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Monday, August 30, 2004


Crashing the Convention

Let me start by saying I have never done anything political in my life. I have never voted for a Republican for President. I never voted for George Bush. Not that it would have mattered much in New York. He would never have carried it. But still, in retrospect, I wish I hadn't been so glib as to vote for a third party. I even knew at the time it was merely a symbolic gesture, and an expression of the idea that the Dems and Repubs were all the same.

The only time I felt my vote really mattered, both in the election and to me, was when Giuliani became mayor, and again when he was re-elected. I hadn't voted for him when Dinkins won, and when it turned out Rudy lost by such a microscopic margin, I regretted not voting. The Dinkins administration was a disaster for New York. And it began to illustrate, to me, the political and moral bankruptcy of the Democratic party, which has only gotten worse in the past twelve years

In contrast, eight years of Giuliani brought this city back to the top. You could finally feel safe walking the streets and riding the subway. You could feel a real civic pride establishing itself. It was palpable. If you lived in New York both before and after the change came, you know what I'm talking about. If you didn't, then I can't adequately explain. Ya hadda be there.

The Rudy/Dinkins election was a precognitive shadow of the current national contest. And for the first time, I will be voting for W. More surprising, both to me and to my confused (and suspicious) colleagues, I have committed to actual involvement in the election.

I have volunteered to work at the GOP convention.


People are earnestly baffled as to why I'm doing this. Most, of course, are not Bush supporters by any stretch, but even those who don't hate Bush are scratching their heads. I never talk about politics at work or in any social situation. I avoid it like the plague, even if it is with somebody who agrees with my views. So for me to be working for the "Evil Lords of the Underworld" is too much for them to grasp.

Perhaps later I can go into the long string of events and revelations that led me to finally dare the wrath of my mostly Bush-bashing neighbors and co-workers. But for now, here I am, doing my part.

Day 1: Friday

Not a lot happened in the first three days, since the actual convention doesn't start until Monday. But there was a loud buzz of preparation, a lot of confusion, and the anticipation of a few rough days for all involved.

There were a lot of bugs to work out. They had a dozen of us on the roof of some garage taping numbers into the windows of official vehicles. And it was 90 degrees with no shade. And we only had one roll of tape.

I can only hope they have hired a real pro to make sure the balloons come down on cue.

New York is often subjected to large events that entail overwhelming security. We're quite used to extended street closures and barricades with stern-faced policemen giving us the evil eye to propel us on our way. But this is an extraordinary example. This is the closest I have ever seen midtown come to being a literal fortress. The only thing missing at this point is a moat with a dragon.

(Actually, there was a dragon that some protestor set on fire outside the Garden.)

You have to have several different kinds of ID to get anywhere near MSG. You have to drive through a gauntlet of checkpoints, with bomb-sniffing dogs and all sorts of detection, and keep your hands on the wheel, and other intimidating deterrents. Better safe than sorry, I suppose, but I can imagine for a delegate, it's an experience that will detract from any good buzz from the convention. This is yet another reason to hate the terrorists and the anarchists. They truly hate freedom of speech, and by forcing us to take such extreme measures to protect it, they have effectively succeeded in denying it.

Well, not everybody is accustomed to sudden street closures and barricades. There was one SUV that came smoothly down 34th Street, and neatly impaled itself on the leading edge of the temporary lane divider in front of the Penn Plaza garage (see above).

The guy didn't look hurt. I think the radiator took the brunt of the impact.

John Kerry: Rambo or Rocky?

So, while the bugs were being worked out upstairs, we had access to the press conference area inside the Garden. The guy doing soundchecks was getting giddy. I have to assume he'd been there since 6 a.m. It was the usual repetitive "Check 1, Check, Check."

He started singing, and it wasn't pretty. I was tempted to advise him not to quit his night job.

Looking around, out of boredom, I noticed a small office up on a balcony above the press conference area. It was dark and barely visible. But I managed to spot something of interest.

There! Behind the phones and stacks of files. It's the contender, replete with his Everlast boxing trunks and gloves.

I can only imagine what goes on when this punching bag sees action. Does it flip-flop? Does it have a sound chip that says "Bring it on" and when you hit it, says "Call off the attack dogs"?

And when it gets pricked with a splinter (you know: the kind that can earn you a purple heart), does its bloated bravado quickly deflate?

Hey, that reminds me of another convention:

"Jesus! We need more balloons. I want all balloons to go, goddammit... There's not enough coming down! All balloons, what the hell! There's nothing falling! What the f@#k are you guys doing up there?" --Democratic Convention producer Don Mischer, overheard on CNN having an apoplectic seizure when the balloons failed to drop from the ceiling

It also reminds me of Gerald Ford's most memorable slogan: "Whip Inflation Now."

Sunday, August 01, 2004


How Bush Caused It: The Series

Since before Bush beat Al Gore in 2000, a loud coalition of post-USSR commie deadenders, corrupt bureaucratic trough-hogs, mealy-mouthed terrorist apologists, anti-Semites, internationalists, royalist elitists, self-proclaimed "anti-war" America haters, and balding-but-still-ponytail-sporting hippies, have been whining out a never-ending cacophony of accusations that the President was to blame for... well... for EVERYTHING.

Unfortunately, they never, ever give us the details on how he causes the world's problems. So KorlaPundit has ventured to answer this important question with this series of diagrams: How Bush Caused It:

The Death of the Pope

The Rise of Dictators

Florida Hurricanes

Illegal Immigration



The Tsunami


The House of Rebus

Here are links to the entries in the Rebus Series:

Victory 2004

Good Riddance, Fat Murderer

What Illegal Aliens Really Say!

Step to the Back of the Airbus

The Iraqi Election

Aloha Also Means Good-Bye

Eason Down the Road

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