Undecided Voter

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  • 09-16-2004
    mmoose
    Undecided Voter
    Hello all, long time lurker, seldom poster...undecided voter.

    I see many good points raised by many folk here...occasionally. Usually, things degrade into humor (funny and not so funny) or name calling eventually (not uncommon nor unexpected).

    Instead of trying to force others into seeing the world my way, I'd like to air my current positions and listen to rational serious counterpoints and thoughts. Maybe it's that Bush is in town tonight (Rochester MN), or that my co-workers that I usually debate politics with are gone today.

    A couple of rules for this please...serious thoughts and positions only...save your jokes, zingers and sarcasm for another thread...not that I don't find them funny. No 'CNN is liberal' vs. 'Fox news' is conservative...I don't mind references, but I'm more interesting in personal opinion (and everyone is entitled to thier own!) Trollers stay away...or troll somewhere else. If you don't have good response, you don't have to respond.

    Currently, I'm in the KerryisadouchebagbutIllprobablyhavetovoteforhimany way camp. So the Reps might get excited...

    Issues:
    1) Terrorism - 9/11 would most likely happened on anyone's watch. I don't blame GWB personally for this. Yes, I liked the points made in other topics that he only had one terrorism meeting previous to 9/11. Maybe he did take 'vacation' time. But I won't put the big blame on one man.

    2) Iraq - to me, Iraq was in violation of Gulf War I treaty...if they break the treaty, they virtually redeclare war...it's just a matter of when. Also, a matter of who...the treaty was probably signed between the UN and Iraq back in the 90s, does that give the US sole responsability? argueable. But, I have no problem with the legitamacy of the GWII.

    What I do detest is how GWB went about it. Seems to me that he told all his guys to get 'evidence' to get public opinion on his side first. (call me a conspiracy theorist). If it there is a possibility of some big bad thing (like banned weapons!), let's say that it is fact. To me, Bush lacked the credability in the UN, so he sent Powell in to do his lying. Powell was a good soldier and did as he was told (poor guy) lost credability to many.

    3) Post war Iraq...I don't think anyone has a good plan how to get out without creating an uglier situation...but the longer we stay, the uglier it is going to get.

    4) Conflict of interest. Other presidents may have had vested interests in Oil or such...conflict of interest, about minor issues, can be overlooked. Or, we could trust that noble ideas are being followed. But, when you have a conflict of interest AND (virtually) unilaterraly invade a country, there SHOULD be questions to answer. If you do not remove the conflict of interest, you are asking for trouble. (and any politician who is not smart enough to atleast veil it better should not be a politician....along the lines of all politicians are liars, only the better liars don't get caught as often).

    5) personal military record
    GWB - obviously privilaged, won't argue that someone somewhere pulled strings to get him into the Guard. Should more attention be focused on this immoral action? most likely. Do I need a memo (forged or otherwise) to know he did not perform 'military service'? no. (I have never been in the military, and don't have any moral high ground to be outraged about...but getting strings pulled so he goes Guard and then performing questionably does not count as military service to me).
    Did he make an issue of his 'military service'? no (smart man)

    Kerry did make an issue of his service and play the hero. Shouldn't have done that. Just say you served, in combat, and be done with it. He probably did not earn his paycheck, let alone any of the medals. But atleast he was there.

    Afterward...were all his actions scripted to launch his political career? Maybe...there are worse ways to launch political careers. Was he a traitor to speak out against the war? no. We were probably at the point of needing more veterns speaking out against the war (protesting hippies can be ignored...protesting honorably discharged soldiers are something completely different). Throwing medals on the White House lawn (even someone else's)...seems like a political stunt to me...if he is a politician, call that a career move.

    I don't damn Kerry for any of that. I don't think he was a great soldier. I don't think he acted for all the 'right reasons'. I will say he is misguided if he ever thought his 'war record' was impressive once it came under scrutiny.

    6) economy...the .com market was grossly overinflated...asking for a bust. Blame the investors who drive up the P/E to insane levels...don't blame the anyone in the White House. Greenspan seems more important in the recovery anyway.

    Tax cuts...did they help? probably, but extremely short term solution. But in doing so, we've gone from a huge surplus into huge debt again...long term effects of the national debt will haunt us for a long time.

