17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists

[The following is from http://michaelmoore.com/, but I’m reproducing it here for when he updates his site and it goes away]

Dear Friends,

Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let’s, in the words of Monty Python, “always look on the bright side of life!” There IS some good news from Tuesday’s election.

Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

  1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.
  2. Bush’s victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
  3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults (Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always wrong and you should never listen to them.
  4. In spite of Bush’s win, the majority of Americans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn’t worth fighting (51%), and don’t approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don’t try to figure this one out. It’s an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)
  5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won’t be able to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say “if the Democrats do their job?” Um, maybe better to scratch this one.
  6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that’s a start. We’ve got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava. And no more show tunes!
  7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut—a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut. May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.
  8. 88% of Bush’s support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn’t such a long time! If you’re ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.
  9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won’t have to buy now.
  10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress, including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It’s always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates can’t.
  11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!
  12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don’t want them to go away.
  13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3 chambers in Tuesday’s elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the 2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53 chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47 chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber (Montana House) is still undecided.
  14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than the one he’s having this week. It’s all downhill for him from here on out—and, more significantly, he’s just not going to want to do all the hard work that will be expected of him. It’ll be like everyone’s last month in 12th grade—you’ve already made it, so it’s party time! Perhaps he’ll treat the next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn’t he? He’s already proved his point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.
  15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn’t ever need to pander to the Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear that he should spend these last four years building “a legacy” so that history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and arrogant—and thus, reckless—that he will commit a blunder of such major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from office.
  16. There are nearly 300 million Americans—200 million of them of voting age. We only lost by three and a half million! That’s not a landslide—it means we’re almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go home crying—especially when you get to start the next down on the three yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are coming!!!
  17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed “The #1 Liberal in the Senate.” That’s more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this—that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals—that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that’s BIG news. Which means, don’t expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it’s better that they don’t. We’ll need the element of surprise in 2008.

Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, “My Romanian grandfather used to say to me, ‘Remember, Morton, this is such a wonderful country—it doesn’t even need a president!'”

But it needs us. Rest up, I’ll write you again tomorrow.


Michael Moore


So What Do We Do?

As folks may have noticed, I’ve changed my political icon yet again. I hope our present leadership remembers the words of a very great Republican, who also faced a divided country. He knew the value of unity.

So, what do we do now. I suggest the following. First, financially support organizations dedicated to ensuring that our rights are protected. The ACLU. Organizations dedicated to preserving privacy and freedoms. Do what you can to make this world a better place for the downtrodden, as our government will not.

This coming Sunday, at least at our Temple, is Mitzvah Day. Get thee out and do something good for the world. That’s a place to start.


Words to Think On.

Wonderful words from lordandrei, which everyone should read and take to heart:

As long as I am a citizen of this land where they say I can speak as I will (As long as I don’t incite to panic or make threats against our administration; of which I do neither)…. I will speak as I will. I will speak until I am hoarse. I will keep speaking even when they have told me to stop. I will fight both sides of the issues until they bloody well shake hands and say, “Ah, that was it.”

I will fight, rip, tear, shred, rend. Until polarization is a thing of the past. I will NOT allow the politicians to neatly stack up buzzwords like chess pieces until they can build the perfect stalemate that renders the voice and will of the people undone.

Damn straight! I couldn’t have said it better. Let me also add these words said by Vladmir Jabotinsky, an early Zionist:

After every failure, it is necessary to examine yourself and ask: “Look here, perhaps you are wrong?”. If you are wrong, get off the rostrum and shut up. But if you are right, do not believe your eyes: that defeat is no defeat. ‘No’ is no answer. Wait an hour, and start all over again from the beginning.


Musings on an Election…

Although the major networks are divided on their vote calls (Fox and NBC have Bush at 269 vs Kerry at 231, whereas CNN/AP are 254/253), it seems likely that President Bush will be reelected. After the obligatory “damn”, some observations.


But we are a democracy, and in a democracy, sometimes your candidate loses. That’s life. It’s still a much better system that is in place in much of the rest of the world. I have no plans to move. But what does this election show us.

First, we are clearly a country divided. The last two elections have shown this in their closeness, but even more so, in how the vote has been distributed. Although the Electoral College is close, there is a significant divide between the urban centers and the rural heartland. There’s a divide between the South and Plains vs. the Coast and Northeast. The midwest is clearly divided. I don’t believe President Bush will work to eliminate that divide: his advisors having playing only to his strengths, and ignoring those who disagree. Perhaps that will change now that he is a lame duck president. However, it also points out something that must be done by the Democratic Party: Democrats must figure out a way to change this divide.

