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mikelewis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:30 PM
Original message
I just didn't want to do jury duty
I started out a Republican. I associated more with Alex P. Keaton as a kid. I loved Ronald Reagan and I partied hard during the 90's so I missed Clinton. Until 9/11, that was pretty much the extent of the political story of my life. But on that morning, the entire bedrock of my existence changed. I believed America was invulnerable. I believed crooked politicians couldn't corrupt America. I believed that, even though I chose not to vote, that it would be counted if I did. The only reason I hadn't voted was because I didn't want to do jury duty. Hey, I'm being honest. But this illusion crumbled on 9/11. My myopic self-centered little world just got a whole lot bigger. I began to hunger for news. I listened to anyone who would talk.

You know who was talking? Rush limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Everyday I would listen to them and I liked it. Yes, I admit it, I was hooked. I even bought a little ear-piece radio so I could listen to it while I was working. I'd be drilling a hole in someone's house and then suddenly break out laughing as Glenn would do or say something hysterical. Ah, the good ole days.

Well, the worm turned. See, I was an MP. I wasn't a very good one but the other MP's, they were good. They were just regular people but they were also a different breed. You MP's out there know what I mean. When I found out about the Abu Ghraib scandal, I could not believe that Rumsfeld was pinning everything on those soldiers. I realized they had lied to me as I watched the Taguba Report on C-Span. They lied to me. There's no way Rumsfeld didn't know. He knew and so did Bush. They lied.

It was at that point I decided to find out what else was a lie. I swallowed the red pill. So here I am, everyday, searching for a way to take these people down. I know about 9/11, I know about the Anthrax, I know about Iraq and the stealing and the lying and heinous things they have been doing. I know what they are doing and I have to watch helplessly as they do it. For me, I don't give a flying fuck about John Kerry. Until he won the primaries and Rush and Glenn started ripping him to shreds, I didn't even know he existed. For me, this is not about Kerry. He's just some rish dude I don't know. I've never met him and frankly, you could have put anyone up and I'd have voted for him.

I'm glad you picked him though. I liked him at the end and I still do. What ever choices he has made or will make are his own. If they help me in my goal, great. If they do nothing, fine. I only care about Bush. That's it. I want his crimes exposed and I want him in a prison. That is my goal.

If we can prove to the country that fraud was committed, this will help me reach my goal. That is why I am here. I appreciate your feelings for John Kerry but do not share them. This is about Bush. Please help me get Bush. Please work like we worked before Jan 6th. Never in my life have I had such hope. Focus again. Remember what we came here to do. It's not about Kerry. It's about justice.

It's also about the fact that even though they threw my vote in the trash, guess what I got in the mail! A jury duty notice. I want his ass!!!! Help me bring this bull down. Find out how they did it, push and push and never quit. I won't.

Sincerely,
Michael Lewis
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benddem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. I would love to be on a jury
and have never been called. Shame on you.
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Karenca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. We're always curious about
Republicans that do not support Bush.

This guy certainly wrote us some story.
He was being honest....give him a break.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Ben - Take a chill pill! Not everyone can be as saintly as you... (n/t)
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Donailin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. I say that too
but when my notice comes in every three years, it's at the most inoppurtune time and I don't want to go.
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bear425 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
17. I used to think that, too. Trust me; you really don't want it.
As they say: be careful what you wish for!
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. Mike - Great testimony!
I have been a life-long Dem, and I am really, really pleased to run into lifelong Republicans on DU. :hi:

I was just talking with friends the other day who are just as worried about our nation as you and I. We were talking about when we 'woke up' and we had each started getting wise at different times over the past 4, 5, 6 years. We all have to reach out and help others wake up.

I appreciate your sharing your experience as an MP and your take on why Rumsfeld must've known -- I've always believed he and Cheney and Bush and Gonzales knew -- and I resent them for leaving the guys on the ground holding the bag.

There is sooooo much to do, we have to support the people who are fighting for us (Jackson, Conyers, Boxer...) and we have to push the Dems and Moderate Repubs who aren't yet fighting. We have to focus, move quickly, and cover lots of bases.

:kick:

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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you....
from your post...

"See, I was an MP. I wasn't a very good one but the other MP's, they were good. They were just regular people but they were also a different breed. You MP's out there know what I mean. When I found out about the Abu Ghraib scandal, I could not believe that Rumsfeld was pinning everything on those soldiers. I realized they had lied to me as I watched the Taguba Report on C-Span. They lied to me. There's no way Rumsfeld didn't know. He knew and so did Bush. They lied."


