs admits it. In an MTV interview, he had a brush with common sense:

"I was a little reckless with my comments, to be honest...I realized I relinquished my power too early after I educated myself. I shouldn't have said that until I felt that there was somebody that could be better for my people. ... I learned a lot in this process. I learned that my power could be used better. Instead of attacking Bush, it would be better to light a flame under young Americans and let them make the decisions."
Attacking Bush, whether directly or underhandedly, proved to be unwise as the "anybody but Bush" cry wasn't enough to motivate much of anyone, let alone the younger generation.

On another note, a bit of venting on two points. Number one, the P. Diddy mohawk has got to go. I am not a violent person, but when I see this picture, I want to throw objects. Number two, the fact that "we", myself included, refer to a 35-year-old man as "P. Diddy" or "Puff Daddy" or "Puffy" (or "Rufus" for that matter). He's a grown man, and shall herein be called by a grown person's name: Sean Combs.

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November 4, 2004

Here are a few of Rather's best lines from election night coverage. Honest to goodness, I don't know how he rattles 'em off like this. The man has an aresnal of terribly hokey metaphors. Even more perplexing is how the other decrepits (read: old anchor people) keep a straight face on air:

  • "His lead is as thin as turnip soup."
  • "This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex."
  • "Bush is sweeping through the South like a big wheel through a cotton field."
  • "No question now that Kerry's rapidly reaching the point where he's got his back to the wall, his shirttails on fire and the bill collector's at the door."
  • "This presidential race has been crackling like a hickory fire for at least the last hour and a half."
  • "No one is saying that George Bush is not going to win the election, and if you had to bet the double-wide, you'd have to bet that he'd win."
  • "In southern states they beat him like a rented mule."
  • "We had a slight hitch in our giddy up, but we corrected that."
  • "The election is closer than Lassie and Timmy"
Hotter than a Times Sqaure Rolex? With metaphors and similies like that, it's official. Dan Rather should become a rapper. Now all he needs is a name. MC Rather? Better yet, how about Lil' Liar?

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November 4, 2004

It's difficult to find a place to begin. There is so much post-election fluff floating around. It's a bit overwhelming. If there's one thing for which we all can be thankful, it's the fact that our president was clearly re-elected. On that point I stand corrected in my past predictions. For the most part, the Democratic party is conceding a clear win to Bush. Perhaps God saw fit to diminish our self-induced abilities at sending the country into utter confusion, and instead allowed this election to be determined more decisively this time around. Only a few days after the election have passed, so no one can be certain that aspects of the electoral process won't be challenged by Bush opposition. I trust the battle for Ohio won't die anytime soon. The knuckleheads may try to drag this thing out. Remember, it's not about unity. It never was and it never will be.

If it hasn't been said enough, I'll say it again: it's simply time to move on. For those who "lost" this election (and those who voted Bush back in with reservations), moving on doesn't necessarily mean abandoning your ideals or even your criticisms of this administration. However, those who want to continue unproductive whining and complaining and other peanut gallery whimpers about their issues with our president, the demise of democracy, and other unpatriotic blabber, will do so at the expense of the same unity they are preaching that this nation needs to embrace.

Suck it up. Press onward.

I find it interesting that we have put on this facade of being desirous of a unified nation yet, we have a political system and process that diametrically opposes that reality. Two major candidates of two political parties that historically take different sides on major issues, spend nearly a 12-month period duking it out, convincing the masses that the other is evil, attempting to uncover all matters of "bad press" and "fallacies", while simultaneously going through the other's dishonorable past with a mega-sieve, a magnifying glass and a hatchet. When the battle is finally "over", after we've all successfully decimated one another, everyone wants to start preaching "unity". Sorry folks, ain't gonna happen.

Conservatives and Liberals alike are calling for "togetherness", yet within minutes after Kerry admitted defeat, the Democrats were re-organizing and talking about a take-over in 2008 while Republicans started making plans on how to further oust the Liberal constituency. (As a brief interjection, I'd like to go on record as saying that in four years, this nation won't be open to electing a female president so they should just give up the Hillary bid now.)

Continue reading "Hindsight">>>

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Youth Voting Gone Awry
November 4, 2004

I have much to say on the flop of the youth vote, but I just churned out an article on the topic so I'm not really in the mood. Maybe next week. Since its inception, I've been saying that the "youth voter registration cattle call" was missing a credible (or tangible) message. To perfectly illustrate my point, I direct you to "Punk Voter", a site which sought to use the influence of "punk culture" to rally youth to vote against Bush. Given the election no-shows of the younger generation, I'd say the title "Punk Voter" is entirely appropriate.

To drive home my accusations of emptiness, check out their "platform page". A few highlights:

Protecting Our Personal Freedoms

Punkvoter is working to fight to defend our personal freedoms and inalienable rights. We will be the loud, clear voice for the many minorities in our society. Our government was created to protect us not harass us. We want to make sure our government continues to guarantee all of our reproductive freedoms, and all of our rights to our own personal privacies. We believe equal rights under one set of laws should be paramount in any modern society.

I believe in order to get their point across, they would have been better off writing, "SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK!" What are rights to personal privacies? What are equal rights under one set of laws?

And then there's this lovely little ditty:

Overhauling our Justice Department

We want to send a very clear message to Washington, DC. It is time to modernize our society to match the rest of the free world. We must ban government sponsored executions and stop long-term imprisonment of non-violent criminals. It is time to repeal the Patriot Act and restore our first Amendment rights, repeal the Rave Act and restore our Freedom to Assemble, and rewrite our countries archaic and in- humane drug laws.

In-humane drug laws? That's code for marijuana legalization. Not a credible demand coming from the punk crowd. In fact, they were probably high when they wrote it.

God Bless America.

(By way of Janna)

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Brother Michael Moore
November 4, 2004

Thought I'd share these interesting pre-election thoughts from frump-boy. I especially like his admonition to black people:

"To African Americans:

First of all, let’s just acknowledge what you already know: America is a country which still has a race problem, to put it nicely. Al Gore would be president today had thousands of African Americans not had their right to vote stolen from them in Florida in 2000.

Here is my commitment: I will do everything I can to make sure that this will not happen again. And I’m not the only one making this pledge. Thousands of volunteer lawyers are flying to Florida to act as poll watchers and intervene should there be any attempts to deny anyone their right to vote. They will NOT be messing around.

For my part, I have organized an army of 1,200 professional and amateur filmmakers who will be armed with video cameras throughout the states of Florida and Ohio. At the first sign of criminality, we will dispatch a camera crew to where the vote fraud is taking place and record what is going on. We will put a big public spotlight on any wrongdoing by Republican officials in those two states. They will not get away with this as they did in 2000.

In Ohio, the Republicans are sending almost 2,000 paid “poll challengers” into the black precincts of Cleveland in an attempt to stop African Americans from voting. This action is beyond despicable. Do not let this stop you from voting. I, and thousand of others, will be there to fight for you and protect you."

My favorite line? "At the first sign of criminality, we will dispatch a camera crew to where the vote fraud is taking place and record what is going on"...(subtext: I will do this so that I can turn the footage into a crockumentary and make lots of money by exploiting you). Oh but wait. It's the conservatives who are the capitalists right?

You know we're in a different era when at the first sign of "criminal behavior" people threaten to "dispatch cameras" as a weapon. For Mr. Moore's sake, let's pray that gathering his footage didn't involve any running.

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show