    GWB may not have done great things for the economy, but he did not kill it. Anyone else would have probably had the same situations and outcomes.

    Some say that GWB has set America up for a great next 4 years. Maybe. But I think that things will not change greatly (good or bad) in the next 4...but then I'm the person who thought Tyler Hamilton would bounce back and win in Plateau de Beille).

    7) Rep vs. Dem. Being a middle class person employed by an international business machine type company that pays plenty in taxes, I beleive in freedom of business and capitolism. I tend to follow the Republican thought pattern.
    The Democrats seem to be a party fighting among itself and too incompetent to get great things accomplished (or electable potential canidates). The Reps must have taken some of them corporate CEOs and put them behind the scenes to organize the party.

    But, I'm in a 'down with Big Business' phase right now. I don't shop at Walmart. I'm glad that American companies find it hard to get into India, Russia and China to do thier profitraping. Glad to see some countries have smartened up.

    On the other social issues, I'll quick comment on abortion...if it takes two people to make a 'fetus' (politically correct term, right?) why can only one person kill it? (ha, not politically correct).

    In 2000, a friend's viewpoint sunk in with me. "both may be a bad choice, but who is going to put a better cabinet together?...you know that GWB is going to put good people in." I liked it at the time. But, Cheney and Rumsfeld just come across as the meanoldwhitemenwholiketodecidethefateoftheworldbeh indcloseddoorswhilesippingbrandy types. I keep hearing that Condi Rice is great...but what HAS she done? I've already said that I feel bad for what this administration has done to Powell. But who would Kerry appoint?

    Lastly, what has GWB done to deserve re-election? I don't see that he has accomplished any GREAT feats or significant accomplishments. I don't see Kerry doing anything great in the next 4, especially with a Rep congress. But, that means he may not mess the country up too much either.

    Case of "worse of two evils"? yup.

    So, I'm leaning to put Kerry in the office now. He won't get anything done, but hopefully he won't mess the country up. Atleast I don't think he will just start invading other countries. He may take his position by what the polls say, but that might be good for a while. After 9/11 the pendulum swung and we had to be more aggressive in the world. I think it's time for the pendulum to swing back. I don't see GWB doing that. He may think his re-election would be is a mandate from the people.

    Too long...sorry. It helps to put it out there. Feel free to say I'm already close minded or too paranoid to vote! Opening the mind now...
  • 09-16-2004
    filtersweep
    I thought Bush was in the Twin Cities as well today?

    I can't stand Bush, but Kerry looks less and less appealing by the day... and I could almost have written the same post you wrote.

    As bumbling as Bush has been, it should be EASY to unseat him. Kerry is making it look very difficult. If this is a sign how he might handle his own presidence, it doesn't look good, does it.

    The Republicans had to lick their wounds following watergate, ultimately resulting in a smooth Reagan/Bush Sr. reign, once they ironed out the kinks- and they shifted to the right. Again, the had to nurse their wounds while Clinton was in office, and they got W in based on his platform of self-proclaimed moral superiority after they reinvented themselves as neo-cons and the so-called "compassionate conservatism."

    I'm beginning to wonder if the dems need to sit this one out four more years and sulk- then hit the weight room to get into shape for the next election- and put forth an actual platform they can run on, rather than trying to beat the republicans at their own game. Suddenly more people actually care about national security than the economy, or health care. Lets face it, fear sells. If you don't believe me, turn on the news...
  • 09-16-2004
    Live Steam
    Quote:

    Issues:

    1) Terrorism - 9/11 would most likely happened on anyone's watch. I don't blame GWB personally for this. Yes, I liked the points made in other topics that he only had one terrorism meeting previous to 9/11. Maybe he did take 'vacation' time. But I won't put the big blame on one man.
    It is not really true that he only had one meeting on terrorism. He was briefed every day on it, even when in Texas on vacation. This is a lame excuse used by the left to make Bush appear asleep at the switch. It just wasn't that way and never is for any president on vacation. They are on 24/7/365 even if not in the WH.



