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"Music is a spiritual expression of what's in your heart. Music as a way of getting rich is a pretty new thing, and I often wonder if the mega-bucks glitzy atmosphere is making the quality of music suffer. You have to work really hard to get around that and remember why you're in it in the first place: because you have to be. It's like an addiction. You can't go a day without picking up your guitar. To me, the only commercial goals that are really valid are, 'Boy, I wish I didn't have to go to work. I wish I could do this all the time."
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Thursday, September 16, 2004


posted 10:02 AM by the joker

My good phish buddy Pauly wrote a great blog today about his views on the upcoming election. Several of his points I agree with; several I disagree with strongly. I wanted to respond to a few of his points:

"With 48 days to go in the election, my gut feeling tells me that Bush is going to be President for four more years. John Kerry's camp blew the election after they failed to properly handle the Swift Boat mess shortly before the RNC...."

I agree that to me it looks like Kerry is losing the battle and if the election was today, Bush would be re-elected. And this is coming from a guy with a Kerry/Edwards sticker on the back of his car. I really have to give it to the Republicans- they just flat out know how to play the game better than the Dems. The lies about Kerry from the swift boat veterans (and they are lies!) have been repeated enough times to both shift the debate away from the meaty issues of the election as well as put enough doubt in the minds of most Americans about the character of John Kerry. In today's media culture, it is not their job to report the truth- they report the fact that so-and-so said this, so-and-so said that. Its not so much whether or not what so-and-so said was truthful or not. But they said it. The Republicans understand this and understand it well. If everyone on their side throws something out there enough times and with enough consistency, it may not be true, but it is enough to make it seem like it is true, because it is said enough times. This concept seems to be lost to the Dems, or they at least don't know how to counter the relentless Repub assault. The Bush team believes that the best defense is a good offense, and it is certainly working.

"Bush beat Kerry to the punch and preyed on the fears of the voters. The message the RNC was clear, "Not everyone likes me. I don't give a shit about France. I make decisions and who's Al Qaeda more afraid of?"...Four years of a different ruling party won't change the world's view."

I disagree with the idea that four years of a different ruling party is not going to change things. I went to europe during the Clinton years, and the attitude toward Americans was much different than it is now. Many outside of this country hate Bush with a passion. I think that with a different leader in the White House who is not for pre-emptive war can go a long way.

It seems amazing to me that the Bush administration was on watch during the worst terrorist attack in US history, but has somehow convinced Americans that they are doing a better job fighting the terrorists. It really is so amazing I dont know whether to laugh or cry. The strategy that has worked is to blame everything on Clinton, even though Clinton stopped the Millennium terrorist attacks and told Bush when he was leaving office that the greatest threat to America is Al-Qaeda...I could go on and on, but it is true that Bush plays to our fears. People rally behind him becuase they are afraid...and this is tough to overcome. Its smart, and it works, but its wrong to rule through fear.

"This past week Dan Rather and CBS got their hands dirty in the latest Vietnam shit storm..."

This has been another brilliant move by the Republicans. I dont know if the documents are fake or real, if CBS was set up or what happened, but the attack machine has really shown its teeth. For a bunch of cable news reporters to attack the credibility of Dan Rather and people believe them shows just how much the world has changed. Most of the reporters on Fox and CNN were in diapers when Dan Rather was the first person to report on the shooting of JFK. Mr. Rather and 60 Minutes have the highest integrity in the business- 60 Minutes is one of the longest running news programs in history. The attack machine has gotten so powerful that all of that history doesn't matter. No one is even talking about the questions that are brought up in the documents- like where Bush was in Alabama, why he never showed up for a physical but still managed to get an honorable discharge, why he was able to get into the Texas Air Nat'l Guard when others couldn't- the debate is over the typeface. Bush and his team can't answer those questions, but they don't need to- they just attack. The talking heads win again.

"But what I want to know is where the hell is John Edwards?"

Amen to that, Pauly. Edwards is awesome and can really help Kerry- but either he isn't getting reported on or he isn't out there. He seems strangely absent.

"Ralph Nader finally got onto the ballot in Florida."

Actually, Nader may or may not be on the Ballot in Florida...But I agree with Mr. Pauly about the idea that Nader didn't cost Gore the election, the stopping of the recount did. But my take on the two party system is this: the two-party system is the way our government works, becuase of the Electorial college and the winner take all system. It will take an amendment to the Constitution to change that, so really for now (and probably a very long time) we have to recognize the rules of the fight. I believe in a lot of what Nader says and stands for, but I think that because of the two-party system he would get a lot more done if he could move his ideas through the Democrats. By running in a third party, all of his ideas get ignored. Take a page from the Neo-Cons playbook and take a look at the Republican party- most of America that considers itself a Republican does not agree with the far right wing views of the Neo-Cons, but they have been able to move their conservative ideas to the White House becuase they have used the Republican party. Nader and his supporters need to understand that to get their ideas to be taken seriously you have to make some friends with the Democrats, or be ignored for the rest of your lives.

"And that's why Bush is going to stay in office. With 48 days left, there's no way Kerry can get his shit together to win this upcoming election."

I hope that this isnt true, but Mr. Pauly is right- Kerry needs to get his shit together fast, or there is going to be four more years of least that is what we are told by the media. The polls only call people who are "likely voters"- people that voted in the last election. The only way that Kerry wins, the way I see it, is if new voters turn out in force and vote out Bush. I have met an enormous number of young people that are voting for Kerry this year that have never voted don't believe everything you hear on the TV or Radio kids- this one may not be over.


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