by   Mike Snow


SUMMER  MADNESS  Political Subscription Newsletter

                                                                                                Fm:   Stop the Madness  





July 25-Aug 8, 2000 



When Gore chose Joseph Lieberman, many Democrats’ hearts sank, because he’s one of the weakest candidates possible. No national fame or celebrity, no votes brought to the table (New England will vote Democratic anyway), no tremendous wit or rapport with voters. It’s a weak defensive move; a reaction to Bush’s attacks on Clinton + his legacy, which lets Bush set the agenda + tone of Gore’s campaign. 70% of the country was against the relentless, almost pathological Republican 6 year pursuit of Clinton, culminating in the brutal Constitutionally damaging farce of Impeachment. In an act of stunning hypocrisy and contempt of public will, 50 Republican Senators voted to remove the President of the US over a private act that had nothing to do with his duties or office. This irresponsible Republican obsession with investigation, prosecution, and persecution was a powerful issue for the Democrats, especially when coupled with Bush’s huge prison population, rampant execution rate, and police state tendencies. Now with Lieberman’s elevation, Clinton’s primary Democratic critic, that issue is not going to be touched- replaced with the tacit admission that “yes, in fact, Bill was scum… and I had nothing to do with him”. It will constantly put Gore on the defensive on an issue that could have scored him major points, though he had nothing to do with Mr. Clinton’s personal sins, and no need to reply to them.


One can visualize Clinton writhing in discomfort as Lieberman’s “That was immoral!” speech was replayed ad infinitum, a defection that inspired Republican extremists to pursue Impeachment + Removal to it’s gory conclusion. And Mr. Clinton’s discomfort is not good for the Vice President; he is still Gore’s most persuasive and potent campaigner (the greatest fund-raiser in human history). It’s hard to imagine him pressing the flesh and or raising the bucks with the same enthusiasm and energy now that such a transparent attempt has been made to wall him off. Moreover, it’s hard to separate the Gore/Lieberman ticket from Clinton’s misdeeds without disavowing his accomplishments: balancing the budget, managing the economic boom, and stopping the carnage in Yugoslavia.

It puts the campaign into tiresome territory, where each side will constantly try to morally one-up the other with the depth of their beliefs. Gore, despite the blather of supposed campaign finance violations, is demonstrably one of the most decent + moral actors in American politics, and easily trumps ex-drunk Bush’s Johnnie come lately breast-beating religiosity. All this talk of character + integrity is empty propaganda: this is the same George Bush that waged a vicious campaign against Ann Richards, presided over the worst air quality + environmental violations in the country, refused millions in federal aid for poor children, and gave a blank check to every + any business in the state

The best choice would’ve been Senator Joe Biden: smart, funny, sharp, experienced; on 2-4 of the most important Senate Committees inc. Judiciary + Foreign Relations. He has the personality and public ease that Gore lacks, and was someone who could effortlessly become President if the need arose. Unfortunately, he wasn’t even in the running- among those that were, Bob Kerrey (Gov Nebraska) or Evan Bayh were probably the best.

Then there’s the religion issue: there’s no question that some won’t vote a Jewish Veep, no matter what their public protestations. But Lieberman isn’t just Jewish, but Orthodox: the obsessively strictly observing 10% who are resented for their control of public life in Israel. One doesn’t break molds by choosing a fringe member of a tiny minority. While there’s no doubt Lieberman’s selection is a good thing for America, if he’s perceived as leading to a bad loss, it might actually set back the cause of Jewish candidates. Geraldine Ferraro was an excellent candidate and person, but the female vote still went for Reagan by 12 points in ‘84, and there’s been little talk of any female Veep since. Worse, Mondale’s selection of her could’ve been considered a tacit admission that, since they were going to lose anyway, they might as well do the right thing + break new ground. The analogy is unfortunate.

