Letters to the Editor

Guinea Pigs With Purpose

As a former member of the U.S. Navy and a current veteran and Seattle resident, I was quite interested in Rick Anderson's "The Home Affront" [July 14]. Several good points were made, bringing light to many issues the government doesn't tell recruits when they raise their right hand and swear in under military oath. I won't deny that soldiers are often used as the government's guinea pigs. During my time aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, I received the smallpox vaccination as well as two anthrax shots. Anderson was right on when he said that soldiers refusing the vaccination would be discharged; however, he failed to state why. As it was explained to me and my fellow sailors, some individuals were unable to receive the vaccinations due to medical reasons. Sailors who simply didn't want to get the shot(s) would be risking the lives of those who had medical waivers; if they went down, they would be taking down innocent lives with them.

Also, the article ends on a rather sour note, stating that "more soldiers have died from the vaccines than from . . . weapons of mass destruction." Isn't this the way it would be preferred? With all vaccinations there is a risk. Say the government stops issuing the vaccinations, and 100 lives are saved. People rejoice. And then say some power-hungry terrorist drops a couple of missiles laden with chemical agents that wipe out half our troops. People will then ask why the government didn't vaccinate our soldiers. The article seemed to focus more on what is happening than on what could happen, which is the entire point behind the vaccinations. Prevent the damage before it occurs.

Kristina Zahnter

Seattle

Gulf Vet Validation

I was so pleased to find Rick Anderson's book excerpt in the Weekly ["The Home Affront," July 14]. I work with Steve Robinson and the National Gulf War Resource Center. Anderson's accounts of Desert Storm veterans and their fight for health care and validation ring very true. Many Gulf veterans are becoming too ill to work and have no idea what they should do or where to turn for information.

NGWRC's Self-Help Guide is available for download at www.ngwrc.org. For a hard copy or to request our Gulf War Veteran Resource Guide, e-mail jmock@ngwrc.org or call 425-488-0438 or 800-882-1316, ext. 162.

Julie Mock

Vice President, National Gulf War Resource Center

In Knute Berger's "What If Bush 'Wins'?" [Mossback, July 14], he asks what we would do in the event of a Bush triumph. The best answer may be, "What can we do?" In these past four years, we have voiced our opinions over so many of his issues: from Enron to the environment to Iraq to impeachment. His response was something along the lines of, "Sometimes you have to go against what the people say, in order to make things right for our future." The media have more or less ignored us. We are helpless; no one will listen. What else could be possible in these next four years, except to live in misery and fear until it's over?

Rachel Hooton

Seattle

Give 'em Hell!

In the event of another illegitimate takeover, my family and I will not sit silently by as we did in 2000 [Mossback, "What If Bush 'Wins'?" July 14]. We are not the militia types, far from it. But we do have something in common with our conservative counterparts. We are gun-toting, NRA–supporting liberals. We are hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. What is needed in the aftermath of a Bush coup d'état is leadership. That is what was needed in the aftermath of the 2000 election. We will not move to another country! This is our country! These are our streets! We will form coalitions of the willing. Gay, straight, black, white . . . we will move beyond the street protests. We will make the next four years of a Bush presidency hell! We will find out where they live. We will protest outside their houses. We will treat them like O.J. Simpson, a pariah. They will not be treated with respect, they are criminals! National leaders will go on network television and espouse the illegitimacy of the next Bush presidency. Perhaps they'll solicit the help of France or Germany to take back our democracy, à la Lafayette. A nationwide acti­vist network with strong leadership and the outrage of the American people will be all that is necessary to expose these criminals.

Anthony Vicari

Freeland

Better off With Bush

I may be in the minority in Western Washing­ton where I live, but luckily I grew up in Eastern Washington and have the values of the conservatives. If Bush wins I will celebrate [Mossback, "What If Bush 'Wins'?" July 14]. So maybe he isn't perfect, no one is, but at least we have a leader who says what he believes, sticks to his beliefs, and follows through. He isn't wishy-washy or known for doublespeak; he just does what he thinks is best. I am much better off now than I was when President Bush took office, and I have no doubt four more years will be beneficial for me and everyone I know.

