I've set up a multi-author social blog to be used by my part-time blogger friends who don't want one of their own. Send me a note if you'd like to be able to write on For Consideration

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mad as hell?

In response to my decision to open Inside Zebster up as a forum for others' opinions and viewpoints leading up to the November 7 election, we have this submission by E-Campaigner 2006.


Yes, indeed we voters are mad as hell. That Peter Finch/Howard Beale character from the movie Network would have no problem agitating today for us to get up out of our chairs, go over to the window, throw it open and yell as loud as we can, "We're as mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore." Then, after that, on November 7th, we really "mad as hell" voters will go off to the polling booth and vote against as many incumbents as we can.

Voters are not going to take it anymore from Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, and William Jefferson. They also don’t want to put up with those guys’ unindicted co-conspirators, enablers, and aiders and abettors in D.C. who have been screwing us over for as long as we can remember. Some of these criminals have been outed but there are hundreds more in the woodwork, and the Capitol Building just needs to be plain fumigated.

An anti-incumbent tsunami can hit on Election Day, but it is up to the voters.

We have a hell of a powerful tool at our fingertips – the Internet. Let’s use it.

Let’s get going.

Send emails to newspapers, TV and radio stations, friends, acquaintances, favorite pets, co-workers, and anyone else you can think of, telling them you are as mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.

If any voters want, I'll give you email addresses to send to.

Or you give me email addresses you would like me to email to, and I'll do it.

Contact me at

And, oh yeh, catch a viewing of Peter Finch/Howard Beale as soon as you can:

Please make him feel welcome and supported by leaving comments.

Inside Zebster open forum

Given that I'm too busy right now with my new job and not blogging anything close to daily, I want to open Inside Zebster up as a place to post other people's thoughts on issues related to the upcoming election. I have one piece I'll be putting up shortly. I welcome people from all perspectives to offer up their opinions. I don't plan on editing what you'd write but would reserve the right to ask that something be revised by you before I post that, though I think it's unlikely I'd feel the need to do that.

If you're interested, leave a comment here and/or email me. And hurry up, the election is a week away. Plus, I'll definitely be putting something up very soon regarding the exchanges today between John Kerry, President Bush and John McCain.

Monday, October 30, 2006

No one to blame but yourself

If you buy all the negative ads that have no substance, no proof, no facts aimed at a candidate from the party opposite the one you're aligned with because you're just looking for a reason to support your current good-for-nothing, rubber-stamp incumbent, then you'll have no one to blame but yourself when nothing changes (even worse, if you don't vote at all).
As I've done time and time before, I urge everyone to vote; but equally as important I urge you to take a step back and look at the issues and the candidates with a fresh and open mind, as painful and distasteful as that may be for you. Also, look at all the issues and prioritize their importance, because you're going to be asked to vote for a candidate because he/she supports a "pet" issue of yours. They're hoping you'll ignore or excuse their mistakes and incompetence and even lies because they've brought pork to your district. Ask yourself what is truly most important, research that issue and the candidates' stance on that issue.
You know what? Sorry I've been too busy lately to write and the above is far from my best work. Just throw them all out and start'll feel better, I promise. If nothing else, we'll end up with at least some oversight for the first time in a while. It is possible! Just think what a message it would send if you decided to vote entirely for incumbents and you got just one person to do the same, and that one person got one person to do the same, and so on. You know what you'd have? A true democracy.

For those who care, I hope to get a chance to make some recommendations, my reasons for supporting certain candidates. I can tell you now though that the overriding theme will be anti-incumbency, but I will have more reasons than that if I have time to do it at all.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Anti-incumbent fever or anti-majority?

