Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Updates late tonight/early tomorrow

I have some more stuff to offer up shortly. Unfortunately, I might not be able to do it tonight. I'm working on 4 hours of sleep, since I was up at 6:00 to hold signs at the polls. If I go to the Bamboo Room, I would possibly be unable to update tonight.

Here's a brief preview:
1) Election Returns/Analysis. You can call me on any of my predictions. The only one I might modify is that Mike Rios will defeat John Clark in the tax collector's race. Previously, I opined that Clark would emerge the victor.
2) My leap towards failure: How failing is better than a DNP.
3) Standard academic updates.

Take care, and have a wonderful afternoon.

12: 59

On to victory!

Two years ago almost to the day, I remember Janet Reno's rallying cry. Sadly, Reno never emerged victorious, but today we can avenge that defeat. Reno's friend, Betty Castor, is poised to win the Senate Democratic primary. Polls don't officially close until 7:00, but all signs point to a resounding Castor victory. The Deutsch-bag's last minute attacks will not be enough to derail Castor's momentum. It is with great anticipation that I await a double-digit victory by Castor this evening.

In a personal race of interest, Paulette Burdick is facing Ken Locklear for PBC School Board, District 2. Although no surveys have been conducted on this contest, history would suggest that Burdick wins with at least 65 % of votes cast. Ms. Burdick is a dear personal friend of me and my family. She has derived great pleasure out of her 10 years on the Board. I am certain that students and parents of Palm Beach County have no greater ally than Paulette Burdick. Along with my cousin, we will celebrate victory at the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth.

I will also watch the GOP primary with great interest. A Bill McCollum nomination would give Castor a clear edge heading into November. Martinez might be tougher to beat. However, a recent turn right may cost Martinez in the general. Either way, I am confident that Ms. Castor will be up to the task.

Nothing else on the ballot matters much to me, except for Arthur "Art" Anderson's challenge of Theresa LePore. I voted for and will root for a Dr. Arthur "Art" Anderson victory this evening.

Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, and Judgships don't concern me too much. While they are important, I can't get too caught up in whether Mike Rios or John Clark will be the next tax collector. That might make me a bad citizen, but so what!


Monday, August 30, 2004

GOP Convention Night 1

Contrary to previous assertions, I decided to tune in for some of Monday's convention coverage. In retrospect, I'm glad I did. It provided for some hearty laughs.

The highlight of the Convention was Michael Moore being escorted out of Madison Square Garden by the Secret Service. Moore is a credentialed media guest at this event. USA Today hired him to write columns over the four day period. During his speech, Sen. John McCain remakred about a "disengenuous filmmaker". In unanimity, the crowd roared and booded all at the same time. From the press box, Moore flashed a big "L" with his thumb and index finger. Reports vary about what transpired after that remark was made. NPR reported that the Secret Service rushed in and removed Mr. Moore from the premises. Other reports claim that Moore left to attend a Planned Parenthood event.

Rudy Guiliani droned on endlessly about 9/11, terra, war, etc. I can't bear to even thinking about this fraudelent "America's Mayor" for one second longer.

The finale consisted of Ole Frankie taking the big screen. Even though he's been dead for years, Blue Eyes was back and singing "New York, New York".

ENL 2022

Not sure if I gave my summation of English Literature After 1800. Well, it's the course I'm taking at Palm Beach Community College. With three very difficult classes at FAU, this one is sort of a relief. Mostly "busy work" if you ask me. I do like the teacher, Mr. Edwin Peck. As a fellow Dean supporter during the primaries, we have a good deal in common politically.

It's kind of creepy every time I walk into that college. It reminds me so much of a high school environment. I'm glad that my tenure there is up shortly.

There are some decent people in that class. I was surprised when one girl mentioned the Media Whores Online website. Only hardcore political junkies have heard of the "Media Horse". She's also into student government as well. Before I start getting all melancholy, I'll conclude my remarks.

ENL 2022 is one class that's a fairly certain "A".

WWYF #3- Vanessa vs. Alexandra Kerry

I surely don't wish to offend Pops with this blog entry. If I remotely thought that he visited my blog, I'd have refrained from posting this.

It was difficult finding decent pictures of both these lovely girls. You'd have to see them on TV to get a more accurate portrait.

Alex Kerry, 30, is the oldest daughter of her father and Julie Thorne. The picture I posted was taken at the Cannes Film Festival in France, where she debuted her documentary, "The Last Full Measure". It documented her father's struggle after he returned from Vietnam.

Vanessa Kerry, 27, is a student at Harvard Medical School. She is currently on leave to help with important family matters.

If I had to choose, I'd go with Vanessa. They are both good looking women, but I have a slight preference for blond hair.

Vanessa Kerry, with a man incidentally named Sen. John Edwards (D-VA) Posted by Hello

Documentary Filmmaker Alexandra Kerry Posted by Hello

Friday, August 27, 2004

State Sen. Dave Aronberg

State Sen. Dave Aronberg (on right), District 27 Posted by Hello

Yesterday, I made a brief reference to a local politician named Dave Aronberg. I’ve followed his ascension since November of 2002, when he first won elected office. I was very impressed by his ability to win in this difficult district. He represents part of Palm Beach County, but it also goes west into Hendry, Lee, Charlotte, and Glades. His 2002 opponent, Frank Mann, is very well known on Florida’s west coast.

My gut tells me that Sen. Aronberg is a rising star in Florida’s Democratic Party. He was chosen to give the rebuttal to this year’s State of the State Address by Governor JEB? Bush. While there are many wonderful Democrats in Florida, I see Aronberg as the one with the most potential. It would not surprise me to see him run for Congress or Governor. At 32, he has plenty of time to establish his credential in the Florida legislature. During only his first term, he was influential in passing reforms to our health care system.

I look forward to having the opportunity to follow his continued political career. His campaign is stationed out of Greenacres, FL. I have met the Senator at various Democratic functions in South Florida. Today, I had the privilege to exchange an email with Sen. Aronberg himself. He thanked me for my support and said he’d put me in contact with his volunteer coordinator. I don’t mean to sound selfish, but Dave is the type of individual that you want to be aligned with. I see him going places, perhaps as soon as 2010. I’m hoping that if Clay Shaw ever retires or dies, maybe he could run as a Democrat in district 22. Maybe Aronberg could be strong enough to successfully challenge the incumbent. Only time will tell.

This is a man who deserves our continued support, along with Democrats like Jim Stork. Keep an eye on him over the next few years. I’ll be able to say that I remembered Dave Aronberg when he was only a Freshman State legislator in Florida.

Beware of tsias the voyeur

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I get great enjoyment out of reading live journals and AIM profiles of individuals I hardly know or don’t know at all. Hi kake 26, you rightwing nutjob!

It started innocently enough. When I posted regularly at DU, I would automatically add any AIM addresses of DU’ers to my buddy list. As a moderator, I wanted to have a way to contact various individuals. Well, when I got bored, I would click on their profiles and seek out interesting away messages or personal profiles. I actually have spoken with a few of them, but mainly I would click and hope to see at least one interesting nugget.

This is where it gets worse. I would click on the “views” of people’s buddy profiles and look at their profiles. Now I’m looking at profiles of friends of people who aren’t even my friend.

Live Journal is even more fun. I can do a search and find Live Journals of individuals anywhere around the globe.

I can claim tangential connections to some people, which makes it less creepy. Am I the only one who engages in this twisted habit?


Reflections on Week 1

I’ve certainly written plenty about my first week of classes at FAU. Throughout my summaries, I’ve mentioned a little about my feelings and approach.

Put succinctly, I feel a lot of apprehension at this moment. The number one culprit is the 30-minute presentation due on September 7. Giving a five-minute speech is a chore. Trying to get past 20 will require a ton of preparation. The topic is one that I know a little about. From both points of view, I’ll analyze the issue of media bias. Taking into account the required length, I’m trying to organize it into a number of smaller speeches. To begin, I’ll find some conservative whacko sites that present the case for liberal media bias. Basically, I could ramble on for a while, spouting conservative talking points. But I’ll preface it by saying, “those on the right claim…”. Then I’ll spend the remainder talking about why the media favors conservatives. Actually, my premise will be that they favor the almighty dollar. That six major corporations own the media is a compelling argument that there is neither a liberal nor conservative bias, but only a bias towards green.

My news reporting class is the second cause for concern. Once I get through early September, politics class will be a breeze. The only other assignment for the term is due in late November. There are three major stories to be written over the course of fall term. For each topic, I need three sources. That’ll be nine interviews spread out over three months. Once I get some concrete ideas, I can better elaborate on my plans.

Literature and Mass Communication don’t worry me. There will be a good amount of work, but it’s entirely doable.

I view this term as one of my biggest challenges in life. Up to this point, I’ve been able to breeze through school. Rarely have I had to spend hours a night on homework. It will take every ounce of effort to succeed in these courses. I’ll know more accurately where I stand come the end of September. I’m still gauging where I stand in relation to the other students. It’s always a worry that most people are smarter than I.

This term is also a benchmark for me. It’ll let me know whether or not I have chosen the correct path. As long as I get a “B” or better, I will be satisfied.

My early plan is to spend Mondays and Wednesdays working extensively. I try to clear weekends off for football, although there will be times where that is impossible. On both Mondays and Wednesday, I have a solitary one-hour course at PBCC. That gives me the better part of those afternoons and evenings to focus on assignments. Friday should be another day. I’ll get on a schedule where I’m up by at least 9:00 every morning. I’m speculating that 2-4 solid hours of homework a day will be enough to succeed. I’ll have to reassess if that’s adequate as time goes by.

Also, I wrote about some more personal things earlier this afternoon. After looking at all the work I have to do, my time will be limited to begin with. I hope to have some successes with the opposite sex, but that’s not my biggest concern.

For now, my goal is to enjoy a relaxing weekend. My Mom’s going out of town on Friday, so I’ll have the house to myself. I’ll definitely catch up on some reading, but that won’t take too much time. I’ll cultivate a rough outline for my presentation beginning tomorrow. I want to have a very solid plan in place by Monday.