Chris Saunders

Seattle

Since the Bush administration brought it up, let's ponder a terrorist attack on Election Day [Mossback, "What If Bush 'Wins'?" July 14]. The terrorists go after a logical target such as a subway, bridge, tunnel, or building in one or more cities. Disruption, gridlock, and general chaos prevent many urban-dwelling citizens from getting to their polling places, and the state is carried by its typically more conservative rural voters. The targeted state(s) fall into the "red" column, clearing the way for four more years of Republican rule. According to Knute Berger, "Our elections should be bombproof and bulletproof (and Florida-proof)." Without a plan to postpone the election, the Democrats will accept their defeat graciously, steer clear of the courts, and not fill the streets with demonstrations? Sure, and Michael Moore films documentaries.

Henry Hurd

Stanwood

Say Hi to Frodo

I read Knute Berger's arrant bilge in the last issue [Mossback, "What If Bush 'Wins'?" July 14] and have a simple solution to his dilemma. If the president is indeed re-elected, I'll pay Berger's airfare to New Zealand, on the condition that he remain there.

Christopher Sandford

Seattle

DE-Constructed

Is this a case of the glass half empty [Small World, "De-bacle," July 14]? I liked De-Lovely. I thought the film interpreted the issues of homosexuality and social standing in an entertaining way, and as they would have been treated during that period in history. The film provided a plausible story about how two wounded people of the upper social classes could have had genuine affection for each other at a time when social mores would not have allowed gay relationships to be public. The characters found a way to have a meaningful relationship and fulfill their physical, emotional, and social needs, even though it was painful for them at times.

For many people, gay and heterosexual, such conditions continue. Women become trophy wives for men who provide for them, and gays who are not ready to come out fulfill their social standing with heterosexual relationships. What is healthy about the relationship depicted in De-Lovely is that the main characters were truthful about what was going on. It may not have been practical to pretend that some other scenario was possible in a social era of don't ask, don't tell. Was that an injustice to gays of that era? Certainly. But no more than injustices to other social groups in previous eras such as women and blacks. And it still goes on, but we are making progress, however slowly.

Lucy Garrick

Seattle

More on Mossback

We received a great number of letters in response to Knute Berger's July 14 Mossback column, "What If Bush 'Wins'?" The following is a selection of the letters that didn't appear in our print edition this week.

I, too, have been considering what to do if Bush is again "selected." We all use the "Canada is right next door, eh?" line, but whether I like it or not, I'm rooted here. This is my country, I believe in the Constitution and desperately want to be proud of the U.S. again. Yes, I'm willing to fight for it.

Given the amount of Ecotopia under control of the federal government, I doubt we can insulate ourselves by putting good local folk in office. Quasi-secessionism sounds tempting, and we do control the ports, but I doubt we'd get away with it. And I'm not sure that a liberal militia isn't an oxymoron.

We might have a better chance of saving the country if impeachment proceedings begin immediately. Bush has lied about far more than Clinton did, and hundreds are dead as a result. His redirection of funds appropriated for the war in Afghanistan and spent for planning the war in Iraq, the outing of a CIA operative, the windfall of billions to corporations like Halliburton, the deliberate understatement of costs and deceptive overstatement of benefits in the Medicare bill, and the illegal detention of citizens and other civil liberties violations would make a good start on a long list of impeachable offenses.

Civil disobedience is my second weapon of choice. Maybe we need a national teachers' strike over the beginning of the end of public education under the ESEA? Veterans should strike for decent pay, food for their families, and care for the wartime wounded. National parks could close on behalf of our environment under siege while seniors strike over prescription drug profits and for-profit HMOs. Hey, it's been almost a century since we've had a good general strike here.

