Sense from Seattle

Common sense thoughts on life and current affairs by a Seattle area sexagenarian, drawing on personal experience, years of learning as a counselor to thousands of families and an innate passion for informed knowledge, to uniquely express sensible, thoughtful, honest and independent views.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Networks Were Right in 2000

The networks are going to work very hard Tuesday to avoid a repeat of their mistake in 2000 by calling Florida for Gore. But they did not make a mistake in 2000 of misreporting who people cast their ballots for. They relied on exit polls, asking those on their way out of polling places who they just voted for, and the answer was that more voted for Gore than for Bush. That was true. But the problem was, because of the confusing butterfly ballot, so many people who thought they had voted for Gore ended up marking their ballots erroneously. The County Election Supervisor responsible for designing that ballot, Teresa LaPore, was voted out of office, but her term does not end until after the Presidential election. I haven't made time to check her 2004 ballot design, and I don't know if this supposed copy is true, but if you go to this link, you will see an interesting supposed copy:

Bush and the Saudis

The Bush family has such long and strong connections with the Saudi Royal family, that I think someone like should have funded some last minute campaign ads reminding voters how connected the Bush family is to the Saudi Princes and how the Saudi Royals enjoy astounding wealth from oil while the people of their country are denied civil rights and a fair share of the wealth. Pictures of the Bushes and Saudis together could have been used, along with the pictures of the 9/11 perpetrators and Osama, reminding voters that Osama and most of the perpetrators are Saudis.

Such a tactic may remind some of the Willie Horton ads run against Dukakis - By Bush the First.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Changing Horses in Mid-Stream

The old proverb about not changing horses in the middle of the stream is being used by some as an argument to keep Bush. Such proverbs are about as simplistic as Bush himself. The fact is, if you have a horse that is stubborn with a mind of its own and has gone off in the wrong direction, endangering the rider and cargo, and acting oblivious to the other horses in the stream, it is better to switch to a nearby horse that is more dependable and responsive, has a clearer sense of where the other side of the stream is and is mindful of what the other horses are up to.

A more helpful approach is the concept of the previous investment trap. We all have made the mistake of keeping some foolish and totally useless item we bought a while back, because getting rid of it seems like admitting that our investment in buying the item was a mistake. But keeping it will not change reality - it is foolish and useless and it was a mistake to have bought it. And keeping it just perpetuates the mistake - every time we see the item we feel bad about it and about ourselves for being mistaken. Better to get rid of the item and replace it with a sensible and useful one. Then, not only will the new item be of inherent value, but it will also make us feel better about ourselves.

America, it is time to clean house.

New bin Laden tape

Bush and Kerry are both spinning the new bin Laden tape in support of their campaigns. I don't get the Bush spin. Why should people re-hire the man on whose watch 9/11 occurred, who initially talked big about getting bin Laden and then let Afghan War Lords handle it rather than US Special Forces, who then quickly diverted attention to Iraq and Saddam, and who has indicated no plan for a drive to find and kill or capture bin Laden?

Ask yourself this: on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the strongest, how strong do you think Bush committed himself to getting bin Laden and how strong to getting Saddam? To me, there is no question Saddam was a 10, even before 9/11. As for bin Laden, I really don't see much commitment - maybe a half-hearted 5?

Cheney Lies About Explosives

Dick Cheney is continuing his disgusting practice of telling flat out lies to the American public. This time he is lying about the explosives the IAEA says the US military failed to secure after the invasion of Iraq. The Pentagon has quickly put up an army officer who says he destroyed some materials from the general area in question, but when asked if it has been confirmed that any of the materials he destroyed were those put in question by the IAEA, both the officer and the Pentagon said they did not know.

Nevertheless, the New York Times reports:

Soon afterward, however, Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking at a campaign stop in Dimondale, Mich., cited the Army officer's comments, at a Pentagon news conference, as evidence that some of the missing explosives had been demolished.

"They seized and destroyed some 250 tons of ammunition,'' Mr. Cheney said, "which included in that amount some significant portions of the explosives in question.''

Here is the Times article link [subscription may be required to view it]:
The New York Times > Washington > Soldier Tells of Destroying Some Arms

Another Looted Explosives Site

A second site of explosives, reported to the US military after the Iraq invasion, has now become public information. This site, at the 2nd War College, was ignored for at least 10 days, during which time it was looted readily.

Here is the Associated Press Article:

Group Says It Warned U.S. About Explosives - EarthLink - International News

Friday, October 29, 2004

Video Proof Re Misssing Iraq Explosives

ABC News has video taken by an embedded news crew showing US troops opening and checking the bunkers where about 350 tons of high grade explosives have gone missing. Previous Bush arguments that this never happened on the US watch are now being replaced with an attempt to downplay the significance of what they claim is less than 1% of such explosives.

Aside from the fact that we may yet find out the devious Bush forces are covering up even more substantial disappearances, 350 tons of high grade can kill a lot of Americans - and could already have been responsible for some of the American deaths in Iraq.

Check out this article: U.S.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Disenfranchisement by Republicans

The Bush idea of Compassionate Conservative Christian values apparently places very high "The end justifies the means." If God wants George to be elected, then it must be OK with God to disenfranchise infidels who would presume to vote for Kerry. The news is replete with stories of a myriad of Republican schemes to keep potential Democrat votes from being cast or to be counted once they are cast. But if God wants George to win, then why does he make the Republicans have to do the "hard work" of voter disenfranchisement? Oh well, He works in mysterious ways sometimes. Maybe He figures the Republicans will appreciate it better if George wins by hook and crook; after all they seem to have done so the last time around.

For a ludicrously funny video about electronic Presidential voting in Florida, check out .

How Many Iraqis Have Died?

How many Iraqis have been killed since the US led invasion of Iraq began last year, including Saddam's troops, so-called insurgents, victims of insurgents and the "civilian collateral damage" victims the Pentagon assured would be kept to an absolute minimum? Here is an answer from the Reuters news agency. I doubt it will receive mainstream American media coverage.

"Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq," said Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a report just published online by The Lancet medical journal.

"The use of air power in areas with lots of civilians appears to be killing a lot of women and children," Roberts told Reuters.

The researchers used door to door interviews and comparisons of pre and post invasion death figures to compile the report, which was peer reviewed. Two thirds of the deaths were in Falluja where the US has conducted massive air strikes.


A copy of Google for Dummies from the public library has facilitated the start of this blog. After a year or so of thinking about doing it, a chapter in the Dummies book showed how easy it is to start a blog through Google.

I have not been a blog reader, other than to read portions of blogs I have been led to by Google searches. Except for a brief try at a garden journal a couple years back, I have not written a journal for almost forty years. In the last few years I have been posting regularly to a private Internet family forum, and some of those postings have been the type I envision placing here.

I am not including biographical material, since this is a publicly accessible blog and I am concerned about my privacy, though I expect the first readers, and maybe the only readers, will be people who already know me.

For any readers not that familiar with me, you can expect to find here thoughts and ideas that may be described by some people with adjectives like these [excluding expletives by those who would strongly disagree with me]: opinionated, liberal, secular, Democrat, progressive, tolerant, humanitarian, civil libertarian.

Blog writing, especially for possible public consumption, is new to me and I know I have much to learn about it, but I am ready to begin.