My main goal is to make school as enjoyable as possible. That means writing stories on issues that interest me. I actually look forward to Tuesdays from 4:00-7:00 when I meet with fellow followers of politics. It’s simply not worth the work unless you get something rewarding from the effort. There are certainly times where the assignment will be no fun, but it should be enjoyable at least sometime.

I’ve written as much as could be done for this week on school. Look for Reflections on Week 2 same time next week.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Important Dates- Fall 2004

This is more for me than for an audience. I'm trying to document all the important due dates for each of my classes. Having it written in one place will make it easier to budget time.

Looking through two of my courses, I have approximately 14 key assignments. Fortunately, some are actually one assignment with portions due incrementally. I'm not worried much about English Lit. That's a breeze compared to this. I still have to go through my Mass Communication syllabus.

The big difference this year is that most of my assignments are BIG. Before, there were many more minor assignments to be done. Many of these make up 20-30 % of the final grade. I'm hoping that by having this written in one place, that I can keep from getting too far behind.

I didn't include reading in my key dates due. It looks like I might have 2 chapters a week to read in JOU 3101.

Finally, I have to thank whoever left a big chunk of time between 10/21 and 11/9. That'll be right around election time, where I don't need any more things to worry about.

(JOU 3101) 8/31: Newspaper column about plagiarism
(JOU 3101) 9/7: 2 story memos
(POS 3033) 9/7: 30-minute presentation, "Oh, that Media Bias!"
(JOU 3101) 9/16: Final project idea
(JOU 3101) 9/25: See "Week 5" of syllabus
(POS 3033) 10/5: Paper draft
(JOU 3101) 10/7: First reporting project (rough)
(JOU 3101) 10/14: First reporting project (revised)
(JOU 3101) 10/21: Midterm
(JOU 3101) 11/9: Second reporting project (rough)
(POS 3033) 11/16: Final paper
(JOU 3101) 11/18: Second reporting project (revised)
(POS 3033) 11/30: Scrap book
(JOU 3101) 12/7: Final project/presentation due

More Elisha, because I'm King Blogger, hence I can Posted by Hello

WWYF #2- Elisha Cuthbert vs. Reiko Aylesworth

dmittedly, this is a slam dunk victory for Elisha Cuthbert. Honestly, this was just an excuse for me to post some pictures of Elisha Cuthbert on my blog.

Briefly, Cuthbert is best known as Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim, on FOX's "24". As a teen, she appeared on Nickelodeon's "Popular Mechanics for Kids". In March of 2004, she co-starred in the motion picture, "The Girl Next Door". Reports state that Cuthbert will not be a regular on "24" this season, although she will appear in a recurring role. Word has it that she'll appear in a remake of the horror film "Wax", to be released later this year.

Reiko Aylesworth played Michelle Dessler on "24" in Seasons 2 and 3. Like Cuthbert, she has been downgraded to recurring cast member for Season 4. She also guest starred on NBC's "West Wing" during their first season.

Cuthbert obviously wins hands down, but that's not an afront to Ms. Aylesworth. I couldn't find any real good pictures of her, but she was very hot in Season 3 of 24. I was torn between casting her or Sarah Clarke (Nina Myers) as sacrificial lamb in this contest. Clarke did some very hot scenes this year, but alas I cannot find any flattering pics online. It doesn't matter, as Cuthbert would blow away any competition.

I still say that among my favorite "24" moments were of Kim Bauer running from a tiger, or just running anywhere. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. While not George Mason/Jack Bauer level of drama (specifically plane scene, Season 2), they were fun and assuredly planned to, err, accentuate her positives.

Vote! Post comments anywhere you like. I can only post 1 pic at a time, so I have about 3 separate posts for this contest.

Elisha Cuthbert, of "24" and "The Girl Next Door" Posted by Hello

Reiko Aylesworth, recurring actress on "24" Posted by Hello

I am peeved

Dicho y Hecho, beginning level Spanish textbook Posted by Hello

I know it'll come as a shock, but something's been really stuck in my craw. College textbooks have balloooned to outrageous prices. I don't actually pay for my books, so it's not about the money. But for those who have to struggle with finances, these books can really wreak havoc. This semester was relatively inexpensive. My books cost a little over $300. Most of mine were used and I didn't need any hardbacks. Still, for a year, that comes to $600. And I'm sure that books will begin to get more expensive.

The buy-back rates are hardly worth the benefit. I'd rather keep a book than sell it back for 1/4 of the original price. I only sell back books that I have literally no interest of ever having to see again. I'll likely keep most of my Communication and Political Science books after the semester ends. One option is to put texts on ebay. My cousin told me that he gets $25 a pop for his old textbooks.

What, you might ask, is my major beef? Well, it's the needless updates that are done nearly every year for college texts. I can understand some subjects that need updating. I sure as hell don't want a book still calls the Soviet Union a country Saddam Hussein President of Iraq. But there needs to be some sort of moderation. We don't need a new volume each and every year. It's more of an annoyance than anything. Most teachers let you use the older volumes. The result is that different students have varying page numbers.

I haven't seen it yet, but I hear that things get more outrageous as you get higher up. Sometimes a teacher has written his or her own text and forces students to buy it. I'd love to address this as a news story for my JOU 3101 class. Maybe I'd be shocked and discover that textbook makers have a valid reason for their actions. More likely, they're just one of many groups of greedy Americans who gouge an unsuspecting public.

The Soul of the New Machine (Jeff Seemann article)

This was a fantastic article. I've followed Jeff at DU, and then PFC, for a number of years now. Even after being ejected from DU, he still continues his activism and has run an inspiring campaign.


By Kevin Hoffman

When Howard Dean screamed himself out of the presidential race, his supporters took solace in their mantra that the campaign wasn't about the man, but the movement. Dean had shown that grassroots activism and the internet could transform a dark horse into a front-runner. Now was the time to apply that thinking to local elections.

Enter Jeff Seemann, whose quixotic run against Ralph Regula, the long-term incumbent Republican Congressman in Ohio's 16th District, which includes Canton, has transformed him into a national poster boy for the New Political Machine. The race pits a well-entrenched, old-school party stalwart against an unknown who used the web to gain traction.

Seemann's most recent job was with a media company that tracks how often radio stations across the country play particular songs. A 35-year-old political neophyte, he is the quintessential regular guy, with thinning blond hair and a jutting brow; makeup, applied by an assistant before a TV interview, seems incongruous on his irregular features.

He's still learning how to act like a politician. Talking to a reporter about being invited to speak at a recent John Kerry rally, he cuts himself off. "I don't want to say they let me speak . . ." he muses and looks to a campaign staffer for a better word. When someone points out that candidates don't usually formulate their message in front of the media, he smiles and concedes that he's a rookie.

Seemann joined the race on something of a lark, inspired by Dean's example. There wasn't much competition to be Regula's punching bag. The most recent challenger was a truck driver who was in town only a few days a month.

At first, Seemann was no better off. He started last September with no office, no staff, and no money. What changed everything was the Daily Kos, a popular lefty blog.

In April, Kos's 32-year-old founder, Markos Moulitsas, posted some harsh words about the American contractors who were murdered, burned, and strung up on a bridge by insurgents in Fallujah. "I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries," Moulitsas wrote. "Screw them."

Right-wingers seized on the comments to demonize liberals as unpatriotic, and Democrats gave Kos the stiff arm. John Kerry's website denounced the intemperate remarks and removed a link to the blog. Other Democratic candidates pulled their ads from Kos.

Seemann stepped into the breach. He ponied up $400 to place an ad, and put out a press release explaining why: "It's his right to say it, and as a Democrat with a backbone, I'm not gonna be bullied."

For liberals accustomed to watching their candidates get slapped around by right-wing hit men like Matt Drudge, Seemann's words were as galvanizing as "I am Spartacus!" Within 24 hours, Seemann tripled his campaign war chest, thanks to $10,000 in online donations.

Then the volunteers started showing up.

Joanna Delaune, a 28-year-old from Louisiana, was so impressed by what Seemann had done that she hopped a Greyhound bus and rode 28 hours to join his campaign. "I saw this guy that stood up," she says.

Tim Tagaris, a 27-year-old from Chicago, left his life behind to became Seemann's communications director. "I don't have my mom cooking me home-cooked meals," he says. "I don't have my friends at the bar. My whole reality changed when I got in my car and drove to Canton, Ohio."

Now Seemann counts about a dozen campaign staffers, about half imported from out of state. His campaign raised $45,000 in the most recent quarter, mostly through small $30 donations made over the internet. And he's getting plenty of free publicity -- the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune presented Seemann as Exhibit A in how blogs are changing politics.

"He's been able to essentially make his campaign a national campaign, and I think we're going to see more and more of that," says Kos's Moulitsas.

Even so, Seemann remains an underdog by any reckoning. Regula has been in Congress since 1972 -- almost longer than his opponent has been alive. Regula, who had $143,000 in his campaign coffers at last report, is so confident of victory that he's devoted more time and energy to helping elect other Republicans than to defending his home turf.

Perhaps it's because he realizes that elections still have more to do with what politicians do on the ground than online, especially in the Rust Belt.

"The vast majority of the people don't even use the internet or pay attention to it," says Regula, who's never read a blog. "I was just sitting here signing a whole stack of mail to constituents. We've helped them with their veteran's claims, their disability claims, you name it."

Yet Seemann can succeed even if he loses. He's running in the key swing district in the key swing state of this presidential election. If Seemann gets creamed but helps Kerry take Ohio by bringing Dems to the polls, the candidacy will go down as a victory.

But don't tell that to Tagaris. "I'm in it to win it," he says. "There will be two stories on November third. Number 1: John Kerry elected President. Number 2: 32-year incumbent Ralph Regula unseated. We will shock the world."

And if neither happens? Carl Manaster, a 42-year-old who flew to Canton from Germany last month to join Seemann's campaign, has his answer: "Someone pointed out: Ohio's close to Canada."

Slow jam of the day- Wherever You Will Go

The Calling Posted by Hello

Be sure to catch The Calling's lead singer, Alex Band, on select episodes of "The O.C." this year. The O.C. begins it's 2nd season this November on FOX Thursdays, 8:00 ET.