You give me hope the the rational people out there who have been dazzled by the spin will also come around to accepting the truths about this mis-administration.
My 18 year old firstborn signed up for the Nat. Guard last December. I can't even blame the recruiter who signed him up... because I was the one who got him interested at 13. I knew his Dad and I would not be able to afford College for him, and his brothers, and I told him about Grandpa in Germany, and my own brief consideration of joining, to support the boys after my divorce. Until 2000, I regretted not joining. Now I will watch him go off to boot camp in June, just as he turns 19. It's all he talked about for years, being an MP, then a cop, then the SWAT team. I'm so afraid that he won't make it back whole. He is an honest, naive, kind soul. He wants to be a cop to help people. I agree that the blame has been put on the wrong heads.
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mikelewis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. There are things that I can bear and there are things that would break me.
If I had a child in the military and I found out what I know now; that would break me. I know how you must feel but also know that he will be with some of the best people I've ever had the honor to meet. Some were idiots but to this day, I have never met people like the ones I met back then. I still think of them at times and worry how many are mired in this mess. I pray they're well. I'm not gonna shit you, it's going to be rough but I assure you, he's in danger with good company. These guys are trained well and they know what they're doing. The leaders don't have a clue but they're not the ones with bullets flying at them. Believe me, he's in good hands. Keep faith.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. Thanks for the boost....this is definitely why I am obsessed...
with dethroning the pretender...

When I get really scared about the future... I just imagine this little guy in my head....

and I feel better... odd, huh? lol
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. Welcome, honey. Learning curves can be a bitch but you are
always welcome on this side of the divide. I am fascinated with people's journeys and yours is too. Welcome, welcome, welcome.

RV, a lifelong progressive, liberal and democrat. (Who would love to see him and his cartel in jail too)
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mikelewis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Oh no!!! I not a Republican any more...
I wasn't really anything. I just worked. Now I work and worry. I read a lot and I try to find out what's really going on. I only care about the truth. I am sick of lies. I just want the passion back that Jan 6th seem to crush. Who cares what Kerry is doing. He's not helping so latch on to those who are and let's get this thing rolling again.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Details....we're just glad you're in it with us Now.
:)

And your story is marvelous. You've got passion to spare, it seems.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. michael lewis....... i love you
living in the panhandle of texas i dont see many kerry spporters., and when i do first thing out of my mouth is i love you. cute as pie. chased a man down in my car, pulled into left lane to turn, even though i was going another direction, just so i could be next to him. rolled down window, i love you. we had a great chat at a long lite. was fun

i hear you on your story. i started really getting concerned with the impeachment. i too was a calif repu conservative off to business college..........reagan disillusioned me, and though i am not a democrat, last three election i have voted and worked hard for democrat

i am right on with your whole story, every piece of it

thanks for sharing. i enjoyed
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BanzaiBonnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
11. When did I know the whole barrel of apples was rotten?
My questions over the integrity of this administration began with the unfolding of the ENRON scandal. Then 9/11 and I thought--- oh no, no one would be so callous as to take down the towers and cause all that death and destruction for the purpose of taking our attention away from Enron. Later we learned it was even worse--- it was the Pearl Harbor of the PNAC.

Then I heard the report from the EPA that G-zero was fine. No problems with air quality, no concerns there. I had not even heard then that the admin had tampered with the EPAs actual report and I KNEW they were lying. That was the day I lost ANY faith that I MIGHT have had that these folks would do the right thing.

And they just continued to add one lie on top off another. When Rumsfeld said he knew exactly where those WMDs were, I thought who is buying this?


They are all sick, sick, sick and in the afterlife will be in BIG trouble.
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Donailin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. I had those "Oh My God, everything I know is wrong" moments in
2001. But not with Bush, it was with the Catholic Church scandal. After 911, I read everything I could get my hands on about Islam, and what I read apalled me, as a self righteous catholic. I read that Mohammed (peace be upon him)was a pedophile, his last wife Iesha was like 9. I read the Q'uran over and over, highlighting it, footnoting it etc, pointing out all the discrepencies. I was a total Islam basher and I had pinned Mohammed as the anti-Christ.

But then, about two months later, the Boston Globe broke the Clergy abuse story. You know what they say when you point fingers? Well there it was, my Church, my infallible church, was corrupt and perverted and worst of all, hypocritical to the nth degree.

I was devestated. But it led me to other things. What other illusions do I have, I asked myself. After deciding that all organized religions are corrupt, what else is corrupt?

American history. Thanksgiving Day I listened to Pacifica radio and was astonished to hear that for the Indigenous peoples of America, Thanksgiving was a day of mourning. I looked into that, for about three weeks. History is written by the winners.

