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October 23, 2005 - October 16, 2005

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Instapunk080404

We Can't Wait.


BAD BOYS. It seems the Bush Administration, or one of its big honchos, is angry about a movie:

A new film set for release from PARAMOUNT has raised the pop culture threat levels at the White House -- a film which lampoons the war on terror [and media urgency] using puppets, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

"I really do not think terrorism is funny, and I would suggest PARAMOUNT give respect to those fighting and sacrificing to keep America safe," a senior Bush adviser told the DRUDGE REPORT this weekend.

The new fuss film TEAM AMERICA, set for release two weeks before the November presidential election, is entering post-production with SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

A deep voice using serious tones opens the film's teaser: "We live in a time of unparalleled danger. Weapons of Mass Destruction are being offered to terrorists all over the world. Global chaos is about to consume every country on Earth. And there is only one hope for humanity."

The movie's official poster features an apparent Bush look-a-like [strings attached] with his back to the viewer.

The so-called "Bush look-a-like" [sic] is the figure shown above. For those who don't have an intimate knowledge of the back of Bush's head, it's kind of hard to tell if it's supposed to be Dubya or not. Regardless, we think the Bushies are overreacting here and should at least watch the trailer for Team America before they rant any more about this. From what we know about Matt Stone and Trey Parker, we'd bet that the movie is going to be taste-free, offensive to all races and sexes, and frequently funny. While the trailer does explicitly promise to anger the president, it also vows to enrage Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, George Clooney, Michael Moore, Janeane Garofalo and assorted other Bush-hating lefties. A lot of rightwingers might not want any help from the likes of Stone and Parker, but they should calm down long enough to check out the phenomenon of South Park Republicans, whose votes will be as important as anyone else's in reelecting George Bush. Here's what Tech Central Station had to say on the subject:

The name stems from the primetime cartoon "South Park" that clearly demonstrates the contrast within the party. The show is widely condemned by some moralists, including members of the Christian right. Yet in spite of its coarse language and base humor, the show persuasively communicates the Republican position on many issues, including hate crime legislation ("a savage hypocrisy"), radical environmentalism, and rampant litigation by ambitious trial lawyers. In one episode, industrious gnomes pick apart myopic anti-corporate rhetoric and teach the main characters about the benefits of capitalism.

South Park Republicans are true Republicans, though they do not look or act like Pat Robertson. They believe in liberty, not conformity. They can enjoy watching The Sopranos even if they are New Jersey Italians. They can appreciate the tight abs of Britney Spears or Brad Pitt without worrying about the nation's decaying moral fiber. They strongly believe in liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, and free markets. However, they do not live by the edicts of political correctness.

They also have a sense of humor, which South Park does as well and Team America is likely to reconfirm. The movie is made with puppets, for God's sake, an obvious takeoff on the old classic children's show Thunderbirds. It's not going to fool even the dumbest Democrats into thinking it's a documentary, and if past performance is any guide, the writers are going to be far more interested in scoring cheap, vulgar laughs than in turning the tide of the election a couple weeks before the big day.

So relax fellas. If you'll buy the tickets, we'll buy the popcorn, Pepsi, and twizzlers and meet up with you in the lobby just before the show. And as for that stick in your ass, leave it at home. Theater seats are uncomfortable enough these days as it is.




Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Instapunk080304

A Gorey Tale


DEATH. It's one of those weeks when nothing is happening in the news but trivialities -- a freshly nominated set of Democratic candidates for president and vice president, a major terror alert in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC, and the first large-scale terrorist attacks on Christian churches in Iraq. Facing so little material to work with, the creative blogger must look pretty far afield to find a topic for the faithful readers. That's why our attention turned toward Bill O'Reilly in the wake of his much ballyhooed showdown with Michael Moore. Last night he devoted his 'Talking Points Memo' to defending himself against the charge by a Boston Globe columnist that he sat speechless while Moore demanded to know if he would sacrifice his child to save Fallujah. O'Reilly, of course, is convinced his performance with Moore was a triumph. Here's the transcript of the portion of the interview the Globe reporter was referring to:

MOORE: Are you against that? Stopping this war?

O'REILLY: No, we cannot leave Iraq right now, we have to…

MOORE: So, you would sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah? I want to hear you say that.

O'REILLY: I would sacrifice myself..

MOORE: Your child? It’s Bush sending the children there.

O'REILLY: I would sacrifice myself.

