Have you voted?

20 Oct 2004

I voted.I mailed my absentee ballot today, and then I took the sticker that came with the ballot and placed it prominently on my shirt. It says, “I voted early. Now it’s up to YOU.” I’m not sure how many Chinese people can read it, and if they could whether or not they’d appreciate the irony.

I won’t say who I voted for, but anyone who knows me personally knows who I voted for. I will say this, though: living abroad definitely has a liberalizing effect. I have access to American media, but I’m not stewing in it like most of America is, and I also get to see the effects of American policies outside of the USA. I see all that as a good thing.

If you’re an American overseas, better get that ballot in. I wasn’t exactly early. And to my beloved Florida: don’t screw it up this time!

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Yes, get your votes in. They do count, esp if you are from FL, OH, PA, or MO, etc.

    Good job, John, getting it sent. Barring any postoffice screwups your vote will be counted. But of course the Floridian question this year is whether it will be recounted.

    Your diplaying the sticker is ironic and the punchline itself is punnetic. Let us know should you run into the slightest of trouble.

  2. From “The Long Shadow of Jim Crow”, a report just released by PFAW (People for the American Way) and the NAACP

    http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=16368

    …Here are a few examples of recent incidents in which groups of voters have been singled out on the basis of race.

    Most recently, controversy has erupted over the use in the Orlando area of armed, plainclothes officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to question elderly black voters in their homes. The incidents were part of a state investigation of voting irregularities in the city’s March 2003 mayoral election. Critics have charged that the tactics used by the FDLE have intimidated black voters, which could suppress their turnout in this year¡¯s elections. Six members of Congress recently called on Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate potential civil rights violations in the matter.

    This year in Florida, the state ordered the implementation of a ¡°potential felon¡± purge list to remove voters from the rolls, in a disturbing echo of the infamous 2000 purge, which removed thousands of eligible voters, primarily African-Americans, from the rolls. The state abandoned the plan after news media investigations revealed that the 2004 list also included thousands of people who were eligible to vote, and heavily targeted African-Americans while virtually ignoring Hispanic voters…

  3. i mailed my ballot 3 days ago. hope it gets there! wisconsin is one of those states too!

  4. Da Xiangchang Says: October 20, 2004 at 11:25 pm

    I didn’t want to get political since what’s the point. But when someone posts a completely horsecrap article, I got to react. So . . .

    The idea that the Republican party is barring blacks from voting is a bunch of crap. The reason many blacks are excluded from the voting booths is simple: they are FELONS. If you tell me how the the Republican party is preventing LAW-ABIDING blacks from voting, I’d the first to condemn it. But it ain’t happening.

    The NAACP is nothing but a gang of shakedown artists and racial panderers. All these “civil-rights activists” are just glorified welfare recipients.

    John, it’s funny that being abroad has given you a “liberalizing” effect; it’s the opposite case for me. After seeing how little many people have in other countries, I’ve developed ZERO tolerance for complainers in America. I have absolutely NO patience for the homeless in America–or the poor, the uneducated, the law-breaking, etc. When a Chinese or Romanian person can survive on $75 a month and not bitch about “institutional racism” or “sexism” or “tax breaks for the rich,” NO American has the right to bitch!!! If anything, my time abroad has made me SUPER-conservative on certain social issues.

  5. Louis Marshall Says: October 21, 2004 at 12:15 am

    My thoughts exactly, Da Xiangchang.

  6. you know, we are all intelligent readers who frequent john’s blog.
    some of us post frequently.
    some of us less so.
    insofar as this most recent entry of john’s, and the subsequent posts that have ensued, i wish to say:
    A) we all have arrived to our particular political beliefs in a manner which would seem sound to our own respective perspectives. this viewpoint is not supposed to tout relativism, which carries a poor reputation as being a philosophy of poppycock. instead, this assertion that most of us have come to our political beliefs in a way that seems reasonable to us is nothing more than a statement of fact.
    therefore, if someone has an inclination to share a particular position (as these posts invite us to do), we all would best be served not to openly degrade the stance of another author’s input with gross, offensive, and slanderous attacks.
    these comments are not only distasteful, they also undermine the credibility of the supposition that the post itself would wish to impart.

