Epiphany: paper voting "receipts" from electronic voting machines might be personally very valuable for years after any election. Regardless of whether they're used in recounts, regardless of whether they become collectible (not likely given that millions of people would have them), the important thing would be that you could use it to prove whether you were complicit in his crimes. Touring some far off land and you get roughed up by hooligans who hate what your govt has done to them? They might not believe your "Don't Blame Me, I voted for Kerry" bumpersticker. For solid verification, pull that receipt out of your wallet and prove you're not an asshole. Might save you from waiters spitting in your food, shouting matches, minor beatings, et cetera.


Jeremy Doolittle's Bad Attitudes, after watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees: "How is it that the same nation -- and to a great extent, the exact same people in the nation -- that can at the drop of a hat produce reams of sophisticated historical information about the Red Sox's ill-fated post seasons since 1918, and whose TV announcers can present this information in a coherent, easy-to-understand and compelling way, cannot do the same with questions of war and peace?

"Specifically, why is it easy and accessible for millions of Americans to know and understand that the Sox have not been world champions since 1918, and that no team in baseball pennant history has ever come back in the post season from a three-game deficit to force a seventh game (much less win a series), while most Americans are oblivious to the fact that in the last century, at least two empires foundered attempting to occupy the very same Mesopotamian region we are in now?"

Bush Receives Endorsement From Iran Bush Receives Endorsement From Iran. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Remember on August 20 I pointed out how the Iranian Defense Minister threatened to follow the Bush Doctrine (launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities).

I know they disagree on substantial things, but it's like listening to Big Time wrestlers shout at each other in the pre-fight interviews. They'll talk crap and scream and shout. Offer either of them to back out of the match and see where it gets you. The fight is what they live for.


Bowling for Buddha

Bowling for Buddha. Pepper Landis sees Jeff Bridges as Buddha in The Big Lebowski. Discuss.

Who's Really in Bed with Republican Funders, Kerry or Nader?

CounterPunch Wire: Who's Really in Bed with Republican Funders, Kerry or Nader?
Republican Contributions: $10.7 Million for Kerry vs. $111,700 for Nader. "This means 100 times more Republican money has been contributed to the Democrats' campaign than to the Nader-Camejo campaign. That amount is five times the entire budget of the Nader Presidential campaign!"


Hypochondria notes: in case I keel over for no apparent reason and some doctor is asking if anything unusual happened to me this week, I've been having weird stuffed-up feelings in my ears today. Around 12:20 pm I noticed the stuffed-up feeling, as if I needed my ears to pop. Holding my nose and swallowing didn't change anything. My hearing seemed diminished and I heard slight ringing for some of the time. No, I didn't see any loud bands last night. No, I didn't play through my Marshall amp last night (it's in Ma's basement still).

The stuffed up feeling and the diminished hearing seem to have cleared up by 4 pm or so, but every so often I've been hearing slight ringing for about ten seconds or so, and then it's gone. It's almost like when a tv is turned on with the sound off, and you can hear that it's on, but hard to put into words what that sound is. That's what I'm getting.

Not as bad as staticky halo aura blocking my vision like before a migraine, but it kind of scared me like that. What would I do if my hearing got so blocked in the middle of the day that I couldn't hear anyone? ugh.

Reason to watch the debate

My birthday is Wednesday. I'll bake a cake in the morning and plan to blow out the candles during the middle of the final presidential debate. If my wish comes true, you'll be able to see George W. Bush getting led away in handcuffs broadcast live about 9:30 P.M. EST. Know justice, know peace. Not sure how justice would impact Kerry. Perhaps he and the majority of Congress could be censured by some ethics committee for passing the unconstitutional war authorization? But then how many could be on the Ethics committee without being hypocrites?

Then John Kerry the elder statesman could go through a transformation ala Tom Hanks in "BIG" and revert to the young John Kerry who testified in front of congress in 1971. With any luck, young John Kerry would recognize that all the arguments for staying in Iraq now are the same that were used to justify staying in Vietnam a generation ago, and he'd pull the hell out.