You've seen me comment, rant and encourage on this blog many times about my views regarding the voters' pathetic record regarding voting for who they're familiar with much more than who they believe to be the better candidate based on information. I've encouraged readers to research voting records and issues before deciding on a candidate.
Do the latest poll numbers, such as this one from The Washington Post, show that voters are finally getting wise and getting informed, therefore ready to clean out incumbents and start over, or do the polls simply indicate a dissatisfaction with the party in power?
Seems to me it's a justifiable dissatisfaction with the party in power, the Republicans; and for many, many good reasons. You can fill in the blanks yourself. While I think that's a good place to start, if the mindset of the voter doesn't include the realization that much that we're dissatisfied with can be attributed to overall complacency and arrogance, it will only be a start to a necessary house cleaning without a finish.
People need to realize that the minority party plays many of the same games, is beholding to many of the same special interests as well as specific ones of their own, has not done their job of being a watchdog on corruption (in fact, has joined in) and thus have failed us nearly as much as the Republicans have.
So while you're frustrated, angry and ready to kick the "bad guys" out by voting against the Republicans, realize that you're only doing half the job, therefore really not accomplishing anything, if you don't include the Democrats in your anti-incumbent passion. You'll simply be rewarding them for not being as bad, when in fact they are just as bad, just not in a position to take as much advantage of their power as Republicans.

So while I personally would rather see the Democrats in power come November than the Republicans (and that would be a good thing), it falls far short of my ultimate goal of a complete reforming of the system (read my previous series on Representative Govt) by infusing Congress with new blood, especially independents. While the Democrats will take advantage of the current climate, not infusing true independents into the mix and thus giving Americans more real choices and new ideas fixes nothing in the long run.

Cross posted in large part on

ANNOUNCEMENT: I've started writing also at VOID, Vote Out Incumbents Democracy, the blogsite of an unconnected PAC whose mission is much as I've laid out here and other places, a perfect fit for the Zebster. I'll mostly be compiling poll data into short anti-incumbent updates, as well as the occasional editorial piece.

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea open thread

I'd be very interested to know what you think is the way(s) to deal with KIM Jong Il's rogue North Korea, now that they've apparently successfully tested a nuclear weapon.

Do we essentially continue a strategy of containment which doesn't appear to be containing much but the growth of the people? What else can you take away by way of sanctions? It would appear that his people going without is not a deterrent to this clown.
I've heard it suggested we offer China that we'll remove our troops from S. Korea in exchange for them taking out this leadership. Interesting theoretically but does China even have that ability, though they'd certainly be interested in no longer essentially having our troops on their border.
One of the biggest deterrents to military action has been all those North Korean missiles aimed at South Korea. That aside, what military action would make a difference? We're stretched awfully thin as it is militarily, but would you propose a surgical strike to try to take out the leadership or bombing them back to the stone age (oh, that's right, they're already back in the stone age)?
Do we just de facto ignore it, while using words of condemnation? They are not a threat today, especially since they can't seem to get rockets to work; but there's always the chance they could sell what they've learned.
Any thoughts?

On a personal note: Having my stepson on the border there makes me wary of where this may lead.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Unfortunate consequence

While to many the Foley scandal's potential to be the final nail in the coffin of the Republican stranglehold on our government may be a blessing, what it also unfortunately does is take our eyes off more important issues.

If you assume for the sake of argument that even without the Foley scandal the Republicans would have lost the House anyway, then you could actually posit the idea that this scandal works to the benefit of those who have things to hide, who still have a sizeable percentage of the voting public fooled.

So while the press and American public is fixated yet again on its favorite type of scandal, sex, their prying eyes and minds are now not so much on Iraq, Iran, North Korea, the countless other examples of corruption, the deficit, habeas corpus, the Constitution, Congress' dereliction of duty in being a counterbalance to the powers of the Presidency, et cetera ad nauseum.

As I've said many, many times before, we get what we deserve when our tastes lean toward the most salacious of scandals instead of matters of real consequence. This is why I and others will continue to harp on what's important to our country and its citizens.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Circling the wagons

So the President comes out and says he knows Rep. Hastert and reassures us that Hastert wants to get to the bottom of the Foley mess, essentially that Hastert had nothing to do with a cover-up. Well, I feel reassured, thank you. Partisan support instead of a call for investigation always makes me feel better. How about you? "Let's rally around our cronies like they've done for us until we figure out the facts and then have a chance to spin it to the public."

