Ci Soap Box
brought to you by ela ehi
also see the author's Contemporary Issues page featuring:
published political comments, essays, commentaries, articles, annotations and general remarks

.....The Miseducation of Faarooq
..........Teach the Children Well
.....The Pissed Off Muslim
..........Open letter to any pissed-off Muslim: Piss Off (Muhammad cartoon row)
.....Hero from across the pond
..........Defining Heroes and terrorists
.....The NFL
..........From Seventy Great Years to Sudden Death
.....on Micheal Vick
..........Bulldog or bitch
.....French Jokes
..........a collection of political jokes on France and the US
.....Sponsoring Terrorism
..........a satirical rebuff to the poorly done terrorism = drugs commercials
.....2000 Presidential Election
..........a critical review of the 2000 US presidential election and aftermath
.....The Downloading Debate
..........The Scoop on Free Downloading - Should I or Shouldn't I

The Miseducation of Faarooq
....Supposing there are in fact a few that with clear conscience and no alternative agenda could actually oppose the removal of a brutal dictator and terrorist, let them counter this argument.
....It is only from a place of sublime and serene comfort that one could so callously dismiss the suffering and oppression of so many, for so long, and favor instead their oppressor. We, as Americans, can and should cherish our seventh-graders peacefully protesting for the safety of their pen pals from Iraq. The ignorance and bliss of our secure, safe, well fed, and educated children is a source of pride, a shining example of our next generation - our future. But after we tuck them in for the night it is even more right, more just, that we lambaste those that organize and exploit them to further their own agendas and beliefs. Those lost souls have forgotten their role, their place, and their duty. Fortunately there are others both in this land and across the pond that have not. The protectors of the civilized world are doing the impossible as they put aside their individual aspirations, and challenge the evil forces in the world.  When the bullies of the world rise up, it is a duty and an honor for good men to knock them back down, for "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" (Edmund Burke).
....This is not our crusade. This is not our fight. We didn't start it, didn't want it, and didn't ask for it. This fight was brought to us. It is not we who have for generations taught our children in schools and churches to hate all things 'them' at all costs, and to blame all things wrong on a separate, sparse, and oppressed people. And it is not our fault these seedlings are now coming of age and wasting their precious lives in senseless acts of pointless and doomed evil. Thanks to this gross and shameful system of teachings this fight has been thrust upon us, a gift of ignorance and hatred. There must be a new understanding if our children are to have a future. Truth must triumph over treachery. Long lost and once noble aspirations of a now abused belief system must be restored, or the cancerous mutation it has become must be removed from the shoulders of posterity.
....This noble and necessary task will not be easy.  There are millions of the indoctrinated ignorant masses that need to be at least marginalized, at most reeducated. The future cannot function as it is now posed. One cannot interact with one-fifth of the world that greets one as friend at the front door, while simultaneously teaching hatred to children in the back room, and funneling money out the back door to murderers. Such duplicity can no longer be ignored for political or other reasons.
....The key to overcoming our enemies is not a complicated one. While others were being taught to hate and fear we in the civilized community were being taught things of a more practical value. Things like reason, tolerance, and diversity are a better mix for prosperity. But war is also taught, only from a different prospective. The goal is not to maim, murder, and inflict gross and inhumane treatment, but simply to win.  To this end war becomes simple - for the educated. We will start by eliminating those who pose the most immediate threat, then probably progress to the one thing we want least - policing those who refuse to police themselves. They know who they are, and they are concerned. They should be. There is a reason we are referred to as a super power.
....There are things of this world that are inherently good, right, and just. There are just as many that are equally and inversely wrong, bad, and evil. It is bad to teach any child to hate. It is wrong to see and know of such things yet do and say nothing. And it is evil to spur our children to murder other children to press forth a cause or belief that we ourselves have not the courage or conviction to attempt ourselves. It is right and just to fight against those who come from such an evil seed. And to do so at one's own peril - political, personal, or otherwise - is even heroic. At this moment there are hundreds of thousands of brave souls thousands of miles from their homes willing to fight and die to protect the most basic of human rights and liberties. They come from a host of civilized nation-states from around the globe. All manner of peoples are represented by this coalition, all breeds and creeds, and all religions - except one. What does that glaring fact say to those who are willing to hear the truth?
