State of The Union: Bad

– Bumper sticker of the week: Bush/Cheney: Asses of evil.

– Quote of the week: "Very soon after the 14th Amendment became law, the Supreme Court began to demolish it as a protection for blacks, and to develop it as a protection for corporations… By 1886, the court had done away with 230 state laws that had been passed to regulate corporations." A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn

– On the trail of the Naked Dancing Lama: Bare minimum truths:

• Never sneak up on a naked lama from behind with bad intent.

• Nakedness has nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with wool.

• Clothes do not necessarily make a man or cover a woman.

• When you see a naked body, you may or may not want to look.

• Underwear prohibits true spontaneity.

• If we were all naked, it would be less confusing.

• I chose to confront the world naked. That way, I can’t be fooled.

– Bush goes to court: The Supreme Court is going to take up the question as to whether the President can take so much power in these times of terror. Bush and Ashcroft both think they can jail and hold indefinitely any citizen who might vaguely be a threat to their plan to dominate the world. The Fifth Amendment states no person shall be deprived of "life, liberty, or property," without due process of law. Is due process whatever the President and Attorney General says it is? We’ll see. I’m giving 5-4 odds it is.

– Social Security and Medicare are on the hit list: Bush is going to privatize both, just you wait and see.

– A summary of The State of the Union: BAD

– When you take a nation into war under false pretenses, you would think the people in that country, if they had any level of integrity or sense at all, would remove said person from office. What worse crime could one commit against the citizens than to forfeit their lives for a lie?

– Karl Rove is not nearly as smart as many think he is: Rove, Bush’s buddy and top advisor, is evil, unscrupulous, immoral, dishonest, crooked, a liar, and worst of all, a Texan. He and Bush should both be made to live in Iraq or Afghanistan for, say, the next ten years. Seems fair to me.

– Kerry comes from nowhere in Iowa: John Kerry, one of the most conservative Democrats running, takes a win in Iowa. While his politics are way too mainstream for me, should he win the nomination, I will back him 100 percent. Anyone, hell, anything, is better than Bush/Cheney.

– "Let us not fool ourselves. The health of a society can be judged by how it cares for its poorest

citizens. A nation that declares war on its poor is deadly ill." David Hilfiker

– Withering democracy: In 2000, 51 percent of the eligible voters went to the polls. A majority of them voted for the winner, who lost. Besides a pathetic turnout, there remains many obstacles to voter participation. The electoral college should be done away with. It’s very similar to the Model T: attractive to some, but of no practical use. Weather is always a consideration, as is transportation. Not being able to read is an embarrassment that many avoid. An effort could be made to register voters on election day. But only seven states do that. And then there are crimes like what happened in Florida in 2000. Secretaries of State, all political positions, purge vote lists in just about as biased a way as they can possibly get away with. Katherine Harris, Florida’s Secretary of State, did just that. She gave a contract to a company, without a bid, who employ a lot of down-and-out Republican politicians, to purge Florida’s voter list of all felons. No one double checked the final list. Tens of thousands of mistakes were made. Unfortunately for the Republican Party in Florida, one of the illegally purged names was a judge. Oops! Anyway, our whole electoral system stinks. And guess what the answer is? Touch screen voting. No mess, no fuss, and no paper trail. I wouldn’t doubt the whole mess in 2000 may have been done intentionally. Touch screen voting is bad for democracy, but good for those rich folk in power. It threatens participatory democracy. We need citizen participation, fair elections, and good machinery, that leave a paper trail. Then at least we know when we been screwed.