Jul 30, 2008

I guess John McCain forgot that Brittany Spears is a Bush supporter

When he decided to use her image in his new attack ad on Barack Obama

Jul 27, 2008

Worst of the Worst - Individual Edition

Got a couple of minutes - and a bone or two to pick?
How about we make an All Time Worst Persons in the World List
Just for fun and a little illumination

Can you help me establish an all time top 20 Worst Person's in the World?
(from a liberal progressive Democrat in the USA point of view)
We will limit this to American Politics for this exercise.
Help decide who has done the most damage to Democracy, decency, and The United States of America in the last 50 years.

Anyone know the Gilbert and Sullivan song from The Mikado
I've Got a Little List?
As someday it may happen that a victim must be found
I've got a little list, I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground
And who never would be missed, They never would be missed

This list will be for individuals followed later by a list for corporations and organizations.

Pop on those thinking caps and meet below the fold.
You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long.

Got a couple of minutes - and a bone or two to pick? How about we make an All Time Worst Persons in the World List Just for fun and a little illumination Can you help me establish an all time top 20 Worst Person's in the World? (from a liberal progressive Democrat in the USA point of view) We will limit this to American Politics for this exercise. Help decide who has done the most damage to Democracy, decency, and The United States of America in the last 50 years. Anyone know the Gilbert and Sullivan song from The Mikado I've Got a Little List? As someday it may happen that a victim must be found I've got a little list, I've got a little list Of society offenders who might well be underground And who never would be missed, They never would be missed This list will be for individuals followed later by a list for corporations and organizations. Pop on those thinking caps and meet below the fold.

Here's a starting point list of some of my favorite candidates including
Pseudo-Christian Rightwing Religious Wingnuts
Reactionary Robotic Republican RightWingNuts
Putrid Polemic Polarizing Pundits
Republican Robbers and Corporate Creeps

It's too tough to limit any list to a Top Ten maybe even a Top Twenty but give it a try. Anything you want to say to make your case as to why someone belongs would be very welcome. I plan to come back in time one day and I want to know who to eliminate first to make the world a better place.


Jesse Helms br 21 VP Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh City Council Senate 72
Strom Thurmond br 02 US Senate 60’s
Dick Cheney br 41 2 DWI’s 62/63 Yale flunk out U of Wisconsin BA & Masters
Don Rumsfeld br 32 Investment banker A.G. Becker 60-62 Congress 64
Phil Gramm br 42 PhD UGA 67 taught Econ at Texas A & M
Tom Delay br 47 BS from Houston 70
John Ashcroft br 42 Yale 64 JD from Chicago 67
George W Bush br 46 Yale 65 Harvard MBA 75
George H. W. Bush br 24 Zapata Oil Co thru 64
Jeb Bush br 53 Univ Texas 75
Katherine Harris br 57 Agnes Scott College GA 79
Lawrence Eagleburger br 30 State Dept in Belgrade 60
Karl Rove br 50 Moved to Utah 65
Grover Norquist br 56 Harvard BA and MBA Dir National Taxpayer Union
Lester Maddox br 15 sold Ga Tech restaurant 65 to keep from serving blacks
George C Wallace br 19 Bama Gov 62
Alfonse D’Amato br 37 Syracuse Law – Town supervisor in Hempsted NY
Wayne LaPierre br 49 HS Roanoke VA 67 Sienna College, Boston Col Masters
Charlton Heston br 23 original liberal Dem turned RRR
John Cornyn US Senate Texas
Ted Stevens US Senate Alaska
Newt Gingrich Contract on America
Scooter Libby br 50 Yale Law grad 72
Jack Abramoff br 59 JD Georgetown Law 86 Brandies 81
Joe LIEberman - turncoat and tool of the right

Lamar Alexander br 40 NYU law 65
Bill Frist br 52 Princeton 72
Rick Santorum br 58 Penn State Univ 80
Bob Barr br 48 USC grad 70
Pat Toomey br 61 Harvard – head of Club for Growth
Richard M. Nixon
Henry Kissinger
Spiro T Agnew
Ronald Reagan
Oliver North


