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RIPOSTE
      EXTRA!
by RIP RENSE

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GET YOUR WOLFBANE READY  
(Oct. 28, 2004)

        It's not quite Hallowe'en, but the hobgoblins are out.
        They're prowling around Pennsylvania, where they fiendishly tricked college kids into signing a 'legalize pot' form that was actually a Repugnican voter registration in disguise. Now that these kids have "registered twice," they are disqualified from voting.
        Boo!
        They are in Ohio, where if you had your voter registration returned to the post office because you were out of town, the goblins want you declared ineligible. In at least one case, "out of town" pertained to a soldier in Iraq.
        Boo!
        They are in Georgia, where 98 persons of Hispanic descent have been ordered to show proof of citizenship in order to vote.
        Boo!
        They are in Colorado, where up to 3700 mostly college-age voters have registered to vote. . . twice.
        And they are swarming, swooping, screeching all over the hanging-chad-haunted skies of Florida, where:
        *A "caging list" of 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democratic areas of Jacksonville was found at Bush's campaign headquarters. Shame on those people for being Democratic and black!
        *A list of 2,663 newly registered voters in Duval County who appear to have incorrect addresses is in the hands of Repugnicans intending to challenge their votes. Shame on those people for having address problems!
         Not scary enough? There's more:
        *Gov. Jeb Bush, a Lon Chaney Jr.-esque oaf who gets very hairy every four years, has ordered---ordered---Florida poll watchers to challenge voters!
        *Up to 58,000 Florida absentee ballots have vanished like vampires at dawn.
        *Ten thousand mostly black and latino voters have been denied their voting rights because they made "mistakes" on their registration forms. In some cases, they forgot to check a box indicating U.S. citizenship---even though they had already signed an oath on the form affirming that they were!
        *Zero early voting booths were placed in Palm Beach's black districts.
         Welcome to Florida, the sunshine state, where a Bush supporter just threatened to drive a spike---er, actually, a screwdriver---through his wife's heart if she voted for John Kerry.   
         Trick or treeeeeeat!
         Used to be you could vote without fear---even (gasp) with joy---except in the Deep South, where white devils were liable to throw a rope around your black neck. Now the Deep South has moved into the north, west, east, southwest. . .thanks to the Hobgoblin Repugnicans---cunning ghouls who are dead-set upon overthrowing fair play and the Constitution in order keep The Monster in office.
         These creepy-crawlies were raised by a pack of werewolves named O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Murdoch, and Hannity, and they have suckled at the teat of the She-Wolf Coulter. They will do anything to spook voters and bewitch the election. How many times do you suppose the curse, "I don't care how you do it---just do it" has been whispered through their gray lips and yellow pointed teeth in the last week?
         Four years ago the hobgoblins descended upon Florida like Night of the Living Dead, led by Chief Zombie James "Carylyle" Baker and the Wicked Witch of the South, Katherine Harris, to cast a spell over the media and (popular vote-winning) Al Gore, rendering them as stupefied as if hypnotized by Lugosi himself. Then the Recount Draculas of the Supreme Court waved their capes around and sucked the very lifeblood out of democracy, breaking the first rule of any close election: count the votes over again.
        This time, absentee ballots have disappeared, voters have been tricked into signing forms destroying their voting rights, and by order of Jebbie, Democrat and minority voters whose addresses might have changed since the last election will cast no reflection in the electoral mirror. They be challenged right at the voting booth. Challenged? What on earth will they be asked to do---kiss a crucifix and swear allegiance to Condy?
        Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. . .
        Meanwhile, other monsters abound: The Werewolfowitz of Baghdad, chief Hobgoblin Donald Rumsfeld, Colin "Blacula" Powell and Karl "Renfield" Rove lurk about Washington, figuring out new ways to scare citizens. Dick "Ygor" Cheney---he of the crooked neck and twisted smile--- continues to shepherd The Monster around the country. The Monster nods when Ygor tells him to, growls when Ygor tells him to (taking orders via a hidden earplug and backpack), and riles up badly frightened villagers everywhere he goes.
        "Kerry, baaaaad," roars The Monster, claiming that the senator will turn the country into a Dante's Inferno of murdered babies and people marrying their pets.
        "Iraq, gooooood," roars The Monster, despite: 1100 dead U.S. soldiers, over 10,000 injured, kidnappings and murders of innocent care workers and contractors, executions of Iraqis enlisted by to fight the insurgents, rampant mayhem and death, hundreds of tons of missing explosives, and the enmity of most of the civilized world.
        The big trick or treat this year comes not on the 31st, but Nov. 2.
        Voting advice: when you go to the polls, wear wolfbane.

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2004 Rip Rense. All rights reserved.