    Quote:

    2) Iraq - to me, Iraq was in violation of Gulf War I treaty...if they break the treaty, they virtually redeclare war...it's just a matter of when. Also, a matter of who...the treaty was probably signed between the UN and Iraq back in the 90s, does that give the US sole responsibility? arguable. But, I have no problem with the legitimacy of the GWII.
    I have to agree here. Just look at what the Dems were saying as late as '99 about Iraq and WMD. Also look at what Kerry's position on Iraq has been for the last decade, and he didn't support GW1. He was a Johnny Come Lately, no pun intended, but he was all for regime change before Bush took office.

    Quote:

    What I do detest is how GWB went about it. Seems to me that he told all his guys to get 'evidence' to get public opinion on his side first. (call me a conspiracy theorist). If it there is a possibility of some big bad thing (like banned weapons!), let's say that it is fact. To me, Bush lacked the credability in the UN, so he sent Powell in to do his lying. Powell was a good soldier and did as he was told (poor guy) lost credability to many.
    You're wrong on your info. Bush did speak directly before the UN Security Council before the war. Yes Powell spoke too, but Bush went before them too. I don't think it's true that he said go out and get me information that only supports my position. It has been reported that he didn't trust the intel he got from G. Tennet that showed Iraq was seeking WMD. He wanted more info before making the call for war. You have to remember that a lot of people look at this intel. Not just the President. A good portion of it was collected prior to Bush taking office. Other intel came from Russia and GB among others. They had similar intel. So to put it all on Bush is wrong.

    Quote:

    3) Post war Iraq...I don't think anyone has a good plan how to get out without creating an uglier situation...but the longer we stay, the uglier it is going to get.
    Post any war is not neat and clean. Look to history for this one.

    Quote:

    4) Conflict of interest. Other presidents may have had vested interests in Oil or such...conflict of interest, about minor issues, can be overlooked. Or, we could trust that noble ideas are being followed. But, when you have a conflict of interest AND (virtually) unilaterraly invade a country, there SHOULD be questions to answer. If you do not remove the conflict of interest, you are asking for trouble. (and any politician who is not smart enough to atleast veil it better should not be a politician....along the lines of all politicians are liars, only the better liars don't get caught as often).
    There are no conflicts of interest. Cheney divested himself of all his stock from Hal. He is receiving "back pay" or pay that he is taking in smaller sums in order to save on income tax, which is common for execs in his status. Hal has been doing work for the military since WW2. They are the only contractor, not only approved for such work, but the only company world wide that can perform such work. To say that Bush and Cheney are the only admin. to use them in this capacity is just wrong.

    5) personal military record

    GWB - obviously privilaged, won't argue that someone somewhere pulled strings to get him into the Guard. Should more attention be focused on this immoral action? most likely. Do I need a memo (forged or otherwise) to know he did not perform 'military service'? no. (I have never been in the military, and don't have any moral high ground to be outraged about...but getting strings pulled so he goes Guard and then performing questionably does not count as military service to me).

    Did he make an issue of his 'military service'? no (smart man)

    Quote:

    Kerry did make an issue of his service and play the hero. Shouldn't have done that. Just say you served, in combat, and be done with it. He probably did not earn his paycheck, let alone any of the medals. But atleast he was there.

    Afterward...were all his actions scripted to launch his political career? Maybe...there are worse ways to launch political careers. Was he a traitor to speak out against the war? no. We were probably at the point of needing more veterns speaking out against the war (protesting hippies can be ignored...protesting honorably discharged soldiers are something completely different). Throwing medals on the White House lawn (even someone else's)...seems like a political stunt to me...if he is a politician, call that a career move.

    I don't damn Kerry for any of that. I don't think he was a great soldier. I don't think he acted for all the 'right reasons'. I will say he is misguided if he ever thought his 'war record' was impressive once it came under scrutiny.
    Glad you see this too.

    Quote:

    6) economy...the .com market was grossly overinflated...asking for a bust. Blame the investors who drive up the P/E to insane levels...don't blame the anyone in the White House. Greenspan seems more important in the recovery anyway.

    Tax cuts...did they help? probably, but extremely short term solution. But in doing so, we've gone from a huge surplus into huge debt again...long term effects of the national debt will haunt us for a long time.

    GWB may not have done great things for the economy, but he did not kill it. Anyone else would have probably had the same situations and outcomes.

