Friday, October 29, 2004

Countdown

Mayor Bloomberg mailed $400 checks to a lot of residents to warm their hearts on the way to the polls. Actually, he raised their taxes by $1700, so this was only a partial refund, but he figures they should be grateful for small favors. On a Blumberg market program, an adviser was asked what stocks to buy if Bush is elected. He said military stocks, naturally, but pharmaceuticals, for sure. He wouldn’t sell either one if Kerry was elected -- just hold on to them -- which is a pretty good picture of what’s at stake on Tuesday.

The election is already under way -- and also, the anti-election. Who would believe that a truckload of absentee votes would vanish again in Florida-- that butterfly ballots, with arrows pointing the wrong way and punch cards with hanging chads would be handed out -- this time in Cincinnati? Who would imagine that thousands of touch-screen machines with no paper trail would be installed -- virtually all of them in minority districts. The Bush gang has gone all out to keep millions of citizens from having their votes counted.

Which brings up the question, what can we do about it? Time is running out. It’s all very well to call the big media and talk programs -- if they don’t charge for it - though one can get more mileage with blogs on the Internet. But the biggest influence each of us can have is to nag everyone we can in the neighborhood, on the job - in subways and buses. It’s a matter of overcoming apathy and despair. Let our enemies be desperate -- they know they could not win a fair election. We can stop them - this time.

(P.S. Note how after all the breast-beating and confessionals about slanting coverage, the Times reports that Columbia University is investigating a charge of anti-semitism by pro-Arab professors, only to conclude, on careful reading, that there isn’t a word of truth in it.)