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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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2004-08-28 - 11:56 a.m.

Freedom Riders-2004

My brother-in-law from Vermont this morning sent me this N. Y. Times article, from which I quote excerpts: 100 Cyclists Are Arrested as Thousands Ride in Protest

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD

August 28, 2004

“Thousands of cyclists rode through the streets of Manhattan last night in an anti-Republican, pro-environment display of bike power that ended in more than 100 arrests by the police after the ride blocked some streets.

Despite tension over police warnings to obey traffic laws against blocking traffic and running red lights, the cyclists - numbering 5,000, the police say - did just that in a meandering course that started at Union Square and wound its way to the West Side, Central Park, Midtown and the East Village.

…"We saw it coming as the rides have been growing,'' Mr. White said, adding that he found it paradoxical that any crackdown on riders would come at a time when the city's Transportation Department has advised people to use bikes as an alternative because of the heavy traffic expected near convention sites.”

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I suspect the demonstrations and police reactions are going to get a lot worse before they get better. This was probably a good practice run for the Manhattan police 'cause protesters are coming from all across the country, I understand…and with a lot of different issues on which to protest.

Bush has a proven record of fiscal irresponsibility, plundering the environment in the interest of big business, alienation of former allies, corporate pandering, continuing job outsourcing, and divisive rhetoric although he proclaimed himself in the 2000 campaign to be a uniter rather than a divider. And that doesn't even touch on the health care issues, joblessness and poverty unmatched in recent years, a huge deficit for which our great grandchildren will be paying, the debacle in Iraq...or his intentions toward Iran and North Korea.

I don't hate Bush. I find it hard to hate someone who believes in himself. The man, who lies deliberately, knowing that he lies, I can deal with. But Bush believes his own lies, either through stupidity or self-righteousness or a pathological condition...or more likely, he's just being led by Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and the corporate military-security-industrial complex. But he thinks he's doing the right thing. The world to him is black or white.

I'd be riding a bike in Manhattan if I were able. I'm hoping Kerry has a plan to get us out of Iraq without causing a civil war there; I hope he has the ability to regain the trust and good will of our former allies. His voting record isn't nearly as bad as the Bushies make it out to be. If only people understood how bills get changed from one form to another between votes; often pork and separate issues get added to a bill that once seemed reasonable and worthwhile. I admire a representative who will vote his conscience.

At least, Kerry seems to have a vision...and he's been on what I see as the right side of issues. In any case, I don't think we can afford another four years of the downward spiral for which I see the Republicans responsible. If Kerry did nothing more than mend some of the fences that have been destroyed by the contempt and arrogance exhibited by the present administration, I think we'd be ahead of the game.

I'd hate to see my grandsons and their generation drafted over the next decade just to prove the might of a man that is all hat and no horse, as they say in Texas. His blustering and swaggering (and I’ve heard rumors he plans naval maneuvers off the coast of North Korea at the end of October) could create a Wag the Dog event, inciting North Korea to do something that would cinch the election for him!!! David Brooks, the Republican talk show pundit said yesterday that he needs something BIG to assure his election. Karl Rove says the same thing. So watch for a switch in his position on stem cell research…or perhaps he’ll decide to let the Florida Cuban-Americans visit their families in Cuba more than once every three years. Maybe Bin Laden will be found. Or worse-case scenario, a clash between a US ship and North Koreans policing their shores!

Go Freedom Riders - 2004!

Horror of all horrors! Another e-mail we had in our box this a.m.:

"If you're pleased with the way things are and want 4 more years of the same then, by all means, vote for Mr. Bush. If in some way or another you think that Mr. Kerry will improve the situation then be sure to vote for him. But if you believe that our country should embark on a different, more positive course then consider making the effort to write in Mel Gibson for President on Nov. 2."

That's all we need...more wasted votes. On second thought, this might take more votes from Mr. Bush than from John Kerry, since they'd probably be coming for the devotees of Gibson's last movie. What a concept! A counter attack to the Nader votes!

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