....LMB: "Wrap-Up"....

November 03, 2004

Well, we've got possibly contradictory conclusions. John Kerry has gone ahead and conceded the election to Bush. But in the last post, commenter "johnk" (no relation) says that he worked at a polling station yesterday and that 10% of their ballots were provisional, and wouldn't be counted until later. He wonders how many other ballots are as-yet uncounted. Would it make a difference? And if it did, how legally binding is Kerry's concession?

Anyhow. I'll work on the assumption that Kerry lost.

I swear I heard Kerry and Edwards talk a lot about not giving up until every ballot is counted, but I saw the news about Kerry's concession before CNN had even finished filling out its electoral map. Reminded me of the saying of old labor organizer Big Bill Haywood: "A liberal is the guy who leaves the room when a fight starts."


Investigative journalist Greg Palast is claiming that Kerry won. He argues that if shoddy voting machines in African-American and latino districts in Ohio and New Mexico hadn't spoiled so many of those people's votes, that Kerry would have won those two states and therefore the election. I don't know if his numbers add up properly, but there is evidence that districts with large African-American populations tend to have more ballots deemed "spoiled". But since Kerry seems unlikely to investigate this issue, it seems that Bush is likely to remain the president-elect whether Palast is right or not.


I want to point out that there seems to be a myth going around that young people did not come out to vote. They did. According to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), 4.6 million more young voters turned out in 2004 than did in 2000, an increase of more than 9% (up about 13% in battleground states). I mention this because I've seen a few liberal sites bashing young adults for "losing the election" for Kerry. Hey, pundits! Leave them kids alone!

Also, it looks like conservatives are claiming that they and their agenda now have a "mandate". The term usually implies that you have won by such a significant amount, that the vast, vast majority of people support you. However, only 60% of the electorate showed up to the polls, and only 51% of them voted for Bush. So even being generous, the election only shows about 31% of the people behind the president. Quite honestly, the "don't care much one way or the other crowd" has the closest thing to a mandate

I'll admit, at one point I looked at the numbers and saw like 52 million Americans, more than half the voters, saying that they wanted George W. Bush and his crazy wars and his idiocy and his corporate plundering, and I thought "why should I care? If this is what Americans want, why should I make any effort to fight it?" It was bitterness, really, a feeling of "let this fuckers reap what they sow. Let them get what they deserve," aimed at all of these mindless Bush voters. But then I realized that while the American warlords are going to rain hell upon 250+ million Americans in the years to come, they are also going to run roughshod over the other 6 billion or so people on Earth. Opposing Bush, and the neocons, and the corrupt system that was here long before they set foot in the Oval Office, is necessary if we really care about the people of the world.

And I do.

So, everyone asks, what do we do now?

I'd say first thing, everybody take a breather. Take a day, take a few days, and don't worry about politics so much. Relax, see some friends, meditate, take a trip, get drunk, do whatever you need to do to unwind a bit, and get a little peace and perspective. You've earned that. And frankly, you probably need that right now.

Second, don't beat yourself up over this. Maybe you campaigned for Kerry, or donated to the Democrats, or tried to talk sense into your conservative friends, or simply tried to get out the truth. Some of you feel like you could have done more, or that you failed. Sure, maybe you could have done more, but you can't change what's past. You can learn from your mistakes (if indeed you made any at all), but it's best to not wallow in them. And as for failure, you only fail if this election is the endpoint of your politically active life. If your goal was solely to get John Kerry elected and then be done with it, then yes, maybe you did fail. But if your goal is to make a better world for everybody, then this was a setback on what will be a long and twisted journey.

After that, I suppose you have to do some thinking about what's happened, some thinking about what you want to happen, and some thinking about how to get there from here, sociopolitically speaking. That first bit I can help with. The second two are up to you. We can see just from the comments in some of my recent posts that y'all have got a wide spectrum of goals, ranging from getting Democrats in office, to building third parties, to reforming the electoral system, to some sort of radical rejection of all nearly all mainstream American policies. Frankly, I believe in the latter, but I'm not going to push that on anybody right now.

I'll post an article tomorrow with my analysis of what happened in this election, and try to explain to some of our foreign brothers and sisters why Americans do some of the crazy things we do.

So chin up, folks. Things are bad, and they might get worse. But our only real choices are to cave in and despair, or to stand up and fight back.

Posted by Jake at 07:54 PM | TrackBack (0)

To all LMB readers:
Some of you must be pretty dejected right now. Some of you damn annoyed (rightly so). But where do you go from here? I’d like to make a suggestion: Use your anger to fuel a positive response. How? You might ask. Take a look at the article here: (subtitle: The corporations’ Achilles heel is the environment. It’s time for the left to hit it.) www.monbiot.com/archives/2004/04/06/jump-on-our-bandwagon/
Ok it's written by a brit, but you Americans can look at www.eco.org or their books on sustainable careers: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author=Environmental%20Careers%20Organization/104-1609049-1108743
I have argued and argued with people over topics such as Iraq / terrorism / environment and have got absolutely nowhere. The reason I have come to realise is that most people will only go with the flow, and things are easier to understand the way they are. They could not imagine the kind of world you can, unless they see it for themselves first. God knows I have been told “you’ll never change anything”, but this is only true if you don’t try. Now I am inclined to work at the solution, and hope to alter people’s viewpoints by example.
Get going, create the future you would like to see.

Posted by: Gareth, UK at November 4, 2004 06:52 AM

You don't have to be a genius to figure out that 51% to 48% is no mandate.

Posted by: @rt at November 4, 2004 10:02 AM

How can you say in the same breath that liberals are pansies that run away from a fight, and at the same time tell people to go take a vacation when some of the most important events in history are going to happen in the next few days. The NeoCons are banking on everyone tuning out from information overload right now, and you are going to see a rapid succession of events go down that will change the face of the world again.