    B) john, floridians are already well on the way of screwing up, sadly. while a record number of eligible citizens have registered to vote, many of the voter-registration forms have been submitted incomplete. now, tallahassee is under attack because one side of the argument claims that if certain sections are blank, as long as the form has a signature, these forms should be counted as complete.
    the issue centers specifically on citizenship.
    box # 2, which reads: “Are you a U.S. citizen?”, is left unanswered. box# 17, the last section of the form, contains an oath that requires that you be a U.S. citizen, among other statements.
    other concerns have touched upon issues of the social security number and the florida driver license, blah blah.
    each side of the conflict has some degree of merit.
    my question is: if you know that florida in 2000 was a mess, if you know that voting is essential to deter another such fiasco, and if you know that florida was the recipient of so much scrutiny from the rest of the nation (everyone thought we were idiots), then why would you not fill out this form with as much care as possible?
    would people be so haphazard with filling out a form that would allow them to receive money in the way of a loan or a gift?
    if one resorts to the argument of literacy, that the form is too complicated and therefore is not easy to complete, then i have no choice but to retort that such a person would not be capable of understanding item #17, which requires your signature to the oath.
    the whole brouhaha is utterly disturbing.

  7. Anonymous Says: October 21, 2004 at 1:00 am

    This year Florida’s felon purge list was thrown out after civil rights groups and media fought for and won in Florida courts the right to have the list disclosed before the election. It was found to be so flawed that the state withdrew the list in July. The list over-represented African-Americans, with signifanctly more black felons on the list than in the total felon population at large. Many of the felons on the list had been granted clemency. Jeb Bush is on record in an email leaked back in May, before the list was disclosed to the press, to go forward with implementing the list despite complaints internally by state officials. I don’t think the facts are under dispute Da Xiangchang, only our interpretation of them. BTW personally I think felons should have the right to vote. They’ve served their time. Florida is one of only six states where felons cannot vote.

    In Orlando a get-out-the-vote organization called the Voter’s League was targeted by Florida law enforcement. It started with “on background” briefings to media saying the the League was being investigated for racketeering and voter fraud before any investigation had been carried out. Under the guise of investigating election fraud, they randomingly selected black retirees who had registered to vote by absentee ballot and sent not one, but several uniformed law enforcement officials to their homes to tell them that the Voter’s League was being investigated. A lot of these people, mostly old or handicapped African-Americans, will simply not participate any more. No charges have been pressed against the Voter’s League. Again, the veracity of these facts are not being questioned. People disagree over the interpretation. Was this intentional harrassment, or was this just a investigation that didn’t pan out? I think it’s closer to the former.

    Look, there are multitudes of instances of vote suppression across the country in recent years and, of course, going back throughout American history. On the whole, things seem to be getting better as time go on. But we didn’t just become lily-white angels overnight, the U.S. is now perfect, case closed, so don’t complain about it.

    I don’t know what there is to get upset about. If you want a better-functioning democracy, go to Denmark or Sweden. You’ll find equal representation of the sexes in politics. You’ll find no poor people. You’ll find no death penalty. You’ll find no guns. You’ll have not problem affording a house. You’ll have no worries about paying for health care or education. You’ll have many parties to choose from, including racist hate groups and left-of-Lenin communists. You’ll be informed on a wide variety of views by the media. You’ll find it’s no problem to change careers in mid-life because you want to try something different. You’ll find a violent crime is national news.

    You’ll get so bored, you’ll want to commit suicide. Lack of problems = pure existential angst. “Oh my God, I have not problems, what is the meaning of life?” And people wonder why Scandanavians have a high suicide rate.

    I tried living in Denmark. No thanks. Couldn’t take it. Frankly, the U.S. is also too orderly for me. I’m quite at home in the wonderful, seething hurly-burly of Asian cities.

    I have no problem with socially conservative views. I am rather non-judgemental. Live an let live. Love your brother. In fact, I respect socially conservative views. But socially conservative does not automatically equal functioning democracy. They are really two different questions.

    And things could be improved in the States by more compassion. Look into your brother’s eyes and try to understand him. In that moment, can you feel what it’s like to look out of his eyes? I’ve worked $7.00/hour jobs with ex-felons and young single mothers. And I can tell you, I have a lot of respect for them. I didn’t hear a lot of complaining. I know some strong people who wake up every day free, loving life, thanking God for their blessings, working hard. Poverty, ignorance, hate, violence. These problems can only be solved with a mindful, loving approach. Poor, sick, crazy people are not evil. They are not bad.

    And we are all one step away from insanity or poverty. When fate reverses, so does the perspective. Ideology adapts to circumstances. It is suprisingly material.

  8. Oops, that was Laska.

  9. Yoshi Yamada Says: October 21, 2004 at 1:13 am

    Big Sausage, I liked your posts before, but I never saw this dark side of you. Like Rush Limbaugh, you are labeling blacks and NAACP as felons, racists and Welfare Recipients, shame on you. After the 2000 election, it was determined that about 90 percent of those scratched from the voter rolls were innocent and the overwhelming majority was African American.

    When asked about the high proportion of blacks on the purge list, Harris¡¯ office responded: ¡°Well, you know how many black people commit crimes,¡± Palast said in an interview.

