Bob Ridenour: ‘Looking on Google for ‘name sucks’ is a version of something that’s been going on for many years and which is probably a better metric. Check out for an example. You learn a lot more about something when you look not only at how many people think it ‘sucks,’ but also how many people think it ‘rules,’ too.’

☞ The first thing to say, for those who found 3,820 hits for ‘Tobias sucks,’ is that ‘single quotes’ are ignored by Google – you have to use ‘double quotes’ or else you get all the hits for Tobias and all the hits for sucks.

The second thing to say is that ‘Bush Rocks’ totals 398, and ‘Bush Rules’ totals 3,830 – but most of the latter seem to be ‘Bush rules out North Korea talks’ and ‘Bush Rules Out Meeting With Gay Supporters’ and ‘For now, lobbyists play by Bush’s rules.’

Have a great weekend.

Are you registered to vote? Is everyone you know registered? Seriously! Now is the time to do this – not just because so many people died for your right to vote, but because if we don’t all go out and vote 32 days from now, there’s a real chance the right wing of the Republican party will control all three branches of government . . . that John Ashcroft would be sending lifetime judicial appointments to Trent Lott for confirmation . . . that those like Chief Justice Rehnquist who believe the separation of church and state should be abandoned would get their way. (And forget about the stem cell research that might save your life, or the twice-passed Oregon assisted-suicide law, or the California-passed medical marijuana referendum that spares nauseated chemotherapy patients some of their agony.)

As I mentioned this summer, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, in his 1985 dissenting opinion in Wallace v. Jaffree, wrote: ‘The ‘wall of separation between church and State’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.’ Tom DeLay, in line to become House Majority Leader, told 300 Baptists in Pearland, Texas, April 12, that God had put him on this earth to promote ‘a more Biblical worldview’ in American politics. Justcie Scalia lamented to a divinity school audience in January that democracy deemphasizes the true authority by which we live – divine authority – and said that people of faith should do all they legally can not to accept that. Clarence Thomas is deeply religious as well and votes with Scalia. Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, asked where he got the notion that gays are sick, like kleptomaniacs and alcoholics, snapped back, ‘I’ll tell you where I got that – I got it from the Bible.’ The Attorney General is deeply conservative in his religious views. Candidate, now President, Bush, asked what kind of Justices he hoped to appoint, said that the two he admires most are Scalia and Thomas. And all these guys are totally entitled to their beliefs. I just don’t want to see them controlling both houses of Congress and all three branches of government. Which they are one Senate seat away from doing.

So register to vote, get an absentee ballot NOW if you might not be in town November 5, and pester all your friends and relatives to do likewise. Many will be Republicans – and that’s fine. But would they really want a John Ashcroft Supreme Court for the next 25 years?


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