Sorry, but our need to "maintain stability" in Iraq is not a very compelling argument when you look at all the places that those arguers claim are now "stable," or places that we have brought stability to. See Cheney's debate comments re: El Salvador, Bush's comments about Musharaff bringing stability to Pakistan via coup, etc ad nauseum. By their examples, "stability" translates to any conditions that are good for US business, not necessarily good for democracy, sometimes the total opposite of democracy. Was Chile more "stable" under Pinochet? Would you call Saudi Arabia "stable" or Afghanistan stabilized? We don't need that kind of stability, and if that's what we're propping up in Iraq, then to hell with stability.


Go balloons, go balloons! Go balloons!
I don't see anything happening.
Go balloons! Go balloons! Go balloons!
Standby confetti.
Keep coming, balloons. More balloons.
Bring it--balloons, balloons, balloons!
We want balloons, tons of them.
Bring them down. Let them all come.
No confetti. No confetti yet.
No confetti.
All right, go balloons, go balloons.
We need more balloons. All balloons!
All balloons! Keep going!
Come on, guys, let's move it.
Jesus! We need more balloons.
I want all balloons to go, goddammit.
Go confetti. Go confetti. More confetti.
I want more balloons.
What's happening to the balloons?
We need more balloons.
We need all of them coming down.
Go balloons--balloons?
What's happening, balloons?
There's not enough coming down!
All balloons, what the hell!
There's nothing falling!
What the fuck are you guys doing up there?
We want more ballons coming down,
more balloons. More balloons! More balloons!

--accidental poet Don Mischer,
producer of this year's
Democractic National Convention,
unaware that CNN was broadcasting
this outburst live from the
control room on July 29.

Which Internet Do You Use?

I know this topic is going to be torn all up and down by pundits and bloggers, and there's nothing much I can add. But it really makes watching the debates worthwhile when you can hear Bush say that there will be no draft while he's president, that the draft is just a rumor on the Internets. Apparently he was not the one who invented the Internets.

Another exchange from Friday's debate will help citizens compare their listening skills with Bush's. Audience member Sarah Degenhart asked, "Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?"
KERRY: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now.

First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.

But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that.

But I can counsel people. I can talk reasonably about life and about responsibility. I can talk to people, as my wife Teresa does, about making other choices, and about abstinence, and about all these other things that we ought to do as a responsible society.

But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. And I have to make that judgment.

Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don't deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can't afford it otherwise.

That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning.

You'll help prevent AIDS.

You'll help prevent unwanted children, unwanted pregnancies.

You'll actually do a better job, I think, of passing on the moral responsibility that is expressed in your question. And I truly respect it.

Does that make sense to you? I thought it was fairly clear, except maybe the part where he stumbles over what poor people can "afford" and what the constitution "affords" them. But if you understood his position, give yourself a star. Your listening skills are better than Bush's:
MODERATOR CHARLES GIBSON: Mr. President, minute and a half.

BUSH: I'm trying to decipher that.

Maybe he'd understand it a little better if he consulted one of the Internets.


Rep. Ron Paul: The Draft is a Form of Slavery

Did you hear about the openly gay wizard whose employer laid him off and sent his job overseas?

Yeah, he was outsorcerered.


My Cat Eddie Died

[Melinda wrote a really good eulogy for our cat Eddie who died this morning:]

Many of you may not know that we had a cat Eddie. We got him a few months ago from a neighbor next door. Eddie was a healthy kitten when we got him. He had good weight.

We had to get him fixed so he would not make our girl cats, Lucky and Lozie, pregnant. After that he gained some weight and was kind of chunky. But he was always cute.

He would bite Lozie's neck and she would make these meow noises like she was getting into it. He did not try to hump her though. I think cause he had no balls he did not know what to do anymore. Lozie would not fight him as usual. She would just make these bitching noises. I suspect she had her first boyfriend, although he was also her brother since I am their mother!

When he would meow he would make a "MEH" sound. Really bitchy. Never cute squeaks like the girls.

We think Eddie died after getting into ugly water in the basement. Yesterday I did a laundry wash and there was water on the basement floor. We have still not found out what caused the water. It was not the washing machine. Eddie was down there with the nasty water and maybe he tasted some of it.