Then my friend who is a total organic food nut sent me a link on the BGH milk, normally I shrugged this stuff off, I always thought what I ate at the grocery store was perfectly fine. But not anymore. I did a google search on BGH and came up with Monsanto. Words cannot express my outrage when I learned about this corporation. I spent over a month researching Monsanto, GM foods and the like. Needless to say I now shop at whole foods. Monsanto is one of the most evil corporations in existence, and I don't say that casually. They are trying to PATENT the DNA of indigenous people as well as the world's food supply. Think about that for a moment. It's nothing less than diabolical.

That research led me to the FDA. What were they up to? Well, I learned that no matter the political party in power, former heads of corporations are appointed to Cabinet positions. Clinton allowed former Monsanto execs to head up the FDA. Great, they're all in it together. No conflict of interest, no, not here. Keep drving by folks, nothing to see here.

Now I 'm like totally beside myself. And by then, around the middle of 2002, I start hearing the drum beat for Iraq. Iraq?? What the fuck is in Iraq?? 911 and Sadam? Right and two and two is three. I'm may be slow, but I'm no dummy. So I started looking shit up. I found the motherlode in the PNAC. And keep in mind, this is long before I ever heard of DU. In fact, all I had known about online was Truthout and Nation and CounterPunch. When I read their statement on rebuilding America's defenses and archives of William Kristols columns in the weekly standard with titles like "Why we need to Attack Iraq Now" written in 1998 and "Attacking iraq is not Enough" 1999 I about shit in my pants, especially after I read the signatories on that little mission statement and the years of publications and then I see the present Cabinet appointees of Bush.


After all this I became so radical, and so hungry for information out of the mainstream that now I am completely jaded. This last election meant so much to me, I put so much effort into enlightening those around me, especially my three teen age children. The only good that has come out of this is that we can see through the bullshit, although we can't seem to keep it from coming.
<sigh>
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thank you for your story, and I think the focus is returning
I think Jan 6 kind of jarred some people into the reality that this is going to be a long fight. So a lot of them freaked out, gave up, and started blaming Kerry. And taking it out on each other here at DU. And the productivity level of this forum plummeted.

I feel like that is changing - that the energy is picking back up - that the people who need to move on have moved on, that the people who need to argue about Kerry and his role/lack of role in this are getting tired, and that we can get back to business now.

I know I am ready. So let's go!!!

:toast:
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Laurab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. What a beautiful post
It almost brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to so much of what you said. I was never a republican, or even close to being one. Matter of fact, I used to vote just to cancel my 1st husband out, because he voted repug. I understand he voted for Kerry this year.

My family had always voted Dem, so I did. For years, I just didn't vote at all. It wasn't until a year or two ago that I woke up to the lies and deceit of this administration. I started reading, and I haven't stopped.

The more I read, the more frightened I became. I cannot believe this is happening, in full view of the american public, and the world, and that this man is not being stopped. In fact, a large percentage of the country appears to believe he's a "man of God". Not the God I know.

It's about Bush, indeed. It's about "truth, justice, and the American Way". It's not about petty bickering about what this senator should have done, or this one should have said. I do think we've seen though, that we can't count on a politician to do it for us. Maybe we AND the politicians have a chance. Maybe a huge grassroots effort will force the people we elected into office to fight. It worked once, and I too was filled with hope on January 6th.

Thank you for posting your letter, and for feeding my hope. We can't afford to quit. He's way too dangerous.
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Karenca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Michael..Thank-you...........Laurab,
<<<<<<It wasn't until a year or two ago that I woke up to the lies and deceit of this administration. I started reading, and I haven't stopped. >>>>>>>

Myself as well.
It wasn't till 9/11 when I took my head out from the sand, and started listening, reading, exploring.....and I never stop. I feel exactly the way you do :))

Michael...Thank you...Though I am a life-long Democrat, I was always on the sidelines, nothing really seemed to matter to me before. I can relate completely to your story.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. pinning everything on the soldiers
I was MI, and I had the same reaction. I'm not saying I sympathize with the soldiers, what they did was beyond horrifying and they deserve what comes their way for it. But a commander, a real commander, would never give an order (and like you, I know they did) and then set up their soldiers to take the fall for it.

There's a long list of things I will never forgive Bush for, too many to list, but as a vet I find that one especially offensive. That's the ultimate breach of honor, as far as I'm concerned.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. In the end...I think it's possible that
people who would prefer to live in a more just society will come together to make it happen. But more people need to wake up and face the truth of the situation like you did. (And not all who need to face it are conservatives). You make a convincing case that you care enough and realize the work it will take. Welcome Mike and thanks for your story. Help us harness the kind of focus we need to carry this forward. We must overcome extremely powerful forces of division. We must think outside the box now.

True honesty, courage, and "morality that is above legality'--these are reasonable expectations of our leaders. It is only in the current climate of extreme exploitation that these ideals are made to seem unrealistic. Abuse of power can seem "strong" until it starts to really hurt.
:toast:
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