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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-07-08 - 12:57 p.m.

"...Experience has no value for the presumptuous"

...experience has no value for the presumptuous; faith means nothing to him, and he substitutes for it the pretence of a personal conviction.

Prince Metternich 1773-1859

The doorbell rang at 9 a.m., unexpectedly - at least unexpectedly for me. Ed had called and invited Comcast to come see if they could figure out why we only have snow and static on our three TV sets. (I know. Why does a family of two people need three TV sets? Good question.) The repairwoman from Comcast just left – finally, after two hours. She told us that the contractors have been hard at work for the past two and a half weeks, upgrading the lines in our neighborhood (or so they say), totally fouling all of the analog channels. Finally, yesterday our patience wore thin and Ed asked for help. Anyway, after two hours of knocking on the door, coming in, going out, in and out, in and out, all three of our cable boxes and remotes have now been replaced. The lovely repairwoman, who also climbed the pole outside, assured us that when the contractors down the street finish, we should have service restored to normal.

Actually, the main thing I have wanted to watch in the past couple of weeks centered around Wimbledon, for which snow and static made it not only impossible to see whether the balls were in or out, but also annoying to listen to the commentators. I might just as well have listened to the matches on radio. The interference seems less in the evening after the day’s work up the street is completed, so I’ve braved it and watched CNN and the Jim Lehrer hour occasionally in the evening. (And, yes, Bev, I did watch Jeopardy last night!) This is not a time when I want to miss the latest happenings!

Within minutes of Kerry’s announcement of John Edwards as his running mate, the attack dogs were out – “lack of experience” coming from the mouth of every Republican talking head. As I recall, the major pluses for the Bush administration was that they had more Washington and international experience than any administration in history…and, of course, that is still true. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Colin Powell should have added up to great international success, but as it has turned out, perhaps they had too much experience, perhaps they were too arrogant. Had these experienced folks paid attention to the urgings of retiring President Clinton and intelligence reports in a timely fashion, perhaps we might have avoided 9/11. Had they read some pages from Middle Eastern history, they might have known how the Iraqis might behave, they might have made a plan for after the shock and awe. Had the experienced Bush-Cheney team listened to Colin Powell and the United Nations, they might have maintained our international relationships and avoided the current predicament in Iraq and the unrest throughout the world. From where I sit, had these experienced people read the Declaration of Independence, they might understand why there are insurgents in Iraq protesting our presence there – our country did it over a couple hundred years ago for many of the same reasons. I know, the experienced say, …but “we’re doing it for their own good, to bring them democracy.” From where I sit, experience sometimes lacks common sense and often brings arrogance. It's the job of the voter to subdue the arrogant - come November.

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