....Recently there has been the presumption that the Iraqis are fighting so "ferociously" because they have some sense of nationalism in "protecting their homeland." Such sentiment is at best uneducated, at worst ignorant, and needs clarification. First, to suggest that 50,000+ KIA deaths coupled with 9,500 POWS tallied against fewer than 200 from the other side suggests ferocity is naive. Stupidity in tactics like driving buses into armored vehicles and attacking tanks with AK-47s may be brave, but that is hardly consideration for ferocity. And bravery cannot be adorned here, as hiding behind the skirts of women when waging a fight cannot be labeled brave. Secondly, the notion of nation-state is a poor translation in that part of the world. Nationalism is better understood there as part of a religious hegemony. There is a unified call for the "liberation" of Palestinians not because they don't govern themselves, but because they are governed by those of any other faith. There is no similar cry for the Kurds because they are governed (controlled) by the only faith deemed acceptable. This is the home of the only religious crusaders the world has known for several centuries. It is a colonization of religion origins and ambitions, not national or ethnic ones. And it is a policy as doomed to failure as the last crusades, not because of the belligerents themselves but because the cause is just as unjust. But then only the educated can hope to avoid the repetition of historical errors.
....And so the battle has begun. Us versus Them. We would choose to divide the two camps based on things we understand and hold true and valuable - honor, integrity, compassion, tolerance, diversity, understanding, equality, and the hope for a prosperous posterity - a better tomorrow. But that is how we the civilized have been taught to rationalize. But our adversary has been taught a very different message, a very old message, a message of exclusion, intolerance, and superiority. A superiority of religious beliefs instead of race. A message that has to change - or be changed.
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Open Letter to any pissed-off Muslim:

The civilized secular world does not behead citizens for freedom of speech, nor do we censure news agencies. It is this freedom of expression and the press that keeps our society open and accountable and honest, not so much in fact as in comparison to the Muslim world. Besides, the Muslim world has long used imagery to depict the Jews, and the west in general, as evil protagonist to their intolerant faith. Of course it is this double standard (look up the term "turnspeak" for more on this subject) that has led to the deplorable denial of the very existence of the holocaust and the miseducation of the Muslim populous in general (read more on this here).
Here are a couple of facts for which the average Muslim would literally kill to conceal:
A: Most Muslim countries originally supported the Nazis and still adhere to those beliefs (google it). In fact the swastika is embedded in Arab/Muslim art and artifacts. Three of the cartoons that have the Muslim world raging (complete with swastika) are posted here (below) in retaliation for said rage and rhetoric, and to openly defy those who would censure my freedom of expression for which so many brave souls have paid the ultimate price to preserve. I post them here not because they are funny or specifically because they enrage 1/5 of the world but because I CAN and MAY. No one is going to come into my home under cover of darkness, or in government swat team force to take me away by force and detain me indefinitely without due process of law. Personally I agree they are offensive, just as offensive as pictures of topless Nuns, or the deliberate destruction of statues of Buddha by Islamic fundamentalists throughout Asia (google it), or deliberately building ones church (or, ahem, Mosque) on the very grounds where the church of another was intentionly destroyed (everywhere but particularly in the middle-east). But I don't think the persons that did those dirty deeds dirt cheap should have their throats slit or heads cut off either.
B: Muslims do not want a two-state solution to the middle-east conflict. What they really want is the eradication and/or extermination of not only the Jewish state, but of all persons and states that are not Muslim (look up "infidel"). And they almost unilaterally see the slaughter of innocent men, women, and infants as a legitimate tool for these aims. You see, the spread of Islam is one's "Duty to Allah" and any ground once (and that's once - as in one time) ruled by Islam is to always remain Islam. Conversion or reversion from Islam the nation state or religion is prohibited by the Koran. It is this never retreat strategy that is built into the Koran that is intended to expedite the spread of Islam. So the stoning to death of a child for converting to any infidel (non-Muslim) religion, and the seeking to wipe Israel off the map are rooted in the same dogma that offers the options of  forced assimulation and/or conversion, submission, or distruction. It's the Islamic equivelant of colonialism, their reversed crusades.