    Some say that GWB has set America up for a great next 4 years. Maybe. But I think that things will not change greatly (good or bad) in the next 4...but then I'm the person who thought Tyler Hamilton would bounce back and win in Plateau de Beille).
    Glad you're realistic about this.

    The rest is subjective. Is Bush worthy of a second term? I think so. He was immediately put in a position no other president in history had ever encountered, yet he didn't panic. The economy was already on the skids and 9/11 happened, worsening the effects. He may have had more issues to deal with in a sort period of time than any prior president, and he has still maintained and operated the office with dignity. Kerry is a silver spoon baby as Bush is. He has been a senator for 19 years and yet it seems as though he has accomplished very little if anything of import. What leads you to believe he will do anything great as a president?

  • 09-16-2004
    thatsmybush
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Live Steam



    He was immediately put in a position no other president in history had ever encountered, yet he didn't panic.



    Funniest thing you have ever written!
  • 09-16-2004
    thatsmybush
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Live Steam

    He may have had more issues to deal with in a sort period of time than any prior president, and he has still maintained and operated the office with dignity.


    Until this line!!!
    way to top yourself in the same thread.
  • 09-16-2004
    czardonic
    Especially after his cowardly retreat. . .
    . . .into the wild blue yonder, leaving the American people to wonder when (if?) he would show his face again and tell us what was going on.

    I bet the first thing he did when they bundled him onto Air Force One was pull the window shade down.
  • 09-16-2004
    Duane Gran
    Welcome to the discussion, mmoose. You bring up some good points and it is refreshing to hear another viewpoint around here.

    For me the biggest problem is the potential supreme court nominations. I tend to prefer my courts to be conservative, but my legislators to be liberal. I'm torn.
  • 09-16-2004
    gregario
    hmmm.
    If I were an undecided voter and read your post I'd vote for Kerry. The negatives for Bush far outweigh the negatives for Kerry. Sounds like your mind is made up.
  • 09-16-2004
    QuiQuaeQuod
    nice post.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    Hello all, long time lurker, seldom poster...undecided voter.

    Actually, you are considered a "leaner" for polling purposes, given some of your comments.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    I see many good points raised by many folk here...occasionally. Usually, things degrade into humor (funny and not so funny) or name calling eventually (not uncommon nor unexpected).

    I think you will find that people treat you as you treat them... mostly. Keep in mind that people who post here a lot have a long history, and often that results in.... what you see. This can explain some of the seemingly extreme reactions to comments. There is a lot of noise, but good signal.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    1) Terrorism - 9/11 would most likely happened on anyone's watch.

    Agreed, but with stipulations. First, Clinton did prioritize terrorism and AQ highly for the new administration. That was ignored. Second, Clinton launched missles into AQ camps, which was attacked as "wag the dog" during the Monica/impeachment fiasco. By turning their backs on all things Clinton, warnings were missed.

    That said, Gore would not have stopped the attacks.

    Turning to Kerry, consider that his attention was focused on terrorism (but not AQ) long ago. He wrote a book. He also went after BCCI (funded terrorists) in a 3 year investigation before that. I think this shows a degree of forsight on important issues BEFORE something huge happens, and that gives him points in my book.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    2) Iraq - to me, [snip]

    What I do detest is how GWB went about it.

    Wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time? Kerry talking point.

    We were told that they knew where the weapons were. Then we got inspectors in, over 200 of them. They found nothing. Instead of letting them do work, or putting more in, Bush rushed to war. Let's face it, Saddam was contained. It was a war of choice.

    Kerry was for the threat of force, to get inspectors in. Would he have held off actually pulling the trigger? He says so, and I think so.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    3) Post war Iraq...I don't think anyone has a good plan how to get out without creating an uglier situation...but the longer we stay, the uglier it is going to get.

    Yeah, no one has a good plan NOW. One point is that the Bush administration did not have a good plan BEFORE they went in. Poor planning for such a big operation, where there was no great hurry.