The problem is that if Bush is (s)elected, what will that say about our fellow citizens? Have a majority been so demoralized, enslaved by consumerism and fear, that they want to hire him for another four years? Will the mainstream media start investigating their own stories instead of begging for scraps at the White House door? How can we awaken the middle class to our own best interests before all the damage is done?

It took thousands of body bags coming home to end the war in Vietnam. We can't wait till GWB subjects more soldiers to permanent injury and death at the hands of Iraqi insurgents, and we must not wait until he is able to make even one Supreme Court nomination before we stop him . . . by whatever peaceful means necessary.

Thanks for opening the discussion.

Maggie Everett

Seattle

Bush-bashing, dictator-appeasing, DemoLibs like Knute Berger are nothing if not a lot of fun for those of us who support PRESIDENT Bush. They provide endless mirth and humor for us. From the tops of their little lemminglike groupthink heads to the bottoms of their little Saddam-loving, morally myopic toes, they are just about the funniest thing going. The administration wants to study what happens if there is a terrorist attack that could interrupt the elections, and right away, they all think "Bush" conspiracy. This is because, like the Borg on Star Trek, they are wired to think alike. None of them can think individually. This is, of course, consistent with their socialist tendencies to bury individual rights and replace all of them with "gummit" rights.

Berger has raised self-delusion to an art form. Keep it up.

Kenneth W. Weigel

Edmonds

If Bush wins, and the Dems don't win a majority in the Senate. I will cry and know that the country I love will be doomed. Baby boomers will find out just how bad our golden years will be.

Catherine Brabant

Lincoln Park, MI

More importantly . . . what if the Christian Taliban views a win by Bush as a "sign from God" that their takeover of this country's agenda is "preordained." Forging an amendment to the Constitution in order to deny rights to a specific minority, to me, is cause for an all-out civil war. I am a 55 year old disabled woman . . . where do I sign up???

Dee M. Nickel

Woodstock, GA

If Bush wins this next election, I will be one of those seeking to get the hell out of this country. Not only because I feel that would be the only way to remain true to myself and certain ideologies I feel cannot be compromised, but also out of sheer disgust at the ignorance and absolute fear the rest of my fellow Americans would exhibit out of re-electing such a man. He has been exposed as the corrupt, lying, incompetent man that he really is, and his re-election would send a resoundingly negative message of support for him to the entire world. Terrorism spurred on by hatred for America and the man who represents all of us would undoubtedly increase, and our country would continue down the path of world domination and

imperialism that we are currently on. I refuse to have this man represent me, and

with the increasingly crippling effects on our liberties created by the Un-American Patriot Act, I have lost the naïvité to think that the liberal individual would have any sway on another Bush administration. I love this country and I would return as soon as the Evil Empire's reign came to an end, but I for one would not sit here and watch while the Bush regime ruins America.

Joe Miklich

Littleton, CO

I personally would love to pack up my family and get the hell out of the country, when Bush is re-elected. I can't practically, and shouldn't, probably on moral grounds—no matter how bad it is going to get, we can't let him think he's gotten away with it without anyone noticing or caring. We can't let Bush think no one will fight back. So, I'll stay and work to make changes, join with anyone who will challenge the policies and actions, and do what I can, "by any means necessary."

I say "when," because I'm sure that there is no way Bush intends to leave the White House, as Knute Berger says, and it scares the hell out me. This whole situation is finally making a political activist out of me. I grew up in the Southwest. If Bush manages to hijack the election process again, or even if, by some miracle, the election is fair and he gets re-elected, I am quitting my job in upstate New York and going back to do whatever I can to support environmental, energy, and social policies that don't work against the populace and give big business an excuse for wholesale looting of the environment. My friends and family are there, and no matter what people think of one another, in a crisis, the crap can wait until later—after the ass-kickings are over.

Linda D. Mansker

Corning, NY

Thanks to Knute Berger for his excellent article. And for giving voice to my worst fears. On the one hand, I fully expect Bush to steal the election again. I think all the signs are there. On the other hand, I have to remain hopeful for the Forces of Light and Justice (sigh) to prevail.