Bill O’Reilly br 49 Marist 71 Boston U MA broadcasting 76
Rush Limbaugh br 51 Cape Girardeau Missoui
Ann Coulter br 61 Cornell 84 Michigan JD 88
Sean Hannity br 72 HS Uniondale, NY. 89 radio show Santa Barbara,
Liz Trotta NBC NYC in early 60’s
Bill Kristol br 53 Harvard grad 73 PhD 79
Richard Mellon Sciafe br 32 Pittsburg newspapers
Michelle Malkin br 70 Oberlein College 92
Charles Johnson - Little Green Footballs
Glenn Reynolds - Instapundit
Michael Winer Savage br 42 gatekeeper at Millbrook PhD UC Berkeley 78
Roger Ailes br 41 Mike Douglas Show 67 Ohio Univ.
Joseph Farrah started WorldNetDaily 99
Jonah Goldberg br 69 Goucher Col 91 taught English in Prague
Hugh Hewitt br 58 Harvard 78 Michigan JD 83
David Limbaugh br 52 Cape Girardeau MO JD U of Mo
Glenn Beck br 64 Mount Vernon WA. Drug addict/drunk grad Sehome HS
Peggy Noonan br 50 Brooklyn grad Farleigh Dickinson Univ.
Laura Ingram br 64 Glastonbury CT Dartmouth 85 UVA JD 91
David Broder br 29 Washington Post 66
David Brooks br 61 U of Chicago 83
Pat Buchanan br 38 Columbia masters journalism 62
Mona Charen ? Barnard, Columbia, JD Geo Washington, Townhall.com
Lou Dobbs br 45 Harvard 67 CNN 80
Matt Drudge br 66 Maryland LA CBS gift shop 89
Larry Elder br 52 Brown 74 Michigan JD 77
Dick Morris br 58 Columbia 67
Bob Novak br 31 WSJ Congressional Correspondant 61
Rex Reed br 38
Phyllis Schafly br 24 The Eagle Forum
Joseph Sobran br 46 MI E MICH U 71 National Review in 72
Thomas Sowell br 30 The Black Conservative – use for drug war destruction
Andrew Sullivan br 63 British Harvard PhD in 80’s
George Will br 41 Trinity Col Ct. Oxford, Princeton PhD 68
Robert W. Welch Jr br 99 John Birch Society Indianapolis 58
Revilio P Oliver br 08 John Birch Soc – Nat Alliance white supremacist
Paul Weyrich br 41 U Wisc 61-63 Newsmax - founder Heritage Foundation
Christopher W. Ruddy br 65 St John’s 87 NewMax
James C Robinson – founder Free Republic
William F Buckley - the National Review
L. Brent Bozell III br 55 ba Dallas Univ – founder Media Research Center
Brit Hume - Faux Nooze


Pat Robertson br 30 Yale Law 55 New York Theological 59 CBN in 61 Va Beach
Jerry Falwell br 37 Thomas Roads Baptist in 56, Liberty U in 71
Richard Dortch imprisoned as aide to Bakker
Robert Grant – Glendale CA. br 36 Leader of Christian Right in America
John Hagee br 40 BA Trinity San Antonio 64 MSc N. Texas in 66
Paul Crouch br 31 in 61 ran Assemblies of God broadcasting in Burbank
Rod Parsley br 57 – Harvest Church and Sunset Chapel Canal Winchester OH
Robert Tilton br 46 Success in Life ministry in 71
Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker br 40 married 61 Minneapolis N.Central Univ
Jimmy Swaggert br 35
Ted Haggard br 56 Oral Roberts Univ
James Dobson br 36 Shreveport LA Focus on the Family
Ralph Reed br 61 UGA in 85
Joel Osteen br 63 took over Lakewood Church from father
Benny Hinn br 52
Rex Humbard br 19
Jack Van Impe br 30


Kenneth Lay Enron
Charles Keating Lincoln Savings and Loan
Sheldon Adelson Las Vegas Casinos
David Rubenstein the Carlyle Group
Daniel D'Aniello the Carlyle Group
William Conway the Carlyle Group
Robert B Willumstad AIG, Citigroup
Martin J Sullivan AIG
Miles D White CEO Abbot Labs
Andrew Liviris CEO Dow Chemical
Bernard Ebbers - World Com MCI
Scott Sullivan (CFO) World Com
David Myers (Controller) World Com
Buford "Buddy" Yates World Com
Rich DeVos - Amway
Rupert Murdock - Newscorp Aussie bent on screwing America
Roger Smith - General Motors
Eric Prince –br 69 Blackwater CEO

Name your picks for the WORST OF THE WORST.

Jul 21, 2008


Keith Olberman just NAILED it after the New York Times demanded it.

John McCain sees "Victory" as perpetual unending "Winning" with extra innings or periods always out there on 'The TIME HORIZON".

The Iraqi people want US out
The Iraqi leadership wants US out
The American people want US out
The Europeans want US out
for the Republicans Winning = Staying

Today is a landmark day for Obama and us Democrats
We finally have a clear and easily articulated argument for Barack Obama in the area of McSame's ostensible strength. Obama and we Democrats are safely on the side of the Iraqis, the American people and the world on leaving Iraq.

Although many of us have known that Republicans are for endless war up until now it has been difficult to prove something that seemed so preposterous.

