Slinging a Smooth Stone
You don't have to be crazy to run for president; but it might help
by C.F. David, Editor
Sports nuts call this time of year “March Madness” named for the time of year that the NCAA has play-offs to decide who has the best basketball team.
However, as with every four years, there is a different type of madness beginning to emerge; the United States is trying “CHOOSE” a president; I decided to use the word choose , since some have decided the word “election isn't exactly accurate in describing the 2000 presidential race.
In any case, both of the aspiring candidates are being mauled in both the press and especially on the Internet.
My dad always said he never understood why anyone would want such a thankless job as president. I agree with him; why anyone would take this abuse is mind-boggling.
It seems since the nation was formed, and elections were held, character assassination has been the norm.
Reading the on-line news, President Bush is being taken to task because some of his campaign gear has been produced in Myanmar, (The nation formerly known as Burma), a nation with whom the Bush administration has suspended trade because of human rights issues, drug and sex trafficking. Workers in Mynanmar earn about seven cents U.S. per hour. Those individuals or companies found to be in violation of the Bush trade ban are subject to fines and jail time; according to reports given by Newsday on line. In fairness to Bush, the pullover appears to have been produced before the ban took effect; but it was a foolish error on the campaign's part.
The attacks on Bush for having enlisted in the Air National Guard and perhaps ditching some drills have been well played in the media.
However, in this neck of the woods, Mr. Kerry has attracted much more lightning. A variety of E-mails to my office have accused Mr. Kerry of:
H Standing beside Jane Fonda at an anti-war protest. In the photo Fonda and Kerry are obviously middle-aged; after checking with Urban-Legend sites, it's been proven that photo is a fake. However, another real photo does exist where Kerry is seen sitting several rows behind Fonda at an anti-war protest held sometime in the late sixties or early seventies after he returned from Vietnam.
H He took a pizza meant for an air crew and gave it to his aides.
H He called a Secret Service Agent a bad name for making him [Kerry] fall off a snow board. (A word of advice Mr. Kerry, don't insult the men and women who are supposed to take a bullet for you--not smart.)
Another much more vitriolic E-mail is purportedly from a former U.S. Army Special Forces Captain, Don Bendall. Bendall, of Canon City, Colo. is a prolific writer of Westerns and other books. He peppered his attack on Kerry by using the moniker of “Hanoi John,” another obvious attempt to link Kerry with the much despised Ms. Fonda. Bendall takes Kerry to task for having quoted veterans of the Vietnam War having said they had killed, mutilated and raped innocent civilians while they were soldiers in Vietnam. He then tells “Hanoi John” that he [Bendall] along with his troops built schools.
My research on Bendall finds that he was allegedly part of the “Operation Phoenix” where reportedly the Special Forces, under the control of the C.I.A., assassinated suspected Viet Cong leaders. It would seem Mr. Bendall is not someone with unblooded hands nor perhaps an impeccable reputation.
Then there are the news groups carrying Mr. Bendall's diatribes and background to the charges against Kerry. At least one article was in a magazine called Insight another in a newspaper called The Washington Times both of these media vehicles are owned by the Unification Church , more widely known as “The Moonies.” All of the charges made by Mr. Bendall against Mr. Kerry, may be true; but, when you throw the Moonies into the equation, it looks questionable [to me.]
Amazingly what I haven't heard yet is some neo-Nazi group throwing a fit over how Kerry was born half-Jewish and baptized a Catholic.
If you ever thought or wondered why the many of best we have don't run for the office; watch and learn.
The word for the week is beleaguered.