C: Hamas is the legitimate and dominant voice of the average Muslim on the street. That is why they so easily won the recent Muslim election in the middle east. And they are in fact a terrorist organization as terrorism is defined (deliberate violence against unarmed civilians to affect political change) by "western" logic and reason. Therefore not only is their very inclusion in the political process there an abomination to the democratic process, it also invalidates the results. Their victory sends the western world accidental insight into the Muslim psyche which will somehow again go undigested.
D: There is no Muslim Palestinian state. There never was. The land  in  question has had many names over time but it is the Jews who date back to the region some 5,000 years. It is the Muslims who invaded, conquered, occupied, annexed, and forcibly assimilated into Muslim doctrine the region some 1500 years ago. It is the Muslims who verify this as they honor the conqueror (Mohammed) and his descendants. The region was under British, then Jordanian rule for centuries when Israel seized the so-called "occupied territories" in a series of defensive wars from multiple Muslim nations including Jordan ("Palestine" or the "West Bank"), Gaza and the Siani Peninsula (Egypt), and the Golan Heights (Syria). For decades (and until recently unilaterally) a simple official declaration of Israel's "right to exist" on the 17% of the land they were allocated on the west bank by U.N. mandate would have returned said territories and repatriated those afflicted but the Muslim world refused. To date only Egypt has taken advantage of the offer while all the other states turned to organized terrorism to repulse and evict the "occupiers" instead. Eventually Israel annexed most of those regions and began populating them. For them to now simply walk away from these lands they are quite capable of retaining as a concession for peace a half century later while the other so-called partners for peace conceed absolutely nothing is a rediculous position to negotiate from. But understand it is not intended to be accepted. Thus the armed resistence, from which the end justifys any means, can continue.
The Pictures:

Hero from across the pond
...What makes one a freedom fighter (guerilla) and another a terrorist? What is the definition of a hero? And who are the real heroes of our time? These questions are not rhetorical as they have rather simple answers.
Might is not always right. In fact if 'might' was a diplomat, s/he would not even wish to discuss this point. But Right always seems to have 'might'- even in defeat. And who decides what is 'Right'? Often the victors are the ones who write the history books. Were the Romans or the Greeks always right when they conquered other peoples? Or was the fact they were so often victorious AND wrote the history books more the reason they were eventually depicted as bringing "enlightenment" and "civilization" to the "barbarians?" And although that may have indeed been the case in many circumstances, there can be little doubt the Persians, English, Jews, Africans, Europeans, and others who fought against such enlightenment likely did not feel 'wrong, barbaric," or inferior when defending their homelands. Were these peoples terrorists or freedom fighters when the resisted invaders? The truth is there were usually plenty of both.
...The difference between legitimate resistance and terrorism is actually a very simple distinction. It matters not how one fights; rather, it matters who one fights. Intentionally targeting innocent civilians, particularly women and children, is of course a very wrong way to initiate political, social, or national change. It is also terrorism, regardless of motive or reason. No cause, not even perceived liberation, can justify terrorism as defined here. Even in the case of occupation one resisting same must target sanctioning governments (soldiers, infrastructure, government representatives and officials, etc.) to claim legitimacy. Thus, Palestinians (and the "Arab street") are not 'wrong' because they burn American flags or kill their "occupiers" - they are wrong because they support, entice, participate in, and condone international terrorism - intentionally targeting civilians. Occasionally terrorist groups target legitimate targets, but this is the exception and not the rule. In contrast Israel intentionally targets individual terrorists, and while innocents are often killed in the process, this is the exception and not the rule. Why? Because one is right and one is wrong. When one fights and/or dies for a cause, even if just, s/he is judged by the civilized world a terrorist or hero dependent upon whom, not how they fought. Thus, there are very few modern muslim heroes.
...So a hero is one who not only supports, but fights for a just cause and against the right targets. But there is more to it than that. Fighting, even to the death, may be heroic but there needs to be extra circumstances to be a real hero. One such element is fighting for a just cause, against the right enemy, and in the right way (targeting) EVEN THOUGH such action is particularly unpopular to the masses. Enter Tony Blair.