The events of the past 72 hours have made it perfectly clear and impossible to refute.

Obama started this with his 16 month plan for withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Despite the attempts to make it seem as if he vacillated or wavered his policy has been steadfast from the beginning.

Malaki in an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel magazine then came out solidly in favor of Obama's plan despite the desperate attempts of the Republican's to claim a mistranslation and to make Malaki retract his statement.

Bush then fell into the trap of trying to change name with yet another malapropism - The Time Horizon - thinking that gullible Americans would be confused by the transparent of the Chimp in Chief once again.

McCain then tried to foist off another clueless political spiel as an OP ED to the New York Times who to their credit asked only one thing - "Tell us what VICTORY in Iraq means".

And poor John McCain was left exposed as the fatuous wind bag and water boy for the Neocons and their military industrial complex - you know - the men in the shadows who want nothing more than PERPETUAL WAR.

This is an historic day for us. The situation that we have know in our hearts has existed for a very long time is now in the open in no uncertain terms.

For Obama and us Democrats - it is the will of the people of America, Iraq , and the World. - an end to the occupation of IRAQ.

Everyone of us should take this beautifully simple and devastatingly clear picture of the difference in US and THEM and post our version of it everywhere we have access.

They cannot drill their way out of this box.
They have put themselves in the spotlight and we need to amp up the illumination.

The Time Horizon is NOW
The PERPETUAL WAR MACHINE is fully exposed
Like Barack's shot from downtown Kuwait city that hit nothing but net this is a winner for Democrats that should be on full repeat from now until November. We now have all the ammunition we need to expose the war machine for what it is in every conversation on every forum in every chat room and in every comment section of every newspaper.

Hammer McCain with his inability to articulate what Victory means
Show the Time Horizon for what it is - Perpetual War.
Obama is scoring big this week and we need to have his back.
Today is a very good day to start this week.

Jul 10, 2008


A Personal Diary on potential regret

This is a true diary. It’s a personal story and to set it to music I offer the following background music for those who can play a tune or two while you read I recommend Jackson Browne's Casino Nation and "Lives in the Balance" Jackson Browne has always been a voice I could say sang the songs I would write and sing if I had his insight and talent. My political education started for real in the summer of 61 when Al Gore Sr made me a Senate Page. I spent the summer on the steps of the stage in the Senate Chamber watching Humphrey, Dirksen, Keefauver, Gore, Goldwater, Javits, and the rest like the pages we see today on C-Span. VP LBJ actually knew my name and those of other pages who he greeted when he came. How did you arrive here at this point in time with your state of mind and your political point of view? Here's a glimpse at my path.

At 62 I’ve had some time to reflect on the vicissitudes and vagaries that shaped my life and political viewpoint. I am willing to share this with anyone who might be interested. If you have a little time and the inclination to read a personal history it won’t take as long to read as it took to write. It’s a story about conversion, direction, and regret that I didn’t do more when I could have in 1968 to see that Nixon was never elected. It's my cautionary tale.
Hubert Horatio Humphrey lost California, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Missouri by fairly narrow margins where support from thousands of progressive/liberal/anti-war voters was denied him because we dropped out and stayed home. Hubert was a great liberal all of his life and would have been a far better President for all of us than Nixon.

Here’s my story – I hope it won’t be yours.


(Names changed to protect identities in some cases)