So lately
been wondering
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone you'll need love
To light the shadows on your face
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then between the sand and stone
Could you make it on your own

If I could
then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

And maybe
I'll find out
A way to make it back someday
To watch you
to guide you
Through the darkest of your days
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then I hope there's someone out there
Who can bring me back to you

If I could
then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

Run away with my heart
Run away with my hope
Run away with my love

I know now
just quite how
My life and love might still go on
In your heart
in your mind
I'll stay with you for all of time

If I could
then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

If I could turn back time
I'll go wherever you will go
If I could make you mine
I'll go wherever you will go
I'll go wherever you will go

My latest perplexity

"I fancy her, Steven" Posted by Hello

You know, it wouldn’t be a week in Taylor’s blog without some romantic musings. So far, most of my comments have been disjointed and disorganized. Sometimes people think I’m terminally depressed and in distraught. That is not actually the case. I just like to think about things and occasionally post them online.

I walked into the Honors College building at FAU around 10:55 this morning. I saw this girl, moderately attractive, sitting by herself by the door. I thought about going up and introducing myself, but ended up thinking better of the idea. By coincidence, I ended up seated at the computer next to her. Midway through the class period, we handed in our news story ideas. I glanced at her paper and was immediately drawn to one name, David Aronberg. Immediately, I asked how she knew of that gentleman. FYI, Aronberg is the Florida State Senator who represents the 27th District. His campaign in 2004 has been embroiled in controversy, resulting from the incompetence of his former GOP challenger.

Nevertheless, I began to converse with her. I told her that I knew a little about Sen. Aronberg. I’ve met the guy once or twice at various campaign events. Adrianna, the target of my fancy, is a volunteer and soon-to-be paid staffer for the Senator. I talked about how I’ve been to his office, which he shares with Kerry/Edwards and Congressional challenger Jim Stork.

I talked to her for a few minutes after class was dismissed. I learned that she is a recent transfer student from the University of Florida in Gainesville. I didn’t ask about anything much personal. She went on about how she met Dave and extolled the good deeds he’s accomplished as state Senator. Next class, I’ll give her my email and see if she can get me in touch with Aronberg. He’s actually always been someone that I’ve admired. I’ve followed him closely, beginning in 2002 when he defeated Republican Frank Mann. That was a great accomplishment, considering he represents a district that goes west into heavily conservative Lee County. Mann and his wife Barbara are like the Kravis’s of Palm Beach. The Mann Civic Center is one of the most well known buildings in Southwest Florida.

Okay, back to the point. Sometimes I can get off track with relatively inconsequential political comments. I tend to have a difficult time cultivating close relationships. There are about 2-3 people that I would categorize as close, or intimate friends. I have people I talk to, and I’ve gotten a bit better at that as years have passed. I think I have a better chance at forming bonds at school, especially as I am taking classes in my field. I hate to say it, but most of the people at Dwyer and PBCC were idiots. They would know a donkey from an elephant. Individuals like Adrianna are people that I should be able to relationships with, whether it be platonic or romantic. Even though I only talked to her for perhaps five minutes, she seems like the type of individual I would like very much. Considering she recently arrived from Gainesville, she might not know that many people in town.

I realize that handling these things delicately is the key to success. I have time to carefully execute a workable blueprint, albeit no plan has yet been constructed. I won’t again sit back and let opportunities pass me by. Loyal readers of my blog probably know of one instance where I let someone who I cared about pass by.

I’ll try to write about this more at a later time. I’ve got a class at 2:00. I think she might be in my Mass Communication class as well, but I don’t remember for certain. I do recall that a great number of students are in both T/R courses with Dr. Willey.


I be jammin!

Streetlight Manifesto, the undeniably hip ska band Posted by Hello

My fruitless guest to be hip has led me to a new musical act. I have decided to start listening to the New Jersey based ska band, Streetlight Manifesto. My research tells me that Thomas Kalnoky, former headliner of Catch-22, is a member. I’m already downloading songs from their 2003 debut release, “Everything Went Numb”. Wish me good listening.

Former Dolphin Ricky Williams considers comeback

Former Miami Dolphins RB Ricky Williams Posted by Hello

I, for one, do not ever wish to see Ricky Williams in a Dolphins uniform again. To sum up the story, Ricky is considering a return in 2005, when his drug suspension ends. Mr. Williams expressed concern over the team's overutilization of rushing. He didn't like Miami's decision to promote Chris Foerester to Offensive Coordinator. Last, and probably most important, the Dolphins are seeking $8 million from Williams.

This is not at all surprising. I expect we'll see Ricky Williams back somewhere by 2005, at the latest. With the state of Miami's offense, I'll bet they'd take him back immediately. Of course, his dabbling with marijuana makes an imminent return implausible.

This could turn into a major South Florida drama. I have a hard time believing Dolphin fans would ever accept Williams again. If Ricky wants to return, Miami should trade him and hopefully get two first round picks in return.


By Ethan J. Skolnick And Alex Marvez Sun-Sentinel Posted August 25 2004, 10:34 PM EDT

For the first time since filing his retirement papers with the NFL, ex-tailback Ricky Williams reached out to Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt earlier this week and is considering a comeback in the future, according to several NFL sources.

It is believed Williams raised the subject of returning to the Dolphins if they met specified conditions, including the renegotiation of his current contract, during a telephone conversation with Wannstedt.

A return in 2004 would be unlikely unless Williams were to register a favorable appeal to NFL Commissioner Paul Tabliabue. Because he was in the league's drug-testing program following three positive tests for marijuana, Williams automatically was credited with a fourth failed test when he filed retirement papers earlier this month. That means the automatic imposition of a year-long suspension.

Wannstedt was unavailable for comment Wednesday night. Williams' agent Leigh Steinberg did not return telephone messages seeking comment.

Sources close to Williams say he has given countless reasons for his retirement, many of which are not related to football. But a few have related specifically to the Dolphins' situation.

These sources say he had several frustrations with the team, foremost among them his contract status. Williams' contract, which runs through 2006, was slated to pay him $3.74 million this season.

Sources also say Williams was bothered by the frequency he was used - an NFL-record 775 carries in a two-season span - and did not think that would change with the promotion of Chris Foerster to offensive coordinator after Joel Collier stepped down and returned to his post as running backs coach.

Williams, who was close to Collier, apparently believed there was a better chance for offensive diversification that would allow him to shoulder less of the burden if quarterbacks coach and passing specialist Marc Trestman was promoted instead of Foerster.

Last week, the Dolphins notified Williams that he needed to report to play or face the recoupment of $8.6 million in paid salary. The Dolphins, which included recoupment provisions in a restructured contract Williams agreed to in 2002, would have to repay $5.3 million in salary from the Dolphins and $3.3 million in signing bonus money he received from New Orleans in 1999.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

FDR was a pimp, yo!

Four-term Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Posted by Hello

The Boo is a changing

Word through the grapevine is that Club Peek-a-Boo, a gentlemen’s club located in Lake Worth, is to undergo some major changes. Reports indicate that new facilities are being built next to the current establishment. It looks like the current Club Peek-a-Boo will be demolished in approximately 6-8 months. Also, sources (from outside the club) tell me that VIP rooms will be a thing of the past. Finally, some of the less desirable talent may be on their way out.

This gentlemen’s club is one of the greater West Palm Beach’s dirty secrets. The consensus is that Club Peek-a-Boo doubles as both a brothel and strip club. Overwhelming evidence suggests that sexual relations transpire within the hallowed grounds of their VIP rooms. While I have never partaken in this sort of debauchery, I can inform you that it costs somewhere in the range of $300. It’s comparable to the price of an escort or call girl. I won’t say that each girl acts as a prostitute, but it is indisputable that some, if not most, use the club for prostitution. The premise that Club Peek-a-Boo doesn’t condone this sort of action is laughable. In both English and Spanish, a sign reads on the VIP rooms: “Sexual activities will not be permitted on these premises”. But walk a few feet closer to the bathrooms and you will see a condom dispenser.

I can attest that this is a gentlemen’s club like no other. First, Club Peek-a-Boo serves no liquor. It is all water and soda, although I’m sure people go into restrooms to mix drinks. I’m hearing that liquor could be introduced within 60 days. Secondly, the club offers totally nude dances, unlike many local competitors. Their “dances” often times go into rather sketchy territory. Witnesses tell me that all sorts of extracurriculars take place on the lap dance couches. On some occasions, I’ve been told that dancers fondle their patron’s genitals until they reach climax. Others observers have informed me that dancers offer up simulated oral sex. My final source tells me that vaginal fingering has been known to take place at the Boo.

Okay, you might wonder how I know this much about a gentlemen’s club. Well, I admit that I’ve frequented this establishment on occasion. Compared to other gentlemen’s clubs, the atmosphere is much more risqué. In terms of “bang for your buck”, they cannot be beat. It may take awhile, but you can find a diamond in the rough. Unfortunately, you might have to wade through much undesirability. If you’re looking for a night out with the guys, drive a few miles north to T’s or Cheetah. If cheep thrills is your fancy, 3174 Lake Worth Road is the place for you.

I'll work to substantiate the assertions about new facilities, etc. I can likely get some of the club workers to go off the record with me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

MMC 3403

Robert McChesney's book, "Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy" Posted by Hello

My second class on T/R is MMC 3403, otherwise known as Mass Communication Theory. Once again, Susan Willey is the professor. Therefore, I won’t go through her bio again. See post titled “JOU 3101” for a brief biography of Dr. Willey.

I see this being an interesting election year course. She said that we’d be talking a lot about political advertisements. I looked through the syllabus and saw Robert McChesney’s “Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy” as required reading. This leads me to think she’s not totally conservative. In fact, Mr. McChesney’s radio show is linked the homepage of Democratic Underground, a notoriously left-wing Internet site.

Four essays are required, spread throughout the term. Topics range from semantics to propaganda. A final term paper, ten-pages in length, is due at November’s end. Two tests are also to be administered at midterm and in December.

