Taking back the White House

– Bumper sticker of the week: Re-Defeat Bush in 2004

– Quotes of the week: "Politics is made up of two words, "poli," which is Greek for many, and "tics," which are blood—sucking insects." Gore Vidal

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite." John Kenneth Galbraith

– "America — Love it or Leave it": I first heard that famous phrase uttered when I was in kindergarten. I think the young lad made it through the 3rd grade. The "land of the free and the home of the brave" scores 11th in one democracy survey I looked at, 17th in another, and 24th in yet another. Obviously, measuring democracy is no easy feat. Do elections give the people control over their government? Is the government accountable to the people? Is the press independent of state control? Are the military and police forces under civilian control? Are the country’s external relations conducted in accordance with democratic norms? These are but a few of the questions that can be asked of a democracy. Here are the countries in one of the surveys that score better than the U.S. when democracy is put to the test (worldaudit.org): Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Australia, and Belgium. So there are places to go if one would be inclined to live in a more democratic country. As for me, I think I’m going to stay. Number one, a lot of those countries are cold. I hate cold. And number two, I love peeving off these right-wing morons whose only answer to someone asking critical questions is: "America — love it or leave it."

– Barack Obama: When watching him give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, I had the distinct impression that I was witnessing the warm-ups for what might well be the first minority President in our history. Things are going to have to fall just right for him, but he represents just what we need, just when we need it. As the junior Senator from Illinois, his calling will be no less than to lead us to the promised land, where all men and women are created equal and offered happiness as their reward for hard work and loyalty, regardless of race, social status, disability, sex, sexual preference, or religion.

– How to realize that your time is about up:

• Those aren’t blackbirds circling overheard.

• You get invited to a free luncheon by the local undertaker.

• No one mentions to you that they’ll see you later.

• People tell you to read the Bible, figuring you need to cram for finals.

• Your kids start dividing up the furniture.

• Where do you keep the will?

• You start seeing caskets on Main Street.

• Tell us again, where do you want your ashes spread?

• If people wash their hands after they shake yours, it’s not a good sign.

• If a doctor starts an explanation of your condition with, "I’m sorry, but..."

– Let the countdown begin: In just 14 weeks, we will be headed to the polls to determine the direction of this country. Never before has an election been so urgent. Never before have the directions been so clearly defined. George W. Bush must be removed from the White House, where he illegitimately took up residence four years ago. We must end the occupation of the White House by this right-winged, lying, divisive, secretive, incompetent simpleton. The regime change begins at home. He represents nothing less than the worst that America has to offer. You can’t get any worse than the Commander-in-Chief taking the nation to war over a lie. We are going to take back what was stolen from us in 2000: The White House.

– I had someone try to tell me that all the social programs once enjoyed by us were fronted by Republicans. So I went looking. Anyone that believes that is either blind, deaf, and/or dumb. Or Republican, which at times all seem to be one and the same. Social security, Medicare, the 8—hour workday, overtime pay, public aid, the right to organize, the 40—hour work week, child labor laws, workplace safety laws, environmental protections, civil liberties, civil rights, the right for women to vote, the right to choose, anti-trust laws, money for substance abuse, mental health, and the disabled. All these are Democratic issues. In all these battles, the Republicans stood ,and continue to stand, on the sidelines and argue against them.