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    23 November 2005

    The 'New' America

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    Remember after the election last year people were making those maps of red and blue counties (not voting districts) across America? They were meant to depict the Blue team as struggling and weak, only showing up in small cities speckled throughout. I understand, and hope most do as well, that this was a geographic and demographic misrepresentation of how populations in individual districts voted in '04. Had that map taken into account population density it would have looked more like these, explained here (PDF). In reality the divide between Republicans and Democrats is pretty even. So my question is what would that map look like today not viewed though the lens of the Electoral 'County' misrepresentation of who voted what in '04, but a simple approve/disapprove ratio nationwide a year later? Here is the answer
    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    Data and methodology info here.

    What a difference a year makes! I wonder if Kerry could win now (I wouldn't bet on it!)? So many things have gone against this President since last year it is fairly easy to come to this conclusion with out this graph. Easily the sharpest thorn in the Presidents side in the ongoing occupation of Iraq producing meager results and infinite resentment and was based on either mistakes or lies; most likely a combination. The critic of the war has become bipartisan with several congresspersons coming out for a timetable and quick pullback. Several of these congresspeople come from districts with high military populations. Last week, the most decorated Marine in the House proposed a plan for withdrawal. This met a 'straw man' resolution put up by Bush Republicans as a partisan attack intended to split the Democrats. A freshman Congresswomen from Ohio called the Marine/Congressman a coward when she read a fake letter written by another Ohio Republican partisan. This 'game' blew up in the Republicans face but has started a much need dialogue in America WRT the War on Iraq. More proof that the opposition to the war is becoming bipartisan is a recent Bill O'Reilly column in which he calls for a timetable

    ...there must be a time limit. Mr. Bush and his crew have to understand that American blood and treasure are not unlimited. It is not undermining the war to suggest giving the Iraqis a realistic private timetable to defend themselves. Basic training for a U.S. soldier is six weeks. We've been training the Iraqi army for almost two years now. Even Gomer Pyle would be up to speed.

    ...polls show most Americans have turned against the war, and who can blame them with the media pounding home a depressing picture every day? And there are plenty of depressing images to show. Although most of the country is pacified, Baghdad remains a nightmare. ... But voting is happening, and business is being done. So let's build on that and give the Iraqis a realistic time frame to fight their own fight. ... We need to get out of there.

    Of course he had to throw in some glitter for his friends but the message is clear, America has finally seen this administrations foreign policy disaster through the same eyes as I saw it in aftermath of 11 September 2001.

    Posted by Geoff

    21 November 2005

    Happy Holidays!!

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    "You're either with us, or you're against us" says so-called pastor Jerry Falwell referring to those who 'suppress' Christmas in America.
    Evangelical Christian pastor Jerry Falwell has a message for Americans when it comes to celebrating Christmas this year: You're either with us, or you're against us.

    Falwell has put the power of his 24,000-member congregation behind the "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign," an effort led by the conservative legal organization Liberty Counsel. The group promises to file suit against anyone who spreads what it sees as misinformation about how Christmas can be celebrated in schools and public spaces.

    The 8,000 members of the Christian Educators Association International will be the campaigns "eyes and ears" in the nation's public schools. They'll be reporting to 750 Liberty Counsel lawyers who are ready to pounce if, for example, a teacher is muzzled from leading the third-graders in "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

    An additional 800 attorneys from another conservative legal group, the Alliance Defense Fund, are standing by as part of a similar effort, the Christmas Project. Its slogan: "Merry Christmas. It's OK to say it."

    I prefer 'Happy Holidays', it gets rid of Xmas, New Years, and in some cases Thanksgiving also.

    I could be really cruel but I'll abstain :)

    Posted by Geoff


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