Saturday, November 27, 2004

On the Friday evening after Thanksgiving hundreds - perhaps thousands - of people gather in front of Rahway city hall, there to watch someone dressed as Santa Claus rise up on a fire engine hydraulic ladder until he is hovering above a tree. Exhorted by the Mayor (a thankless duty, introducing the world's greatest politician representing the North Pole), the crowd chants down from ten & at zero Santa sprinkles a sparkling "magic dust" on the tree, which lights up. Then everyone goes home. It's really silly, & yet Rahway has been doing it for 24 years, & I never miss the event.

Add YOUR comments here

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Sirens, fire, radio, & moral cowardice

I went to Jersey City today in September & came home in December, the weather had changed that radically.

I also expected to be adequately-rested for a noontime program. Got into bed after 1:30 am with alarm set for 8 to catch the 9 o'clock train. Good enough. Everything was packed & ready to go. Then I heard fire engines in the distance - they have a particular siren sound & also air horns. They were coming closer. & I heard an ambulance, they do whoops. & a police car, or two police cars. All getting louder. & louder. & closer. Then, suddenly, they all converged on the corner outside, but they kept going, under the window & down Elm Street. Where the sirens went silent. But it was flashing Christmas lights outside the window. SoI got up & looked out. On the left, a cop car had the street blocked. Next to that was an ambulance, & I could see two fire engines on Cherry Street. I opened up the screen & looked to the right. At least four fire engines down there & I could hear more coming. Also heard walkie talkies & a bullhorn. I got up, got dressed & went out to have a better look. Flames were coming from the roof & attic window of a wood frame house about halfway down block on the opposite side. I walked down to watch. The fire looked like it could jump to the houses on either side if the firefighters didn't get on top of it fast. & they did, with a lot of water & firemen inside the house smashing windows. Great clouds of smoke swept down - I can still smell it in my sweat jacket.

My Moral Cowardice: I saw a couple of big fires when I lived on Main Street in Rahway, both at night. One burned down a building with a disreputable gin mill, it was major event, black choking smoke blocking out the streetlights, I took a few photos; a lovely little park with a waterfall is there now. The other was a large frame house around the corner on Grand Ave, after two am, fire trucks from as far away as Roselle Park. That one hurt, because I might have been able to stop it or have it caught in time to save the house. Just before midnight I'd walked past that house on my way to the convenience store at the Shell Station on St. Georges Ave & detected a slight odor overheating electrical wire, but I couldn't place it. On the way home it was even stronger, & it seemed to be coming from the parking area behind the house. But around the same hour a few weeks earlier, I'd been stopped & questioned by four Rahway cops on Grand Ave., in four patrol cars, who apparently were investigating a report of a drug deal & dropoff somewhere on that stretch of road. I'd lived downtown for a decade. I was over fifty years old. I often took late walks to the Shell Station to have a cup of Dunkin Donuts decaf & chat with an attractive Ukrainian woman who worked the graveyard shift. & sometimes I was there when police came in for donuts & coffee. I was known, I had plenty of I.D., & a reason for being out, but I was treated like a serious suspect & although I wanted to get back in the cops' faces for wasting their time while the actual drug dealer or drug buyer disappeared, I played the half-wit & they finally let me leave without so much as an off-handed apology or a "good night, sir." & so on this particular night, fearing the Rahway police, with an acrid burning odor in the air, I did not walk behind the house as my concern & curiousity - & the voice of my father in my head - told me to do. If I had, there's good chance I would've either seen smoke or located the source of the odor as originating in the back room of the downstairs apartment. If I wasn't sure about it, I would've jogged home, one minute away, & called 9-1-1. & if I saw smoke, I would've started ringing doorbells. I've got photos of that fire, too.

Anyway, last night when I saw the flames had been dowsed & the building was smoking, I came home & tried to go to bed. But there were still at least ten fire engines out there & police cars & ambulances & walkie talkies & a bullhorn & I finally gave up, got up, stayed up , & caught the 7 a.m. train to Newark, which was pretty crowded with families headed to over see the Sponge Bob balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

"Once you get to Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime, a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that going to have if it's set up by the American military there? How long does the United States military have to stay there to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens once we leave?"
The Secretary of Defense of the United States, 1991

A Look at U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq
By The Associated Press