Once again, I’ll be very careful to manage my time. Most of this work is entirely doable. There’s no reason why my grade should be less than a “B”.

JOU 3101

Susan Willey, assistant professor of Communication at FAU Posted by Hello

My first class Tuesday morning was JOU 3101, or News & News Reporting. These comprise three of the 39 total credits needed to graduate with a Bachelors in Communication. It appears to be a relatively basic course about reporting. The class should be a very good benchmark for me. It’s my first real foray into college level Journalism. It’ll give me a chance to see if this is truly the field for me.

Dr. Susan Willey is the professor of this course, along with one other class I take on Tuesdays and Thursdays. According to her, she worked previously as a journalist and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. I’m trying to discern whether she’s a Democrat or Republican. Early indications lead me to believe she’s conservative, but there’s been no overwhelming evidence as of yet. I expect she’ll be a very helpful teacher. For two of the three papers, she’ll give us time to edit per her revisions. As long as I meet deadlines, the course shouldn’t be too difficult to succeed in.

There is only one midterm test this semester, coming on October 21. The final will be a polished reporting project, to be turned in only once. She noted that we’d have quizzes every Thursday. This shouldn’t be too hard for me, considering they’ll be mostly on current events and text reading. The key in this class, like many others, is to budget my time well. It’s imperative to do so, since a lot of interviewing has to be done for story assignments.

Finally, attendance is mandatory for this course. It depends on the professor in college. Some people tell me that they only show up for exams. In this class, along with her Mass Communication course, you get an “A” in attendance for missing 0-1 classes. It is 10 % of the final grade.

Slow jam of the day- I'll Be

Edwin McCain, singer/songwriter of 1997 hit "I'll Be" Posted by Hello

No matter what else he has done in his career, McCain will be remembered by this 1997 crossover hit. If anyone's ever stupid enough to marry me, I might suggest that this song be played at the wedding.

I'll Be- Edwin McCain
The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath
And emeralds from mountains thrust towards the sky
Never revealing their depth
And Tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

And I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicideAnd
I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

And rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed
And you're my survival, you're my living proof
My love is alive and not dead

And tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

And I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

And I dropped out, I burned up, I fought my way back from the dead
I’m tuned in, I turned on, remembered the thing that you said

And I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your

I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

The greatest fan of your life

Kerry comfortably leads POS3033 poll

Democratic Presidential Nominee, Sen. John Kerry Posted by Hello

Today, we conducted an informal poll of students in Professor Wagner's 3000 level Political Science course at Florida Atlantic University (MacArthur campus). 22 respondents with a margin of error of +- 0%.

Sen. John Kerry (Massachusetts): 59%
"President" George W. Bush (Texas): 32%
Consumer Activist Ralph Nader (No clue where the fuck he's from): 0%
Green Party Candidate David Cobb (Ditto): 0%
Undecided: 9 %

Some interesting results. There were one or two leaners that I put in Kerry's category. The said that they were undecided, but would very likely vote for the Senator. 13 out of the 22 students who answered supported Kerry, 7 supported Bush, and 3 were undecided. Nobody expressed support for Nader, Cobb, or Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik.

There was a clear gender gap. I recall the breakdown being an even men to women ratio. Of the Bush supporters, 5, or 71 % of his supporters, were male. Nevertheless, considering Kerry's resounding victory in this poll, more men supported Kerry than Bush.

The results are pretty consistent with county averages. In 2000, Vice President Gore won 66 % in Palm Beach County. I'm assuming that most students were registered voters in this County. More research would be needed to confirm this.

Finally, the undecideds were on par with national observations. Somewhere around 10 % are undecided in the race for President. I'd expect a majority of them to break for Sen. Kerry. I expect Kerry to take 64 % of the class come election day.

Eric Wilborn, epitome of a conservative

Artist's rendition of Mr. Wilborn Posted by Hello

I had to make this story a separate post. At the beginning of my Issues in American Politics class, we went around the room and gave a brief description of ourselves. More detail on the results in a forthcoming post.

As we went further right in the classroom, more and more Bush supporters began to emerge. Mr. Eric Wilborn took the cake for being the stereotypical conservative Republican. I could tell things would be bad when I heard his southern accent. He proudly boasted that he was a strong supporter of President Bush. All the elements of conservatism were there. First, he professed his support for the Bush tax cuts. Professor Wagner playfully retorted that he likes tax cuts as long as they go to him. It only got worse from here. With much glee in his voice, Wilborn layed out his vision for American foreign policy. He has high hopes for invasions of both Iran and Syria. Once again, the professor interjected, "Ready to enlist?". The coup de grace came when asked of his plans for the future. Apparently, he sees himself as a land developer.

Both myself and my classmate Erin started cracking up. He fit our vision of a conservative to a "t". She joked that later in class, she'd go over and introduce herself, satirically, as some sort of hippie. There were a few other individuals, mostly young men, who share the same worldview of Mr. Wilborn. One of them actually was pursuing a career in fishing.

There's certainly more to come on my experiences in this class.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Now I'm just being mean

Wannstedt, wearing a look of chagrin after what was likely a Jay Fielder INT or lost fumble Posted by Hello

I just did a Google search looking for more Wanny pics. I was amazed to discover how distraught he was in many pictures. This is the last one I'll post for tonight. However, I have a deep reserve that I will unveil after the inevitable miserable performances throughout the 2004 season.

Shit out of luck

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Dave "Wanny" Wannstedt Posted by Hello

Even if I hate his coaching style, I do love the legendary Dave Wannstedt facial expressions. I'd be eternally grateful if anyone could find me a pic with Dave either crying or holding his hands over his face. It's funny yet tragic all at the same time. He looks so crestfallen in this pic. I remember this was from the press conference the Sunday after Mr. Williams announced his retirment. His words were uplifting but his face couldn't hide the feelings of betrayal. After Wannstedt does finally get the ax, I might shed a few tears for the man.

Fall 2004 Schedule

Today officially marked the beginning of the fall semester at FAU and PBCC. As any diligent student would do, I was absent for my first class period. I do have a valid excuse, which I will write about tomorrow. That aside, I'm taking 12 credit hours. 9 at FAU's MacArthur campus and 3 at the PBCC Eissey Campus.

ENL2022- English Literature after 1865, Mr. Edwin Peck, M/W 11:00-12:15

Expectations: This is the class I'm taking at PBCC to complete my AA. I know the teacher fairly well and we are friendly. I have at least one easy "A" this term.

JOU3101- News and News Reporting, Susan Willey, T/R 11:00-12:20

MMC 3403- Mass Communication Theory, Susan Willey, T/R, 2:00-3:20

Expectations: Since I have the same teacher twice, I hope she's at least decent. At this late point, there's no turning back. She wasn't listed at all on ratemyprofessors.com

POS3033- Issues in American Politics, Kevin Wagner, T, 4:00-6:50

Expectations: An interesting class for an election year. Please, don't let Mr. Wagner be a freeptard.

I met John Lithgow today!

No, not this man Posted by Hello

This morning around 11:00, I was at the City Place Bellagio waiting for the esteemed luminaries to arrive. In the meantime, the assembled guests began writing their names on a tag and placing them on their shirts. I look to my right and notice someone has “Hi, My name is John Lithgow” stuck to their breast. At first, I thought it was a joke. Pranksters have been known to assume aliases instead of revealing their actual surnames. He came up and introduced himself as “John”, and I reciprocated. I did bring up a query as to whether it was his legitimate name. Yes it was. Mr. Lithgow is a campaign worker for Democrat Jim Stork, running in Florida’s 22nd Congressional district. He didn’t look like he was much older than 25 years old. He is also the nephew of the comedian who had once lampooned one of the invited dignitaries, former Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Janet Reno. He discussed ways to broach the subject to Ms. Reno. I wasn’t even aware that John Lithgow, star of TV’s “Third Rock from the Sun”, had done an impression of her. And even if he did, Janet always seemed to have a good sense of humor. In fact, she once appeared on SNL herself. I’m not sure how the conversation went, but I’m sure Ms. Reno handled it with her normal levity.

Slow jam of the day- "Free Falling"

Recently, I was informed that I may have an affinity for the so-called "Slow Jam". I did some research and learned that "Slow Jam" was actually a song by Usher. He would listen to slow music when melancholy over a romance. It seems that I listen to slow jams when I'm happy, sad, forlorn, and even aroused. "Free Falling" by Tom Petty is a good oldie. I'm not 100 % sure if the Heartbreakers were involved in this effort.

"Free Falling"- Tom Petty

she`s a good girl, loves her mama
loves jesus and america too
she`s a good girl, crazy `bout elvis
loves horses and her boyfriend too

it`s a long day, living in reseda
there`s a freeway running throough the yard and
i`m a bad boy, `cause i don`t even miss her
i'm a bad boy, for breaking her heart

chorus : and i`m free --- free falling
yeah i`m free --- free falling

all the vampires walking through the valley
move west down ventura boulevard
and all the bad boys are standing in the shadows
all the good girls are home with broken hearts

chorus : and i`m free --- free falling
yeah i`m free --- free falling

i wanna glide down over mulholland
i wanna write her name in the sky
i wanna free fall out into nothing
gonna leave this place for a while

chorus : and i'm free --- free falling
yeah i'm free --- free falling

Who would you fuck?

First, I apologize for the profanity in my headline. Initially, I wanted some shock value for my latest blogging endeavor. Driving home today, I was thinking about an idea that would be both fun and provocative. Thus, the daily "Who would you fuck?" column was conceived (no pun intended).

Of course, this is a totally subjective analysis and there aren't really any right or wrong answers. Furthermore, the title of this feature could be misleading. There's a difference between someone you'd want to have a relationship and an individual whom you'd bang in a crowded hallway.

I don't wish to deceive anyone with my photo selections. I've tried to find as flattering a photo as possible for posting. If you're displeased, let Google be your friend.Finally, I'll give a short commentary on why I paired certain individuals together.

Disclaimer: I don't intend to be overly offensive with this undertaking. It's intended to provide for some light-hearted fun.

Ok, ready for my first challenge?

