Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flag Burning

So here's the deal.

What makes America great is that we have a diversity of views and, more importantly, that people are FREE to express those views. The principles upon which our nation are founded recognize that govenment does not GRANT freedom, it can only take it away.

I hate that people want to burn the flag and that they believe that is the best way to express their views. But at the same time, I believe that is their right, unless they are breaking local fire safety ordinances, endangering others, or impinging on others' rights.

A flag burning amendment is simply the wrong approach to this issue.

Like the gay marriage amendment, this is a bill that was pushed through congress in a transparent attempt at election year labeling. You will begin to hear it soon, "Not only is my opponent pro-gay, he is also for flag burning."

In any case, the whole point of this country is that you CAN burn the flag. Removing that right diminishes us.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Amazing Slide

This is an incredible chart showing George Bush's amazing slide since his 90% approval rating following 9/11. You can argue that there was nowhere to go but down and that is true. Now there is nowhere to go but up.

His administration has been based on trying to get a series of short term feel good wins, while they ignored the principles that made America great.

This is a Marathon not a sprint. I believe that history will not be kind.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Stolen Elections

Imagine the Republic of Kazbekluchistan. They have moved towards a representative democracy, but of course they need to establish a democratic tradition.

They have observers for their national elections because there is great concern that the currently elected president will use his powers and influence to manipulate the elections.

Going into the elections a number of irregularities are observed: the government changed rules to prevent people from receiving their absentee ballots, People were illegally removed from voter rolls, last minute changes prevented people from voting at all.

On election day, areas that were favorable to the contender had severe shortages of voting machines, some areas, known to be favorable to the current president had unrealistically high turnouts, while other areas had unrealistically low turnouts. Some areas even blocked out the official observers citing security emergencies. The people running the elections were closely affiliated with the current president.

The majority of the "anomalies" were in favor of the ruling party. There is good evidence that the ruling party gained over 300,000 votes through these anomalies, while the election was decided by less than 100,000.

Kazbekluchistan is a fictional place of course, but the circumstances are not. The above describes what happened in Ohio in 2004, handing George Bush a second term.

It is disgraceful. If this happened in another place we would shake our heads and say "Those Kazbekluchistanians." But it happened here, here in the United States of America.

Robert Kennedy Jr. has a compelling article in Rolling Stone magazine, "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" Why didn't the big news sources pick this up? Why is the Rolling Stone the only news source that has really picked up on this? Why not sooner? Some days I'm not too proud to be American.

I still think America is a great country, full of people of principle, who believe that stealing elections is a bad thing, even if their guy wins as a result. It's sad. We used to stand for something, more and more it seems that we stand for winnning at all costs. I hope that somehow we can find our center again.