October 26th, 2004

Shadow Politics

Registered Bush campaign volunteer that I am, I just received an interesting missive signed by campaign manager Ken Mehlman:
Dear Charlie,

I am appalled.

In Missouri, a flyer shows a photograph of a young black man under a fire hose in the 1950s.  The flyer tells African-Americans this is an example of how Republicans have kept voters from the polls.  In Colorado, Republican voters got calls telling them their family members in Iraq had died.  The callers claimed that call would be real unless Kerry was elected.

In these final days, we can only expect more of this filth.

I urge you to turn on your answering machine.  If you get a call from an unknown number, let the machine pick it up.  It may be the latest campaign of smear, fear and lies from our opponents.

If you get one of these disgusting calls, or an outrageous flyer or mailing, save the message, call our hotline and let us know.

1-888-610-8170

Just a few weeks ago we saw a Kerry campaign manual that told their staff to allege intimidation even if no evidence existed.  Now their allies have begun an incredibly dishonest and disgusting campaign of shadowy calls and misleading flyers.

We need to know immediately if you get one of these calls.  We need to know the lies, threats, and distortions those allied against us are spreading.

With very few days left, we need you to be our eyes and ears on the ground. 

Call our hotline at 1-888-610-8170 if you get any suspicious messages.

Thanks for all you have done, and all you continue to do.

Sincerely,

Ken Mehlman

P.S. The shadowy groups allied against us have begun a campaign of filth and lies.  Turn on your answering machine.  If you get a message filled with lies, call our hotline at 1-888-610-8170 and let us know.
I know we've gotten in trouble invoking fascism over the past year, but I think it's worth pointing out how eerily similar this letter reads to the sort of literature distributed by Joseph Goebbels's operatives. Shadowy groups indeed. Anyone want to place some calls to that toll-free number?
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    the hum in my head

Six and Eight

Six years ago at this time I was trying to get comfortable on a reclining chair in Walnut Creek's John Muir hospital, while Skylar slept right on top of her mom, face down because we didn't know that was against the rules. I was overjoyed and deeply uncomfortable. But it was worth having my back go out. I'd wake up every few minutes and lean over to check on Skylar's breathing. Even then, her presence warped the space in our room.

Eight years ago at this time we were finishing up our last goodbyes, handing out extra chocolate crumb pies from Bolinas Bakery to our departing guests. My father was still basking in the warm glow of the Yankees' victory over the Braves. He and my mother, Kim's parents, and Russ and Joe were helping to clean up, our three families united as never before or since. Then we bid them farewell too and drove over to Bolinas to hang out a bit with Josh, Laura, Joel and Christina before beginning the long drive to our SFO hotel. We were through. On the drive out of Stinson Beach, we put on the wedding soundtrack and pulled to the side of the road, right on the cliff's edge, to hear Cat Stevens' "Miles From Nowhere". Kim cried. So did I.
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    crickets etc.