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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

Connecting The Dots
By Larry Kelley

"God didn't get us into this war and He's not going to get us out of it."

-President Abraham Lincoln, when asked if he prays for the end of the Civil War.

Evangelist Pat Robertson recently told CNN that he warned President Bush before the Iraq War about high US casualties, claiming he had heard the word from George's good buddy God. W's response was, "Oh no. We're not going to have any casualties." W apparently got his message from Dick Cheney.

* * *

Former President Jimmy Carter has warned that nothing has changed in Florida since the 2000 election fiasco and the early balloting confirms this. In Broward County, 9 of 14 polling places experienced "computer glitches" that rendered their on-line voter registration check "useless," according to ABC National News.

In addition, touch-screen voting machines "malfunctioned" in the Orlando area and there were "problems with paper balloting," in Palm Beach County ABC reported.

In Las Vegas, a Republican-backed voter registration company, Voters' Outreach of America, destroyed thousands of Democratic registrations, according to former employees.

Clarke County (Nevada) District Judge Valerie Adair refused to open up registration for one more day to compensate for this felony, because she feared that people who hadn't registered the first time would take advantage. She claimed her live-in relationship with a former member of the Clarke County Republican Central Committee had nothing to do with her decision and that the thousands of would-be voters could file individual law suits.

In Ohio, the Secretary of State wants to reject any voter registration form that is not on the "correct weight paper" and in Michigan, absentee ballots have a mistake which turns a Kerry-Edwards vote into a Bush-Cheney vote. Let us pray.

* * *

President Bush has refused an interview with Black Entertainment Television, according to BET chief Robert Johnson, who said that John Kerry has already been interviewed by BET. Earlier this year, Bush refused to meet with the NAACP and now tells BET he will meet with them "after the election." All of which prompted SF comedian and KGO talk host Brian Copeland to comment that W's attitude is, "We're not going to count black votes anyway."

* * *

The Nickelodeon Poll (kids 2-11), which has a success rate of 100 % for predicting elections since it began in 1988, says Kerry will win by 57% to 43%. In other youth election activity, Rock the Vote, an organization which mobilizes young voters has received a letter from the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie, threatening a lawsuit if they continue to say Bush will activate the draft if re-elected.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the National Guard missed its recruiting goals by 40% while regular Army sign-ups were off by 35% in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, partly because of the Army's "stop-loss" program. The Dallas Morning News estimates that this program is holding 22,000 soldiers against their will in the Middle East.

To fill quotas, the military is now activating soldiers 50 years old and up. Of the 160,000 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, 5,000 of them are over 50, according to the New Jersey Star Ledger, which recently profiled 58-year old National Guard Sgt. Maj. Charles Thomas, a Vietnam Vet and grand-father who has been ordered to Iraq after 28 years of military service.

Meanwhile, nearly 1.7 million veterans had no health care coverage and no access to VA hospitals and clinics in 2003, according to a joint report from the Physicians for a National Health Care Program and the group Public Citizen. The report is critical of the Bush Administration's decision to suspend eligibility beginning Jan. '03 to Category 8 vets-those making over $25,000 a year. The Department of Veterans Affairs wouldn't comment.

And in Washington, Bush has recently signed the Homeland Security Act II, cutting $500 million from "first responders" (firemen and other emergency units). Feeling safer yet ?

* * *

In the wake of an Army unit refusing "suicide duty" in Iraq recently, it is being reported that soldiers are creating "Hillbilly Armor" for their vehicles--cutting up steel and welding it to their trucks. During the debates Kerry noted that 40% of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan did not have body armor because the Bush Administration gave it to soldiers from El Salvador as part of a deal so that country would join the so-called "coalition." Many US soldiers in the Middle East get their body armor from their parents.

* * *

The new game in Afghanistan is "Where's Osama?" ABC Network News recently quoted Lt. Gen. David Barno, American Commander in Afghanistan, as telling the Pentagon that US military has no idea where Bin Laden is, or even what country he's in.

In the third debate, Bush ridiculed Kerry's claim that W. had said he wasn't concerned about Osama anymore. "That's one of those ex-ag-ger-a-tions," the President drawled. After the debate, news organizations replayed a rare White House press conference six months after the 9-11 attacks, quoting Mr. Memory as saying, "I truly am not that concerned" about Osama. No one in the press corps thought to ask, "Why not."

 

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