MOORE: You and I don’t go to war, because we’re too old…

O'REILLY: Because if we back down, there will be more deaths and you know it.

MOORE: Say, “I, Bill O’Reilly, would sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah.”

O'REILLY: I’m not going to say what you say, you’re a, that’s ridiculous…

MOORE: You don’t believe that. Why should Bush sacrifice the children of people across America for this?

O'REILLY: Look it’s a worldwide terrorism — I know that escapes you —

MOORE: Wait a minute, terrorism? Iraq?

O'REILLY: Yes. There are terrorist in Iraq.

MOORE: Oh really? So Iraq now is responsible for the terrorism here?

O'REILLY: Iraq aided terrorists. Don’t you know anything about any of that?

O'Reilly may be the only person who can't see that ducking the question and changing the subject do not secure rhetorical victory. Now, ordinarily, we wouldn't care if an inveterate blowhard comes up empty once in a while, but Michael Moore has gotten a lot of mileage out of this "sacrifice your children" ploy, and he and others will likely keep using it until someone with a particle of intelligence and judgment stops them in their tracks. It isn't that there's nothing to say in such situations. O'Reilly, for example, could have countered with George C. Scott's famous line from Patton: "It's not the job of an American soldier to die for his country; it's to make the other poor sonofabitch die for his." Or he could have pointed out that American soldiers are not children, but adults who have volunteered on their own to defend their country and, if necessary, to sacrifice their lives in exchange for a higher purpose -- the defense of American civilians, including children and babies yet unborn. He could have said, as a parent, I would be proud if my children chose to serve their nation in the armed forces, and if they died in doing their duty, I would be permanently grief-stricken and permanently proud of their lives. He could have said, this is America, there is no draft, and no parent has to "decide" to sacrifice a child to the military; it is always their adult offspring who make such decisions for themselves. He also could have said, "Yes."

But no. Michael Moore's question did paralyze Bill O'Reilly. His answer was lame, evasive, and non-responsive. Why? Because for all his tough talk, O'Reilly is hostage to the great American obsession with the "kids." Scarcely a night goes by that he doesn't, at some point in his program, demand some government or community action on behalf of the "kids." He does not see them as young citizens-in-training, but as something inert and vulnerable, like the family silver, that has to be protected at all costs. The subject of kids has become so sacred that it suppresses even his native common sense. And he's not alone. Sometimes it seems there's no crime we Americans wouldn't sanction as long as someone puts it in the context of the "kids."

This is all precious nonsense. Yes, we have a responsibility to protect children, but it's not the only purpose in life. It's just one of many responsibilities adults and citizens have, including duty, integrity, loyalty, honor, and bravery in the face of life's challenges. When we start taking this one particular responsibility more seriously than all the others, we are also taking ourselves too seriously, and more importantly, we are putting children on a pedestal where they don't belong. That's probably why we have stopped disciplining our children, stopped making demands on them with respect to their behavior, education, and work ethic. We treat them like little godheads, bowing and scraping whenever their name is invoked.

Is there an antidote? Don't know. But any reasonable first step must involve puncturing our inflated notions about the sanctity of childhood. Only when we've done that might we have a shot at realizing how thoroughly and disgustingly that sanctity has already been violated by allowing our little darlings to engage in whatever pursuits appeal to their narcissistic and stunted personalities.

But we are only InstaPunk. We can't provide antidotes. All we can offer is the bracing air of dark and ruthless humor. That's why our lesson for today is this link to Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies. It's a hilarious alphabet book recounting the horrible deaths of some of the sweetest looking little kids you ever saw. Read it or don't. Laugh or draw yourself up in self righteous outrage. But spare us your complaints. We don't give a damn. Children are also human, which means they are not exempt from the human comedy. No one is. When we forget that, we tend to forget a lot of values that we just might need someday soon to save the lives of our precious kids.

Oh. And one more thing. Grow up, O'Reilly.




Monday, August 02, 2004


Instapunk080104

The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn

If you're sick of political analysis, go here and see if you can save the White House.