As of Saturday, Nov. 20, 2004, at least 1,219 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 946 died as a result of hostile action, the Defense Department said. The figures include three military civilians.
The AP count is two higher than the Defense Department's tally, which was last updated Friday at 10 a.m. EDT.
The British military has reported 73 deaths; Italy, 19; Poland, 13; Spain, 11; Ukraine, nine; Bulgaria, seven; Slovakia, three; Estonia, Thailand and the Netherlands, two each; and Denmark, El Salvador, Hungary and Latvia have reported one death each.
Since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 1,081 U.S. military members have died, according to AP's count. That includes at least 837 deaths resulting from hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

The latest identifications reported by the military:
Marine Lance Cpl. Luis A. Figueroa, 21, Los Angeles; killed Thursday in Anbar province.
Marine Lance Cpl. Michael W. Hanks, 22, Gregory, Mich.; killed Wednesday in Anbar province.

Add YOUR comments here

Friday, November 19, 2004

Two hard lessons I learned as a teenager:

Originality takes Fifth Place in the writing contest; imitation wins the top prize. (I figured it out after I finished fifth, & won the next year.)

Sometimes kicking one's best friend out of the band is the only way to make the music better.
Add YOUR comments here

Thursday, November 18, 2004

One joy of not doing weekly free form radio: Mahler

E mail from a British wfmu listener complimenting my radio programs & asking why I'm not on more often. He likes my low key style. Such responses are - have always been - rare. There's a guy in Texas who's appreciated my shows since WFMU went live on the internet, & a couple of familiar phone voices, but that's about it for regular fans. If I'd drawn a larger listener base over the years I was a WFMU regular, I might still be on-the-air. Not because audience size is an absolute requirement for keeping a program at WFMU, but because lack of an audience in the later 90's slowly undermined my enthusiasm for doing a weekly program, just as it discouraged me from writing columns in a local newspaper. Since I was never paid for free form radio or writing op-eds, encouragement was the only real compensation. By the early 90's, my musical agenda at WFMU was running low. Nearly all of the rare, under-appreciated & out-of-print recordings I'd brought along to WFMU from my own collection & tastes had been generally accepted & were being reissued on CDs. I think all of the DJs of my generation at the station were hitting the same wall. Several who had not already done so narrowed their musical focus. This I could not do, by temperament & preference. I'd also lost interest in maintaining characters & other humorous routines, which have pretty much disappeared altogether from WFMU. (Fortunately, Irwin Chusid's "Old Codger," one of the best & most completely realized characters, survives as a WFMU icon, our Alfred E. Neuman.)

Although I was on afternoons for a number of years, my style of radio evolved mainly out of late evenings, between 11 pm & 3 am, on a smaller station broadcasting from a smaller studio, in the tradition of "classic" 60's & 70's free form. I was the consummate amateur DJ/host, really a radio dilettante, as indifferent to audience size as I was to the scratches & surface noise on the records I played. My programs & sets often followed a personal emotional trajectory; up-down-up or down-up-down, or made very subtle purely musical connections nobody except me understood.

So I'm not on-the-air now, November 2004, by choice, although I did desire a weekly summer show this year & was disappointed when I didn't get on the schedule. Now, the weekly October to May treadmill on what is arguably America's flagship alternative music radio station, with the responsibilities & pressure of an intense two week fundraising marathon (includes creating a special CD premium) has much less appeal. The minimal "celebrity" I gain isn't sufficient payback for the work & committment. Other younger DJs work the same fields I did - if usually with with less musical breadth, & demonstrate a capacity equal to mine for turning mundane personal episodes into monologues that teeter into tediousness. & I've gone back to pre-WFMU musical joys; listening to all the Mahler I want without worrying about what novelties I'm going to play on this week's program.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Category 6: Day of Destruction Among the most ridiculous dialogue & "plots" ever shown on TV. There were no likable characters except for Randy Quaid as storm chaser "Tornado Tommy,' playing pretty much his nutball character from "Independence Day." Worst was Brian Denehy as head of the Severe Weather Bureau; his job was to sit around his office doing nothing but grimly reminding us how bad the storms were & take calls from Tommy. Despite the entire city of Chicago being without power, with evacutions, fire, explosions, gridlock, panic & finally F6 tornados, all of the main characters quickly drove around the city at will, even when high winds wrecked every car but the ones they were driving. Cell phones that didn't work the first time the power went out worked perfectly when the whole system was fried at the height of a hurricane - which curiously had little rain until the movie was almost over. Decent special effects that never lasted long enough to be scary were combined with actual weather film footage. Rather than ride on a rim, one of the "heroes" stopped to change a flat tire while racing to save his dying daughter, airlifted out by US Air Force pilot, along with the pilot's pregnant wife, who risked his plane & crew. As they took off in the "eye" of the storm, one said that the backside of the hurricane was even stronger. We didn't get to see that. Like Independence Day & other disaster movies, millions of innocent people died, but in our storyline only the bad guys died ... &, apparently, Tornado Tommy, sucked up SUV & all into a twister, screaming, "We're going for a riiiiiide." As I get sucked into this garbage.
Add YOUR comments here

