The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Could it be? A savvy Democrat?

Good News for a Change Watch

Your typically Democratic move is to naively trust the system and then watch as the Republicans rob you blind. And that was my fear for this year's election as well. Here's some good news: Kerry is assembling a team of legal experts and lawyers to stop the shenanigans and funny business with voter registration and access to polls throughout the country. Now that is smart, and finally some recognition that the Democrats are beginning to understand what they are up against.

This time, Kerry aides say, they are recruiting not only specialists in election law who work in small law firms or alone, but also litigators at large firms in every state who have the resources and office space to support a long-term, large-scale and pro bono recount operation.

"We don't want a situation where we wake up the next day and are scrambling to think of what our legal team looks like," Mr. Elias said.

The Kerry campaign has already enlisted lead lawyers in all 50 states, and those lawyers are recruiting lawyers at the county and the precinct level.

"It's our intention to have lawyers in one fashion or another covering all of Iowa's 99 counties," said Brent Appel, the Kerry lawyer in Des Moines.

Kerry aides say the campaign has set up a national steering committee with task forces tackling different issues: one on ballot machines, another on voter education, and a third on absentee, early, and military voting, to name a few..

The Rest of the World Watch

It's always interesting to find out what the rest of the world is talking about. For some reason, it is often a story which has received complete media silence in this country. Here are some links and commentary to a story which is being talked about in the rest of the world, the abuse (some of it sexual) of children at Abu Ghraib. At least one American reporter, Seymour Hersh, has seen and heard this evidence, but everyone else is being mum about it. Horrible.

Profiteers Watch

Here's an article from last week about the people who both advocated for war and are also making a fast buck on it (this group would include the president and vice president), entitled "Advocates of war now profit from Iraq's reconstruction". I've had (in my opinion, overly naive) colleagues tell me they just don't believe Bush started this war from a profit motive. And yet, he and his buddies profit mightily from this little military foray. An excerpt:

Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey is a prominent example of the phenomenon, mixing his business interests with what he contends are the country's strategic interests. He left the CIA in 1995, but he remains a senior government advisor on intelligence and national security issues, including Iraq. Meanwhile, he works for two private companies that do business in Iraq and is a partner in a company that invests in firms that provide security and anti-terrorism services.

Woolsey said in an interview that he was not directly involved with the companies' Iraq-related ventures. But as a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm, he was a featured speaker in May 2003 at a conference co-sponsored by the company at which about 80 corporate executives and others paid up to $1,100 to hear about the economic outlook and business opportunities in Iraq.

Free Speech Zone Watch

Here's a chilling article about a couple of people who were attending a public event, not even a Bush campaign event, who had on anti-Bush T-shirts. Instead of being allowed to go about their business, they were arrested, handcuffed, and led away, and the woman lost her job at a federal agency. Their crime? They weren't in the "free speech zone", or the more appropriately titled "anti-Bush speech zone". But they had tickets to the event like everybody else. This has been going on for some time, and the end of the article has a number of places where the worst offenses have been documented by the ACLU. But really, is this the kind of country we want? Will Bush supporters be silent if the Kerry administration carts anti-Kerry T-shirt-wearing people off to jail from public events? (Riiiight). It's yet another example of that famous phenomenon where It's OK If You're A Republican (IOKIYAR). The happy postscript to this story is that the couple's arrest was thrown out when they went to court. Amazing. I guess all of the judiciary is not bought off yet.

Outrage Fatigue Watch

This Onion article ("Nation's liberals suffering from outrage fatigue") struck a chord.

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