I cannot recall his name for sure ‘Buzz’ or ‘Bunky’ or something I thought was dumb like that. He brought me closer to death than anyone in my life up to that time.
His car was a fairly new silver colored Ford Falcon two door with a fancy black trim, chrome wheels, and a Hurst stick shift in the floor. He was a pudgy rude little jerk with few social skills and a bad attitude about life. I met him in a whitewashed POW barracks building behind a tall fence in back of the cannery owned by Del Monte in Dekalb, Illinois in the summer of 1966. Back in the 40’s German prisoner’s of war were used to harvest and can the peas and corn grown in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin and these long narrow barracks, about 16 of them were built around a central bathhouse to house them in America’s Midwest. Each of the barracks had a central walkway with single bunk beds much like you see in any army barracks. The only difference was the 20-foot high chain length fence topped with barbed wire that surrounded them.
I arrived at these bleak surroundings in June of 66 having traveled from Estes Park, Colorado. The Estes Park trip had been arranged by Sing Out 66. As a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, I had been President of my Freshman Class and a Senator in the Student Senate and was President elect of Phi Sigma Kappa. Just the kind of ‘student leader’ being sought by the Sing Out people to populate the casts of their super patriotic Sing Out America shows set to tour Europe and America that Summer. I could carry a tune and had the right credentials so I signed up that Spring thinking that earning some money to attend school the following year by traveling in Europe with a mixed cast would be a fun thing to do. I found out something quite different in the Rocky Mountains during my 6-day stay.
The "Up With People" Sing Out leaders were a bunch of right wing pseudo-Christians worse than anything Disney ever imagined. Rigorous adherence to a program of "Moral Rearmament" indoctrination unlike anything I had ever seen in my 20 years as a three time a week church going Southern Baptist. First Baptist Church regular attendance and being an Eagle in the Boy Scouts of America never prepared me for their "moral rearmament" programming. I had a mildly Beatles style hair cut that proved to be too much for them and given the choice of a hair cut or hitting the road I took the latter.
I cannot recall if I took the bus across Nebraska and Iowa to the DeKalb area or if I caught a ride, but I do remember being the first to arrive at the Del Monte plant that summer and being shown the barracks by one of the crew who was a full time employee. It was the practice of Del Monte and Green Giant to hire college students during the Summer to work as reaper or combine drivers on a field crew or to man the pressure hoses that cleaned the machinery in the cannery late at night. I was assigned to clean up, issued a bright yellow rain suit and told that we would be starting in about a week. I had a book, no TV, and no transportation. I considered myself lucky when Buzz or Bunky showed up 36 hours later. I wasn’t that lucky.
DeKalb was a nice little college town in the summer of 66. Northern Illinois University was a minor state school in one of the richest counties in America. The main street in town, Lincoln Highway, was dotted with bars. The place was quiet in the summer with school out and it was well policed. Both Buzz/Bunky and I had the required fake ID at 20 to fool the bartenders so we experimented trying to find some alcoholic drink we might actually enjoy. It seemed harmless enough since we didn’t seem to find anything pleasant enough the first two nights out to cause us to get drunk or disorderly.
On the third night we met a couple of local kids our same age and were invited out to their apartment to share some beer and play hearts. I was a pretty good hearts player at the time having made much of my spending money playing quarter a point to 100 with double the winnings for ending the game in the negative with minus points. I loved to shoot the moon as it is called when you gain all the points in a hand. The Queen of Spades is 13 points and each heart is one point so if you capture all of these in a hand you are awarded –26 points for the round. A game going out at double – say –20 to 100 points for the biggest loser will net .50 cents times 120 or $60.00. I managed to score that amount in one 100-point game from Buzz/Bunky that night. Maybe I should have let him win.
That summer in DeKalb working for Del Monte turned out to be one of the most memorable in my life. I met a young man from the University of Arkansas who was to be the ranking student officer in their ROTC in the coming year named Donald, and there were Ginny and Patricia, two local girls who were home from college at Harvard and Michigan State. Ginny was a beautiful small blond woman studying Russian at Harvard and Pat was a brilliant taller Midwesterner with a great sense of humor in pre-law at MSU. Donald and Ginny fell for each other hard that summer and eventually married and moved to Calgary Alberta when Don decided to become Canadian rather than go to Vietnam. I visited with them some 8 years later while on tour with Jesse Winchester in Canada just prior to their departure to the Yukon where they intended to remove themselves further from the rest of the world. Pat became a lawyer and has a practice in New York doing a lot of pro-bono work for the indigent I was told.
The summer of 66 was the beginning for me of a radical change from who I was to who I became. Don, Ginny, Pat and I spent our free time listening to the Beatles Rubber Soul and in August the new Revolver while hanging out in the corn fields with a six pack or two of Hamm’s Beer and perhaps a joint or two of the local weed of pathetic quality. We talked of things personal and political –Don talked about politics and the prospect of his going to war in Vietnam. He made up his mind that summer to move to Canada instead. I owe a lot to Don and his decision.
Late in the summer the four of us decided to spend a week together at a small fishing cabin on a Lake north of Rhinelander, Wisconsin as a farewell party. We piled into Don’s Volvo and drove north when the plant closed down. Pat and I shared the large bed on the screened in porch while Don and Ginny took the bedroom. We fished during the day and cooked our catch with beer batter in the evening and played cards or read and talked. We sometimes drove to one of the roadside bars that seemed to outnumber the visible houses and drank Stormy Mondays – vodka with ginger beer (a spicy ginger ale) still my favorite drink today. It was my wonderful introduction to an extended trip with a member of the opposite sex. Pat and I were great friends that summer put together more by Don and Ginny than any enduring attraction between the two of us. Pat and I were comfortable together but not in love.
I often wonder how someone can be raised in the bosom of the Baptist Church and as an Eagle Scout and Senate Page for Albert Gore Sr. in 1961 with his appointment to the US Air Force Academy (I was first alternate in 1964 and would have gone if anyone dropped out), and turn out with a life like I have led. Twenty years of life spent on one straight and narrow patriotic Christian path followed by twenty years as an outlaw and ex-patriot and outcast radical.