WWYF #1- Lindsay Lohan vs. Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff is perhaps most famous for her role as Disney's "Lizzie McGuire". For those of you who may not know, it was first a television program and then made into a quality theatrical release. "Metamorphosis", her pop album which came out last August, has been a success. My research tells me that she's only 16, so I hope nobody comes after me or my blog.

Lindsay Lohan, like Hilary Duff, has been in acting since she was very young. Her first major film was the 1998 release of Disney's "The Parent Trap", where she played duel roles. 2004 brought two prominent additions to her resume. She starred in "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and then "Mean Girls".

Source of contention: Hilary Duff's feud with Lindsay Lohan began in 2003 when both girls dated pop heart-throb Aaron Carter at the same time. Although neither girl is dating him anymore, rumor has it that the battle is still going on between the teen queens.

My analysis: I'd venture to guess that the majority of opinions would favor Ms. Lohan. An added plus is, since she's 18, you wouldn't be subject to incarceration for this engagement. Hilary Duff is nobody to kick out of the sack, herself. Something about her personality is very alluring to me. Maybe it's the faux persona, but she seems like a very sweet girl. More the type that I would be drawn to. So, in what surprises even myself, I give the first round to Ms. Duff.

Lindsay Lohan, star of the 2004 hit "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and other quality Disney motion pictures Posted by Hello

Hilary Duff, noted singer and actress Posted by Hello

Election Day, in pictures

On August 20, I went to the Supervisor of Elections office in WPB to vote early. The election, officially held on August 31, will settle some key primary races along with important local posts. My votes were as followed:

United States Senate (Democratic): Betty Castor
PBC Sheriff: Ric Bradshaw
Property Appraiser: Gary R. Nikolitis
Supervisor of Elections: Dr. Arthur "Art" Anderson
Clerk of the Circuit Court: Sharon Bock
County Tax Collector: John K. Clark
School Board (District 1): David A. Harris
Town of Jupiter Bonds: FOR Bonds

I had hoped to post more pics, but my Picasa software is giving me some problems. In all honesty, most of the aformentioned individuals are hardly memorable. I would like to get a picture of Dr. Arthur "Art" Anderson somewhere down the line.

I do have one confession, though. Except for Senate, Sheriff, and Supervisor, I have little clue about the issues each candidate stands for. I went mostly by word of mouth and newspaper endorsements.

Finally, my predictions on each race:

Senate: Castor wins fairly easily, perhaps by as much as 20 %. Deutch will be hurt because Penelas splits the South Florida vote, leaving Castor to take most of the I-4 corridor. Castor gets 40 % +

Sheriff: Neither Eggleston or Bradshaw get 50 %, forcing a 11/2 runoff on Presidential election day. Mascaro is fading fast, leaving Eggleston and Bradshaw the top vote getters. Expect them to get around 30 % each.

Property Appraiser: Who the fuck knows?

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Who the fuck cares?

Supervisor of Elections: Very interesting race. Recent personal/financial problems have weakened Dr. Arthur "Art" Anderson. LePore's negative public image might still be enough to doom her candidacy. Slight lean towards Ms. LePore.

County Tax Collector: Democrat Mike Rios makes the primary close, but Clark is able to hold on.

School Board: I have no idea. I do expect the well-financed Monroe Benaim to emerge victorious, whether it's now or on 11/2. There are two attractive challengers. David A. Harris lost a close election for City Council last March. Jeff Joyner, an 18 year-old Freshman at FAU, has a bright future ahead of him.

Environmental Bonds: Passes

Betty Castor, Democratic Senatorial candidatePosted by Hello

Ric Bradshaw, candidate for Palm Beach County Sheriff Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Dolphins v. Redskins (and more)

Tonight was a bad evening for the Miami Dolphins. In short, they lost 17-0 to the Washington Redskins. I don't think I need to explain how horrendous the effort was. 2 good things did come out of the game, though. First, nobody else got hurt. Secondly, Miami traded for veteran Chicago Bears WR Marty Booker. The addition of Booker will be a good thing, provided the QB play is competent.

I went to the game with my cousin, Shaun. We had a running joke about football being a great American event. There's hot dogs, burgers, and "big titties". Whenever a well-endowed woman would stroll by, my cousin began hymning a patriotic anthem. The 80 year-old gentleman behind us kept talking about "titties" and various other sexual items. I was waiting for him to cry out, "Woof! That's what's for lunch".

On Monday, I technically start school. I have an English Lit course at PBCC on M/W. I'm not going to attend the first class, Monday morning. There's a rally with former Presidential candiate Howard Dean, Senate candidate Betty Castor, and decade-long tax and child support evader Arthur Anderson. I've voted for each of these individuals over the past 5 months. The teacher, a Democrat, should understand and excuse my absence. It's not every day that I have the chance to meet such esteemed politicians.

Finally, part of Gary's family is back in town. Gary himself is still residing elsewhere. I was hoping that he'd at least call his sister over the weekend. As of 3:00 am Sunday, he has failed to take that initiative. I believe that he'll eventually realize his shortcomings and work to correct them. I refuse to use my blog to engage in any negative attacks about close friends or family members. At heart, Gary is a good person who is constantly struggling to stay on the right path in life.

More to come shortly...


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Blog update tomorrow... I promise

I've finally gotten things settled around my house. Internet access has been scarce over the last 9 days. For reasons I will expand upon later, it was best to temporarily forfeit my room and computer. Briefly, my cousin and family were staying with us for a little while. I wanted her to be able to contact her friends on AIM and continue as normal a routine as possible.

I've got some work to do in the morning. The update should come somewhere late in the evening or morning hours.


Sunday, August 15, 2004

I think I'm finally done

I have momentarily seized control of my room. If I don't write tomorrow, then you can assume that it has been commandeered once again.

My room is a disaster area. I'd like to clean it up. At 5:00 am, I'm tired, having been up since 8:00 in the morning.

I need to turn my computer and TV off and rest for a few hours. I'm so backed up on my laundry. And I'm barely writing in actual sentences.

I'll stop before I embarrass myself further (er, farther). :wtf:


Don't think I forgot the Fish

I'm too tired to write anything complex about Saturday night's opener. I'm honestly in disbelief about what happened. I know injuries are a part of football, but FUCK!

This team can't run the football worth shit. Travis Minor will be injured by midseason. Fred Russell is too young and small to compete at this level.

I cannot fathom what Dolphins games will be like this year. I predict a lot of Olindo Mare FG's and games where score totals are under 30 points.

I did like the idea of getting Rob Konrad involved in pass catching. Of course, they literally have no choice now.

Ronald Bellamy did a fine job at WR. If Newsom is indeed out for the season, he'll surely have a chance to make the squad. Chambers is the definite #1. Newsom was headed towards being the 2, but that's on hold. It'll likely be Darius Thompson starting at the 2nd WR slot. Bellamy, J.R. Tolver, and Snoop Minnis should all compete for #3.

I've said this before. The Dolphins defense will win many a game this year. If the offense shows even a spark of hope, Miami could easily make the AFC Playoffs.

Miami needs to get Ogunleye back into camp. This D is the same as last year at every position but FS, where Brock Marion departed for Detriot and possibly prison.

Remember, guys! 3 years ago, the Dolphins won the AFC East with Lamar Smith at RB and no David Boston or Ricky Williams. There's no excuse for this team to lose 10 + games in 2004.

I saw some good things out of all 3 QB's. For the life of me, I don't get why Sage Rosenfells is not competing for the starting job. He's paid his dues, and he deserves at least the opportunity. Considering all that was given up to acquire him, Feeley has the deck stacked in his favor. If they run even, which they did tonight, Feeley will start opening day vs. Tennessee.

I'd like to see them use Fred Russell as a kick returner. Miami will need all the kick returning yards they can get to remain marginally competent offensively.

Sammy Morris will be an integral part of this team's running attack, if you can even call it that.

Move Vernon Carey to Right Guard. We cannot have both Wade Smith and Carey playing the Tackle positions. Feeley or Fiedler cannot survive that.

My predictions: I won't bullshit everyone and give some number of wins. What I will predict is a very ugly style of football. There will be lots of booing at Pro Player Stadium. Even after wins, fans will be upset at the sheer hideousness of this offense.

I saw the same running crap tonight that I've seen for 3 fucking years. Run on 1st down. That was fine for 230 pound Ricky Williams. Not for 200 pound Travis Minor of Fred Russell. I expect a ton of runs between 2 yards gained and 2 lost.

Ogunleye will be ready by opening day.

Feeley will start at QB.

Minor will start at RB, but be a starter in name only. He'll carry 15 times a game, max.

Donald Lee and Randy McWifebeater (allegedly) will be among the best TE tandems in football.

Wannstedt finishes Week 17 as coach of the team.

Fans gripe about the baseball infield at the Pro.

And finally...

I'll be there for every minute of all ten games.


Chickenhawks of the GOP are at it again


August 15, 2004

Their headline, not mine. Although that was very clever, and in IRL I will take credit for this appropriate heading.

Chickenhawks of the GOP are at it again

The Republicans, once again, are attempting to smear a legitimate American war hero. The laughably named Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ("McCain denounces ad disputing Kerry's war service," Aug. 6) are just the latest in a line of conspirators willing to allege anything to help Republicans maintain control of government.

The men who served on Sen. John Kerry's Swift boat support his presidential campaign. By contrast, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth consist only of individuals who served on Swift boats not commanded by Sen. Kerry.

It began in 2000, when President Bush's crew viciously attacked its main GOP rival, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Faced with a dire struggle in the crucial state of South Carolina, Mr. Bush stood by a Vietnam vet who claimed that Sen. McCain had "come home and forgot us." Not surprisingly, Sen. McCain has denounced the attack ad leveled against Sen. Kerry. During the 2002 midterm elections, the Republicans had the audacity to question the patriotism of Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga. It wasn't enough that the man gave three limbs for his country in Vietnam. Saxby Chambliss, his GOP opponent, ran an ad placing Sen. Cleland's face with those of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Chickenhawks may be the most appropriate word to describe these Republicans who continually question the patriotism of good men. The contrast between the two presidential candidates is clear. Sen. Kerry chose to serve in Vietnam, while men such as George W. Bush found a way out. On the other hand, Mr. Bush cannot even vouch for his Texas Air National Guard duty during the 1970s.


