Ken's Brain Drain
Monday, November 15, 2004
  Mandala Construction
Watched these Buddhist monks that came from a monastary in Ithaca NY, construct this Mandala, a sand painting, which they will deconstruct in a couple of weeks. The one I witnessed took place at UCONN's Benton museum. INCREDIBLE.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
  The Onion : Nation's Poor Win Election For Nation's Rich
Gotta love The Onion. They just always put everything into perspective.

"'The Republican partyŚthe party of industrial mega-capitalists, corporate financiers, power brokers, and the moneyed eliteŚwould like to thank the undereducated rural poor, the struggling blue-collar workers in Middle America, and the God-fearing underpriviledged minorities who voted George W. Bush back into office,' Karl Rove, senior advisor to Bush, told reporters at a press conference Monday. 'You have selflessly sacrificed your well-being and voted against your own economic interest. For this, we humbly thank you.'"
link to full article
Friday, November 05, 2004
  Is this what we have become?

from Ken Layne blog with good commentary.
VERY insightful commentary on the election from blog.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
  The Great Divide
The results are in, and IMHO they are NOT good for the future of our country. Looking at the electoral map it is clear that there is a great divide in the way we Americans believe we should be governed. The North East, the Great Lake States and West coast vote Kerry, and the Southern, Plain, and Midwest are Bush country. Bush wins by 51% of the popular vote. Some call that a mandate, I think it is pretty damn close to an even split.

Listnening to all the so-called experts, all we are hearing are how the Democrats lost on the Values issue. I think they are correct. However, the last thing the Democrats need to do is to give-in and become more like the Republicans. The Repubs will always out-trump the Dems on so-called Family Values as they are defined by Bush and the Religious Right. What the Dems need to do now, is to define Family Values in terms of livable wages, racial and ethnic tolerance, fair taxation, and affordable healthcare. Basically, the Dems have to recapture their traditional base of the common working man/woman and appeal to the Real Family Values that we all struggle with everyday.

BTW, after listening to all the talk shows, and all the right wing talking heads speaking of how Bush must translate this mandate into an agenda of the Religious Right... the Christian Evangalist movement is beginning to sound alot like Islamic Fundamentalist... just with a different leader.

What I haven't heard, and what the Democrats refuse to admit is that the demise of the Democratic party began with the Clinton scandal. The Dems pooh-poohed Clinton's relations with Monica Lewinski. That set the tone for what was percieved to be corrupt Democratic values. It cost Gore the election and the Dems never addressed the problem. Now, in 2004, the Dems even flaunted the issue by holding up Bill Clinton as a saint and savior of the Party. Big mistake.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
  A Day of Decision for the World
For the sake of this country and indeed the world, it is my sincere desire to see George Bush defeated today. Regardless of who prevails, I can only hope that the election has a decisive finish so we are not dragged through weeks of accusations and legal battles that diminish the democratic process. With emotions running at a fever pitch, I can only imagine what may happen post election. Will there be riots in the streets? What will be the World reaction? Will the terrorists strike at this crucial moment in history? My own anxiety, concern and stress are at levels higher than I can remember over political issues.

Why haven't we learned a lesson from the 2000 elections, and made some serious strides towards election reform? The "Winner take all" electoral college system is obscenly outdated and should be removed immediatly. The fact that a candidate can be elected without the majority of the popular vote is obviously counter to all Democratic principles. And that means run-off elections if no candidate gets a majority of votes. It is a travesty that the Supreme Court Justices decided who became president in 2000. Unfortunately, with the polls and predictions as they are we could very well see a repeat of 2000. I do not discount the possibility that this administration may use its power and influence to undermine and obstruct this election. I sincerely hope that does not occur.

My own prediction and my fervent hope, is that John Kerry will win. I think the large number of new voters and cell phone users that have not been accurately polled, lean heavily toward Kerry. Inclement weather predictions in the key states of Ohio and PA may keep more non-committed people at home and I think that favors Kerry. In fact, I agree with the pundits that this election rides on getting the vote out, and I feel that the more committed citizens, those likely to vote despite long lines, bad weather, and voter intimidation (if it exists) are those that seek a change in this countries leadership.
Thoughts that flow through an ethernet cable connecting my brain to the World Wide Web.

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Name: Ken Laster
Location: Connecticut, United States

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