Maybe the events of the summer of 1966 had something to do with it.
Buzz/Bunky and I left the apartment in Dekalb where we had played hearts in the wee hours of the morning and got into his car. I asked him if I could drive because he appeared to be slightly inebriated but he flatly refused. I was miles from the Del Monte plant with no way of getting there so I reluctantly got into the car. He was pissed about losing $100 to me and said he wasn’t going to pay. I said "OK no problem, just take it easy."
I immediately knew I was in trouble as he pealed out to the apartment parking lot and burned rubber in every gear headed up the street toward town. I begged him to slow down. He laughed. I screamed at him to stop the car and let me out. He turned to me and said, "Do you ever feel like you just want to die?"
The road inclined toward a rather sharp left hand turn at the top of a hill and dropped off to the left at an intersection with a gravel road coming in from the right. There was loose gravel in the turn and we were traveling in excess of 90 miles an hour. Buzz/Bunky didn’t even attempt to break or slow down as the car slid to the right on the gravel, hit a curb or bump and flipped onto it’s roof. The passenger door next to me swung open and I could see a concrete post headed straight toward me. It tore the passenger door from its hinges as we spun and careened toward a telephone pole. The glancing blow with the pole sent us sliding down the shoulder of the road toward the bottom of the hill on the roof as glass and gravel chewed at my arm. Then miraculously we came to rest with the wheels spinning and the dust swirling around us.
I managed to climb out of the space where the door had been and to drag Buzz/Bunky from the mangled Ford. Miraculously neither of us was hurt so badly that we could not stand. Other than several deep cuts and a broken wrist I was still in one piece but badly shaken and scared sober. Buzz/Bunky screamed, "tell them you were driving" as he ran into the nearby cornfield and disappeared. The Ford then burst into flames. Had we still been trapped inside we would have been toast.
The driver of a car coming from the opposite direction stopped and scolded me for my recklessness. Eventually the police arrived and took me to the local jail where I was charged with accepting alcohol as a minor and fined some minor amount. I don’t recall seeing Buzz/Bunky again.
Everything seemed to change for me after that summer in Illinois. The following summer I was selected as a National Field Secretary for my fraternity and spent the fall at Berkeley and Stanford and other Universities in the west where my views on the war, religion and politics were greatly expanded and changed. At Berkeley the Phi Sig chapter had gone from over 150 members to 9 for the rush of 67 in the wake of the Free Speech movement. The entire fraternity system at Berkeley was on the verge of collapse. At Stanford the house was divided between the heads and the juicers and they fought each other along political lines and held separate meetings. By 69/70 that was happening across the country but it was new to me that fall in the west. In 64/65 at Tennessee I couldn’t tell Republican from Democrat at our house in Tennessee but by 68/69 everyone was clearly divided.
I went from arranging a "SUPPORT THE TROOPS" rally on the steps of the Student Center at Tennessee as Freshman Class President in 1965 to running for President of the Student Body in 1969 as the far left Student Coalition for a Radical Union (SCRU) candidate. I spent so much time driving from Knoxville to Washington DC for anti-war rallies I knew the road by heart. Keith Stroup from NORML incorporated my first company. I tasted the sting of tear gas at the base of the Washington Monument and I even made it to Woodstock from Tennessee.
Garry Wills wrote an article for Esquire Magazine in September of 1971 titled "How Nixon Used Billy Graham to Rap to the Students at Tennessee U." subtitled "Jesus Wept" about the arrest of some 400 students I led to rally against the appearance of Nixon at Neyland Stadium on the last day of finals in the Spring of 1970 shortly after the Kent State Shootings. Dr. Charles Trentham of the First Baptist Church of Knoxville, my church, played golf with Graham that morning before Nixon and the entire Republican contingent of Tennessee Congressional candidates took the stage with Graham in front of busloads of East Tennesseans from area churches. We were arrested for "disrupting a religious service" – the Republican Religious service as campaign rally for Nixonland. Dr. Charles Reynolds the head of the Theology Department was arrested with us as an organizer. Interestingly he is the father of Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit who obviously went another way. I did become one of The Knoxville 22
Given the fact that my father was the thrice elected County Judge of Knox County one could argue that I threw away a promising political future by opposing the war and helping to organize that anti-Nixon rally at a Graham Crusade. I arranged the printing of 500 "THOU SHALT NOT KILL" signs that we were to hold up in silent protest of Nixon’s appearance on campus. When Nixon was reelected in Nov of 72 I packed my car and drove to Montreal. I had scored a very high draft number in the lottery of December 1, 1969 – March 24th was 258 well out of the range of possible draftees, but I could not live in a country that would elect Nixon president twice.
In Canada I lived with 30 other ex-patriots in a commune-like arrangement north of Montreal in Morin Heights. We rented a small 20room hotel "le Chatelet " with a huge kitchen and dining room overlooking a lake and we opened "The Belladonna Ballroom" in the hotel bar introducing the locals to Harvey Wallbangers and country-rock music. Jesse Winchester, a Memphis TN native joined our house band on the weekends and we had an amazing time for a couple of years.
I did not return to the US until Carter was in office after helping to arrange a modification of his decision to pardon draft resistors to include those who had become Canadian citizens like Jesse Winchester. I moved with my daughter and wife to Vermont north of Burlington and continued to manage bands, book concerts, and own a large touring sound company.
I had worked hard for RFK and failed to support Humphrey in 68 – and young Democrats who failed to help Humphrey after Bobby’s death should be ashamed. I worked even harder for George McGovern in 72 driving all the way to California to volunteer. By 76 I was part owner in the sound company that provided toursound for Charlie Daniels and the Marshall Tucker Band and we helped raise half a million for Jimmy Carter.
Being an antiwar Democrat in Tennessee doomed Al Gore Sr in 72 and his son Al Gore Jr. in 2000 (He lost Tennessee you will recall) and it ended any hope I had for a political future in my home state. I owe all of that to the events of June and July of 1966 when I went from Sing Out 66 to pick peas in Illinois and almost died in a fiery crash as a result. Events that shape our lives seem so random and haphazard. Without the catalyst of Vietnam I could have been someone quite different. But I am not someone different. I am a progressive liberal Democrat and I knew it by June of 66 in Estes Park when I could have become a right wing pseudo-Christian super-patriot but I chose a different path that summer and I’ve been on that path ever since.

