Kerry and Edwards 

Potential management style
Now that John Kerry has named John Edwards as

Potential management style

Now that John Kerry has named John Edwards as his running mate, it is time to examine their potential management style. After all, we are talking about the “executive” branch of government, and those two will be responsible for managing the government, including the entrenched bureaucracy.I think it is clear now that their management style will be, in a word, lax.

According to the bios on the John Kerry Web site, neither of them have managed any organization larger than a Senate office staff. One thing you can say about George Bush is that he has experience managing large organizations, hundreds with the Texas Rangers, thousands as governor of Texas and hundreds of thousands as president. The lack of bureaucratic scandals on the federal level the last four years shows solid management work.

Kerry and Edwards are going to go from managing tens to managing hundreds of thousands. If you have any experience managing small groups of people, you know that it would be impossible to make that jump well. Yes, I am certain that they will hire good, competent people to be in the Cabinet. But, those people, if they are any good, will have strong personalities and be difficult to manage. In a Kerry Administration, there will be lots of opinions “off the reservation.” The bureaucracy will notice these differing opinions and use them as excuses to perform less work, claiming rightly so that they were confused by differing directives.

Management laxity also promotes bureaucratic scandals that will make Indiana’s BMV schemes seem like a kid stealing a candy bar. I’m not saying that people will be taking home sheets of 100s from the Bureau of Engraving, but lax management does give employees with a criminal bent a bit more boldness in their nefarious plans.

I believe that Kerry should have chosen someone like Bob Graham, former senator and governor of Florida, to be his veep. Someone who could have been his “office manager,” so to speak. His choice of Edwards, a person of nearly identical ideological bent, shows that Kerry’s presidency will be ideologically driven. This pair will appear to Republicans as a ticket of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell would appear to Democrats. Democrats may like the ideology, but I am afraid in this pair they will get less than nothing accomplished in controlling the bureaucracy and will face fierce resistance in a Congress split down the middle. If that’s what you want, go for it.

Parker King

Shiny metal boxes

That crazy David Hoppe is over the top with that nutty perspicuity of his. While Indianapolis is two knuckles deep mining for nose gold in the mass motion department, other cities harvest the riches that could be ours (Hoppe, “Good News for High-Speed Rail,” July 7-14).

Of course, newsworthless bag ladies and undesireables from the shady side of the color bar are the loser dirt that smell like curry and it’s just that sort of funk that makes me want to smoke the clutch on my Bugatti Veyron in first gear as I wend my way to Geist on 465 at 20 mph in rush hour. Which lasts into the night these days (and nights). Can’t they widen this highway to 18 lanes?

Listen up race fans: Cars FUCKING SUCK! Checkit before you wreck it. Although actual eye contact with the driver next to you is like staring at the guy’s cock at the urinal next to you, maybe you might have a quick peek just to notice that the driver 2 feet away at 70 mph (yes, you may be an outlaw ...) IS 16 YEARS OLD AND HIS DVD PLAYER PLUS 17 INCH LCD HAS HIS UNDIVIDED ATTENTION SAVE FOR WHEN HOLMES RIDING SHOTGUN PASSES HIM THE BLUNT. God Bless a Free Hmmerika as we cruise the In ’N’ Out Burger. If this is our plan for the future, let’s get summa those drive-through liquor stores like they have in Texas. Rock On.

Public transportation should be a loss leader. So the People Mover caught fire, and would smell like those Mexican spices if we had one that everybody used. Like to travel to and fro, like they do with the BART in San Francisco. Nutty. We are toast if we can’t get real on this issue. We won’t count for shit; we’ll choke if we keep this up. Go back and read paragraph four of this crazy liberal David Hoppe article. Him and Sting. Can’t he afford a Bugatti?

James Asher
Rocky Ripple

Ring-side table

Thank you for the article on Kristy Follmar (Cover, “Golden Gloves,” July 14-21). My best friend and I have had a ring-side table for the semi-annual Fight Nights at the Fairgrounds for several years. We have seen a lot of fights and Kristy’s fight with Shelby Walker last year may have been the best of them all, regardless of gender. Also, thanks to Mr. Fred Berns — his Fight Night might be the most underrated spectator event in the city.

Jim Lowes

U.N. monitoring of election

The Republican “my country: right, wrong or ridiculous” crowd are howling about those nasty liberals who want U.N. monitoring of this year’s presidential election. But they conveniently ignore the most relevant question: Why do some of us think that’s such a good idea?

Let’s see … there’s the 2000 election for starts. Upwards of 300,000, mostly black and Hispanic poor folks were systematically purged from the Florida voter rolls in 2000 by a contractor beholden to Jeb Bush. And remember those Republican congressional staffers/goons who descended on Miami to disrupt the recount process. Remember Katharine Harris, who had oversight over the whole process, while doubling as George W. Bush’s state campaign coordinator.

Then consider that George W. lost the popular vote and took office by virtue of an 18th century electoral contrivance designed to keep the “rascal masses” at bay (a contrivance in dire need of a constitutional amendment to abolish it) … not to mention a little help from a Supreme Court shaped by Nixon, Reagan and “Poppy” Bush.

Democracy? Oh come now!

Think of that big chill when the CEO of the largest manufacturer of high-tech voting machines declared Bush’s re-election his “top priority.” By the way, his voting machines are conveniently distinguished by their non-existent audit trail. Add the fact that third parties are now essentially excluded from ballot access (“outside the box” alternatives don’t seem welcome in America these days). And don’t forget the political power plays that Republican state Legislatures have been pulling to redraw congressional districts in Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

Of late, America hasn’t had many podium finishes in the race for democracy. Coupled with a human rights disaster like the Patriot Act it might be easy to see why some of us don’t exactly trust this administration’s commitment to democratic government and civil liberties. Conservatives often observe that “America is a republic, not a democracy,” and strive to make that self-fulfilling prophecy when in office.

Face it, Jeffersonian democracy just doesn’t turn them on like transnational capitalism does. Nevertheless, U.N. monitoring wouldn’t even occur to us “rascal masses” if we could trust that our democratic voice would count as much as the bankers and oil barons that de-facto-President Cheney hob-knobs with!

Brad Lorton

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