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Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Can someone explain to me why the only story coming out of the US Presidential Election race, for well over a week, has concerned the ads trying to discredit Kerry's Vietnam stint? Everyone knows the ads are lies told by lying liars, aka Republicans. Why are they being given so much credence? And why doesn't a group of Democratic supporters fight fire with fire, and show mock-ups of Bush and Cheney in chicken suits, and say "these two chickened out of Vietnam and can't be trusted to lead the country." This would, of course, be much closer to the truth than the utter crap being levelled at Kerry by Republican cronies.

Oh, and Russell Brown has a first-person account of his encounter with the blackshirts.

I saw the march too, and walked through the crowd in parliament grounds on my way back from a meeting. Russell's first-hand account of the march was pretty accurate, however I'll add a few less PC comments as well.
I have never seen so many tattoos in one place before.
The overall tone was menacing, and certainly no-one was going to get out of their way for me as I walked through.
80% Maori is probably a fair estimate, but it was the other 20% who were even scarier. A lot of them looked..... unfortunate.
No Pacific Islanders or Asians.
And no consideration to anyone else when sauntering accross Molesworth St at the end of to jump into taxis.

It was all a bit disturbing.
yamis here,

yeah there's something worrying about people 'championing families, children, male - female marriages only etc' who then strut about not giving a stuff for the rest of the human race.
And on the other topic, from today's Guardian:

Lacklustre John Kerry must be doing something right in his fight for the White House because his Republican opponents are reaching deep into their bag of dirty tricks. When the stakes are high in electoral contests there are usually people in all parties prepared to play rough to win - witness some of the tactics in last month's Westminster byelections. But low-level villainy on the back streets of Birmingham Hodge Hill is not the same as the cynically crafted big lie which now seems to be directed at Senator Kerry as he aims for the top.
An bestseller called Unfit for Command, written by fellow-veterans of the US navy swift boats on which the much-decorated Democratic candidate served in Vietnam, challenges Mr Kerry's combat record and his supposedly unpatriotic conduct in campaigning against that squalid war as soon as he got safely home. As TV ads ram home the smear, the Iraq parallel is obvious and relevant for both sides. The allegations are rejected by those on Mr Kerry's own boat. But his poll ratings have slumped among US veterans, a significant group. A question mark has been scrawled on his CV.

The candidate may have been unwise to emphasise so frequently his own war record (he was in combat for just five months), though it highlights President Bush's armchair variety. It does not amount to a foreign policy. Yet Americans have enjoyed putting soldiers into the White House since General Washington. Theodore Roosevelt and Jack Kennedy revelled in their somewhat-embellished military glory and George Bush Snr was lucky enough to have been sent a grainy (but authentic) film of his own second world war exploits for the 1988 campaign.

That campaign was marred by a sordid smear that the Democratic runner, Michael Dukakis, also a "Massachusetts liberal", was soft on black rapists. It worked, not least because Mr Dukakis was too lofty to take it seriously; not a mistake Bill and Hillary Clinton ever made. Mr Kerry has already been falsely accused of an affair with an intern and had a doctored photo circulated of him committing politics with "Hanoi Jane" Fonda.

Such "mud sticks" tactics are consistent with key moments in the well-documented career of Karl Rove, Mr Bush's shadowy political hitman. So is the lightly laundered Texas Republican money which funded the latest exercise. After first hesitating, Mr Kerry is taking his detractors to the election court. Excellent. Negative campaigning is even more corrosive there than it is here.

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