Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a concept that comes out of Chaos Theory. The term is attributed to a meteorlogist, Edward Lorenz, who was studying the major impacts/changes of weather based upon very tiny perturbations in the initial conditions. The term Butterfly Effect comes from a paper he wrote in the early 1970's titled "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?"

Since Dubya's re-election I have been thinking about the Butterfly effect and Linda Tripp. In my view she is one of the butterflies in a very convoluted and tenuously weak chain that has resulted in the world we live in today.

Looking backward, Bush was re-elected, from the exit polling information, based upon people voting on "moral issues". Despite the fact that he has been a complete disaster as a CEO, Commander and Chief, and Leader of the Free World, we put him back in office because, to many people, right or wrong, he represents a more moral choice than what the Democrats offered. Why is that?

Well, we know why that is. Everybody's favorite Democrat, Bill Clinton, was caught with his pants down in the Whitehouse having "sexual relations with THAT WOMAN", Monica Lewinsky. Why do we know that? Because Monica told her good friend Linda Tripp about her affair, Linda Tripp told the RNC, and the rest is history.

So the question goes, what if there was no Linda Tripp? Or what if Linda Tripp was not a Republican spy, but a true friend to Monica. The odds are that we would never have known about Monica Lewinsky, Clinton would never have faced Articles of Impeachment, and Gore would have won in a Landslide in 2000.

There are other "butterflies" in the chain leading to Bush's re-election (e.g. the person who invented the aptly-named Butterfly Ballot in Florida), but Linda Tripp is the most obvious one.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Liberal my ass!

I was out of the country last week when my home town newspaper came out with its endorsement for the POTUS. For a little background, the Houston Chronicle is a crappy little rag of a newspaper, with almost no real news. Actually, most parts of the paper are not bad, except the NEWS department. I have a good friend in a relatively high profile job there, so I can't be too critical.

However, for the past 4 years at least (potentially much longer) I have heard my Republican friends and aquaintances whine incessantly about how liberal the Houston Chronicle is. These are people who think Fox News sits in the the middle of the political spectrum. Anytime there would be an article or editorial published in the newspaper critical in the slightest bit of anything Republican, these people would go off on tirades complaining of the left leaning Houston Chronicle.

Well on October 24th the Chronicle showed its stripes, and they are, for the most part, yellow. They actually came out and endorsed the Dumbass himself. Jeebus H. Criminy!

I have to admit, I thought the Chronicle had some sanity in its editorial board. They were early in their criticism of the the push to war in Iraq. They have been consistent in many of their criticisms of the Bush Administration. And their loathing of Tom Delay has been unwavering.

However, in the end, I think they hedged their bets. As the referees of political fights in Houston, they have been worked over so long by the Republicans that they had to come out and show, by God, that the weren't liberal. Moreover, they are a Texas newspaper, and GW is our boy, good or bad.

All I can say to the Chronicle editorial board is shame on you, shame on you!


Monday, November 01, 2004

Never give up, never surrender

Well here we are on election eve, and the air of anticipation is intoxicating to an almost unhealthy level. I have been voting for 30 years now, and there has never been an election like this one.

To many of us, it seems as if our country as we know it hangs in the balance. But in my heart of hearts, I know this is not the case. If Bush wins, a month from now will likely be little different than today. Moreover, if Kerry wins, after the exhilaration of winning wears off, it will be obvious that what he won was the right to try to govern a house divided, with a Congress opposed to him, and with his military involved in a truly inextricable quagmire on the other side of the globe.

Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we must promise ourselves that we will never let our country fall into this situation again. Regardless of a Kerry victory or a Bush victory, we must continue the fight. After a week or two of catching our breath, we must continue to battle the right wing zealots for the soul of our country.

We are in this position now, in Iraq now, in this economy now, in this healthcare situation now because we let our guard down. We are fighting Republican Rubella because we did not take the time to get inoculated against this disease in the past. And believe me, this disease is a killer, and it has become and epidemic through our own negligence.

The Republicans are in power today because they do the mundane things very well. They are organized. They work hard in the "off-season". They raise money. They work the media. They work hard to turn people who you and I love into objects of revilement and hatred. They work hard to turn words you and I use to call each other into profane denunciations. (If there is anything I would love to accomplish in the next 4 to 8 years it would be to reclaim the word liberal as something to aspire to).

It is said that in a presidential campaign, the candidates try to win every minute of every day. They try to win the morning news shows, the daily talk radio shows, the daily cable shows, the nightly news shows, and the late night comedy shows. Well we must keep that tradition up for the next 2, 4 , and 8 years or else this tide of reactionary thinking will not be turned asunder.

In the meantime, viva Kerry y viva the Democratic Party