Although the Convention parade of every Hispanic and Black in the Republican Party was so much puffery, Bush revealed himself to be a fearsome political animal, as natural in his skills in his own way as Clinton, and he will likely play dirty. It will take everything Gore has to win, starting with a chain of perfect decisions. This one wasn’t.




Though we’ve always appreciated Ralph Nader and his service for our safety, security, and corporate independence; with  up to a double digit strength in Ca. + elsewhere, NADER is emerging as the great spoiler 3rd party candidate of this year. Does anyone think ONE vote for Ralph would have gone to Bush??? I confess to having voted for John Anderson once… but if Anderson’s percentage would’ve given Carter the edge, that vote would have haunted me to this day. $3 Trillion of debt, $1 trillion savings and loan thefts, the despicable Contra War on Nicaragua, the War on drugs …. all maybe avoided. The decisions by a Bush Supreme Court + administration in abortion, drug persecutions, privacy, personal liberties could have a more devastating affect on the America of the 21st Century. Politics is the art of the possible. Sorry, but decent dour worrywart Ralph ain’t possible. The injection-machine GB2 is. Want to make a statement? Write to your op-ed page. But vote for Big Al.




We must confess to a long appreciation of Gore’s Veepster choice: Dick Cheney- solid, wise, tough, laconic, calm, Cheney is an archetypical Wyomian  (where I was a TV reporter) + brings many things Bush needs- an experienced hand and voice in foreign policy. I think Cheney as much as the overrated Powell + Schwartzkopf (read his atrocious autobiography) was responsible for the brilliant handling and conduct of the Gulf War (except for, uh, really winning it).  In fact I thought he’d be a good choice for something even in a Democratic administration- unfortunately he is a dedicated partisan Repub who has been House Whip and participated in political strategy in 3 Presidential administrations + 5 campaigns. This is not good. Although he’s a colorless campaigner and brings no states to the table, he defrays attacks on Bush’s inexperience + shallowness. Salon writer Joan  Walsh isn’t impressed, “Lesbian daughter or not, Dick Cheney is a right-wing throwback, more pro-gun than the NRA (he opposed the ban on armor-piercing bullets known as "cop killers"), a foe of the Equal Rights Amendment and one of only eight Congress members to oppose the reauthorization of the Clean Water Act. And with two oil industry magnates on the ticket, the Republicans can forget about making an issue of skyrocketing gas prices.”   Cheney’s daughter Mary has shepherded the formerly rabidly right-wing Coors into giving $1/2 mil to gay causes as their gay corporate relations mngr:  . Dems, in a display of Web speed + savvy snapped up web address: and filled it with Cheney’s hard right opinions + votes. Bush’s latest commercials are fuzzy, racial harmony, feel-good spots, reminiscent of Reagan’s vapid “Morning in America” ads:




While Gore’s supposedly been considering John Kerry, whom I like and even told his people last year he might be the strongest Presidential candidate, I think that’s a mistake now. Kerry has become more + more a fat cat since he married rich, from his suits to his attitude; and he has little personality to fortify Gores. Though the other Kerrey, Bob, is good, my choice would be Delaware’s Sen.  Joe Biden- witty, sharp, funny, experienced, eloquent, and eminently qualified to be President if he had to. He’s been on the 4 most important Senate Committees from the beginning: Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Intelligence, + Appropriations (because his wife died just before he took office + Tip O’Neil did his best to keep Joe from quitting). I always thought he’d be President one day because he’s one of the best we have, but he wasn’t obsessed enough with it after ’88. Saw him on C-SPAN in hearing and he was as sharp, no-nonsense, entertaining  + incisive as ever. Those distraught about Gore’s supposed 10-11 point deficit should take heart: at this point Dukaka was 17 points ahead of the “Wimp” Bush. Also heartening, Patrick Kennedy’s brilliant fund raising for the Dem Cong. Campaign Com. has the Dems leading the Repubs by $37.4 mil to 22.2 mil, a 3-5 fold increase from the normal, and a 10 fold increase from ’98.