  10. State troopers knocking on doors right before the election? The tactics and timing do sound fishy (but everything in Florida is fishy being surrounded by sea) especially by police under the control of a younger brother governor. However, when it comes to the issues of felons and incomplete registration forms, one must resort to the letter of the local election laws, instead of political roughnecking. If you do not like the felon exclusion (which my state does not allow) you should have tried to repeal the law. You had four years to do so, why didn’t you, or did you?

    John, did you intend to provoke such boring debates with you recent two, or four posts?

  11. I wonder who is allowed to “complain” in a democracy. If I’m a not a “welfare recipient” (code word for “black”), not “poor” (code word for “black”), not “uneducated” (code word for “black”)..I think I see a pattern here.. Anyway, if I am rich, educated, and white, do I get to “complain” about tax breaks for the rich or anything else? Or should I just shut up because they have it worse in Gabon and Sierra Leone?

    BTW, you forget to mention the “liberal media.” LMAO.

  12. too bad the “compassionate” conservatives are also perversely self-righteous…

  13. Gin,

    I don’t even hope for certain responses anymore; my comments tend to take on a life of their own no matter what I write about.

    Fortunately they’re ususally interesting. (Thanks, commenters!)

  14. Anonymous Says: October 21, 2004 at 3:12 am

    go vote now.

  15. Anonymous Says: October 21, 2004 at 3:19 am

    an observation.

    Americans consider who they vote some sort of privacy. like here, John would not disclose who he voted for. to lots of chinese, it would not be a problem telling who they vote—you might say we chinese do not even vote:)–people in china do publicly talk who they support.
    Yesterday my indian cowork, who is now an American, said he would never vote for Bush on our lunch table. 2 other America-born Americans smiled quietly with no comments.

    that is a little culture difference.

    Edel

  16. Yoshi, Da Xiangchang has always been an ass; I’m surprised it took you this long to realize it.

    Living abroad, especially in a third-world/developing nation, generally has a liberalizing effect on people. When I, as a formerly hardcore anarcho-libertarian, see Chinese people living on $75/month, sleeping on the bare cement floors of construction projects, smelling of their own shit, and carrying all their worldly belongings in a red-white-and-blue plastic bag, it makes me consider the benefits of implementing real social welfare programs in my home country. Maybe the current system is being abused, and maybe any system will be, but less poor people is better than more.

    As someone who pretends to be educated, Weiner, you ought to know what historically happens to society as the gap between rich and poor grows. It’s very dangerous to leave large groups of unemployed males sitting around. If you don’t give people hope, and in this case actively disenfranchise them, they’ll eventually decide to re-enfranchise themselves through force.

    Anyway, I cast my ballot too, and regardless of which half of the corporate duopoly wins this “election”, the culture war will still be on, and we’ll be one more step toward the next American Revolution.

  17. Da Xiangchang Says: October 21, 2004 at 4:44 am

    Here are some facts you might want to consider:

    1) The “enlightened” democracies of Europe would not exist without past and present American military protection. Without America, Europe would be today under totalitarian rule, either under the Germans or the Soviets–and that includes Denmark and Sweden. Everytime I hear a non-American nation bitch about American “unilateralism,” I say this: “We saved your ass, so shut up.” This includes ALL of Europe, most of East Asia (including China), Australia, and New Zealand.

    2) Capitalism rules. Big corporations make up capitalism, and they, more than anything else, bring about prosperity and happiness in the world. Hence . . .

    3) As the country with the most big corporations, America is FUNDAMENTALLY FAIR. If you’re poor or locked up or uneducated in America, IT’S YOUR FAULT. I don’t want extensive social welfare programs because I don’t want to give part of my paycheck to some crackhead with 6 kids, alright? I rather take my mom out to a nice steak dinner or something. If you get rid of the social welfare programs, you’ll help the poor more. They’ll finally wake up and have to go work for a living. And if they commit crimes, lock them up forever. If there aren’t enough prisons, deport them to Madagascar or something. And if they don’t work or commit crimes and starve to death, let them; I won’t lose one microsecond of sleep over it. Again, I didn’t cause their self-inflicted suffering so why the hell should I have to pay for it?

    4) Since Florida has a law that purges felons from the voting booth, then there is NOTHING wrong with following the law. If a lot of felons are indeed black, GET RID OF THEM. If Democrats cry wolf, then they should start getting rid of the non-black felons too from the list, like the rednecks or Cubans who¡¯ll undoubtedly vote for Bush. I don’t mind. Felons shouldn’t have the right to vote since they’re stupid to begin with. In fact, I would institute literacy tests to make sure retards ain’t voting. I mean, immigrants who want to become American citizens have to take such a basic American history test so why can’t we require these tests for voting?!! They could be simple questions:

    1. Who was the President who freed the slaves?
    2. How many senators are there for each state?
    3. Who is the Vice President of the United States?