1968 –
Please recall the travesty of the Nixon administration wrought when anti-war liberals failed to support Hubert Humphrey in 1968 because he wasn’t "pure enough". Perhaps if HHH had won in 1968 my life would have been very different. I would have remained in Tennessee and in law school or would have had more control of the sound company I helped to start located here in Knoxville and I could have saved it from the destruction of embezzlement by one shareholder.

2000 – if you recall
And Nader voters should recall Al Gore Jr. in 2000 for similar reasons.

Barack Obama must be the next President of the United States and we Kossacks need to be behind him 100%. The stakes are too high even for purists like me who put a lifetime on the line for progressive/liberal causes.

The point is that we will not know the depth of the ramifications of our decisions to back off on supporting the candidate who is clearly closer to our positions until it is far too late. I beg you not to make the same mistakes so many of us made back in 68 that gave Nixon the White House and gave us NIXONLAND and Bush the ability to put us where we are today.

Obama energized the younger voters during the primaries and every thing we do to undermine that energy brings us closer to the awful possibility of McSame and more misery and disaster. Some things many of us want cannot be attained today. No astute observer saw any chance that FISA with immunity would fail in this US Senate despite anything that Barack Obama might have done. You and I may love great lost causes – but do we really want to see Barack defeated because he didn’t throw himself into this particular lost cause?

I implore those of you who righteously assail certain stands taken by OUR candidate for President to consider the impact of your words and actions on the future of our country. Don’t wake up on a day in November to see that John McCain is elected President by the most narrow of electoral margins and know that you might have done something to keep that from happening. It is something that can forever change your life and the lives of millions.

I can applaud your sense of duty to the Constitution and comprehend your principal and idealism, but it isn’t just you that your words and deeds impact. What you say and do may influence those who read and hear to drop their enthusiasm just enough to stay in bed on Election Day or get out of a long line. It could stop someone young from volunteering the time to canvass or call that might in return fail to reach a very few that might make the difference. It could be just enough to shift the balance in Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New Hampshire.

Will this election leave you in misery and pain as you see the inauguration of John McCain? Will you go to bed on Election Day night knowing you didn’t do enough to stop the McCain train?

Will you be writing this story in 40 years as a cautionary tale for a new crop of progressive liberals telling them how sorry you are that you didn’t do what you could have done to keep McCain’s hands off of the controls? Don’t do that to yourself – please.

Think about how you will feel on Election Day night when the results are in and how that may make you feel a few years down the road and act accordingly.

Sharing a personal story may not seem appropriate to you. For me it's a way of describing as much of who I am and where I am coming from as I can to give you some context for what I have to say or suggest. Now you know far more about me than I do about you. So you can make a decision about the validity of my contribution with a little evidence concerning this personal experience. I want us to be friends and fellow travelers in this progressive liberal political experience. I can only hope you understand the impulse and accept it as I intend - A window on one progressive liberal soul who knows what it is like to fail to support the right candidate and who regrets that decision for life.