Mr. President, if you want to reassure the public, then don't jump to anyone's aid until you know the facts. Tell the American public you insist on a full investigation and that you will see to it that anyone who covered up or had information and failed to act is punished. Instead you sent a message loud and clear that circling the wagons to hold on to power is what is most important to you and yours.

And talk about circling the wagons, is that what Rep. Reynolds was doing yesterday when he held a news conference surrounded by children? What exactly was the message that was trying to be conveyed there? That if he surrounds himself with children, then he couldn't possibly have known about risks to other children and did nothing? I won't even go into what it means that Mr. Reynolds refused to have the little children removed from the press conference so that journalists could ask questions of an adult nature about which a press conference was held to discuss an incident of an adult nature.

As for Hastert's noble actions, instead of getting to the bottom of the issue, he's making the rounds of conservative radio talk shows rallying or reassuring the base. Like anyone who listens to Rush Limbaugh listens because they want to know the truth about something; that that's the place of the moral high ground.

What actions like these always seem to indicate is where there's smoke there's probably fire. They'll circle the wagons of denial and ignorance until they can find a loophole to squirm through.

How about you reassure us with leadership and action? Tell us all that you know and when you knew it and what you did about it, and demand that level of transparency from all others. Next thing you know they'll be blaming the other guy -- oops, too late -- or blaming the other party -- oops, too late -- or, even most cowardly of all, blaming the Pages themselves -- sigh.
Cross posted on Watchblog

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I for Integrity (Representative Govt VI)

As it is becoming more and more painfully obvious that those we've elected have betrayed us, we must find the strength of conviction to set aside our partisan tendencies to believe those we want to believe and instead think for ourselves and demand from each and every one of them a strength of conviction, the courage to stand alone if need be and do what is right. Those who falsely hide behind the R of Righteousness and those who hide behind the D of Defender of the common man, only to prey on our society for their own gain, must be replaced by those of true Integrity, by those whose only motivation is to serve the country. Country before party, country before narrow ideology, country before self. They do exist and more of them will step to the fore with the winds of change...all we have to do is encourage them by voting for the independent thinker at every opportunity.

We are as much to blame as the politicians for the unfortunate state of our country, of our society. Where once we were trusted and looked upon as a country to follow, as a country whose government and citizens prized above all else the betterment of all, we are now seen as a country of pariahs, as a country with no integrity, as a country swayed by political winds at the expense of mankind.

If our elected officials will not have the courage and conviction to change their ways, will at least the voters of this country come November have the strength to look hard and strong in the mirror of self-examination, of realization that they do what they do at our bidding and that we now bid adeau.

There is still time, still an opportunity to vote not for a candidate who claims to stand for your prized issue at the expense of overall good but to vote for candidates who will in your stead examine every issue on balance. Do you have the courage to vote for independents, knowing that you could be "wasting" your vote and risking giving an election to the "enemy?" We all fear that, and it is that fear that's kept us from exercising our true power and reforming this political nightmare. But remember this, while the Republicans try to rally their base and Democrats will do likewise, if we independents all vote for independents, the others can rally all they want in futility because there are more of us than either of them alone. That would send a message for sure, but wouldn't it send an even stronger message if their bases did turn out but voted for independents as well?

Is it more important to you that your side wins and that, therefore, your handful of favorite issues might prevail or is it more important to you that this country is set once again on a path of intellectual reason over almighty dollar? There is no time like the present to start to turn this around. I for one plan to vote for every independent I can come November. Maybe I'll be wasting my vote, but I'll sleep well knowing I didn't encourage a process where he who has the most to spend wins. I'll know that if my underfunded candidate wins, that person will not have been bought by special interest. I encourage every one who reads this to do the same, cast a vote for Integrity, for Independent thought and Independent political power.

Cross posted at Watchblog