...When Blair went before his government to ask it to endorse and assist the "Coalition of the Willing" fewer than one-third of the British public supported the war against Saddam Hussein. And even though he is known to rule with the latest public polls tucked in his jacket pocket he drug his government and his people into "harm's way" because fighting Hussein is the right thing to do. And he has done so at great peril to his political future. He has been steadfast in his resolve, uncompromising in his convictions, and faithful to his country, even though its support for him has not been concrete. He has been heroic in his actions above and beyond any normal call, against a truly evil adversary, and despite internal dissension. He is a true modern day hero.
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From 70 Great Years to Sudden Death
Joe Hutchison 01-02-04
...Since its inception the National Football League has stood alone, different from every other level of every sport. Not merely the highest elevation of football, the league embodied the truest, purest form of competition. The NFL had rules that separated it from even other levels of football. Golden rules that made it unlike any other organized competition in America or elsewhere.
Among them is the concept that once concluded nothing can change the outcome of a game.  There are no appeals, no redos, no shared or added medals, no championships or thrones taken away by committee, no votes, no polls, no maybes. Simply take the best teams, face them off in a single-elimination playoff, and one team emerges as the only team to win its last game - one champion. It had a certain finality, a pureness to it all.
...There were built-in rules that separated the professional football game from other sports as well. Concepts really, that set the game apart.  Ideologies that had stood, and passed the test of time.  Like the idea that two field goals were never, make that NEVER, as good as a touchdown.  There was no field position penalty for attempting a field goal; settling for a field goal was penalty enough.  And the referees decision was final. It wasn't always right mind you, and the refs seldom overruled each other, but once a call was made it was final. Deal with it was the mentality. That's what a champion had to do, deal with adversity - and overcome it.  And parity was not the aim, dynasty was.  If an amateur was good enough he was drafted by a team. That player could sign and join the elite league, or not. Those were the options. Players could complete their contract and if they were good enough could eventually demand and earn more money, a trade, or free agency.  The rules were hard to change, and seldom needed to be.  And of course the consummate rule of the game was the overtime period.  For it wasn't really a period at all; it was sudden death.  The first team to score won.  Could that tiebreaker be any more simple?  If a team did not get the ball first, then it had to play good special teams, then defense.  It was, after all, a team effort.  All these traits are what set the game apart, no above, all others.  For seventy years this formula elevated the NFL to the pentacle of pro sports. More importantly if set the league apart as a truly American sport.  The game had a finality to it.  And television networks clamored to broadcast the games because of its popularity.  Any NFL game was special.  My how times have changed.
...The college game is mired in imperfection, controversy, parity, compliance, and frankly averagenesss.  The rules make it easier to succeed (one foot in bounds equals success) and constantly change to make it ever easier.  The overtime is a spin-off of the high school game (your turn, my turn, your turn).  There are two-point conversions so that ties are easier to achieve.  Time outs are not critical to the trailing team since every first down results in a clock stoppage, and if you fall down the play is over (don't want the boys to get hurt now, do we).  And in Division 1A, the championship is not determined on the field of play.  It is voted for all season long by multiple polls.  What a mess.
...Ever watch a soccer game grind on for three hours to a scoreless tie, then end in a 9-8 score with their little kicking exhibitions?  Or go to a fight and watch a hockey game break out?  Ever watch an untimed sport like baseball crawl along with the urgency of reading a book?  Or a boxing match end because one's eye gets puffy or one's lip gets busted?  Ever been to a free throw shooting exhibition regulated by refs who blow their little whistles so often they can't catch their breaths?  Yes, pro football stood alone as the sport of men - real men watched the NFL.
...But since the rule of its latest commissioner, things have begun to change in the NFL. And they continue to change. But is it change for the better?  I think not.  The very concepts that helped create and perpetuate the pro football game are being chipped away in a misguided effort to improve perfection.  Salary caps and guaranteed salaries based on years played make it near impossible for players to play their entire career in one locale.  The on again, off again, on again instant replay rule has proven a miserable travesty in its goal to make sure a bad call doesn't affect the outcome of a game.  How could it since everything is not reviewable in the first place.  Of course if the NFL had first rate, full time officials (like other pro leagues) there wouldn't be as many bad calls to begin with.  Nowadays, two field goals can equal a touchdown if one tacks on a two-point conversion.  Therefor field goals are more important than they once were so attempting one draws a penalty of seven yards lost if missed.  And trailing teams don't need time-outs since the replay booth stops the clock (and flow of the game) for every sideline play, or pass that comes anywhere near the turf - even if it only means the difference between second and nine at midfield instead of second and ten.  But as bad as that all sounds, it may get even worse if the current commissioner isn't held in check.