Friday, November 12, 2004

Yesterday was my 56th birthday. Which unfortunately serves only to remind me how unremarkable my life is & of my now negligible artistic stature. So look back upon the young turk poet & free form radio experimentalist, taken March 1983 by Sharon Guynup in Hoboken on the day my father died.

Add YOUR comments here

Thursday, November 11, 2004

"So it comes to this: culture displacing the state."

As you could easily surmise, I take a predominantly cultural view of history - including war (Charles Olson: "So it comes to this: culture displacing the state."). The best & truest wrap up of the recent election I've read is by Frank Rich, On 'Moral Values,' It's Blue in a Landslide in the Arts section of the New York Times, which I strongly urge you to read (perfect opportunity to register for the free online edition). His is not an insulated New York perspective; what he critiques is usually what every American can see. Rich doesn't have to twist & skew poll results; the Nielsen Ratings, Billboard Charts, Amazon's Top Sellers in books, & corporate media news in the Wall Street Journal tell us every day what American moral values really are. But these excerpts:

"The 22 percent of voters who told pollsters that "moral values" were their top election issue - 79 percent of whom voted for Bush-Cheney - corresponds almost exactly to the number of voters (23 percent*) who describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians."

"When the No. 1 "moral values" movie star, Mel Gibson, condemned the Schwarzenegger-endorsed California ballot initiative expanding and financing stem-cell research, the governor and voters crushed him like a girlie-man. The measure carried by 59 percent, which is consistent with national polling on the issue."

* I've seen this as high as 33% in some polls, but it doesn't matter. The inability of the Christian right to organize successful boycotts proves that a percentage of Evangelicals routinely lie to pollsters about their personal tastes, habits & sexual activities.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Dream demons, or bodhisattvas?

Had a very nice visit from my dad in dream last night. It took place on Westfield Ave. by Elmora Ave. in Elizabeth, part of an odd sequence of dream events that also involved passing through a cemetary where there isn't one. Dad has always been a likeable deceased man, as he was to many people while he was alive. Being his son was a disadvantage in that respect, & death improved upon our relationship. Which leads me to the conclusion that a lot of issues just don't matter after one is dead, assuming one knows one is no longer living. I live in an area of Elizabeth where dad hung out when he was a young man, & not far from where my mom grew up. But dreams about either of them are not common. Dad looked to be in his mid-thirties, which would make it the 1950's, probably the most physically active & happiest period of his first marriage.

At the dream cemetary, I walked through a funeral home kind of place where a group of men wearing white bowling shirts were having some sort of ethnic funeral, although I saw no casket. Unfortunately, I didn't read what was stitched on the shirts. I just eased a couple of them over & went out a door. After encountering a few frighteningly demonic creatures in a dream a year or so ago, I described them to poet Jim Cohn & asked for his thoughts on the creatures. He suggested that they probably weren't as demonic as they appeared & that I attempt to engage them in conversation. This requires lucid dreaming, which doesn't happen too often to me. I have noticed that some inhabitants of my dreams seem to know they are dreams, while others are not aware of where they are, & so are powerless; that is, mesmerized or psychologically paralyzed, engaging in absurd behaviors as participants in absurd situations, like Alice before she realized the Mad Hatter's tea party was a totally screwball event. So occasionally there are lucid creatures even in my non-lucid dreams tricking or manipulating other creatures that are in a dream state, while I am more or less an uninvolved third party observer who neither joins in nor leaves. Perhaps my unconscious knows I am not awake, but doesn't bother telling me I am asleep & dreaming.
Add YOUR comments here

Monday, November 08, 2004

Read that Governor McGreevey is moving to Rahway when he leaves office next week. It's a good place for him to land. Rahway is a familiar town, the mayor an old friend; if he's even recognized, McGreevey won't be pestered when he goes to Dunkin' Donuts or 7-11, as he inevitably will.