RESETTING THE CLOCK. It may seem like we've been goofing off since the convention, but in reality we've been reading the dozens of opinion pieces about what the Democrats and Senator Kerry were trying to accomplish in Boston and what, if anything, they have accomplished. All our reading has surfaced two articles which we find representative of the two poles of thought prevailing in the media. The lefthand pole thinks Kerry has succeeded in making himself a credible candidate on national security issues. Any of a dozen articles would serve to illustrate this viewpoint, but we've chosen Trudy Rubin's essay in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer because it skips the stylistic persiflage and lays out a nuts-and-bolts case for Kerry as commander-in-chief. We also like the title: Worldview -- Kerry has grasp that Bush doesn't. That's pretty unambiguous. So is her basic premise:

The main question is not whether John Kerry is a nice guy. It's whether his policies are more suited for the country's security needs over the next four years. That's what people were trying to divine from the Democrats' convention in Boston.

After watching the speech, talking to Kerry foreign policy advisers - and visiting Iraq three times since the war - I'd say the answer is yes. Here's why:

The Bush antiterror policy has lost its way. Yes, the President does what he says, but what he says and does has led us into a defensive position in the struggle against terrorism.

Our military is bogged down in a guerrilla war against Iraq that hasn't weakened al-Qaeda. Just the opposite. The terrorist organization has found a new base in an unstable Iraq.

Anti-Americanism in the Mideast has never been greater. Iraq's instability and Bush's abandonment of efforts to promote Israel-Palestinian peace are a recruitment ad for al-Qaeda.

And, no, Ms Rubin's matter-of-fact assessment of the situation does not mean she's chalking it up to bad luck or the predictable chaos of international politics. All of the ills she describes are George Bush's fault:

The Bush administration's hype on Iraq - expanding Saddam Hussein's real threat to the Mideast into a nuclear threat against the U.S. mainland - has made much of the world cynical about the antiterrorist struggle. Most Europeans and Arabs don't believe in the reality of this battle against Islamist jihadists. That makes the effort much harder.

If the United States is to rally other countries to this long-term goal - and convince their citizens - a more credible U.S. leader is required. The world's growing anti-Americanism, which hampers any global alliance against terrorism, is focused on the persona and policies of George W. Bush.

Kerry has stressed over and over that he will rebuild our alliances and repair the breeches within NATO. On Thursday he said, "We need a president who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden." He is overly optimistic about what the allies would contribute, especially in Baghdad. But he would have a far better chance than Bush of persuading our NATO allies to do more in Afghanistan, and take on new missions outside Europe. Kerry advisers say he would push for needed reforms in NATO and the United Nations.

Wiithout wasting time disputing her highly debatable characterizations, we'll simply highlight the collapsing confidence in the final paragraph of the quote. Up to this point, she's been marching briskly toward a seemingly rational conclusion that we need someone better than George Bush. But just when we expect to learn why Kerry is so much better, she acknowledges that Kerry's best credential is that he has "stressed over and over" that he will make our so-called friends like us more. Then she admits that he is "overly optimistic" and stumbles to the end of her thought with the lame asterisk that "Kerry's advisers say" he might try to secure "reforms" in the U.N. and NATO. Hmmm. Before, it sounded like she was saying all the obstructionism in the U.N. and NATO was Bush's fault. So why do they need reforms? Isn't the big idea here that Kerry himself is the necessary reform?

Despite Ms. Rubin's breezy exposition of Bush's failures, her essay winds up at a different destination than her tone promises. It's really an exercise in wishful thinking. We don't like the way things are. We don't like it that people around the world are trashing America at every whipstitch. We don't like it that America is still a terror target and nobody else seems to care. We don't like it that winning the war on terror hasn't been a neat little miniseries which could be wrapped up before the audience got bored. And here's a guy who says he can make it all better by applying his impeccable continental manners at the diplomatic table. Yeah, maybe we don't completely believe that, but it sure would be NICE, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it?

We said that Ms. Rubin's piece was representative. It is. All the enthusiasm for Kerry is wishful thinking. That's why there are never any specifics. No specifics in his nomination speech. He didn't utter the term 'Islamic fascism' once. He didn't mention exactly which allies have to be on our side before an American action is not unilateral. (His rhetorical history would indicate that 'multilateral' means with the support of France and Germany, while 'unilateral' means without the support of France and Germany. That's a helluva big picture view, isn't it?) Yes, he said he would double special ops forces and add another division to the army, but what for? We aren't ever going to fight another war unless we have to. What does that mean? After the suitcase nuke levels Los Angeles? He didn't say. And there have been no real specifics in the various pro-Kerry articles following the convention. There are only vague aspirations for a foreign relations rapprochement designed to substitute European troops for American so that our boys can come home where they belong. No one's used the term "peace with honor," but with all the Vietnam nostalgia floating around the country like a cloud of methane, perhaps we can be excused for being reminded of that old figleaf for surrender. It's as if the war on terror itself can't be justified unless the rest of the world agrees to it. If they don't, we should forget about it and cope with whatever happens whenever it happens.