    And if you get even one wrong, you can’t vote!

  18. Big Sausage, I take the exact opposite view of your observations. Instead of being annoyed by poorer or less “educated” individuals complaining about their difficulties in life, I see the inherent social institutions and activism neccessary for a functioning democracy. It is because of civil rights advocates and those who fight for the interests of the unprivileged that those complainers you so deride are not sitting out in the streets starving to death or the object of racial prejudice. The reason why those Chinese are so stoic, is not because that they are content, but because in contemporary Chinese society, they have no voice to complain. No advocates to take up their cause, and no outlet to further their cause. The communist party has long abandoned the “iron rice-bowl” and the people who slip through the gaps are left to their own devices with the entire crushing weight of circumstance arrayed against them.

    just sharing my 2 fen.

    By the way John, election season is certainly heating up in Gainesville. The Daily Alligator practically running non-stop political op-eds. The College Republicans seem to be really strong on campus, at least they generally have a lot of people at their booths on Turlington.

  19. I’d just like to thank all you Yanks for saving my arse in WWII. Thanks also for finding those WMDs in Iraq for me too.

  20. Who turned on the right-wing wing nut AM radio in here? Or is it a parody? Because it is too funny.

  21. It’s a parody, great for Jay Walk.

    DX, I bet those three questions will screen out a sizable chunk of America, not sure it will help Bush, though. One thing’s for sure it will help the ACLU lawyers’ wallets greatly.

  22. ÍеÄ,

    I can’t understand most anything you write.

  23. Edel,

    Most Americans avoid the topics of politics and religion in polite company because they can easily lead to emotional arguments.

    In your example, I’m guessing that the two silent Americans didn’t speak up because (A) they support Bush but didn’t want to argue, (B) one supports Bush and the other knows it and neither wanted to get into that argument, or (C) they were simply raised never to discuss religion or politics in polite company.

  24. Which person if elected would be better for 3rd world countries? I seem to feel there is less protectionism with republicans with moving jobs overseas… For a strictly economic pov, wouldn’t that benefit poorer countries more? US has a disproportionate share of the worlds wealth… so sharing it by moving some of the skilled jobs overseas is not such a bad thing. Any thoughts?

    Al

  25. Nice, “We saved your ass, so shut up.” Got to love that one. Since we single-handedly defeated the forces of evil 60 years ago we now deserve the right to rule the Universe (He-man and Battlecat can help us!).

    Not that I like french fries or anything, but last I heard we took a little help from the French to win our cherished Freedom (from a current ally of all places). We should just say the tabs settled and call it even, right?

    I just hope in 2 weeks the America that’s left is one I feel comfortable calling home…

  26. The French helped me my butt. They and that little Napoleon feller only sold us the piece of land called Lewwwisana which became 13 of today’s 48 continental states, for a king’s ransom at 4 cents an acre. I’d call them the old axis of evil.

  27. Deng Xiaoping Says: October 22, 2004 at 4:20 am

    So a Chinese immigrant comes to America, puts up with living conditions that a native-born American would never put up with, works hard for ten or fifteen years, saves some money, buys a house and gives his children the opportunity to live however they wish in the USA. America offers security, freedom, and a relatively easy life for the majority of its citizens.

    On the other hand, these Americans with little work experience or skills come over to China and live large–eat at restaurants every night, take taxis everywhere, shag a new Chinese girlfriend every week–because they happen to have come from a country/culture/economy (take your pick) that is light-years ahead of China, with money, freedom, and resources to throw away. If everyone could live the high life of an American expat, with a sense of entitlement and no real responsibilities, we might all prefer pleasant words to hard work.
    http://www.iisg.nl/~landsberger/dxp.html

  28. Sausage,

    regarding the GOP and its efforts to prevent blacks from voting, you are long in the tooth and short on the facts. It most definitely happened in Florida in 2000. The NAACP actually sued Florida as a result. Guess what? Florida chose to settle out of court rather than allow the case to proceed to trial.

    As part of the settlement, it agreed to sweeping modifications to voter registration, voter-roll maintenance and polling practices. They also required counties to improve election day communications between precincts and election headquarters and in some cases guaranteed foreign language-speaking workers would be at the polls to assist voters (read Haitian-Americans).

    I still wonder why this made hardly a stir in the national press…

  29. Deng,

    What is your point?

