Thursday, September 25, 2003

Going to Burlington!

Thanks to a generous invitation from the tech crew at Dean for America HQ (Mathew, Zephyr, Nicco and Bobby) I’m heading to Burlington for a weekend of brainstorming. I’ll be there the weekend of October 17.

I can’t wait.

Time and again I’m amazed at how consistently the campaign proves that opinions from the grassroots matter to them. I’ve been fortunate to help them out on a couple projects, and based on some recent feedback I gave, they told me I needed to get my butt to Burlington. Who am I to say no?!

How many other campaigns are reaching out this way to their supporters? How many are listening?


  1. One consistent theme and comment you get from any liberal you ask anywhere in America is that President Bush made the world hate America.

    Last time I checked the Western World was not too pleased with us during Clinton's 8 years. (U.S.S. Cole Bombing, Embassy Bombing, e.t.c.)

    Last time I checked the world was not too pleased during the Elder George Bush's years. (That is until we conducted a successful campaign in Iraq.)

    Last time I checked the western world hated us during Ronalad Reagon's years (Cold War) and during Jimmy Carter.

    Since when has it ever been about 'pleasing' the opinions of the entire world? Where do people get this notion that a safer America is an America that can wave a magic wand and change everyone's opinions about America? Since when are we relying on a POLLING Service for our foreign policy agendas?

  2. What I am getting at here is a lot simpler than I am making it. Let's say I vote for Howard Dean and so does the majority of America and Howard Dean is in office.

    We have a war on terrorism going on. This war requires that America make other countries accountable for harboring terrorists or engaging in terrorist acts.

    But when Howard Dean and the majority of Liberals can only point their fingers at ISRAEL while excusing the Palestinians.... How effective will America be at stopping terrorism if it won't even let Israel stop terrorism?

    How ever and secure will our country be if Howard Dean supports personal privacy more than he supports the Patriot Act? How safe will our country become when Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, and all of the liberals do not appreciate America flexing its muscles?

    When America decides to do absolutely nothing with its military other than pulling our troops out... Other than decreasing our military spending. Other than increasing the American Taxation to help the poor people at home with social programs. Where in Howard Dean's Agenda will 'Security' come into play? Are we going to just assume that the War on Terrorism is over and it is ok to be Laxadazical? Bring back our American Freedom and forget this Patriot Act? Forget fighting to stop terrorists from entering our country? Forget closing our borders down from illegal aliens? Where does this all end up should any Democrat win?

  3. Jeff - You make several observations that I'd like to see evidence of:

    * Howard Dean is "excusing" Palestine in the current crisis in the Middle East. Where's the evidence of this? Show me a speech or position paper where he's stated that Israel is responsible for the crisis and that Palestine isn't. His statement two weeks ago was that in order to solve the problems, we would have to take an evenhanded approach to the region. Only in recognizing that each side had responsibility for the recent escalation -- as well as mutual responsibility to work towards a lasting peace -- will we be successful.

    * Howard Dean supports personal privacy more than he supports the Patriot Act. Well, you've got that right, but I don't see how the only response to terrorist threats is a massive abridgement of civil liberties. We're supposed to be fighting all over the world for our "freedoms" - and the moment that we abridge those freedoms in the name of security is the same moment that those freedoms have no meaning.

    * Howard Dean doesn't "support the flexing of American muscles"? HUH? Howard Dean supported the first Gulf War, and has made it explicitly clear that American force is to be used whenever our security is at risk. Being against *this* war at *this* time does not make one a pacifist.

    * Pulling our troops out. Howard Dean has repeatedly stated that pulling out is not an option, and that we absolutely must win the peace. Consequently, we're in this to win. But Dean feels that a lasting victory is possible only with the help of our allies - with their money, with their troops, and with their support.

    Again, back up your assertions with facts. Let me see links to statements you claim the candidates have made. Let me see quotes from speeches. Let's drop the normal conservative/liberal rhetoric and discuss facts. I'm not aware of any that back up the points you make above.

    I'd be happy to discuss this further when I see some facts that disprove anything I've written above (or support what you've written).


  4. it's nice that the campaign reaches out to bloggers and techie literates, but they're gonna skew where they get their ideas from--mostly upper middle class white males. it seems like they aren't interested in inviting spoken word inner city poets or latina union organizers to come and contribute their ideas. for them, they get the token treatment and occasional photo op. this to me appears to be a blind spot for the campaign.