    What is Kerry's plan? Get allies to help, including middle eastern countries. Can he do that? Well, we KNOW Bush cannot. Kerry at least has a chance. You can read about his plan, such as it is, here: http://www.johnkerry.com/issues/nati...rity/iraq.html

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    Conflict of interest. Other presidents may have had vested interests in Oil or such...conflict of interest, about minor issues, can be overlooked. Or, we could trust that noble ideas are being followed. But, when you have a conflict of interest AND (virtually) unilaterraly invade a country, there SHOULD be questions to answer.

    The way Halliburton did deals using offshore subsidiaries with places like Iran makes me sick. Cheney was seeking profit by any means he could. The administration is full of oil company people. This means a certain perspective. However, as you say, most politicians will have connections. These oil connections just seem to be used more liberally (heh).

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    5) personal military record
    [snip]

    Kerry did make an issue of his service and play the hero. Shouldn't have done that

    I disagree. First, it is part of his personal story. As a non-national figure he needed to introduce himself to the nation. Liberal=weak on military. He needed to show he was not. It shows character, in that he volunteered when he could have avoided it.

    Second, Kerry KNEW these attacks were coming. Rove 101 is to attack strength, as they did to McCain, and McClellan. They were planning to attack his service record before the dem convention. Imagine how devastating those attack ads would have been if he had not had all those swift boat vets (that actually were on his boat) on stage with him? I think the race would now be totally over had Kerry not put this out there.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mmoose
    6) economy [snip]

    Tax cuts...did they help? probably, but extremely short term solution. But in doing so, we've gone from a huge surplus into huge debt again...long term effects of the national debt will haunt us for a long time.

    GWB may not have done great things for the economy, but he did not kill it. Anyone else would have probably had the same situations and outcomes.

    Consider that the republicans think taxes should be cut no matter what happens, war or peace, inflation or deflation, market up or market down. Shouldn't the treatment match the symptoms?

    The recovery is slower than any of the last 4 since the 70s. Look here for details:
    http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2004/0...ng-anyway.html

    More on why his tax cuts failed:
    http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2004/0...ts-failed.html

    Now look at how wages and salaries are LESS of the national income. A bad long term trend, but look closely at what the Bush years show, and ask who gets income from sources other than wages and salaries. Not that it is in this link, but there are more in poverty, fewer middle class, and more millionaires. Not a good trend.
    http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2004/0...-in-wages.html

    I like angry bear for econ stuff, if you can't tell :)

    Enough point by point! Ok, a bit on dems v reps.

    I think the single best reason to vote Kerry into office, one that will appeal to conservatives, is that DIVIDED government will at least show some restraint. I don't want the dems or the reps controlling it all. That scares me. So we agree on that it seems.

    Consider that Kerry actually believes in science. At least as I define the term, not in the sense that the current administration uses the term. Given the rapid change and technological advancements going on, that is a plus for me.

    The more I learn about Kerry, the more I like him. I was lukewarm early on, anyone but bush and he ain't bush. But I think Kerry will make a GOOD president. Not great, not so so, but good.

    I don't think the current administration deserves a second term. I would not rehire Bush if he was running a company, much less the country. And this comes from someone who did not think he was all THAT bad in 2000, even though I did not vote for him. I agreed with the invasion of Afghanistan. Consider that most of the world was on our side in that. Most of the arab world was not REALLY against us there either, at least not strongly.

    But pulling forces out of there and going after Iraq in the way we did was probably the biggest mistake any president has ever made. It lost us near universal world support. It energized terrorists. It left Afghanistan a mess, so heroin production is up, funding more terrorism, and opened back up ground for AQ and even the Taliban to strengthen. Our military is stretched thin, which limits our options if needed elsewhere (se asia, other middle east countries, etc).

    Thanks for taking the time to type out your position. I appreciated reading it, and hope you enjoy (if not agree) what I said.
  • 09-16-2004
    thatsmybush
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dr hoo
    McClellan..

    Now he was a Democrat that was weak on defense.
  • 09-17-2004
    Jdub
    Interesting
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Duane Gran
    Welcome to the discussion, mmoose. You bring up some good points and it is refreshing to hear another viewpoint around here.

    For me the biggest problem is the potential supreme court nominations. I tend to prefer my courts to be conservative, but my legislators to be liberal. I'm torn.