  30. Lyle Morris Says: October 24, 2004 at 2:52 am

    Hey DX,

    wow, I found your ignorance rather appalling. You know it doesn’t help to make your point any more clear when you put it in caps, it just makes you look more idiotic. Why don’t you try reading the book “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbary Ehrenreich, you might actually learn something about your little… “If you’re poor or locked up or uneducated in America, IT’S YOUR FAULT” comment. aw, to be arrogant and ignorant, isn’t it a fun combination.

  31. Deng Xiansheng,

    I have been reading your monumental speeches from the 80’s and must commend you on the goals you set forth for your party and country. You have achieved so much and in my book, truly a hero. I was suprised to read that you described me and my experience in China so well, almost as if you were there all along.

    And one thing I realized as I received my absentee ballot in the mail. When one says “go out and vote” – it is targeting people who don’t vote nor register to vote. Because of that, it’s pretty useless. And voter apathy has been a problem for so long in my life thus far, I remember it being an issue when I was a freshman in high school, watching MTV.

    BTW, Go BUSH!

  32. Da Xiangchang Says: October 24, 2004 at 7:19 am

    2 stories:

    1) A Chinese family. Parents and son. Came to America with nothing. Lived in a crappy apartment. Dad worked at a minimum-wage job at an electronics company for a long time. Mom worked and saved, then opened a variety of little shops, some successful, some not. Fast-forward twenty years. Son is grown, and parents are divorced. Dad has a middle-class salary and an condo worth $300K. Mom works as a photographer for schools; has a house worth around $400K.

    2) Son grows up and completely screws around after college. Is completely spoiled and lazy. Has almost no marketable skills. Currently has a job where he doesn’t really have to work that pays him near $50K a year with plenty of vacation time. And he got the job himself fairly easily in the middle of the so-called Bush recession. Still, he’s VERY far from his dreams, but his life is okay for now. And he’s young.

    The point? The parents are MY parents, and “the son” is me. This story is replicated a thousand times among Chinese-immigrant families everywhere in America. If poor Chinese immigrants can do it, THERE’S NO EXCUSE WHY NATIVE-BORN AMERICANS CAN’T. So here’s what I say to the poor, uneducated, and locked up in America who bitch about the unfairness of “the system”: TAKE YOUR COMPLAINTS AND STICK THEM UP YOUR STUPID ASS! Leave me alone and don’t ask for part of my paycheck to pay for the milk for your 10 bastard kids either!

  33. DX,

    Anecdotal evidence always makes me teary-eyed. Too bad it is worthless. Although, when you scream your ignorance in CAPS, it sure makes it more convincing. Volume is always a substitute for rational argument. Just as anecdotes are a substitute for facts. e.g., I guess since you got a job, the “so-called” Bush recession is just a myth. Alert the FED — Greenspan should know about your theory.

    Really, you should start a blog called “Attack the Poor!” or “Welfare Queens are Out to Get Us!” Don’t take it personally, but your thinking is the best example of ignorant, self-righteous American paranoia I’ve seen in a while.

  34. If you’re complaining about paying too much tax for welfare, you’ve been hoodwinked. Our money is going to Bechtel to rebuild Iraq.

    Economists know that 4-5% of the population really is unemployable. This is a fact of life. You can’t have 0% unemployment. Just as preventative medicine saves money in the long run, keeping the unemployable off the streets would save our society energy. Also, we have a moral obligation to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves because their existence makes our good jobs possible. Poor people keep down wages in the worst unskilled menial jobs, enabling small entrepreneurs to expand. That’s a fundamental tenant of economics.

    Now if one wants to cut unemployment benefits for out-of-work dot-comers so that they are actually forced to take a job at McDonalds instead of shopping around for more stock options, I can understand the argument, though I don’t necessarily agree.

    Hostility towards the poor is a very American manifestation. Though there are plenty of conservatives crying foul in Europe about the welfare state, I’ve rarely encountered the strength of anger towards poor people that one sees in the States.

    I actually take the point about the U.S. providing a sphere of protection in which European social democracy could grow. Power and Weakness, Kagan and all of that http://www.policyreview.org/JUN02/kagan.html

    I just don’t see how military strength and a better quality of life for everyone are mutually exclusive, especially after the Cold War. Can’t we have good education, good security and good opportunities all at the same time? Isn’t that the American dream? When did we start making such big compromises. You know, most Chinese people I talk to who have a clue about life outside China would rather go to Canada, Europe or Australia than to the States, if they want to go anywhere. The American dream has ossified.

    On the bright side, however, the quality of life is much better now than it was a hundred years ago. And dissenting voices have spoken up much earlier about the War of Iraq than they did about the Vietnam War. Progress.