Thanks for making it to the end of this personal diary. You have stamina that will serve you well.

Jul 3, 2008


Our Country is in SERIOUS trouble.
And make no mistake it is OUR country. Not just the country of progressives and liberals but also the country of reactionaries and conservatives.

Barack Obama is running for President of All the People not just the liberals or progressives President and this is exactly as it should be. This is the change we can believe in.

The true divisions in our politics are far less liberal vs conservative than corporatist vs populist.
You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long.

Our Country is in SERIOUS trouble. And make no mistake it is OUR country. Not just the country of progressives and liberals but also the country of reactionaries and conservatives. Barack Obama is running for President of All the People not just the liberals or progressives President and this is exactly as it should be. This is the change we can believe in. The true divisions in our politics are far less liberal vs conservative than corporatist vs populist.

Wouldn't that be something else? A President who does not polarize the nation.

In favor of service to the nation
In favor of a strong military
In favor of involving people of Faith
Sounds downright right wing or does it?

Can Barack Obama do what seems impossible?

Can a military supporter be liberal?
Can an evangelical Christian be liberal?

I was raised a Southern Baptist in Tennessee and I always believed the teachings of Jesus Christ were far more in line with the Liberals' point of view than the Conservatives. Don't Liberals favor mercy, feeding the poor, healing the sick, comforting the elderly and the hopeless, and suggesting that accumulation of vast personal wealth is an inhibition to entering into heaven?

Why should we Liberals concede the Christian Faith to the Conservatives and why have we? Can Barack Obama change that dynamic - a change we can believe in?

Pundits pout that the 'move to the center' is problematic in promoting the idea of change, but real change would be a non-polarizing President who truly represents all the people - not a polarizing left leaning President who changes from a polarizing right winger.

My hope for the nation under Barack Obama is that as President he will take back the country from the special interests and the corporations who seek to profit at the expense of our people. I want to see a fair tax code that makes the rich and the corporations pay their fair share of the costs of the wars from which they profit.

I want the jobs to come back to America for the people who support the corporations by purchasing their products and services. If we need to support more young people through paying for service in Americorps, the Peace Corps, or the Military in exchange for money to attend college I have no problem with that either.

Barack Obama's move to make Patriotism, Faith, and Service a part of the progressive liberal agenda is a good thing and it is a change we can believe in. When you hear these fool pundits opine that these moves are an indication of more of the same call them out for the fools they are.

There is nothing unpatriotic or unChristian about being progressive or liberal.

A President for all the people who seeks to bring the bulk of the nation together by showing the people of Faith and the people who are patriotic that there is no reason a Patriotic Military person of great Faith cannot be a progressive/liberal and a supporter of Barack Obama.

Is that not a change we can believe in?

JUDGE ROSS of the Knoxville Municipal Court did not enter the courtroom until 10am on Wednesday July 2, 2008. I had a 9am summons for a Photo Red Light Violation.
One day in late May I received a summons to court for "running a red light" at the intersection of I-640 and Broadway. That intersection is less than 1/4 mile from my residence on Tazewell Pike. I pass through it on average a dozen times a week. The summons came with instructions on how to view the camera evidence at http://www.photonotice.com My personal video can be viewed by entering Notice Number KR00114009 PLATE NUMBER 950KHP and the city code KNXVIL.
When the video starts my Chevy Astro Van is at a complete stop second in line from a signal that says RIGHT TURN ON RED AFTER STOP.


Sec. 17-506. Traffic control signals.
(3) Red alone or "stop."
a. Vehicular traffic facing the signal shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain standing until green or "go" is shown alone; provided, however, that a right turn on a red signal shall be permitted at all intersections within the city provided that the prospective turning car comes to a full and complete stop before turning and that the turning car yields the right-of-way to pedestrians and cross traffic traveling in accordance with their traffic signal. However, such turn will not endanger other traffic lawfully using the intersection. A right turn on red shall be permitted at all intersections, except that clearly marked by a "no turns on red" sign, which may be erected by the city at intersections which the city decides require no right turns on red in the interest of traffic safety.


AS you can clearly see the view down Broadway is unobstructed for at least a 1/4mile.

Now I could have sent the city $50
and I could have avoided 4 hours sitting in City Court waiting on Judge Ross to hear my case.
If I had I would not have know that there were at minimum 15 people in City Court that morning for photo violations at I-640 and Broadway. That's 15 people who chose to miss work and go to court rather than pay the $50 fine by mail. My guess is that only some 10 to 25% of those cited would pay the cost of driving to court and the hours of boredom sitting in court to challenge the validity of this photo theft of Knoxville drivers money.