The girls are okay. I am supposed to watch them today. Eddie was barfing alot. I did not think he would die. Lucky has barfed before. But he was barfing alot so I think Rob knew. [I knew he was sick, but I thought it would pass, or that we'd have time to take him to the vet the next morning.]

Rob tried to help him by giving him water and stuff. We could not take him to the vet since the vet was closed for the night.

Rob woke up early this morning to check on him and found him. He woke me up so that we could bury him.

I have never felt an animal or person with rigor mortis so that was weird. I am sorry if I sound like a freak now. I was thinking in my head maybe he is not dead just paralyzed. But his chest would not move.

I am sorry but that rigor mortis thing weirded me out. It really does send a signal they are gone. And you can picture all the life energy that made them flexible and squishy gone. I probably sound like a dope but that was weird.

I wanted to kiss his head but Rob did not want me to. When he was alive I would kiss his lips. He was the best cat to pick up and hold. The girls squirm away. Lozie is the worst. Lucky I can hold for like ten seconds and then she starts nagging to get down. Maybe they just got sick of me?

He looked alot like Lucky. I think he had a boy face.

We took his collar off before we buried him. There is no reason to bury him with it. It was there so if he ran outside people would call and we could bring him home.

I have no pictures of him.

I wish I had gotten to live with him longer.

Now I hate my basement. I am keeping that door closed until Rob can help me get that water up.

I just checked on the girls and they are ok. Both of them were napping. They have not barfed or anything. I woke them up and bothered them.

Eddie was the second cat to steal french fries from me. Lucky was the first.

Anyways, I am sorry I talked weird in this. I wish I really knew what happened to Eddie so it never happens again. I do not want to believe it was nasty water in the basement.

Melinda =^..^=
Bush or Kerry? Chomsky writes on his Znet blog:

We should not be caught up in the massive propaganda campaign to focus attention, laser-like, on quadrennial personalized extravaganzas as if that constitutes democratic politics.

...We can’t ignore the extravaganzas, any more than we can ignore a hurricane, but it shouldn’t take much of our time and energy, and we should continue to work on far more important matters, creating the basis for a live, functioning democratic culture in which whoever happens to hold office will be compelled to respond to popular concerns and demands—and, some day, we may get to the stage where issues are permitted into the electoral arena and there are real choices of candidates. I have precisely emphasized [that] we should “not focus only on the individuals but on the underlying power interests that they represent,” and should be constantly working on this, not becoming obsessed with the extravaganzas, and spending only a few moments making (I think quite obvious) decisions about them....
Harry Shearer nails it again. This week he reviews the first Presidential Debate, pointing out important details you won't hear in any other satirical or serious show. Like how do you reconcile Bush's claim that "the A. Q. Khan network has been brought to justice" with CNN's claim that "Khan is living in a villa and was pardoned this year by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. None of Khan's co-conspirators have been brought to trial."


"SOON THE MARK OF THE BEAST WILL BE ENFORCED. Those that receive it, will receive the wrath of God. Find out who the BEAST is, and how to avoid his MARK. No obligation. No one will call. Write for free book to: THE BIBLE SAYS, PO Box 771, ATHENS, TN 37371. Phone toll free 888-211-1715"
-- classified ad in Oct/Nov 2004 Mother Earth News.


The November Third Movement

The November Third Movement. "November 2 is Election Day. On November 3, 2004, a new movement must begin, regardless of that election’s outcome.... President Kerry should face thousands of demonstrators if he continues the disastrous occupation of Iraq and the take over of Haiti."

This is exactly what I've been saying. Kerry isn't ideal, but due to the rigged system, he's the best viable option. Hold your nose, vote for him, then take your participation beyond the voting booth and convince him to drop some of his stupid policies and do the right thing. If he won't do the right thing, then we have to protest him just as vocally as we protest against Republicans, without let up. - Mentally ill man will stay on death row, judge rules. Another instance of finding a criminal "sane enough to execute." [props to Melinda for pointing it out]