    War of Iraq veterans speak out: http://www.optruth.org/main.cfm

  35. nathaniel Says: October 24, 2004 at 8:16 pm

    wow, da xiangchang:

    i suggest you stop whatever you are smoking. used to just read you (and the others) and your previous posts did not show the streak you are showing here now. you are unravelling, man.

    btw, yeah fine, implement the “law on felons” but it should not be manipulated. As it was manipulated in Florida (2000).

  36. Hi Wilson,

    Wow, a Bushie in California, and in the Bay Area no less. Anyway, keep shouting with your CAPS on. In any case, only Da Xiangchang can hear you.

  37. by that I just mean that CA is pretty much a lost cause for your guy.

  38. Big sausage, that scenario closely resembles my own life. However, my parents still vote Democrat because they believe that Bush is out to shaft the working and middle class. 🙂

  39. Da Xiangchang Says: October 25, 2004 at 1:15 pm

    Prince Roy,

    Definitely true. There’s NO WAY in hell Bush will win California.

    However, for all intents and purposes, the election’s over. Bush is going to win. He will DEFINITELY win Florida–despite John’s vote, right? ;)–and most likely win Ohio, giving him over 300 electoral votes. And even if he doesn’t win Ohio, he still has Wisconsin and Iowa, which will give him around 271 votes. The ONLY way Kerry could win is if he wins Ohio and ALL of the Midwest (including Iowa and Wisconsin). This ain’t going to happen. For better or worse, it’s Bush till 2008. Once again, I will reiterate my electoral-vote prediction from a couple months ago:

    Bush 300, Kerry 238, Nader 0

  40. First off, this is a bit tongue in cheek so please, no flames or serious interpretations.

    And please don’t knock Ray, he’s just being “Rey on Sinosplice” … he’s the man!

    Prince, yeah, up to about 6 months ago, it was truly “anyone but Bush” … but as I have followed VERY CLOSELY as much as I can as a busy individual (that means, reading the papers, reading online commentary on various outlets mainstream and weblog based, listening to talk radio (mostly conservative but some liberal), and reading pamphlets bombarding my home with my absentee ballot, I must say, maybe I’m influenced by the media or what have you, but I have to say BUSH is the lessor of two evils. And as a business owner and definitely not a LOW CLASS individual, I am going with BUSH. I have the balls to say it, too. I’m not going to keep it a secret. If KERRY is going to lose, oh, and I make a gentlemans bet (mark my words) that he will lose, I’m not going down with him. Peace to that.

    BTW, you don’t know how wack it is living near Berkeley where everyone is so vocal about being “liberal” … but IMHO they’re 1 step away from being a bumbling hippy or money-beggin’ dumpster diver. I don’t want to be associated with those people – and they are the ones voting for Kerry.

  41. If you haven’t sent your ballot in yet, FedEx is offering to return ballots to the US free of charge. Here is information I got from American Democrats in Beijing. (I hope you don’t mind me posting this John- BR)

    “OverseasVote.com is advising all overseas voters using FedEx to place their ballots inside a blank envelope, write “This ballot was sent via FedEx on [date] from [location], tracking number [XXXX XXXX XXXX]” on the outside, and then sign it. In the event that your state provides a ballot envelope, you should write the above statement on it.

    Voters in Beijing wanting to send ballots back by FedEx can do so by either taking their ballots to the American Citizen Services Section at US Embassy, the American Club (though details are sketchy), or one of FedEx’s four dropoff locations (listed below).

    FedEx locations in China:

    Beijing

    Han Wei World Service Center
    Rm. A107, Han Wei Plaza
    7 Guang Hua Road
    Chao Yang District
    Tel: 010-65612003

    Oriental Plaza World Service Center
    Rm. 107, No.1 Office Building, Oriental Plaza
    1 Chang An Street
    Dong Cheng District
    Tel: 010-85182963

    1/F, Lan Tao Center
    No.5 Wan Hong Road
    Chao Yang District
    Tel: 010-64348999

    Warehouse A3-1
    No.150 Xin Ying Industrial Village
    Yi Zhuang East Industrial Zone
    Da Xing District
    Tel: 010-87397232

    Shanghai:

    [Puxi Station]
    No.28, 411 Lane
    Shi Long Road.
    Tel: 021-54118333

    [Pudong Station]
    No.615 Xin Jin Qiao Road.
    Tel: 021-50320909

    No.39, 709 Lane
    Ling Shi Road
    Tel: 021-56650707

    Guangzhou:

    1/F, 58 Jian Zhong Road
    Tian He Hi-Tech Industriall Zone
    Zhongshan Avenue
    Tel: 020-85579225/6/7/9

    American Industrial Village
    No.48 Hongmian Road
    Xinhua Industrial Zone
    Xinhua Town
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  42. I had been saying up until a month ago that there was no way Kerry was going to win. I’m not so pessimistic anymore. Kerry survived the debates. Also with so many new voters leaning Kerry, I think he might surprise some people come Nov. 2. I don’t think the polls are picking up on many of these new voters. Bush still might win the electoral count, which would guarantee him four more years, but I really doubt he will take the popular vote.