...There is now talk of further rule changes that may well cross the line and deteriorate the pro game even further.  With parity the new goal, picking an interesting matchup for Monday Night Football months in advance has become a guessing game that networks often fail at quite badly.  When asked if the networks might eventually have the option of naming the games it wants, the commissioner countered with the idea of having two Monday night games so networks could switch broadcasts if need be.  But with parity running rampant this proposed solution offers no guarantee of a good matchup, and more importantly would nullify the ONLY nationwide solo weekly game.  The commissioner has also stated he would like to see sudden death altered to guarantee each team gets at least one offensive possession - demeaning special teams and defense.  Why not just devolve to your turn, my turn with each team guaranteed equal shots from the 25 yard line?  Oh wait, that's the high school, er college method.  He even proposed no overtime.  Just let the team with the ball as time ends in the 4th quarter keep it where it is and continue.  Wouldn't it be fairer to just eliminate the four quarters and game clock altogether and make it say ten alternating possessions for each team?  With such an untimed format, every single play could be reviewed and field refs eliminated altogether.
...Let's face facts.  The NFL game already is not what it used to be.  If things continue to change for the worse, it may never recover.  After seventy great years the first and only pure American sport has, in the past decade, become victim to mass media capitalism.  But all is not lost.  There is a way back to greatness, but it will take a true leader to right the ship.  We need a commissioner with the guts to make some quite simple yet hard changes.  Train and use full time skilled referees to make calls on the field, markedly decreasing the number of officiating errors.  Allow coaches two failed challenges per game at any time with no penalty to make sure a bad call does not decide the outcome, and eliminate the so-called booth reviews that stop the flow of the game.  Eliminate the two-point point-after-touchdown conversion so that two field goals ARE NEVER as good as a touchdown.  Let the broadcast networks pick the non-nationally televised game they wish one week in advance for the Monday Night game.  Trust me, no team or player will mind having a Sunday game delayed one day and play before a national audience under the lights.  And last but not least, leave sudden death alone.  Else the NFL epitaph will read - "From Seventy Great Years to Sudden Death."
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on Michael Vick
Bulldog or bitch
Vick was always a diva, wanna be big dawg. he was fast and had skills but was never all he thought he was. even when ratted out by his so-called bros he denied any real wrong doing. "Oh, I didn't do this, or do that, that was them, they..." blah blah blah. now it's over. vick's going to the big kennel - doesn't matter if it's one year or 5. doesn't matter if he did everything they claim or just some of it. what matters is he had a chance to come clean and he passed it up thinking he was above the law. well, he is - kindda. me or you would be facing 7-20 years. he might get out in 1, 3, or 5. don't matter - the falcons are thru with him. the nfl is thru with him. and mainstream america is thru with him. his only supporters are the typical anti-socialites that always support even the most guilty, the naacp, afl-cio, al sharpton, liz taylor (lol), and the like. now he goes to the big kennel - doesn't matter for how long - he's a goin' and there he will meet nasty nate, bubba, and lots of other REAL pit bulls who will all tell him the same thing... "boy, you sure got a pretty mouth on you, can you pray real nice for me?" the only bets that will soon be revolving around vick is:
1-is he a spitter or a swallower?
2-is diva meat really pinker and softer than real dog meat?
3-how much can he deepthroat without gagging?
4-can he still talk with his mouth full?
and what about when he gets out? hey, i've been to ATL many times. in fact i'm working there now. there will always be places in ATL where vick will be popular: northside, southside, fulton blvd, etc. places where a sweet diva bitch will always be popular. and with the new skills he's gonna develop in prison, he should be fairly popular once out. all the real bulldogs in georgia will soon lay claim, "Vick?, yeah I did him, a little overated, but still a sweet snack."
personally i think it's a joke for a human to go to jail for a significant period of time over an animal - any animal, for any reason. the dog betting, fighting, and even killing were not his undoing, nor was it his gambling on same; it was his repeated and ongoing refusal to fess up - thinking he is above it all and can walk away from it or anything else. THAT's what the average man in the street is - and will continue - to hold against him....

