The Reverend Al Sharpton's DNC Speech

Posted by Brandon |

Although I have not seen the entire speech yet on video, I have read the transcript and seen some clips of it and let me say the the Reverend Al Sharpton is the man. What I have read and seen of his speech at the Demorcratic National Convention is incredible. What follows is the transcript in entirety. It's everything that I've been waiting to hear from my party and everything I want to hear from my politicians (we're you listening John Kerry?). Keep in mind the fiery nature of Al Sharpton as you read and also keep in mind that most of this speech was cut by the Kerry campaign, but Al went right ahead and said it anyway without any help from the teleprompter....

"Thank you.

Tonight I want to address my remarks in two parts. One, I'm honored to address the delegates here. Last Friday, I had the experience in Detroit of hearing President George Bush make a speech. And in the speech, he asked certain questions. I hope he's watching tonight. I would like to answer your questions, Mr. President. To the chairman, our delegates, and all that are assembled, we're honored and glad to be here tonight. I'm glad to be joined by supporters and friends from around the country. I'm glad to be joined by my family, Kathy, Dominique, who will be 18, and Ashley.

We are here 228 years after right here in Boston we fought to establish the freedoms of America. The first person to die in the Revolutionary War is buried not far from here, a Black man from Barbados, named Crispus Attucks. Forty years ago, in 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party stood at the Democratic convention in Atlantic City fighting to preserve voting rights for all America and all Democrats, regardless of race or gender.
Hamer's stand inspired Dr. King's march in Selma, which brought about the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Twenty years ago, Reverend Jesse Jackson stood at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, again, appealing to the preserve those freedoms. Tonight, we stand with those freedoms at risk and our security as citizens in question.

I have come here tonight to say, that the only choice we have to preserve our freedoms at this point in history is to elect John Kerry the president of the United States. I stood with both John Kerry and John Edwards on over 30 occasions during the primary season. I not only debated them, I watched them, I observed their deeds, I looked into their eyes. I am convinced that they are men who say what they mean and mean what they say. I'm also convinced that at a time when a vicious spirit in the body politic of this country that attempts to undermine America's freedoms -- our civil rights, and civil liberties -- we must leave this city and go forth and organize this nation for victory for our party and John Kerry and John Edwards in November.
And let me quickly say, this is not just about winning an election. It's about preserving the principles on which this very nation was founded. Look at the current view of our nation worldwide as a results of our unilateral foreign policy. We went from unprecedented international support and solidarity on September 12, 2001, to hostility and hatred as we stand here tonight. We can't survive in the world by ourselves. How did we squander this opportunity to unite the world for democracy and to commit to a global fight against hunger and disease?

This court has voted five to four on critical issues of women's rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the gains of civil and women rights and those movements in the last century could be reversed if this administration is in the White House in these next four years.
I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school.

This is not about a party. This is about living up to the promise of America. The promise of America says we will guarantee quality education for all children and not spend more money on metal detectors than computers in our schools. The promise of America guarantees health care for all of its citizens and doesn't force seniors to travel to Canada to buy prescription drugs they can't afford here at home.

We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told that we were going to Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. We've lost hundreds of soldiers. We've spent $200 billion dollars at a time when we had record state deficits. And when it became clear that there were no weapons, they changed the premise for the war and said: No, we went because of other reasons.

If I told you tonight, Let's leave the Fleet Center, we're in danger, and when you get outside, you ask me, Reverend Al, What is the danger? and I say, It don't matter. We just needed some fresh air, I have misled you and we were misled.

We are also faced with the prospect of in the next four years that two or more of the Supreme Court Justice seats will become available. This year we celebrated the anniversary of Brown v. the Board of Education.

The promise of America provides that those who work in our health care system can afford to be hospitalized in the very beds they clean up every day. The promise of America is that government does not seek to regulate your behavior in the bedroom, but to guarantee your right to provide food in the kitchen. The issue of government is not to determine who may sleep together in the bedroom, it's to help those that might not be eating in the kitchen. The promise of America that we stand for human rights, whether it's fighting against slavery in the Sudan, where right now Joe Madison and others are fasting, around what is going on in the Sudan; AIDS in Lesotho; a police misconduct in this country.

The promise of America is one immigration policy for all who seek to enter our shores, whether they come from Mexico, Haiti or Canada, there must be one set of rules for everybody. We cannot welcome those to come and then try and act as though any culture will not be respected or treated inferior. We cannot look at the Latino community and preach one language. No one gave them an English test before they sent them to Iraq to fight for America. The promise of America is that every citizen vote is counted and protected, and election schemes do not decide the election. It, to me, is a glaring contradiction that we would fight, and rightfully so, to get the right to vote for the people in the capital of Iraq in Baghdad, but still don't give the federal right to vote for the people in the capital of the United States, in Washington, D.C.

Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question. You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.
We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.

Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.

Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men (inaudible) soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham.

This vote is sacred to us.

This vote can't be bargained away.

This vote can't be given away.

Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.

And there's a whole generation of young leaders that have come forward across this country that stand on integrity and stand on their traditions, those that have emerged with John Kerry and John Edwards as partners, like Greg Meeks, like Barack Obama, like our voter registration director, Marjorie Harris, like those that are in the trenches. And we come with strong family values. Family values is not just those with two-car garages and a retirement plan. Retirement plans are good. But family values also are those who had to make nothing stretch into something happening, who had to make ends meet.

I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you're going. That's family values.

And I wanted somebody in my community -- I wanted to show that example. As I ran for president, I hoped that one child would come out of the ghetto like I did, could look at me walk across the stage with governors and senators and know they didn't have to be a drug dealer, they didn't have to be a hoodlum, they didn't have to be a gangster, they could stand up from a broken home, on welfare, and they could run for president of the United States.

As you know, I live in New York. I was there September 11th when that despicable act of terrorism happened. A few days after, I left home, my family had taken in a young man who lost his family. And as they gave comfort to him, I had to do a radio show that morning. When I got there, my friend James Entome (ph) said, Reverend, we're going to stop at a certain hour and play a song, synchronized with 990 other stations. I said, That's fine. He said, We're dedicating it to the victims of 9/11. I said, What song are you playing? He said America the Beautiful. The particular station I was at, the played that rendition song by Ray Charles.

As you know, we lost Ray a few weeks ago, but I sat there that morning and listened to Ray sing through those speakers, Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains' majesty across the fruited plain. And it occurred to me as I heard Ray singing, that Ray wasn't singing about what he knew, because Ray had been blind since he was a child. He hadn't seen many purple mountains. He hadn't seen many fruited plains. He was singing about what he believed to be.

Mr. President, we love America, not because all of us have seen the beauty all the time. But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody. Starting in November, let's make America beautiful again.

Thank you. And God bless you."


Day of the Nut Job Part Two

Posted by Brandon |

The Nut Job encounters continued later Sunday night...

While working my part time job at the Everett Aquasox I had the privilege of meeting a female nut job.  Barbie, as we will call her, was a 21 year-old, plastic, fake tanned, tattooed, pierced chick on the prowl.  She attended the game with a small group of people including her 18 year-old friend or sister, four mid 20's guys, possibly her dad and a gaggle of younger kids. 

Barbie and her sister/friend decided to start talking to the guys in the Tri-City Dust Devils bullpen.  My job is to keep people like her from bothering the players.  Normally it is just kids trying to get an autograph that I have to fend off.  Both these girls were very nice about it, they understood, but they were persistent and continued to go up there.  Later Barbie told me they wouldn't go up there anymore but she still needed to give them her phone number.  I told her to wait until after the game.

Right after the game as she's leaving she comes up to me and puts her arm around me and calls me a "Big Meanie" and says, "I still gave them my number and we are going out tonight!" 

To which I replied "Well great, good luck," and asked her "why would you want to go out with a ballplayer?"

"Well, they don't make much money, it's true," she mused.  "If they were all plastic surgeons then I'd be much happier.  But they are kind of cute!"

So watch your wallets Tri-City bullpen and enjoy that little bundle of joy that you will be making payments on in about nine months.  Enjoy your genital herpes Barbie and congratulations, you may have become the ho-iest ho that I have seen in baseball in many, many years!


The Day of the Nut Jobs Part One

Posted by Brandon |

Sunday was the day of the nut job encounters for the Down With Pants! crew. 

It started out early when we were doing some geocaching in Fremont on the ship canal.  While searching around this shelter (which is  a notorious home for nut jobs) I heard someone yell "Hey, what are you doing?"  I ignored him and kept looking around a bit until he rode up on his BMX and kept yelling.  This nut job age 25-30 jumped off of his BMX and came down the hill after me yelling the whole way.  I told him we were looking for something and it wasn't any of his business and that everything was cool. 

He continued to advance so we hurried away from the area as quickly as possible.  Nutso continued to yell trying to provoke me into fighting him.  Of course I wasn't about to fight him as his nutty ass most likely had some kind of  a weapon but at the same time I didn't want to be intimidated and run off by some kook.  After calling me a "Rich Boy" (how far from the truth is that?) we finally got out of earshot with the geocache in hand.  We wondered if in fact we had a geocache or his drug stash that he was trying to protect.  We eventually turned around and went back and luckily he was gone.  Hopefully nobody else down at the Fremont Market was harassed by this skitzo.   



Posted by Brandon |

Hi all.  For whatever reason I have had some trouble coming up with topics for Down With Pants! this past week.  Maybe because it's damn hot and I haven't had any inclination to sit at a computer. 