    Reading the news today I’ve found a new reason to vote for Kerry– Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has thyroid cancer. Vote for Bush and you are voting for Chief Justice Scalia.

  43. Florida and Ohio–too close to call.

    My prediction: even messier than last time.

  44. Last time Pandora’s Box was opened…

  45. Anonymous Says: October 27, 2004 at 4:06 am

    Kerry will win a decisive victory. You heard it here first. Several red states that no one is even talking about will go for Kerry. The polls do not reflect the millions who usually don’t vote who will this time — all because they hate Bush (not because they like Kerry).

    Another prediction: the day before election day Karl Rove will claim to be Kerry’s gay lover — but it will be too late by then.

  46. Anonymous Says: October 27, 2004 at 4:50 am

    I think that the Chinese emphasis on “face” impedes their development of a western-style democracy. What would a Chinese debate be like? Just try to imagine Hu Jintao and Zeng Qinghong duking it out at Zhejiang Daxue. I just can’t do it.

    In the US, Kerry can call Bush a reactionary neanderthal, and Bush can call Kerry a milquetoast pussy, but they both rest assured in the knowledge that whoever wins will not liquidate the (family, fortune, proteges of the) other. Hu vs. Zeng on the other hand…

  47. Chinese politics has since the cultural revolution, moved beyond blatant eliminations. Similar to the post Kruschev era, out-of-power politicos generally go into “retirement” usually meaning some sort of house arrest and political irrelevance.

    I would think that a Chinese democracy would mirror the already existing Chinese democracy on Taiwan. It will probably be a little messy at first, but Taiwan being a repository of traditional Chinese culture even more than the mainland hasn’t witnessed (many) politically motivated killings over face.

  48. BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast’s special on News Night about a confidential document headed “Caging List” yesterday shocked U.S. election watchers in Europe. This confidential list of 2000 black voters, given to Palast by an anonymous source, was being circulated in the Bush campaign in Florida. The list purported to contain individuals who had problems with addresses, etc. When Palast verified the identity and address of many of the individuals in the list, he found that the allegations of wrong-doing were false. For example, the list contained black voters who had changed their address to “Baghdad” while they were serving in Iraq, but had returned to Florida in time to vote.

    Independent Tallahassee election official Ion Sancho (some press reports have called him a democrat, but this has now been corrected) has said the only use for this list would be to challenge voters on election day. Political parties have a right to challenge voters at the polls. However, doing this without good cause or doing it in a discriminatory manner is a FEDERAL CRIME. Challenging voters like this has the potential to seriously gum up the polls, where three hour waits are already normal in predominately minority counties.

    Palast also uncovered dodgy characters in SUVs filming black voters. Even worse, Ion Sancho said his own daughter was the target of ingenious election fraud. She was lured into signing a petition to legalize medical marijuana. But she was actually signing a voter registration form changing her party affiliation to Republican and changing her county of registration. Sancho said the only reason that his daughter will be able to vote is that he is an election official and caught the fraud. He said it will be impossible to tell how many students were caught by this trick until an investigation is carried out.

    Perhaps even worse, Palast reports some of the people falsely reported as felons in the last election have not been put back on the election rolls, despite legal challenges and, in some case, repeated individual petitions.

    Strangely, the BBC report is hard to access right now, but here it is:

    news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/ 2/hi/programmes/newsnight/3956129.stm

    Now, just like last time, major U.S. newspapers are not covering this yet… For fear of being too ‘political’? Or because the Republican National Convention has threatened BBC with pulling access and interviews. Yikes. “Land of the free…”

    All this stuff is legit, folks. You can google it. If you don’t believe it, you are living in the Matrix. Sadly so many of us are.

  49. Da Xiangchang Says: October 30, 2004 at 12:04 am

    Yawn, this is getting boring. The BBC is a leftish organization that’s both rabidly anti-Bush and anti-American. Does anyone not remember Lord Hutton’s skewering of the BBC’s ethics? It led to BBC chairman Gavyn Davies’s resignation in disgrace a few months ago. Its upcoming election-night coverage has such commentators like Michael Moore and George Soros. Please. Trying to learn about the American electoral system by reading the BBC is like researching the Jews by perusing Mein Kampf.