Does it help to know a Mayor? You bet. Back in 1994 or 95, my then-girlfriend was suddenly hit with a yeast infection, so on our way back from somewhere we stopped at the all-night Pathmark around midnight on a Sunday. But the over-the-counter meds aisle was locked up with a security gate, which meant getting back in the car & driving up the road to 24 hour drugstore. She was in agony, on the verge of crying. Rahway Mayor Jim Kennedy just happened to be in line at the store buying - if I recall - milk & breakfast cereal, & with a quick appeal to him the gate was unlocked & my girlfriend got her Monistat cream.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A Bloody Mary on the balcony.

Such a pleasant evening, I'd be sitting out on the balcony sipping a Bloody Mary with a splash of hot sauce in it, if I had a balcony. I'll sit outside anytime the temperature hits 50 degrees with no wind, or even colder on a sunny afternoon. My old journals have many brief passages from Cliffwood Beach & Sandy Hook during fall, winter & spring. I've gone to Sandy Hook on bitterly cold days, picked up coffee & a snack on the way, parked facing the bay, never got out of car. A surprising number of people do that.

WFMU record fair today in New York, a huge event with an international reputation, & clientele. But there's still stuff for us "bottom feeders," as DJ Rob Weisberg put it. Caught most of Laura Cantrell's live set. I worked the one-dollar WFMU table, kind of boring, yet nice having the lovely Terre T to look at for three hours. At closing time I helped pack up the stuff & skipped out before the heavy lifting began. Only got a couple of LPs, from the dollar table. A reputable 1963 recording of Vaughan Williams' 6th Symphony, not familiar with the work so this is a preview that'll help me choose a more contemporary CD version. & The Surfmen performing songs of Hawaii. The Surfmen is not a surf band but ace west coast studio musicians who do first rate "lounge" music. Which brings me back to that Bloody Mary I'm not having on the balcony. Drinking grapefruit juice instead, straight up.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Half-crazy, now I'm half-blind, too!

Not a happy day here. Went to an optometrist. My fear was that he would discover that I had cataracts or worse, that one of my retinas had become detached again. I was expecting a full correction of my right eye & a partial correction of the left eye, which has remained weak since two retina surgeries in 12/00 & 1/01. Fortunately, the retina repairs (I'd had right eye surgery in 1991) were holding. But when I asked the doctor what he could do for my weak left eye, he said, "Nothing. You don't have enough retina in that eye to correct." I was stunned. I'd believed my previous optometrist, whose business was a medicaid/medicare assembly line operation, had simply been hasty & negligent in his exam. This wasn't a deterioration of my left eyesight over a four year period, or a failure to heal properly. This was something my retina surgeon knew immediately after the operations & should have told me during our followup exams in 2001. I was never informed that my left eyesight was now uncorrectable - that I was for all intents legally blind in that eye. The previous optometrist probably assumed I was aware of the situation. & this optometrist seemed surprised that I didn't know.

I am "blind" in my left eye. I can see colors & shapes & peripherally, I have no difficulty driving a car, my brain combines the good eye & bad eye into an cooperating pair. The left eye sees a big fuzzy red sign & the brain somehow recognizes it as "CVS Pharmacy" or "Pizza Hut" or "Wholesale Furniture Sales Blowout." The left eye watches shapes in the side view car mirror & the brain knows they are cars & where they are & approximately how large they are & how fast they are traveling relative to my car, & the right eye habitually confirms everything. So I am not "handicapped" in that sense.

But I suffer eyestrain more frequently from reading & watcting TV; I would not now consider having a reading intensive job like copy editing or working in a bookstore. Perhaps I could still teach piano for beginners. If I ever get into an exercise routine again it will certainly be swimming pool laps (which I never enjoyed), not jogging or any sort of jarring sport that could endanger my retinas. As much as I'd like someday to do all the crazy rides at Great Adventure, I doubt now that I'd risk it without an OK from an opthamologist. & I won't be jumping curbs, hopscotching old slate sidewalks & cutting through bumpy vacant lots on a bike anymore - the 1965 teenage skate punk is finished. It is imperative now that I move into a less stressful neighborhood.

For another assessment, I'll see a doctor who specializes in low vision problems. I may also consult an attorney.
Add YOUR comments here

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Liberal Feingold outpolls semi-liberal Kerry

Bush has no intention of doing anything to "unite" the country, because... why mess with success?