All of the assessments from the right have focused in various ways on this head-in-the-sand attitude by Kerry's supporters. Everything about the Democratic Convention seemed to be designed to turn reality into something different. The party pretended to be pro-military and hawkish about terror even though 95 percent of the delegates were completely opposed to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and many, if not most, favor an immediate pullout from Irag that would be disastrous. Republicans have spilled a lot of ink pointing out this and other Democrat hypocrisies written into the party's toothless platform. But there is a more fundamental denial of reality at work, one that is ably articulated by Mark Steyn in his Sunday Telegraph op-ed titled He was complacent, arrogant and humourless. How they loved him. Here's his most acute observation:

...after being for-and-against the war for the last year according to political necessity, Kerry seems to have settled on a position of doing pretty much what Bush is doing while simultaneously spending more time on the blower to Kofi, Jacques and Gerhard. If I were a principled anti-war Democrat, I'd be furious.

But they're not. Because the real distinction is not between pro- and anti-war, but between September 11 Americans and September 10 Americans. The latter group is a coalition embracing not just the hardcore Bush haters - for whom, as the opening of Fahrenheit 9/11 makes plain, it all goes back to chads in Florida - but the larger group of voters who've been a little stressed out by the epic nature of politics these last three years and would like a quieter life. That's what John Kerry's offering them: a return to September 10.

That's the current campaign scene in a nutshell. Trudy Rubin and her brothers and sisters on the left want to repeal not only George W. Bush, but everything that's happened since election day 2000. And they think that maybe if we just start acting normal on the world stage, meaning the way we acted before September 11, maybe the world stage will start acting normal too. The problem is, it's not going to happen. The world stage wasn't in such hot shape before 9/11. The U.N. was already engaged in the greatest and most costly institutional corruption in history, the French and Russians were already making dirty deals with the Iraqis, Jimmy Carter had already doomed the U.S. to the current nuclear stalemate with North Korea, and al Qaeda and its affiliates had already killed hundreds of Americans with impunity. The nations whose anti-Americanism we didn't notice until G. W. Bush was in office didn't much care about all that then, and they're not going to start to care about it if Kerry resumes the Clinton foreign policy of 1992-2000. Nor is Islamic fascism going to go away just because another American president starts insisting on 'serious' new talks with Yassir Arafat.

Worse, in their haste to crown a candidate behind whom all the faithful could unite against the hated Bush, the Democrats carelessly selected the most blatant of their army of panderers. Again, Steyn cuts right to the chase:

In another perilous time - 1918 - Lord Haig wrote of Lord Derby: "D is a very weak-minded fellow I am afraid and, like the feather pillow, bears the marks of the last person who has sat on him." It's subtler than that with Kerry: you don't have to sit on him; just the slightest political breeze, and his pillow billows in the appropriate direction. His default position is the conventional wisdom of the Massachusetts Left: on foreign policy, foreigners know best; on trade, the labour unions know best; on government, bureaucrats know best; on defence, graying ponytailed nuclear-freeze reflex anti-militarists know best; on the wine list, he knows best.

There probably isn't anyone in the United States who doesn't feel at least an occasional yearning for the comparatively carefree days before 9/11. But would we really go back to that time, even if we could? We'll close with our own little reminder of September 10, 2001. Take a look. Is that where you want to be right now?




Sunday, August 01, 2004


HEINZ 57 VANITY. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

History of Heinz
For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity;



. . . yet to a man that hath not laboured therein
shall he leave it for his portion.

This also is vanity and a great evil.
From the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Reading One




Saturday, July 31, 2004


Instapunk073004

Reporting for Duty

7th Cavalry to the rescue. He'll show those terrorists.