Starr’s #2 Chuck Bakaly, in some long-overdue justice from the Impeachment farce, is on trial for lying to Judge Norma Holloway Johnson in a sworn declaration that he didn’t transmit non-public info to a NY Times reporter. The truth was 4 days after a meeting of Starr’s lawyers concluded that he could criminally prosecute Clinton in office, Chuckie met with Van Natta (4th time), which became the NYT front page story on Jan 31, 99 in the middle of the Senate trial (provoking Clinton’s lawyers to formally complain about the obvious effort to sway the trial). Bakaly’s story kept changing and his sworn blanket denial had to be withdrawn by the lawyer hired by Starr to answer leaking charges. In a masterful display of his depth of character, Kenny, who’d been leaking Grand Jury testimony and his own upcoming tactics continuously (all crimes) instantly turned on Chucky when aspersions were cast, saying, “He should be prosecuted”. With that sacrificial lamb, the Starrman’s own multiple manifest malfeasances were never plumbed. After a 4 day trial, Judge Johnson, who is deciding the case herself, will rule after August 11.


In a shockingly self-serving + unrefuted “interview” on Talk of the Nation on NPR, the Starrman was allowed to burble his tired falsehoods of how he “was asked to take over the Lewinsky investigation” by Reno, when of course, he demanded that she let him investigate the seamy business under threat of her own impeachment by the Repub Congress. Kenny was allowed to talk unopposed- the previous day Wan Williams had Pat Buchanan on- as a caller dryly remarked, NPR must be up for funding again. They deserve every penny just for Andrei Codrescu’s acerbic vicious genius commentaries.   Williams replaced Ray Suarez, the smartest man in broadcasting, who got promoted to non-MacNeil/Lehrer.


KEYES TOSSES in the Keys:


In a move sure to crush his hundreds of devout admirers,  Alan Keyes has given up his quixotic quest for Presidential publicity.  While we had to admire his rhetorical skills and still appreciate the highlight of the campaign: him jumping into a mosh pit and being passed overhead (take that Orrin Hatch), we remain confused how and why the only black getting noticeable attention (well, in Iowa) is a fulminating conservative who hates abortion, gun control, gays, et. al.. With his Scalia clone brother Clarence Thomas, who has done more to damage and injure blacks and civil rights than any other AA, + JC Watts, Keyes may be representative of blacks finally being accepted into all phases of American society OR  the extreme lengths Repubs have to go to find blacks who will espouse their hare-brained, damaging, unfair agenda.




While the entire South is char-broiling in yet another record Summer, it’s been cool here- mostly 70’s all summer, which has led me to a startling thesis: that the flight of population from the North to the South may actually be reversed. Babies who whined about their great distaste for snow + cold may be horrified at their deliverance: multiple 30+ days of over 100 degrees…. every day. Dallas + much of Southwest have essentially become HELL with air-conditioning needed through Thanksgiving,  and the temperate North will beckon as global warming spirals out of control. Recent articles have major melting of both Antarctic pack and Greenland Ice sheets. Having spent 3 straight years in the tropics after the Arctic hell of Roosya, let me warn you: it’s great for 3 months, OK for 6 months, but at 9 months… you start to lose your mind.




The recent beating of a car-jack cop shooter has us undecided. Although I’m not a huge fan of police, I think police should be allowed to summarily execute car-jackers and drive-by shooters; so destructive of civilization are those 2 acts.  On the other hand Philly is famous for the heavy hand of the boys in blue. An innocent tourist, I  was once kidnapped there by a plainclothes drunken pair of vice cops after I’d made the terrible mistake in a Holiday Inn of asking them where a good bar was. “We’ll take you to a good bar”, they said pulling up their shirts to show the 45’s stuffed in their waistbands and draping their arms over me. Uh, thanks, but no. 1000 ft. later as I reached my friends MG, they squealed up, ordered me into their car, + drove around, tearing my wallet to pieces looking for my non-existent PA license, and acting so wild I thought they might really be serial killers.  Then Philly was run by ex-cop Mayor Frank Rizzo, who gave the police carte blanche: Internal Affairs probably fixed police up with prostitutes, so there was no one to complain to.