If he does "win" again, will there be anywhere on the planet that's safe from the arrogant, criminal folly of him and his spooky pals?

I have been giving serious consideration to both of Berger's proposed alternatives should the Forces of Dark pull off another coup. Right now, my internal debate is between getting the heck as far out of Dodge as possible (wherever they'll take me!) or selling everything I own and devoting the rest of my life to progressive activism full time. That is, if we're not rounded up first.

What to do?

Larisa Wanserski

Seattle

Knute Berger's article put in writing what I have been thinking, and I'm scared to death. Funny he said New Zealand—that's where I thought about going. However, I must stay behind because of an elderly mother, so I'll fight this radical right-wing regime any way I can. I wish people would wake up and see that not only is "Emperor" Bush naked, his entire administration is without clothes or morals. Sad thing is that a majority of Americans are brain dead. Thanks for the great op-ed.

Susan Richards

Anchorage, AK

I just read Knute Berger's article, and I had a few comments:

Berger says, "Federal elections in America must be inviolable, as reliable as sunrise." I agree. But, what would he propose if on Election Day 500 polling places explode? What if they are in poor neighborhoods, urban areas, and other hotbeds of Democratic votes? Would Berger not want to skip a day and let these disenfranchised people vote at new polling places? Or would he rather just let middle America decide the election? I agree that if attacks against other targets happen it should not derail the process, but what if the attack is the election itself? Seems to me the suburbs and flyover states would be the winners, and so perhaps having a contingency plan is not such a bad idea. Oh, imagine the conspiracy theories if Bush wins office after polling places in New York, Miami, L.A., Seattle, and Chicago are obliterated! Berger would be among those writing them, especially when he writes: "It also strikes me as a formal announcement that Bush is again ready to do whatever it takes to stay in power. "

Berger needs to pull his head out of the liberal propaganda; Bush is not Castro, Lenin, or Mao—dictatorial heroes of communism. If Berger really believes that Bush stole the election, he needs to read up on the subject. Independent recounts after the Supreme Court decision show Bush winning. The idea that he is an illegal president is conspiracy theory fluff. The election was close, but not illegal.

Now, Berger also says this: "How many people do you know who have said they're moving to another country if Bush wins?" I applaud this decision. Please go, but don't come crying back here. The economic growth rates in the European socialist nations that the left so treasures is stagnating. A big fat social safety net is not sustainable. Individuals must work charitably at the local level by donating their own time and money to make their own communities better—not voting to let a distant bureaucracy take a local $1 only to send 20 cents back in the form of aid. It doesn't work, and Europe is proof. Think globally, act locally—yes that means for the "social safety net" too.

And finally, to answer Berger's question, "I would like to hear what you would do in the event of a Bush victory—legitimate or otherwise." I have to say that if Bush won fairly I would celebrate. I would go out into the street and wave my flag proudly, and know that my country is not in danger of having it's foreign policy handed over to the U.N. by John Kerry.

Chris Jones

Editor, American Liberty Journal

Monroe

If Bush wins, there isn't anything we can do but sit around and eat shit for four more years.

If Bush "wins" like he did last time, we will have to overthrow the government and redo the election. We should all purchase airline tickets to D.C. for the day after the election. If the election goes off without a hitch, regardless of who wins, we visit the Lincoln Memorial and go home. If it looks like the fix is in, peacefully (like King or Gandhi) protest the election and don't stop protesting until there is a new election or the actual winner of the election is placed in the White House.

We certainly cannot, as patriotic Americans, sit by again while our right to vote is taken away. We were caught off-guard last time, but like Bush once said, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, and I won't get fooled again." (That's an actual quote).

Keith Vance

Newcastle

If Bush is elected (for the first time) . . . there will be no Republican party in a few years. The evil plots of the Bush cabal will finally energize the vast masses to wake up to what has been done to them. It'll happen when all the privatizing starts, i.e., Social Security, Medicare, everything else.

The move toward a corporate, oligarchic theocracy will be complete and the people of the U.S. will finally awaken from their apathy once "conservative" policies take effect and hit them head on.

