Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 34152
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2017/11/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/22   

2004/10/15-16 [Politics/Domestic/Election, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:34152 Activity:very high
10/15   Most interesting "Doonesbury discovers URLs" yet:
        http://www.iconoclast-texas.com/Columns/Editorial/editorial39.htm
        (Source URL for Dubya's hometown paper endorsing Kerry)
        \_ Seriously, stop posting this crap. If you continue to
           do this I'll change your links to porn sites.
           \_ I find it kind of interesting.  It's not blatantly offensive and
              could lead to a nice little flamewar so why should you censor it?
              -!op
        \_ Fascinating piece on the responses the paper has received on this:
           http://www.iconoclast-texas.com/Columns/Editorial/editorial40.htm
           \_ We are on the road to civil war.  If Bush wins this election,
              I am buying an AK-47 and training in its use, and moving to
              a  low population-density state in anticipation of the coming
              apocalypse.
           \_ If you actually read all the letters they got, they ran at
              least 4:1 in support.
                \_ That's not fair! People who support Bush are much, much
                   less likely to possess the ability to write a letter.
2017/11/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/22   

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www.iconoclast-texas.com/Columns/Editorial/editorial39.htm
Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficit in the history of the United States, creating a debt in just four years that will take generations to repay. Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry, based not only on the things that Bush has delivered, but also on the vision of a return to normality that Kerry says our country needs. Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration : his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorati ng state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistake s regarding terrorism and Iraq. President Bush has announced plans to change the Social Secu rity system as we know it by privatizing it, which when considering all the tangents related to such a change, would put the entire economy in a dramatic tailspin. The Social Security Trust Fund actually lends money to the r est of the government in exchange for government bonds, which is how the system must work by law, but how do you later repay Social Security whi le you are running a huge deficit? Its impossible, without raising taxe s sometime in the future or becoming fiscally responsible now. Social Se curity money is being used to escalate our deficit and, at the same time , mask a much larger government deficit, instead of paying down the nati onal debt, which would be a proper use, to guarantee a future gain. Privatization is problematic in that it would subject Social Security to the ups, downs, and outright crashes of the Stock Market. I t would take millions in brokerage fees and commissions out of the syste m, and, unless we have assurance that the Ivan Boeskys and Ken Lays of t he world will be caught and punished as a deterrent, subject both the Ma rket and the Social Security Fund to fraud and market manipulation, not to mention devastate and ruin multitudes of American families that would find their lives lost to starvation, shame, and isolation. Kerry wants to keep Social Security, which each of us alread y owns. He says that the program is manageable, since it is projected to be solvent through 2042, with use of its trust funds. This would give a mple time to strengthen the economy, reduce the budget deficit the Bush administration has created, and, therefore, bolster the program as neede d to fit ever-changing demographics. Bushs answ er is radical and uncalled for, and would result in chaos as Americans h ave never experienced. Do we really want to risk the future of Social Se curity on Bush by spinning the wheel of uncertainty? In those dark hours after the World Trade Center attacks, Am ericans rallied together with a new sense of patriotism. We were ready t o follow Bushs lead through any travail. When he finally emerged from his hide-outs on remote militar y bases well after the first crucial hours following the attack, he gave sound-bytes instead of solutions. He did not trust us to be ready to sacrifice, build up our p ublic and private security infrastructure, or cut down on our energy use to put economic pressure on the enemy in all the nations where he hides . He merely told us to shop, spend, and pretend nothing was wrong. Rather than using the billions of dollars expended on the in vasion of Iraq to shore up our boundaries and go after Osama bin Laden a nd the Saudi Arabian terrorists, the funds were used to initiate a war w ith what Bush called a more immediate menace, Saddam Hussein, in oil-ric h Iraq. After all, Bush said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction traine d on America. We believed him, just as we believed it when he reported t hat Iraq was the heart of terrorism. The Iconoclast, the Presidents hometown newspaper, took Bus h on his word and editorialized in favor of the invasion. The newspaper s publisher promoted Bush and the invasion of Iraq to Londoners in a BBC interview during the time that the administration was wooing the suppor t of Prime Minister Tony Blair. We presumed the President had solid proof of the existence o f these weapons, what and where they were, even as the search continued. Otherwise, our troops would be in much greater danger and the premise f or a hurried-up invasion would be moot, allowing more time to solicit as sistance from our allies. Now he argues unconvincingly that Iraq was providing safe ha rbor to terrorists, his new key justification for the invasion. It is li ke arguing that America provided safe harbor to terrorists leading to 9/ 11. Once and for all, George Bush was President of the United St ates on that day. He had been President nine months, he had been officially warned of just such an attack a full month before it ha ppened. As President, ultimately he and only he was responsible for our failure to avert those attacks. We should expect that a sitting President would vacation les s, if at all, and instead tend to the business of running the country, e specially if he is, as he likes to boast, a wartime president. We dont need a part-time President who does not show up for duty as Commander-In-Chief until he is forced to, a nd who is in a constant state of blameless denial when things dont get done. What has evolved from the virtual go-it-alone conquest of Ir aq is more gruesome than a stain on a White House interns dress. Americ as reputation and influence in the world has diminished, leaving us wit h brute force as our most persuasive voice. Iraq is now a quagmire: no WMDs, no substantive link between Saddam and Osama, and no workable plan for the withdrawal of our troops . But remember, blind patriotism can be a dangerous thing and spin will not bring back to life a dead soldi er; Kerry has remained true to his vote granting the President t