Then in later reports, the carjacker (Jones) became a car thief, an immense difference. He also had shot a cop, but hmm, the cop had shot him 5 times before the hood took his gun, so who knows what really happened? While this guy was by a serious criminal (he’d robbed 5 pocketbooks in the 2 days before his capture, stolen dozens of cars and totaled 7) it seems a violation of Queen of Marquisbury rules to pound on someone with 5 bullet holes.  Perhaps it was a statement to demonstrators gearing up for the Repubs convention that they could forget that Seattle or DC coddling. The big question is whether the authorities are going to use massive unconstitutional preemptive raids, as the did in DC. Some credit must go to Repub gadfly Arianna Huffington, who parlayed gay husband Michael’s doomed money-bag campaign for CA US Senate into a pundit career: with her shadow convention and recent concerns for the poor + dispossessed, she seems to have developed that most inconvenient of Repub accessories…. a conscience. Just folks Repub convention delegates are 23% millionaires.


Black Cop commentary about the police code of beating fleeing or violent suspects;

Thomas Jones’ life + crimes:





With the final report of Danforth’s committee, lunatic militiamen, Repub, and anti-government wacko’s belief that the FBI or ATF shot or burned the Branch Davidians has been put to bed for good.  First the video showed 10 fires starting simultaneously, pyrotechnic rounds were used hours before any blaze, and the final chilling statistic that 20 of the kids were SHOT to DEATH, one was stabbed by their loving sick filthy fanatic parents who’d decided that the Apocalypse had come and their kids had to come with them. The primary fault of the government was not going in there fast and furiously and taking down all the adults with guns- at least the children could’ve been saved.




The Concord’s terrifying last seconds brings to mind a chilling and overlooked movie:  Final Destination”, in which a high school French class is about to embark from NY to Paris (also TWA 700 route). One kid has a searing flash forward to the plane rattling, shaking, and exploding after takeoff; and goes so berserk that he’s thrown off the plane with 5 friends and a teacher. The plane, of course, promptly explodes.. and the kids are then hunted by fate, who is annoyed at their escape. One must wonder how many poor Concorde passengers may have had serious qualms, premonitions, or alarums at their upcoming flight… and if they squelched their “foolish” fears. As a former travel agent, I’ve always wondered how I’d feel if a plane I deliberately chose for a customer went down. Kudos to the noble pilots, who narrowly avoided barreling into a 2000 person hospital. Chances are some mechanic is suffering acute night sweats because of his forgotten wrench. Hopefully this won’t destroy the reign of this magnificent graceful aircraft, the only one in the world besides the SR-71 Blackbird capable of sustained Mach 2 travel. I toured one at an airshow once. Considering what it does and its age, its safety record was amazing. Life is a tenuous contract- better go for the gusto while you can. With hundreds of planes 20-35 years old and no Nitrogen anti-explosion fuel tank system yet mandated, expect more planes to be suddenly going critical.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a plane cruised 500 ft overhead with an unprecedented + sickly howl (we live on the landing pattern) and we listened carefully for a boom. See Stealth Airshow Photos at the end.