  5. IHL - Good point. Of course, in the campaign's defense, the input they're looking for (in my case, anyway) is directly related to the web stuff they're working on.

    And I know the campaign *has* reached out to numerous non-techie constituencies. A good article on this issue was in Salon magazine a few weeks back:


  6. You are denying what I am saying and then backing what I am saying with truth. I mean? You tell me that my accusation that Howard Dean is treating Israel as part and parcel the blame for terrorism is backed up with what you claim defends him.

    Howard Dean wants America to believe that Israel is just as guilty of Terrorism as Palestinians are. Even when Israel has been pulling out their troops out of the strip and pulling out their settlements and following through with the Road Map to Peace. What happens? A Suicide Bomber kills 20 innocents aboard a bus!

    And another suicide bomber comes in later on!

    From what I gather, the evidence suggests that Israel has been trying to stop the escalation of violence while the palestinian terrorists are escalating it.

    Again I have to emplore that how can we ensure a safe and secure America and a safe and secure Israel if we are going to pool everyone together and say they are all guilty?

  7. "* Howard Dean doesn't "support the flexing of American muscles"? HUH? Howard Dean supported the first Gulf War, and has made it explicitly clear that American force is to be used whenever our security is at risk. Being against *this* war at *this* time does not make one a pacifist."

    I usually sight sorces when I need to but I don't always need to. I'll site my sources when it is necessary. But in this case my comments were covering every speech he made on foreign policy and that would be silly to basically site an entire transcript.

    It isn't necessary to site sources to discuss a simple problem with 'being against (THIS) war' and not the 'Gulf War.' Because everyone already knows in their memory banks what Howard Dean has been saying.

    'Howard Dean supported the first Gulf War, and has made it explicitly clear that American force is to be used whenever our security is at risk.'

    Our 'security' wasn't at risk during the first gulf war. We were there not to stop Saddam Hussein in that I mean remove him from power. We were there to remove him from taking over oil producing countries and dominating the middle east.

    But Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War was not creating an 'imminent attack' on American Civilians. He was not aiming for AMERICA. He never even declared war on America. WE declared war on HIM!

    That's the dilemma I am referring to here about Howard Dean's foreign policy in being against the 2nd gulf war. He is basically saying that we should'nt have gone to the 2nd war for reasons that we DID go into the 1st war he supported.

    In both wars an immediate attack on America was not known to be in Saddam's Interest. We went to war SPECIFICALLY for 2 different noble causes in both wars.

    Howard Dean's logic has boxed him in to this theory that somehow being FOR Gulf War 1 was ok and being against Gulf War 2 is also ok. But in fact... Your either FOR both wars or against both wars or you better explain yourself further.

  8. "and the moment that we abridge those freedoms in the name of security is the same moment that those freedoms have no meaning."

    But then that means you fully support what happened prior to Sept. 11th, 2001? I am referring to the fact that back then we did not have a patriot act. Back then we did not have a strong CIA, FBI agency to go after terrorists. We did not have legislation to build a homeland security.

    We did not have a lot of security issues that we have today prior to September 11th, 2001.

    But September 11th happens and now we do and now we have stopped numerous terrorist plots against America. We have stopped them successfully unlike stopping anything prior.

    Prior to Sept. 11th, we learned about Suspicious Pilots being trained in American Pilot Training Courses and this was reported repeatedly to the FBI. The FBI/CIA did not react to these claims and did not respond. They didn't respond for the same fears you are expressing today. 'The fear of invading people's privacy.' And also for 1 other fear, 'The fear of Racial Profiling.'

    However these 2 fears taken to the furthest extent means that as long as you are an American Citizen, you deserve full freedom and protection from being investigated by the FBI and CIA for suspicious activities. You are granted freedom from a multitude of security agency practices.

    In doing so terrorists are granted freedom along with non-terrorists. This 'environment' has breeded September 11th, 2001. Already we are seeing signs that the Airlines are getting laxidazical on security. The American People want their 'freedom' back and that means more to them than their lives.

    But, what freedom are you trying to get back anyhow? The Freedom not to have an FBI agent to investigate suspicious activites your committing? The freedom not to have the CIA track you if you are plotting a terrorist attack?

    Freedom is great to fight for but not at the cost of thousands of American Lives. And besides.... Howard Dean has yet to come up with alternative solution. How can we throw around 'Privacy Freedom' and still maintain a secure Nation?

    I'm all ears.