Ara.T.Howard / noaa.gov wrote:
> not i cast a paper ballot for kerry tomorrow i will continue to vote 
> 'against'
> bush (and all the other oil men waiting in the wings) by riding my 
> bicycle to
> work every day.  in this capitalist society we have many opportunities 
> to vote
> - please use them.

Right on.  I bike to work every day as well, I used to own a car, but I 
sold it years ago and haven't looked back.

I'm not going to vote either, although I hope Bush doesn't win.  The 
government and electoral process here in the US is so messed up that I 
would be a hypocrite to endorse it by taking part in the voting.  The 
sad thing is that voter turnout will be so high this year that it will 
be taken as a sign that the system works.

Luckily, I don't live in a "swing state", so my vote for president would 
be meaningless.  I don't think Bush will win, if he does though, I'm 
pretty confident he'll screw up enough that it will end up hurting the 
republican party for years to come.  In Canada, the conservative party 
prime minister Brian Mulroney messed things up so badly that his party 
went from winning the most seats in Canadian history, to the biggest 
loss in Canadian history at the end of his term.    They went from 151 
seats to 2 seats, and lost official party status.

Whether or not you drive, you can make change in other ways.  There are 
plenty of other ways of voting with your dollars.  Many products are 
made with questionable labour practices.  Part of the reason so much of 
the world dislikes the US is that the only thing they see is the 
multinationals exploiting them, and those multinationals are backed up 
with US political and military might.  By choosing what you buy more 
carefully, you can help make a change in how the world perceives the US. 
  Sure, this takes an effort, but if you're really discrimating about 
your preferred programming language, can't you be as discriminating 
about how your coffee is grown?

Just taking part in a mailing list / forum like this which is read all 
over the world is another good way of making a difference.  Next to 
Japan, the US is the most isolated first-world country in the world. 
People fear what they don't understand.  Just communicating with people 
in other countries helps all around.

Anyhow, to sum things up.  I think Bush is a dangerous, incompetent 
president.  I think Kerry would be far better, but I really don't care 
much for either political party.  When the only two candidates who have 
a chance of winning are privileged members of New England families who 
were in the Skull and Bones society at Yale, there's something broken in 
the process.  Don't think that your ability to influence things starts 
and ends on the first Tuesday of November every 4 years.  Everything you 
do has an impact!

Ben