In a close 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court voted to allow the Boy Scouts to prohibit Gay councilors. While we generally approve of Gays’ integration into American life, we’re not sure if that would extend to a tent in the woods with my son. The shock was that this conservative Court came so close to ruling against the Scouts, who after all, are supposed to be “straight and square”. On the other side of the ledger, the Supremes came within only 1 vote of limiting the “heinous” (especially to the poor women involved) practice of partial-birth abortions, a stalking horse for the prohibitionists. If a fetus isn’t going to survive, I’m not sure what a ‘humane’ form of death would be. When I caught lobsters diving in the Yucatan, I was so distraught by this 500 million year old crustacean waving his appendages near mine, I came out of the water and bashed their heads in with a rock… because it was the most humane way (certainly better than boiling- the clowns that insist that’s painless can prove it to me by immersing their hand to test the temperature). Only 1 to 3 votes separate this country from the disaster of banning abortion again, with all the pain, grief, and deaths, wasted and ruined lives that will accompany it (mothers + unwanted kids).  Anyone who thinks there isn’t much difference between the candidates must consider that.


 Likewise the savage + un-American practice of draconian drug penalties (that GB2 wholeheartedly endorses- now that he’s not at risk) is being whittled away by anti-3 strikes movements, mandatory drug courts and treatment rather than prison, and state decriminalization. A Bush Court would likely stymie these desperately needed reforms. The War on Drugs and their demonization and criminalization has been the single most destructive decision this country made this century (OK..last century): directly responsible for the creation of multiple criminal empires, more citizens imprisoned than ANY country in the world (11x more imprisoned for drug offenses than 1980- 25x in CA), millions of ruined and crushed lives, billions of crimes to get the money to pay for these artificially expensive crutches, and the lasting disrespect and resentment of the people for their government. Drugs are bad, but making them illegal is much worse. Even some Repubs are voicing these concerns:


Amazingly, the Supremes did reaffirm Miranda, and in a decision of far-reaching significance, ruled additional judge-imposed extended sentences (due to legislative fiat) were unconstitutional without being subject to a jury’s decision. However, future decisions involving personal + Internet privacy, linking of crime + personal databases, and Bill of Right’s issues would all be thrown into doubt by a GB2 QB4.




Israel and Palestinian failure to reach an agreement even with the heavy pressure of Clinton bodes badly for the future. With the massive numbers of weapons + Palestinian Police; if Arafat follows through with a declaration of Palestinian independence, a great bloodletting could ensue.  I have that feeling that that might finally provoke the Israeli’s into wholesale expulsions of their Arabs. Clinton put the blame for the collapse of talks squarely on Arafat (whose being feted with such congratulatory passion at his failure was contemptible) + sent an unambiguous message in talking about moving the embassy to Jerusalem. A recent article claims some Palestinian Arabs actually prefer Israeli rule to the PLO’s: because of Israeli social + financial benefits and endemic PLO corruption and arbitrariness.




RI’s own Richard Hatch, the manipulative maestro of CBS’s Survivor, was charged with child abuse for supposedly smacking his pudgy kid for slacking off during a predawn run and his kids were taken away by social services. Bowing to the power of his massive fame, Social Services dropped the case and returned his kids, though he still faces criminal charges. Though it was Gervaise's turn to be exiled from Fantasy Island, Sean, the imbecilic nipple ring neurologist, by announcing his alphabetical system of voting for Genna, caused the Tagis to switch to Genna, barely fending off votes against Hatch himself, and solidified Tagi’s dominance + Pagongs sequential elimination. Hatch has alienated too many people to actually win; my bet goes to Susan, the tough but non-offensive truck driver. Machine Gun + RPG toting pirates chased the producer on the other side of the island +  made an appearance 2-3 other times; the day after filming stopped, they kidnapped 23 tourists 2 hours away from Palau Tagi. The moron producers had “no idea” Indonesia is world hdqtr for pirates who hijack, murder, and rob ships with virtual impunity. I guarantee you, suits will fly when ex-survivors discover they’ve caught some nasty untreatable fatal parasite: schistosomiasis, Chagas, Dengue or other unknown horrors.