Mull over this seeming anomaly, brought to my attention by poet/perfesser Sam Abrams: John Kerry got 50% of the tally in Wisconsin, narrowly beating Bush by only 11,000 votes. Senator Russ Feingold, who voted against both the Patriot Act (the sole "nay") & the Authorization to attack Saddam Hussein, received 55% of the total & defeated his GOP opponent by over 300,000 votes! His opponent was Tim Michels, a millionaire construction company owner and a former US Army Ranger, who aggressively accused Feingold of being weak on terror. Kerry barely hung on to Feingold's coat tails. Feingold's 1998 election was much closer. Does this indicate that a lot of people must swing their votes to the candidate they view as having strong principles, whether these principles are conservative or liberal? So is it less a matter of a candidate being cautiously "centrist" in all things than of demonstrating that one does indeed have "moral values" that voters can relate to & even admire, putting them on-record & being committed to acting upon them in the future? Perhaps Feingold's success isn't an anomaly after all.

So forget about winning over conservative Christians whose distaste for human rights goes way beyond opposing gay marriage & who are for all intents theocrats. Never mind people who listen to right wing talk radio all day & believe what they hear. Even with a a guy who turned out to be a fairly weak candidate, Democrats still nearly accomplished what Bush pulled off four years ago; an electoral win over a popular vote loss! For heavensake, in 1984 - twenty years ago - the pundits & talking heads were saying the same things they're saying now. Then the Dems nominated a smiling youngish governor with a positive & direct "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow" message & who despite a scandalous personal reputation beat an incumbent "war" President & so scared the right wingers that four years out of office they invoke his name with the same fear & loathing generations of similarly unreconstructed Americans reserved for William Tecumseh Sherman. I don't mean Dukakis. Democratic presidential candidates don't have to be as "moderate" as Clinton as long as they've got bright hopes for the middle class & the underclasses, good songs, fishing licenses, self-control, & were regularly attending a church or synagogue before anyone was checking to see if they did.

This is the time of year I like least. Birthday coming up. Lot of dead leaves on the ground & hanging on trees. Dreary rainy days & pale sunny ones. Shorter & shorter days We get six to eight weeks of this climate, depending on winter's timing. So I break it down into sections. Halloween to Birthday. Birthday to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving to Winter Solstice. Solstice to the New Year. That leaves two months of deep winter (anything can happen in March).

I wonder if the huge NJEA teacher's union Convention - which starts today, followed two weeks later by the League of Jersey Municipalities convention have anything to do with seven Atlantic City casinos settling a strike by Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees? The Union got everything it wanted except for length of the contract. During what is a slow time for the casinos, NJEA brings 50,000 members & allies to town for at least one day, & were already taking all their business to the five non-strike casinos. The League brings thousands of gambling, boozing public employees, heavyweight local & state politicians, candidate wannabees, lobbyists, plus banks & businesses that sponsor free-for-all buffets & "hospitality" suites. Not many of these people would cross a picket line, either. & at the exhibit hall one can stock up a year's supply of pens, postits, mousepads & other office doodads, & some tee shirts & hats.
Add YOUR comments here

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Kerry needed some Tip O'Neill lessons. .

I kept waiting for John Kerry to turn into an Irish Catholic Democrat from Massachusetts; unfortunately, he never did. He needed some Tip O'Neill lessons.

Not so bleak. Democrats have to keep in mind that the election this year was decided by post-9/11 anxiety - the fact of no subsequent attacks to this point; & results in a number of states - most certainly Ohio - were affected by anti-gay marriage referendums, placed on the ballots as part of the overall GOP strategy. A number of Democratic senators overcame Bush majorities. Tom Daschle was specifically targeted by the National GOP. I think New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, New Mexico, Iowa can all be won in 2008 with reasonable circumstances & an excellent candidate, & that Colorado, West Virginia, Missouri & yes even Florida can be put back into play. Democrats have to learn that there's a difference between the obvious caadidate - a John Kerry - & a winning candidate - a Bill Clinton or even Jimmy Carter 1976. Back in 2000, the GOP reached over some obvious Washingtonian possibilities to a popular but mediocre Texas governor who had name recognition & creative neocom advisors. This team had essentially "packaged" George W. Bush in order to unseat a colorful, equally blunt-speaking incumbent who likely would have defeated any other GOP contender. In 1996, Clinton overcame his weaknesses with a booming economy & an opponent who wasn't the strongest the GOP could offer. Bush overcame his with 9/11 ... & an opponent who probably wasn't the strongest the Dems could offer.