Thursday, July 29, 2004


Instapunk072904

Caption Contest Winners


THE BUSH TWINS. This time the rightwingers lose. Fair is fair and our three-punk panel of judges have agreed unanimously that the first prize winner in our contest to caption the photo above goes to an entrant who is clearly no fan of the president or his daughters. But that's the thing about humor; it is no respecter of politics or particular political views. We had many entries from both sides of the aisle, and the pro-Bush crowd scored their share of decent punchlines. We also had ambitious contestants who were trying to write "outside the box" as the current argot goes. One submitted a pair of captions averaging 50 words apiece. One preferred to caption the Vogue fashion photo rather than the contest picture. And one hit on the novel idea of writing a caption for the president instead of his daughters. Since this entry was within the contest parameters (barely), unique in its viewpoint, and passably funny, we decided to award it an Honorable Mention. Here it is:

I wonder if they make a barrel big enough for the both of them.

Our Third Place winner leads a group of entries who see the twins as unexpectedly bright bulbs:

So we agree -- Iran is next, right after the election, and this time, Cheney stays out of the loop.

Second Place goes to this little partisan gem:

No way! It's your turn! I sat next to the smelly French diplomat last time!

As we mentioned above, First Place goes to an entrant who doesn't seem to care for the Bushes. The difficulty the panel faced was not in choosing him as the winner, but in deciding which of three captions was the best. As it happened, each of the judges selected a different one of the three as best overall. So we're going to share them all with you, in no particular order:

You shouldn't have corrected him when he said Iraqistan.

Oh, sis, he loves you! He really does! It's just that, sometimes, he likes to stare at the airplane bottles for a few hours...

It didn't help when you called out, "Waitress!...take me drunk, I'm home."

First prize, as promised, will be an autographed copy of The Boomer Bible. Whatever his political views, the recipient should nevertheless find much to laugh at and agree with in the book, which tends to treat almost everyone with equal disrespect. At any rate, we hope you enjoy it.

Second prize is a Shuteye Train T-shirt.

Third prize is a Boomer Bible Ball Cap.

All winners will be notified by email, so that we can arrange to send the materials to correct mailing addresses.

Thanks to everyone who participated. We enjoyed reading the entries, and many were as amusing as some of them were, well, not amusing. Maybe we'll do it again sometime.

Now... back to the exciting conclusion of the Democratic Convention....




Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Instapunk072804

Mother Teresa

A BIG NIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY. There were some real heavy hitters at the convention Tuesday night, but they'd been told to leave the loaded gloves at home, so we got pale, sanitized imitations of Teddy Kennedy, Dick Gephardt, Tom Dashle, and Howard Dean. The singular source of all their hatred was, by DNC edict, forbidden to be mentioned by name. This gave Dubya something of the stature of Yahweh -- he whose name may not be uttered lest thunder and lightning consume the speaker from on high. Only Dean seemed as if he could barely restrain himself from unleashing the stupefying left hook he became famous for on the campaign trail. At times, his face twisted briefly into the familiar grimace, and more than once he began listing individual states, which is the trademark sign of an incipient Dean psychotic episode. But the heavy hand of enforced pretended civility prevented him, in the end, from giving the delegates what all of them yearn for like so many thirst-maddened vampires -- the feast of Bush blood that substitutes in their lives for the light of the sun.

That may help explain why the convention crowd reacted so fervently to the evening's featured speaker, Ms. Teresa Heinz Kerry, who appeared before them as a vision in red and buoyed their hopes with an accent that really could have originated in Transylvania, though some of us also detected a soupcon of Gabor glamour and maybe half a cup of Garbo hyper-theatricality. The speech had been billed as an opportunity for us ordinary Americans to get Ms. Heinz Kerry's inside insight into the charm and gravitas of John Kerry, but thankfully, we were spared the tedium such an approach would have ensured. Instead, the queen of the night chose to tell us practically everything she could think of about Teresa Heinz Kerry. Was it a prescient gratitude for the non-John-Kerryness of her remarks that caused the delegates to mount such a prolonged and evidently spontaneous demonstration upon her entrance? Or was there some subterranean,Transylvanian-esque telepathy that inspired every single delegate on the floor to think of exactly the same placard -- color-keyed to the lady's costume -- to hoist and wave as they adored her greatness?


Alas, such questions can only be answered in full by Democrats. The rest of us must piece together what partial answers we can infer from evidence such as the speech script itself. That's why we labored mightily to copy down as much as we could of it from the TV before the pencils dropped from our numbed and exhausted fingers about 40 minutes in. So all we have for your persual is the beginning, but it speaks for itself, we think. Here is a great personage waxing eloquent on her own favorite and most admired great personage. It's enough to make one fall mute with astonishment. To set the scene: her son Christopher introduces her, she enters, the crowd goes wild, and then she begins to speak:

KERRY: Tank you. Tank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Tank you. I love you, too.