    I prefer my courts to be non-biased and impartial.
    The legislature to be balanced on both sides.
    The Executive can be either conservative or Liberal depending on the speciific needs of the time.

    I like to use the plane analogy.
    Legislature=wings (have to have both right and left)
    Judicial=fuselage (holds everything together)
    Executive=Pilot (Provides direction and leadership)

    A left or right leaning court is a very very bad thing in my mind. Judicial precedent is not an easy thing to reverse as opposed to congressional or even presidential actions.
  • 09-17-2004
    Jdub
    Exactly
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dr hoo
    I don't think the current administration deserves a second term. I would not rehire Bush if he was running a company, much less the country. And this comes from someone who did not think he was all THAT bad in 2000, even though I did not vote for him. I agreed with the invasion of Afghanistan. Consider that most of the world was on our side in that. Most of the arab world was not REALLY against us there either, at least not strongly.


    This is the most poignant and clear notion for me.

    You have to consider what factor this election will be decided on ... Terrorism and the relationship of Iraq to Terrorism. It has been painfully pointed out to me that nothing else really matters (very unfortunate in my opinion but a reality). Fear currently dominates the national mindset.

    In my opinion the handling of Iraq has done nothing but weaken our global ability to fight terrorism. I do not think Kerry has a good plan to solve the Iraq issue now. It is far too gone at this point. The problem is that this should have been thought of by the Bush administration before goiing in. Everyone said this was going to happen. His administration didn't listen and declared victory far too prematurely when it was looking like a politcal coup for his reelection campaign. He doesn't have a good plan to solve the problems there right now and neither does Kerry, but Bush is the one who made the decision to get us into this mess. Now he must face the music. I think politicians need to hear from the American people that Iraq was a mistake. Bad decisions like this should not get you re-elected. It's time for him to go and someone else to take the reigns and try to drag our sorry tail out of this disaster.

    It scares me that so many people in this country (at least according to polls) think that going into Iraq was a bad idea, but also think Bush has a better plan to fight Terrorism (again according to polls). This is a huge disconnect in my mind that Kerry and his team need to do a much better job of pointing out to the country.
  • 09-17-2004
    MR_GRUMPY
    "He probably did not earn his paycheck, let alone any of the medals"

    I see that you've bought into the swift boat guys "stories"
    Looks like the money they got, was well spent..
  • 09-17-2004
    QuiQuaeQuod
    Silver stars.
    The silver star is not handed out like candy. The secretary of the navy signs off on those. Nixon went after Kerry's record when he spoke out against the war, and they did not find anything then. If Nixon can't find dirt a couple years after the events, we have to wonder why stories changed.

    He saved lives, he stood under fire. He earned his paycheck.

    Yes, money well spent on flinging mud. Effective mud.
  • 09-17-2004
    mmoose
    paycheck
    yea, I should not have said that...can't follow my own rules and tried to put a zinger in...

    Either way, I'm off the sidelines now. I usually only debate with people face to face so I know when to back off. I'm the type that stirs the pot just to get the other guy thinking no matter what side I have to argue...More people need to see the other side of the picture...you don't have to agree or like it, but a bit of understanding of the opposing viewpoint keeps it sane and human.

    The usual political posters here know each other and like to stir the pot...in doing so, you give the rest of us some good things to consider. Thanks from all the lurkers. It is interesting to see the 'serious' side and how much each of us beleives in our positions...without stiring the pot.

    (That said, someday, I'll go trolling for OldEd and view my opinions on the flag of the Confederacy)

    I am surprised that there are not more pro GWB comments...I am more rep then dem, especially about most of the family value topics. The Court nominations are also a reason for being in the GWB camp. I must have scared the 'right' off with my comments. How bout this? What is the BEST reason to vote Bush? and how strongly do you beleive he will do a good (or better) job in the next 4 years (especially if he has not done it in his first 4) ?

    (no, I am not a person who put Jesse Ventura in the MN Gov office, but with others like me, you can guess why he got in...)
  • 09-17-2004
    OES
    And even weaker
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    Now he was a Democrat that was weak on defense.

    on offense.
  • 09-17-2004
    thatsmybush
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by OldEdScott
    on offense.

    Hey he was always "outnumbered." And that rebel yell scared the dickens out of him.