The more you run away and hide and bury your head in the sand, the more they will expect you to run away and hide. Don't you see that's what all this erosion of our liberties is all about? You give them an inch, they take a mile.

Look at whats happened already since Bush declared himself King again... Arafat is dead, airstrikes ramping up in Fallujah... and you can bet that Israel is going to do a complete about-face on it's Gaza Strip pullout now that they are assured another 4 years of ass-licking from the States.

I say, when they administer a beat-down like the two last elections, you stand up and fight back harder! Protest even more, push it in their face! Put down your hash pipes and get up early in the morning and work out, get mean, get ready... DO SOMETHING for crying out loud. How much longer do you all think you have before the last vestiges of your Freedom is gone?

Can't anybody see what's happening, add it all up? It seems so simple to see it now that it's gotten so big and out of control.

This has to be a nightmare. There's no other explanation.

Posted by: someone better start caring at November 4, 2004 11:33 AM

So many people around me are burnt out, and for once, I'm not.

I am more ready to FIGHT than I have been during this whole ridiculous excuse for a campaign.

Posted by: Denise at November 4, 2004 02:20 PM

Its funny how all you guys tack on the "mindless idiot" and "nut" adjectives to people just because they dont agree with you.

Just a reminder, if you want to know why Democrats keep losing its because they are associated with the REAL nutjobs like PETA, Greenpeace, and many MANY other ridiculous organizations.

Your smug rash generalizations are merely alienating more people from your cause, making you look like hypocrites.

Posted by: chris at November 4, 2004 02:49 PM

Fucking hypocrite! Odd how YOU tag the word "Nutjob" to someone just because you don't agree with their viewpoint...

Posted by: inonthekilltaker at November 4, 2004 03:16 PM

Yesterday was not a good day. Seeing all those red states pop up on the screen, one after the other, really reminded me that the rest of the country has a different view on things than I do. What that means to me is that there is alot of work to be done.

Posted by: ryan anderson at November 4, 2004 05:29 PM

Yesterday was not a good day. Seeing all those red states pop up on the screen, one after the other, really reminded me that the rest of the country has a different view on things than I do. What that means to me is that there is alot of work to be done.

Posted by: ryan anderson at November 4, 2004 05:30 PM

It has nothing to do with with viewpoints.

If you try to get your point across using tactics those groups use (including the anti-abortion wackos) then you deserve the moniker.

Notice I dont blanket all liberals as nutjobs, but it seems okay to this site to label conservatives as such.

Posted by: chris at November 4, 2004 05:31 PM

I'm with greenpeace! You called me a nutjob!

Posted by: inonthekilltaker at November 4, 2004 05:33 PM

Jake, you're the first person I've seen who factored in the majority of disenfranchised non-voters who are disgusted by both candidates. Bush's "mandate" only confirms that the American electoral system is essentially minority rule of the political and financial oligarchy with help of the fundamentalist base. The kneejerk reaction from the left - that America is taken over by fascists and fundamentalists isn't entirely accurate and is dangerous and demoralized outlook. Already, most of you are saying it's hopeless, making classist assumptions about the American working class. The truth is the majority of Americans know they can't win either way. Third party alternatives were thrown off the ballots in many states - Nader wasn't on the Ohio ballot thanks to the Democrats filing lawsuits against him and the Republican Sec. of State upholding his exclusion.

The only reason for the Republicans' success is that they are a unifed base of religious fundamentalists, wealthy CEOs, disoriented and ignorant sections of the population who vote against their interests, all of which are a minority. And they ran a coherent campaign of militarism and religious fanaticism and effectively exploited the contradictions of the Democrats. The Dems have no idenitity. They try to retain their reformist legacy of the past while catering to the discerning sections of corporate American who think Bush will harm their profits. They reassure their corporate masters and political peers and the ignorant pro-war jingoists that they will continue to the war, but they also try to court (and fail miserably) the anti-war vote.

So where do you go from here? Well, you can go back to voting for another Democrat in 2008...Or maybe you're going to break with the Democrats and build onto something else? Nah, that's too optimstic...

Posted by: Eric at November 4, 2004 06:10 PM

Third parties won't work unless we instate run-off voting.

Posted by: inonthekilltaker at November 4, 2004 07:41 PM

The US result is a carbon copy of the Australian poll. New political rival Mark Latham lost across the board. Even with 100% voting here we had PM John Howard returned with an absolute majority despite voter anger over Irak, domestic issues and the ever larger rich/poor divide. Voters stuck with the devil they knew. We just have to keep the mongrels honest by exposing the rots, deals and lies.


Posted by: hihosilver1953 at November 5, 2004 12:46 AM

"Investigative journalist Greg Palast is claiming that Kerry won."

I guess nobody mentioned to him that Kerry conceded without a fight, like a good little tool.

Posted by: nobody cares at November 5, 2004 03:08 AM


Posted by: inonthekilltaker at November 5, 2004 10:21 AM

Run-off voting is something the Democrats and Republicans would oppose in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Eric at November 5, 2004 05:54 PM

Wasn't it a Dem. who proposed it?

Posted by: inonthekilltaker at November 5, 2004 08:54 PM

"It is enough that the people know there was an election.
The people who cast the votes decide nothing.
The people who count the votes decide everything."
~ Josef Stalin


Posted by: @rt at November 6, 2004 09:14 AM

Love the vampiric Bush jake. Looks good.

Posted by: Brian at November 7, 2004 11:39 AM

I think it looks a little like Mr. Rogers.

Posted by: SnowCrash at November 7, 2004 02:44 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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