My head IS filled with doubt

It’s such a relief to finally have a second to sit and compile my thoughts. If I were a crying person, tears would be rolling down my face at the moment. I ride in my car and listen to the newest ballads, attempting to rationally envelop my thoughts. A myriad of situations have touched the household over the past week or so. They have affected me personally to various degrees of impact. One that got me thinking tonight was the duel role I have willingly undertaken.

Am I the straight as an arrow guy who’s mature beyond his years? Or am I still the kid that yearns for the acceptance of his peers? I am hopelessly teetering a delicate balance between these two. These two positions come tauntingly close to intersecting, leaving one of my alter egos permanently damaged.

How do I abridge myself when the contrast is painfully clear? Do I betray the trust of one in order to gain the momentary acceptance of another? And how will I feel when I am turned on by the very one I am trying to impress?

While my personality may modify over time, the core of my being will stay relatively intact. I am more analytical than spontaneous, more calculating than carefree. The potential ramifications always outweigh the momentary surge of indecision. This charade I orchestrate will eventually backfire and demonstrate my emotional weakness. Some might call this chalemeleon like, or changing colors to suit an audience.

People often think that I display some sort of intellectual and moral superiority over others. I only wish that were the case. The desire strikes me to wake up one morning and magically discover a personality that was hidden all these years.

Lyrical interlude

And it's hard to lead the life you choose,
All I wanted
When all your lucks run out on you.
All I wanted
And you can't see when all your dreams are coming true.
Oh yeah, it's easy to forget, yeah.
And you choke on the regrets, yeah.
Who the hell did I think I was?

At the end of the day, I do know who the hell I am. I will always be the one, who in the spirit of amiability comes off as hypocritical. Diplomacy is never an easy thing. Only the most deft diplomat can deliver the same spiel to both sides and reach an amicable agreement. Aiming for a semblance of consistency is the best that can be reached for.

Sorry if my prose came off more as a disjointed rambling. The various tangible plots bear very little insight on my duality. I will certainly document the many trials and tribulations that led to my feelings being uncovered.


Saturday, August 14, 2004

I am Morpheus

Since my regular eye-glasses broke earlier tonight, I have been wearing my dark prescription sunglasses. Like the Laurence Fishburne character, I am forced to wear these glasses even in my dark bedroom. They made the already dark "Mystic River" only more morbid. Incidentally, I am also using the Morpheus file sharing system at the moment, but that's neither here nor there.

I'll make this entry rather brief. It's 4:40 now, and I have to do a JDP precinct walk at 9:00 am. Then I'm off to the Pro for Dolphins vs. Jags.

Mystic River was my favorite movie of the past few years. It even surpassed the legendary "Dave". The ending was perhaps the most vexing aspect of this film. Each of the characters justified his killing of Dave. The wife validated his actions by portraying Jimmy as a protector of his family. No sinister deed would be committed without impunity. Even the cop gave tacit approval, or at least acceptance, to his actions. I'll read the Dennis Lehane book to get a clearer picture on this rather perplexing denoumet.

Overall, the Mystic River DVD was not worth the $20 price. There were absolutely zero added features. No deleted scenes, no director's comments, no additional featurettes. I loved the film, but felt the producer should have added even a minimal amount of incentive to purchase this DVD.

I've really got to run now.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Marlins are finished (and more MLB prognostication)

Two consecutive one-run losses has left the Florida Marlins 9 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves and 3 back of second place Philadelphia. They're only 6.5 games back of the Wild Card, but there's too many quality teams they would need to pass to reach first.

I see the playoffs pretty much set except for a race or two. In the AL East, New York's set to cruse by possibly double digits. The acquisition of Freddy Garcia cannot offset the White Sox' loss of sluggers Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez. Surprisingly, Cleveland is in second, 3 games back. Still, Minnesota should win this divisional race. The AL West is the most competitive division race in baseball today. I contend that Oakland has the pitching to win in the regular season. Texas and Anaheim follow closely behind, while Seattle is more than 20 games out. I hope that Boston can eek out the wild card. Currently, they are tied with Anaheim for that spot.

My picks for the AL:
First round matchups- New York Yankees (Homefield) vs. Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics. Incidentally, these would the same matchups as 2003.

The NL is a bit more easy to sort out. Atlanta, St. Louis, and Los Angeles all lead their divisions by at least 6 games. The addition of Nomar makes the Cubs a good bet for the wild card.

Matchups: St. Louis vs. Atlanta, Cubs vs. Dodgers.

Early W.S. predictions- Pitching has shown to be the key in postseason baseball. For all their regular season success, St. Louis doesn't have the ace starters. For that reason, I'll take the Cubs with one caveat. The Kerry Wood and Mark Prior of 2003 should have led the Chicago to their first title since 1908. The Cubs also have Maddux, Zambrano, and Clement to turn to. As much as I hate to pick against my Braves, I have confidence in the Cubs this year.

The American League champions will be none other than the Boston Red Sox. This might seem a little bold considering the Wild Card isn't even a sure thing for this club. Nevertheless, once October comes, Martinez and Schilling will be the difference. And this time, Terry Francona will pull Martinez when need be. With an improved bullpen, there will be no reason for the heartbreak of 2003.

W.S. Champions: For the first time since 1918, the Boston Red Sox. And a few days after the Series ends, Massachusetts' own John Kerry will be elected President of the United States.

I ain't kosher with kids

God damn! I'm starting to think I could never raise kids adequately. Sometimes they really do annoy the fuck out of me, and not in a good way.

That's my vent for this early morning. If the urge strikes me again, I'll do a more thorough analysis.


While I have a brief respite

The last 2 days have worn me out, completely. I have to be up again at 7:00 tomorrow, so I only have time for some cursory comments.

Suffice to say that an unforseen family situation has forced a slight change to my routine. I'll leave the exact details of the crisis only to my select confidants. Nothing earth-shattering, but anything you write online can be traced. I wouldn't want anything to be traced back and cause unrest for the involved parties.

Honestly, I haven't had time to update for a while. However, I am very optimistic about the next batch of entries. Some of them will be thematic. Others will be on the revealable details of the prior days. There is a decent amount of new material to be unveiled shortly. Some of it is already written, but I'm withholding it temporarily. I'm working on a film review, or rather a collection of similar motion pictures.

Certainly enjoying my last moments of summer vacation. Saturday evening is preseason game #1 for the Dolphins. If I can make arrangements for the tickets, my uncle will join me. I can't wait to get a look at dozens of players whom will never play a down of regular season football ever in this league.

My forthcoming entry will be about my Fall 2004 schedule. Hopefully it will be ready on 8/12. If not, expect it by the weekend.



Friday, August 06, 2004

Dolphin Disaster!

The latest misfortune to come out of Dolphin training camp relates to newly acquired WR David Boston. During a schrimage in Houston on Friday, Boston tore a knee ligament and will miss the 2004 season. So, we have no idea who will be the starting QB on September 12. We have a RB who has never started a NFL game. Chris Chambers is are only solid receiver. However, there was some good news. It was revealed this week that charges were dropped against TE Randy McMichael. Hooray for Randy!!!


This defense will have to hold opponents to 14 points per game to give the Dolphins even a chance of success.

I'm Angry!

And it's not because of the lack of sex. Seriously, here's the latest letter to the editor that I wrote. Hoping to be published, I toned down the rhetoric and edited it to 250 words.

To The Palm Beach Post:

The Republicans, once again, are attempting to smear a legitimate American War Hero. The laughably named “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ” are just the latest in a long line of conspirators willing to allege anything in order to help Republicans maintain control of government.

The men who served on Sen. John Kerry’s swift boat actively support his Presidential campaign. By contrast, the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” consist only of individuals who served on other swift boats not commanded by Kerry.
It began in 2000 when President Bush’s crew viciously attacked its main GOP rival, Sen. John McCain. When faced with a dire struggle in the crucial state of South Carolina, Bush stood by a Vietnam vet who claimed that McCain had “come home and forgot us”. Not surprisingly, Sen. McCain has denounced the attack ad leveled against Kerry. During the 2002 mid-term elections, they had the audacity to question the patriotism of Sen. Max Cleland. It wasn’t enough that the man gave three limbs for his country in Vietnam. Saxby Chambliss, his GOP opponent, ran an ad placing Cleland’s face with those of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

“Chickenhawks” may be the most appropriate word to describe these Republicans who continually question the patriotism of good men. The contrast between these two men is clear. Sen. Kerry chose to serve in Vietnam while men like Bush found a way out. On the other hand, Bush cannot even vouch for his Texas Air National Guard duty during the 1970’s.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

I've gotten totally lazy!

Between the daytime TV and political work I've been doing, my blogging performance has lagged. To let everyone know that I haven't yet been shot by a deranged Freeper, I'll occasionally update with an informative or funny piece I find online. Not that I condone his moderately aggressive tactics, but this story is funny as hell.

From Democratic Underground. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x2150557#2156299

KzooDem (1000+ posts)
Tue Aug-03-04 10:33 PMOriginal message
My run in with a rabid, young Freeper this evening....
Edited on Tue Aug-03-04 10:37 PM by KzooDem
Going down the main commercial drag, notice car in the lane next to me sporting a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker. Young college age girl in a late model BMW. Her windows were down.So while we're at the light I yell over to her "Hey...I thought you should know. It looks like someone put a Bush Cheney sticker on the back of your car."I swear to god the scowl she gave me was ten times worse than one of those scowls Condi dishes up. She took her half-eaten burger and hurls it out her passenger window, into my driver's side window where it lands all over my chest and lap.Best part was (I wasn't aware of this, and apparently neither was she) but about two cars back was a police car and I saw the lights go on and the officer pull her over from my rear-view mirror.Would you like an order of freedom fries with that ticket, bitch???