My daughter recently did a project on LBJ; there was also an NPR report last night on the LBJ/Goldwater election. LBJ is in many ways an underestimated president. Our civil rights in this country can really be attributed to the strength of this Democratic Southerner, but so can our long stream of Republican Presidents, for LBJ’s handling of the south is what gave the south to the GOP, cemented by Nixon and Reagan. How do the Democrats get back the South? I just don’t know.

So what won the election for the GOP? The answer is simple: voter turnout. We had a record voter turnout this election, but the GOP did a better job at getting out the White Evangelical Protestants in the rural areas of battleground states. This is what turned the election to them. I heard one poll that showed we had more 18-24 voters, but the percentage was the same as in prior elections. What happened to the Democratic “Get Out The Vote” machine? The election is not won by Internet exhortations to vote, but physically getting people to the polls.

Did Bush’s message resonate with people? I don’t know; certainly not in California. However, he did win the popular vote: there’s no disputing that. So he may be more skillful than we thought, at least in how he crafts and presents his message. It obviously hit home for a lot of folks (although not me).

So, it looks like we’ve got four more years of Bush. Is there any hope? I think so. First, I don’t think Cheney will run in 2008 (and if he did, I don’t think he would win). Thus, the 2008 election is going to be wide open. We may see Hillary run then, or some new star of the Democratic Party. Perhaps McCain might run on the GOP side. But do we need to wait until 2008? No. We need to make an effort to take back the house and the senate in 2006. We can’t let the GOP control all branches of government: what makes America work is the checks and balances. We can also work to elect politicians that use their brains instead of being party rubber stamps. We can work to make our current representatives more effective. We have a representative government: we need to let them know what we think so they can represent us.

We’ll get through this. The country is resiliant, and the world won’t come to an end. But still… damn.

Update: My old PS was deleted, as I changed icons. This new icon is in honor of the divided country that our president created.


One Icon Retired, One Soon To Be Retired

I have just voted, and so, election season 2004 (for me, at least) is hopefully over. Thus, I’m now retiring my icon to the right in favor of a new political post icon. Hopefully, in a few hours, we’ll confirm that another icon will follow in the tradition of John Quincy Adams, and be the second son of a president to be elected and serve only one term.

Thus, my new icon. Can you identify all the political buttons? Can you identify the cartographic impossibility?

Update: And things change quickly. The button icon has been retired already, in favor of the Lincoln quote. I have preserved it here, however, so this post makes sense.



Today, the long election season hopefully comes to an end, modulo voting challenges. I’ve indicated who I’m voting for, but unlike a lot of other folks, I haven’t voted yet. I normally get to work before polls open, and thus have to vote after work. Hopefully, the lines won’t be too long.

This has been a long election season. Enduring it has been hard. Even in California, where we’re weren’t subjected to intense Presidential politicing (only fundraising), it gets tiring. You want the election to be over, and for your guy to win. Its tiring.

And I’m just plain tired. Not sleepy, but worn out. I’ve been doing so much for so long I think it is finally catching up with me, and my spirit is waning. I’m working on fixing the problem, but I haven’t fixed it yet.

In particular, I just want my dad to be well again. I want to be able to call and talk to him on the phone. I’m tired of calling the hospital twice a day, and getting approximately the same reports. I’m tired of seeing him there (literally or figuratively), unable to do anything, knowing that he wants to fight back, to communicate, but he can’t. Yet, in my gut, I know we’re doing the right thing, because this is a recoverable thing: it’s not a long term non-recoverable chronic condition. Yet its still hard.

That’s not the only endurance thing I’m thinking about. The tutorial deliveries for ACSAC are starting to come in. This will mark my 14th year of doing tutorials, and my 4th and last year as conference chair. That’s also tiring. I’m looking forward to December, after the conference is over.

Endurance. Its something we all need, sometimes more than others.

May we all get some sleep tonight, and discover a new and better world tomorrow.


My Endorsements

The following is a summary of my endorsements:

President John F. Kerry (D), for President
John Edwards (D), for Vice President
United States
Barbara Boxer (D)
United States

27th District
Brad Sherman (D)

39th District
Cindy Montanez (D)
Office #18
Office #29
Office #52
Office #53
Office #69
Mildred Escobedo
Gus Gomez
Laura F. Priver
Daniel Zeke Zeidler
Donna Groman
State Measures
* indicates a change from my previous posting
1A Yes 65 No
59 Yes* 66 No*
60 Yes* 67 No
60A Yes 68 No
61 No 69 No*
62 No 70 No
63 No 71 Yes
64 Yes 72 No
Los Angeles City/
County Measures
A No O Yes

Remember: You don’t have a voice if you don’t bother to vote. Please vote.