However today I was sent the funniest animation/song.  You can find it on JibJab.com.  Just click on the video right on the first page and it will take you right to it.  It's kind of a long download if you have a slow connection but it's worth it. 

Hopefully this next week something will pop into my head I'll get back to it....


Gay Marriage Amendment Blocked

Posted by Brandon |

The senate voted yesterday on the gay marriage amendment and thankfully it was voted down 48-50.  The measure needed sixty votes to be passed and then moved on to the States where 38 of 50 would have to approve to add it to the constitution. 
I don't care if you are for or against gay marriage.  I personally have absolutely no problem with it.  My upcoming marriage doesn't seem as important without a huge group of people being allowed to do the same thing.  However if you are against it you at least have to understand and see that no matter what this isn't an issue that should be in our country's constitution.   The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not to be used to take away the rights of a person, only to grant rights not already given. 
The only time we have tried to limit the rights of people was when we had prohibition and that really seemed to work out well.  I'm not a huge fan of guns and would love tougher gun control, but I wouldn't support an amendment to get rid of them either.  The constitution is everything we base our  government on and to include an amendment limiting the rights of a group of people is a scary proposition.  There is no room for hate  or exclusion in our country's rulebook and I'd like it to stay that way. 


Gay Marriage Vote Possible Today

Posted by Brandon |

"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance...Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"

So said Republican Senator Rick Santorum this week about the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the United States. So the future of our country hangs in the balance because a couple of people would like the right to marry.

Doesn't this kind of sound like the same arguments made against interracial marriage or for segregation or even for slavery. The future of our country hangs in the balance. Your right Rick, it does hang in the balance. Will this country become a hateful, unwelcoming place in it's constitution to some of it's finer citizens or will everybody regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, religion or whatever be treated in the same way.


Worst Case Scenario

Posted by Brandon |

So I have been saying for a couple of months now to close personal friends that there is a worst case scenario floating through my brain in regards to the upcoming elections and the future of George W. Bush and our country as a whole. Well, this past week a step was taken in confirming that this worst case scenario could possibly come true.

The worst case scenario is that there will be a terrorist attack or at least a very, very serious threat against our country on or leading up to election day. As a result to this attack or threat, Bush will declare martial law and declare that no elections can be held due to the instability of our nation thus giving him ultimate power in deciding when to actually hold elections if at all.

On Thursday Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge issued a strange and vague warning that Al Qaeda was moving forward with plans to disrupt the November elections saying "We lack precise knowledge about time, place and method of attack..."

Maybe it won't go to my worst case scenario, but warnings like these are incredibly political. This was a campaign move if there ever was one. The Bush/Cheney camp will use any means necessary to win re-election and if that means scaring the bejesus out of everybody not voting for him, then so be it. Isn't this kind of like what terrorists do? Scaring the opposition out of their normal routine and creating incredible fear to want change.

It hasn't scared me and it won't scare me. No matter how unimpressed I am with John Kerry and John Edwards I will risk terrorist attacks to get this jackass out of the White House. I just pray that we don't suffer any more terrorist attacks from within the Oval Office that won't allow us to knock his sorry ass back to Texas.


DWP! Gets Skulled

Posted by Brandon |

Down With Pants! celebrated the Fourth of July with a little blow to the noggin. The scene: Everett Memorial Stadium. The Everett Aquasox face off against the Vancouver Canadians. Batting practice has just finished and the Canadians are warming up their arms with a little long-toss. I have just finished wiping down the always dirty bleacher section and have stepped down behind the fence to greet some fans.

The always lovely and charming DWP! says "Hi guys. How's it going today?" no sooner did I get those words out than I see each of them cover their heads and duck. The first thought that came to my mind was "What, do I have that bad of breath?" But then I realized what was happening and just barely turned away and was nailed flush in the back of the head by a ball. Immediately I hit the deck as more of a reaction than anything. I was hit flush but it didn't really hurt that bad and I wasn't knocked out at all. I wasn't even cut. I popped up to my feet but was greeted by the Canadians trainer who insisted that I go see our trainer to make sure I was ok.

So for the next half an hour I sat in the trainer's room with a whole bunch of people worrying about me and asking me how I was doing. Dan, one of my bosses, came in and was talking to me and he suddenly asked me if I knew who he was. Of course I did know who he was and after a little while sitting there bored and ready to get back to work, the trainer finally let me leave convinced I was fine.

Thankfully I am fine. I've had a bit of a headache ever since but that's to be expected. I've got a pretty good knot on the back of my head but overall I took it pretty well. Plus I was lucky. If I wouldn't have ever so slightly turned it probably would have hit me square in the cheek and who knows the damage it would have done to my pretty face.

I learned that I must have a pretty thick skull because the Canadian trainer said it was quite the shot that I took and everybody who saw me get hit were really concerned. I always knew having a thick skull and a fat head would come in handy one day and today it finally paid off.