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Sponsoring Terrorism
The War on Terrorism IS NOT a political toy.
It is a real and present danger for the civilized world and should not be used to perpetuate others ideals upon the masses. To this end let's separate myth from fact. . .
Myth #1:
Drug money supports terrorism
You've all seen the ads. This is the little girl who got shot by the dealer, who got paid by the user, who blah, blah, blah, or the commercial that suggests "it's simple, no drug users - no drug dealers, no drug dealers - no drug problem. It's not that complicated." Jeez, people really buy that naive dreamworld rhetoric? I live in the real world -the one that saw cocaine, gin, marijuana, and now crack epidemics. In this real world people use drugs and alcohol. But the vast majority are light, social users who use 'lesser' drugs to lesser degrees, drugs that are legal in some countries who - by the way - have significantly lower crime rates. The other man in the ad is right after all; the drug problem "is a complex issue" and should be sorted out in the family, spiritual, social, and medical theaters and not in legal arenas. Removing the legal aspects in drug use (decriminalization) would render irrelevant the underground support and control of the drug trade. Some teenager smoking a joint, or old lady hitting the bottle, or some lost soul firing the glass, does not support terrorism. Terrorism is taught and cultured by Muslims in schools and Mosques to preteen boys (If that truth stings, complain to them not me. I am just a master of the obvious).
Myth #2:
SUVs (gas guzzlers) support terrorism
The theory behind this myth is that moneys generated and sent to Arab countries (oil producers) wind up in the hands of terrorists. While the premise may be true, the difference between 17 MPG vehicles and 25 MPG vehicles is not sufficient to warrant the overall claim. That would be like saying 25 MPG vehicles support terrorism LESS than 17 MPG vehicles. Also, if that argument were true, what about Cadillacs, and hummers? That would also mean the rich and elite (including actors with their limos) are supporting terrorism. And while they may be collectively obstructionary to the war on terrorism, I am personally not ready to imply they support terrorism. Plus, terrorists do not run OPEC. If Arab countries do in fact support terrorism, this is a choice they make and has nothing to do with what type of vehicle non-terrorists drive. Red herring. Did Toyota start this myth?
Paying U.S. income tax supports terrorism
The US government derives 100% of its moneys from federal income tax. Last year the US government gave billions upon billions of dollars to rogue governments and illigetimate regimes in one form of aid or another - governments like China, North Korea, and the PLO -and other proven sponsors and supporters of international terrorism. Our government also allows the growing of poppy in Afghanistan, and does business and grants loans in Northern South America and Mexico despite unrestricted cocaine and marijuana cultivation and export to U.S. cities. It appears the so-called "war on drugs" is only a priority where globally wealthy citizens (Americans) can be persecuted (er, prosecuted) and tariff extracted.
If you really want to curtail drug proliferation and fight terrorism,
don't pay income tax.
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Partisan Tuesday:
American Heroes and Heretics
... There are some basic common sense -written or unwritten- laws that are easy to understand and universally accepted by every American prior to December 7, 2000. Indeed, they are, or were, so universally accepted six weeks ago that their very inclusion to written law was so automatic and unchallenged it went virtually unsaid. Unfortunately these very broad, open-ended, often conflicting points of written law are among the sharpest of daggers thrust through the chest of American justice. These laws are challenged now in spirit and rhetoric only to fulfill the strictest of partisan positions. 
...The first American law of common sense is that every vote counts. This of course is quite impossible if every vote is not counted. It is clear in the majority opinion that had time constraints specified in the constitution not been pounding at the door, they would have preferred to make an alternative ruling, one that perhaps allowed some way to facilitate counting all the votes. And yet to have ordered such a remedy would have indeed rewritten existing law. That is why the Florida Supreme Court so wisely did not set a uniform standard for the recount and relied on individual county communities to interpret the catch-all phrasing in the statute. And yet in making this timetable such a predominate sticking point of the law, the highest court did not address the suggestion of half the nation that the other half, through legal proxy, sought to delay and foray this process with the sole intent of running out that very clock. 