I hope.

Robyn O'Neill

New York, NY

Nonviolent civil disobedience. Get out in the street and shut down business as usual. Withdraw your consent. I'll be there.

Doug McCrae

Seattle

If I have to endure another four years of this Gang of Four, and the further loss of my liberties, I will take on the added responsibility of any citizen, get me the latest in semiautomatic rifles (no license to carry), take lessons at the police-authorized rifle range, and protect my family and neighborhood from the crazies.

Robert B. Godwin

Olympia

Thanks for Knute Berger's piece, "What If Bush Wins?" Good journalism should point up questions. But his question, what would I (or anyone) do if Bush steals another election, is unanswerable. A more relevant question might be couched something like this: If Bush steals another election, and if significant numbers venture beyond an afternoon's mild protest march, how much violence would our military or our state and local police unleash on citizens?

And what forms of enforcement would be used in an attempt to maintain business as usual? And, of course, that same old question we have asked ourselves so many times: Just how much #%@*! will Americans take?

Thomas Hubbard

Everett

Soon after Bush was selected for president, he started spouting off in his tough guy arrogant way to China about the U.S. airmen China was holding captive. I knew then we had to find another place to live. This guy was a warmonger, and I felt sure he was going to get us into a war. Well, he did.

Later, when the news (especially from Fox) was slanted at the start of the war with Iraq we gave up our satellite TV system. I couldn't take it anymore. We started building a cabin on another part of our property and using spring water, solar panels, kerosene lamps . . . we started homesteading. We sold our home and are living in the cabin even though it is not yet completed. We aren't tied to the electrical grid but do have a telephone to reach the outside world. We had researched moving to New Zealand, but it's too hard to get into the country. We will distance ourselves even more, bury our heads in the sand, maybe even give up the laptop (where we get the news) if Bush were to remain in office. Let's hope it doesn't happen.

John Sidoti

Pisgah Forest, NC

From the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Samuel A. Scharff

Seattle

Thank goodness you published "What If Bush 'Wins?'" Now I don't look quite so wild-eyed. For two years I've been saying that this freak Bush will never leave office. It's clear that Bush, on direct orders of God Herself, has already determined that he is divinely (if not financially) ordained to stay in office for life.

And then out comes Ridge to officially announce that the election is over. He has the same swaggering arrogance as his boss.

Since votes are cast by precinct and counted by county (generally), any kind of terrorist attack sufficiently powerful to cause the suspension of the election would have to strike most of the counties in every single state in the Union and continue for the 12 hours the polls are open.

If that kind of attack were to happen, we sure wouldn't be hearing from Ridge or "Bunker Boy" Cheney. I suspect most of us would notice. Unless the Ridge-Bush warning is really a threat and is itself the terrorist action sufficient to stop democracy behind yellow "police line" tape.

In November 2000, we fell into ideological civil war, started by design by Bush. If he will not leave office in 2005, then we may very well have to drop the "ideological" and admit that we are in "real" civil war. And then we will either act accordingly or enjoy our lives in the new North Korea (Texas-style).

As for escaping to other countries, let's not forget how quickly Bush closed the borders on 9/11 . . . as if there were already some plan in effect to do so.

This year we all must vote like our lives depended on it, because they do.

Paul Shinkle

Milwaukee, WI

Hmm . . . liberal militias. Let's see. They'd have to be 50 percent female, 64 percent white (non-Hispanic), 16 percent Hispanic, 15 percent African American, 2 percent Jews, 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 3 percent homosexual, and 1 percent transgendered. Paid for by progressive income taxes, of course. Controlled by an elite that knows better than the ordinary militia gun-slinger. Oops! Couldn't have guns; bad for "the children," y'know. So with what would they fight for socialism? I know! They'd join the UN and pass resolutions condemning Bush. That'd do it.

Better idea: Vote Libertarian.