Tank you.

Tank you, Christopher. Your [INAUDIBLE] would be [INAUDIBLE] of you and [INAUDIBLE].

(APPLAUSE)

And I love you. And I love our [INAUDIBLE].

My name is Teresa Heinz Kerry.

(APPLAUSE)

KERRY: And by now, I hope [INAUDIBLE] no surprise that I have something to say.

(APPLAUSE)

And tonight, as I [INAUDIBLE] campaign, I would like [INAUDIBLE] you from my heart. For all you Latinos, el libro está en la mesa y el telefono fue inventado por [INAUDIBLE] Bell...

(APPLAUSE)

... for all you Franco-Americans, la plume de ma [INAUDIBLE] tante est dans la salle de bain, [INAUDIBLE], n'est-ce pas...

(APPLAUSE)

.. for all you Italian Americans, e puo far portari su i [INAUDIBLE] bagagli, per favore, e posso avere un altro [INAUDIBLE] asciugamano...

(APPLAUSE)

... for all you Portuguese Americans, [INAUDIBLE] um cerveza se faz favor, onde e lavabo...

(APPLAUSE)

... for all you Africans, habari Yako, Bwana, [INAUDIBLE] Hatujambo, bibi...

(APPLAUSE)

... and for all you African-Americans, yo jimmy hat be [INAUDIBLE] fly!

(APPLAUSE)

.. and to all new Americans in our country, I invite you
[INAUDIBLE] work toward the noblest purpose of all: a [INAUDIBLE] democratic society.

(APPLAUSE)

KERRY: I am grateful -- I am so grateful for the opportunity
[INAUDIBLE] before you and to say [INAUDIBLE] about my [INAUDIBLE] and why I firmly believe [INAUDIBLE] of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

This is a much powerful moment for me. Like many other [INAUDIBLE] like many of you, and like even more your [INAUDIBLE] and grandparents, I was not borned in this country.

And as you will have seen, I [INAUDIBLE] in East Africa, in Mozambique, in a land that [INAUDIBLE] a dictatorship. My father, a wonderful, caring man who [INAUDIBLE] for 43 years, and who taught me how to understand [INAUDIBLE], only got to [INAUDIBLE] for the first time when he was 73 years old.

KERRY: That's what [INAUDIBLE] dictatorships.

As a young woman, I [INAUDIBLE] University in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was then not segregated.

But I [INAUDIBLE] Apartheid everywhere around me. And so with my [INAUDIBLE] marched in the streets of Johannesburg against [INAUDIBLE] higher education.

(APPLAUSE)

This was the late 1950s at the dawn of [INAUDIBLE] America. And, as history records, [INAUDIBLE] South Africa failed, and the Higher Education [INAUDIBLE] passed. Apartheid tightened its [INAUDIBLE] Nelson Mandela [INAUDIBLE] to Robben Island.

I learned something [INAUDIBLE] still. There is a value in talking [INAUDIBLE] anybody may be noticing it, and whether [INAUDIBLE] to do.

(APPLAUSE)

KERRY: And if even those who are in danger can raise their [INAUDIBLE], isn't it more that is [INAUDIBLE] us, in this land where[INAUDIBLE] birth?

I have a very personal feeling about how [INAUDIBLE] America is, and I know how precious [INAUDIBLE] a sacred gift, [INAUDIBLE] who have lived it and [INAUDIBLE] defending it.

(APPLAUSE)

My right to speak my mind, to [INAUDIBLE], to be what some have called "opinionated"...

(APPLAUSE)

... is a right I deeply and [INAUDIBLE] cherish.

HEINZ: And my only hope is that [INAUDIBLE] women, who have all earned their right to their opinions...

(APPLAUSE)

... instead of being labeled [INAUDIBLE] will be called smart and [INAUDIBLE], just like men.

She went on like that for quite a while -- quite a very long while, in fact -- and eventually she even mentioned her husband. She admitted frankly and candidly that she was married to him and that she was aware he was running for president. At some point in there, we could swear she was quoting Lincoln, or trying to quote Lincoln, or translating Lincoln into Portuguese, but whatever it was, everyone in the Fleet Center was profoundly moved.

You would have been moved too if you had been there. Almost certainly. We think.




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