Week Thirteen - October 21th, 2004

Greetings once again,

Number 14 will be the last Volume of BU - - SH - - and I plan to send it out my Monday, November 1st.  You might see it as early as next Thursday or Friday but I guarantee no later then the 1st.  With that said, let’s move on to this week’s info.  I start this week with a rather lengthy introduction regarding fear and the role it has played in the campaign.  Dubya Fun Fact #27 is simply a compilation of quotes from Dubya & Co supporting the argument that they are fear-mongers.

Fear

The climate in America has become fear-drenched.  Therefore, fear is an important factor to consider in this year’s election.  Much of the country’s fear after 9/11 evolves around “terrorism”.  It is important to understand that sometimes the things that create the greatest terror are rarely labeled with the word terrorism or perceived as terrorism.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines terrorism as, “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.”  Terror is used as a psychological means to bring about a climate of fear in hopes of collapsing a target group.

Undoubtedly, the events of September 11th evoked a sense of fear in all of us.  However, President Bush has capitalized on that sense of fear in an effort to not only defeat John Kerry, but also to force his right-wing conservative agenda upon the American people.

The Bush campaign has revolved around constant reminders of September 11th.  The purpose?  To draw out the emotional response that all of us had to the events of that day, to bring us all back to the fear we experienced.  Why?  Bush wants to use that emotional response to target – not Osama Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda – but the character and campaign of his opponent, John Kerry.

Although terrorist attacks can kill thousands of people, the essence of terrorism is not destruction, but terror.  Destruction is a means to the end, and the end is a psychological effect.  Bush would have you believe that, if elected, Kerry and his leadership of our nation would result in mass destruction.  George Bush is using his own form of terrorism to promote his conservative political agenda.

Be aware of your own fear and understand that a fearful person typically misperceives the magnitude of a risk.  Also, a fearful person’s strongest desire is to eliminate the threat.  Don’t fall victim to the misperceptions that Bush has created.  Look beyond a “withdrawal from threat” response, and evaluate the true issues at hand in this year’s election: the social, economic, and theological direction of our country.  Consider issues regarding education, health insurance, taxes, job creation, etc.  Cast your vote based on where the candidates stand on issues.  Be mindful that a fearful person is willing to pay huge costs in order to reduce their feelings of fear and anxiety. Don’t allow falsified fears created by a politician to cloud your judgment when you cast your vote on November 2nd.

Dubya Fun Fact #26

Dubya plans to privatize social security.  When speaking to a group of his core supporters this past week, Dubya was quoted as saying once he’s inaugurated in January, he is going to privatize social security.  Here are some facts regarding his proposal that should alarm you.

  • The core of his proposal is to allow younger workers to “own” a portion of their social security benefits by giving them the power to invest a portion of their social security in stocks, bonds, etc. in a private account.
  • Currently, the social security taxes that workers pay in are basically going straight to pay for the benefits of current retirees.
  • So if the current worker keeps a portion of their own future benefits in private accounts, a substantial amount of funds are lacking to pay current recipients.
  • The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates Dubya’s plan would create a two trillion dollar gap in dollars being paid in versus dollars paid out.
  • Considering those numbers, the retirement age would have to be increased or benefits cut by as much as 40% to current recipients as well as those who will begin collecting social security in the near future.


Dubya Fun Fact #27

As stated in the intro, this is merely a compilation of quotes outlining Dubya & Co.’s use of fear as a cornerstone of their campaign and overall message to the people.

  • America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” – George W. Bush, 10/8/02
  • "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States." – Dick Cheney, 9/7/04
  • We’re gonna get attacked again.” – George W. Bush
  • …now Kerry says: We have to get back to the place where terrorists are a nuisance like gambling and prostitution, we're never going to end them. Terrorism - a nuisance?  How can Kerry protect us when he doesn't understand the threat?" – Voiceover on recent Bush/Cheney campaign advertisement.
  • "The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us -- biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.” – Dick Cheney, 10/19/04

Kerry Fun Fact #15

The following is an outline of Kerry’s stance on social security

  • As president, John Kerry will not raise Social Security taxes, raise the retirement age, cut benefits for people that rely on Social Security, or privatize Social Security. He will consider making sure that high-income beneficiaries don't get more out than they pay in.
  • Under current law, Social Security is projected to be solvent through 2042. Current law revenues would be sufficient to pay 73 percent of scheduled benefits after trust fund exhaustion in 2042.
  • Here are the three pillars of John Kerry's approach to strengthening social security:
    • Grow the economy. The Kerry-Edwards plan will jump-start growth today and invest in stronger long-run growth. A larger economy will be in a better position to pay for an increasing number of retirees.
    • Restore fiscal discipline. Social Security is part of the broader fiscal challenge facing America. The Kerry-Edwards plan will cut the deficit in half and restore fiscal discipline to Washington.
    • Bipartisan Process. Historically, successful reforms of Social Security and Medicare - like in 1983 and 1997 - have been accomplished on a bipartisan basis. As president, John Kerry will build on his strong record of working with Democrats and Republicans on fiscal issues to address Social Security's challenge.
    • Here is more information on Kerry’s plan for Social Security and Medicare.

Links

  • This one is very funny…just check it out…it’s quite fun!
  • Looks like the Republicans are doing what they can to disenfranchise voters in this election.
  • Here is an article about Dubya being such a strong advocate for women (that would be sarcasm)
  • Here is a great article about Iraq.  It also has a very interesting point that things would be much better in Iraq if Dubya and Co would have used the same overwhelming force against Saddam, his loyalists, and current insurgents that he uses to try and destroy Kerry’s campaign.
  • The official website for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL)
  • The official website for Kerry
  • The official website for Dubya
  • Forgot My Lunch - My friend John's website.  On it he has a re-defeat Bush section that archives past Volumes of my weekly BU - - SH - - email as well as some other good info.

Media (books, CDs, etc.)


Haikus of the Week

poor americans
they just want food and shelter
let them all eat war

November second
get your ass out to the polls
and fire George and Dick

Dubya Quotes of the Week

"After standing on the stage, after the debates, I made it very plain we will not have an all-volunteer Army.” – George W. Bush, October 16, 2004.  At a campaign rally in Daytona Beach.  Dubya meant to say we would not have a draft but misspoke…it’s still hilarious if you see a video of the speech.

Here is a short article about his mix-up. 

"She was neat." – George W. Bush, July 18, 2001.  Referring to Queen Elizabeth II as quoted in the Times of London.

Other Quotes of the Week

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." – Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

"Our allegiance will be for peace, against war, no more deaths for oil, and for a dialogue between the government of Spain and the new Kerry administration." – Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain

Make sure you check out the attached picture.  Although a bit ridiculous, it’s quite amusing.

Please send feedback to me at dfranzwa@gt.com.  If you have any suggestions on material to include in future Volumes, please let me know.  If you disagree with me on anything in my emails, I’d love to hear why.  I welcome all feedback whether it is good or bad.

Doug Franzwa