Mark Nameroff

Olympia

If Bush wins, I wouldn't doubt he'll get bumped off by someone inside his circle and Cheney will be president. Just a thought. I mean, Bush is obviously a fuckup whose only value was because of his tie to Daddy. He himself has been a great distraction for who is really pulling the puppet strings. It's pretty obvious that Cheney is the brains, be that as they are. You can always spot the manipulator like a ventriloquist who sometimes can't keep his mouth still.

But seriously . . . I feel the need to purchase a firearm and bury it in my garden. The next thing they'll be taking away is our right to bear arms in the name of "terrorism," telling us that by outlawing weapons, it will make it harder for the terrorists to attack us or something like that. Someday it'll come to a revolution or a civil war, probably the latter.

This government is not ours. It is a facade of criminals who only see power as the aims of a higher purpose, and we are no better than the cattle bred to feed us. It is not right what they're doing, if there is a right vs. wrong. If the forefathers of this nation could see the path this country has taken, it would be inconceivable to them how misunderstood their intentions had become.

And how did this get this far? Who caused this to happen? The people themselves, as a collective unenlightened mass of senseless individuals whose only concern was themselves and who have become so engrossed in the quest for material happiness that they pacify themselves with weakened values and lack of responsibility.

In defense of the homeland, I would go as far as active rebellion against tyranny of this government as peacefully as possible, but I would be prepared to take it by force if needed.

Debra Idso Bradbury

Marysville

Don't mean to sound defeatist, but if Bush stays in office it's over, and it will be for some years. America will be a one-party nation.

The country has been "had." Hand it to the Republicans, they've been planning this for 25 years. It stuns me that they get away with what they do. The Democrats offer no resistance. Tom Daschle, Senate minority leader . . . please. He has the spine of a jellyfish. Nancy Pelosi, no help there.

I don't know what can be done. Americans are too involved in their lives to be concerned. Easy credit, Hollywood movie stars, sporting events, sports stars, Disneyland. Americans are far too easily led astray.

If Bush "wins," the Republicans will rule for 25 years. I'll retire in 18 years and hopefully move to Ireland.

Good column!

Charles F. McLure

Fort Worth, TX

First of all, I plan to request an absentee ballot, so I can be in Canada on election day. That way, I don't have to run the risk of a "Red" terror alert closing the borders if Bush loses the popular vote.

Assuming some kind of attack occurs before the election, as in Madrid, I would either go to Canada or to my preference, New Zealand (and no, not because of Lord of the Rings) . . . it would depend, again, on whether getting out of Sea-Tac is an option.

If Kerry is elected and is able to assume office, I would still leave the U.S. for New Zealand; I would just wait 'til June or July, when flights are cheaper. Being diabetic and knowing that my health will ultimately deteriorate, I have long felt my best option is to leave the U.S. for the reasons Knute Berger cites—better health care, better transportation, better media. I have a hard enough time having everything my doctor does second-guessed by some high-school dropout insurance company drone. Since I possess information-technology skills, I actually have good chance of finding a job and being granted residency status.

As for taking the country back: puh-leeze! The appalling number of Americans who think Bush is the Second Coming and who constantly tell pollsters that "America is on the right track" have convinced me there is no hope for this country. These morons can have the Third World cesspool that the U.S. is destined to become.

Orin O'Neill

Seattle

Thanks for Knute Berger's excellent article. I only wish the national media would face this issue front and center. It didn't go quite far enough, however, to address the question haunting our worst nightmares: What if, having secured the "right" to cancel the election if terrorists strike, Bush then engineers just such a strike? Perhaps—just to ensure success—one that kills his opponent. Given the extreme secrecy on all that led up to 9/11, and the total secrecy of all this administration's actions, how would we ever know?

If this seems an extreme scenario, just look at what this administration has stooped to already; they've abundantly demonstrated they'll stop at nothing to keep and expand their increasingly absolute power.