...A common misperception of many Americans is that the judiciary system is somehow less zealous in and at politics than other branches of the federal government. Likewise, many erroneously assumed that the most partisan process imaginable, namely the selection of the President, be it at the polls or in the highest court in the land, could be decided along anything other than party lines. Regardless, assuming one has not viewed a session of any government body the mandatory ten minutes necessary to conclude ultimate partisanship the theme, or assuming one has and simply didn't think it applied at the lofty level of the U.S. Supreme Court, this idealism can hereby be dismissed. Florida's election laws and the intents and common sense judgments therein are as clear and disproportionate as any other state's. But, apparently, and only in an election for president, they are not clear enough. Thus interpretation is called for. Previously the final authority in any such interpretation has been the responsibility of that state's supreme court -until now. 
... The majority fumbled in a dramatic way when it cited standards of fair play with regard to the impact on the election of counting selected votes in nonstandard ways. Little or no weight was given to the vastly differing standards in voting apparatuses in which socio-economically diverse persons vote in Florida. The majority basically said that adherence to the strict electoral guidelines -where they are so clearly specified as in the many various deadlines and semideadlines - is more important that the will of the majority of the voters in an election. They further set the precedent that if state laws as set forth by the legislature are unclear, or even worse contradictory, the supreme court of that state has no authority to interpret -thereby rendering the state supreme courts impotent on such matters. This is very important. What is to prevent the loser of the next election of such importance, in the event the margin is razor thin and with the provision that that party holds a majority in both the U.S. Supreme Court and the state supreme court, to challenge the results in sectors of the state whereby they know to hold an advantage, from calling for a recount to recover valid votes that non-standardized machinery simply missed and thereby change the results? The answer is, simply, nothing. 
...The solution is clear. In clear and definite terms, the official (majority) opinion states “In certifying election results, the votes eligible for inclusion in the certification are the votes meeting the properly established legal requirements. This case has shown that punch card balloting machines can produce an unfortunate number of ballots which are not punched in a clean, complete way by the voter." In effect it condemns the unbalanced methods in Florida and the rest of the nation by which ballots are cast and counted. But rather than offering relief to those who suffered from such inadequacies, the U.S. Supreme Court exonerated the weak and often conflicting statutes, stripped away the authority of the Florida Supreme Court to interpret those laws, and its authority to correct errors. Instead they denunciated the “mechanisms” that lead to those legally cast and machine-counted votes, “After the current counting, it is likely legislative bodies nationwide will examine ways to improve the mechanisms and machinery for voting.” Based on the precedent now established the interpretation of these new laws are to be determined with ultimate authority only by federal courts, but only (at least for now) in federal elections. 
...Ultimately the ruling states that the processes by which votes are cast, counted, certified, contested, and protested are impossible to “fairly” apply within time frames rigidly set forth by the legislature. Further, the ruling says that no remedy or relief, regardless of circumstance, applied by the courts shall have precedence or weight over any clearly defined portion or sub portion of existing law -even one of less importance or consequence. What a comfortable position that is. To be able to say, ‘Hey, this whole thing is so messed up that even we cannot fairly fix it in the time frame specified by federal law, as interpreted along party lines. So just forget the whole thing, we’ll go with the numbers that suit the party in control. We’ll rationalize this by relying on those parts of the law that are specific and that support our partisan majority position. And, oh by the way, you states need to fairly standardize your voting machinery, clarify your methods of settling disputes and counting of ballots, and do this all without interpretation or interaction from the highest court in your state -unless of course the political majority of your state supreme court is of the same disposition as the U.S. Supreme Court. We are the U.S. Supreme Court. Our only job is to strike down or affirm existing laws that directly conflict with some specified point within the U.S. Constitution. We are guardians of the Constitution and cannot intervene to settle disputes such as this. We can stop any legally derived process in which we don’t like the expected results but cannot resolve legal issues for the states. We shall not, nor allow others to interpret law or provide relief to harmed parties outside provisions previously established regardless of fairness, intent, or ambiguity. So let it be written, so let it be done.’ 
..Count every vote. It’s a very catchy phrase, one that appeals to every true American. The problem in implementation however is extreme. In a system where more than half of all eligible voters are disenfranchised to the point of self exclusion, every vote has never been counted. And hand counting or inspecting possibly millions of votes within a few hours so the news agencies can bring the winner’s acceptance speech into prime time living rooms is impossible under current law, in Florida and elsewhere. This is exactly why states have such election codes in the first place. 