In Jersey, I hope the Democratic establishment recognizes that the state GOP isn't going to remain moribund forever - there's another Kean in the wings - & starts learning from machine-generated disasters like Torricelli & McGreevey; even looks past Corzine (who might as well run for governor since he's not going to be such a popular guy when the new Dem senate caucus convenes). The Democratic Party in this state occasionally produces aJeff Van Drew who successfully got himself elected as a Cape May freeholder then an assemblyman from a Republican district. How did Van Drew do it?
Add YOUR comments here

No, I haven't been watching TV all this time. Kerry will lose. He can contest provisional ballots in Ohio, but they won't overcome the difference. & he's probably gonna lose Iowa, New Mexico & Nevada by the narrowest of margins. He also narrowly won New Hampshire & Wisconsin, & Bush has two or three percentage points in the popular vote. No matter how you slice & dice it, a Kerry "victory" could be nearly as tainted & divisive as Dubya's in 2000. Voter turnout? Is it that much higher than the 2000 election? What candidate could have decisively beaten Bush this year? Be grateful a Bush victory isn't a mandate, although he'll treat it as one since he seems to think 90% of Americans fully share his "values" when the actual percentage is surely under 30%. In fact, I 'll easily go so far as to say Kerry is much closer to a large majority of Americans in that sense. But people aren't voting the way they voted in 1996 or for the same issues. This election galvanized the liberal/left outside of the Democratic Party establishment, creating political organizations that are not going away. A lot of moderate Christians got a wake up call too, even many thousands who held their noses as they voted for Bush because they're so concerned with national security.

Unfortunate that all the anti-gay referendums have passed, but that wasn't unexpected (although the one in Ohio goes beyond what is reasonable & decent, since it could prevent civil unions). Kerry is on the record as being against gay marriage. So it isn't time yet.
Add YOUR comments here

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Almost midnight, it doesn't look good for Kerry but it's gonna be close. From last winter when Kerry became the apparent nominee, I was unable on an interactive electoral map to put together a winning majority for him. This is because I never gave him Florida, could not see Florida going against an incumbent Bush. It's only been over the past few days that I saw possibilities for a Kerry victory - or tie - without Florida, when Ohio went into play & I decided Kerry was going to take Minnesota & New Hampshire. That left Michigan, Wisconsin, Hawaii & New Mexico, all iffy in the final days. But I did see a potential situation in which all the news anchors & pundits would be practically handing the election to Bush because Florida went red (which I expected), & about to be quite surprised when a bunch of blue states began popping into view. Well, we shall see.

Add YOUR comments here

Monday, November 01, 2004

I don't have a prediction for this election. But I will make note of two things. First, the Washington Redskins lost their final homegame before Election Day. Second, the Electoral map tells me that it is very possible for Kerry to win without Florida, but I don't see how it's possible for Bush to win without the Sunshine State. That's not different from 2000; all Gore had to do was carry New Hampshire, which he lost by 7000 (Nader had 22,000). So the election may come down to New Hampshire again, or New Mexico. But not New Jersey - if Kerry loses here, he's lost. John Edwards probably helped Kerry in Missouri, Arkansas & Virginia, but not enough to carry those states. Forget North Carolina. Why do I always expect better of North Carolina? GOP Elizabeth Dole, Dem John Edwards, Dem. Governor Mike Easley, who will likely win re-election easily but had to ignore Kerry/Edwards to do it. & remember Jesse Helms?

New Jersey is closer than expected not because of Iraq, but because 9/11 is a vivid memory here & we all know that "Homeland Security" hasn't done much to protect public transit, & the Port of New York is a sieve. So there's an underlying anxiety & "strong leader" sentiment here & unfortunately we do not have a Sen. Chuck Schumer on the ticket. All other issues considered: economy, environment, social services, the use & abuse of our state National Guard in Iraq, Kerry would beat Bush here by at least 16%. That it is so close says less about Bush than about certain weaknesses in Kerry's campaign message. But the Jersey Democratic Party is far better at mobilizing vote on Election Day. Anyway, this election is almost anticlimatic compared to what happened last summer with Governor McGreevey.
Add YOUR comments here

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?