Carol Van Strum

Tidewater, OR

I have a hard time imagining the election being delayed for any reason, short of someone nuking D.C. (actually, there were some good things to come out of Clancy's story about flying a plane into Congress). However, the Republican Party is working very hard to make us a one-party nation. After witnessing Tom DeLay's work in redistricting Texas (which is more Democratic than most folks think) so that we have two-thirds Republican representation in the state House and Senate, they are doing all they can to eliminate the opposition. By whatever means possible. Two important concepts people going to the polls need to realize: All local, state, and national elections are important; and there needs to be a movement toward one person, one vote. Eliminate the Electoral College, which is completely outdated. That will eliminate the "swing states" and force candidates to address everyone, not just a select few. And we won't have the fiascoes we have seen in Florida. Make it necessary for them to have to steal buckets of votes, not just a few.

J.B. Chimene

The Woodlands, TX

Thank you for Knute Berger's editor's note on the tragic possibility that Bush will win. If so, there will undoubtedly be numerous violations of voting rights and possibly a reoccurrence of another U.S. Supreme Court appointment. What should happen, given this scenario, are impeachment proceedings against George Bush and the members of the U.S. Supreme Court who voted to give him a second term.

The charges against Bush would be numerous but would include: war crimes, misuse of funds appropriated by Congress, failure to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and failure to protect American soldiers. Charges against members of the Supreme Court would center on the failure to uphold U.S. constitutional guarantees of state's rights, separation of church and state, and citizen voting rights, and on the creation of a monarchy.

This occupant of the White House deserves the same demise as Richard Nixon. The right-wing conservatives need to be driven from power now and hopefully forever.

David Hecker

Seattle

Knute Berger asked what readers would do if Bush steals another four years. I have gritted my teeth and pondered that very question. I know I would be miserable, inconsolable and very angry, but I did manage to make myself a promise.

Having written material for comedians and done a smattering of stand-up myself, I have decided if he gets appointed again, I am going to do Bush-bashing stand-up comedy for the entire four years he's in office.

He may be a prick, and a stupid prick at that, but not a day goes by without the news mentioning one more screwup, lie, or otherwise fucked-up thing Bush has done. He's a gold mine of potential comedy material.

So that's my plan. "The Bend Over Bush Show," from deep in the heart of Texas.

Karen Zipdrive

San Antonio, TX

Great column. I've been listening to friends claim they would flee the U.S. if Bush gets another four years. I'm more inclined to stay and fight, but how? If he wins fair and square, well, then he gets to reap all the seeds he's sown in the last four years. I almost think it will be worth it to see him deal with the mess rather than Kerry. The real question is if there is another fishy election. If they try to postpone or cancel the election, then the Constitution is violated, all bets are off, anything goes.

First step in that case—general strike. Look at the electoral map. All the blue states are on the coast and account for a huge percentage of the economic activity of the country. Could we get the longshore unions to take part? Don't know. If only a large minority of that population stays home from their jobs, the Bushites will have to do something. Send in the military and we are off to the races.

Fred Koster

Seattle

Thanks for Knute Berger's column. I've been considering an appropriate response to the Bush administration should there be any unfair play in the November elections. Of course, if they win because the American people are not yet ready to wake up, I'll just have to keep on with the good fight.

But I won't be complicit with a racist election this time; I won't sit by like in 2000 with my mouth agape. And I don't think America should, either. We should be aware that an election hijacking is a very real possibility, as it's happened once already—and of course, that's the point of Berger's column.

My proposal is that there be a national strike. All those opposed to shady election results should not go to work until every vote is counted and/or recounted. Could you imagine if 50 percent of the voting America who supports Kerry or even the 1 million (per the reporting of Greg Palast) Black Americans who were cut out of the voting process in 2000 simply refused to go to work? What if this time all the 2-plus million MoveOn members simply refused to go to work? What if Seattle alone, where there's a 9 percent approval rating for Bush (so I hear), started the beginnings of a national strike like a rolling blackout across America?!

We need to organize on this level. We should build such a will for democracy from the American people that our leaders get the message: We take our elections seriously and won't stand by again.

Joshua Coberly

Seattle

 
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