...When Mr. Boies was being grilled as to why his side contested and protested only in certain counties, his answer was very professional and legally correct. He stated that the provisions for disputing were stipulated within existing Florida election law and they disputed the results within that framework. An excellent legally correct answer, but not a very American one. I so badly wanted him to say, “heck yes, when we say count every vote, we mean count every vote, count them all. We have never been opposed to that. But time constraints and existing Florida law restrict our protests to specified votes, so we went to counties where it was proven there were five times as many errors as others.” But that’s not what he said. No doubt he was concerned that the other side of the rift would interpret that as “you mean count votes only where you feel you have an advantage.” But isn’t that the same as saying “only count those votes that are counted by the machines” -places where mistakes are less frequent, the public more affluent, and where the machinery is newer and better, oh and more Republican? Of course it is. 
...And herein lies the real problem. Almost sentence for sentence did I agree with the majority decision. The positions stated there were very American, and sought to be fair, but they were not heroic. Indeed, they were timid, partisan, grossly unfair, and borderline heresy. The high court was apparently very concerned that “standardless" recounts in heavily Democratic counties wasn’t fair to Bush. In rebuttal they were not standardless, the standards were simply set forth with some variance within the counties much as laws governing pornography are across America today. They were deemed standardless along party lines. Boies posed that the affect on the difference of votes gained or lost was substantially less than that created by the non-standard voting apparatuses based along socioeconomic and therefor political lines. This was an interesting argument that deserved further examination but did not receive same. If, in fact, it could be proven that was true, wouldn’t the proposed recounts be even more important to “count” or measure the true intent of the majority of Florida voters? Of course it would. 
...For me, this is the main objective, the overriding principle, the point that should carry more weight than any and all others combined, the one that should empower courts to interpret or change law if necessary to ensure. And one slain by partisanship on both sides. 
..The impact resulting from this decision is not small. It is, in fact, the demarcation of the failure of the great American experiment in democracy. In an election where every vote did not count it call came down to a 5-4 vote by officials not directly elected by the people -five republicans outvoted four democrats. Our next president is an important historical figure in that he is the first U.S. president appointed by a partisan court and not elected winner by the people. Since all legally cast votes (votes legally cast where the voters' clear intent can be established) were not counted, no one won this election. But there is a loser. It is we the American public. As the dissenting opinion states,“. . . the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.” There are heroes present in this ruling. Unfortunately, one will need to read the dissenting opinions to fully appreciate their respective patriotism. The ‘win one for my team over all else’ mentality is better exemplified in the majority opinion. 
...The history of this world has counted true, organized, recognized democracies on a single hand. It similarly has counted political reigns of a thousand years or more. Where these two have coincided the model has only a small variance. First is the period of true Democracy where every citizen has a direct say in the forces that affect one’s quality of life. I shall call this first trimester True Democracy. As the populous grows to proportions that make this more difficult, and as the elected government grows richer and more powerful than the citizenry, the elite take measure to rule in a more productive and representative way. “We now know what is best for the ignorant masses.” Let’s call this second trimester Republicanism. The final trimester should be obvious. Eventually there is a single one who rules with ultimate wisdom and authority knowing singularly what is best for his or her subjects. This phase has many names across history dependent upon the popularity and relative successes of the one in charge. The common denominator across time is that this is the last trimester of a nation or a people. As the chasm between the upper crust of a society and those at the structural bottom grows, so does internal dissent. The consequences from this are also well documented in the annals of total history -revolution. 
...This ruling, when reviewed and taught in schools around the world thirty, sixty, even one-hundred years from now will merely serve as a point on a chart between democracy and republicanism in America. This is not however a death sentence, only a line on a chart. This ruling does not mean America can not still be the next thousand year reign. It only means that this dynasty will not be accomplished as a democracy. Long live the Republic -and of course the emperors that follow. 

... Joe Hutchison 
American Citizen

"This document is the most important thing I have ever written, destined to be read by 
virtually no one, and disagreed with by more than half the people -a truly political piece." 
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