he authority to use the threat of war to intimidate Saddam Hussein into allowing weapons inspections. He believes President Bush rushed into war before the inspectors finished their jobs. Kerry also voted against President Bushs $87 billion for tr oop funding because the bill promoted poor policy in Iraq, privileged Ha lliburton and other corporate friends of the Bush administration to prof iteer from the war, and forced debt upon future generations of Americans . Kerrys four-point plan for Iraq is realistic, wise, strong, and correct. With the help from our European and Middle Eastern allies, his plan is to train Iraqi security forces, involve Iraqis in their reb uilding and constitution-writing processes, forgive Iraqs multi-billion dollar debts, and convene a regional conference with Iraqs neighbors i n order to secure a pledge of respect for Iraqs borders and non-interfe rence in Iraqs internal affairs. The publishers of the Iconoclast differ with Bush on other i ssues, including the denial of stem cell research, shortchanging veteran s entitlements, cutting school programs and grants, dictating what our children learn through a thought-controlling test from Washington rath er than allowing local school boards and parents to decide how young peo ple should be taught, ignoring the environment, and creating extraneous language in the Patriot Act that removes some of the very freedoms that our founding fathers and generations of soldiers fought so hard to prese rve. We are concerned about the vast exportation of jobs to other countries, due in large part to policies carried out by Bush appointees . Funds previously geared at retention of small companies are being give n to larger concerns, such as Halliburton companies with strong ties t o oil and gas. Job training has been cut every year that Bush has reside d at the White House. Then there is his resolve to inadequately finance Homeland S ecurity and to cut the Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS) by 94 percent, to reduce money for rural development, to slash appropriations for the Small Business Administration, and to under-fund veterans progr ams. Vice President Cheneys Halliburton has been awarded multi-b illion-dollar contracts without undergoing any meaningful bid process an enormous conflict of interest plus the company has been significant ly raiding the funds of Export-Import Bank of America, reducing investme nt that could have ...
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www.iconoclast-texas.com/Columns/Editorial/editorial40.htm
The Iconoclast received considerable criticism this past wee k after its editors endorsed John Kerry for President. Several subscription s and advertisements were canceled after the newspaper hit the stands Tu esday morning. The editorial, co-authored by the newspapers publisher, W Leon Smith, and writers Don Fisher and Nathan Diebenow, expressed the op inion that Kerry would take the country in a better direction. We expected that perhaps a few readers might cancel subscrip tions, and maybe even ads, but have been amazed at a few of the more int ense communications, some of which bordered on outright personal attacks and uncalled-for harassment. We have been told by several avid Bush supporters that the d ays when newspapers publish editorials without personal repercussions ar e over. As publishers, we have printed editorials for decades, and have endorsed candidates, both Republican and Democrat. When Bush was endorse d four years ago, the Gore supporters did not respond with threats, nor did Democrats when we endorsed Reagan twice. Republicans did not threate n us personally or our business when we endorsed Carter and Clinton for their first terms. In the past, when individuals disagreed with an editorial, t hey would write a letter to the editor politely expressing a different p oint of view in contrast to the views of the publishers, which we have u sually published. Occasionally someone would cancel a subscription or an ad, but this was rare. The goal of the editorial page has been to provide an arena for the expression of a variety of thoughtful opinions, some by the publ ishers, some by columnists, and some by our readers. The new mode of operation, I am told, is that when a newspap er prints an editorial of which some sectors might disagree, the focus i s now upon how to run the newspaper out of business. Out the window are the contributions the newspaper has made to the community in the past an d the newspapers extensive investment in the community. We do understand peoples rights to pull subscriptions and a ds, and to express a differing opinion, but we have some trouble underst anding threats and payback since in politics there are often a variety o f options. For the publishers to herald one of the options should be no cause for persecution. When you think about it, editorials are often displayed in p eoples yards with campaign signs. Is it proper to persecute them for stating their opinions in this manner if you disagree with their choices? Several young members of our staff covering Tonkawa Traditio ns this past weekend were angrily harassed and threatened that they must leave, which cut short their ability to fully do their jobs and instill ed in them considerable fear for their safety. They were part-time college students worki ng to pay their way through school and better themselves. Although several members of the community are upset at the n ewspaper, there are still those who want us to continue with local cover age as we have in the past. We do have concern for the safety of our sta ff, however, and find it troubling when they are bullied and cannot do t heir jobs. From the period of Tuesday through noon Saturday of this pas t week, The Iconoclast has received over 700 letters to the editor relat ed to the editorial which received more attention than we had expected. Some of the dispatches are very critical and some are very supportive of the editorial. And a few do offer a thoughtful, differing point of view on the issues, which we do appreciate. Since The Iconoclast has a very small staff, it has been imp ossible for us to verify each and every signature as is our normal proce dure prior to publication, but to provide the letters for the public to read, we are posting them on our website with the names of the authors l isted as initials. We have been told that some letters e-mailed to us did not g et through, perhaps since our internet system became overloaded at times this past week. The letters posted are the ones we received that pertai ned to the editorial (as opposed to being simply questions or other corr espondence). A few have been edited slightly due to offensive language or the writers identity being revealed in the body of the letter, but we have attempted to publish them, with few exceptions, just as we received them. Nearly a hundred individuals (including some Crawford reside nts) have purchased new subscriptions to help replace those lost, and a few have expressed a desire to become new advertising clients. The publisher has read every e-mail and letter received and sends appreciation to each and every letter-writer for expressing an opi nion, pro or con, as this shows a passion for their positions and a keen interest in the upcoming election.