In the end three of the 15 actually chose to sit it out and plead before Judge Ross.
None of us won. All of us ended up paying $118 for the fine plus court costs.
Even though the Judge said "I agree completely with your logic and the fact that you did nothing to endanger the public safety I have to find you guilty under the law." The Judge interpreted the law as meaning that a second stop would be required at the white line regardless of whether that second stop served any purpose or improve the public safety. He said his hands were tied by the law despite his agreement with my position and the positions of the other 2 gentlemen who stayed to plead their case.

Now I can appeal to the Criminal Court. The cost of making an appeal is $134 plus a $250 bond. So the truth is there is no appeal.

Here is my opinion.
This camera is legal thievery and a detriment to our community. At a full stop and a 1/4 mile view down Broadway it is a waste of expensive fuel and time for everyone in the line behind you to stop multiple times before moving onto Broadway from I-640 (this is the westbound exit to head North on Broadway). The right lane is on Broadway for about 150 yards before it turns into Tazewell Pike. Thousands of Knoxville residents are effected by the time spent at this intersection. Once a vehicle has come to a complete stop with a view down Broadway of a quarter mile there is NO PURPOSE served by stopping a second time.

If you've had the 'pleasure' of experiencing rush hour on the section of Tazewell Pike between Broadway and Jacksboro Pike you know what I mean. I see it every day because my residence in it that short section of road that urgently needs to be widened to 4 lanes. There is an accident in that section at least once a month.

This map shows the intersection of I-640 and Broadway.
I-640 is currently handling all of the traffic that used to flow down I-40 through downtown Knoxville so the delays and the cost of fuel have a significant impact on Knoxvillians.

Jul 2, 2008

Living Limbaugh: $400 Million Contract, Gulfstream, Scented Candles, And The "Business" Of Hating Liberals

The New York Times Magazine has a big cover story on Rush Limbaugh this week, almost 8,000 words about how Rush Limbaugh has built himself into one of the most influential voices in America. With an estimated 14 million listeners (Limbaugh claims it's more like 20 million), he's far and away the top-rated radio talk-show host in America. That's partisan radio talk-show host — and he has no intention of being left out of this election. He already created big waves, first by publicly dissing John McCain and then by encouraging Republicans to mix into the democratic primaries and vote for Hillary Clinton and keep the Democratic nomination battle in play, in what he called "Operation Chaos." Both Karl Rove and John Kerry gave it credit for having had an effect.

Now Limbaugh has extended his contract through 2016 — $38 million per year with a "nine-figure signing bonus." The total package is valued at "north of $400 million."

Author Zev Chafets got more access to Limbaugh than any other journalist, being the first from the "hated mainstream media" to gain access to his studio and home. Here are some excerpts from the story:

Limbaugh on why he will reluctantly support McCain: ''It's like the Super Bowl...you root for the team you hate less. That's McCain.''

Limbaugh on how he plans to take on Obama: ''I'll approach Obama with fearless honesty...He's a liberal. I oppose liberals. That's all that's involved here.''

Limbaugh's tactics for doing so: Chafets reports on Limbaugh's appointment of his associate, Bo Snerdly, as the "Official Obama Criticizer" of his show. "Snerdly introduced himself as an ''African-American-in-good-standing-and-certified-black-enough-to-criticize-Obama guy,'' and declared that he was speaking, ''on behalf of our E.I.B. brothers and sisters in the hood.'' The bit was typical Limbaugh -- confrontational, deliberately insensitive and funny. It was also a declaration of independence. Whatever special courtesies John McCain might plan to extend to Barack Obama, Limbaugh is going to conduct his air war, as he always has, by his own rules of engagement."

On Living Limbaugh: "There are five homes -- all of them his -- on the property. The big house is 24,000 square feet. Limbaugh lives there with a cat. He's been married three times but has no children."

Chafets on Limbaugh's domestic preferences: "His staff lights fragrant candles throughout the house to greet his arrival from work each day."

On the view from his private humidor: "The room opens onto a patio, a putting green and a beach. On the table was a brochure for Limbaugh's newest airplane, a Gulfstream G550. It cost him, he told me, $54 million."

Limbaugh on success: ''Do you know what bought me all this?...Conservatism didn't buy this house. First and foremost I'm a businessman."

Limbaugh on his substance abuse: ''You know, I've had a problem with substance abuse. I don't deal with the future anymore. I take things one day at a time.''

What you see when you walk into Limbaugh's nondescript studio headquarters: "An American flag stands in the corner. Only a small, framed picture of Limbaugh, bearing the caption ''America's Anchorman,'' reveals that this is the headquarters of one of the country's most admired and reviled figures."

The full story will be online here shortly.