GRAVITY GAMES- Live vs. Memorex


The circus-like acrobatics of the bikers, bladers, skateboarders, + lugers in the 10 day Providence Gravity Games (see on NBC, every Sun in Oct 4-6 PM), led us to an interesting conundrum. With some of the best space age TV coverage possible, NBC had 2 500-1000 ft motorized trolley cameras crossing the entire motorcross and street course on wires as well as a hinged arm dolly that would drop from below contestants to directly on top (think Space Shuttle arm) + several stationed portacam guys, all piped into a 25 ft incredibly bright screen, easily watchable in direct sunlight. After seeing 50mph street luge and half-pipe vertical bike (huge concrete sewer pipes sawed in half with mountain bikers soaring 25 ft in the air on both ends), we finally got a perfect spot for  the motorcross- watching from the middle of the course with the giant TV over our shoulder, available for replays. The 2 ½ spins and flips and tail whips were so fast, complicated, and amazing that one NEEDED to watch replays to even figure what these kids did: the TV of the event was so much more comprehensive, bigger, and better than the ORIGINAL that one guy never even glanced at the actual event happening next to him- just stared at the alluring TV.  We missed a couple of things turning from one view to the other and retained a certain discomfort and disloyalty watching the TV instead of the actual event- what was the point in going to an event…. just to watch it on television. After no serious crashes in hundreds of 60 ft motorcycle leaps, the last guy (2nd place winner), in a mad salute to the crowd, let go of his cycle + flew off at the top of his jump. Unfortunately, he entirely missed the ramp coming down, landed horribly, and crumpled immobile to the ground for several minutes. Walked off (relentlessly macho, these guys) by his girlfriend 9 minutes later, he was taken away by stretcher. The almost insane courage of these outlaw athletes (vert bicyclists) was impressive: again + again they’d crash doing some neigh-near impossible multiple flip or spin, get up obviously injured…. and do an even harder one. As a no-hands bicyclist and rock-runner… we salute them. It wasn’t all for the honor + glory of the line- there was $750,000 in prize money.


Later went to hot air balloon convention at URI- 25 40-50 ft multicolored airships floating around, after nightfall beautifully illuminated from within by the 12ft gouts of flame. Took a short ride up in one and helped people deflate and pack one. Great fun, but an enterprise of the idle rich.




Hotmail (now serving 50-60 million) now will cancel + ERASE e-mail accounts that are inactive for only 60 DAYS, which I discovered when the stopimpeach site got wiped with it’s thousand e-mails, petitions, + letters. Be sure to log in once a month to be safe. Strongly suggest that you use the excellent junk-mail screener, which hasn’t made any mistakes after I specified a couple of non-junk origins. Junk messages are held for 30 days, then erased then or when  2 meg limit is reached.


PHOTOS:      John McCain at East Greenwich Armory, RI- Feb 2000-


 TALL SHIPS in Newport, RI June 30-July 2      Photos are panels of 4 photos each    500-900K- all titled (load slow)

Cisne Branco- Brazilian tall ship on maiden voyage (sesquintenial)

Kruzenshtern- Russian- built Germ. 1927 -  376x176 ft-second biggest Tall Ship in world, HMS ROSE, Sloop PROVIDENCE,

                        Following are very large JPEG’s where each pic should fill a 17” screen/ Scroll right and down to see other 3       

Sagres – Portuguese – built Germany 1937 – 293 x 148 ft, long x tall; Cisne Branco; Bowen’s Wharf; Yacht Courageous (America's Cup wnnr)+ Newport Bridge -                                                                                                         


                        Quonset Naval Air Station AIR SHOW – N. Kingston RI – June 2000

                                    F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Bomber, F 14 Tomcat, A-10 Warthog

                                    Blue Angels Naval Dem. Team-F 18’s, Cobra Attack Helicopter, Rocket Truck, F-15


HOT TIPS: now offers free computer telephone calls to any phone in Canada + USA, is still better to any US phones. Sign-up with and affiliated Compubank will give you $100 with a $100 deposit after 3 months (not verified). Now you can register site names for only $11/year with (hosted there for free or anywhere else) or for $15