  50. John, over 50 comments – remember the days when reaching the plateau of 25 was the norm. It’s growing, if you build it, they will come 😉

  51. Well, DX, if you always deny news sources with a “leftish” bent, then I can see why you can never accept that the GOP actually illegally excludes non-felons from voting since I don’t think Fox News would report on such a story.

    However, you better back up your viewpoint. The BBC may be wrong some of the time, but it is right the vast majority of the time. Unless you can counter what Palast discovered with facts, I’ll be going with the BBC.

    BTW, you said this earlier: “If you tell me how the the Republican party is preventing LAW-ABIDING blacks from voting, I’d the first to condemn it.”, yet I saw no condemnation when Laska pointed out that this year’s felon purge list was significantly wrong.

    Oh, and your tax money? I’d wager that more of it is now being funneled as subsidies to huge agricultural and other corporate interests than being given out as welfare, yet I don’t see you lashing out at corporate welfare, Sausage Boy.

    Finally, I am also the son of poor Chinese immigrants, and if anything, that experience has turned me away from the current GOP and lazy, myopic people like you. My parents have never had medical insurance for any length of time and I was always keenly aware that my whole family was always one incapacitating-health-problem-to-my-dad away from being destitute.

  52. To Wilson:

    I’m curious as to why you think Bush is the lesser of 2 evils.

    BTW, be careful of voting against/for someone because of how other people are voting. After all, if you vote for Bush, you’d be associated with certain fundy Christians who want to teach Creationism in school, make performing abortion a capital offense and think gays should burn in hell.

  53. john,
    it’s actually a very tough call. i would say that you voted as a responsible citizen; however, i plan to vote as a responsible Christian. responsible voting should not have to be either/or (citizen v. Christian), but w/ these candidates, i’m afraid it really rather is.
    after the 1st debate, i was leaning more left than i had been, but the second debate brought me firmly back.
    crazy as the idea of (for lack of a better term) “too much freedom” sounds, it is happening at an alarming rate in far too many arenas. what i mean by that is, for example, “freedom of speech” is starting to mean that if you’re not radical, if you want to argue in favor of traditional values or whatever, that you are stepping on toes and need to keep your mouth shut. how is that freedom for all? it’s not. i could go on, but i think i’ve said enough for now.
    please understand that i am not intending to disparage anyone, that i am not implying that i am a bad citizen by being a good Christian OR VICE VERSA. i am merely voicing my perspective.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
    (and everywhere else, too!) 😉

  54. dx,
    do you particularly enjoy pissing people off to provoke more polar arguments? or do you write drunk? because it IS possible to write both passionately and diplomatically, as john (and others) demonstrate(s) regularly.

    you catch more flies w/ honey than vinegar…

  55. “you catch more flies w/ honey than vinegar…”

    more with wiskey than water…

  56. obviously for some ppl money trumps all… who cares if the air is polluted? who cares if our civil rights are being eroded? and separation of church and state? freedom of religion sounds nice but with a president who firmly believes in “judgement day” you are either with him or the “axis of evil.”

  57. Kikko Man Says: November 4, 2004 at 7:47 am

    Da Xiangchang has a small xiangchang. Whenever you want to go head to head over whether the Republicans try to intimidate voters or not, as the dumbass in the whitehouse says, “bring it on”. there are so many cases of intimidation against blacks here in Florida and they are well known and out in the news and being investigated. Damn Republicans switched the party affiliation for a bunch of ballots from one of Florida’s predominantly black colleges. How about people with barely similar names to felons getting kicked off lists. That’s pushed by rep., Gov. Bush, his dumbass sec. of state and so on. You are just a tiny little xiangchang with a big mouth and no weiner.

  58. Da Xiangchang Says: November 6, 2004 at 1:40 pm

    My prediction:

    Bush 300, Kerry 238, Nader 0

    Final result:

    Bush 286, Kerry 252, Nader 0

    😉

  59. Da Xiangchang,

    Yeah, so?

    Are you trying to rub in that you were wrong?

  60. Da Xiangchang Says: November 6, 2004 at 10:59 pm

    John,

    Well, you have to be Nostadamus to get the electoral-college vote EXACTLY right. I thought Bush would win Wisconsin along with Iowa and maybe even pull off New Hampshire, giving him exactly 300 votes. I was wrong–but only by 14 points.

    Considering how “ignorant” I’m portrayed, I got to say in all (im)modesty that I was damn close–certainly FAR closer than that electoral-vote.com prediction link you sent me and the Kerry-will-win-a-decisive-victory-you-heard-it-here-first crowd that pontificates so shrilly on your blog. So allow me the shameless gloating for a moment. Haha.

  61. Sausage,
    YOU make yourself seem ignorant… you are not “portrayed” that way. How strange it must be to be such a self-hating minority.

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