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Case Against George W. Bush, By Ron Reagan

The son of former President Ronald Reagan wrote a damning expose on President (sic) George W. Bush in this month's issue of Esquire Magazine. Below is the text of that article.

It may have been the guy in the hood teetering on the stool, electrodes clamped to his genitals. Or smirking Lynndie England and her leash. Maybe it was the smarmy memos tapped out by soft-fingered lawyers itching to justify such barbarism. The grudging, lunatic retreat of the neocons from their long-standing assertion that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama didn't hurt. Even the Enron audiotapes and their celebration of craven sociopathy likely played a part. As a result of all these displays and countless smaller ones, you could feel, a couple of months back, as summer spread across the country, the ground shifting beneath your feet. Not unlike that scene in The Day After Tomorrow, then in theaters, in which the giant ice shelf splits asunder, this was more a paradigm shift than anything strictly tectonic. No cataclysmic ice age, admittedly, yet something was in the air, and people were inhaling deeply. I began to get calls from friends whose parents had always voted Republican, "but not this time." There was the staid Zbigniew Brzezinski on the staid NewsHour with Jim Lehrer sneering at the "Orwellian language" flowing out of the Pentagon. Word spread through the usual channels that old hands from the days of Bush the Elder were quietly (but not too quietly) appalled by his son's misadventure in Iraq. Suddenly, everywhere you went, a surprising number of folks seemed to have had just about enough of what the Bush administration was dishing out. A fresh age appeared on the horizon, accompanied by the sound of scales falling from people's eyes. It felt something like a demonstration of that highest of American prerogatives and the most deeply cherished American freedom: dissent.

Oddly, even my father's funeral contributed. Throughout that long, stately, overtelevised week in early June, items would appear in the newspaper discussing the Republicans' eagerness to capitalize (subtly, tastefully) on the outpouring of affection for my father and turn it to Bush's advantage for the fall election. The familiar "Heir to Reagan" puffballs were reinflated and loosed over the proceedings like (subtle, tasteful) Mylar balloons. Predictably, this backfired. People were treated to a side-by-side comparison—Ronald W. Reagan versus George W. Bush—and it's no surprise who suffered for it. Misty-eyed with nostalgia, people set aside old political gripes for a few days and remembered what friend and foe always conceded to Ronald Reagan: He was damned impressive in the role of leader of the free world. A sign in the crowd, spotted during the slow roll to the Capitol rotunda, seemed to sum up the mood—a portrait of my father and the words NOW THERE WAS A PRESIDENT.

The comparison underscored something important. And the guy on the stool, Lynndie, and her grinning cohorts, they brought the word: The Bush administration can't be trusted. The parade of Bush officials before various commissions and committees—Paul Wolfowitz, who couldn't quite remember how many young Americans had been sacrificed on the altar of his ideology; John Ashcroft, lip quivering as, for a delicious, fleeting moment, it looked as if Senator Joe Biden might just come over the table at him—these were a continuing reminder. The Enron creeps, too—a reminder of how certain environments and particular habits of mind can erode common decency. People noticed. A tipping point had been reached. The issue of credibility was back on the table. The L-word was in circulation. Not the tired old bromide liberal. That's so 1988. No, this time something much more potent: liar.

Politicians will stretch the truth. They'll exaggerate their accomplishments, paper over their gaffes. Spin has long been the lingua franca of the political realm. But George W. Bush and his administration have taken "normal" mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience. On top of the usual massaging of public perception, they traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic small lies, and, ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on.

None of this, needless to say, guarantees Bush a one-term presidency. The far-right wing of the country—nearly one third of us by some estimates—continues to regard all who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid (liberals, rationalists, Europeans, et cetera) as agents of Satan. Bush could show up on video canoodling with Paris Hilton and still bank their vote. Right-wing talking heads continue painting anyone who fails to genuflect deeply enough as a "hater," and therefore a nut job, probably a crypto-Islamist car bomber. But these protestations have taken on a hysterical, almost comically desperate tone. It's one thing to get trashed by Michael Moore. But when Nobel laureates, a vast majority of the scientific community, and a host of current and former diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military officials line up against you, it becomes increasingly difficult to characterize the opposition as fringe wackos.

Does anyone really favor an administration that so shamelessly lies? One that so tenaciously clings to secrecy, not to protect the American people, but to protect itself? That so willfully misrepresents its true aims and so knowingly misleads the people from whom it derives its power? I simply cannot think so. And to come to the same conclusion does not make you guilty of swallowing some liberal critique of the Bush presidency, because that's not what this is. This is the critique of a person who thinks that lying at the top levels of his government is abhorrent. Call it the honest guy's critique of George W. Bush.

THE MOST EGREGIOUS EXAMPLES OF distortion and misdirection—which the administration even now cannot bring itself to repudiate—involve our putative "War on Terror" and our subsequent foray into Iraq.

During his campaign for the presidency, Mr. Bush pledged a more "humble" foreign policy. "I would take the use of force very seriously," he said. "I would be guarded in my approach." Other countries would resent us "if we're an arrogant nation." He sniffed at the notion of "nation building." "Our military is meant to fight and win wars. . . . And when it gets overextended, morale drops." International cooperation and consensus building would be the cornerstone of a Bush administration's approach to the larger world. Given candidate Bush's remarks, it was hard to imagine him, as president, flipping a stiff middle finger at the world and charging off adventuring in the Middle East.

But didn't 9/11 reshuffle the deck, changing everything? Didn't Mr. Bush, on September 12, 2001, awaken to the fresh realization that bad guys in charge of Islamic nations constitute an entirely new and grave threat to us and have to be ruthlessly confronted lest they threaten the American homeland again? Wasn't Saddam Hussein rushed to the front of the line because he was complicit with the hijackers and in some measure responsible for the atrocities in Washington, D. C., and at the tip of Manhattan?

Well, no.

As Bush's former Treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, and his onetime "terror czar," Richard A. Clarke, have made clear, the president, with the enthusiastic encouragement of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, was contemplating action against Iraq from day one. "From the start, we were building the case against Hussein and looking at how we could take him out," O'Neill said. All they needed was an excuse. Clarke got the same impression from within the White House. Afghanistan had to be dealt with first; that's where the actual perpetrators were, after all. But the Taliban was a mere appetizer; Saddam was the entrée. (Or who knows? The soup course?) It was simply a matter of convincing the American public (and our representatives) that war was justified.

The real—but elusive—prime mover behind the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, was quickly relegated to a back burner (a staff member at Fox News—the cable-TV outlet of the Bush White House—told me a year ago that mere mention of bin Laden's name was forbidden within the company, lest we be reminded that the actual bad guy remained at large) while Saddam's Iraq became International Enemy Number One. Just like that, a country whose economy had been reduced to shambles by international sanctions, whose military was less than half the size it had been when the U. S. Army rolled over it during the first Gulf war, that had extensive no-flight zones imposed on it in the north and south as well as constant aerial and satellite surveillance, and whose lethal weapons and capacity to produce such weapons had been destroyed or seriously degraded by UN inspection teams became, in Mr. Bush's words, "a threat of unique urgency" to the most powerful nation on earth.

Fanciful but terrifying scenarios were introduced: Unmanned aircraft, drones, had been built for missions targeting the U. S., Bush told the nation. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice deadpanned to CNN. And, Bush maintained, "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists." We "know" Iraq possesses such weapons, Rumsfeld and Vice-President Cheney assured us. We even "know" where they are hidden. After several months of this mumbo jumbo, 70 percent of Americans had embraced the fantasy that Saddam destroyed the World Trade Center.

ALL THESE ASSERTIONS have proved to be baseless and, we've since discovered, were regarded with skepticism by experts at the time they were made. But contrary opinions were derided, ignored, or covered up in the rush to war. Even as of this writing, Dick Cheney clings to his mad assertion that Saddam was somehow at the nexus of a worldwide terror network.

And then there was Abu Ghraib. Our "war president" may have been justified in his assumption that Americans are a warrior people. He pushed the envelope in thinking we'd be content as an occupying power, but he was sadly mistaken if he thought that ordinary Americans would tolerate an image of themselves as torturers. To be fair, the torture was meant to be secret. So were the memos justifying such treatment that had floated around the White House, Pentagon, and Justice Department for more than a year before the first photos came to light. The neocons no doubt appreciate that few of us have the stones to practice the New Warfare. Could you slip a pair of women's panties over the head of a naked, cowering stranger while forcing him to masturbate? What would you say while sodomizing him with a toilet plunger? Is keeping someone awake till he hallucinates inhumane treatment or merely "sleep management"?

Most of us know the answers to these questions, so it was incumbent upon the administration to pretend that Abu Ghraib was an aberration, not policy. Investigations, we were assured, were already under way; relevant bureaucracies would offer unstinting cooperation; the handful of miscreants would be sternly disciplined. After all, they didn't "represent the best of what America's all about." As anyone who'd watched the proceedings of the 9/11 Commission could have predicted, what followed was the usual administration strategy of stonewalling, obstruction, and obfuscation. The appointment of investigators was stalled; documents were withheld, including the full report by Major General Antonio Taguba, who headed the Army's primary investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib. A favorite moment for many featured John McCain growing apoplectic as Donald Rumsfeld and an entire tableful of army brass proved unable to answer the simple question Who was in charge at Abu Ghraib?

The Bush administration no doubt had its real reasons for invading and occupying Iraq. They've simply chosen not to share them with the American public. They sought justification for ignoring the Geneva Convention and other statutes prohibiting torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners but were loath to acknowledge as much. They may have ideas worth discussing, but they don't welcome the rest of us in the conversation. They don't trust us because they don't dare expose their true agendas to the light of day. There is a surreal quality to all this: Occupation is liberation; Iraq is sovereign, but we're in control; Saddam is in Iraqi custody, but we've got him; we'll get out as soon as an elected Iraqi government asks us, but we'll be there for years to come. Which is what we counted on in the first place, only with rose petals and easy coochie.

This Möbius reality finds its domestic analogue in the perversely cynical "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests" sloganeering at Bush's EPA and in the administration's irresponsible tax cutting and other fiscal shenanigans. But the Bush administration has always worn strangely tinted shades, and you wonder to what extent Mr. Bush himself lives in a world of his own imagining.

