Suspending Elections 

Monday, July 12, 2004

Today I learned that US officials are pondering a policy that would give the Bush administration the authority to suspend elections this year in reaction to a terrorist attack. Of all the scary things coming out of the Bush administration, this is the scariest. This is worse than the electronic voting machines created by a Bush partisan and lacking voter verified paper trails. I guess once you gain power without a mandate from the electorate, you will work to maintain your power without the mandate of the electorate.

People, please, think about this carefully. If we don't want terrorists to control the outcome of our elections, than why would we give them the power to suspend them? That's exactly what we'd be doing. We'd be sending them a message – go ahead and attack us if you want to cause wide spread panic and stop democracy in its tracks.

As John Edwards was fond of saying in his primary bid to be the Democratic nominee, "Not in My America!" Fact is, as bad as a terrorist attack would be, there is no way one could be pulled off that would inhibit our ability to carry out an election, especially a National election. From the administration's own statistics, there are about 18,000 active supporters of terrorism in the World with a budget about equal to a minute's worth of US spending. Is this really a threat that warrants the end of democracy?

Regardless of your political beliefs, do you really want an election official who is down in the polls to have the power to suspend an election? Do you realize that is how Hitler held on to power?

If your right to vote is removed on November 2nd, than vote with your feet. March to Washington with as many people as you can and protest. Numbers will be the key. A huge and peaceful assembly is not only your constitutional right, it is also the most effective means to bring down an unelected regime. Just ask Milosevic.

As to worrying about who the terrorists want to win, why does anyone even care? To even ponder such a thing gives them power they don't deserve. Vote with your heart, not with a second guess about what slime ball terrorists want or don't want. Ignore them and we win. Live in fear and make decisions based on their actions, and they win.

Orwellian Misdirection 

Friday, July 02, 2004

I've been listening to right wing radio on and off for about a year now. There are times it's funny, there are times it's scary, and there are times when it's so frustrating I just need to turn it off. One thing I have consistently noticed is that the various shows seem to be getting their marching orders from the same source (or they just follow each other's lead). Their methods of attacks, and the issues they take on, seem to be similar at any given time. Surely part of this is due to the fact that World events are contributing to their shows' content and we all live in the same World. However, when the methods are the same, and when the issues brought up are obscure, it becomes obvious they are in lockstep with each other – and they are on message.

For example, at the beginning of this year, I recall the right wingers were trying to take on fake liberal issues to appeal to moderate voters. The big issue was funding for the military. It sounded like a noble cause, and it would seem critical of Bush, right? Not so. It was a trap to get you to soften up on Bush. While they were very critical of the "Defense Department" they were also very careful to point out that the problem was "bureaucracy" and "cold war legacy" and that it happens at levels out of Bush's reach. In the end the message was clear: yes there are issues, no it's not Bush's fault.

Give me a break.

Anyway, the newest technique from the right, in response to the recent rise of liberal talk radio and liberal Internet blogs (like this one), is Orwellian Misdirection. This is a method of attack that diverts and whitewashes one's misdeeds by accusing the other side of the misdeeds one is guilty of committing. For example, two siblings are playing a board game: When Bobby looses to Steve, he punches Steve and the two start yelling at each other. Their Mother walks into the room. Bobby immediately yells out, "Steve punched me!" and continues to repeat it, drowning out Steve's attempt at telling his Mother that Bobby had initiated violence by punching him.

Bobby has committed "Orwellian Misdirection." Now when Steve attempts to tell his Mother that Bobby punched him, she'll think that since Bobby said the same thing, it may not be true. In fact, since Bobby said it first and is louder about it, she may very well believe Bobby over Steve. Forgetting any historical behavior that might allow the Mother to draw the correct conclusions, her reaction will probably be one of neutrality. That is, she won't hold Bobby to account without at least holding Steve to account as well. Bobby would have successfully whitewashed his guilt by accusing his victim of performing the misdeed that he is guilty of committing! This is one of the reasons that most people think "all politicians are the same." They continuously perform Orwellian Misdirection on each other.

The Bush camp recently came out with an Internet ad that showed popular Liberal pundits like Al Gore, Michael Moore, and Howard Dean mixed in with pictures of Hitler. Bill O'Reilly has been continuously drawing up images of Nazi propagandists when he speaks of left wing pundits. Sean Hannity keeps telling his audience (warning them of Liberals) that, "if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true." Of course, the above items are all examples of Orwellian Misdirection. With all these "opinions" and accusations running around, how is a person to gain a clear understanding? Look for substance. Right wingers rarely go into detail, and almost never invite audiences to research more (unless they have control over the research material).

Watch out, their new approach is to steal the methods of the left and sound like liberals (because that's popular). But remember that behind any method that works is solid substance – look for it always!

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