Rumor of Bush Earpiece Floats around Net "Raw Story has received numerous e-mails suggesting that Bush wore an earpiece during the Florida debate Thursday with Senator Kerry. While at this point the suggestion is simply rumor, the volume of emails and the demands of our readers required we at least post the information for public review. The crux of the rumor centers around a part of the debate where Bush says, 'let me finish,' though neither Senator Kerry or moderator Jim Lehrer have moved to interrupt him. The video file can be seen here. Viewers also note the numerous pauses during Bush's answers, though some also note that Bush regularly uses dramatic pauses as part of his replies. The final element of the rumor surrounds an alleged wire in the back of the president's suit jacket, the photograph of which appears below."
"...let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things..."
We have more than material things about which to be concerned as we face November's election. We worry about terrorism and we worry about our children being drafted to a liar's war, which is seemingly a war with no end.
We face the election a completely divided nation.
We have had an administration who has played upon our deepest fears in the selfish hope for political gain.
There can be no future trust or support for an administration which has been carelessly exaggerating and misleading in their past public statements about the level of threat posed to us Americans; which has directly led us to an unnecessary war.
"These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit...."
Will someone please repeat that part to 'Halliburton Cheney' and 'Oil-Made-My-Family-What-We-Are Bush'?
One year ago at Iddybud, two articles were brought to your attention. Listen to the words spoken back then and consider all that has happened since.
Muslims everywhere know that Putin has been engaged since 1999 in a ruthless campaign against the Muslim population of Chechnya. They know that just yesterday he rigged an election in that rebellious province by forcing every credible candidate but his own to withdraw. When he praises Putin's vision of "democracy and freedom and rule of law in Russia," how can Bush expect anyone to believe that he is any more serious about his own commitment to democracy and freedom in Afghanistan or Iraq?
THE COLLAPSE in global support for the United States during the past several years is hard to overstate. Numerous polls show that the number of people holding a favorable view of this country has fallen from a majority to single digits in nations ranging from Indonesia to Spain. The damage is worst in the Arab Middle East, the very region where the Bush administration hopes to propagate the American values of liberal democracy and capitalism....much of the damage has been caused by the Bush administration's behavior, ranging from its spurning of allies and international treaties to its continuing insistence on monopolizing power in Iraq.
"When the army itself admitted they were unable to find the weapons of mass destruction, my son began to question, "Why am I here? Why do I have to continue to be here?" So, I feel a certain amount of responsibility, as his mother, to stand up and say, Why did you send my son to war? Why did you put my son in harm's way?"
--Vicki Monk, whose son is currently with the army's 1st Armored Division in Baghdad
Online News Hour: Homefront Battle
In case you missed the News Hour on PBS tonight, I highly recommend that you see this featured story. It can be read or viewed on Real Audio at the PBS website.
"Firebombings: From My Father’s Wars to Mine" by Christopher Dickey
Christopher Dickey, son of poet and novelist James Dickey, gave a thoughtful lecture at Clemson almost a year ago as a part of the Calhoun Lecture series at the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs. It was about his father, the wars of his father's generation and the wars that have followed,the never-ending war on a notion known as terror, about human dignity. I think it should be required reading for every American voter.
On his father's poetry:
"Drinking from a Helmet," written almost two decades after WWII by James Dickey, comes back to the theme of involvement and detachment. The poet is getting water from a truck on a battlefield; a place where the fighting is mostly over. Afraid to take off his own helmet, he picks up another one that has been discarded on the ground. As he drinks from it he comes to think it belonged to another soldier who has died. He sees his own boyish reflection in the water...
Selected ripples rove through it,
Knocked loose with a touch from all sides
Of a brain killed early that morning,
Most likely, and now in its absence holding
My sealed, sunny image from harm.
He becomes fascinated by a growing sense that he knows the life of this soldier he never knew, whose death he never saw.
I stood as though I possessed
A cool, trembling man
Exactly my size, swallowed whole.
Putting the helmet on, the poet’s mind joins with that of the dead man, who is resurrected – reincarnated— in him."
"...just about the time I was writing this speech, “dignity” started to be a buzzword in U.S. administration rhetoric. J.Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, used it some 27 times in his Ramadan address to the Iraqi people on Nov. 7, 2003. President George W. Bush referred to it when he stopped in at Baghdad airport for Thanksgiving. But the standards they set for dignity, unfortunately, are theirs for the Iraqis, not necessarily the Iraqis’ for themselves."
On today's wars and inhumanity:
"...more than fifty years after World War II, and more than thirty years after my father wrote that poem, technology, especially American technology, continued to dehumanize the inhumanity of war until, by the late 1990s, we were able to convince ourselves, at our great distance from the destruction, that such a thing could be waged as a war that was humane. Now, that’s a pretty dangerous concept if you think about it. Because a humane war,especially one waged from a sanitary distance, is implicitly an EASY war. It doesn’t have to be righteous. It doesn’t even have to be memorable....
...You know, history does not end except, perhaps, in academia. But if you ignore the past, ifyou refuse to connect cause and effect, and you start to think that war is without consequences – at least for you in your comfortable suburban home — then war can come to seem perfunctory, eventrivial, except for those who are on the ground beneath the bombs...."
On our great mistake:
As the Yale sociologist William Graham Sumner pointed out in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, expansion and imperialism are inimical to what, precisely, we Americans think we are. They are “a grand onslaught on democracy,” said Sumner, they are “at war with the best traditions, principles, and interests of the American people.”
Generally, Americans — and their leaders — have understood this, which is why, despite the present administration’s rhetoric about spreading democracy, the heart of its message has been quite different since September 11: not that we will change the world, but that, in the end, the world will not change us.That is why it was so important to get the message out, unofficially and meretriciously, that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11. That is why it’s important that some sixty percent of the public think that’s the case. Because if it is not, then we have embarked on exactly that kind of expansionist and imperialist project our forebears warned us against, and we see that this war in Iraq could change us every bit as much as we’re likely to change the world. The media have played a strange role in all this, becoming technological accomplices in a grand illusion.
US: Divided against itself
The Guardian: If Americans choose Bush over Kerry, it will be from fear, a lack of choice - and a preference for power over safety by Gary Younge
Gary Younge asks what the world should make of America and Americans if Bush wins?
If Bush wins fair and square on November 2, then what conclusions can we draw about a nation that consciously decides this is the course it wants to take? If Americans come away from the plurality of opinions with which they have been presented to back Bush, it will not be because they did not know that other views were out there, but because they chose to believe one set of views over others.
The question is, why?
More than anything else, though, a Bush victory would suggest that when given a choice between leading the world through force or through consensus (the notion that America should not lead the world has not arisen), most of those who expressed a preference preferred force..They will have decided that global supremacy is more important to them than being either liked or respected.
The country is riven on almost every axis possible - between red states (for Bush) and blue states (for Kerry), between the religious and the secular, the metro and the retro. "Not since the civil war has the country been so divided," argues John White, professor of politics at the Catholic University of America. Whether Bush wins or loses, these rifts will endure. America is not just a nation at war with the world; it is a nation at war with itself.