And chances are your America and George W. Bush's America are not the same place. If you are dead center on the earning scale in real-world twenty-first-century America, you make a bit less than $32,000 a year, and $32,000 is not a sum that Mr. Bush has ever associated with getting by in his world. Bush, who has always managed to fail upwards in his various careers, has never had a job the way you have a job—where not showing up one morning gets you fired, costing you your health benefits. He may find it difficult to relate personally to any of the nearly two million citizens who've lost their jobs under his administration, the first administration since Herbert Hoover's to post a net loss of jobs. Mr. Bush has never had to worry that he couldn't afford the best available health care for his children. For him, forty-three million people without health insurance may be no more than a politically inconvenient abstraction. When Mr. Bush talks about the economy, he is not talking about your economy. His economy is filled with pals called Kenny-boy who fly around in their own airplanes. In Bush's economy, his world, friends relocate offshore to avoid paying taxes. Taxes are for chumps like you. You are not a friend. You're the help. When the party Mr. Bush is hosting in his world ends, you'll be left picking shrimp toast out of the carpet.

ALL ADMINISTRATIONS WILL DISSEMBLE, distort, or outright lie when their backs are against the wall, when honesty begins to look like political suicide. But this administration seems to lie reflexively, as if it were simply the easiest option for busy folks with a lot on their minds. While the big lies are more damning and of immeasurably greater import to the nation, it is the small, unnecessary prevarications that may be diagnostic. Who lies when they don't have to? When the simple truth, though perhaps embarrassing in the short run, is nevertheless in one's long-term self-interest? Why would a president whose calling card is his alleged rock-solid integrity waste his chief asset for penny-ante stakes? Habit, perhaps. Or an inability to admit even small mistakes.

Mr. Bush's tendency to meander beyond the bounds of truth was evident during the 2000 campaign but was largely ignored by the mainstream media. His untruths simply didn't fit the agreed-upon narrative. While generally acknowledged to be lacking in experience, depth, and other qualifications typically considered useful in a leader of the free world, Bush was portrayed as a decent fellow nonetheless, one whose straightforwardness was a given. None of that "what the meaning of is is" business for him. And, God knows, no furtive, taxpayer-funded fellatio sessions with the interns. Al Gore, on the other hand, was depicted as a dubious self-reinventor, stained like a certain blue dress by Bill Clinton's prurient transgressions. He would spend valuable weeks explaining away statements—"I invented the Internet"—that he never made in the first place. All this left the coast pretty clear for Bush.

Scenario typical of the 2000 campaign: While debating Al Gore, Bush tells two obvious—if not exactly earth-shattering—lies and is not challenged. First, he claims to have supported a patient's bill of rights while governor of Texas. This is untrue. He, in fact, vigorously resisted such a measure, only reluctantly bowing to political reality and allowing it to become law without his signature. Second, he announces that Gore has outspent him during the campaign. The opposite is true: Bush has outspent Gore. These misstatements are briefly acknowledged in major press outlets, which then quickly return to the more germane issues of Gore's pancake makeup and whether a certain feminist author has counseled him to be more of an "alpha male."

Having gotten away with such witless falsities, perhaps Mr. Bush and his team felt somehow above day-to-day truth. In any case, once ensconced in the White House, they picked up where they left off.

IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH and confusion of 9/11, Bush, who on that day was in Sarasota, Florida, conducting an emergency reading of "The Pet Goat," was whisked off to Nebraska aboard Air Force One. While this may have been entirely sensible under the chaotic circumstances—for all anyone knew at the time, Washington might still have been under attack—the appearance was, shall we say, less than gallant. So a story was concocted: There had been a threat to Air Force One that necessitated the evasive maneuver. Bush's chief political advisor, Karl Rove, cited "specific" and "credible" evidence to that effect. The story quickly unraveled. In truth, there was no such threat.

Then there was Bush's now infamous photo-op landing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and his subsequent speech in front of a large banner emblazoned MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. The banner, which loomed in the background as Bush addressed the crew, became problematic as it grew clear that the mission in Iraq—whatever that may have been—was far from accomplished. "Major combat operations," as Bush put it, may have technically ended, but young Americans were still dying almost daily. So the White House dealt with the questionable banner in a manner befitting a president pledged to "responsibility and accountability": It blamed the sailors. No surprise, a bit of digging by journalists revealed the banner and its premature triumphalism to be the work of the White House communications office.

More serious by an order of magnitude was the administration's dishonesty concerning pre-9/11 terror warnings. As questions first arose about the country's lack of preparedness in the face of terrorist assault, Condoleezza Rice was dispatched to the pundit arenas to assure the nation that "no one could have imagined terrorists using aircraft as weapons." In fact, terrorism experts had warned repeatedly of just such a calamity. In June 2001, CIA director George Tenet sent Rice an intelligence report warning that "it is highly likely that a significant Al Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks." Two intelligence briefings given to Bush in the summer of 2001 specifically connected Al Qaeda to the imminent danger of hijacked planes being used as weapons. According to The New York Times, after the second of these briefings, titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside United States," was delivered to the president at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, in August, Bush "broke off from work early and spent most of the day fishing." This was the briefing Dr. Rice dismissed as "historical" in her testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

What's odd is that none of these lies were worth the breath expended in the telling. If only for self-serving political reasons, honesty was the way to go. The flight of Air Force One could easily have been explained in terms of security precautions taken in the confusion of momentous events. As for the carrier landing, someone should have fallen on his or her sword at the first hint of trouble: We told the president he needed to do it; he likes that stuff and was gung-ho; we figured, What the hell?; it was a mistake. The banner? We thought the sailors would appreciate it. In retrospect, also a mistake. Yup, we sure feel dumb now. Owning up to the 9/11 warnings would have entailed more than simple embarrassment. But done forthrightly and immediately, an honest reckoning would have earned the Bush team some respect once the dust settled. Instead, by needlessly tap-dancing, Bush's White House squandered vital credibility, turning even relatively minor gaffes into telling examples of its tendency to distort and evade the truth.

But image is everything in this White House, and the image of George Bush as a noble and infallible warrior in the service of his nation must be fanatically maintained, because behind the image lies . . . nothing? As Jonathan Alter of Newsweek has pointed out, Bush has "never fully inhabited" the presidency. Bush apologists can smilingly excuse his malopropisms and vagueness as the plainspokenness of a man of action, but watching Bush flounder when attempting to communicate extemporaneously, one is left with the impression that he is ineloquent not because he can't speak but because he doesn't bother to think.

GEORGE W. BUSH PROMISED to "change the tone in Washington" and ran for office as a moderate, a "compassionate conservative," in the focus-group-tested sloganeering of his campaign. Yet he has governed from the right wing of his already conservative party, assiduously tending a "base" that includes, along with the expected Fortune 500 fat cats, fiscal evangelicals who talk openly of doing away with Social Security and Medicare, of shrinking government to the size where they can, in tax radical Grover Norquist's phrase, "drown it in the bathtub." That base also encompasses a healthy share of anti-choice zealots, homophobic bigots, and assorted purveyors of junk science. Bush has tossed bones to all of them—"partial birth" abortion legislation, the promise of a constitutional amendment banning marriage between homosexuals, federal roadblocks to embryonic-stem-cell research, even comments suggesting presidential doubts about Darwinian evolution. It's not that Mr. Bush necessarily shares their worldview; indeed, it's unclear whether he embraces any coherent philosophy. But this president, who vowed to eschew politics in favor of sound policy, panders nonetheless in the interest of political gain. As John DiIulio, Bush's former head of the Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives, once told this magazine, "What you've got is everything—and I mean everything—being run by the political arm."

This was not what the American electorate opted for when, in 2000, by a slim but decisive margin of more than half a million votes, they chose . . . the other guy. Bush has never had a mandate. Surveys indicate broad public dissatisfaction with his domestic priorities. How many people would have voted for Mr. Bush in the first place had they understood his eagerness to pass on crushing debt to our children or seen his true colors regarding global warming and the environment? Even after 9/11, were people really looking to be dragged into an optional war under false pretenses?

If ever there was a time for uniting and not dividing, this is it. Instead, Mr. Bush governs as if by divine right, seeming to actually believe that a wise God wants him in the White House and that by constantly evoking the horrible memory of September 11, 2001, he can keep public anxiety stirred up enough to carry him to another term.

UNDERSTANDABLY, SOME SUPPORTERS of Mr. Bush's will believe I harbor a personal vendetta against the man, some seething resentment. One conservative commentator, based on earlier remarks I've made, has already discerned "jealousy" on my part; after all, Bush, the son of a former president, now occupies that office himself, while I, most assuredly, will not. Truth be told, I have no personal feelings for Bush at all. I hardly know him, having met him only twice, briefly and uneventfully—once during my father's presidency and once during my father's funeral. I'll acknowledge occasional annoyance at the pretense that he's somehow a clone of my father, but far from threatening, I see this more as silly and pathetic. My father, acting roles excepted, never pretended to be anyone but himself. His Republican party, furthermore, seems a far cry from the current model, with its cringing obeisance to the religious Right and its kill-anything-that-moves attack instincts. Believe it or not, I don't look in the mirror every morning and see my father looming over my shoulder. I write and speak as nothing more or less than an American citizen, one who is plenty angry about the direction our country is being dragged by the current administration. We have reached a critical juncture in our nation's history, one ripe with both danger and possibility. We need leadership with the wisdom to prudently confront those dangers and the imagination to boldly grasp the possibilities. Beyond issues of fiscal irresponsibility and ill-advised militarism, there is a question of trust. George W. Bush and his allies don't trust you and me. Why on earth, then, should we trust them?

Fortunately, we still live in a democratic republic. The Bush team cannot expect a cabal of right-wing justices to once again deliver the White House. Come November 2, we will have a choice: We can embrace a lie, or we can restore a measure of integrity to our government. We can choose, as a bumper sticker I spotted in Seattle put it, SOMEONE ELSE FOR PRESIDENT.